Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

Tips On How To Quit Smoking

In Local News on January 25, 2010 at 10:11 am
  • Call 1-800-QUIT NOW. Indiana’s Tobacco Quitline
  • Make a list. Write down why you want to stop smoking.
  • Pick a good time to quit. Avoid times when you will be under a lot of stress, especially holidays.
  • Throw out all cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters from your home and car.
  • Consider changing your daily routine. For example, take a different route to work or school.
  • Drink lots of water, eat a balanced diet and get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol.
  • Get support. Tell family, friends and coworkers that you are going to quit. Ask that they not smoke around you orleave cigarettes out where you can see them. Maybe even get one of them to quit with you.
  • Be aware that you may not quiton the first try. Most smokers need a few practice runs to quit for good. Be patient,but persistent.
  • Be prepared for difficult situations and side effects. Some may experience depression, irritability and headaches.
  • Talk with your health care provider. Consider getting help by attending cessation classes and using medications.
  • Keep busy! Exercise every day, even if it’s just going for a walk. Make a list of what you are going to do instead ofsmoke. Do something you enjoy!

How To Prevent Young People From Starting Tobacco Use

In National News, State News on January 25, 2010 at 10:09 am

From the American Lung Association:

Tobacco use usually begins in early adolescence, and almost all first use occurs before young people graduate from high school. If adolescents decide to be tobacco-free, they will likely remain tobacco-free for the rest of their lives.

Preventing young people from starting to use tobacco is critical to reducing the death and disease caused by tobacco use. An estimated 440,000 Americans die each year from diseases caused by smoking. Smoking costs the U.S. over $150 billion each year in annual health care costs and lost productivity.

Young people develop a tolerance for, and become dependent on, nicotine the same way as adults do, and like adults, young people have a difficult time quitting. If current tobacco use patterns persist in the U.S., an estimated 6.4 million children will die prematurely from a smoking-related disease.

Cigarette smoking during childhood and adolescence produces significant health problems among young people, including cough and phlegm production, an increased number of respiratory illnesses, decreased physical fitness and unfavorable lipid profile.

Policies to prevent tobacco use among young people should include:

  • Tobacco education in the schools
  • Restrictions on tobacco advertising and promotions
  • A complete ban on smoking by anyone on school grounds
  • No sale of tobacco products to minors
  • Tax increases on tobacco products so young people cannot afford them

Positive results have been seen in school-based programs that teach young people how to resist social influences to smoke. Programs to prevent tobacco use that are based on the same model have also demonstrated modest reductions in the initiation of smokeless tobacco use.

The effectiveness of school-based smoking prevention programs appears to be enhanced and sustained by comprehensive school health education and by community-wide programs that involve parents, mass media, community organizations, or other elements of an adolescent’s social environment. Smoking cessation programs for teenagers should be specifically designed to reach teens rather than adapted from an adult smoking cessation model. Youth smoking cessation programs should focus on selecting appropriate facilitators who work well with teens in a non-judgmental manner.

Illegal sales of tobacco products are common. Active enforcement of age-at-sale policies by public officials and community members is necessary to prevent minors access to tobacco. Studies indicate that substantial increases in the real price of cigarettes significantly reduce cigarette smoking; young people are three times as responsive as adults to such price changes. Maintaining higher real prices of cigarettes depends on further tax increases to offset the effects of inflation.

Public smoking restrictions are an important component of the social environment that supports non-smoking behavior. Smoking restrictions reduce the number of opportunities to smoke, making smoking less convenient and less socially acceptable. The net effects of smoking restrictions should reduce the psychosocial benefits of smoking to adolescents, making it less likely that those who experiment with smoking will continue to smoke and become dependent.

The following characteristics make model school smoking policies effective:

  • Smoking on school grounds, in school buildings, on school buses, and at school-sponsored events is prohibited for students, school personnel, and visitors.
  • Schools enforce the policy and consistently administer penalties for violations. Disciplinary measures for non-compliance with policy are educational as well as punitive.
  • Policy development includes active collaboration with teachers, students, and parent groups to give direction and build support for tobacco-free schools.
  • All components of a school’s smoking policy, including consequences for violations, are communicated in written and oral form to students, staff, and visitors.
  • District-wide educational programs addressing the prevention of tobacco use are initiated or expanded as part of the policy implementation process.
  • Smoking cessation programs or other incentives are developed for students, school personnel, and, if possible, the public.
  • Programs are periodically evaluated to provide information on acceptance and effectiveness of policy.
  • Schools do not accept any contributions from the tobacco industry, including direct financial support and materials paid for or produced by or for the tobacco industry.

For more information call the American Lung Association at 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872).

