Tag Archives: second-hand smoke

Widener University practices a strict tobacco-free policy

Widener University students make all kinds of decisions about their lives, from how much to drink at parties to whether to show up for classes.

But there’s one decision the school has made for them:

No using tobacco. Not on campus.

Last year, Widener became the first four-year school in Pennsylvania to go not just smoke-free but tobacco-free, adopting a simple, stringent policy:

No cigarettes, no cigars, no cigarillos, no pipes, no hookahs, no pinch between the cheek and gum. Nowhere, no time, no how.



The rule also applies to faculty and staff, and to visitors and contractors, banning tobacco use even in personal cars or work trucks that drive onto campus.

So how is it working out?

“I know a lot of people on campus who do smoke, and they’re smoking less,” said Ashley Nilsen, a senior civil-engineering major from Waymart, Pa. “It’s good for the rest of us.”

Smokers who used to congregate outside building entrances now trudge to the edge of campus, stepping over the boundary that divides gown from town.

Last week, Roseann McNeill, a senior from Drexel Hill, stood smoking a cigarette at East 15th and Melrose Streets, where dozens of discarded butts lay on the ground.

She called the tobacco ban “ridiculous.”

“I don’t think it’s really safe to have all the undergrads going off-campus, especially in Chester at night, just to have a cigarette,” she said.

A Widener staffer who stood nearby, puffing a smoke, said the rule was fine with him.

“When I didn’t smoke cigarettes, I didn’t want someone smoking a cigarette and blowing it at my face,” said Chris Lucchi, assistant locksmith and assistant fire marshal. “They want us off campus to do it. Fine.”

Graduate student Nathyn Smith had just arrived from Indiana when he lit up in front of another student.

“She kind of snapped at me,” he said. “I’m like, ‘I’m from out of town!’ ”

His previous school, Ball State University, designated smoking areas on campus, and he said Widener should do the same.

“I don’t feel picked on, but people should have a choice,” Smith said. “If they want to smoke, so be it. That’s what college is all about, making choices.”

Widener framed its policy as being about health, not punishment – at least not right away.

An initial offense merits a warning. A second offense brings a $25 fine, a third $50. A fourth could mean unspecified penalties up to dismissal for students and faculty.

Who is responsible for enforcement? Everyone. Students, faculty, and staff are asked to respectfully address violators. If campus security spots an infraction, they may write an incident report.

As of Sept. 22, three reports had been filed, all involving first-time student offenders who received warnings.

Widener president James Harris said the school was not limiting students’ right to smoke but was definitely telling them where they can do it.

Smoking kills 443,000 people a year in the United States, secondhand smoke 49,000. Smokeless tobacco, or snuff, raises the risk of mouth and throat cancers.

“It’s almost irresponsible if you don’t bring that to the students’ attention,” Harris said.

Harris, who says he has never smoked beyond an occasional cigar, said he wanted Widener to lead, to commit itself to eliminating secondhand smoke, promoting healthy practices, and establishing a culture of wellness. The school also was getting complaints about the clouds emanating from groups of smokers outside buildings.

Nationally, scores of colleges have banned smoking or prohibited people from lighting up near doorways. Widener officials said the medical facts demanded a total ban.

“If tobacco is bad for you,” Harris said, “why would you tolerate one [product] and not the other?”

At the same time it says no to tobacco, Widener is offering free smoking-cessation programs to students, faculty, and staff. The classes cost the college money, but officials figure to reap long-term savings on health insurance.

“Widener cares about people’s health,” said Hillary Grumbine, a staff coordinator in residential life. “It’s great.”

The Widener campus is a green, 2,800-student enclave on the north side of Chester. The school embraces a civic mission, graduating nurses and social workers, and this year stood among the nation’s 25 most service-oriented colleges, as ranked by Newsweek/Daily Beast.

Widener’s leadership on tobacco takes it onto ground where only certain schools tread.

During the last two years, the number of colleges that ban all forms of tobacco has grown from 160 to 250, according to the American Lung Association of Oregon.

