Tag Archives: tobacco smoke

Kent County Discusses Smoking Ban in Parks

Smoking in Park

In the Kent County, Michigan, there was proposed to ban smoking in all parks.

At the moment the proposal is under the review of Council.

According to Keith Mumford, the county’s parks and recreation director, the smoking ban is going to touch only 6 city parks including Browns Branch Park in Harrington, Brecknock Park in Camden, Big Oak Park in Smyrna.

The smoking ban would touch cigars, cigarettes, snuff. However, it is unclear yet if e-cigarettes will be included too.

Over the year park many visitors adressed to the authorities a number of compalints regarding smoking in parks. Most of them were people with kids who come to parks to playgrounds and are forced to inhale tobacco smoke. Therfore, present smoking ban is welcomed by the majority of Kent county residents.

Kate, mother of Amanda, often come to their local park and last time she saw a man smoking on the other side of the fence and all tobacco smoke was going into the park. Kate wants that her kid along with other children to be protected in parks from tobacco smoke. But smokers say that there must be created designated areas where they could smoke their Winston cigarettes.

The authorities say that they are informed about the effects of secondhand smoke inhale and want everyone to be aware about it. Residents and visitors should inhale a pure and fresh air in public parks, and there must be no smoking permitted. Kids will be healthier if they grow on a healthy environment.

The county parks and recreation  department has developed programs for living healthy lives for the residents of all ages and smoking ban is part of it.

However, the fines for breaking the ban were not discussed yet. There is no official way in Kent county to fine violations and the authorities say that the offendors will be told to butt out.

How to Protect Your Family from Tobacco Smoke

Smoking

You probably heard about Smokey and the Bandit, Smokey Robinson, Smokey Bear. Those smoky personages were popular few decades ago but even today may be observed their impact on pop culture. Same thing is with second- and thirdhand smoke.

Recently researchers found that even in case a woman never smoked cigarettes, her lifetime exposure to secondhand smoke increases her risks for tubal ectopic pregnancy,  birth of a dead child and miscarriage. There were examined adults exposed to secondhand smoke at home for 20 or more years, kids exposed for 10 or more years and adults exposured at their workplace for 10 or more years.

Earlier scientists found that exposure to secondhand smoke may result in stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and asthma.

Secondhand smoke becomes thirdhand smoke when it enters various surfaces such ascarpets, fabric, wallboard, furniture. Children do ingest it when they put objects or hands with thirdhand smoke into their mouth. Namely this may damage their DNA.

What is the best way to protect your family from tobacco smoke? It is necessary to create a smoke-free environment at home. No smoking at home! How to convince your spose? Do with love, respect and understanding, be persistent and you will win.

In case you live in a state where smoking is banned at workplaces and restaurants, but you see that people still smoke there, then you should address your state representatives and complain about this public health issue.

In case at your home lived a smoker, you should remove all second- or thirdhand smoke by washing carpets, furniture lining, fabric, and even your kid’s toys.

If tobacco smoke enters your home from smoking neighbors via ventilation system, talk with them about finding an appropriate solution. Everyone deserves a smoke-free environment!

No to Smoking Ban in Midland City

smoker

Despite a petition from the Midland County Tobacco Reduction Coalition, the City of Midland will continue to permit people to smoke cigarettes near kids in local playgrounds and beaches.

On Monday, the Midland City Council  received the petition demanding smoking ban in these areas. The Council decided not to ban smoking saying it would be difficult to apply the ordinance because there is need for time and money.

Midland County Tobacco Reduction Coalition along with Susan Dusseau, Midland resident, presented to the council a petition signed by 110 people against smoking. Susan says that among the population kids are most vulnerable to tobacco smoke and it is necessary to protect them. She adds that the issue is dear to her heart and she believes that kids are most important customers in the service area.

It would be perfect to ban smoking in every city park, however, the petition asks only to ban smoking in playground areas and beaches.   Amy Hovey, Coleman resident which makes part of Great Start Parent Coalition, says that  secondhand smoke affects negatively people’s health.  Therefore it is important to have a smoke-free environment for children,

Smoking ban will help kids and their parents with asthma and other conditions. The group is encouraging parents to approach to smoking people on the playground and ask them not to smoke.

