Category Archives for "Tobacco"

Dec 22

Are new age restrictions on tobacco sales coming?

Headline , Tobacco

Tobacco 21

The Tompkins County Legislature is looking to potentially increase the legal age for the sale of tobacco products to 21 in Tompkins County. The Health and Human Services Committee of the Legislature did not vote at its meeting December 19 on whether or not to recommend the proposal to the full Legislature but decided to revisit the issue at its next meeting due to a few unanswered questions.

Under the new law, no person shall sell any tobacco product, electronic nicotine delivery system, shisha or smoking paraphernalia to persons under the age of 21. This includes chewing tobacco, herbal cigarettes, cigars, liquid nicotine and rolling papers.

The Tompkins County Health Department would enforce the law and would have the authority to conduct periodic inspections in order to ensure compliance. Any person found to be in violation would face a civil penalty of $300 to $1,000 for a first violation and $500 to $1,500 for each subsequent violation. Any peace officer or police officer within the county would be authorized to enforce the law as well.

The effective date of the ordinance would be 60 days from the date of its enactment.

In New York City and Suffolk, Albany, Schenectady, Chautauqua and Cortland counties the minimum legal sale age for tobacco is already 21, according to the New York State Department of Health, and in Nassau and Onondaga counties it is 19.

The main stumbling block for the committee was the part of the proposed resolution that mentioned shisha, a product made primarily of tobacco or other leaf or herbs smoked in a hookah or water pipe; though it’s much less common, there are some varieties that do not contain tobacco.

The board members agreed that they needed more information on the current regulations pertaining to shisha and the ways in which any new law might affect the sale of the product before they could make their decision. They also wondered how the new law would apply to vending machines, said Legislator Martha Robertson (D-Dryden).

Information compiled and made available to the committee by Ted Schiele, Planner/ Evaluator, Tompkins County Health Department, included a graph by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that showed e-cigarette use among youth rising nationally as e-cigarette advertising grows. The rate went from virtually no use in 2011 to about nine percent of youth reporting that they have used an e-cigarette in the last 30 days in 2014 as advertising dollars crept up to $120 million.

Legislator Will Burbank (D-Ithaca) was in the minority on the board in his opposition of the proposed law.

“I’m a passionate nonsmoker, and I’m against secondhand smoke, etc., but I have a problem with it because at age 18 you’re old enough to be treated as an adult if you’re arrested, you’re old enough to serve in the military draft as a male, and you’re old enough to vote,” he said, “and to deny people of that age the ability to do something that admittedly is bad for them — it still seems they ought to be making that decision for themselves if they are not using it in a way that poisons other people.”

Robertson said it’s likely the Health and Human Services Committee will discuss the issue more next month and possibly vote on whether or not to recommend the adoption of the law to the legislature. A public hearing is required to be held by the Legislature before the law can be enacted.

Source: Ithaca

Nov 23

Amid rancor, reasons to give thanks: Our view

Tobacco

These five positive trends in America don’t often get the attention they deserve.

This Thanksgiving, negativity is in abundant supply.

Two weeks have passed since an unusually ugly and divisive presidential campaign. Many of the 70 millionwho voted for someone other than Donald Trumpsee the outcome as one of America’s darker chapters. Many of those who voted for Trump are thrilled, but many others admit their choice was made more out of frustration than affirmation.

And for millions of Americans, just getting through the family dinner on Thursday without a major blowup seems like a reach.

In addition to the political worries, Americans are vexed by global terrorism, concerned their jobs may disappear or worried about other matters. But, as always, there are reasons to be thankful, starting with family and health. Beyond that, the past decade has seen remarkable breakthroughs in science and medicine, and substantial abatement of seemingly intractable problems. Among the positive trends that don’t often get the attention they deserve:

The economy is doing well. Negativity aside, the numbers on employment and economic growth are pretty good. Since the bottom of the Great Recession, 15.2 million jobs have been created, pushing the unemployment rate down to 4.9%. Just last week, 235,000 people filed first-time unemployment claims. That’s the lowest weekly figure in 43 years and marks the 89th straight week below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970. The biggest criticism of the economy — that it isn’t producing much wage growth — is getting harder to defend. Last year, annual median household income was up 5.2%, with all signs suggesting that the trend will continue into this year. Even the poverty rate has been dropping. Meanwhile, the stock market has been hitting new highs, bolstering Americans’ 401(k) accounts.

