Monthly Archives: December 2013

BGSU restricting smoking to designated areas in 2014

Bowling Green State University is preparing to roll out a new, tougher smoking policy to snuff out cigarettes except in designated areas. The university spent last semester preparing for its Clean Air and Smoking Policy, approved by the board of trustees in June.

Starting Wednesday, students, employees, and BGSU visitors who want to light up cigarettes will have to go to designated smoking areas next to some campus parking lots. The policy also prohibits smoking in university vehicles and on sidewalks.

The university previously banned indoor smoking and had other rules, such as prohibiting puffing within 35 feet of residential buildings, said Michael Ginsburg, associate dean of students. But people smoked outdoors throughout campus and not far from entrances to the student union, he said. “The purpose of the policy is really to create a healthier environment for people who chose not to smoke,” Mr. Ginsburg said.

The university has been working to designate smoking spots adjacent to parking lots and mark areas with signs. A university map shows more than 30 receptacle locations spread around campus. BGSU budgeted roughly $24,000 to post signs, set up smoking receptacles, educate students, and promote the changes around campus. The Ohio Department of Health contributed about $7,000 toward the expenses, which Mr. Ginsburg expects to come in under budget.

Educational efforts included banners, custom signage proclaiming the university is “going clean in 2014,” and a section of the university’s Web site dedicated to explaining the policy. Enforcement largely will be up to the campus community. “If you are seeing it, and you are bothered by it, we are asking you to confront it and remind people in a kind way that we do have a new policy,” Mr. Ginsburg said.

The policy does not cover electronic cigarettes or tobacco products that don’t create second-hand smoke. The rules will be reviewed annually. Mr. Ginsburg said the university decided not to completely ban smoking in an effort to balance health concerns with the use of a legal product. The Ohio Board of Regents passed a resolution in July, 2012, calling for Ohio’s public universities and colleges to establish tobacco-free campuses. That action helped propel BGSU’s policy, Mr. Ginsburg said.

The board of regents passed its resolution after hearing a presentation from the Cleveland Clinic.“That’s when they determined this is going to create the healthiest environment for students,” said board of regents spokesman Jeff Robinson. At the University of Toledo, a policy implemented in 2011 limited smoking and tobacco use to about seven designated areas and in personal vehicles. Its Health Science Campus, the former Medical College of Ohio, went smoke-free in 2008.

UT senior Emily Kramp, student government president, supports a complete smoking ban and said a recent student government survey found 60 percent of student respondents also want a smoke-free campus. The student senate did not back a related resolution, a lack of support Ms. Kramp blamed on implementation concerns. She plans to continue to push for a smoke-free campus with support from the faculty senate.

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Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Tobacco Articles


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Doctors offer advice on resolving to quit smoking

With the new year just days away, many smokers are resolving to kick the habit. New Year’s Day is the single most popular quit date of the year, says Thomas Glynn, director of cancer science and trends at the American Cancer Society. Many others pick days with special significance to them, such as an anniversary or a child’s birthday.

While giving up smoking is a notoriously difficult challenge, doctors say they know more than ever about what works and what doesn’t. And people have more choices today than ever about how to develop a “quit plan” that works, Glynn says. Developing a plan is essential, he says, given the strength of nicotine addiction.

Some choices are easy. Strategies to skip include acupuncture and hypnosis, which have never been shown to help people quit smoking, Glynn says. Another bad idea? Trying to quit on your own, without a plan, support, counseling or medication, says Bill Blatt, director of tobacco programs at the American Lung Association. Only about 5% of people who take this approach manage to quit long-term, staying smoke-free at least six months, Blatt says.

People can boost their odds of success by writing down their reasons for quitting, telling their friends and families about their plans, talking to their doctors and by thinking of ways to change daily routines that revolve around smoking, he says. People who normally smoke first thing in the morning, for example, may want to break the habit by jumping in the shower as soon as they wake up instead. Those accustomed to smoking after dinner may want to talk a walk outside.

Telling friends and families about a quit date helps people to enlist support – and patience. That can be key, given that a common side effect of nicotine withdrawal is irritability, Glynn says. “A lot of psychological research shows that when you make a public commitment, you are more likely to do it,” Glynn says. The lung association’s “Quitter in You” program offers guidance both for smokers and those who want to help a loved one quit.

Taking a Food and Drug Administration-approved medication can boost the odds of quitting to 20%, Blatt said. FDA-approved smoking cessation drugs include several available without a prescription. Among them: nicotine-replacement gum, lozenges and patches. Other products, such as faster-acting nasal sprays and inhalers, require a prescription. So do two drugs that help to reduce nicotine’s effects on the brain – varenicline, sold as Chantix, and bupropion, sold as Zyban – which can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

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Posted by on December 24, 2013 in Tobacco Articles


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Luxury Fort Lauderdale condo bans smoking inside units

When the AquaVita Las Olas condominium opens late next year in the Hendricks Isle section of Fort Lauderdale, buyers will be able to swim in a salt-water pool, come and go in private elevators and park their boats steps from their front doors. What they won’t be able to do is smoke inside their own units.

Housing market observers say they aren’t aware of such a smoking ban in any of the more than two dozen condos being built across Broward and Palm Beach counties. The Florida Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits smoking inside public buildings, including the common areas of condo developments. That ban does not extend to individual units.

