They Know All About You

The tobacco industry knows all about you.  Male or female, young or old, what ever race, ethnicity, social group or demographic you belong to, they are trying to figure you out. You are their target, and you might not even smoke…yet.   Take the tobacco industry giant Philip Morris, for example.  They were, and still are, experts at visualizing how to get you to try that first cigarette and what it will take to keep you coming back to their products.

Marlboro2Back in the day, it was easy to get people to smoke.  During World Wars I & II the tobacco industry provided free smokes for the boys fighting “over there” and encouraged those at home to do their part to support them by sending them smokes and buy some for themselves.  Doctors were used in ads because they were trusted members of the community, and if they smoked then cigarettes must be safe.  More women began to pick up the habit as they watched the glamorous Hollywood starlets smoke on screen and in movie magazines. But over time news articles were tying cigarettes to lung cancer. The market share dropped and itMarlboro10 wasn’t as easy to just market your tobacco product to everyone, you had to find a niche. Philip Morris makers of Marlboro, which was originally marketed to women because of the filter, needed a boost to bring sales back up.  When the Marlboro cowboy was introduced, men VS1picked up the brand and sales skyrocketed.  But it seemed to leave women out and Philip Morris needed something to grab that market share. The company introduced Virginia Slims in 1968, a cigarette specifically for women, but sales weren’t as good as they hoped.  In the early 1990s Philip Morris looked into the situation and came up with four categories of the “young adult female smoker” to order to help them understand women’s buying habits and sell more cigarettes.

There was the “90s Traditionalists”: married, into her family and bargain hunting, but able to express her own opinions.  The “Uptown Girls” were on the cutting edge of fashion, like to shop and party, go to bars and “meet hot guys”. There were the “Wallflowers”:  on the outside looking in, wanting to fit into a group but don’t, but they are still smoking. And finally there are the “Mavericks”: women who were “not into the feminine image,” they are primarily white, single, employed part-time,” but value “financial and personal independence.”  They are also very pro-smoking and won’t be told what to do.  As different as all these groups were, they had one thing in common: they all smoked Marlboros over other brands, as much as 10 times more, and the tobacco company wanted to understand why they smoked a cigarette marketed to men instead of one for women.

The one thing the tobacco company surmised is that the women in each group were showing their independence, their freedom and individualism, which is “a core value of American society.”  The tobacco industry has also fostered that idea of freedom to smoke if you want.  But this freedom and individualism is also used against you by the tobacco industry.  While it is your choice to smoke, and the tobacco industry encourages you to do so, if you get lung cancer, it is also your fault. The tobacco industry is great at manipulating you to use an addictive product by using their advertisements to draw you into their form of reality, or should we say fantasy. They don’t target adults, because most adults can chose to be whatever they want; they target youth who are looking for some group to belong, to be that person they fantasize themselves to be.

Marlboro5The fantasy of the Marlboro cowboy is still an iconic image for many, but changes have been made through the years. He doesn’t smoke much in magazines ads anymore, but you might catch him smoking in direct mailings or emails sent to subscribers’ homes.  Marlboro9 In fact, you may not see him at all as more ads are promoting Marlboro’s latest sweepstakes and providing seasonal giveaways without a single horse, rider or cigarette in sight. And while Philip Morris pegged women into their various categories, they don’t appear to be featuring or even mentioning them in any ads, as seen in this direct mailing sent out to subscribers at the right.

The tobacco industry has spent millions to conduct studies to pigeon-hole people, in this case women, into the neat little categories they visualize.  And whether smokers are lighting up a “woman’s” or “man’s” cigarette, they are getting hooked into using a product that will cause them disease and shorten their life.  Is this the fantasy you visualized before you started smoking?

Click HERE to read The Real Marlboro Man
Top three advertisement pictures from Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising.
Bottom two pictures from Trinkets and Trash.


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Great American Spit Out

Ditch_the_snuffSpit it out, throw away the can and get ready for the Great American Spit Out on February 19.  Every one should know by now that smoking is bad for you, but using smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative.  Cigarettes contain nicotine, a chemical that causes you to become addicted, but smokeless tobacco contains 3 to 4 times more nicotine than cigarettes, causing the addiction even tougher to kick.  Let’s face it, whether you take a puff or a pinch, you are putting chemicals into your body that shouldn’t be there.

