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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...

Smoking In California Hits Record Low

California health officials say smoking cigarettes rates in the state are down to 11.9 percent, a new low. And the latest figures make it only the second state so far to achieve a federal target of reducing adult smoking cigarettes rates to 12 percent by 2020 so far. Utah got there first, in case you were wondering.

Across the nation, 1 in 5 Americans still smokes. And federal health officials say more than half of all children are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke, setting them up for future harm from cancer, heart disease and a variety of other ailments.

In California, health officials estimate that 1 million lives have been spared and more than $86 billion have been saved in care for tobacco-related illness over the past two decades. Officials say the credit goes to aggressive antismoking cigarettes campaigns and health promotion in the state.


"California has always been in the forefront", says Colleen Stevens, who heads the Tobacco Control Branch of the California Department of Public Health. Back in 1988 California taxpayers agreed to put a 25 cent tax on every pack of cigarettes. "No one had ever done this before," says Stevens. The money was earmarked to pay for medical care for tobacco related illness. But it also funds tobacco research and tobacco control programs both in schools and local communities.

Today the California state tax on a pack of buy cigarettes is 87 cents. That's quite a bit lower than the $2 in taxes charged by many other states. But California has reaped the benefits of other interventions over time, says Stevens. In addition to the tax, California became the first state in the nation to ban smoking cigarettes at indoor work sites and restaurants in 1995 and then in bars in 1998, which was "absolutely unheard of at the time," says Stevens.

Many people thought mandating smoke-free environments in bars just "went too far," Stevens says. But today, she points to "a whole generation of 30- somethings who have never been to a smoky bar." It's expected now, she says, "that you can go to a bar and have a glass of wine and not come out smelling like smoke!" It all adds up to a social norm where tobacco is simply not acceptable.

The decline in smoking cigarettes in 2010 was found among all races, including African Americans, Hispanics and Asians. Smoking among high school students decreased, and rates for both men and women declined across the board.

Unfortunately, men still smoke cigarettes more than women, as do African American men and women and Hispanic men. The most significant decrease occurred among adults ages 25 to 44.

The health benefits are apparent and dramatic. Stevens says lung cancer rates are going down three times faster in California than in any other state. And California is the only state, she adds, where lung cancer rates are actually going down among women. Rates of heart disease and other tobacco related illnesses have also declined.


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