Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tobacco Marketing in Indianapolis

Maybe you have seen the new RJ Reynolds Products Camel Orbs, Camel Strips and soon to be Camel Sticks sold at your local gas station or convenience store. These new products are being marketed here in Indianapolis, Portland Ore., and in Columbus OH. These products are small, colorful and come in flavors such as Mellow (original) and Mint. They are also similar in shape and size to candy and breath strips already being sold on the market.

The issue with these products is that no one knows what is actually contained within each product, how much nicotine is really present and that their packaging appeals to youth. The Indiana Poison Control Center estimates that dissolvable tobacco products contain half to three times much nicotine as cigarettes.

The good news is that within the FDA regulation bill currently making its way through the US Senate these products would be regulated for content, advertising practices and legality.

Please take time to educate yourself and the young people in your life about these products; they are not candy and they are harmful to ones health.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Elkhart Smoke Free

Today the city of Elkhart will go completely smoke free! A year ago the city went smoke free everywhere but bars, today the bars are smoke free too. This marks a significant change for a city that has recently faced such tough economic times, they will now be able to experience reduced health care costs and a healthier place to live thanks to this new measure. So if Elkhart a city that is facing harder times than Indy can do it, I am sure that we can do it as well.

In other news the state legislature in Wisconsin passed a comprehensive smoke free policy that is expected to be signed by the Governor. Wisconsin now joins the other Mid-West states of Illinois, Ohio and Minnesota with compressive smoke free policies. Maybe next year Indiana can join this list too.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Public Opinion Poll

Yesterday the Survey Research Center at IUPUI released results of a recent public opinion poll of Marion County residents on their support for a comprehensive smoke free ordinance in Marion County.

Here are the highlights from the report:
  • The survey found that 69.5 percent of Marion County residents support an ordinance prohibiting smoking in all workplaces, including bars, bowling alleys and restaurants.
  • 87 percent of Marion County residents believe people who work indoors should do so in a smoke free environment, with 67.7 percent of smokers agreeing as well.
  • The data furthermore shows deep bipartisan public support for a comprehensive smoke free law among those who identify as Republicans, Democrats or Independents.
  • Finally, the survey data reports Marion County residents indicated that they would go out more if bars, bowling alleys and restaurants were smoke free, with respondents reporting a net gain of 23.9 percent.

To read the full report go to our website, there you can also read the executive summary and the charts that were used at yesterday's press conference.

As you can clearly see Indianapolis residents want a comprehensive smoke free policy for ALL workers in Marion County. With the many other Indiana cities already smoke free and with all the data showing both positive health and economic impacts of these ordinances there is no longer an excuse to not pass a comprehensive law in Indy. Contact your Councillor in support of passing a comprehensive smoke free air policy to make this happen.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Recent Articles

There have been several smoke free related articles recently in the news:

IBJ article on cities taking it upon themselves to go smoke free after the state failed to pass a statewide smoke free policy "Anti-Smoking Advocates Working One City at a Time."

The city of Westfield last night introduced an ordinance to make their entire city smoke free, a public hearing on the measure will be June 8th, "Westfield considers wide smoking ban." If Westfield does pass an ordinance it would be yet another city leaving Indianapolis behind in going smoke free.

FDA regulation of the tobacco industry has made it out of the U.S. House and is now being considered in the the U.S. Senate, today's Star has a good synopsis of the bill, "Tobacco industry may answer to FDA soon, Senate expected to follow House in approving federal regulation."

Lastly, Bruce Hetrick wrote an excellent article in this week's IBJ comparing the impact of the swine flu to the impact of tobacco on our nation, be sure to check it out, "NOTIONS: Whole-hog health scare: A deadly double standard."

Monday, May 11, 2009

Smoke Free Indy Press Conference


News conference to release public opinion poll showing the level of support for a comprehensive smoke free workplace law in Marion County that covers all workplaces, including bars and bowling alleys. The poll was conducted by the Survey Research Center at IUPUI, and the research was led by Survey Research Center director Jim Wolf.


