Crook County tackles high teen smoking rates
There’s a vicious cycle in Crook County. A high number of adults are smoking and teens are mimicking their behavior.
Nine percent of eighth graders and 19 percent of 11th graders say they use tobacco in Crook County. Those numbers are much higher than Oregon’s state average.
“Kids are smart — they can find ways to get things if they want them,” Alyssa Bruhn with the Crook County Health Department said Friday.
In Crook County, tobacco is within reach for teens.
“We have 50 percent of our tobacco retailers within 1,000 feet of schools in Crook County,” said Kris Williams of the health department.
For example, the high school is less than 1,000 feet from R and R, a grocery store that sells alcohol and tobacco. It is one short walk from the open campus.
“Students have complained about walking through clouds of smoke to get to the grocery store,” Bruhn said.
NewsChannel 21 is told kids gather there to smoke and get lunch.
“When the kids are walking to and from school, they’re exposed to it a minimum of twice a day,” Williams said.
Laws regulate how many tobacco ads stores can put in their windows, but that is not enough. Tobacco companies are targeting teens in other ways, like social media.
“The tobacco industry spends $1 million an hour on advertising and promotion,” Williams said.
That means tobacco companies are spending more in a day than the state spends in a whole year for prevention ads. Much of their ads are specifically directed towards rural areas like Crook County as well.
Reports and Articles
Time to put a light on the 10-foot smoking rule
Hood River News: March 25, 2014
Among my circle of basketball-loving family and friends I am known for my relentless rant in which I call for a major change in the game’s 10-foot rule: As players 18 years and older are so much taller and more talented than their 1891 equivalents, I think the basket should be raised to 11 feet: no more 10-foot rule.
But this column is about another 10-foot rule that needs looking at: the legal smoking perimeter outside of doorways.
Ten feet is not enough; at least not at every doorway.
And in many cases I don’t believe smokers, and establishment owners, are doing enough about it.
I believe these businesses know who they are; the doorway is one thing, but how people actually get to the doorway is another — and it is the actual pathway to the building entrance that needs to determine how far away smoking should take place.
Oregon’s Smokefree Workplace Law, passed in 2007, states that employers must “prohibit smoking in the workplace and within 10 feet of all entrances, exits, accessibility ramps that led to and from an entrance, windows and air-intake vents.” (Italics are mine.)
It does no good to require someone to stand 10 feet from a doorway but on the ramp or stairs that leads to that doorway, making people walk through a gauntlet of smoke.
I include my own workplace as an example of places with accessibility ramps that at times become inappropriate nicotine smoke pathways
Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes
The New York Times: March 23, 2014
A dangerous new form of a powerful stimulant is hitting markets nationwide, for sale by the vial, the gallon and even the barrel.
The drug is nicotine, in its potent, liquid form — extracted from tobacco and tinctured with a cocktail of flavorings, colorings and assorted chemicals to feed the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.
These “e-liquids,” the key ingredients in e-cigarettes, are powerful neurotoxins. Tiny amounts, whether ingested or absorbed through the skin, can cause vomiting and seizures and even be lethal. A teaspoon of even highly diluted e-liquid can kill a small child.
Lawsuit Challenges New York City’s Ban on E-Cigarettes
A “smoker’s rights” group called New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment has filed a legal challenge to the city’s ban on electronic cigarettes—or e-cigarettes—in restaurants, parks and certain other public places. The group contends that since e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco or produce smoke, they should not be subject to New York City’s Smoke-Free Air Act. The city council expanding regulations to include e-cigarettes last year and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced its intention to propose government regulations over their use. In the lawsuit, the group wrote that “E-Cig regulation is, even in the Council’s words, at best, tangentially related to the subject of smoking, in much the same way that toy water guns are at best tangentially related to authentic firearms.” However, city council spokeswoman Robin Levine said by email to Reuters that “Our legislation ensures the goals of the Smoke-Free Air Act are not undermined and protects the public against these unregulated substances.” Read more on tobacco.
The e-cigarette issue is fast-changing
A number of interesting / informative articles have hit the news recently that may be of interest/use to you in your jurisdictions, and also may help inform future committee discussions:
Teens Who Try E-Cigarettes Are More Likely To Try Tobacco, Too
E-Cigarettes, by Other Names, Lure Young and Worry Experts
The New York Times
E-Cigarettes and County Jails — Toxic Relationship?
The Network for Public Health Law
Navy Considers Ban on Tobacco Sales at Exchange Stores
The Navy is considering a ban on the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products at Navy and Marine Corps exchange stores.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus met with his staff last week and asked them to examine the impact of ending the sale of tobacco on base, two defense officials told NBC News.
The possible move is part of an initiative to improve the culture of fitness in the services.
Among the issues that will need to be resolved is whether to ban sales only on installations in the United States or to extend the ban overseas.
Other considerations are whether to ban tobacco products in combat zone bases, such as Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan and on ship stores.
OK To Vape In The Office? Cities, Feds and Firms Still Deciding
E-cigarettes aren’t yet federally regulated as tobacco products, but many cities and some states are already moving to include the devices in their smoking bans. Such bans are raising a debate about whether e-cigarettes should be permitted to be used in smoke-free workplaces.
Gary Nolan was a two-pack-a-day cigarette smoker until he switched to e-cigs. Now Nolan, who hosts a libertarian talk show based in Columbia, Mo., freely puffs — or vapes, as it’s come to be called — at work.
“I’m in a closed studio,” Nolan says. “There are no open windows. I can vape in here, while I’m on the air in fact, and people can walk in and out and not even know it, if they don’t see it in my hands.”
The devices come in various cigarette or pipelike shapes, and heat a chemical mixture of mostly nicotine and water. They’re often billed as a smokeless alternative to tobacco that’s gentler to both the smoker and to those around them.
Georgia Department of Health Goes Tobacco-Free
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) expanded its tobacco use policy to protect employees from secondhand smoke and encourage those who use tobacco to quit. Effective March 30, the use of tobacco products will be prohibited in any DPH facility, including all buildings, parking lots, outdoor areas and DPH-owned vehicles. The ban is effective at all state DPH facilities and some district offices, including those in the Northwest, North Central, Southwest and Southeast Health Districts. The list of banned products includes: cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes.