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Archive for August, 2011

Unlawful Tobacco Products

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

classic cigarettes onlineWe have control over what we are eating and drinking and should have the privilege of breathing clean air. We should not only ban smoking Classic cigarettes everywhere, but make all tobacco products illegal.

If the states are allowing it for tax purposes, weigh the revenue against the suffering and medical expenses. Where is the profit?

The letter to the editor on July 25 by Tom Gwin (“Smokers infringe on others’ rights”) is excellent. The letter of July 26 by Terry Weaver (“Smoking bans infringe on individual rights”) is not logical.

You can’t compare drinking with tobacco. Both are harmful but alcohol does not have the stifling, stinking aroma. I have no connections with bars or grills but I do encounter the smothering air when I get out of my car at the grocery parking lot. Someone has always just filled the air with smoke, and it is impossible to dodge. I can’t hold my breath long enough to avoid it. Just that exposure smothers me and gives me a headache.

If your lungs could talk, they would be crying out, “Why are you punishing me and wasting your money?” What have you accomplished by pulling this detrimental polluted aroma into your body and blowing it back out?

Most States Still Change Local Smoking Legislations

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

discount avalon cigarettesNo progress has been made in the past decade toward abolishing state-level restrictions on local anti-smoking policies, one of the goals of the national Healthy People 2020 project, researchers said. Whereas 28 states in 2000 preempted at least some types of local effort to discourage smoking Avalon cigarettes, such restrictions were still in place last year in 27 states, according to Michelle Griffin, MPH, of the University of Washington in Seattle, and three CDC researchers.

They reported findings from the CDC’s State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation database in the Aug. 26 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Although eight states have dropped laws that prevent localities from adopting ordinances and administrative rules that limit smoking in workplaces and public gathering spots, states have been reluctant to allow local restrictions on tobacco advertising or vending methods that make tobacco products available to minors.

“Like smoke-free laws, restrictions on advertising and youth access are components of a comprehensive approach to tobacco control,” Griffin and colleagues wrote, citing studies that these are effective in reducing tobacco use.

Many communities have sought to adopt such policies, but have found that they are forbidden to implement regulations that are more restrictive than those in place at the state level.

The Healthy People 2020 initiative called for abolition of such state-level preemption of local regulation.

“State preemptive provisions that prevent local action in any of these three areas impede local and state efforts to reduce tobacco use,” Griffin and colleagues asserted.

In 2000, the study found, 18 states had laws blocking local regulation of smoking at work or in public places, which had fallen to 12 by 2010.

Eight states “completely rescinded preemptive provisions or had such provisions overturned by state courts” during the decade, the researchers wrote.

But in two states, litigation produced rulings that “ambiguous provisions” in statutes preempted local action.

Local advertising restrictions were preempted in 18 states both in 2000 and 2010. And, states thwarting local-level policies to block youth access to tobacco (primarily by banning vending machine sales) actually increased by one, to 22, when Pennsylvania adopted a preemptive provision in 2002.

Seven states retained preemptions on all three categories of anti-smoking policies in 2010: Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington. But that number was down from the 11 with comprehensive preemptions in 2000.

Tobacco Companies in the Supreme Court

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

discount bond cigaretteA month and a half after losing its multibillion shekel smoking suit in the Supreme Court – after 13 years of legal proceedings – Clalit Health Services is not giving up. The HMO this week asked the Supreme Court for a rehearing with an extended panel of justices.

The original NIS 7.6 billion suit was filed by Clalit and was combined with a similar suit from Maccabi Health Services against Bond cigarette manufacturers and importers. The suits demanded compensation for the HMO for the costs of treating smokers. Maccabi filed its suit in 1998, claiming it had to pay the costs of treating its clients while cigarette companies continued to advertise their harmful products and hide the dangers of smoking.

Clalit warned that the recent Supreme Court decision would worsen the financial situation of the health system worse and lead to numerous suits in the courts.

The Supreme Court ruled that tobacco companies had no direct responsibility for any damage in these cases related to any one individual. The court said that the suits lacked any connection between specific people harmed by the cigarette manufacturers, and contained no details of the scale of damage done or how the companies violated their responsibilities to the plaintiffs.

But Supreme court Justice Miriam Naor wrote in her opinion that the HMOs could file different suits, such as suits seeking compensation for damage to specific individual smokers.