10:30am, Tuesday, May 12th, 2009


Indianapolis City Market, 222 E. Market Street, Indianapolis, IN [Across from the City-County Building]


Speakers include:
Jim Wolf, Director of the Survey Research Center at IUPUI
A representative of the American Cancer Society, Great Lakes Division
A musician who works in bars and clubs in Indianapolis
A representative of Smoke Free Indy

For more information visit or email

Friday, May 8, 2009

Matt Tully Article

In today's Indianapolis Star there is a great article by Matthew Tully on the City of Franklin going completely smoke free. Tully does an excellent job of pointing out the fact that Franklin is being a leader and that they are now leaving Indianapolis behind by going smoke free.

Thanks Tully for reading our minds, we are continually being left behind by other Indiana cities and counties (Bloomington, Greenfield, West Lafayette, Ft. Wayne, Plainfield, Zionsville and Hancock County, not to mention the 340 other cities in the nation that are also smoke free.)

Now if only the City-County Council could also read our minds and get a comprehensive policy in Indianapolis passed!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Casino Workers Face Toxic Conditions!

When you read the title of this post, you may think "Well Duh." but sometimes it takes a scientific study by the government to prove what we already know. Below are portions of a news release sent out by the Americans For Nonsmokers Rights on this new study.

'A new report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) shows workers in Las Vegas casinos are exposed to dangerous levels of secondhand smoke at work. NIOSH recommends making casinos 100% smokefree to ensure indoor air within casinos is safe for workers to breathe.

In 2005, blackjack dealers working in three Las Vegas casinos stepped forward and filed a NIOSH workplace Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) request asking NIOSH to investigate secondhand tobacco smoke in their workplaces. NIOSH responded with a research team that conducted indoor air quality tests and biomarker assessments on 124 card dealers in Bally's, Caesars Palace, and Paris casinos on the Las Vegas strip.

Researchers found secondhand smoke components in the air including nicotine, 4-vinyl pyridine, solanesol, benzene, toluene, p-dichlorormethane, and formaldehyde. In addition, urinary testing of workers after their shifts indicated cancer causing toxins in secondhand smoke were absorbed into workers’ bodies. The NIOSH report authors concluded that the “best means of eliminating workplace exposure to [secondhand smoke] is to ban all smoking in the casinos.”

Teresa Price, a casino worker who filed the original complaint with NIOSH in 2005, was relieved the report was finally released. “We knew we were being exposed to dangerous levels of secondhand smoke, so we filed the request with NIOSH. We just didn’t know how worried we should be. Now we know and I’m horrified,” said Ms. Price. “We were working day in and day out, breathing in toxins all day and night without knowing the extent of the danger. No one should have to work like that,” added Price.

Ms. Price is not alone. The results from the NIOSH report are sending a shockwave through the casino industry, with workers growing more concerned about their health. The NIOSH Report findings are posted for workers to review in the three casinos where tests were conducted.'

So in light of this new study it is of course obvious that all Indiana and Indianapolis workers should be protected from the harmful chemicals in secondhand smoke by going completely smoke free. Please contact your City-County Councillor or State Legislator to make this happen.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Franklin Goes Smoke Free!

Members of the City Council in Franklin, Indiana voted 6 to 1 tonight to expand Franklin’s smoke free workplace law to cover all workplaces, including bars and membership clubs. Franklin previously had an ordinance that protected some workers in their workplace, but did not protect others, depending on the type of workplace.

Now every worker in Franklin—even those who work in bars and clubs—will enjoy the same protection from the serious negative health consequences attributable to secondhand smoke.

By enacting the ordinance adopted tonight, Franklin joins the growing number of municipalities in Indiana and nationwide to adopt comprehensive smoke free workplace ordinances that protect workers, including those who work in bars, clubs and restaurants, among other workplaces. The new expanded ordinance is scheduled to take effect in 30 days.

It is now time for Indianapolis to join Franklin, Plainfield, Zionsville, Ft. Wayne, Bloomington and West Lafayette by also going completely smoke free. Contact your City-County Councillor to tell them that all workers should be protected from secondhand smoke and that now is the time to join these other Indiana cities and towns.