Only a small handful of existing condos in South Florida are believed to have amended their governing documents to ban smoking inside the units. AquaVita’s co-developer, Dennis Eisinger, is a real estate lawyer who represents community associations that have struggled with second-hand smoke seeping through adjacent walls.

He said he wanted to avoid that issue at the 22-unit AquaVita while also promoting a healthy environment.
“I’ve been passionate about this for years,” he said. Six units have sold so far at AquaVita, where prices range from $900,000 to $1.2 million, Eisinger said. He doesn’t expect the ban to hurt sales. In fact, he thinks it will help.

The only place AquaVita smokers can go for a cigar or cigarette is on their balconies. Violators will be fined up to $100 by the community association. Repeat offenders could be taken to court and slapped with an injunction, Eisinger said. A national smokers’ rights group said the ban is ridiculous.

“As the owner of the building, (the developers) have the right to set policy, and we have every right to scream how wrong they are,” said Audrey Silk, founder of the Brooklyn-based Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment. Peter Zalewski, principal of the CondoVultures consulting firm, said he doubts the ban will have any teeth.

AquaVita’s property manager will have trouble enforcing it, Zalewski said. And he said if Eisinger and his business partner, Jean Francois Roy, were serious about a ban, they would have extended it to include the balconies.”Pun intended: This is smoke and mirrors,” Zalewski said. “This is a marketing ploy more than anything else.”

Eisinger said he was serious about banning smoking everywhere at the condo. But in representing condo boards, Eisinger said he hasn’t come across complaints about balcony smoking, so he agreed to allow it at AquaVita, mostly to accommodate owners’ guests. But he insisted the balconies be separated by partitions.

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Posted by on December 17, 2013 in Tobacco News


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US politician seeks cigarette packet change

The governor of Virginia has written to Taoiseach Enda Kenny urging him to reject proposals to introduce plain cigarette packaging. In a letter three days ago, Governor Bob McDonnell said there were other proven ways to regulate the industry based on “sound science” and without undermining “the great Irish business environment”.

The governor’s letter seen by The Irish Times made the case that both he and Mr Kenny had a mutual interest “in fortifying our economies” and said the initiative may undermine Ireland’s reputation as a country in which intellectual property rights are fully protected.

The intervention of the governor, whose state is a major centre for the tobacco industry, marks an escalation of US lobbying against plain packaging. Four senior congressmen wrote six weeks ago to Ireland’s Ambassador to the US, Anne Anderson, urging the Government to scrap the proposal.

The signatories included Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House of Representatives judiciary committee, as well as Howard Coble and Tom Marino, chairman and vice-chairman of the subcommittee on courts intellectual property and the internet.“We are increasingly concerned that the Irish parliament may mandate plain packaging of tobacco products,” they wrote.

“The US and Ireland are friends and strong trading partners. We encourage your government to consider more effective ways to regulate tobacco that do not jeopardise intellectual property rights.” Mr McDonnell of Virginia played up his Mayo connections as he urged Mr Kenny to reject plain tobacco packaging. “I bring you greetings from the people of Virginia,” he wrote last Tuesday. “I have enjoyed our several meetings in Dublin and Washington to share stories as sons of County Mayo!”

He argued that the packaging proposal will be very harmful to certain businesses and farmers in Virginia, without naming any. Again without naming anyone, he said “I have recently been briefed” on the proposal and said it may affect Ireland’s reputation as a country where intellectual property rights are fully protected.

Mr McDonnell, a Republican, leaves office next month at the end of a term blighted by controversy over his family’s receipt of lavish gifts from a businessman. Once a rising star of the party, last July he repaid a wealthy donor more than $120,000 in loans to his wife and a business he owns with his sister.

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Posted by on December 10, 2013 in Tobacco News


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How Many Students in Australia Use Tobacco Products

The university system does not have data on how many of its students smoke or use tobacco products.

About 70 per cent of college students nationwide reported that they had never smoked in the past three years of surveys conducted by the American College Health Association. In the most recent survey completed this spring, almost 14 per cent of students reported smoking cigarettes within the previous 30 days.

Hopkins already has support for his proposal from incoming Regents chairman Philip Wilheit. Wilheit, president of a packaging products company headquartered in Gainesville, implemented a tobacco ban at his office three years ago. It was a smart financial decision, he said.

“I think it is the wave of the future,” he said. “I think as regents we have a responsibility to our students to do what’s best for them and their health.”

Various schools within the university system already have some sort of smoking or tobacco ban. Some schools outlaw all tobacco products, and others allow students to smoke in designated areas that are specified distances from common areas.

Wilheit is unsure how the ban would be implemented at outdoor athletic facilities. Some facilities already have tobacco policies in place. All areas of the University of Georgia’s Sanford Stadium are tobacco-free, and smoking also is prohibited in Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium.

But one thing Wilheit isn’t for: designated smoking areas. “I think that is like being a little bit pregnant,” he said. And what about those students, like Bass, who say they’re adults and ought to be able to do what they want? “They can do what they want, but they can’t do it on our campuses,” Hopkins said.

Outside the university system, higher education institutions vary on their tobacco policies. Emory implemented a full tobacco ban last year, while Clark Atlanta University allows smoking in some designated outdoor areas.

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Posted by on December 3, 2013 in Tobacco News


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