Baltimore’s ban on sale of single, cheap cigars will protect kids and health (MD)
A new regulation issued in Baltimore, MD restricts individual sales of cheap cigars and only allows these to be sold in quantities of no less than five. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids upholds that this measure will further protect children and youth since this demographic is more price sensitive and was attracted by the low cost of individual cigars. This type of tobacco product could also be more appealing to youth since they often come in candy and fruit flavors, are packaged in bright colors and are often positioned near candy displays in retail outlets. In addition to this restriction, Mayor Sheila Dixon is also proposing additional legislation to prevent the illegal sale of cheap cigars to minors in the state. Click here to read the press release by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
Ban would halt sale of cigarettes in machines (OR)
Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski has submitted a proposal to prohibit cigarette sales from vending machines for the 2009 legislative session. Cigarette vending machines are one way that individuals can purchase tobacco products without having to first show proof of age although these machines are generally located in age restricted venues. A survey conducted by the Oregon Department of Human Services found that 7% of eighth graders have purchased cigarettes out of vending machines. Find out more here. Click here to watch a video reporting about the proposal.
Teens are influenced by health risks of smoking
Although it is widely believed that teens who either underestimate the health hazards or overestimate the social benefits of smoking are more likely to become smokers, a recent study is the first to empirically demonstrate that beliefs about smoking are predictive of future behavior. This longitudinal, prospective study found that beliefs of insusceptibility to both short-term and long-term health risks were predictive of future smoking. Youths with the strongest beliefs that smoking offers social benefits were over three times more likely to become smokers. Because beliefs about the social benefits of smoking were also relevant to smoking uptake, the study suggests that adults should help youths find ways other than smoking to pursue high social status. Click here to read a summary of the findings, or click here to read the abstract of the research in the American Journal of Public Health.
Kids start smoking aged 12…simply from choice (UK)
The Liverpool Longitudinal Study on Smoking (LLSS) has been tracking 250 children from the age of 5 to 16 to examine at the attitudes of youth regarding smoking. Their most recent findings show that many teenagers start smoking to relieve stress or simply because they like to smoke and not due to peer pressure. The study also found that youth who had family members that smoked were more likely to pick up the habit themselves and 99% of regular smokers lived with at least one smoker. While only 1% of participants stated any desire to smoke by the end of elementary school, 55.6% were smokers by the age of 15. Additionally, there was a significant increase in number of smokers between the age of 12 (23%) and 13 (42%) suggesting this as a crucial time period for adolescent smoking initiation. According to Dr. Susan Woods, one of the researchers, the findings suggest that interventions focused on peer pressure might be misplaced and tackling parental smoking might be a better route to curb adolescent and youth smoking. The study is being conducted by the Liverpool John Moore’s University and is funded by the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. Click here to read more. Click here to access the full Liverpool Longitudinal Study on Smoking.
Children's secondhand smoke exposure in private homes and cars: An ethical analysis
Despite the known dangers of secondhand smoke, thousands of children remain unprotected from exposure to SHS in private homes and cars. This article published in the American Journal of Public Health reviewed legislation and court cases related to such initiatives and used a principlist approach to analyze the ethical implications of policies banning smoking in private cars and homes in which children are present. Click here to read the abstract and here to access the full article.
Changes in tobacco use among youths aged 13-15 years-Panama-2002-2008 (Panama)
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) recently released a report with the results from a comparison of the Global Youth Tobacco Surveys (GYTS) for Panama in 2002 and 2008. The comparison was conducted with the cooperation of the Panama Ministry of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) to evaluate the progress attained by the tobacco control efforts in Panama. The comparison showed substantial decreases from 2002 to 2008. Youth cigarette smoking showed decreases of 60% for boys, 75% for girls, and 67% overall with the actual rates changing from 13.2% to 4.3%. Current use of other tobacco products decreased 41% overall from 2002 (9.8%) to 2008 (5.8%) and did not exhibit a difference between sexes. The rate of initiation of smoking by those who had never smoked decreased from 13.8% in 2002 to 10% in 2008. Other factors also had significant decreases including exposure to second-hand smoke, best friends smoking, pro-tobacco advertising in newspapers and magazines and owning something with a tobacco company logo on it. Click here to read the full MMWR report.
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