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Chinese Passengers Smoked in Airplane Despite Ban

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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 »

 

North Dakota Rejected Tobacco Tax Increase

Smoking Woman

House of Representatives in US state of North Dakota rejected an ordinance to raise taxes on tobacco products from $0.44 to $1.54 per package.

Republican Vicky Steiner voted against the tax increase and explains that she did not support the bill because it affects vulnerable layers of society much more than layers with higher income.

She told that tax increase cannot be justified when a great part of society is so much affected. She also considers that legislation should not dictate people what choices to make and what lifestyle to lead.

Today North Dakota has lowest taxes in the USA and the officials take pride in it.  According to Steiner, increasing a tax is a quite heavy lift in North Dakota.

Michael LaFaive, head of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, told that anti-smoking activists normally provude next reasons for cigarettes tax increase:
1. improvement of public health by making people refuse from an expensive product;
2. new tax will bring more money to state budget.

However, despite those benefits mentioned above, there are some important disadvantages. LaFaive claims that tax increase on tobacco would result in more illegal tobacco products in state. A research showed that for each hundred cigarettes used in North Dakota, additionally are smulgged three ones. The raise of the tax will result in significant increase of use of illegal production.

In order to prevent such consequences of tax increase, more officials voted against it.

One more change accepted in North Dakota is the refusal to treat e-cigarettes same way as regular cigarettes. It means that increase of taxes would not touch these electronic devices.

Nottingham’s Old Market Square May Become Smoke-free

Nottingham's Old Market Square

In English city of Nottingham there was proposed to prohibit smoking on Old Market Square, and if the idea gets necessary support it will be adopted in form of an ordinance. The proposal also includes smoking ban in city’s hospitals and playgrounds.

In the UK, the first city to prohibit tobacco use on its two largest squares is Bristol. Now Nottingham just follws its example. The City Council will take into consideration resident’s opinions on where smoking should be permitted and where not. A representative of Public Health in Nottinghamshire told that before passing any new smoking ban, there is a need to organize public hearings to let residents speak for or against it.

Professor John Britton is a smoking expert, and he says that smoking is not good, and should be reduced in the city. Citizen’s health is a priority and therefore it is necessary to fight smoking in public places. Families with kids would especially enjoy smoke-free environments.

Chris Leslie, the representative of Nottingham East, told that it an absolutely British style to ask someone politely to stop doing something, therefore there is no need to introduce fines for violations.

In Nottingham there are 24.4% of smokers while in the entire country there are 19.5% smokers.

Jane Hunt, Conservative candidate for Nottingham South, does not welcome the initiative as considers that smoking bans on the square would not prevent kids from meeting smokers, because people will be allowed to light up in other public places in the city.

The proposal to make Old Market Square smoke-free would be passed by the  Nottingham City Council if it will be supported by residents. Currently in the city are in place smoking bans at playgrounds.

However, the proposal has some opposers, who consider that it would never do to ban smoking outdoors. Student Carys Thomas says that there is enought space for smokers and non-smokers on Old Market Square.

Authorities say that ban in Nottingham would be similar to ban in Bristol and there would be installed no-smoking signs on the square.

Fewer Smoking Scenes in Movies Nominated for Oscar 2015

Di Caprio Smoking

Would you like to know how much smokier are films nominated for Oscar this year in comparison with past years?

Movies nominated for Oscar in 2014 are a kind of departure from past years when films nominated for Oscar awards normally had more smoking scenes than films as a whole. Generally, the persentage of Oscar-nominated smoking movies remains the same, but the persentage of smoking scenes in films is lower.

Films nominated for Oscar awards make a small part of annual 140-160 best movies. Specialists give an R-rate to movies which have smoking scenes. This helps studio campaigns to protect nominations for less “prestige” movies in hopes of increasing their income.

You may note that past years most among nominated movies were biographical ones. However, in 2014 a small number of movies contained smoking. It was estimated that in 2011-2013, 100 percent of nominated biographical movies had smoking scenes while in 2014 it was only 75 percent.

Among 20 actors nominated for Oscar, 16 have used cigarettes in other movie roles. In 2015 only 5 actors smoked in nominated films, and among them only one role was based on real personality (American Sniper, R), and only one is youth-rated (Boyhood, PG-13).

Smoke Free Movies will continue to R-rate movies with smoking, except biographical movies showing real personages.

Growing Number of Smoke-Free Public Housing

Smoker

Resident Carol Chatham moved in to her apartment in Vestal, New York, in spring 2009 and says that when she was opening her window she usually felt the smell of tobacco smoke.

Carol, aged 71, was a regular smoker in her past. When she moved in her new apartment in a new building, she coulndn’t imagine that she would inhale tobacco smoke again.

She says that all neighbours around her are smokers and it is impossible to escape ftom cigarette smoke.

