Monthly Archives: November 2014

Hy-Vee should quit selling cigarettes

Anti-smoking activists are calling on Iowa’s largest grocery chain to quit selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at stores that include pharmacies or health clinics.

The move would help Hy-Vee demonstrate its professed interest in customers’ health, the Iowa Tobacco Prevention Alliance says. The group encouraged Hy-Vee to follow the lead of the national CVS drugstore chain, which pulled tobacco products from its stores earlier this year. However, smokers say that in case Hy-Vee stops selling tobacco, they will buy cigarettes online.

“Helping Iowans quit smoking takes community leadership. By Hy-Vee ending the sale of tobacco products, it would reduce the availability and marketing of tobacco products, accelerate progress in reducing tobacco use and ultimately help more Iowans quit smoking,” alliance President Christopher Squier said in a news release. Squier is a University of Iowa dentistry professor who studies oral cancers.

Hy-Vee spokeswoman Tara Deering-Hansen sent a statement to The Des Moines Register saying the chain doesn’t advertise tobacco products, but provided no indication it intends to stop selling them.

“For years now, health and wellness has been a major part of who Hy-Vee is, and our commitment shows through the numerous healthy offerings in our stores and the activities we support in communities,” Deering-Hansen wrote. “As a retailer, we offer consumers a variety of products; we do not believe it is our role to police their personal decisions. We actively try to encourage customers’ healthy choices by keeping tobacco products behind courtesy counters and excluding them from marketing. And in contrast, we visibly tout the convenient access to smoking cessation programs and products provided through our pharmacies and in-store dietitians and clinics.”

Deering-Hansen declined to say how much money Hy-Vee takes in from tobacco sales or what percentage of the company’s revenues come from those sales.

The anti-smoking group agreed that Hy-Vee has taken prominent roles in efforts to improve Iowans’ health. Those include the Healthiest State Initiative, whose president, Ric Jurgens, is Hy-Vee’s retired chief executive officer.

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Posted by on November 25, 2014 in Tobacco News


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Smoking banned in NSW national parks

Smoking is to be banned in all 860 national parks in NSW, Environment Minister Rob Stokes has announced.

Smoking is to be banned in NSW national parks, the state government has announced.

Environment Minister Rob Stokes said the ban would lessen the risk of bushfires and reduce litter.

Seven billion cigarette butts are dropped in Australia every year and as well as looking unsightly, they contain hazardous chemicals such as arsenic and lead, which can then leach into the environment.

Wildlife can also eat cigarette butts.

Making the announcement on Sunday, Mr Stokes said the ban would apply to picnic areas, campgrounds, beaches, lookouts, walking tracks and national parks roads.

“The NSW government is serious about reducing fire risk and littering

in NSW, and this move will reduce litter and help to keep communities safer,” he said in a statement.

“We have 860 national parks in NSW which protect our most beautiful and most popular natural areas.

“We want to make sure they are safe and healthy for everyone.”

The move comes after Police and Emergency Services Minister Stuart Ayres recently announced that the penalty for littering lighted cigarettes had doubled from $330 to $660.

The fine has also risen from $660 to $1320 if someone discards a lit cigarette on a total fire ban day.

Tom, smoker of Blood cigarettes online, says he is disagree with the move as it breaks his rights.

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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Tobacco News


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Will Smoking be Banned in Westminster?

In what could be a prelude to Wednesday’s Board of Health public hearing on a proposed ban on tobacco sales in town, about 70 people attended Monday’s selectmen’s meeting, many to speak in opposition to the ban.

Selectmen cannot vote on the proposed ban on the sale of tobacco products, but those attending made it clear they wanted the board on their side. The Board of Health hearing will be Wednesday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Westminster Elementary School. The selectmen did not vote on the issue, but listened to more than a dozen speakers.

“There are things you can do as selectmen,” said resident Gary Richard. “You can show up.”

Mr. Richard said everyone, including governor-elect Charlie Baker, thinks the health board’s proposal is a crazy idea. Mr. Richard suggested that selectmen have the town’s law firm, Kopelman & Paige, get creative and find a way to stop the proposed ban. Many of those who spoke were people who never smoked or who no longer smoke.

Bruce Siebert, who said he is a Vietnam veteran, said he started smoking when the government gave soldiers cigarettes as part of their rations. He said he has since quit and it was a choice he made.

“As a veteran, I fought to make sure people had a choice,” he said. “When people tend to want to make choices for us, that’s tyranny.”

Resident Jennifer Shenk said she was raised by smokers and a family member recently died of lung cancer. She said she does not smoke, but is opposed to the ban.

“What I find terrifying is government overstepping,” she said.

David McKeehan, president of the North Central Chamber of Commerce and a Westminster resident, said his concern and the concern of the Chamber of Commerce is the idea of restraint of trade.

“It will not only have a negative impact on businesses in this town, but it could have a negative impact on the growth of businesses in this town,” he said.

Steve Ryan of the New England Convenience Store Association also addressed selectmen and presented the board with a petition against the ban containing 1,000 signatures. Steve Ryan is smoker of Richmond cogarettes

“This is about employment in the town,” he said.

Paul Caron of the New England Association of Retail Distributors also spoke, saying he was there in support of the town’s retailers. He said they would lose other business if people did not stop to buy cigarettes.

“When they stop to buy their tobacco products, they also buy other things,” he said. “Someone who is on the way to buy tobacco is not going to make two stops.”

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Posted by on November 11, 2014 in Tobacco News


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Local parent lobbies for smoking ban in city parks

Thaden Brient, an Athens parent, spent about a month of his summer this year picking up cigarette butts from the grounds of Southside Park on Dairy Lane.

Brient was in part cleaning up the park for his 9-year-old daughter, who uses the city’s playgrounds regularly, but he was also collecting data. He presented that data to Athens City Council on Monday, when he asked council to consider banning smoking – and possibly use of all tobacco products – in all of the city’s public parks.

City Council members seemed to very much like the idea. Each council member spoke positively about Brient’s endeavor and about the possibility of banning smoking in Athens parks.

“Possibly then… I don’t know what kind of ordinance would move forward to make this a more comprehensive measure but I think that’s what we’re needing to do,” council member Chris Knisely said.

If City Council ends up acting on Brient’s proposal through a possible city ordinance (most likely far off in the future), Athens could become the fourth city in the state of Ohio to mandate smoke-free parks. Brient said that about 1,000 municipalities across the country have smoke-free park laws. Currently, the Athens Arts, Parks and Recreation Department has a rule that bans smoking in city parks, but there is no city ordinance to back the rule up.

Rich Campitelli, director of the department, said Tuesday that he would support an ordinance banning smoking in the city’s parks.

“That (ordinance) would be fine. I think it could help but it should have some teeth to some type of enforcement,” he said. “Enforcement doesn’t fall into my world.”

Brient collected all cigarette butts he could find around picnic shelters and benches in July and August at Southside Park. He found that an average of about 10 to 16 cigarettes were used and tossed carelessly on the ground per day after an initial cleanup of about 155 cigarette butts in the park on July 21. He found 30 butts at Highland Park after a single clean-up in July, and about 59 after a similar clean-up of the park at the Athens Community Center. There were cigarette butts not only from L&M Blue Label but also other brands.

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Posted by on November 4, 2014 in Tobacco Articles


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