That is a 56 percent increase but still only 5.2 percent of the nation’s 4,788 degree-granting colleges. Almost all the schools that ban tobacco are community colleges or smaller, lesser-known institutions.

The University of Pennsylvania is not tobacco-free. Neither is Pennsylvania State University. The only other tobacco-free school in the state is Butler County Community College.

New Jersey has three tobaccoless schools, all community colleges.

Mike Townsend, spokesman for the American Lung Association in Washington, said big colleges often had multiple campuses, satellite offices, a medical center, and a fleet of vehicles, which can make a blanket policy unwieldy.

They also have more students, which could mean more resistance.

By comparison, smaller schools tend to be more autonomous.

Still, he said, a few big schools, including the University of Michigan and the University of Oregon, are moving ahead with tobacco-free policies.

Nationally, 83 percent of college students are nonsmokers. Of course, even nonsmokers have been known to inhale a certain psychoactive plant, banned at Widener under a separate policy on illegal drugs.

Officials adopted the no-tobacco rule in May 2009, then spent more than a year spreading word of the pending change through campus signs, e-mails, policy manuals, and website postings. The policy began in July 2010.

“This freshman class knows, if a student wanted to use tobacco products, Widener was not going to be a place where they could do that,” Harris said. “We’re a healthier campus because of it.”

Letter to the editor: We can make future where no Montana kids smoke

In recent Montana adult tobacco surveys by the Department of Public Health and Human Services, it was learned that nearly two in five low-income Montanans smoke.

Considering the cost of cigarettes and lost wages due to illness or death caused by smoking, the additional financial burden of tobacco addiction is staggering.

One of the goals for the Gallatin County Tobacco Use Prevention Program includes an outreach to specific population groups that include pregnant women and low-income families.



Our key strategies:
* Increase the duration and intensity of public awareness campaigns for women of childbearing age (18 to 44 years old) that warn about the dangers of smoking during pregnancy.
* Provide information to Medicaid beneficiaries about the free services and low-cost medications offered by the Montana Tobacco Quit Line and the Montana Medicaid program.
* Educate and train owners and managers of rent-restricted multi-unit housing facilities (non-public housing authorities) about developing and implementing smokefree policies to protect residents from secondhand smoke.
* Offer training to home health care nurses and public health nurses on how to provide brief cessation interventions in order to increase the number of nurses that can provide this service for their clients.
* Provide tobacco use prevention resources and technical assistance to Head Start programs.
With your continued support of the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program and community-based programs like the Gallatin County Tobacco Use Prevention Program, Montana will have a future where no children will ever start to use tobacco products and secondhand smoke exposure will be eliminated.

Another Danger of Secondhand Smoke – Hearing Loss

NYU School of Medicine researchers report in a new study that exposure to tobacco smoke nearly doubles the risk of hearing loss among adolescents. The study is published in the July, 2011, issue of Archives of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery.

“More than half of all children in the U.S. are exposed to secondhand smoke, so our finding that it can lead to hearing loss in teenagers has huge public health implications,”* says Anil Lalwani, MD, professor of professor of otolaryngology, physiology and neuroscience, and pediatrics at NYU School of Medicine, who led the research.

“We need to evaluate how we deal with smoking in public places and at home, as well as how often and when we screen children for hearing loss,” he says.

Passive smoking

Passive smoking

The dangers of secondhand smoke are well known. Living with a smoker raises the risk of dying from heart disease and lung cancer, and in children exposure to smoke exacerbates the severity of asthma attacks and causes more than 750,000 middle ear infections, according to the American Cancer Society. The new study is the first to link secondhand smoke to hearing loss.

More than 1,500 teenagers aged 12 to 19 participated in the nationwide study. They were selected from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which collects health information from children and adults around the United States. The teenagers were initially evaluated in their homes and then were given extensive hearing tests and blood tests for the chemical cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, at a medical center.

The teens exposed to secondhand smoke, as measured by the metabolite in their blood, were more likely to have sensorineural hearing loss, which is most often caused by problems with the cochlea, the snail-shaped hearing organ of the inner ear. “It’s the type of hearing loss that usually tends to occur as one gets older, or among children born with congenital deafness,” explains co-author Michael Weitzman, MD, professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine.

