Archive for February, 2009

Smoking in the Home

Re “Smoking Ban Hits Home. Truly” (Belmont Journal, front page, Jan. 27):

In a not surprising but troubling move, some cities, like Belmont, Calif., have prohibited individuals from smoking in their own apartments. The justification, as always, is that sidestream smoke is a threat to the health of innocent nonsmokers.

There are good scientific and public health reasons for restricting smoking in closed public spaces. But when such restrictions are extended to beaches, parks, sidewalks and now to the homes of smokers, the argument that third-party harms must be prevented becomes increasingly untenable.

Smoking ban looms

smoking-ban-loomsThe Ministry of Health is ratcheting up pressure on organisations to ban smoking in public spaces and will be lobbying for the enactment of comprehensive legislation during the first quarter of the new fiscal year.

Eva Lewis-Fuller, director of health promotion and protection at the Ministry of Health, said limiting smoking privileges in both public and private business places would help protect non-smokers from second- and third-hand effects.

“Cabinet has considered it and agreed in principle for the law to be imposed. However, additional work needs to be done, such as getting responses from other agencies and analysis of the economic impact it would bring,” Lewis-Fuller told The Gleaner.

Study documents secondhand smoke costs to Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – Supporters of a bill that would ban smoking in all of Indiana’s public places are trumpeting a new study of the financial and human costs of secondhand smoke as clear, persuasive evidence that state lawmakers should pass statewide smoking restrictions.

The study released Monday found that an estimated 1,194 Hoosiers died in 2007 from lung cancer, heart disease and other ailments caused by breathing secondhand cigarette smoke.

Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine’s Bowen Research Center also concluded that secondhand smoke in homes and businesses burdened Indiana with at least $390 million in medical-related costs in 2007.

Long Beach may allow indoor smoking in cigar lounges

indoor-smokingLong Beach is about to consider a rare step to ease anti-smoking rules.

At a time when cities nationwide are banning smoking in public places from bars to beaches, the Long Beach City Council today will consider a proposed amendment to its no-smoking ordinance that would exempt cigar lounges and hookah bars.

The city banned smoking in enclosed public places in 1994, but the law was rarely enforced until about a year ago, when anti-smoking advocates began demanding that city health officials take action. In an effort to keep their businesses open — and avoid fines of up to $500 for each offense — the owners of the city’s 13 cigar lounges banded together to seek an exemption.

Dope-smoking among teens down in many countries

marijuana-plantKids on both sides of the Atlantic are smoking less pot and going out less often with friends at night, a study of 15-year-olds in 30 countries found. The double declines occurred in the United States, Canada and mostly European countries from 2002 to 2006. The trends are likely related, since other research has found that kids who spend many evenings out are more likely to smoke dope than homebodies.

Since few parents approve of marijuana use, teens are most likely to use the drug secretly away from home, said lead author Emmanuel Kuntsche of the Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Problems.