Thursday, February 25, 2010

Your Doctor Wants You to Smoke?!?

Your Doctor Wants You to Smoke

Vintage propaganda is always fun, but old cigarette ads may be the most cringeworthy. The New York Public Library just opened "Not a Cough in the Car," an exhibition of tobacco ads that emphasized healthiness. Enjoy!

Read more:,29307,1848212,00.html#ixzz0gZbYi3gN

Good News.

Good news, the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors is down across the state! This will hopefully decrease youth consumption rates and the reduce the number of youth becoming lifetime smokers.

Today's Indy Star is reporting that the statewide smoke free air bill is not dead and will be considered in conference committee. We will be watching this one for sure to see if it becomes a reality. Even with this possibility we should not give up on making Indy smoke free, every year for the last few years there has been a bill introduced to go smoke free, none of them have passed. So until this is a reality we should continue to push to make Indy a completely smoke free city.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quick Update

Here are a few updates from this week:

SB 298, the bill to eliminate ITPC, was not voted out of committee last week, which means for now it is dead. Though because it was voted out of the Senate it can be brought back up in conference committee, so please continue to educate others on the importance of keeping a state agency only dedicated to tobacco control.

This week's IBJ has an interesting article on the impact of the tobacco industry's sponsorship on the racing industry, check it out here.

Also Phillip Morris is planning on launching their Snus tobacco product nationwide, which means we must have liked them because they were test marketed here, and that is not a good thing.

And in yesterdays Indy Star there was a story on more senior citizens smoking pot... which is very bizarre.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SB298 Update

Tomorrow (1/17) the House Ways and Means Committee will hear SB298 the government consolidation bill that includes language to eliminate Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency (ITPC.) The hearing is set for 10:00 a.m. in room 401 at the Indiana Statehouse.

Abolishing ITPC's board and staff would do a disservice to the people of Indiana, great strides in reducing youth smoking rates have occurred under their rein and many local smoke free air laws have been passed. Tobacco prevention programs were all but eliminated in Mississippi & Ohio after their programs were moved into their state health departments. Indiana cannot afford to loose tobacco prevention funding, we are already 2nd highest in the nation for adult smokers and there are 27 other states with smoke free air laws and it appears that we are no where near getting one passed here.

Please if you have the time come out to the hearing tomorrow and show your support for ITPC. Indiana cannot afford to loose more fellow Hoosiers to smoking and to fall farther behind other states by not having tobacco prevention programming.

Here is an article from Dr. Richard Feldman on the topic from today's Indianapolis Star.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Benefits of Raising Cigarette Taxes by $1

The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids just released a report that identifies the many benefits Indiana would experience if the state increased our tobacco tax by $1. Some of the benefits include $230.1 million in new revenue, 63,600 youth prevented from smoking and 30,900 lives saved from premature death. In this time of budgetary crisis this could be a good angle for the state to consider when thinking of new revenue streams.

Go here for the full report:

Currently our cigarette tax is only 99.5 cents, which ranks us 29th in the nation. The current national average is $1.34 a 34.5 cent difference.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

HB 1131 DOA

It appears that HB 1131, the smoke free air bill, is DOA in the Senate with Senate President Pro Tempore David Long not willing to let it be heard. He believes, and rightfully so, that the state legislature is not ready to pass a comprehensive smoke free air law, evidence of this can clearly be seen through all of the exemptions put in by the House.

Now is the time for Indianapolis to pass a comprehensive smoke free ordinance, the state legislature is not going to do it this year so it is up to us to make it happen. Everyday there are workers in Indy who have to work an 8 hour shift in a smoky room just to make ends meat, as citizens of this great city we have the power to prevent this from happening. Contact your councillor today and tell them that now is the time to make Indy smoke free.

The only other important bill still alive is SB298, which would abolish ITPC's board, it is now in the House for consideration. For reasons as to why this portion of this bill is not a good idea please see this earlier post. There is still time to voice your opinion with your Representative today, to find out who that person is go here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

HB 1131 Update

Representative Charlie Brown's bill HB1131, the smoke free air bill, passed out of the House yesterday with a vote of 73-26 and is now headed to the Senate. Unfortunately more exemptions were added to the bill, specifically to exempt VFWs and Legion Halls. So under the current version of the bill you could not smoke at restaurants, daycares, government buildings and other businesses. Clearly this bill is no where near being comprehensive and would not protect Indiana workers from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Continually we are being left behind by other states going smoke free, we are now almost surrounded by smoke free states with Michigan, Ohio and Illinois all being totally smoke free. Even Louisville to the south is totally smoke free. Yet the state legislature is still trying to exempt bars, clubs and casinos which is something that no one else in the nation is still doing..

Here is a synopsis of the bills status from today's Indianapolis Star:

Smoking ban
The Indiana House voted 73-26 Tuesday night to pass a statewide smoking ban, albeit a watered down one.
When Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, authored House Bill 1131, it only excluded the state's casinos and horse tracks from the ban. But after the House voted to adopt several amendments, those exemptions expanded to include bars, taverns, smoke shops, small businesses not open to the public, VFW and American Legion halls.
"We've exacted this down to the point where I think it's only illegal to smoke inside an oxygen tent in the intensive care unit of a hospital," said Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington. "This is not even close to a comprehensive ban anymore."
Despite how much the ban had been weakened, several Republicans voted against the measure.
"I still have a profound disagreement that this is good policy for the state of Indiana," said Rep. Matt Bell, R-Avilla. He said the decision on smoking bans should rest, as it does now, with individual communities.