The study found that teenagers exposed to smoke performed worse across every sound frequency tested, especially mid-to-high frequencies important for understanding speech. In addition, teenagers with higher cotinine levels, indicating greater exposure, were more likely to have one-sided-or unilateral-low-frequency hearing loss. Overall, the researchers conclude that their findings indicate that “tobacco smoke is independently associated with an almost 2-fold increase in the risk of hearing loss among adolescents.

Over 80 percent of the affected teenagers in the study were not aware of any problem, the researchers reported. “Milder hearing loss is not necessarily noticeable,” says Dr. Lalwani. “Thus, simply asking someone whether they think they have hearing loss is insufficient.”



The consequences of mild hearing loss, which researchers suspect may be due to damage to the ear’s delicate blood supply, are “subtle yet serious,” says Dr. Weitzman. Affected children can have difficulty understanding what is being said in the classroom and become distracted. As a result, they may be labeled as “troublemakers” or misdiagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Currently, all infants born in the United States are screened for hearing loss; however, there are no guidelines for screening a child’s hearing past the early school years, says Dr. Lalwani. “Those children who are exposed to secondhand smoke,” he says, “need to be regularly screened.”

This work was supported, in part, by grants from the Zausmer Foundation (principal investigators: Drs Lalwani, Liu and Weitzman) and the National Institutes of Health/National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities 5P60 MD000538-06 (investigator: Dr. Weitzman).

*U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006 [cited 2006 Sep 27].

Available from: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/secondhandsmoke/report

Navajo Lawmakers Take Up Smoking Ban Measure

Navajo lawmakers are revisiting a smoking ban on the reservation with a bill that would exempt tribal casinos at least until their financing debts are paid off.

The ban would apply to smoking and chewing tobacco in all other public places across the 27,000 square-mile reservation but does not limit the use of tobacco in traditional ceremonies.

Smoking ban sign

Smoking ban sign

A committee made up of the 24 tribal lawmakers has endorsed the measure but the formal vote will come during the Navajo Nation Council’s summer session that starts Monday in Window Rock. Another version of the bill not currently on the council’s agenda does not allow tobacco use at any casino.

That’s the one Navajo President Ben Shelly would support, not the one tailored to casino interests, his spokeswoman said.

“We are aiming to protect our people’s health,” said Charmaine Jackson. “And all Navajo Nation workers should be able to breathe clean air and work in an environment free of tobacco smoke.”

The tribe’s gaming czar, Robert Winter, sees the measure lawmakers have on their agenda as a good compromise to limit second-hand smoke and address poverty on the reservation.

Winter said gaming officials have agreed to filter the air at casinos and designate most of the casino as smoke-free. Smoking would be allowed only at some slot machines, table games, and in outdoor areas and golf courses. No one would have to walk through a smoking area to get in or out of the buildings.

The tribe’s gaming enterprise expects to pay off its estimated $200 million debt for a handful of operating and planned casinos in about seven years, Winter said. At that point, the Tribal Council could decide whether to extend the smoking ban to the gaming facilities, according to the bill.

“We’re relying on council to look at this in a very balanced way,” Winter said. “It’s council who voted for and passed the statute to create the gaming enterprise. That requires us to maximize the gaming economy and do everything possible to hire Navajos. Poverty is a public health issue as well.”

Delegates on the previous Tribal Council failed to override a presidential veto of a billed that would have banned smoking and chewing tobacco on the reservation. Former Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. said at the time that he feared it would inhibit gambling revenue. The tribe operates two casinos in New Mexico and has broken ground on its largest casino east of Flagstaff that Winter said won’t be built if a smoking ban includes casinos.

The bill wouldn’t prohibit commercial tobacco sales on the reservation that are taxed by the tribe.

Anti-smoking advocates acknowledge that commercial tobacco use is not an overwhelming problem on the reservation but say they want to be proactive. They cite a 2008 Navajo youth survey that found almost one-fifth of middle school students said they smoked cigarettes or cigars, or used chewing tobacco within the past 30 days.