So why should you ditch the snuff, chewing tobacco and dip?  Check the ingredients listed in smokeless tobacco by the US Smokeless Tobacco Company, and you will not find “carcinogens” listed, yet that is what researchers have found.  In fact, there are “28 known carcinogens in smokeless tobacco,” and  “tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA) are considered to be the most important due to the combination of abundance and strong carcinogenicity.”  Two of the main carcinogenic compounds are NNK and KKK, but others include “N–nitrosamino acids, volatile N–nitrosamines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), volatile aldehydes, hydrazine, metals, and radioactive polonium.” And let’s not forget nicotine; you will absorb three to four times more in smokeless than from smoking.

Did you know most smokeless tobacco is sweetened to make it taste good?  “The range of sugar contents for the pouch tobaccos tested was between 24 and 65 percent and for the plug tobaccos 13 to 50 percent.”  And they need all that sugar to mask the taste of all the other ingredients such as formaldehyde, cadmium used in batteries, cyanide, arsenic, benzene, and lead.

You can get the same diseases from smokeless tobacco as you can from rotted_teethsmoking including heart disease, heart attacks, and high blood pressure.  If you have diabetes, smokeless can make controlling your numbers very difficult.  And let’s not forget about cavities from all that sugar, gums that are receding, and sores in your mouth that don’t go away. And cancer.  “Every year over 481,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed.” And oral cancer from using smokeless tobacco has bad survival rates; of those diagnosed, only about half will survive more than five years.”  But if caught early, oral cancer can be highly curable.  If you notice a sore in your mouth, waiting is not a good idea.

So, after all this information, are you ready to ditch smokeless?  There is better stuff out there, like money in your pocket, more time with your family and less time running out to buy your fix and hiding it from them.  There is also the peace of mind knowing you are on the path to better health and no longer the slave to tobacco.

There are also organizations out there waiting to help you 24/7.  If you are a member of the military, offers live chats with an expert coach.  Use their “support locator” to find the number in your area. is a site with former smokeless tobacco members helping other members become former users. and are two additional sites you may be interested in visiting on your journey to quitting smokeless.  Our mention is not an endorsement of any site, but just a way to help you get started ditching the snuff for the better stuff in life.


Click HERE to learn why you should “Ditch the Snuff”, click HERE to read more about smokeless tobacco facts, and click the links throughout the story to learn more about the dangers of smokeless tobacco.


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Presidential Tobacco Quiz

President's_DayIt used to be called Washington’s Birthday, but by an act of Congress in 1971 as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act it is now known as President’s Day. It basically gives a three-day weekend for some of the nation’s workers.  Some schools may be off today, but that doesn’t stop us from giving you a quick quiz on the tobacco habits of some of our Presidential office holders.  How well do you know your presidents and their tobacco use?  Answers are at the bottom.

1.  This President was at one time a four-pack a day smoker.  When his physician suggested he cut back, he decided it was worse counting cigarettes than quitting.  He said he was able to quit by developing “a scornful attitude toward those weaklings who did not have the will power to break their enslavement.”   Unfortunately, his smoking created life-long health problems including a stroke, seven myocardial infarctions, and 14 cardiac arrests.

2.  This President was a farmer growing wheat, vegetables, flax and corn, but his main cash crop was tobacco, although the price was usually low and rarely profitable.  He had cash flow problems and was always in debt.

3.  This President smoked off and on from age 8.  This doctor even tried to get him to quit by giving him a copy of a lecture entitled “Caution to a Young Person Concerning Health … showing the Evil Tendency of the Use of Tobacco.”  While he regretted smoking, there is no evidence he quit.  He also liked to chew tobacco.

4. This President’s father acquired land and slaves, built mills and grew tobacco at Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, VA. and at Little Hunting Creek Plantation, which was renamed to its current, famous moniker.

5.  This President, who served in two wars, suffered sword wounds and gunshot wounds, chronic abdominal pain for years, but refused to give up coffee and tobacco, even suffering headaches from his tobacco use.

6.  He gave up alcohol, but not tobacco.  This president chewed tobacco in business school and liked to smoke an occasional cigar.

7.  This President was a General, loved his cigars, but died at age 63 from throat cancer. His oldest son, also a General, died from throat cancer at about the same age as his father.

8.  This two-time President, who dropped the use of his first name, also loved his cigars and developed cancer on his “cigar-chewing side.”  He had it removed in a secret operation aboard his yacht.


Information for each President was obtained from HERE,, or on their individual Wikipedia pages.



