Category Archives: Smoking Ban

Smoking Rates High in Lubbock and Amarillo Refions


Tobacco Prevention & Control Regional Coordinator for region 1 with the Texas Department of State Health Services Jennifer Hasty confesses that for several years she was starting a new day with a Winston Blue cigarette and a cup of coffee. She wanted to quit the habit but did not know how to do it.

Soon the decision came naturally due to health problems and the mandatory need to give up smoking. She explains that she came to a thought that she does not want to be addicted to something till the rest of her life. She managed to fight smoking and now she helps other people to do it.

The Department of State Health Services reveals that Amarillo and Lubbock regions have highest smoking rates in Texas. According to a report, these regions had a higher percentage of smokers in comparison with to the state average in 2010.  However, latest data showed that smoking rates dropped but still remain higher than the state’s averages from 2011 through 2014.

According to  Kathy Oaks, senior market manager of community engagement for the High Plains Division of the American Cancer Society, smoking rates across the USA are declining steadily.  She considers that this occured due to increasing people’s awarness about effects of tobacco use. Annually thousands people get diseased with one or another smoking-related disease.

American Cancer Society aims to reduce smoking rates. Thus it launched the Great American Smoke Out campaign which spreads info about smoking risks and encourages smokers to stop the habit.

Most hazardous smoking is to pregnant women, and therefore a special attention is paid to this problem. Pregnancy smoking rates in Lubbock are the same as the state average – 1.3 to 6.3%.

Kansas City Raised Tobacco Buying Age to 21

Smoking Woman

Kansas City and Wyandotte County decided to prohibit sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to young people under 21. The change aims to curb youth smoking by keeping teens and kids from picking up the habit

Kansas was a leading city in the metro area and it with the majority of votes approved a law which raises legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21.

In several hours, the Board of Commissioners of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, followed the example.

The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce told they believe that other cities in Kansas state will be inspired by the initiative and will join the move to make the metro area the second largest in the USA having such a law.

Scott Taylor, Kansas City Councilman told before voting that the initiative was proposed by the local community. Similar move was made in some other regions but they are not many, therefore Kansas pretends to be a leader.

Many adult smokers showed their support for the action as they wished they had never started smoking. 95% smokers become addicted to nicotine before age 21 and teenage smokers tend to get cigarettes easily from 18-year-olds who are permitted to buy them. Increasing legal age to 21 will help to stop this practice.

Mark Holland, the Kansas Mayor, told that the new initiative in Kansas City will send  a strong message across the metropolitan area.

Last month a number of organizations launched Tobacco 21/KC campaign with the aim to promote in the metro area the idea of necessity of raising tobacco buying age to 21. So the activists said Kansas City made a very important step towards healthy living.

Bellingham Bans Smoking in City Parks

Smoke-Free Park

New smoking ban in Bellingham to be adopted and smokers will no longer be allowed to use their tobacco or electronic cigarettes in any city park. The ban includes also cigars. The Council took the decision on November 9 with six votes for and one against. However, it needs a final voting before the rule comes into action.

The council who opposed the ban is Terry Bornemann, who said he supports smoking ban in kids playgrounds but disagrees with idea to impose a 100% smoking ban in parks. Here he talks about personal freedoms and rights.

It should be said that the ban does not include alleys, sidewalks and streets located 25 feet of doors of public places or businesses which are already covered by the state law.  Smoking is not allowed inside city buildings.

The author of the ban is Councilman Jack Weiss and he explained that the ban is important to improve people’s health by reducing exposure to secondhand smoke. He referred to the U.S. Surgeon General’s report. However, he considers that the enforcement may be difficult.

There exists a list of activities that are not permitted to be done in parks (for example, selling things), but up to date none of them were connected to protection of resident’s health.

Bellingham Police Chief Cliff Cook told that the ban enforcement would have a low priority for his department, because they do not have enough personnel for that. Thus the smoking ban will rely on people’s liability.

The will be installed no-smoking signs at the entrances in city parks.

Teen Users Start Smoking with Flavoured Tobacco

Teen Smoker

A newest survey reveals that teenage smokers younger than the legal smoking age.  are attracted by flavoured tobacco products. These include especially cigarettes with menthol flavour and hookah with sweet fruit flavours.

The author of the study is Bridget K. Ambrose of the Center for Tobacco Products at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in Silver Spring, Maryland. She told that the study reflects the nationwide trend of young people to have a particular interest in use of flavoured tobacco products.

Researchers say that most smokers start to use tobacco in their teenage and then become heavy smokers in their adult age. The study showed that though across the USA generally smoking rates are being reduced, at the same time e-cigarettes and hookah use are growing.

For their study there were analyzed data of 46,000 adults and young people between 12-17, who answered questions about use of e-cigarettes, regular cigarettes, hookah, pipes, cigars, smokeless tobacco and other tobacco products. There were also questions about tastes they used in their products.