They contend that not even the best air filtration system is enough to keep people from being affected by second-hand smoke.

Shelly began advocating for a smoking ban early in his administration with an executive order that was found to be legally insufficient. He has since received awards, including one from the Indian Health Service, for his stance.

Jackson wouldn’t say whether Shelly would veto the smoking ban with an exemption for casinos if passed by the council. He would have 10 days once it reaches his desk to make a decision.

“We’ll wait until that time comes to see what the president does,” she said.

The council has three other items on its summer session agenda, including a bill to approve lease agreements between the Navajo Nation and a coal mining company that operates on the reservation.

Full Smoking Ban Is Needed in Germany

Pubic health officials have called for Germany to introduce a national ban on smoking in all enclosed public spaces after research showed that the country’s16 federal states have largely failed to ban smoking in pubs, bars and restaurants leaving guests and staff exposed to dangerous levels of smoke.

smoking permission sign

smoking permission sign

Martina Poetschke-Langer, head of the World Health Organization Office in Heidelberg, said that smoking tobacco products was still a serious threat to people in restaurants and pubs. Results from studies by the WHO Tobacco Control Office at the German Cancer Research Centre (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) were presented at a press conference in Berlin on 3 May.

Dr Poetschke-Langer said the current laws are too complicated, impracticable, and difficult to execute. Only a full national ban could offer effective protection from secondhand smoke, she said.

In September 2007 the German government introduced a law banning smoking in all federal buildings, public transport facilities, and train stations. In addition, the country’s 16 states have enacted smoking bans in indoor facilities such as restaurants, bars, and pubs, but to a different degree. Whereas the states of Bavaria and Saarland issued a total ban, most other states have introduced legislation that gave venues with two or more rooms the option to allow smoking in adjoining rooms that are structurally separate, or allowed a small pub to be declared a “smoking pub.”

For the latest studies a team of researchers visited 2939 eating venues in eight German state capitals (Düsseldorf, Hannover, Kiel, Mainz, Magdeburg, Schwerin, Stuttgart, and Wiesbaden) plus two areas in Munich and Berlin with a high density of restaurants and pubs.

They found that more than four out of five restaurants and pubs used legal loopholes or flouted the rules to allow people to smoke. Tests carried out by the team showed that the concept of separate smoking rooms failed to stop potentially harmful air particles wafting into non-smoking areas.

“If someone wants to go for a beer in the evening they have to look for a long time until they find a place where they are not exposed to passive smoke,” said Dr Poetschke-Langer.

The DKFZ said, “The rules governing exceptions on protecting non-smokers are neither practical nor effective. In most states they can be said to have been a failure.”

Satisfying Smoke -The New Wave and Fad of the Future

The e-cigarette has been around for a few years. The first prototypes were a three-part design, consisting of a battery, atomizer and cartridge.

The atomizer (heater) would clog thereby causing much frustration for the smoker. Satisfying Smoke is a new and improved two-part design that looks, feels, and taste just like a real cigarette. The white part of the Satisfying Smoke e-cigarette is a rechargeable battery.

Satisfying smoke, safe smoking

Satisfying smoke, safe smoking

The part that looks like a filter is the nicotine flavor cartridge with a fresh atomizer inside the cartridge. The atomizer (heater) is a tiny stainless steel wire inside the cartridge that is entirely filled with the liquid nicotine solution. Each cartridge is sealed and there are no spills or leaks.

If you want a cigarette with a clean fresh taste without the harshness on the back of the throat…

If you want a cigarette with no tar and carcinogens that is still satisfying…

If you want a cigarette that will not harm your lungs any further, or harm anyone else with second hand smoke, like a traditional cigarette

Then this is the product for you!

The best thing about Satisfying Smoke is that it allows you to enjoy the rich, clean, fresh taste of a cigarette without doing any further harm to your body or others around you. This makes Satisfying Smoke a better alternative to the traditional tobacco cigarettes.

