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 »

Indonesia Refuses to Sign Convention on Tobacco Control

The Government in Indonesia took a decision not to sign Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in order to protect the countrys tobacco industry. According to Faiz Ahmad, the chief of beverage More »

Ireland Leads EU on Plain Packaging of Cigarettes

The Irish government approved draft laws which make tobacco companies use plain packs on tobacco products sold in the country. This is a great and important step towards the improvment of public More »

New Jersey to Increase Age to Buy Cigarettes

State committee in New Jersey proposed to increase to 21 legal age to buy tobacco products and e-cigarettes. If the proposal will be approved, the law will make New Jersey the first More »

Tax Increase Will Not Reduce Tobacco Use

British American Tobacco Zimbabwe asked governments in Southern Africa to pay attention to the consequences of high taxes on tobacco products which were increased in order to reduce tobacco use among population. More »


No More Smoking on New Jersey Beaches

Woman Smoking on Beach

If you are a smoker, you should know that you no longer can light up your cigarette on the beach in Belmar. The famous Monmouth County beach previously permitted smoking in designated zones only, but now the use of cigarettes and cigars everywhere on the beach is banned. The same change may occur soon on all New Jersey beaches.

In case the Governor Chris Christie approves the bill, then smoking will not be permitted on all municipal, county and state beaches in New Jersey by summer 2015, making New Jersey the first state in the USA to introduse such a ban.

According to Karen Blumenfeld, executive director of New Jersey Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy, the state of New Jersey remains in the USA the leader in implementing tobacco control policy. The new bill is just another step to fight tobacco. Today New Jersey is one the second place after California in the rating of American states with big number of ordinances which restrict smoking in public places. Thus among 565 cities in New Jersey 236 of them have adopted various smoking bans.

The statewide ban of smoking on beaches also applies to all state parks, and it actually expands the 2005 New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act. The authorities believe that this measure will prevent youth from smoking and protect people from secondhand smoke exposure.

However, the opposers of the bill talk about smokers rights, but secondhand smoke exposure effects are too exaggerated. Also they say that smoking bans do affect businesses.

Smoking Hookah Still Popular Among Youth

Smoking Hookah

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 the same effects on the body as using cigarettes. But data obtained by the latest study shows that many young people believe the water pipes are a safe alternative to tobacco cigarettes.

During the study the researchers asked young visitors of three hookah lounges in Southern California what they think about using hookah. The respondents were young people aged 18 to 30 and the majority of them answered that they think that hookah is safe and will not harm their health. 47% of them believe that the tobacco smoke gets filtered through the water. Around one-third of young respondents told that they consider that fruits flavors used in tobacco help to detoxify harmful substances which makes hookah smoking safe. 16% believed that there is no nicotine in hookah tobacco and therefore is causes no addiction.

The results of the study are published in the journal Nursing Research and the researchers say that these young people’s beliefs are wrong. According to lead researcher Mary Rezk-Hanna, a nursing doctoral student at the University of California, Los Angeles, these days hookah smoking rates are very high among youth and the researchers wanted to find out the causes of it.

Previous study demonstrated that though use of cigarettes continues to drop, the use of hookah is on the rise, especially among college students. 60% of people participating in the UCLA study told that hookah smoking is a modern way of socializing with friends.

Rezk-Hanna says that the latest study highlights the importance of making more research in the field. Also it is necessary to increase public knowledge about the effects of using hookah, especially among youth.

Previously, Mobile City banned youth from smoking hookah.


Millhouses of Adams Becomes Smoke-Free

Smoking Woman

The 98-unit Millhouses of Adams apartment complex decided to ban smoking in its building and thus join the growing smoke-free trend in the USA.

During several months Millhouses received recommendations of Berkshire Area Health Education Center in the course of Tobacco-Free Community Partnership regarding smoke-free environment. The new anti-smoking policy came into action from July 1 and Millhouses Regional Manager Bonnie Senecal told that they also tried to respect needs of smokers. The idea to become smoke-free appeared several years sgo but the owners did know how people will react on it. However, people showed their strong support.

Owners of the Millhouses are Newton-based Wingate Companies. The housing has about one-third family and two-thirds senior residents.  In Adams several housing units already go smoke-free. These are St. Joseph’s Court, North Adams Housing Authority, Barrett House, Greylock Apartments

The latest report presented by the U.S. Surgeon General says that secondhand smoke is hazardous for people’s health and there is no safe level of exposing to it. That is the reason why more and more public places become smoke-free. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Smoke-Free Housing Project program helped greatly the buildings in Adams and North Adams make the switch.

At the beginning of the year there was conducted a survey among Millhouses residents to find out their opinion about switching to a smoke-free environment. The feedback from people was quite positive and there was taken the decision to become smoke-free. Surpisingly, but most smokers welcomed the initiative. Today among all Millhouses residents only 15% smoke cigarettes and the refusal from smoking inside apartments will be difficult for them and some time ago they began to smoke outside the building in order to get used to new rules.