1.  Dwight D. Eisenhower;  2. Thomas Jefferson;  3. John Adams;  4. George Washington;  5. Andrew Jackson; 6.  George W. Bush;  7. Ulysses S Grant;  8. (Stephen) Grover Cleveland





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February is Heart Month

heart3As Valentine’s Day fast approaches our thoughts turn to hearts, and what better time to remind everyone that February is Heart Month.  Heart disease was the top leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2010 and was one of two chronic diseases – cancer is the other – that accounted for nearly 48% of all deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control.   Heart disease is also the leading cause of death worldwide.  Most people think that heart disease is for older adults, but risk factors for this disease start in childhood. Knowing the risk factors – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity and physical inactivity – and controlling them when you are young will lower the risk of developing heart disease later in life.

Some risk factors for heart disease are linked to family history; you can’t change genetics, but you can change your environment.  One risk factor of heart disease you can control and take out of your environment is smoking.  The chemicals in cigarettes speeds up your atherosclerosisheart rate and decreases the amount of oxygen your heart gets.  Carbon monoxide, nicotine and other substances in tobacco smoke damages your blood vessels increasing the development of atherosclerosis.  “Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries” causing them to narrow or blocking them entirely.  If this happens in the heart, it is called coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease.   Narrowed arteries make it difficult for oxygen-rich blood to flow to the heart and a blocked artery can cause a heart attack.  Even non-smokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke by living with a smoker or working in a smoke-filled environment can develop heart disease.

Heart1_001Smokers are “two to four times more likely to get heart disease,” but quitting can reduce your risk.  In fact, after 1 year of quitting, your risk of heart disease is cut in half.  Even if you have smoked for years, quitting will benefit your health.  So do your heart a favor and show it some love by kicking the smoking habit.

Click the highlighted words for more links on this subject.
Click HERE for the Benefits of Quitting Smoking and HERE on Smoking and Heart Disease.


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Light Smoking is Harmful

An occasional cigarette every now and then shouldn’t be a problem for a teen because you aren’t really a smoker, right?  Wrong!

youthIn this study researchers used data from the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey taken by 24,658 students in middle schools and high schools throughout the U.S.  Most teens knew that heavy smoking can be harmful.  And about 2 in every 3 students knew that smoking a few cigarettes every day can also be harmful.  But when it came to occasional smoking that doesn’t happen every day, only about a third of the students knew that was also harmful.  Of those teens who were intermittent smokers only “1 out of every 7 understood their habit was dangerous.”

The concern among researchers is that the intermittent teen smoker will become a heavier smoker over time.  With teens the danger of becoming addicted to nicotine happens quicker than with adults because the teen brain is still developing.

The study also found that cigarette smoking among teens is dropping, the bad news is that at least 20% of teens use tobacco products with only 4% of these teens getting “their nicotine solely from cigarettes.”  Those occasionally using cigarettes may be likely to use some other form of nicotine product such as hookahs, chewing tobacco, cigars and electronic cigarettes.  Electronic cigarettes use among teens is a growing concern and use has doubled from what it was a year ago.  Students don’t always wait until middle school to experiment with tobacco.  According to Table 3 of the above survey, some had reported they had “first used a whole cigarette, cigar, or smokeless tobacco before age 11.”

Teens who use nicotine early in their lives become more addicted to it and have a more difficult time breaking free.  Clearly, there is a need for tobacco prevention to start early and continue throughout a student’s school years as this study has shown.

Click HERE to read the entire article








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World Cancer Day 2015

CancerWorld Cancer Day was designed to “raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment.”  This year’s theme of World Cancer Day is it’s “Not beyond us.”  While we are still learning and discovering things about cancer, there are several positive approaches in this fight that we can implement to help with prevention now and in the future.  The 2015 campaign focuses around four key areas: choosing healthy lifestyles, delivering early detection, achieving treatment for all, and maximizing quality of life.  All these factors are important, but choosing a healthy lifestyle by decreasing your exposure to “social and environmental risk factors,” is essential for prevention.  One such risk factor is tobacco.