This smokeless device called Satisfying Smoke truly stands up to its name-it is satisfying without the harmful chemicals. This e-cigarette is a very high quality product for a reasonable price. You can save 50 to 75 percent of the costs of traditional cigarettes which can equate to hundreds of dollars a year. For an unbelievable smoking experience try Satisfying Smoke.

Satisfying Smoke has a rechargeable lithium ion battery and includes a one year warranty on all electrical components including batteries. The cartridges (with built-in atomizer) come in 6 different flavors and nicotine levels ranging from 0 mg to 16 mg.

The company is also introducing several new products: Satisfying Smoke now has 24 mg nicotine level cartridges in tobacco and Marlboro flavors.

Could smoking be banned in Australian apartments?

The Australian government is proposing to pass some of the toughest anti-smoking legislation seen anywhere in the world.

The new laws could see all decoration removed from cigarette packets. Smoking may also be banned inside apartment buildings, if calls by anti-smoking campaign groups are heeded.

Free of cigarettes apartment

Free of cigarettes apartment

But strong resistance from the tobacco lobby could prevent the laws from ever coming into force.

Tobacco companies say the measures could be illegal. They argue it would damage the economy and rending branding meaningless, since all cigarette packets would look the same, with identical fonts, and with the brand name only featured on a small section of the packet.

However, health campaigners believe the move could have enormous benefits for public health. There has been rising concern about second-hand smoke (otherwise known as passive smoking) in Australia.

As is the case in many countries, smoking is a leading cause of serious illness and premature death in Australia.

The owners of condo buildings are concerned that residents may sue if they develop health problems due to other people in their apartment block smoking. New York authorities have recently imposed a ban on smoking in public, outdoor places, including in parks and along coastlines.

Anti-Smoking Curriculum Will be Introduced in India Schools

India plans to introduce an anti-smoking curriculum in schools across the country in order to decrease the smoking rate among students.

The given idea is a part of the National Tobacco Control Program that is created for a large expansion because student’s addiction to cigarettes and exposure to second-and smoke continues to increase.

Anti-Smoking Curriculum in India Schools

The new teacher’s manual that has special worksheets for children where there is all necessary information on how tobacco affects the health of smokers, how it kills, which are the laws governing tobacco use in India; the negative consequences of smokeless tobacco as gutka, and the most efficient way to kick this habit – is prepared for all state board schools.

This manual was elaborated by the Ministry of Health; it also has some chapters for parents who affect their children’s health by smoking in their presence. This chapter contains some pieces of advice for parents and joint tasks with their children.

According to the Ministry, those who will instruct students in the anti-smoking curricula should themselves be non-smokers. Asked how they would assure this requirement. A health ministry official declared, “We hope that all schools will respect the contents of the given manual tacking into consideration that we and the school authorities have a common aim, which consist in changing the alarming situation of growing tobacco use among school students.”

The manual would be added to the school system under the current School Health Program, which is underway in 27 states. It was decided to create such a program after observing the increasing evidence of more and more students becoming hooked on smoking. Recent Global Tobacco Youth Survey for India demonstrates an increase in the number of tobacco-addicted students from 13.7 % in 2006 to 14.7% now.

The addiction has been shown for smoking both cigarettes and bidis and also smokeless tobacco products such as zarda, gutka and khaini, with the evident prevalence of smoking among boys. Smoking rate among boys is three times higher than among girls, who give preference to smokeless tobacco products.

Also the percentage of students who lit their first cigarette before the age of 10 has been rising. It constituted 26% in 2006 and is 45.4% now. The percentage of boys exposed to second-hand smoke constitutes 29.3 % while that of girls is 22.4%.

The Youth Research findings were currently confirmed by the Global Adult Tobacco Survey that demonstrated that boys aged 15 to 24 years were lighting up 5 cigarettes per day while girls of the same age were smoking 9 cigarettes a day.

Smoking Rate in Solano County is Still Higher than in Other Counties

Approximately 15% of Solano County’s population is smoking. This is the highest rate in the nine Bay Area county regions.

