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  • 30.06.2014 Alexandria Tobacco Users Are Unhappy With New Law

    There is a certain irony to it, some have said.Smokers in Alexandria will have to leave local discount cigarettes stores to light up the products they just bought there.At least 25 feet from the stores to be exact, starting Jan. 1 after the Alexandria City Council passed an ordinance Oct. 4 banning smoking cigarettes in businesses previously exempt from state and local smoking cigarettes bans, including bars and buy cigarettes stores.And some tobacco users are not happy."They think the City Council way overstepped their boundaries," said Vonne Neal, owner of Alexandria's Smoke Shop." With...

  • 09.11.2012 Southern Board Bans Tobacco

    All of Southern University’s campuses will ban cigarettes store starting in January, the Southern Board of Supervisors decided.The move makes Southern the first college system in Louisiana to ban all cigarettes products. Nicholls State University became the first public college in Louisiana to become tobacco free at the beginning of this calendar year.Southern University System President Ronald Mason Jr. said the new policy is about promoting healthy lifestyles and setting a quality standard for all of higher education.“We’re going to look at it as the beginning of a cultural...

  • 18.10.2012 New Jersey Considers New Taxes On Non-cigarette Tobacco Products

    Little cigars, which are taking increasing space on area tobacco-shop shelves, are shaped and smoked just like cigarettes. But because New Jersey taxes them differently, they cost nearly one-third the price.Over the past several years, increased state and federal taxes have helped turn some smokers on to less-taxed cigarettes store products, local shop owners and anti-smoking cigarettes groups say.New Jersey has a $2.70 tax per cigarette pack, and the federal government has a $1.01 excise tax it enacted two years ago.That sixth-highest cigarette tax in the country may entice more smokers to...

  • 10.09.2012 Free Patches For Smokers

    Quitting smoking cigarettes just got a little easier. For a limited time, the California Smokers' Helpline is sending callers from Nevada County free nicotine patches. Eligible cigarettes store users who call 1-800-NO-BUTTS and enroll in the free telephone-based cessation program will receive a free two-week starter kit of patches, while supplies last.The patches are an FDA-approved treatment proven to help smokers kick the habit. They release nicotine into the bloodstream through the skin, reducing withdrawal symptoms and slowly weaning smokers off nicotine. Nevada County was one of 34...

  • 09.09.2012 Films Subsidized By State Promote Smoking

    California taxpayers subsidize major motion pictures that depict smoking cigarettes, which promotes the unhealthy habit and undermines efforts to keep young people from lighting up, according to UCSF researchers.In a report published Tuesday in PLoS Medicine, the researchers say the state and other governments may be violating their own health policies and goals when they subsidize or offer tax credits to makers of movies that directly or indirectly promote smoking cigarettes."We have a situation where governments today are now spending taxpayer money to sell discount cigarette online to...

Alexandria Tobacco Users Are Unhappy With New Law

There is a certain irony to it, some have said.

Smokers in Alexandria will have to leave local discount cigarettes stores to light up the products they just bought there.

At least 25 feet from the stores to be exact, starting Jan. 1 after the Alexandria City Council passed an ordinance Oct. 4 banning smoking cigarettes in businesses previously exempt from state and local smoking cigarettes bans, including bars and buy cigarettes stores.

And some tobacco users are not happy.

"They think the City Council way overstepped their boundaries," said Vonne Neal, owner of Alexandria's Smoke Shop." With all the problems the city has, this is what they're focusing on?"

Across the Red River, Bill Bailey, owner of Smokers Paradise in Pineville, has also begun to hear complaints from his customers. Bailey's store might not fall directly under the effects of the new ordinance, but his customers who live or work in Alexandria will.

"If you can't consume the product at the place you buy it, that's the irony of the situation," Bailey said.

Several customers have expressed indignation about the new smoking cigarettes ban in Alexandria, calling it discrimination, Neal said. They feel they are being "beat on" and treated as second-class citizens because of their choice to use a legal product like tobacco.

"If you fish, how would you feel if somebody told you you can't fish Monday through Friday at all?" Landon Anders of Pineville asked. "You can only fish Saturday from 12-2 p.m. That's just stupid. It's your choice to do it."

The new ordinance aims to protect people who do not smoke cigarettes but still breathe in secondhand smoke cigarettes in bars they frequent or where they work, officials said.

One way to ensure people who do not like the idea of breathing secondhand smoke cigarettes can avoid doing so is to "not go" to places where they know people are smoking cigarettes, such as bars and casinos, Neal said.

In regards to employees who do not smoke cigarettes but work in smoke-friendly environments, the decision whether to ban smoking cigarettes for the health of employees should be up to the business owner to decide and not elected officials, Neal said.

And after voters approved a constitutional amendment on Oct. 22, smokers will now pay even more.

The amendment, which came from Senate Bill 53, began as a plan to stream money from the state's settlement with the tobacco industry into funding for the state's Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, or TOPS, which provides tuition costs for Louisiana students who qualify.

By the time the bill appeared on the ballot Oct. 22 as an amendment, it also stood to cement the status of a temporary 4-cent tax hike on tobacco products into a permanent tax.

Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed earlier this year a separate bill aiming to make the tax permanent, but the newly re-elected governor did strongly support funding for the state's tuition program.

"Now we're funding kids in school with tobacco products," Bailey said. "That doesn't make a lot of sense to me."

The ordinance passed on Oct. 4 has sparked some new interest in e-cigarettes, Bailey said. These products produce a water vapor rather than tobacco smoke, allowing smokers to use them in areas where officials have banned traditional cigarettes.

"There's been a ton of renewed interest in that product," Bailey said. "That is directly related to the smoking cigarettes ban."

The city of Alexandria's new policy is among a growing list of restrictions on smokers.

For example, Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria recently announced that starting July 1, 2012, the hospital will prohibit the use of tobacco products by employees while on their shifts, including when they are on breaks. The hospital also will not allow employees to work if their clothing smells like smoke.


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