Archive for March, 2009

Park district broadens smoking ban

Lighting up a cigarette while strolling through Hayward-area parks will soon be a thing of the past.

Board members of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District unanimously voted earlier this week to amend its anti-smoking ordinance, effectively banning smoking in all of its parks and facilities.

Park Superintendent Larry Lepore said he expects the district to enforce the amended ban beginning May 1.

However, “It’s going to be extremely hard to enforce this,” Lepore said. “If a ranger happens to observe someone smoking, they’re going to ask them to please put the cigarette out. Obviously, if the individual refuses, the ranger will have the ability to write a citation.”

Naltrexone improves smoking quit rates among social drinkers

Naltrexone, approved for the treatment of alcohol dependence, also helps heavy social drinkers who aren’t alcoholics to quit smoking, as well as to reduce the amount of alcohol they drink, a new study shows.

After taking naltrexone, smokers who were heavy drinkers had significant reductions in heavy drinking rates over the course of the 8-week treatment, and also were more likely to quit than heavy drinkers taking placebo, lead investigator Dr. Andrea C. King told Reuters Health. “The effects were not as prominent among the lighter drinking smokers,” she noted.

Commissioners OK Car Smoking Ban

Drivers in parts of Monroe County will no longer be able to smoke in their vehicles if a child is present.

County commissioners on Friday approved a smoking ban by a 2-1 vote that prohibits smoking if a child age 13 or younger is also in the vehicle, 6News’ Ben Morriston reported. The ordinance affects only the unincorporated areas of Monroe County, so cities Bloomington, Ellettsville and Stinesville are exempt.

Commissioner Pat Stoffers called that absurd. “A 35-mile car trip can take you through six changes in the smoking law,” he said.

Tobacco tax increase expected to reduce smoking

smoke ashtray apx For the estimated 20% of Americans who smoke cigarettes, the impact of a federal excise tax increase that takes effect Wednesday is already being felt.

Earlier this month the manufacturer of Marlboro, Parliament and Virginia Slims, Philip Morris USA, increased prices by 71 cents a pack, 9 cents more than the federal tax increase. The maker of Camel, Kool and Salem cigarettes, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, bumped wholesale prices up by 44 cents a pack and reduced discounting.

The revenue from the tax increase, which will be used to expand coverage under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to an additional 4 million low-income children, was signed into law in February.

Smokers who quit early in pregnancy aid baby

pregnant smoker woman Pregnant women who stop smoking before the 15th week have rates of preterm birth and small-for-dates babies comparable to those of non-smoking women, new research indicates.

The findings show that “these severe adverse effects of smoking may be reversible if smoking is stopped early in pregnancy,” Dr. Lesley M. E. McCowan, from the University of Adelaide, Australia, and colleagues comment in the British Medical Journal.

The results come from an analysis of data for 2500 women who were having their first baby. At 15 weeks’ gestation, the women were classified as non-smokers, stopped smokers, or current smokers.