Solano county logo

Solano County was the seventh among the nine Bay Area counties constituting 14.6 %, higher than Marin County’s 7.3% smoking rate and also higher than the statewide rate of 13.1 %, according to data presented by the state Department of Health.

Megan Flores, project director of the Solano County Tobacco Prevention & Education Program declared that for the first time of Solano County existence it has had its own data analyzed by the state.

“The prevalence of smoking rate is usually higher in rural counties than in urban counties. That is why I hope that sate officials will investigate this case and find out why rural counties average constitutes 15.9% versus 10.9% in urban counties,” stated, Dr. Mark Horton, California’s public health director.

“From my point of view in this situation there are some concerns. I suppose that Solano County’s smoking rate was higher due to demographic reasons. When income rises, smoking rate declines. The same is true about educational level,” Megan Flores sated.

Megan Flores also reminded that Solano County is a home to Travis Air Force Base, which could influence on the county’s smoking rate as there is a great number of young people in the service and smoking prevails among them.

However, the county continues to take measures in this field in order to eradicate this dangerous habit among its population.

Such policies not only help protect non-smokers from exposure to second-hand smoke but also encourage smokers to quit this dangerous habit, according to Megan Flores.

While the FDA currently prohibited flavored cigarettes, Megan Flores declared that the Solano County Tobacco Prevention & Education Program tries to be in line with other counties who want to require Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to prohibit menthol cigarettes that are advertised for teenagers.

Also was conducted a statewide study which revealed that:

  • Men still continue to smoke more than women, 15.6 % versus 10.7%
  • The college graduate smoking rate constituted 5.9% in comparison to 12% of those with lesser education
  • Smoking rate among households who have an income of more than $150,000 constituted 7.8% if compared to a 19.8% rate for those having less than $20,000
  • Americans smoke more than 360 billion cigarettes annually, thus bringing to 135 million pounds of butts
  • Toxic filters comprise 28% of the whole litter collected worldwide

Exposure to secondhand smoke must be stopped

Passive smoking causes more than 600,000 deaths per year all around the world. Children are the most affected by the secondhand smoke, and more than 165,000 of them die, as a result of this exposure.

Secondhand smoke must be stopped

The World Health Organisation (WHO) conducted a study basing on the 2004 data; the figures demonstrated that smoking in that year killed approximately six million people.

It was estimated that secondhand smoke is the cause of 379,000 deaths from heart disease, 165,000 from respiratory infections, 36,900 from asthma and 21,400 from lung cancer.

“Second hand smoke is still one of the major air pollutants all over the world,” stated, Dr. Annette Pruss-Ustun, from the WHO.

Approximately 40% of children, 35% of women and 33% of men are constantly exposed to second hand smoke at their homes.

“We have calculated that secondhand smoke lead to 603,000 deaths all around the world in 2004, which corresponds to 1% of all deaths. These figures should be summarized with the 5.1million deaths related to active smoking in order to obtain the result of both passive and active smoking. So, we can state that smoking caused more than 5.7million deaths every year in 2004,” explained Dr. Pruss-Ustun.

These findings were obtained after examining figures from disease follow-up studies and smoking surveys. They demonstrated that chest infections in children younger than five years, heart disease in adults and asthma in both adults and children are all the result of exposure to secondhand smoke.

The majority of deaths among children took place in poor countries, while in richer ones the number of adult deaths was higher.

For instance in Africa more than 43,375 children died from secondhand smoke and only 9,514 of adults, these are too high figures if comparing with 71 child deaths and 35,388 deaths among adults in more developed European countries.

Children are more exposed to second hand smoke, because they can’t avoid the main source of exposure and namely their relatives who smoke indoors.

Government officials should understand that adopting a complete smoke-free law will greatly lower the number of deaths related to exposure to secondhand smoke, already within the first year of its introduction. And the least but not the last will lead to reduction in costs of illness in social and health systems.

Researchers found out that in places were smoking was prohibited, exposure to secondhand smoke was reduced by 90%.

“Exposing other people to smoke has very bad consequences. And this study is an evident proof that we were right to implement a ban on smoking in public places in our country,” stated, Betty McBride, from the British Heart Foundation.