ISIL is in retreat. The Islamic State terrorist group, which uses Iraq and Syria as its base, is in decline in both countries. According to Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, the top U.S. commander in the region, ISIL’s numbers in those two countries have dropped from 60,000 to about 15,000. Iraqi forces are battling to defeat the remaining ISIL fighters in Mosul, their most significant holding in the country, while U.S.-backed forces in Syria have made impressive strides there as well. No one expects ISIL to disappear. But denying its fighters a base from which to operate, and showing that they can be defeated, should greatly diminish the terror group’s reach and appeal.

Teen smoking is down. Smoking kills far more Americans than terrorists do, and most smokers get addicted as youths. Last year, smoking among high school students dropped to its lowest level in the quarter-century that data have been collected. The two years from 2013 to 2015 saw one of the steepest declines yet, as the 15.7% of students who smoked dropped to 10.8%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As recently as 1997, more than 36% of high school students smoked. The drops could portend a long-term improvement in the health of Americans. However, the campaign against smoking is far from won. Public health officials are still wary that e-cigarettes could help addict a new generation to nicotine.

Teen births continue to fall. Just as teen smoking rates have declined, so have teen birth rates. Last year, 22.3 children were born to every 1,000 girls ages 15 to 19. That’s down by nearly half in eight years and a whopping 64% since 1991, when the teen birth rate was 61.8 per 1,000. The declines were across all categories, but were most pronounced in urban areas and among African Americans and Hispanics. In fact, teens in big cities are below the national average in having babies. Experts cite birth control as the prime cause of the drop, though some preliminary evidence also suggests a drop in sexual activity. In any case, the declines mean an easier path to college and successful careers for young women, and fewer children raised by mothers who are ill-prepared for their responsibilities — in other words, a win-win situation.

Divorce rates are down, too. Divorce rates have dropped three years in a row and are at their lowest level in 35 years. From nearly 23 divorces per 1,000 married women in 1980, the rate fell below 17 in 2015, according to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research. The rate of marriages, meanwhile, ticked up slightly in 2015, continuing a modest upward trend following a long and steady decline. In 2015 there were 32.3 marriages per 1,000 adult unmarried women, up from 31.9 the previous year. The numbers on marriage and divorce are important because stable marriages are associated with other positive trends such as lower youth crime, more vibrant neighborhoods and greater educational attainment.

Not to mention more intact families at Thanksgiving dinner.

USA TODAY’s editorial opinions are decided by its Editorial Board, separate from the news staff. Most editorials are coupled with an opposing view — a unique USA TODAY feature.

To read more editorials, go to the Opinion front page or sign up for the daily Opinion email newsletter. To respond to this editorial, submit a comment to letters@usatoday.com.

Source: , USA TODAY

Nov 16

OU selected as inaugural participant in Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative

Headline , Tobacco

Oakland University was awarded a $20,000 grant as part of the American Cancer Society and the CVS Health Foundation’s Tobacco-Free Generation Campus Initiative (TFGCI), a $3.6 million multi-year program intended to accelerate and expand the adoption and implementation of 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies. Oakland is one of the first 20 colleges and universities to receive a TFGCI grant.

“We are honored to partner with the American Cancer Society and CVS Health Foundation to promote a smoke- and tobacco-free environment on campus,” said Cora Hanson, Environmental Health and Life Safety Manager at Oakland University. “This grant will allow us to continue to build on efforts to create a safe and healthful environment for the entire OU community.”

Over the next three years, colleges and universities throughout the U.S. will be awarded TFGCI grants to support their efforts to advocate for, adopt and implement a 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy. Campuses will also receive technical assistance and resources to support their efforts with education, communications, cessation and evaluation.

TFGCI grants are intended to address a critical, unmet need by helping colleges and universities achieve 100% smoke- and tobacco-free campus policies. The U.S. Department of Education reports there are approximately 4,700 institutions of higher education in the United States. According to the Americans for Nonsmokers Rights Foundation, only 1,427 college campuses are 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free. That reflects major progress over earlier years, but much remains to be done.

