Monthly Archives: December 2014

Liberty repeals smoking ban

Liberty city council members voted 5-1 to repeal a city-wide smoking ban in public buildings that was passed narrowly in November. The law was to go into effect Jan. 1, Larry Rowell reports for The Casey County News. The ban had passed in November when Mayor Steve Sweeney cast the deciding vote because the council was split 2-2. Two council members were absent at the meeting, Rowell reports in a separate article.

A special meeting was called Dec. 17 for first reading of an ordinance to rescind the ban and a new restaurant tax; both passed on second reading Dec. 22, but Sweeney vetoed the restaurant measure, which passed 4-2. He could not veto the smoking measure because it passed 5-1. Council Member Brian Beeler stood by his original vote for the ban, but Member Andy Lawhorn switched to oppose it.

“I stand by what I voted for,” said Lawhorn, who lost the November election for mayor to Council Member Steven Brown. “We sit here and say that second hand smoke is not harmful. I smoke. If we can actually say it’s not harmful to us or other people and ‘other people’ being the key word, we’re in denial. That’s just a fact.” But he said he changed his vote because of public opinion.

“I’ve heard a lot of outpouring conversations from the public that’s come to me that was against it. And I feel that maybe I voted my conscience and what I believe kind of before I got any feedback, good quality feedback, from the public on what they wanted,” Lawhorn said.

Several Liberty residents attended the meeting and voiced their opinions about the issue, Rowell reports. One woman whose husband died from complications of smoking said public places should be made safe, and Jelaine Harlow, a health educator from the Lake Cumberland District Health Department, said it’s a public health issue, much like keeping sewage out of water supplies.

But County Attorney Tom Weddle, a smoker of cheap Camel cigarettes, objected that the ordinance would not allow him to smoke in his office after hours, when no one else is around. Councilman Doug Johnson, a non-smoker who has made two businesses smoke-free, agreed with Weddle and said to people who don’t like secondhand smoke, “You should boycott that place until they yield to no smoking but we should not mandate that to the owner. If we mandate that, we can mandate anything. It’s their personal space, they own it even though it’s open to the public. It is privately owned.”

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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in Tobacco News


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Use of cigarettes declines among U.S. teens

Young Woman Smoking
Both alcohol and cigarette use in 2014 are at their lowest points since the study began in 1975. Use of a number of illicit drugs also show declines this year.

These findings come from the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study, which tracks trends in substance use among students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades. Each year the national study, now in its 40th year, surveys 40,000 to 50,000 students in about 400 secondary schools throughout the United States. It was found that young people do mostly prefer slim cigarettes including Karelia

Cigarette smoking also reached historical lows among teens in 2014 in all three grades. For the three grades combined, 28 percent reported any smoking in the prior month in 1997, the recent peak year, but that rate was down to 8 percent in 2014.

“The importance of this major decline in smoking for the health and longevity of this generation of young people cannot be overstated,” Johnston said.

As with alcohol, there has been a substantial reduction in the proportion of students who say cigarettes are easy for them to get, and this decline continued into 2014. Increasing disapproval of smoking also has accompanied the decline in use, as well as an increased perception that smoking carries a “great risk” for the user. However, there were only modest further increases in these factors in 2014.

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Posted by on December 17, 2014 in Tobacco News


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Eden Prairie to give final approval to tobacco-related ordinance

The Eden Prairie City Council approved on first reading an ordinance prohibiting the sampling of tobacco-related products in any establishment with a tobacco retail license. The ordinance, approved at the Nov. 18 council meeting, Nov. 18 adds cigarettes to the definition of tobacco-related products.

“The county thought our ordinance excluded cigarettes,” City Attorney Ric Rosow said, noting that numerous other local communities have taken action to regulate e-cigarettes. “This is the third leg of a group of ordinances we have brought to you.”

Final approval of the ordinance will be on the council’s Dec. 2 agenda.

In February 2014, the council adopted a one-year moratorium on hookah, e-cigarette and related lounges, to allow the city time to study the issue. According to information in city documents, hookah lounges are “establishments run like a bar or café where patrons share shisha (flavored tobacco) or other similar products from communal hookah or nargile [Turkish water pipe], or where patrons are served individual hookah pipes smoked on site.”

Councilmember Ron Case noted that Eden Prairie has been joined across the nation by counties and cities adopting similar ordinances.

“I have no problem going with it,” Case said.

Eden Prairie already has amended its smoking ordinance to prohibit smoking e-cigarettes in all areas where smoking of tobacco is prohibited by the city’s Smoke Free Air ordinance of 2002 and the Minnesota Clean Air Act.

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Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Tobacco News


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San Jose State University’s Campus to Become Smoke-Free

Ahmad, 23, has been working with COUGH to break down the data for the campus, as well as come up with an implementation and enforcement plan in line with Qayoumi’s directive, which she often has to do remotely because she is in the first year of the public health masters program at the University of California at Berkeley. Participants in the campus survey, the bulk of whom were students, were also asked to compare traditional cigarettes to cigars, e-cigarettes and hookah in regard to how harmful they believed they are.

About 48 percent of respondents said cigars were just as harmful, 46.8 percent said they were more harmful; 4.9 percent said they were less; 48.8 percent said hookah was just as harmful; 24.7 percent said they were more harmful; 26.5 percent said they were less; 39.2 percent said e-cigarettes were just as harmful; 16 percent said e-cigarettes were more harmful; and 44.87 percent said they were less harmful. It was found that many choose Chesterfield cigarettes online.

“I think that I was expecting there to be an increase in new and emerging products; it was surprising that hookah surpassed e-cigarettes and it was interesting to see that cigarette use is lower than the other products, and I think that has to do with the fact that there is no legal restriction on e-cigarettes,” Ahmad said.

She said e-cigarette usage is seeing an increase nationwide because they are easily accessible, and can be purchased online and in vending machines. According to statistics from Legacy, as of May 2014, 34 states have prohibited the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and three states have included them in their indoor air laws and smoking ban.

“Technically speaking it’s not seen as severe as traditional cigarettes are, but if you look at traditional history, cigarettes used to be accepted on planes and in restaurants, until they figured out how harmful they were, and we are still figuring out the effects of hookah and e-cigarettes,” she said.

Ahmad said the increase in e-cigarettes’ range of designs and flavors make them appealing to younger people. According to statistics from Legacy, e-cigarette usage is highest among cigarette-smoking adults at 32 percent in 2012; and has doubled from 2011 to 2012 in middle school and high school users to 6.8 percent. According to statistics from Legacy, 19 percent of 43.8 million Americans age 18 and older were smokers in 2011. That’s one of six women and more than 21.6 percent of men.

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Posted by on December 2, 2014 in Tobacco News


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