Saturday, December 5, 2009

US adult smoking rate's decline hits a wall

Dis is a repost, and the full article should be on here.

I still stand by my words on health officials being full of sh!t if dey think serious smokers will not think of lighting up. Serious adult smokers will make sacrifices in order to buy cigs (including buying em underground) .

And who said certain adults gotta "buy" cigs anyway? LOL


Survey suggests decline in smoking has 'hit a wall'

Rate rose slightly in 2008 amid discount pricing and curbs on cessation campaigns

By Mike Stobbe
Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cigarette smoking rose slightly in 2008 for the first time in almost 15 years, dashing health officials' hopes that the U.S. smoking rate had moved permanently below 20 percent.

A little under 21 percent of Americans were current cigarette smokers, according to a 2008 national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's up slightly from the year before, when 19.8 percent said they were smoking. It also is the first increase in adult smoking since 1994, experts noted.

The increase was so small, it could be just a blip, so health officials and experts say smoking prevalence is flat, not rising. But they are unhappy.

"Clearly, we've hit a wall in reducing adult smoking," said Vince Willmore, spokesman for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a Washington-based research and advocacy organization.

There's a general perception that smoking is a dying public health danger. Feeding that perception are indoor smoking laws, higher cigarette taxes and Congress's recent decision to allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco.

But health officials believe gains have been undermined by cuts in state tobacco control campaigns. Also, the tobacco industry has been discounting cigarettes to offset tax increases and keep smokes affordable, Willmore said, citing tobacco industry sales data.

The adult smoking rate has been dropping, in starts and stops, since the mid-1960s when roughly two of every five U.S. adults smoked. Now it's one in five. However, federal health goals for the year 2010 had called for bringing the rate down to close to one in 10.

Adult smoking hovered at about 21 percent from 2004 to 2006, then dropped a full percentage point in 2007, said Matthew McKenna, director of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. The 2007 drop gave CDC officials hope that U.S. smoking was plummeting again. "Now that appears to be a statistical aberration," McKenna said.

The new figures, published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, come from in-person interviews of nearly 22,000 U.S. adults. CDC also released state-by-state results on smoking from a different survey, conducted by telephone, of more than 400,000 adults. West Virginia and Indiana had the highest smoking rates, at about 26 percent; Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee had rates about as high.

Utah had, by far, the lowest smoking rate, with only about 9 percent of Utah residents describing themselves as current smokers.

Many of the states that have the lowest smoking rates are those that have been the most aggressive about indoor smoking laws and about state taxes that drive up the cost of cigarettes, said Thomas Frieden, CDC's director.

Health officials are optimistic that more and more smokers will be discouraged from lighting up by escalating cigarette taxes, including a 62-cent federal tax that took effect in April. Perhaps the recession will have an impact, too.

"In general, when people have less money, they smoke less," Frieden said.

-- Associated Press

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Enforcement of VA smoking ban is hazy

http://hamptonroads .com/2009/ 12/enforcement- virginia- smoking-ban- bars-and- restaurants- hazy


Quietly signs went up Tuesday signaling to customers that things had changed.

On the first day of the state ban on smoking inside restaurants, police didn't storm into bars, snuffing out cigarettes and doling out $25 fines. And state officials didn't troll for lawbreakers, writing up health-code violations for restaurant owners to address.

Things were more subtle - the absence of ashtrays and a new box for health inspectors to check when evaluating restaurants. Diners should have been able to breathe a little easier, said officials with the Virginia Department of Health.

But enforcement of the law was largely left to business owners and customers, said Larry Hill, regional spokesman for the state Health Department.

"This is something that's just started, and what we're looking for more than anything else is self-compliance, " he said.

Because violating the ban carries a civil fine, not a criminal charge, police weren't out looking for people lighting up inside restaurants, said Officer Jimmy Barnes, a police spokesman. And because health department officials aren't authorized to write fines, they weren't actively patrolling either, Hill said.

