Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

Gambling? Maybe. Smoking? No.

In National News on June 28, 2010 at 10:02 am

Check out this article by Michael Levenson that was published in the Boston Globe. I love the quote towards the end that it’s hypocritical to create jobs that will result in those workers getting sick or dying from their work environment.

The Massachusetts Senate voted 24-15 today in favor of an amendment to expanded gambling legislation that would ban smoking in casinos. The vote was a rare rebuke for Senate leaders who wanted to allow smoking in
one-fourth of the floor space at the casinos.

As the Senate took up a host of amendments on the second day of debate on the bill, leaders warned that the state will lose as much as $94 million in gambling revenue if it does not allow smoking in its casinos. They pointed out that Connecticut’s casinos allow smoking.

“Only in Massachusetts would we have a casino bill and try to build a politically correct casino,” said Richard R. Tisei, the Senate Republican leader and candidate for lieutenant governor, urging his colleagues to reject the amendment. “Have any of you people ever been to a casino and understand what it takes for a casino to be successful and
to draw people in?”

But supporters of the amendment said second-hand smoke will put casino workers’ lives at risk. They pointed out that Massachusetts banned smoking in most workplaces six years ago and that a Harvard School of Public Health study has shown the ban saves 600 lives a year.

“I thought we were trying to create jobs here,” said Susan C. Fargo, a Lincoln Democrat who urged her colleagues to approve the amendment. “Why create jobs for people who will sicken and die? This is the most hypocritical thing I’ve seen in my 14 years in the Senate.”

The bill being considered by the Senate would license three casinos in the state.

If the Senate approves a plan to expand gambling, it will have to be reconciled with a bill passed by the House in April, which calls for two casinos and slot machines at the state’s racetracks.


Higher Taxes = Less Smoking

In State News on June 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm

A newly published review by CDC found that last year, 14 states and D.C. increased their state cigarette excise taxes. The national average state excise tax increased from $1.18 per pack in 2008 to $1.34 per pack in 2009. At the end of 2009, cigarette excise taxes ranged from 7 cents per pack in South Carolina to $3.46 per pack in Rhode Island.

None of the 15 states that raised their cigarette excise taxes in 2009 dedicated any of the new revenues to tobacco control. States can further reduce cigarette use by investing a portion of excise tax revenues in tobacco prevention and control efforts.

Indiana’s tax is 99.5 cents and is below the national average of $1.34. Indiana did not raise taxes in 2008 or 2009 and there is no amount of tax revenue designated for tobacco control programming.

Increasing cigarette excise taxes is one of the most reliable, cost-effective tobacco control policies. Higher taxes directly increase cigarette prices and reduce cigarette use, which in turn decreases smoking-related diseases, death, and health care costs.

2-Year-Old Addicted To Smoking

In National News on June 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm

This is why we need to keep tight regulations and restrictions on the tobacco industry.…_and_parenting/

Benny Wahyudi, a senior official at the Industry Ministry, said the government had initiated a plan to try to limit the number of smokers, including dropping production to 240 billion cigarettes this year, from 245 billion in 2009.

Health Minister Endang Sedyaningsih conceded turning young people off smoking will be difficult in a country where it is perceived as positive because cigarette companies sponsor everything from scholarships to sporting events.

What’s The Big Deal With Secondhand Smoke And Kids?

In Local News on June 1, 2010 at 2:22 pm

You’ve probably heard that secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). You’ve probably also heard that smoking during pregnancy can result in low birth weights and miscarriages.

Here are some other effects on children that you might not know about:

  • Children regularly exposed to tobacco smoke at home are more likely to develop early emphysema in adulthood. Researchers suggest children’s lungs may not recover completely from the effects of early-life exposures to tobacco smoke.
  • Youth who live with a smoker or someone who uses smokeless tobacco are more likely to use tobacco themselves.
  • Children of mothers who were exposed to tobacco smoke during pregnancy have lower scores on tests for cognitive development at age two compared to children living in smoke free homes.
  • Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at higher risk for ear infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

The best way to protect your children from the toxic chemicals in secondhand smoke is to quit smoking.

You can get free coaching and support to quit smoking or chewing tobacco by calling the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.