In 1964 the Surgeon General of the U.S. came out with its first report on the effects of tobacco on health.  At that time the report “held cigarette smoking responsible for a 70% increase in the mortality rate of smokers over non-smokers.”  And that “average smokers had a nine- to ten-fold risk of developing lung cancer compared to non-smokers; heavy smokers at least a twenty-fold risk.”  Those Americans who believe smoking caused cancer went from 44% in 1958 to 78% a decade later.

cancer_chartFifty years later the 2014 Surgeon General’s Report stated the link that was first reported in 1964 between smoking and cancer is stronger, as is the link between secondhand smoke and cancer.  Between 1965 and 2014, the number of premature deaths caused by smoking-related cancers is estimated at 6,587,000.  Lung cancer risks caused by exposure to secondhand smoke are estimated to be about 263,000.   Fifteen cancers are now either directly or causally linked to smoking.   According to the report, “smoking increases the risk of dying from cancer and other diseases in cancer patients and survivors.”

Some cancer risks factors, such as genetics, age, and immune system issues are simply out of our control.  Keeping yourself healthy helps to reduce the risk, but if you are exposed to known toxins and carcinogens in your day-to-day environment, such as tobacco smoke where you live or work, it can undermine your healthy lifestyle. Safeguards put into place can help reduce that exposure, but it will take a coordinated efforts from different branches of government to put measures in place to protect everyone.

Addressing known risk factors, such as tobacco and other unhealthy lifestyles, is just one way that we can reduce cancer in the world.

Click here to read more about World Cancer Day




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What’s Out There in Tobacco Land

Seems the tobacco industry is stretching gift-giving a little longer this year by sending their users specials, according to the January 2015 updates from Trinkets and Trash.

koozieYou thought Christmas was over?, well, think again my friend.  Skoal is providing their users with a “can cooler” attached to a carabiner.  Instead of developing that tell-tale can outline in your back pocket, now you can attach the can to your belt loop.  Sort of like wearing a fanny pack for your smokeless tobacco habit.  Skoal does show its concern for users by attaching a health warning to the carabiner, but that is easily removed.  Too bad the warning isn’t printed directly on the can holder so you see the reminder each and every time you open the cooler to pack a lip.  If having a koozie isn’t your idea of a pencilsgift, Copenhagen is sending you a set of four carpenter pencils engraved with your initials which arrives in a discrete black box for your birthday.  Nothing like getting a gift, opening it and seeing the words “WARNING: This product can cause mouth cancer.” Engraved pencils in exchange for mouth cancer.  Some gift.

Some brands of smokeless have also gone paperless, providing virtual coupons sent directly to user’s mobile devices.  Skoal and Copenhagen are on board and making it easier for dippers to never forget a coupon.  The Skoal ad claims “We’re always looking for ways to make a dipper’s day better.”  Will they be there when the dipper runs into health issues because of their addictive product?  This virtual coupon also makes it easier for kids to hide their habit from the parental units as the paper offers won’t show up in the mailbox.  Not to be outdone, Marlboro is also going the virtual route.  No more waiting at the mailbox.

The tobacco industry realizes that throwing a few coupons and an occasional gift your Marlboroway may not keep you as a loyal user, so they also design sweepstakes where you have to log in continually to be eligible.  Marlboro has their “Hot Streak” contest, which actually sounds pretty lame, but requires you to log in every day.  You may not win, but you will get a $15 movie coupon just for playing.  We’re guessing quitting to win good health isn’t as appealing to some people.  Parliament has their “In Code” sweepstakes where those on the “inner circle” mailing list can win concert tickets.   And Camel is encouraging people to try something new in 2015 with their “Inspired to Act” project.  Quitting smoking probably isn’t on their list of things they want their users to be inspired to do.

Electronic nicotine delivery systems (vaporizes, e-cigarettes, etc) are also out with their NJOY1offers.  blu e-cigarettes now has a rewards program to earn points and trade points for gifts so you can use their products and provide them with free advertising.  NJOY wants you to “help a loved one make the switch” and save yourself some money.  Think of all the money you and your loved one will save if you quit using these products!  If you purchase one of their Kings products, you can get 2-free.  Both the blu and NJOY products do not show any health warnings on the advertising page.  In one ad, Mark 10 offers you free cartridges for your e-vapor device and a very detailed warning label that goes beyond what is normally seen. Sort of makes you wonder why they would even sell a product that is so dangerous it requires such a warning, but they are covering all their bases for future litigation purposes.

While you are thinking about all these great offers, here’s something else to think about: “tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States.”  And while you are taking a moment to let that sink in, think about this:  almost 70% of smokers want to quit.  If a product is that good, why would so many users want to stop using it?  With everything you already know about tobacco, why would anyone want to start?

Information for this blog and all images came from Trinkets & Trash Surveillance Update – January, 2015.  