At his age, after years of smoking and working in a smoking environment, she is concerened about her health. Thus she became anti-smoking activist and adressed the problem of smoking in her housing to Sharon Fischer, Broome County Health Department’s Tobacco Free Broome and Tioga program and its coordinator. The main tasks of the program are educating of housing managers about benefits of smoke-free policies.

As a result, in 2014 the Binghamton Housing Authority banned use of tobacco within 25 feet of next apartment buildings: Saratoga Heights, Saratoga Terrace, Carlisle Apartments. The S.E.P.P. Group’s senior apartments go 100% smoke-free because they are managed by several independent landlords.  Fischer says it is great that these days people are changing their attitude towards tobacco use. She believes that in several years all public housing will become free of smoke.

According to  Liz Williams, who is project manager with Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, nowadays more and more rental units are becoming totally smoke-free. She added that more than 500 public housing authorities have implemented smoke-free policies, which includes both multi-state apartment management companies and individual unit owners. Multifamily housing also joins the trend.

Raise of Awarness about Secondhand Smoke in Kent County

Smoking in Car

Kent County Council in England   said it supports the campaign launched by Pubic Health England to inform people about the hidden negative effects which secondhand smoke may cause to kid’s health. It comes right after the Government prohibited tobacco use in cars where children are present.

Experts claim that secondhand smoke is especially bad to kids and teens, because they do inhale tobacco smoke more rapidly. Due to the fact that their airways are only developing, kids should be expecially prevented from tobacco smoke.

It was extimated that anually around 300,000 kids exposed to secondhand smoke do address to GP consultations and 9,500 are even hospitalized.

In Kent there is registered high smoking rate and data shows that it is even highter than the average across England. Moreover, it is high among pregnant women, particular ethnic groups, routine and manual workers.  Totally there are 240,000 smoing people in Kent.

It was found that smoking habit costs to Kent almost £406million every year, which includes £49million in direct costs to the NHS and £19.5million in social care costs.

Data shows that in England, totally three million kids are exposed to secondhand smoke in cars where their parents smoke. Namely this increases risks of getting  meningitis, asthma and respiratory infections.

British Lung Foundation conducted a survey which showed that 86% of kids who are exposed to smoking in cars would like to ask the smoker to butt out. However, only 31% of them do really ask it.

Graham Gibbens from  Kent County Council isupports the campaign to raise awarness  among people about effects of secondhand smoke on kids. This will help to pretect young people from tobacco smoke.

Portland City Council May Expand Smoking Ban to All Parks

Woman Smoking in Park

City Council in Portland, Oregon, considers the idea of extending tobacco and smoking ban, which exists at Portland Parks & Recreation, to all city parks.

In case the proposal gets the majority of votes, then starting from July 1, 2015, in Portland all natural areas, golf courses, city parks, recreation areas, community centers, trails, and other places belonging to Portland Parks & Recreation would become 100% tobacco and smoke-free.

Portland Parks & Recreation representatives say that today more than 500 cities and towns across the USA have adopted similar laws. It was estimated that among them 64 cities and counties are in Oregon.

In Portland the existing bill bans tobacco use at Pioneer Courthouse Square, Director Park, part of the South Park Blocks on the campus of Portland State University. Besides this people are not allowed to light up at the distance of 25 feet of any picnic table and designated play areas for kids and adults.

According to Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz, the expansion of the tobacco-free plocy would allow to expand anti-smoking message in the city. Not to say, it will help to create a healthy and safe environment for non-smokers, older people, pregnant women and kids.

The proposed law will be applied not only to cigarettes but also to cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipes, e-cigarettes, snuff and even marijuana.

In case City Council adoptes the change, then immediately will begin an information campaign to make people aware about the smoke-free policy.

California to Raise Tobacco Buying Age to 21

Girl Smoking

California State Capitol wants to adopt a number of statewide anti-smoking laws. Four years ago former state Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger folded his cigar smoking tent on grounds of Capitol and now the sate makes a new step towards reduction of tobacco use.

At the beginning, there will be adopted a bill increasing a legal smoking age from 18 to 21. Legislators talk about concerns about public and kids health, health costs, and adult responsability.

Ed Hernandez, state Senator, is the author of the bill called Senate Bill 151, which expands Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement Act (STAKE).

The existing anti-smoking law bans posession and purchase of cigarettes and tobacco products by people under 18.

However, the proposed extension of the law says:

“A person is prohibited from making various promotional or advertising offers of smokeless tobacco products without taking actions to ensure that the product is not available to persons under 18 years of age. Existing law also requires the State Department of Public Health to conduct random, onsite sting inspections of tobacco product retailers with the assistance of persons under 18 years of age.”

It increases to 21 the buying age and imposes that State Department of Public Health may make random compliance inspections of retailers. The major purpose of the bill is to prevent kids from becoming addicted to cigarettes at an early age.

According to California branch of the American Lung Association, 90% of smokers begin before they turn 19.

However, the opposers claim that if people can make military and vote at age of 18, it seems nonsense that they cannot buy cigarettes. Opposers agree with 21 as legal age, because drinking is more harmful than smoking.