In the survey totally participated 13,651 teenagers and among them 2,900 told they used a tobacco product (in most cases, e-cigarettes) in past month, and 1,152 used tobacco products. Among them 80% used a flavoured tobacco product, and in 60% of cases it was cigarettes.

90% of teen hookah users, 81% e-cigarettes users, 65% cigar users, 50% regular cigarettes users told that the first product they used was flavored.  Young people confessed that namely sweet flavour made them use tobacco products.

A particular interest for young people do represent flavoured little cigars which are affordable due to their low price.

The FDA told they will continue to monitor the situation with teens interest for flavoured tobacco.

New Anti-Smoking Legislation Proposed in Queensland

Smoking Man at Bus Stop

In Queensland, Australia, there were proposed new anti-smoking laws which will make it more difficult for smokers to light up.

Cameron Dick,  Health Minister, told that there was proposed to prohibit smoking on city’s bas stations, children’s sporting events, in and around childcare centres and other public zones.

The city already banned smoking in restaurants, clubs, pubs, workplaces. Besides this, tobacco use is not allowed in outdoor eating areas, stadiums, beaches.

Cameron Dick explains that the new smoking bans are needed because in Queensland there was increased number of cases of smoking related diseases. Not only smoking itself but also secondhand smoke do present a particular hazard for people and they should be aware about it. The Australian government tokk a serious action to support those wanting to quit and create comfortable smoke-free zones for those who do not smoke.

Jeff Dunn,  Cancer Council Queensland chief executive Professor, told that the new anti-smoking legislation will help to make an important step forward to a smoke-free state. It will encourage more smokers stop their habit, protect people from secondhand smoke and prevent young people from initiation.

Protection of young people from tobacco is a priority for Australian government as it will help country to grow up healthier generations.

The proposed anti-smoking laws are going to be discussed in the parliament in November.

New anti-smoking legislation proposed in Queensland:
– smoking to be banned at skate parks, sporting events for kids, national parks, childcare centres, public swimming pools, public transport stops,  aged care facilities;
– ban on sales of cigarettes at music festivals;
– smoking to not be aloowed within five meters outside government, non-residential and commercial buildings;
– local council will get the power to prohibit smoking in other public spaces.

Smoking Ban Rises Debates in New Orleans

Girl Smoking in Park

In New Orleans there was drafted a smoking ban which raised hot debates. According to proposal, smoking should be prohibited in Storyland and City Putt. However, park commissioners have different opinions on that — some want a 100% ban, and some do not want a ban at all.

The proposal came from Susan Hess, the board president, and Chief Executive Officer Bob Becker, who said that smoking should be restricted for several kinds of tobacco products. There should be banned use of regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes in City Putt and Storyland, recreational public places where normally come families with kids. Experts say that smoking ban in particular areas of parks will make smokers look for other places to light up. However, responsable bodies may impose a total smoking ban in those places.

Many commissioners want a tougher smoking ban but Commissioner Edgar Chase was fiercely critical about several points. He considers that common concept of smoking regulations may be unfair and outside the board’s attribution. In her turn, Hess does not appreciate a sneaky and rapid way of drafting the smoking ban. Here she mentioned comissioners Will Tregre, Andrea LeGrand, Karen Frenandez.

The comissioners studied practicies of smoking bans in parks of several large US cities and made several important discoveries. For example, they found that some parks are 100% smoke-free while other allow smoking. Some parks provide a wide range of possibilities for sport and recreation but do not prohibit tobacco use.

For example, Storyland is popular place and if a smoker lights up somewhere there then his smoke will be inhaled by other people, inluding children.

One commissioner said that Storyland has no enforcement capacity to implement a park-wide ban. Commissioner Errol Laborde opposed the ban saying it would never do to adopt a smoking ban here.

Bluffton to Ban Smoking at Kids Playgrounds

Smoking in Park

Today smoking in parks in the town of Bluffton, South Carolina, is legal. However, things may change soon, because town council members are considering a law that would prohibit use of tobacco in public parks.

In Bluffton, smoking is banned in all restaurants and now the ban is going to be expanded to more public spaces. Parents walking with their kids at Dubois Park playground in Old Town do not like that smokers may light up anytime anywhere here and sometimes they with kids are forced to breathe the tobacco smoke. No one can stop smoker from lighting up and parents are hoping for a change.

Heather Hughes, mother of two kids, considers that smoking should not be allowed behind kids playgrounds, because secondhand smoke affectes them much more than adults. In Dubois Park children are everywhere, they running around and playing. They should be protected from secondhand smoke in all parks. This idea is supported by most people in the town.

The Council and Lisa Sulka, Bluffton Mayor, received in August a lot of emails from citizens asking to ban smoking at kid’s playgrounds in parks.