Of the roughly 20 million college and university students in the United States, more than 1 million are projected to die prematurely from cigarette smoking. While approximately 90 percent of smokers start by age 18, fully 99 percent start by age 26, underscoring the importance of supporting young adults with more effective prevention and cessation efforts while eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke and all tobacco use in their learning environments.

“Through support from the CVS Health Foundation, we are excited to advance the efforts of many dedicated students, faculty and staff to make their campus 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free using proven strategies that will also reduce tobacco use among students,” said Cliff Douglas, vice president for tobacco control and director of the American Cancer Society’s Center for Tobacco Control. ‘To be successful in creating a tobacco-free generation, it is important that we prevent and eliminate lethal and addictive tobacco use among America’s college students.”

Grants ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 will be awarded to 20 institutions in 2016. TFGCI strives to deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation, with a national goal of doubling the number of 100 percent smoke- and tobacco-free institutions of higher learning in the next five years.

The inaugural awardee schools include:

California Merritt College
California California State University San Marcos
California Saint Mary’s College of California
Illinois St. Xavier University
Indiana Indiana University –Bloomington
Massachusetts Springfield College
Michigan Oakland University
Michigan University of Michigan
Michigan Davenport University
New Jersey Montclair State University
North Carolina Piedmont Community College
North Carolina East Carolina University
North Carolina Lenoir-Rhyne University
Ohio Bowling Green State University
Ohio University of Cincinnati –Blue Ash College
Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Penn State University
Texas Texas Christian University
Texas El Paso Community College
Texas Texas A&M University –Corpus Christi

This TFCGI grant announcement coincides this week with the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout on Thursday, November 17, an intervention effort to encourage smokers to quit for a day, quit for good, or make a plan to quit. On that day, clean air “patrols” will be on OU’s campus providing resources encouraging smokers to quit.

Source: News at OU

Nov 16

Columbus Council Considering Banning Tobacco Sales To People Under 21 – WOSU Public Media

Headline , Tobacco

Columbus officials are considering a ban on the sale of tobacco products to any individuals younger than the age of 21.

Under the proposal, retailers in Columbus would be required to ask for identification for anyone younger than 30 who wants to purchase tobacco or tobacco paraphernalia.

Approximately 2,000 tobacco retailers in Columbus would have to purchase an annual sales license for $150 if the ban is approved. Stores caught selling to anyone under 21 would face fines of $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for any subsequent violations.

The proposal would not criminalize the physical act of smoking for residents under the new age restriction.

Columbus City Council will vote on legislation supporting the ban in December.

Source: WOSU

Nov 16

Tobacco 21 debate in Naperville pits freedom versus addiction prevention

Headline , Tobacco

Freedom of choice for young adults is butting up against addiction prevention efforts in Naperville as the city council considers raising the age to buy tobacco to 21.

Some say the city should ban the sales of cigarettes and alternative nicotine products to anyone younger than 21 as another way to dissuade young people from becoming addicted and risking health effects.

“That’s a habit that stays with them and leads to all kinds of health problems,” city council member Judith Brodhead said about smoking.

The proposed ban that gained preliminary support from some council members Tuesday wouldn’t make it illegal for people between 18 and 20 to have or use tobacco in the city, as long as they bought it outside of Naperville.

Mayor Steve Chirico said he’s changed his mind to support the ban, although he initially worried it would hurt business by driving young cigarette customers to nearby towns. He said the city should draw the line to protect residents from falling into the dangers of smoking.

“The health and safety of people who are most vulnerable to becoming addicted to this has to take precedence,” he said.

Some of his colleagues took the opposite tact.

“I’m very much against government making personal health decisions for legal adults,” council member Kevin Coyne said.

He and council member Paul Hinterlong said they wouldn’t support any change to the legal tobacco purchasing age of 18 when the matter is scheduled to come for a vote Dec. 5. Council member Kevin Gallaher said overregulation of adult decisions also could strain the city’s police force.

“At some point we can regulate people’s diet and what they’re consuming to the point where it creates a huge enforcement problem,” Gallaher said.