Health experts say the law is needed, because annually 21,300 California kids start smoking.

John Kasich Pushes Tobacco Tax Hike in Ohio

John Kasich

John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, will not refuse from his attempt to increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products in the two-year state budget. Anti-smoking activists believe in a success of his proposal.

The increase of tobacco tax makes part of larger package of taxes planned to be raised in the nearest future. Now the authorities are going to open discussions on possible advantages and disadvantages of tax increase. They want to know if it will make smokers quit and how it will affect retailers in the state of Ohio.

In 2014, Gov. Kasich came with a proposal to raise tax on cigarettes from $1.25 to $1.85 per package, more than 50% on cigars and other tobacco products and introduce a tax on electronic cigarettes in the course of 2 years.

According to Legislative Service Commission, the proposed tax increases will bring to the state budget an additional sum of $635 million during two-year period.

However, the proposal met a strong opposition from tobacco companies, wholesalers and grocers. They consider that high taxes will not make people smoke less. Instead, people will continue to smoke.They just will turn to cheaper cigarettes or go to other states to buy them at reasonable prices.

However, the GOP-controlled legislature rejected the proposal.  Kasich blame lobbyists for this and says that his proposal aims to make society healthier.

In their turn, retailers claim that increase in tobacco and cigarettes taxes will make smokers buy cheaper cigarettes and tobacco online before they decide to quit their habit.

The Ohio Wholesale Marketers Association  analyzed the consequences of 2005 cigarette tax increase from 55 cents to $1.25 per pack. It found that while in Ohio sales went down, in heighboring states they went up. It means that people from ohio went to nearest states to buy tobacco products.

Beth Wymer of the OWMA says modern smokers are quite clever. They always find the ways to get what they want.

Research Raises Concerns about Thirdhand Smoke

Smoker

Health care providers are more and more concerned about effects on body which thirdhand smoke has. How thirdhand smoke is defined? It the residue from tobacco smoke which remains on curtains, carpets, clothing, couches, and dust particles.

In other words, when you enter a room or flat several hours after a man was smoking there, you can still feel the tobacco smoke there — it is thirdhand smoke.

Latest study made in California reveals that the hazard from inhaling thirdhand smoke remains for several hours after the last cigarette has been butt out. The study was published in November issue of journal Environmental Sciences and Technology. It is funded by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program.

The author of the study is Hugo Destaillats, who said that everyone knows that secondhand smoke is harmful, but few know that thirdhand smoke is also harmful. For example, parents smoke at home when kids are out, considering it is safe. However, when kids come home in few hours they are subjected to thirdhand smoke as 60% of harm from inhaling thirdhand smoke remains.

A crew at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory were examining two different places. First was a room in the lab where was installed a machine that used 6 cigarettes in a row, and then were monitored substances found for the next 18 hours. The second was a smoker’s home, where researchers gathered necessary data 8 hours after the last cigarette was smoked.

Thus the study reveals that the high amount of toxic substances is found in first five hours after smoking and it continues to increase more gradually in the next 5 hours. So at least ten hours should pass before effects begin to go down.

Back in 2010 a study showed that when the nicotine in thirdhand smoke reacts with a common indoor air pollutant, together they form carcinogens.

Scientists add that people are exposed to thirdhand smoke not only by breathing, but also by touching surfaces where tobacco smoke residue is present. The chemicals do enter into skin and can be absorbed by the body, Moreover, people smoking outside can bring chemicals inside to their family members on their clothing.

Farmington to Decide on Smoking-Ban Ordinance

Smoking Woman

Data shows that among American states the highest smoking rate is registered in Missouri. However, soon the state of affairs is going to change as officials in Farmington decided to make their city smoke-free.

Stuart Landrum, Mayor of Farmington, told that among neighboring cities only Arnold has a smoking ban in place. Besides it in the region only city of Kennett has passed a ban.

However, Farmington officials have different opinions on the subject. Elizabeth Stevenson agrees with smoking ban proposal and considers public places should be smoke-free.

In case the proposal will get necessary amount of votes to be passed, it will be in effect from November 2015.

Jessie Holcomb said he will not support the proposal and will vote against it.

Dan Reynolds came with his wife to visit the city and noticed smoking people behind doorways and all the tobacco smoke entered the buildings. They came from a smoke-free city and become disaccustomed from tobacco smoke. To their opinion, ban is good for communities.

His wife Janet most of all is worried about people with asthma who are not protected from tobacco smoke and may feel it at any public place. It is very uncomfortable for them as they do their best to avoid smoke.

Mayor Landrum  does not want to ban smoking totally. He wants that smoking to be permitted in some public places such as private clubs and bars.

Holcomb smoked for a long time in his life. He is against total smoking ban because knows why people smoke and how difficult is to get rid of it.

A survey shows that two-thirds of people living in Farmington support smoking ban. In the next weeks there will be organized public hearings on the proposal.