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Calculating the Cost of Smoking

Have you ever used one of those “cost of smoking” calculators?  You put in the amount of cigarettes you smoke each day and the amount you pay per pack, and the calculator will tell you how much it is costing you to smoke by week, month or year. The smoking calculator linked above will even show you the amount of tar going into your lungs every year…a great visual for students.  The Tobacco Free Florida calculator asks you for basic information then calculates the number of years smoking, what you have already spent for cigarettes, and how much it will cost you if you keep smoking.  Their calculator also shows you what you could buy if you quit today.  The calculators are great, but they don’t give you the entire picture.

dollar_signsAccording to the financial site WalletHub, not only do you need to take into account the price of the cigarettes, but what they are costing you in terms of “health care costs, income loss, as well as other costs like higher insurance premiums or denied insurance claims.”  WalletHub “gauged the financial cost of smoking by calculating the potential monetary losses…health care expenditures, income losses and other costs.”  Monetary losses ranged from $1,097,690 over a lifetime of smoking for those living in South Carolina to $2,032,916 for those living in Alaska.  The majority of that amount is from the actual cost of tobacco.  Florida comes in at #26 (out of 51) with $1,372,374.

The health care cost per smoker was figured by taking the state-level annual health care costs data from the Centers for Disease Control and dividing it by the total number of adult smokers in each state.  Those numbers ranged from $106,863 in Arkansas to $239,866 in Connecticut.

Smokers will have more loss of income either from illness from tobacco use, from lower productivity due to their smoking, or because they have lower paying jobs because of their habit.  These amounts range from $155,395 for smokers in Mississippi to $295,168 for smokers in Maryland.

Smokers will also incur higher health insurance premiums, and higher homeowner insurance because of their smoking habit.  While their actual insurance premium may not be higher, they won’t qualify for credits given to non-smokers.  Another income loss area for a smoker is their residence.  If a homeowner is a smoker and he/she smokes in their residence, when it comes time to sell, that residence will sell at a lower amount compared to a comparable smoke-free home.  And what about the non-smokers living in a smoking household?  They will incur health care costs from their exposure to secondhand smoke.   In the category of “other costs per smoker,” the amounts ranged from $7,577 in West Virginia to a high of $17,212 in Florida.

The financial hardships of smoking hit those hardest who have the most to lose from smoking such as the unemployed, underemployed and the low-income earning population.  You know smoking isn’t good for your health, but it isn’t good for your wallet either.

Read the entire article here.






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2015 State of Tobacco Control

For 13 years the American Lung Association has published its State of Tobacco Control report by grading states on their tobacco control measures in four areas: Tobacco Prevention, Smokefree Air, Cigarette Tax and Cessation Services.  If these were like school grades, the 2015 report would find a lot of states grounded this year!

According to the report, of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, only one state, Vermont, has all passing grades with a “C” in tobacco prevention, an “A” in smokefree air, a “B” in their cigarette tax and a “B” in cessation.  If a “D” grade is considered passing then Maine would also have to be included as they received a “D”, “A”, “D” and “B” in the above listed categories. Most states didn’t fare as well.  Seven states received all “F” scores: AL, KY, MS, MO NC, TX and VA.  However, 12 states only had one “F” score:  DE, HI, MD, MA, MN, MT, NM, NY, ND, OK, RI, and D.C.  Improvements are being made with baby steps.

tobaccopreventionTOBACCO PREVENTION:
In the Tobacco Prevention category, only Alaska and North Dakota received an “A”, which means they spent 80% or more of the CDC recommended level for funding their programs. Delaware received a “B”, and Hawaii, Oklahoma, Vermont and Wyoming received a “C”.  Arkansas and Maine received a “D” and 42 other states, Florida included, received a “F.”  Florida spent 35.8% of the CDC recommended level of funding in this area.  Florida takes in $1,600,000,000 in tobacco-related revenue and spends $69,475,578 for State Tobacco Control Programs.  It should be noted that years ago Florida voters approved a provision that would require tobacco settlement money be used to fund tobacco prevention programs.