Just as in the United States, Israeli tobacco companies have managed to fight off attempts to make them legally responsible for the astronomical health-care costs associated with smoking. The health services are not the direct victims of cigarette manufacturers and cannot demonstrate specific harm. Furthermore, Israelis cannot file class action suits in cases of bodily harm. But the court did clear the way for individual suits and also said the Knesset is the address for such problems and new legislation is needed.

Clalit also argued in its request for a rehearing that the court contradicted the basic principles of Israeli health insurance law, saying the law involved is different from that in regular insurance cases.

In addition, Clalit said it will be necessary for individuals and the HMOs to file hundreds of thousands of suits against the cigarette manufacturers – and clog up the courts for years.

In the original case, the late District Court Judge Adi Azar ruled against Maccabi in September 1999. “Maccabi has no direct claim against the cigarette manufacturers … It is hard to say the health services are being harmed by providing the services for which they exist,” Azar wrote. Azar said HMOs are a form of medical insurer, and an insurance company cannot claim it is harmed by paying its clients.

Severe Smoking Ban in Elk Grove City

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

cheap cigaronne cigarettes onlineSmoking in outdoor public places is becoming a little tougher in the city of Elk Grove later this year. The City Council approved last week an ordinance limiting children’s exposure to secondhand smoke by prohibiting smoking Cigaronne cigarettes within 300 feet of playgrounds, schools, day care centers or other places where children gather.

The 4-1 preliminary vote Wednesday – likely to become finalized in the next few weeks – will establish Elk Grove as the latest venue to heighten smoking limits outdoors. Plenty of indoor restrictions already exist.

Elk Grove’s ordinance also will extend the 25-foot distance that smokers already must maintain from tot lots, parks and playgrounds under the California Health and Safety Code.

Plenty of other localities in the region have imposed their own limits on outdoor smoking, a Bee check shows. For example:

• Sacramento County prohibits smoking within 20 feet of any door or operable window of government buildings, said Mark Barcellos of the county’s Environmental Management Department.
• Yolo County has the same 20-foot limit at county buildings. Want a cigarette at the Yolo County Fair? You’ll have to go to the parking lot to light up, according to Steven Jensen, tobacco prevention coordinator for Yolo County.

• Parks are 100 percent smoke-free in Winters and Woodland. Woodland also prohibits smoking within 20 feet of business entrances – and at the annual Christmas parade, Jensen said.

• The city of West Sacramento has smoke-free bus stops.

• Smoking bans in the city of Davis are many. Among them: Entryways to enclosed public areas, courtyards, ATMs, telephones, ticket lines, bus stops and cab stands, along with public gardens, children’s play areas and more, according to Kelly Stachowicz, the deputy city manager in Davis.

• The city of Sacramento says don’t light up in parks or cemeteries, said spokesman Maurice Chaney, a Sacramento County spokesman.

• The city of Folsom prohibits smoking in most public places and common areas of many buildings such as retirement facilities, according to spokeswoman Sue Ryan.

The Elk Grove ordinance does have an exception. It allows organizers of community events such as veterans gatherings or harvest festivals to designate smoking areas.

Only Councilman Gary Davis was opposed, noting that he preferred more restrictive language.

“What about the rights of people downwind?” Davis asked council colleagues before casting a “no” vote.

Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner said violations will be considered infractions. But, he added, it’s hoped that disputes can be resolved amicably.

Law enforcement officers “are busy enough already,” Councilman Jim Cooper, a captain in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, said at the meeting. “These (calls) are going to be low priority.”

The Passive Smoking Drop

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

style cigarettes onlineThe proportion of Swiss forced to breathe in other people’s smoke Style cigarettes for more than seven hours a day fell to ten per cent in 2010, compared with 35 per cent in 2002.

The drop follows the introduction of a nationwide law on passive smoking which came into force in May 2010.

The Federal Health Office said on Monday that a poll conducted between October 2010 and January 2011 showed that the number of people exposed to smoke for less than one hour a day had risen from 25 per cent in 2009 to 42 per cent in 2010.

For the first time, the places where they are likely to encounter smoke are not restaurants and bars but discos and in their friends’ homes.

The poll shows that 79 per cent of those asked – 61 per cent of whom were smokers – supported the smoking ban in restaurants, bars and cafés.

Furthermore, 23 per cent of the smokers questioned said they had cut their consumption, and 48 per cent said they went outside to light up.

The Swiss survey on smoking has been carried out every three months since 2001.

