Fewer Students Smoking Cigarettes in North Carolina

Latest Youth Tobacco Survey conducted in North Carolina found that fewer middle and high school students in the state are smoking cheapest cigarettes. The bad news is that more students use other More »

Chinese Passengers Smoked in Airplane Despite Ban

Recently a group of passengers told that they were on-lookers of a case when a budget airline did not stop passengers from smoking their cigarettes during a flight. The talk is about More »

Illinois May Prohibit Smoking in Beer Gardens

According to Illinois Register,  Illinois Department of Public Health proposed to expand existing smoking ban and prohibit smoking in beer gardens, patios and other outdoor seating zones in the next months after More »

University of Delaware Banned Smoking on Its Campus

The University of Delaware, located in Newark (state of Delaware), told that all its campuses are going to become tobacco-free starting from this month. The initiative came from students who want to More »

Smoking Hookah Still Popular Among Youth

A new study found that a great number of young people think that using hookah will not damage their health. However, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that using hookah has More »

 

Ontario to Prohibit Flavoured Tobacco Products

Smoking Man

Ontario, the Canadian city, soon will have the most restrictive tobacco rules in the country as it plans to outlaw all flavoured tobacco products including menthol cigarettes.

The provincial government  is pushing “Making Healthier Choices Act” that will prohibit such flavoured tobacco products as menthol cigarettes, cigarettes with fruit tastes, chewing tobacco, “wine-dipped” cigars. Moreover, the act will include ban of sale, use and possesion of e-cigarettes by those under 19 years old.

Owners of  convenience stores do not welcome the new initiative as they say that there is enough tobacco restrictions imposed. For example, it is not allowed to display tobacco products in stores. New restrictions act imposes new rules on where e-cigarettes are allowed to be sold and how they should be promoted. Violations would result in fines up to $300,000.

Leading tobacco company in Canada generally supports ban of flavored tobacco, but does not welcome ban of menthol cigarettes. Nadine Bernard, representative of Imperial Tobacco, claims that in the countru there are only 5% of menthol smokers and all them are people over 30 years old. She says that those people will not turn to other cigarettes and just will buy menthol cigarettes online.

Data by Statistics Canada shows that about 4% of 114,000 students are regular smokers and 13.6 years is an average age for starting smoking cigarettes.  8% of students tried a flavoured tobacco product in the past month. 2% of students in grades 6 to 9 have smoked a menthol cigarette in the past month.

Recently  Nova Scotia adopted legislation along the same lines as Ontario’s.  There will be banned sale of flavoured tobacco, and the provincial government wants Ottawa to regulate e-cigarettes and the flavoured liquids they use.   The ban would also include flavoured rolling papers and chewing tobacco.

Senate in Hawaii Passed Bill Raising Smoking Age

Hawaii

Hawaii became first state in the USA to raise legal smoking age to 21.

The lawmakers  adopted on Friday a new legislation which increases age for smoking.

The law passed in state Senate with the majority of votes: 19 memebers voted for while 4 voted against.

The law also regulates use, sale and purchase of electronic cigarettes by those under 21.

Democratic state Senator Rosalyn Baker told that they for years are struggling with smoking with various means and raising smoking age is considered an effective measure along with increasing cigarette taxes. Complex approach is the thing that really works.

She pointed out that opposers of anti-smoking initiatives argue that people under 21 may serve military but will have no right to buy cigarettes. Rosalyn Baker replied that providing young people a choice to have lung cancer is a bad choice.

This week  Governor David Ige  is going to make a final decision on the bill after reviewing it.

In most states in the USA the legal smoking age is 18, while some states estblished an age of 19. A number of large cities and counties, including New York, already raised smoking age to 21. California and Washington plan to follow this example in coming months.

Data by  the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids demonstrates that each year in Hawaii smoking kills 1,400 people and costs $526 million in medical bills. 95% of current smokers started to use cigarettes before 21. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that in the USA, use of cigarettes is the cause of 480,000 deaths annually.

Specialists claim that increasing age to buy tobacco to 21 would help to significantly reduce smoking-related diseases in the entire country.

The majority of Americans do support the idea of raising smoking age. Today only 18% Americans smoke. It is a significant drop compared to 42% in 1964.

Hammond City Wants to Eliminate Smoking in Public Places

Smoking Man

This week in the city of Hammond, Louisiana, are taking place public hearings on the proposal to prohibit smoking in public spaces and all workplaces.

The proposal to adopt such a smoking ban came on April 7 and aims to protect people from effects of secondhand smoke.

The proposal includes smoking ban in private cluns, motel and hotel rooms, shopping malls, 5 feet of public buildings, recreational areas. In case the ban would be adopted, the reposnsability of its enforcement will lie totally on police. People caught smoking in prohibited places would pay a fine of $50.

In case a business violates the law by allowing smoking in its establishment, it would be subjected to a fine of $100 for the first offence, $200 for the second offence and $500 for third offence. In case of multiple violations the establishment may even lose its license.

Mark Franatovich, owner of Perfectly Fit Sports, told he supports the proposed smoking ban because he owns fitness store and health screening company. He is a big fan of healthy lifestyle and dislikes smoking. Most of all he worries that the smoking ban would not be enforced accordingly.

The University of Michigan analyzed the effects of the May 2010 Smoke Free Air Law and revealed that smoking ban in restaurants and bars had not affected businesses.

Hammond  is not the only American city which wants to totally eliminate tobacco smoke from public places. Such cities as New York, San Antonio, Chicago and San Jose are also fighting smoking with same methods. The experience of New York city showed that when smoking was banned in restaurants, the nicotine levels dropped there by 85%.

Experts claim that best way to protect workers from secondhand smoke exposure is to ban smoking at workplaces.

According to the Louisiana Adult Tobacco Survey conducted in 2013, in the Hammond area 85.3% of adults are nonsmokers.

With Smoking Ban Seattle Moves Homeless People from Parks

Old Man Smoking

Seattle wants to prohibit tobacco use in all its parks and with its move it would enter the list with next US big cities who already did this: New York, Boston, Portland, San Francisco. It is expected that parks in the city of Seattle would become smoke-free in summer 2015.

The authorities of the city want to enforce the ban in their attempt to improve citizen’s health by eliminating secondhand smoke from public spaces. Also they talk about the need to reduce number of cigarette butts in parks. However, some people doubt that envonment protection and health are the only reasons to enforce the ban in parks.

Real Change director Tim Harris is worried that this ban would force people to move from downtown parks. Here the talk is mostly about homeless people. It is a well known fact that homeless people do gather and smoke cheapest cigarettes in Victor Steinbrueck Park, Westlake Park and Occidental Square. Data shows that among homeless people 68% to 80% are smokers.

The smoking ban initiative is strongly supported by the Seattle Police Department and activists who want to make downtown more attractive for retailers.

Data demonstrates that the discussions about the smoking ban have included concerns about health and litter from cigarettes, and also simplifying enforcement of existing smoking restrictions. However, many people expressed their concerns about   gathering of homeless people for smoking purposes in central parks. As a result, their opinion was taken into consideration.

The Parks Board of Commissioners launched the latest smoking effort public in  March. Current week takes place public hearing to allow people speak about the initiative. The final draft should be approved by mid- to late-May.

Sonoma County May Establish Price Floor on Cigarettes

Smoking Man

Supervisors in Sonoma County. US state of California, are considering to adopt new anti-smoking regulations which would make it more difficult for teenagers to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products.

County health officials push an anti-smoking campaign, which imposes new licensing fees on vendors who sell tobacco products in the unincorporated area. The new regulation says that tobacco sellers should permanently increase the price for a package of cigarettes to a minimum of $7.

It will help retailers to keep the additional income and at the same time  Sonoma county would gain some additional money. It was estimated that the county would have around $140,000 annually from a total of 140 stores outside city limits. The county would use these money to pay for making inspections in stores to check how the regulation is working.

The authorities believe that the campaign is needed, because laws banning sale of tobacco products and high prices on them would help to reduce smoking rates among people younger 18.

In case  Sonoma County adopts the measure in form of a law, it would make the county the first one in California to established a price floor for cigarettes and other tobacco products. Also it would be second in the USA after New York City to adopt minimum pricing laws in order to curb teen smoking.

