Posts Tagged ‘smoking’

A ban on candy (cigarettes) is dandy, but prohibition?

The Saint Paul Pioneer Press has a front page story on what ordinarily would be a line or two inside the local/metro section: a proposal by a group of teens to ban the sale of candy cigarettes in St. Paul. Backed by 100  young supporters squeezed into the benches in the City Hall chambers, the kids seemed to win a surprising easy and uncontested victory. Then council member Dan Bolstrom dropped his bomb: “Why not go all the way, and ban all tobacco sales in the city?” 

Bostrum, who voted against the current Saint Paul ordinance on indoor smoking three timesand offered an amendment to weaken the city’s rules on indoor smoking, wasn’t being serious.  He knows that anti-smoking groups (full disclosure, I work for the American Lung Association of Minnesota) are not looking to lawmakers to pass a total prohibition on tobacco, as  one of our allies noted in the article, “We had prohibition (of alcohol) and it didn’t work.”  Bostrom’s intent was to raise doubts on the “real agenda” these anti-tobacco groups have. Is it money? (rising taxes on tobacco was another big story this week) Power? Social Engineering? Huh?

Freud famously said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”  Likewise, sometimes people just don’t want to see more and more people to get sick and die of smoking-related illnesses.  You will never get rich being an anti-smoking advocate, but you might just get a little satisfaction with the thought that you helped some people quit (or not start), and made their lives a little better.

Smoking, Cars, Kids & The Failure of Common Sense

Today’s “Letter of the Day” in the Star Tribune is from Jason Crosby of Plymouth, former smoker, father and critic of the proposed state law to prohibit smoking in cars with kids. Crosby confesses to smoking in the car (presumably with children aboard) , reasoning that since he always rolled the windows “at least partially down , most of the smoke is sucked out the window while the car is moving.”

I agree that that statement is a “common sense” rationalision. Unfortunately, it is also wrong.  I have seen the testing being done in cars, and even with the windows down, the monitors used to track secondhand smoke quickly went above the EPA’s  “unsafe level” for air pollution.  Scientific studies back this up.

I don’t think Mr. Crosby is a bad man or a bad father for exposing his kid to secondhand smoke — he thought it was okay, if he just cracked the window a bit.  I may have thought the same thing, in his place.  However, we know things today about tobacco and secondhand smoke we didn’t know in the past, and this new bill is a good opportunity to spread the news. 

Hopefully, more people will become better informed, and no one will ever get a ticket for smoking in a car with kids on board.

Smoking in cars with kids bill faces first test

Today’s Pioneer Press included an editorialsupporting the “smoking in cars with kids” bill, which has its first hearing in the Senate today.  State lawmakers have some serious budget decisions on their plates, but they should always have time to debate a bill that protects kids health, adds no costs or burdens to state or local government, and may actually reduce state health care costs, if it encourages more people to not to smoke around their kids.

Holy Smokes! Price Of Cigarettes Is Going Up Soon

The federal excise tax on a pack of cigarettes may likely be increased by 62 cents to $1.01 a pack if President Obama signs the State Children’s Health Insurance Program(SCHIP) legislation passed by the House today. This will accomplish a couple of things. First, nearly four million more kids can be qualify for the coverage (7 million have it now), and second, the higher cost per pack is going to convince some younger smokers to quit, or not start smoking.

Good news about Minnesota kids and smoking

They are smoking less, according to this Fox 9 story on a recent Minnesota Department of Health report. Still, about 85,000 high school and middle school kids light up.

The Day Minnesota Showed The World How To Kick Butts

Today is the Great American Smokeout, which begin in 1974 as “D-Day” or “Don’t Smoke Day.” It was the brainchild of Minnesotan Lynn Smith, editor of the Monticello Times.  Since then, it has become a national event organized by the American Cancer Society. Back in 1977, 37% of adults in the United States smoked. Today, in a more smokefree Minnesota, that number is down to 17%.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.