19/02/2014

Smoking could also be banned in private offices

It’s not just bars and restaurants that would have to change their policies if voters approve a smoking ban in April.

A section in the ordinance would require all “enclosed places of employment” to go smoke-free. That would include company vehicles, work spaces and private offices.

Smoke Free St. Joe says it’s an effort to protect the majority of St. Joseph’s workers from secondhand smoke, while business owners say it will ultimately hurt their bottom line.

Brett Hausman, executive vice president of Al J. Mueller Construction Co., said he fears the ordinance is too broad and should not be placed on private businesses, especially in areas where employees don’t interact with the public.

For example, employees of Al J. Mueller are allowed to smoke in company vehicles if their passenger consents. Employees also are allowed to smoke in the company’s shop/fabrication space and at construction sites, unless the owner of the property objects.

“Restaurants are one thing, but to push this into private offices is wrong,” Mr. Hausman said. “This ordinance seems like a solution looking for a problem.”

Dr. Jane Schwabe, co-chair of Smoke Free St. Joe, said the ordinance includes all places of employment in order to protect any employee who could be exposed to second-hand smoke.

“Basically, our whole point is this is a health thing,” Dr. Schwabe said. “This is to prevent the harmful effects of second-hand smoke as much as we can in as many places as we can.”

She added that employees still would be able to smoke outdoors, as long as the space is not “enclosed.” According to the ordinance, an enclosed area means any space between a floor and a ceiling that is bound by two walls, doorways or windows.

That means, Dr. Schwabe said, that some construction sites still could allow smoking. It also would protect outdoor patios from a ban.

Still, Mr. Hausman said he can foresee a loss in money for his company if employees are forced to stop what they’re doing to smoke, including while they’re driving.

“If two adults are in a truck and each are OK with smoking, why is this bad? They are consenting adults,” he said. “ ... If I smoked, why could I not in a building I own?”

He said he also takes issue with Section 16 of the ordinance, “Liberal Construction,” which states “This article shall be liberally construed so as to further its purposes.”

Voters will decide whether to pass the proposal on April 8. If approved, it will go into effect on June 7.

The ordinance bans smoking in all indoor public places, with the exemption of the St. Jo Frontier Casino gaming floor, 10 percent of hotel rooms, private vehicles or residences, and in membership clubs that have no employees present.

06/02/2014

Physician Focus: Smoking, tobacco and your health

The 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Surgeon General’s first report on smoking and health is cause for renewing efforts against smoking and tobacco.
January 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Surgeon General’s first comprehensive report on the dangers of smoking and tobacco, a landmark document that signaled the start of the nation’s public health campaign against tobacco and its health consequences.
Since that first effort in 1964, 36 additional reports on tobacco from the Surgeon General have followed, testifying to the topic’s critical importance. Many have focused on children, women, secondhand smoke and specific conditions such as heart and lung disease, cancer and nicotine addiction. Pall Mall Nanokings Blue Slims
The connection between tobacco — cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco and secondhand smoke — and disease is clear, convincing and undeniable. Tobacco use is linked to a multitude of health problems, from conditions as severe as cancer and heart and lung diseases to diseases specific to fetuses, diabetes, poor wound healing and even wrinkles. The highly addictive nature of nicotine, due to its effects on specific areas of the brain, is now also well known.
We have made great progress over five decades in reducing tobacco use. Successful prevention and treatment strategies have been developed. We now have seven FDA-approved medications for tobacco addiction treatment, cognitive-behavioral treatments and excellent community resources such as free state quit lines and web- and phone-based resources to help people quit.
Additional tobacco control prevention measures — warnings on cigarette packages, higher tobacco taxes and laws that restrict smoking at workplaces, restaurants and other public venues — have had enormous impact. And more efforts are occurring at the local level: cities and towns are raising the age to buy tobacco, and local boards of health are prohibiting health facilities like pharmacies from selling tobacco products.
The numbers tell the story: In 1964, 51 percent of adult males and 33 percent of adult females were smokers. Recent reports show the rates to be half as much: 22 percent for males, 16.5 percent for females.
That’s progress, but it’s not enough.
In 2014, tobacco is still the leading cause of preventable disease and premature death in the U.S., each year accounting for some 443,000 deaths, or one of every five deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Tobacco use also claims a huge part of our nation’s health care expense — at $96 billion in direct medical costs annually.
Nearly 44 million adults still smoke, and the concern is greatest with youth, as nearly all tobacco use begins in childhood and adolescence, when the brain is more susceptible to addiction. Every day, more than 1,000 youth under 18 become daily cigarette smokers. In fact, 90 percent of smokers start before they’re 18 and 99 percent start before 26. The Surgeon General’s 2012 report — the first to explore tobacco data on young adults as a discrete population — has described tobacco use as a “pediatric epidemic, around the world as well as in the United States.”


Physician Focus: Smoking, tobacco and your health

The 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Surgeon General’s first report on smoking and health is cause for renewing efforts against smoking and tobacco.
January 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Surgeon General’s first comprehensive report on the dangers of smoking and tobacco, a landmark document that signaled the start of the nation’s public health campaign against tobacco and its health consequences.
Since that first effort in 1964, 36 additional reports on tobacco from the Surgeon General have followed, testifying to the topic’s critical importance. Many have focused on children, women, secondhand smoke and specific conditions such as heart and lung disease, cancer and nicotine addiction.Karelia Superslims Ome
The connection between tobacco — cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco and secondhand smoke — and disease is clear, convincing and undeniable. Tobacco use is linked to a multitude of health problems, from conditions as severe as cancer and heart and lung diseases to diseases specific to fetuses, diabetes, poor wound healing and even wrinkles. The highly addictive nature of nicotine, due to its effects on specific areas of the brain, is now also well known.
We have made great progress over five decades in reducing tobacco use. Successful prevention and treatment strategies have been developed. We now have seven FDA-approved medications for tobacco addiction treatment, cognitive-behavioral treatments and excellent community resources such as free state quit lines and web- and phone-based resources to help people quit.
Additional tobacco control prevention measures — warnings on cigarette packages, higher tobacco taxes and laws that restrict smoking at workplaces, restaurants and other public venues — have had enormous impact. And more efforts are occurring at the local level: cities and towns are raising the age to buy tobacco, and local boards of health are prohibiting health facilities like pharmacies from selling tobacco products.
The numbers tell the story: In 1964, 51 percent of adult males and 33 percent of adult females were smokers. Recent reports show the rates to be half as much: 22 percent for males, 16.5 percent for females.
That’s progress, but it’s not enough.
In 2014, tobacco is still the leading cause of preventable disease and premature death in the U.S., each year accounting for some 443,000 deaths, or one of every five deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Tobacco use also claims a huge part of our nation’s health care expense — at $96 billion in direct medical costs annually.
Nearly 44 million adults still smoke, and the concern is greatest with youth, as nearly all tobacco use begins in childhood and adolescence, when the brain is more susceptible to addiction. Every day, more than 1,000 youth under 18 become daily cigarette smokers. In fact, 90 percent of smokers start before they’re 18 and 99 percent start before 26. The Surgeon General’s 2012 report — the first to explore tobacco data on young adults as a discrete population — has described tobacco use as a “pediatric epidemic, around the world as well as in the United States.”