If the city moves to ban the sale of tobacco to anyone younger than 21, Detective Dan Riggs said enforcement could take place in the same manner as it does now. All the city would have to do is change the age of the police agents who attempt to buy tobacco products while underage from 16 or 17 to 19 or 20.

If the change is enacted, Naperville won’t be the first Illinois city to raise the tobacco sale age to 21; Chicago, Evanston and Oak Park already are among 180 municipalities nationwide that have raised the age. California and Hawaii also have made 21 the legal tobacco age statewide.

Source: Chicago Daily Herald

 

Nov 16

Orange County headed toward hiking tobacco sale age

Headline , Tobacco

GOSHEN, N.Y. >> A committee of the Orange County Legislature voted unanimously Tuesday to raise the legal age for purchase of tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Michael Anagnostakis, chairman of the Health and Mental Health Committee, said he believes it is the right thing to do.

“Ninety percent of children get hooked on cigarettes before the age of 16,” Anagnostakis said. “The 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds get their cigarettes from 18-year-olds. You don’t find 21-year-olds hanging out with 14- and 15-year-olds, so it is going to have a dramatic impact.”

The full county Legislature would have to approve the measure before people under 21 would be prohibited from purchasing any tobacco products.

Source: The Daily Freeman

Nov 15

Anti-tobacco forces gear up for Great American Smokeout

Headline , Tobacco

Grand Island Senior High students realize that quitting tobacco isn’t just about you. It’s also about other people.

“If you are trying to quit, you should surround yourself with positive attitudes, not negative ones,” GISH student Samantha Lozano said.

“A good reason to quit using tobacco is to stop and think about your kids’ future — not just yourself,” said Melissa Andrade, another GISH student.

Lozano and Andrade were among the students who installed a new “cup message” on Monday in the fence outside GISH. The message reads “Be Tobacco Free.” About 10 students inserted the special “push-in” cups into the chain-link fence. The project was a joint venture between Students Against Destructive Decision Making (SADD) at GISH and Tobacco Free Hall County.

Andrade said she wouldn’t want to start using tobacco because she wouldn’t want it to affect everyone “and because it’s about everyone — not just me.”

Lozano believes in willpower. “I believe, if you set your goal to quit tobacco, it’s all in your mind. If you believe it, you can achieve it,” she said.

This is a big week for those opposed to tobacco fumes. The annual Great American Smokeout will be on Thursday. On the third Thursday each November, the American Cancer Society urges tobacco users to quit or to use the day to make a plan to quit.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ Tobacco Free Nebraska program provides a list of tips for Thursday, which is also known as Quit Day.

One tip is “Do not use tobacco — not even one puff or chew.”

“The benefits start immediately,” said Katie Usasz, coordinator of Tobacco Free Hall County.

Another tip is to stay active. Walking, exercising or doing other activities will help.

Usasz, a former smoker herself, endorses the benefits of exercising.

Walking, she said, helps her realize and appreciate her lung capacity. Exercise and giving up tobacco use go hand in hand.

On Quit Day, it’s also good to limit or avoid alcohol. Many smokers associate drinking with smoking, Usasz said.

Usasz, who gave up smoking seven months ago, advocates using the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline. That number is (800) QUIT-NOW, or (800) 784-8669. For Spanish speakers, the number is (855) 355-3569. Quitline callers may schedule five coaching sessions. Many times, they may be held with the same coach.

Usasz pointed out that smoking is a danger to more than just the smoker.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognize that “there’s no safe level of secondhand smoke,” she said.

The American Cancer Society also recommends attending a cessation class or beginning a self-help plan.

On Jan. 10, CHI Health St. Francis will start an eight-week Freedom From Smoking class. The cost of the tobacco cessation class is $25. For information, call Jenny Roush at (308) 398-8912.

Roush, who is the community outreach coordinator for St. Francis’ Cancer Treatment Center, points out that e-cigarettes and vaping present a significant health risk.

Next week, the SADD chapter at GISH will embark on another project, called Celebrity Graveyard. Artwork will be erected in a GISH hallway showing celebrities who’ve passed away, their birth and death years, and their causes of death.

The project will remind students that “our role models” sometimes make poor choices, the same way regular people do, GISH teacher Tara Nettifee said.