New Jersey to Ban Smoking in All Its Parks and Beaches

Smoking in Parks

In case Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey, signs new anti-smoking bill into a law, the state would become first in the USA who banned smoking cigars, cigarettes and other tobacco products in all public beaches and parks.

Both houses of the New Jersey legislature showed their support for the initiative and approved the bill. Then the bill was passed to the Governor for the final approval.
The new law bans totally smoking inside all municipal, state and county parks and beaches. However, local authorities may themselves establish a special designated area for smoking which may be no more than 15% of total area.

The proposal to implement such a law belongs to Karen Blumenfeld, the executive director of Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy, and she says it is something absolutely new for the USA.

New Jersey would become the first state in the country who agopted law banning smoking in all parks and beaches. New Jersey would become a perfect example for other states who consider extending their anti-smoking policies.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that in the USA smoking is the cause of a number of preventable diseases and the secondhand smoke is connected to asthma. Supporters of the new smoking ban say that people will certainly enjoy walking in smoke-free parks as they will be protected from the effects of tobacco smoke on their bodies. On the beach people will enjoy resting under the sun and breathing fresh marine air without tobacco.

Blumenfeld said in the state the initiative is supported with the majority. However, the opposer consider it breaks their personal freedoms. For example, smoker Adam says that he respects the environment and people around him and. Other smokers say that outdoor spaces are the only places where the smoking still is allowed and it would never do to ban it here.

New Jersey has most severe anti-smoking laws in the USA. It is the state who first banned smoking on college campus in 2005, and in 2006 in bars and restaurants. Recently the state increased tobacco buying age.

Study Found Connection Between Mother’s Smoking and Kid’s Obesity

Pregnant Woman

A new study found that children of females who smoke cigarettes during their pregnancy and are overweight, are more likely to become obese as toddlers, and remain obese in their teenage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the past years in the USA the rates of obesity have significantly increased among kids and teenagers. Today 1 in 3 young people is obese.

In the course of the study the researchers looked at how children’s body mass index (BMI), changed with time, from first age of their live to age 18. They discovered that being permanently overweight was connected with certain exposures in the womb, and with having asthma and other problems in teenage.

According to Dr. Wilfried Karmaus, studies made in past were studing risk factors for obesity and aftereffects of being obese have focused on weight at one point in time. Karmaus, from the School of Public Health at the University of Memphis in Tennessee, says that the major difference between past and present studies is period of time when the obesity and is consequenses were developing.

The scientists analyzed data obtained from the Isle of Wight birth cohort, located in the UK.

They watched 1,456 kids born January 1989 – February 1990 until they were 18 years old. At ages 1, 2, 4, 10 and 18 they measured kids weight and height. The scientists discovered that BMI’s of grown up children may be divided into groups:
I group – obesity starts very early and may be detected before the age of four years;
II group -  kids became obese a little more slowly;
III group – kids were heavy as babies, but had a more normal weight in an older age;
IV group – normal weight throughout childhood.

The study found that early obesity in kids is connected to smoking habit of pregnant mother.

Indonesia Refuses to Sign Convention on Tobacco Control


The Government in Indonesia took a decision not to sign Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in order to protect the countrys tobacco industry.

According to Faiz Ahmad, the chief of beverage and tobacco industries at the industry ministry, the decision is very effective because it will work due to existence of the agency which protects the tobacco industry.

It should be said that generally the support for tobacco industry in Indonesia has lowered. The only two authorities that still support it are the trade ministry and the industry ministry.

Faiz Ahmad said that the president of the country refused to sign the Convention due to lack of unanimity among the government agencies regarding the FCTC. Ahmad told about this during his visit to the Barito cigarette factory located in the village of Gondosari, sub-district of Gebog, Kudus, where he was with a group of legislators from the Commission VI of the House of Representatives

Moreover, some time ago the House sent a letter to the governemnt with a solicitation   to delay FCTC singing or not to ratify it at all.

While FCTC is not signed the existing regulation on tobacco industry remains effective. In case Indonesia adopts FCTC, the country will have to increase taxes on cigarettes. These days tobaco industry in Indonesia faces some difficulties due to high production cost as a result of high excise duty.

However, smokers say that if cigarettes prices would go high, they will seek for cheap cigarettes in online cigarette shops.

“Be Marlboro” Campaign Aimed at Youth?

Be Marlboro Ads

Recently BBC released a new documentary movie called ” The Seduction of Smoking” , in which it says that Philip Morris International created a marketing campaign for its Marlboro cigarettes to target young people. The talk is about “Be Marlboro” ad campaign which is proved to be aimed particularly at youth.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids along with other ublic health groups made a report which was released in March 2014. It reflects the results of the research on how the “Be Marlboro” ads uses themes and images which attract young people.