Dusseau says that in parks already there exist rules prohibiting littering, intoxication and making noise. Smoking ban will be similar. She believes that the majority of people will respect it, including smokers. Generally speaking, smokers are very respectful and they do not want to hurt other people.

Major aim of the smoking ban is to prevent people from smoking-related diseases and also prevent  the next generation from becoming smokers. Dusseau said permitting smoking in playgrounds doesn’t strenghten the message that children shouldn’t smoke.  Other cities that already prohibited smoking in playgrounds are Bad Axe, Traverse City,  Marie, Sault Ste. Dusseau said that they are ready to pay for any signs needed.

In his turn, Jon Lynch, Midland City Manager said when the council considers a ban on a legal private activity, it has to take into account if the ban should be done, and if so, the way it should be done. Here the main question is whether the well-being of kids outweighs an adult’s right to perform a legal activity in a public place.

Edwin Poots launches car smoking ban consultation

Edwin Poots was speaking on an assembly motion proposing a ban on smoking in cars carrying those under 16.

He said children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of smoking.

Mr Poots said his department will launch a public consultation and he urged everyone with an interest on the issue to respond to the consultation.

Smoking ban in cars

Smoking in the car when children are present

He said he was prepared to ban smoking in all private cars although he was aware some people would see this as a “step too far”.

The minister said he had asked officials in early September to work on an action plan for implementing legislation.

Mr Poots said: “Smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable illness and premature death in Northern Ireland. Each year approximately 2,300 people die from smoking-related illnesses.

“Passive smoking is a health issue which I take very seriously, particularly when those affected by it are children, who are more vulnerable to second-hand smoke as they breathe more rapidly and inhale more pollutants per pound of body weight than adults.”

Mr Poots told MLAs that research had shown that 15% of adults smoke in their cars when children are present.

“It also indicates that smoking in a car exposes children to levels of smoke which compare to levels found in bars before smoke-free legislation was introduced,” he said.
Hospital visits

During the debate on the motion – which was put forward by the UUP’s John McCallister – Sinn Fein’s Michaela Boyle said the Department of Health in Northern Ireland spends over £119m each year treating patients with smoke-related illnesses.

The DUP’s Jim Wells also said statistics from the Ulster Cancer Foundation showed 300,000 children throughout the UK are being referred to a GP every year as a result of tobacco smoke inhalation.

He said 9,500 of these cases led to hospital visits.

Mr Wells also added that second-hand smoke in cars can be as high as ten times the concentration considered unhealthy by the American Environmental Protection Agency.

Kieran McCarthy of the Alliance Party said figures from Action Cancer revealed that 13,500 children in Northern Ireland are at risk from passive smoke.

Health committee chairperson Michelle Gildernew said a renewed public campaign on the dangers of passive smoking was needed although she felt there would be a difficulty in policing any legislation on the issue.
Enclosed spaces

Earlier, Gerry McElwee of the Ulster Cancer Foundation called for young people to be protected from second-hand smoke.

“Enclosed spaces within a car mean the smoke is much more concentrated,” he said.

“There are 400 chemicals in tobacco smoke, up to 60 are carcinogenic and the measurements you find in a car are up to 10 times the level you would describe as unhealthy.”

Dr James Cant, head of the British Lung Foundation, Scotland and Northern Ireland said: “We find this development highly encouraging.

“Stormont would be ahead of the curve on this issue if it were to take action to protect children from passive smoke when they are in the car.”

Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ lobby group Forest, said: “We don’t condone people smoking in cars with children present. It’s inconsiderate, certainly, but the evidence doesn’t support the argument that smoking in cars is a serious health risk to children.

“Legislation is a gross over-reaction. What next, a ban on smoking in the home?”

Witness Testimony Ends in Secondhand Smoke Trial

Last time, an earthquake struck, this time a transcript delayed the secondhand smoke trial before closing arguments could be heard on Monday.

When asked whether it was unusual to delay closing arguments for so long after witness testimony Greenbelt Homes Inc. defense attorney Jason Fisher replied, “Nothing is usual in this case.”

Instead of hearing closing arguments, Judge Albert Northrop decided to grant a motion to the plaintiff, David Schuman, to allow his attorney, J.P. Szymkowicz, to review the full transcript from the trial, David S. Schuman v. Greenbelt Homes, Inc., et al. He rescheduled closing arguments for November 3, at 9 a.m., to continue in the Prince George’s County Circuit Court.