Tobacco Legislation Strengthened To Curb Smoking

Monday, August 29th, 2011

discount hilton cigaretteThe Public Health Ministry plans to strengthen two anti-smoking laws in a bid to curb smoking Hilton cigarettes. Public Health Minister Wittaya Buranasiri said the government will amend the 1992 Tobacco Control Act and the 1992 Non-smokers’ Health Protection Act in a bid to catch up with modern forms of tobacco trade,

marketing and advertising, such as online commercials and public events which are sponsored by multinational tobacco companies.

Mr Wittaya was speaking on the sidelines of a two-day conference on tobacco and public health which concluded yesterday.

The move was part of Thailand’s effort to comply with the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), to which Thailand is a party.

Adopted by 192 member countries, the FCTC was developed in response to a big rise in smoking-related illnesses.

An estimated 10.9 million Thais smoke, says the Public Health Ministry. The government is most concerned about smokers aged 15 to 18 years.

About 140,000 smokers are believed to have started the habit between 2007 and 2009.

The number of teenage smokers increased significantly after Thailand adopted the Asean free trade policy which allowed tobacco products to be imported tax-free, said Siriwan Tippayarangsrit, director of Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Centre.

Prakit Vathesatogkit, secretary-general of the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation, said the national health bill caused by smoking continues to rise.

Of the 415,900 Thais who died in 2009, 48,244 were killed by smoking-related diseases such as lung cancer, esophageal cancer, other related cancers, emphysema and strokes. The number did not include those who died due to the effects of second-hand smoke, as this cannot be properly verified, said Mr Prakit.

“Every one in 8.6 Thais died [in 2009] of a smoking-related cause,” he said.

“We have to deal with the tobacco industry, as this can’t go on.”

Since adopting the FCTC in May 2003, Thailand has implemented many anti-smoking policies, such as picture warnings on cigarette packets, a ban on tobacco advertising or sponsorship of events by tobacco companies, and forbidding smoking in enclosed public areas, said Hatai Chitanondh, president of the Thailand Health Promotion Institute of the National Health Foundation.

However, there is strong opposition to the FCTC from the transnational tobacco industry.

As a result, governments in developing countries were often forced to be less stringent with their tobacco control policies, said Mr Hathai.

Public Health Minister Wittaya Buranasiri said the proposed law changes would cover a ban on tobacco trade, promotion and sponsorship on the internet, where tobacco advertising was flourishing.

Anti-Smoking Legislation Should be Disabled

Monday, August 29th, 2011

discount pall mall cigarettesObviously, people who are anti-smoking aren’t going to change their minds about individual rights or perceived dangers of secondhand smoke. Many of these nicotine nannies have adopted a stance that is often vicious and vitriolic, with an almost religious fervor.

To these crusaders, truth and facts are non-negotiable as their minds are made up. They often cite the same set of flawed and highly exaggerated statistics regarding secondhand Pall Mall smoke and accept this as gospel.

Such a claim is made by Ms. Sheree LaCoste in Aug. 19 letter (“Praise for Saraland’s strict smoking ordinance”), where she states: “We know that secondhand smoke kills.”

Can anyone look at a person and factually declare that he/she died from secondhand smoke? Many base such claims on data from organizations such as the WHO, EPA, CDC and others. Investigating these studies objectively reveals numbers are often skewed to favor smoking bans.

Another claim is the quantity of toxins or chemicals in secondhand smoke. Currently, 4,000 is the magic number, although the Mobile County Health Department claims over 7,000 on its website. At one time this oft-quoted number was 3,000, then 4,000, then inflated to 5,000 and then to 7,000. Which is it? Nobody knows. Unfortunately, most of us don’t exercise due diligence and just accept what we hear and read.

The public has an individual and collective right to hear the truth and challenge claims the anti-smokers make.

Public servants should submit to random drug tests, too. I’ve proposed the idea of drug testing on numerous occasions over the years, since I retired from the military in 1992. The first time I heard it come from a legislator was recently. This legislator is centering his attention on welfare recipients. I think it should include anyone receiving government revenues, including politicians, law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, etc.

Random drug testing was introduced to the military before it became a criminal justice tool. It has since expanded to include airline pilots, train operators, truck drivers, automobile drivers in some accidents, and bus drivers.

This requirement has somehow excluded those associated with the criminal justice system. With all the criminal acts being discovered and committed by our trusted government officials, trust is no longer appropriate.

Drug use has always been a big issue. Depression caused by social barriers, self-medication for psychological ills, and simple recreation make drugs appealing to all ages and occupations. Widespread testing will reveal who’s using what and explain much of the irrational behavior observed in our daily lives. No public servant should be allow to hide behind this veil of secrecy.