Serena Chen, advocacy head of the American Lung Association in California, told that there is enough evidence that tobacco retail licenses help prevent stores from selling tobacco to teeangers, and  high prices on cigarettes can help prevent teens and kids from starting to experiment with tobacco in their early age.

According to the proposed regulation, in Sonoma County tobacco retailers would have to pay for a seller’s license a sum of $1,000 annually. Brian Vaughn, a county health policy director said that up to date the ounty did less to prevent youth from smoking and now there is a perfect chance to change the situation.

People Changing their Opinion About Smoking

Smoking Man

Nearly 1,000 residents in Southern Tier, New York, showed a change in opinions about the habit of smoking.

These are results of a survey in which participated residents from Steuben, Schuyler and Chemung Counties. The survey showed that the number of people with negative opinion on smoking in public places is getting increased.

So what it means for the community? Change of people’s opinion on the smoking generally reflects a deeper change.

Stacy Hills, head of Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition, considers that the result of the survey shows that today people are becoming more health conscious. Those modern people want to be healthy and they want their family and friends to be healthy. This fact is proved by data obtained by the reseachers.

At the end of last week the researchers presented their 2015 Tobacco Community Survey. It found that almost three quarters of respondents consider that use of tobacco should be banned in public parks. 80% told that they support the idea of prohibiting smoking at building entrances.

According to Joel Lalone, the author of the survey, people do not want anymore to be exposed to secondhand smoke on playgrounds, parks, outdoor festivals, building entrances. They are aware enough about effects of smoking.

People are changing their attitude not only towards smoking in outdoor spaces but also in indoor spaces. For example, inside the apartments in private housings.

Now the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition will spread across the community the information they found in the course of the survey in order to influence the officials to take anti-smoking measures.

Seattle Commissioners to Ban Smoking in Parks

Seattle Park

Park commissioners in Seattle, Washington state, want to prohibit use of cigarettes in all city parks. In case the law would be adopted, smoking is going to be banned in all public zones under the city’s parks’ jurisdiction. However, the law would not make part of the Seattle Municipal Code.

On April 16 there would be organized public hearing in order to give the possibility to speak to all interested parties.

Superintendent Christopher Williams told that they adressed the smoke-free proposal to the Board of Park Commissioners because tobacco use has nothing to do with healthy people and healthy environments. People coming to a park want to relax and enjoy beauty of nature. They want to inhale fresh and clean air, free of tobacco smoke.

If the city passes the smoke-free ordinance, people violating it would receive a warning. In case of repeated violations, they would be banned from visiting the park.

The new smoke-free initiative expands the existing smoking ban adopted back in 2010. The existing law prohibits use of tobacco within 25 feet of other park visitors on playgrounds, beaches.

After public hearing, the Park Board will discuss the issue on May 14, and after that will make a recommendation to the superintendent. The superintendent will have to analyze the recommendation and say his final decision till the end of May.

Another reason which influenced anti-smoker activists to promote the law is the big number of butts on the ground in parks.

According to Matt DeGooyer, executive director of the American Lung Association in Washington, there is no safe level of secondhand smoke and they welcome the new smoke-free initiative in Seattle.

Experts believe that such anti-smoking actions would help to de-normalize smoking in the society. At the same time this will help to create healthy environments for non-smokers, kids and elderly people. Ecologists are especially worried with litter in parks saying that the biggest part of it is butts from cigarettes. For example, during  the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup number one item found on beaches in Washington state was butts.

The list of Washington major cities banning smoking in parks includes Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago.

Smoking Ban in Rock Hill Parks Failed

Smoker in Park

Smokers in Rock Hill city, South Carolina, are delighted that smoking will be allowed in city parks, because City Council rejected proposed smoking ban on Monday.

Totally there are 21 parks and recreation zones in Rock Hill city and the Council was discussing better ways to regulate tobacco use in public places of the city. When came time for voting, 3 council members supported smoking ban in parks while other 3 opposed. As a result, the final decision was not taken and the proposal was sent to further considerations.

The final approval needs the support of majority of City Council, therefore things remain the same and smokers may still light up inRock Hill parks.

Jim Reno, Kathy Pender,  Mayor Doug Echols are those who showed their support for the ban and they welcomed the staff proposals regaring the outdoors ban including the ideas of creating designated areas for smoking. Echols told that they want to make the city smoke-free for everyone and smoking should not be allowed in parks.

Kevin Sutton, John Black, Ann Williamson opposed the ban and voted against it, saying that this measure is too restrictive. Sutton dislikes tobacco smoke, but says that there is enough space in parks for both smokers and non-smokers. The ban goes to extrimes when imposes that policemen should partol trails, she added. The idea to ban smoking on Novant Health BMX Supercross Track and Giordana Velodrome seems a non-sense as smokers would have to walk a mile to light up.

The proposal to prohibit smoking in parks comes from parks and recreation commission. Bev Carroll, the representative of the comission, says that the ban is needed to prevent fires in wooded areas, protect kids from secondhand smoke and reduce litter in parks. Such a bans already are adopted in cities of  Clover and  Charlotte.

According to  Echols, the proposal may be put on agenda in the nearest future in case Council members ask him for that.

Oregon Discusses Benefits of Tobacco Tax Hike

Smoker

Oregon’s State Legislature discusses cigarettes tax increase which is expected to help cover state’s budget deficit and encourage smokers quit.

The bill under the name HB 2555 raises cigarette tax in Oregon by $1.00 per pack, and 20% of revenues from the tax will be used on quit smoking programs. Besides this, transportation programs for senior citizens and Oregon Health Plan will receive the new funding. 40% of money will be directed to counties and cities across Oregon.

On the bill hearing Rep. Alyssa Keny-Guyer showed her support for it and gave the answeres to questions from people presented on the hearing. For example, Rep. Cliff Bentz was curious to know how to deal with smokers who would like to give up their habit but cannot do it due to strong addiction.

He says that those people get no benefit from cigarettes tax hike because existing quit smoking programs have proven to be ineffective for them. In her turn, Keny-Guyer pointed out that namely smokers are those who make their contribution to funding of cessation programs. For example,  the Oregon Health Plan gets cigarette tax funding.

Generally speaking, higher taxes on cigarettes would be beneficial, especially for those wanting to quit. It works just like gas taxes where revenues are used in building roads.

The State law has no provisions which demand funding directed to the Oregon Health Plan by cigarette taxes be used for the health care of ex- and current smokers. There are low chanes that a smoker will ever benefit from a senior transportation program, but everyone will benefit from money sent to fund cities.

As to quitting, experts came to the conclusion that smokers must use several programs to sucessfully quit.

Should Smoking Age be 21?

Young Smoker

Data demonstrates that in 2014 the number of retailers who sold tobacco products to teenagers had increased, not singnificantly but anyway these numbers are alarming. Researchers talk about the necessity to reduce tobacco sales to teens and this will lead to lowering of number of teens who start smoking.

Bob Ferguson,  Attorney General from the US state of Washington, came with a proposal to adopt a law which increases the legal smoking age to 21. A number of state lawmakers showed their support for the proposal.

Increase of legal smoking age will make it more difficult for teens to obtain tobacco products from shops. At the age of 18 many young people still study in high school and it will never do to use tobacco at this age. Also many teens under 18 who look mature go to shops and buy cigarettes without any problem. The new legislation will prevent all those teens from purchasing tobacco.

However, the issue stirred up disputes in the society. When the adulthood begins and when the adolescence ends? People try to find the answers before legislation is officially passed.

Major argument of opposers is that 18-years-old people may join military service and die in a war, they are allowed to vote but cannot make personal choices about their health. Those 18-years-olds are already banned from buying alcohol and now may be banned from buying cigarettes. Opposers say that it means we doubt that young people under 21 are capable to make important personal decisions about their health.

In the USA many cities already increased legal smoking age to 21 and this tendency is growing. Meanwhile, some states in past years have considered lowering their drinking age.  Opposers demand data which proves that raising smoking age would really prevent teens from starting smoking.

E-cigarettes also rise concerns. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented recently a report which shows that 10% of high school students use electronic cigarettes and his rate is two times higher than a year before. Therefore anti-smoking activists call to fight their use too.