“Be Marlboro” ads was shown in more than 50 countries worldwide despite being prohibited by a German court for targeting teenagers.  The new documentary movie by BBC says that the “Be Marlboro” campaign is a perfect example of how tobacco companies use beautiful and interesting ads to attract young people to their tobacco production. That is the reason why smoking rates among young people remain extremely high in many countries of the world.

Examining “Be Marlboro” ads, the BBC movie concludes that without any doubt young people are main target of the marketing campaign. However, Philip Morris denies that and claims the main target of the campaign are adult people. The ads is about freedom, sex and adventure which people may get if they choose to smoke Marlboro.

Residents Want to be Protected from Secondhand Smoke

Vintage Smoking Woman

Tuolumne County Public Health Department along with Calaveras Public Health Services revealed the results of a new survey which demonstrated that the majority of residents in multi-housing units do support the reduction of exposure to secondhand smoke.

59% of Tuolumne County and 64% of Calaveras County residents favored smoking bans in outdoor common areas of complexes. 56% of Calaveras County and 63% of Tuolumne County residents support the idea of banning smoking inside apartment units.

According to Todd Stolp, Tuolumne County Health Officer, prohibiting smoking cigarettes in multi-unit housing is a great initiative which will help to improve living conditions for residents and reduce maintenance and turnover costs.

Dean Kelaita, Calaveras County Health Officer, says no wonder that residents want to avoid tobacco smoke as studies showed that secondhand smoke is hazardous to health. Now more and more people want to be protected from exposure to secondhand smoke not only in public places but also in their apartments. Around 29% of Calaveras residents and 33% of Tuolumne residents surveyed told thay are living in a building with secondhand smoke entering into their unit in the past year.

There are no local laws in Calaveras County to restrict secondhand smoke exposure in multi-unit buildings. In the State of California the statewide law bans smoking inside apartment common areas (community and laundry rooms). Back in 2006 secondhand smoke was classified as toxic air substance together with cyanide, arsenic and asbestos.

In the survey participated 12 counties in California and it was made by phone in the course of American Lung Association CA4Health, a project of the Public Health Institute.

Ireland Leads EU on Plain Packaging of Cigarettes

Plain Packaging

The Irish government approved draft laws which make tobacco companies use plain packs on tobacco products sold in the country. This is a great and important step towards the improvment of public health, which will improve country’s reputation as a global leader in tobacco control.

If the law will be adopted, it will prohibit use of logos on cigarettes packs. The packs must contain graphic warnings and insriptions like “low tar” are prohibited. With this law Ireland is going to be first country in the European Union who introduced plain packaging for cigarettes.

It is expected that tobacco industry will oppose strongly to this law and their lobbists will defend the industry’s interests. The opponents of the law already told that the plain packaging initiative would cause negative reaction to foreign investors.

Minister for Health says that the goal of Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Bill is to make cigarettes packs look less attractive to users, especially youth. It will help to prevent people from starting smoking and make people aware about the effects of tobacco use.

Experts say that beautiful cigarettes packs make children start smoking at an early age and soon they easy become regular smokers. They become so addicted that later in life have difficulties with quitting. It is known that tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals and 250 of them are harmful. Smoking may cause cancer, cardiovascular diseases and lung disease.

The tobacco industry will dispute the effectiveness of the proposed packaging measures and will talk about intellectual property rights. However, Australia managed to adopt such a law and this is an example to follow.

New Jersey to Increase Age to Buy Cigarettes

Smoking Woman

State committee in New Jersey proposed to increase to 21 legal age to buy tobacco products and e-cigarettes. If the proposal will be approved, the law will make New Jersey the first state in the USA who requires this age to buy cigarettes.

Back in 2006 the state increased minimum age to buy cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products from 18 to 19. However, Joseph Vitale and Richard Codey, who sponsored the law, told that it still does not prevent youth from smoking.

However, some say that young people may not quit smoking but just find other ways to get cigarettes. Health care providers say that the more young people are discouraged from smoking, the healthier the nation will be.

Karen Blumenfeld from Global Advisers on Smokefree Policy says that it is great that the entire New Jersey consiers such a law. Previosly, New York City increased smoking age to 21. Suffolk County changed its law that will come into action in 2015. Numerous studies found that 90% of young people start smoking before 21, therefore the minimum age to buy cigarettes should be increased.

Now the question is how the law will work and who will carry the responsability of breaking it. The  representatives of NJ Gasoline-Convenience-Automotive Association are worried about the fact that shop sellers will have to pay penalties for breaking the law. But how thay will determine the age of a person who buys cigarettes?  Vitale, chairman of the Senate Health,  says that it is necessary to ask for ID.

The committee voted 6-2 to approve the bill, which will be then sent to the full Senate for a vote.

In the USA, the state of New Jersey is on the last place in the rating of states who successfully fight smoking.