SECONDHAND SMOKE TRIAL

SECONDHAND SMOKE TRIAL

“The trial went on for six days,” said Szymkowicz, “There was a lot of testimony. In order to get the facts correct for the judge to make a decision and for us to argue on, we asked the judge to consider oral arguments after the transcript was filed.”

Fisher said he was surprised by the move. He said normally a judge hears the witness testimony, listens to closing arguments, takes the case under advisement to review the facts and then a ruling is issued, either in writing or before the court. Fisher said this was the first time he had seen closing arguments delayed for a month and a half after the end of witness testimony.

Szymkowicz agreed that it was unusual, but said the move wasn’t unheard of.

“I don’t know about a month and a half,” said Szymkowicz, “But I have had other cases where you have the testimony court part and then you wait for a transcript to make your arguments.”

Transcripts are not always requested, said Szymkowicz, and they have to be purchased. Because the plaintiff requested the transcript, Schuman was responsible for paying the $4,000 to the court reporter so she could prepare it.

“Since I needed it, I had to pay for it,” said Schuman outside the courtroom.

Despite the delay, the trial made some progress on Monday and came to the end of witness testimony.

The plaintiff called three rebuttal witnesses to the stand, Gretchen Overdurff, as a representative of GHI, David Schuman, and James Repace, the biophysicist and expert witness for the plaintiff.

Szymkowicz questioned Overdurff about whether GHI informed Schuman about further administrative remedies he could take to solve the secondhand smoke problem in his unit.

Two previous witnesses, past GHI board president Sylvia Lewis and current board president Tokey Boswell, testified that Schuman could have petitioned members of the cooperative to hold a special meeting on the issue if he wasn’t satisfied with the member complaint panel’s decision, which recommended that he work it out with the Popovics.

After being questioned by Szymkowicz, Overdurff stated that she was not aware of a situation taken to the membership when one member had a grievance against another. But she said that it was possible to do so.

“It would have been nice if GHI would have told me that at some point in the process,” Schuman said, outside of the courtroom, “but they never did.”

Schuman has stated throughout the case that he’s not interested in a rule banning smoking in all GHI units, he is just interested in keeping his home smoke-free.

Schuman is suing GHI for neglecting to solve the nuisance problem caused by his neighbors’, secondhand smoke. Schuman said he was suing the Popovics because they’ve created a nuisance, which is prohibited in GHI’s Mutual Ownership Contract.

Schuman is suing each party, “jointly and severally,” for $300,000 in compensatory damages.

James Repace, the secondhand smoke scientist and plaintiff’s expert witness, took the stand to clarify some earlier points and rebut the testimony of the defense’s expert witness, Dr. Ronald Gots.

He reiterated his belief that that the doubling of particulates recorded by the monitor inside Schuman’s unit while Darko Popovic was smoking outside — proved that smoke was entering the residence.

Despite the monitor having previously recorded the same amount of possible carcinogenic particulates in the air in the smoke-free courthouse as it had in Schuman’s unit, Repace stuck with his claim. He said the air in the courthouse may have been polluted by a number of diesel buses operating outside.

Repace also testified that Gots might have bias due to his company’s previous connections to the tobacco company, R.J. Reynolds. Fisher quickly objected to the assertion, but Northrop allowed it.

Repace said that three members of International Center for Toxicology and Medicine, which Gots heads up, had their testimony dismissed from a case against Philip Morris because it was discovered they had been paid lobbyists for years.

Once all the witness testimony came to an end, Judge Northrop said he was going to review the information presented in trial and hopefully issue a ruling after closing arguments on Nov. 3.

Commr. Pushing For Smoke-Free Public Places

ORLANDO, Fla. — An Orlando leader is pushing for more public places in the city to be smoke-free. Supporters of the plan said they’re trying to protect children.

WFTV learned that it is a joint effort between the city and the Orange County Health Department to keep smoking out of public parks.

PUSHING FOR SMOKE-FREE PUBLIC PLACES

PUSHING FOR SMOKE-FREE PUBLIC PLACES

Each year, officials said more than 56,000 Americans die from second-hand smoke. They said 27 of them live in Orlando, and because of that, some city leaders are working to eliminate smoking at public places in the city.