Looking at the celebrities’ causes of death, GISH students might be able to “learn from their mistakes,” said Nettifee, who is the SADD sponsor at GISH.

Source: Grand Island Independent

 

Nov 14

St. Louis may ban sale of tobacco, vaping products to anyone under age 21

Headline , Tobacco

ST. LOUIS • City lawmakers have taken a step toward banning the sale of tobacco and nicotine vapor products to anyone under the age of 21.

The Board of Aldermen advanced two bills on Thursday — one for tobacco, one for electronic cigarettes and vapor products — that could be passed by the board as early as next Friday.

Because Mayor Francis Slay supports the age 21 restriction, it could become law the same day.

Dionne Flowers, 2nd Ward Alderwoman and sponsor of both bills, said she was confident that would be the case.

If so, St. Louis would join St. Louis County, Kansas City, Chicago and roughly 200 other cities across the country that have passed Tobacco 21, or T21 legislation.

Under the legislation, the city’s Department of Health can send minors into stores to test whether employees are in compliance. City police can also issue citations.

Violators would be subject to fines of $100, $250 and $500 for first, second and third offenses, respectively.

Although both of the bills passed easily, aldermen debated it for roughly an hour. 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn was especially vocal on Thursday, going to the microphone three times to state his opposition.

While calling cigarettes and their associated health risks, “absolutely horrible,” Cohn argued that anyone old enough to vote for president or go to war should be allowed to buy tobacco and nicotine products.

“Why are we infantilizing” 18-year-olds, he asked.

Scott Ogilvie, alderman from the 24th Ward, said it didn’t make sense that an 18- or 19-year old could buy an AR-15 rifle but not cigarettes.

“I detect the air of paternalizing here in our public health,” he said.

Cohn and Ogilvie cast the only two “no” votes on the bill dealing with tobacco products. The vote to raise the purchase age on tobacco alternatives passed unanimously.

In defending both bills, Flowers acknowledged that raising the tobacco purchasing age to 21 from 18 won’t prevent a determined young person from using tobacco or alternative products, but she said it would make a dent.

Raising the age of purchase is effective because most people get addicted to nicotine when they’re young, she said. It’s also easy for an 18-year-old high school student to buy tobacco or nicotine products legally and then introduce them to friends who are younger. But at age 21, their social circle has changed, Flowers said.

“Every day, 3,800 youth smoke a cigarette for the first time,” she added.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that if youth smoking rates continue at their current rate, 5.6 million Americans under 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness.

Meanwhile, the Institute of Medicine estimates that raising the age of purchase to 21 would result in a 12 percent decrease in smoking prevalence across the country by 2100.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Nov 14

Vermont lawmakers to hear push for raising tobacco age

Headline , Tobacco

MONTPELIER, VT. – Anti-tobacco activists in Vermont say they’ll be trying again this year to raise the age in the state for buying tobacco from its current 18 to 21.

A similar measure passed the House earlier this year but never got to a vote in the Senate.

This Thursday is the American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout, when it tries to get smokers and other tobacco users to abstain for at least a day.

Outgoing Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin did not supporting raising the age for buying tobacco.

A spokesman for Republican Gov.-elect Phil Scott says Scott also opposes raising the age when people can buy tobacco products.

Source: The News and Observer

Nov 14

Tobacco Free Florida Posts Gains In Smoker Cessation

Headline , Tobacco

Fewer people are smoking now than ever before.

Tobacco Free Florida, which was created a decade ago, can take some credit for that.

There are now 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there were 10 years ago. The rate of young people who smoke has fallen from 10 percent to 3 percent.

Some estimates say that has saved more than $17 billion in smoking-related health care costs.

But Tobacco Free Florida spokeswoman Shannon Hughes says there’s work to be done with nearly 16 percent of adults still smoking.

“Our vision is to someday reach a point where we truly are tobacco free in Florida and we want to do that through freedom of choice. We want people to choose a tobacco free lifestyle.”

Voters passed a constitutional amendment creating Tobacco Free Florida. With advertising, education and prevention programs, it has helped nearly 160,000 Floridians quit smoking.

Source: Health News Florida

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