Don’t Let The State Abolish ITPC

In State News on January 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm

From Tim Filler:

Abolishing ITPC would be pennywise and poundfoolish, and Hoosiers would suffer as a result

Senate Bill 298, an omnibus bill that contains a number or items relating to modifying administrative practices of a few various state programs, presently contains a provision that would abolish the Indiana Tobacco Prevention Agency, eliminate the agency’s expert, independent Executive Board and grab all the assets and function of the program and move them to another agency.

These provisions in SB 298 would severely disrupt and cause short and long-term negative impact to the state’s efforts to reduce the toll of tobacco by helping people quit smoking and preventing young people from starting to smoke.


The nonpartisan bill-drafting entity—Legislative Services Agency—describes the effect of the provisions of SB 298 that relate to ITPC as follows:

  • abolishes the Indiana Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Executive Board (Executive Board) on July 1, 2010, and transfers all assets, obligations, powers, duties, and appropriations of the Executive Board to the State Department of Health;
  • repeals statutes governing the Executive Board.

The ITPC Executive Board is an independent group of experts in the field.  The board provides invaluable expertise and oversight of the state’s tobacco prevention program.

An independent, expert ITPC Executive Board helps keep politics out of tobacco control.  There is much research in the body of literature on tobacco industry attacks on state tobacco prevention programs that detail very clearly the tobacco industy-allied comprehensive attacks on state tobacco control programs that—like Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency—utilize the components and program elements the research shows has the most potential for effectiveness.  Community-based tobacco prevention programs systematically are attacked by tobacco industry allies in an attempt to dismantle them or at least make them less effective.

Neither the elimination of the ITPC Executive Board nor the other provisions of SB298 result in cost savings to Indiana.  First of all, the ITPC Executive Board is a volunteer board whose members receive no pay for service on the board.  The administrative costs outlined in the fiscal note for SB298 are the administrative costs associated with running and implementing the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency.  The fiscal note attached says that the duties and responsibilities that presently ITPC staff perform will be given to staff at the Indiana State Department of Health.

The way the fiscal note suggests costs would be reduced is to eliminate people doing the work.  There are not people at ISDH sitting with nothing to do at present, so—if they were to try to cut costs, it would be by making tobacco prevention someone’s second job.  This would be a major policy blunder to try to cut costs by eliminating people doing tobacco prevention because tobacco prevention programs have a a proven RETURN ON INVESTMENT that pays Indiana back in health impact and also cost savings.

The change to the current statute that SB 298 would effectuate has serious critical policy implications that would set back tobacco prevention efforts in Indiana.

If N.C Can Do It, Surely Indiana Can

In State News on January 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm

This letter to the editor was published in the Indianapolis Star:

So far behind other states with no-smoking policies

Now that the No. 1 tobacco state in the country, North Carolina, has gone smoke free for bars and restaurants, can Indiana finally do the same? How is it that Indiana and Indianapolis purport to be progressive and yet we’re behind North Carolina in this? That’s ridiculous and embarrassing.

I challenge our elected leaders — Mayor Greg Ballard, Indianapolis City-County Council members and state politicians — to do the right thing and pass a comprehensive smoking ban. We need this to protect the public. I find it ironic and hypocritical that Ballard’s main goal is public safety and he’s against the smoking ban.

Any perceived loss of business is more than offset by the health costs the state incurs due to smoking, smoking-related diseases and secondhand smoke. And can we dispense with the personal rights invasion argument? Let’s get this smoking ban done.

Mike Shanley


Secondhand Smoke and Cardiovascular Health

In National News on January 7, 2010 at 11:35 am

This is another article published in the Fall 2009 edition of the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium newsletter.

Institute of Medicine Report: Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects

The Institute of Medicine recently released a comprehensive review of the science on the relationship between secondhand smoke exposure and acute coronary events.

Major conclusions of the report:

  • Secondhand smoke can cause a heart attack.
  • Even brief exposure to secondhand smoke could trigger a heart attack.
  • Smoke-free air laws result in fewer heart attacks.

Read more here.

Philip Morris Ordered to Pay $300 Million to Ex-Smoker

In National News on January 4, 2010 at 10:19 am

This article was published in the Fall 2009 edition of the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium newsletter.

Philip Morris Ordered to Pay $300 Million to Ex-Smoker

A Fort Lauderdale jury ordered Philip Morris to pay nearly $300 million ($55 million in compensatory damages and $244 million in punitive damages) to a 61-year-old former smoker with emphysema, who may need a lung transplant as the result of smoking.

The verdict is the largest so far of the many so-called Engle progeny cases, named after a major Florida Supreme Court ruling in 2006 that lowered a plaintiff’s burden of proof against a tobacco company and made it easier to pursue tobacco lawsuits in Florida than in other states.

Of the ten verdicts this year in Engle progeny cases, eight have been for the plaintiffs. Thousands of related cases have been filed and are awaiting trial in Florida.