“We’re talking about parks, schools and universities,”

said Dain Weister of the Orange County Health Department.

City Commissioner Sam Ings will introduce a resolution to the city council on Monday. But because it’s a resolution, even if it’s passed, it will not mean an outright ban on smoking in public places. It will simply give the city the power to urge residents not to smoke.

Last month, the health department started airing dramatic commercials to raise awareness about their cause.
“It’s supposed to get peoples attention, get them talking,” said Weister.

And while some think the action will help, WFTV spoke with some residents, including a smoker, who are not behind it.

“It’s going a little too far,” said smoker Ajay Tyagi.

In defense of tobacco

When Europeans arrived in the New World, they found the natives smoking tobacco, an indigenous leaf the Dominican chronicler Bartolome de las Casas said made them “benumbed and almost drunk.”

Tobacco leaves

Tobacco leaves

From the start, however popular it was among some, tobacco was judged by many to be very bad. King James I of England wrote a treatise against it, damning smoking as

“a custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the blacke stinking fume thereof, neerest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomelesse.”

Tobacco is a member of the nightshade family, whose siblings include potatoes, tomatoes and chili peppers, all of which contain some nicotine.

Even those among us who don’t smoke may confess that the smoldering aroma of good pipe tobacco or a fine cigar can be pleasant. The good news is that tobacco can be enjoyed in ways that don’t involve sucking hot smoke into your lungs.

The culinary possibilities of tobacco have been explored by innovative chefs such as Thomas Keller of California’s French Laundry, who infused coffee-flavored custard with tobacco leaf and served it to fellow chef and TV personality Tony Bourdain.

About two years ago, I ate a dinner at Tru that paired small batch Pappy Van Winkle bourbon with several dishes, including a lobster lightly smoked with tobacco. The beverage and leaf, both sons of the American South, were quite complementary, reflecting the fundamental culinary principle that what grows together, goes together.

The James Beard award-winning Chicago chef Carrie Nahabedian of Naha warns, though, that, “You need finesse when dealing with tobacco and food. It’s a fine line between beauty and nausea, just like using too much lemon balm: one minute beautiful and fresh, too much and it’s like a bar of soap.”

Nahabedian once prepared sweetbreads with a veal reduction infused with high-quality tobacco at the Four Seasons in Los Angeles for an Academy Awards party. She remembers the dish as “haunting in flavor and aroma, with a rich, smoky, earthy, leather-scented finish.”

Which brings us to chef Rick Gresh of David Burke’s Primehouse in the James Hotel, who has been experimenting with a medium amber ale finished with Blue Note pipe tobacco, a relatively sweet and mild Black Cavendish.

Gresh says he brewed this beer without a lot of hops to achieve “a sweet tobacco finish and that sensation of ‘I just smoked and now I’m drinking a beer.’ “

Manhattan Beach tightens smoking restrictions

Citing the need to promote public health and reduce litter, the City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a measure to outlaw smoking on The Strand and Veterans Parkway along Valley Drive and Ardmore Avenue, otherwise known as the greenbelt.

“The Strand has become the designated smoking for people that know they can’t smoke on the beach,” said Councilman Wayne Powell, whose parents died early in life from smoking-related illnesses. “To take a smoking break, they go on The Strand. I feel that we should have that area smoke free, just like the greenbelt.”

Smoking lady on the Manhattan Beach

Smoking lady on the Manhattan Beach

The Strand and greenbelt are popular exercise routes. Penalties for smoking will range from $50 for a first violation to $250 for multiple violations. The law will go into effect in early October.

A 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that tobacco-related illnesses are the leading cause of preventable death in the country, accounting for about 443,000 deaths each year.

The city’s latest smoking ordinance is another incremental step toward a comprehensive ban. Smoking was outlawed in parks and on the city’s beaches in 2004. The original ordinance included The Strand, but was scaled back after members of the council felt it was too far-reaching. Lighting up in public areas and places of employment in Manhattan Beach was banned in 1987.

Earlier this year, elected officials in Hermosa Beach decided to move forward with a proposal to outlaw smoking in the city’s popular Pier Plaza area. The proposal has been met with mixed reaction, with some bar owners fearing a smoking ban could affect business. A permanent ordinance could be adopted before the end of year.