SmokefreeairSMOKEFREE AIR: Smoking restrictions for each state were reviewed for this category.  Those states with smoking prohibited in public places, such as restaurants, bars and workplaces, and without state preemption will be at the top of the list.  According to the list, 24 states received an “A” grade, seven states received a “B”, and seven received a “C”.  Three states, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and West Virginia received a “D” and 10 states received a “F”: AL, AK, KY, MS, MO, NC, SC, TX, VA, and WY.   All Americans have the right to breathe clean air. Considering what we now know about the effects of secondhand smoke on our health, smoking should be banned in all public places, including all casinos, with no exemptions.  Florida received a “B” in this category because smoking is still allowed in bars that make up 10% of less of their sales from food.  Florida also has a pre-emption law that means communities cannot adopt laws that are stronger laws than the state.

cigarettetaxesCIGARETTE TAX:  In order to receive an “A” in this area, the state must have the cigarette tax at $3.08 or higher.  According to the report only 2 states achieved this: Massachusetts, at $3.51/pack and Hawaii at $3.20/pack.  Unfortunately, the report forgot New York, at $4.35/pack, the highest in the nation.  Moving New York to the top of the list means six states received a “B”: CT, MN, RI, VT, WI and D.C.  Two states received a “C” grade: Alaska and Washington.  Seven states received a “D” grade: ME, MD, MT, NH, NJ, NM, and UT.  The other 33 states received a “F”.  Florida is in the last group receiving a “F” for their $1.339/pack tax for cigarettes; however, according to the report Florida should have received a “D”  because they fall into the $0.77 to $1.539 category.  Since the rating is based on a number of points regarding other types of tobacco besides cigarettes, perhaps Florida’s “F” rating was because the state does not tax cigars, according to the website Half Wheel, which makes tobacco very affordable for youth.

cessationservicesCESSATION SERVICES:  Cessation services encompasses many areas including medications, counseling services, barriers to coverage (copays or limits), Medicaid coverage, coverage by state employee health plans and private insurance plans and the state Quitline.  No state received an “A” for their cessation services.  Only four states received a “B” (ME, MN, OK, VT) or a “C” (AZ, DE, NM, ND).   Nine states received a “D”:  CA, CO, ID, MD, MA, MT, NY, RI, and SC.  The remaining 33 received a “F”, including Florida.  When comparing Florida to a state that received a “B” grade, Florida would have to increase the amount of NRT’s they provide under the Quitline, perhaps provide more services for Medicaid participants, and invest more per smoker to help them quit.  Florida only invest $4.37 with the average being $3.65.  The states that received a “B” invested between $12.66 (ME) and $6.22 (VT).

Here in Florida, the adult smoking rate is at 16.8%, but we still lose 28,607 people a year to smoking.  While the state takes in $1.6 Billion from tobacco, the economic cost to the state due to smoking is over $12.8 billion.  Banning smoking in all public places with no exemptions would provide clean air and healthier work environments for all workers in our state.  Increasing taxes on all tobacco products would cause many users to quit or cut back, but it would also increase revenues. Providing tobacco prevention for all students throughout their school years would help educate them about the dangers of tobacco and prevent many students from starting a deadly habit.  It would also reduce the amount of youth smoking.  Raising the smoking age would also help the youth smoking rates.

Doing everything you can to provide the residents of your state with healthy living environments is a win-win for them and for your state.  We are all in this together.

You can see how your state did in the State of Tobacco Control 2015.



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One NC School District Reclassifies E-Cigarettes

Many school districts throughout the U.S. have instituted tobacco-free policies because they recognize “the use of tobacco products is a health, safety, and environmental hazard for students, employees, parents, visitors, and school facilities.”  As the popularity of electronic cigarettes has grown with middle and ecighigh school students, school districts that have a tobacco policy are moving forward quickly to include e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine to their policies, if they haven’t already done so.  One school district in North Carolina has not only banned e-cigarettes, they will be coded as possession or use (depending on the actual circumstances) of “drug paraphernalia” starting February 2, 2015.

Under their school policy, “drug paraphernalia includes pipes, bongs, and any other devices designed or employed to use drugs or other substances.” Using that definition, electronic nicotine delivery systems (e-cigarettes) would seem to fall easily under the drug paraphernalia category.  Nicotine itself is considered a “psychoactive drug in that it both stimulates and depresses functions,” but the concern is that students can replace the liquid nicotine with THC oil, hash oil or other illegal substances. Tetrahydrocannabinol or marijuana oil is illegal in most states, but that doesn’t stop students from finding and using it.  It can be placed into the devices and smoked almost anywhere with very little smell to give away the user.

Those students in Haywood County, North Carolina violating the policy could face anything from a 10-day suspension to expulsion from school depending on the severity of the offense.

Read the news article here, and the Haywood School District Notice to Reclassify here.

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