Rather, over the next three months, health inspectors will be focusing their efforts on restaurants and bars listed as smoking establishments, said Gary Hagy, director of the Division of Food and Environmental Services for the Virginia Department of Health.

If they find infractions, they'll write a health-code violation and work with the business owner to address it. If they refuse to comply, police can write a court summons, he said.

If customers report a noncompliant business, inspectors will investigate, as with other types of complaints, Hagy said.

And if a smoker refuses to leave a business, the owner can call the police and report them for trespassing, Barnes said. But that's a "worst -case scenario," he said.

Employees at several bars, including the Regal Beagle Taphouse & Grill at the Oceanfront and A.J. Gator's Sports Bar & Grill on Holland Road, said they didn't have any problems enforcing the new rules Tuesday.

The General Assembly approved the ban in February. It prohibits smoking in businesses that serve food unless there's a separate ventilation system for smoking areas. Private clubs are exempt.

Overall, Hagy said, they're relying on the honor system to keep the air clear.

"We anticipate that most restaurants are going to do the right thing," Hagy said. "And they're going to be respectful of the citizens, respectful of their patrons, and comply with the law."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The list of Senator fax numbas are still on here

You need to click the "11/22 - 11/29" blog archive link. And then once you click it, you'll see the "How to FAX the US Senators" link. Dis link will take you to the post and the list of numbas directly.

Property Rights Newsletta

The Property Rights Newsletter

November 27, 2009 - Issue #548

"If you make any money, the government shoves you
in the creek once a year with it in your pockets,
and all that don't get wet you can keep."
- Will Rogers
Property Rights for all include Smokers Rights! Taxing "Sin Foods": Obesity Prevention and Public Health Policy. Obesity thrives in low-income communities where the quality of food and built environments is poor. Interventions that have been shown to improve those environments include subsidies to farmers’ markets and more healthful school lunches, as well as investments in the creation of bicycling and walking trails. If taxes on sodas or similar foods were delinked from the presumed effects of these taxes on obesity or health care costs — effects that manufacturers may well dispute — they could instead be implemented on the stronger grounds that these foods impose societal costs, so those who profit from them should repay society by investing in the populations most affected by obesity. We believe that a revenue-generating approach that redirects “sin taxes” toward improving the food and built environments of low-income populations has the greatest potential both to lead to healthier food choices overall and to reduce disparities in obesity rates.

1. Choose an industry.
2. Regulate the industry.
3. Tax the industry.
4. Sue the industry.
When one source of money dries up,
return to Step 1 and repeat.
By S. Phillipe
From The Mailbag
GA: State bans smoking in mental hospitals. Some mental health experts challenge the wisdom of taking away a coping mechanism from a person already in emotional distress.
IL: Chicago Bars letting patrons smoke despite state law banning it.
NY: Six Years After Ban, Smoking Returns to NYC's Bars and Clubs. The worst kept secret in New York nightlife is that smoking is now allowed in numerous nightspots.
NY: NYC Council Bans "All" Flavored Tobacco Products; Well... Not Exactly... Exempt are the Products Which are Actually Used by Thousands of New Yorkers. By Michael Siegel.
OH: Fuming Over Fines. In the three years Ohio has been smoke-free, not a single building has qualified for the ''private club'' exemption, according to state officials, leaving some clubs like the VFW Post 1090 in Warren expressing outrage and frustration.
USA: Miss Kitty has been Cigar Dave`s Assistant Producer for over 13 years. Dial the Show and ask a question dealing with Cigars at 1-888-Smoke-This.
USA: Watch: What is America's true form of government?
UK: December 1, 2009 at Boisdale Belgravia, Cigar aficionados light up while they bid over £150,000 at UK cigar auction.
UK: December 7, 2009 Saving The Great British Pub. Freedom2Choose will be joining the protest march in London.
Property Rights for all include Smokers Rights!
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