Manhattan Beach Councilman David Lesser, acknowledging that some could argue that it’s not necessarily government’s role to dictate all aspects of human behavior, said he supports the smoking ordinance.

“But the contrary argument, which is prevailing for me, is public health research shows the impacts of secondhand smoke,” Lesser said. “That is very persuasive for me. And to see cigarette butts on The Strand is terribly disheartening.”

Like Powell, Councilwoman Amy Howorth’s parents died from smoking-related illness.

“This is a passion for me to clean up the world,” she said. “I’m really proud to do this.”

Hawaii getting used to strict smoking ban

Hawaii, known for its fresh ocean air and pristine beauty, has implemented one of the nation’s strictest no-smoking laws.

State officials say the new law will protect people from secondhand smoke, but some fear it may deter cigarette-puffing tourists from coming to the islands, especially high-spending visitors from Japan.

Barbara McCain smokes a cigarette at the beach bar of the Sheraton Moana Surfrider, in Waikiki.

Barbara McCain smokes a cigarette at the beach bar of the Sheraton Moana Surfrider, in Waikiki.

The Smoke-Free Hawaii Law went into effect Nov. 16, banning smoking in all public places such as restaurants, bowling alleys, and malls, as well as airports.

Many of the islands already had county laws limiting smoking, but lighting up now in partially enclosed areas, bars and less than 20 feet from doorways and windows is illegal.

State officials say comprehensive no-smoking laws in 13 other states and hundreds of cities have helped Americans get used to similar policies.

But some worry international visitors, especially from Japan, the largest group of foreign tourists to Hawaii, won’t immediately adjust or understand the new policies that could result in fines.

Hawaii is selling the law as a clean environment policy, not as a smoking ban, said Marsha Wienert, the state’s tourism liaison. The new rules aren’t needed to protect employees and customers from secondhand smoke.

The outdoor International Marketplace in Waikiki, featuring more than 100 souvenir stands, already posted “no smoking” signs, along with many beachside bars and outdoor hotel sitting areas. Honolulu International Airport has eliminated a designated area in the airport and will now direct all smokers to a few uncovered areas away from the building.

With the ban, Hawaii hotels can only designate 20 percent of their rooms to smokers, but a few chains, including Marriott and Westin, have already eliminated smoking rooms nationwide.

CDC Study Finds Progress in Reducing Smoking in Movies, but R-Rating Still Needed to Protect Kids

The amount of smoking in top-grossing, youth-rated movies has dropped significantly in the past five years, with far larger declines by studios that have published policies to reduce smoking in youth-rated films (those rated G, PG or PG-13), according to a new study published today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This study shows that studios can reduce and even eliminate smoking in youth-rated movies, but have taken inconsistent approaches that still result in significant youth exposure to smoking in the movies.  It underscores the need for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to require an R-rating for any new movie with smoking, with the exception of movies that depict the health consequences of smoking or actual historical figures who smoked.

Smoking in Movies

Smoking in Movies

Key findings of the study include:

  • The total number of on-screen tobacco incidents in youth-rated movies decreased by 72 percent from 2,093 in 2005 to 595 in 2010.

  • The average number of tobacco incidents per youth-rated movie decreased by 66 percent, from 20.1 in 2005 to 6.8 in 2010.

  • The three major studios that have published smoking reduction policies (Comcast/Universal, Disney and Time Warner/Warner Bros.) have almost eliminated tobacco use from their youth-rated movies.  These studios on average reduced the number of tobacco incidents by 96 percent between 2005 and 2010.

  • In contrast, the three major studios (News Corporation/Twentieth Century Fox, Sony/Columbia/Screen Gems and Viacom/Paramount) and independent studios with no published smoking reduction policies have had much smaller reductions in tobacco depictions, averaging only 42 percent.

  • Despite this progress, 45 percent of top-grossing movies in 2010 still had tobacco incidents, including 31 percent of youth-rated movies.

We applaud Comcast/Universal, Disney and Time Warner/Warner Bros. for setting a positive example and nearly eliminating smoking from their youth-rated movies, and we urge the MPAA to take action to resolve this problem once and for all by requiring an R-rating for any new movie with smoking.  Research shows that youth who are exposed to smoking in movies are more likely to start smoking.  It’s time for the movies to end their long and harmful history of glamorizing tobacco use, the nation’s leading cause of preventable death.