The Mayor said that in Bluffton parks smoking will be banned only where there are playgrounds. Kids are mostly affected by tobacco smoke but they do not have a voice in that. The town Council took into consideration all complaints from residents and now they are working over the odinance.

First reading of smoking ban at playgrounds will take place in October.

California Failed to Adopt Anti-Tobacco Laws

Cigarette Smoker

On their latest regular session, officials in California failed to adopt a package of anti-tobacco laws that aimed to restrict use of e-cigarettes, increase legal smoking age to 21 and raise the tobacco tax by $2 each pack.

Officials told that there is no chance that this law will be voted till the end of the year.

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins explained that on Friday the Legislature ran out of time. Versions of the anti-tobacco laws were introduced in a special session that may be expanded to the beginning of 2016 when the laws may be discussed again.

Due to the fact that this is a special session, lawmakers have more time to have discussions. On Friday they just did not manage to move forwards on those laws. Good news is that they have the time to take a decision, and the failure of Friday does not mean the law rejection.

Assemblyman Jim Cooper carried one of the bills to regulate use of e-cigarettes. He is upset that the law was not adopted and people will continue to use e-cigarettes. Sen. Mark Leno also came with a bill regulating e-cigarettes and says that manufacturers have their lobbists in the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee. He explained that anti-tobacco laws were always discussed but never put on vote.

There is a need to be patient. The proposed bill of Leno and Cooper prohibits e-cigarettes use in public spaces including restaurants and theatres. However, vaping industry opposes the change claiming their smoking devices are safe.

Another proposed law increases legal age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 21 and aims to reduce smoking rates among youth. Other laws prohibit smoking at schools, impose on cigarette distributors an annual fee, permit counties to increase taxes on the tobacco industry.

UK Preparing for Stoptober 2015

Stoptober 2015

Smokers in the UK are invited to join national Stoptober campaign aimed to help them quit the habit. The campaign is organized each year in October.

Data demonstrates that 20.3% of adult people across Yorkshire and The Humber are smokers. Thus Public Health England is encouraging them to participate in Stoptober, the quit smoking campaign lasting for 28 days in October. During the campaign smokers will get encouragement and support from UK famous people, and among them well-known comedian Rhod Gilbert.

According to Corinne Harvey from PHE in Yorkshire and The Humber, nearly 20 thousand people in Yorkshire and The Humber signed up for Stoptober in 2014 and this year these numbers are expected to be much higher.

It is difficult o quit smoking but participating in Stoptober may ease the process, because smoker receives great support from a big number of people and gets access to a number of free cessation tools during all 28 days of the campaign.

Health care providers say that quitting smoking is best thing a smoker can do for personal health and health of his family members and friends. Smoker would feel benefits of quitting immediately he refuses from tobacco. Experts say that chances to stop the habit successfully increase if a smoker does not use tobacco for at least 28 days.

Stoptober starts on October 1 and now in the UK is held an awarness campaign about it.

In the UK highest rates are reported in Leeds where 21.6% smoke, and in 2014 more than three thousand people signed up to the campaign. The lowest smoking rates are reported in the East Riding where only 14.2% smoke, and among them one thousand participated in Stoptober last year.

Hartford City Passed a Smoking Ban

Smoking Young Man

City Council in Hartford, Connecticut, on August 11 with the majority of votes (19-2) passed an ordinance prohibiting smoking in city’s parks and recreational areas.

However, this may be not last word on the subject, because there do exist questions on the ordinance enforcement.

Resident Ed Burdick considers that the ordinance is poorly drafted, because it does not include e-cigarettes that are extremely popular among youth. Also smoking marijuana in parks may have a particular impact on the new ordinance enforcement.

Burdick said that it would be a good idea to organize a meeting with residents to inform them about the initiative and hear their opinions on that.

The new anti-smoking ordinance in Hartford prohibits use of all forms of tobacco in city’s parks and recreational areas. The talk is about the Little League complex, Veterans’ Memorial Park, and Camputaro Athletic Field on Sheldon Road. Those violating the ordinance will have to pay a $50 fine.

The smoking ban was proposed by Griswold Recreation Director Ryan Aubin. He explained that it is important to create a smoke-free environment for kids. Secondhand smoke is expecially bad for children. Smoking ban will help to create a healthy social norm for everyone.
Carol Morrow,  recreation commission member, told that in all parks there will be created smoking ares where smokers could light up.

Resident Phil Flowers noted that the ordinance say nothing about these areas, and he is against them.  In its turn Aubin explained that smoking areas will be created only during big city events and not every day.

There was proposed to include school grounds in the ordinance in order to protect children from secondhand smoke. Selectman Steve Mikutel told that the board will implement the existing smoking ban without modifications. It comes into effect on September 10 and there is going to be installed no-smoking signs.