Smoking during pregnancy may increase risk of autism in children
A recent study has found an association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and autism in children. The results compared data from cohorts with and without autism and determined maternal smoking habits from publicly-available birth certificate data. An association was found between autism and maternal smoking, but the data cannot be used to conclude that smoking causes autism. The authors suggest that this association warrants further study. Click here to read more and click here to read the study abstract published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
Apartment dwellers often subjected to neighbors' tobacco smoke
A recent survey among American apartment residents found that more than a third of the nonsmoking participants were able to smell secondhand smoke in the building's public spaces, and almost half smelled it within their own homes. The nationally-representative survey was conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence, a secondhand smoke exposure advocacy group, and focused on the responses of 323 participants. The participants were asked about their building’s smoking restrictions, family composition, where they smelled secondhand smoke, and how often. The results showed that those who lived in government subsidized housing were more likely to report secondhand smoke exposure, and that a total smoking ban was more effective than a partial ban. The researchers urge parents to be advocates for their children in regards to secondhand smoke exposure in their homes, and for parents to inquire about the smoking regulations of any apartment building they are considering living in. Click here to read more, or click here for information on smoke-free housing.
Health poll shows majority of Kentuckians favor statewide smoking ban (KY)
The results of the Kentucky Health Issues Poll show that 54% of Kentuckians would approve of a statewide indoor smoke-free air law. The poll was conducted by the health organization Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky in 2011. Support for a statewide smoke-free law was strongest among residents in the Greater Lexington region (61%), and the least support came from Western Kentucky where only 49% were in favor of the ban. The Kentucky General Assembly has yet to seriously consider a statewide smoking ban, according to the group. Click here to read more.
Health groups pan committee's tobacco votes (KS)
A recent tobacco-related bill passed by the Kansas House received harsh criticism from representatives of the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. This bill would permit smoking sections in all businesses that serve and employ only individuals aged 21 and older. Criticism over this bill stems from concern that this would set back tobacco control efforts because Kansas banned smoking in most private businesses in 2010. Click here to read this article, and here to track bill HB2690, which has been referred to the Committee on Health and Human Services for review.
Debate still lights up over Michigan smoking ban (MI)
Controversy has ensued in Michigan after an amendment was added to a Senate bill introduced last year that would reverse the statewide ban of smoking at charitable events and allow for smoking in enclosed, separate rooms and outdoor patios of eateries. Senator Howard Walker introduced this amendment stating that “these decisions should be left up to the property owner or the employees or the patrons.” This amendment could have health implications for patrons who were previously protected from secondhand smoke due to the state’s two-year-old comprehensive smoke-free air law that prohibits smoking in public places. Click here to read more and here to follow bill SB0950.
Leach sponsors bill exempting bars, tobacco shops from smoking bans (MO)
Missouri Representative Melissa Leach introduced a bill to the House that would exempt bars, tobacco shops, and bingo parlors from smoking bans as well as electronic cigarette regulations. This bill is in response to a smoke-free air law that was approved by voters last year, and would apply exemptions to any business that receives 60 percent of its revenue from tobacco, alcohol, or entertainment sales. Leach believes that the local government should not have the ability to prohibit smoking in a private business or home. This new bill adds to numerous other bills that have been proposed in Missouri related to tobacco control or taxes. To read this article click here, and click here to check the status of the bill, HB 2103.
RI bill: cops could warn smokers in cars with kids (RI)
A new bill approved bythe Rhode Island Senate would protect children in carseats from secondhand smoke in cars. This bill, introduced by Senator Susan Sosnowski, allows police to issue a warning to drivers caught smoking in their cars with children young enough to be required by law to ride in car seats. In response to concerns over civil liberties, Sosnowski recently amended the bill to ensure that drivers were not to be pulled over solely for this reason. To read this article, click here. Click here to track the progress of the bill, SB 2204.
New rules set more specific smoke-free areas
Changes to the Air Force Instruction on tobacco use include the designation of hospitals and clinics as tobacco-free environments. Use of all forms of tobacco has been restricted to designated “smoke-use” areas which must be at least 50 feet from building entrances and exits, sidewalks, and parking lots. This is the first update to tobacco policy in the Air Force in a decade, and was implemented to promote healthy living, reduce the impact of secondhand smoke, and increase productivity. Click here to read more.
Irish Health Minister seeks to ban smoking in cars, beaches and parks (Ireland)
Irish Health Minister James Riley has announced to the public his plan that aims to ban outdoor smoking in parks and beaches, and in cars with children present. Riley is following the lead of New York City, which has already implemented similar policies, and has reduced the prevalence of adult smoking to 22%. Currently, 29% of Irish adults are smokers, and Riley would like to see that number decrease in addition to giving a voice to Ireland’s children when it comes to secondhand smoke. Click here to read more.
Back to Table of Contents