Friday, October 30, 2009
Per the usual in debates about smoke-free workplaces, a Big Tobacco sponsored organization is fighting the regulations. The policy could go to the full city council as early as next month.
Unfortunately for Wisconsin, we are not allowed to take action on the local level to make our outdoor dining areas smoke-free. Big Tobacco used a front group to ensure that patrons and workers will not have the right to be protected from secondhand smoke. Hopefully in the future, the restrictions at the state-level can be repealed and local city councils, village boards, and county supervisors will take up the issue of smoke-free outdoor dining.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Interference: ICD-9 Project Big Tobacco's strategy to prevent attributing illnes to secondhand smoke
The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) in its 9th revision is a code book for every ailment, treatment, procedure, and cause. Back in 1994 Big Tobacco, specifically Phillip Morris, planned a project (with $2 million financial backing) to prevent secondhand smoke (SHS) from being included in ICD-9. The ICD has three types of codes: diagnosis, treatment, and e-code or causal code. If the causal classification of SHS was included it would mean death and disease caused by SHS would be directly attributable to Big Tobacco. It would make it much easier to determine the direct costs of secondhand smoke on the government. Naturally, Big Tobacco was going to fight this, interference style (pictured left).
Their plan to fight this inclusion of a causal classification code would mean that even if a doctor knew a particular ailment was caused by SHS, it would be impossible to record the causal code. A review of tobacco industry documents shows that Big Tobacco used a fake lobbying group, Multinational Business Services, Inc.(MBS), to avoid any causal link being made to secondhand smoke exposure. On behalf of Phillip Morris, MBS submitted documents questioning the science behind secondhand smoke.
A 2005 article from Health Affairs says, "The tobacco industry has thus far undermined the collection of data on secondhand smoke’s relationship to illness.These findings exemplify the use of politics to influence science. The medical and public health communities need to be made aware of these different codes and the potential for tobacco industry interests to undermine their use."
For Wisconsin, as well as the rest of the nation, this means that even though we know secondhand smoke is dangerous and causes disease, tobacco industry interference has prevented us from gathering accurate data. The question remains, what would tobacco control look like, if there was no tobacco industry interference? What would Wisconsin's tobacco control efforts look like if Phillip Morris did not employ front groups to block and stall a comprehensive statewide smoke-free air law?
The most infuriating tobacco industry document related to this issue. The full journal article is available here.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Earlier this year an important report was released that will ultimately open the door to smoke-free casinos. While it has been well documented that secondhand smoke (SHS) it is a health hazard; research and air quality monitoring specific to casinos had yet to be released. All that changed when the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Report was issued.
This is what the study did:
- talked to casino dealers about their symptoms resulting from exposure to SHS
- collect urine samples to determine if SHS was absorbed into the bodies of dealers
- conducted general health questionnaires
- measured exposure to SHS with air quality and personal measures
- dealers reported having symptoms related to SHS
- SHS was present in the air
- found SHS components within urine*
The conclusions of the report are to make casinos smoke-free, promote cessation, and ensure ventilation systems are working. We know ventilation is not enough. We also know quitting is not enough. The only way to ensure casino workers are receiving the same protections that many other workers are already enjoying is to make casinos smoke-free.
What about Wisconsin?
- Unfortunately, Wisconsin does not have smoke-free gaming
- All of our casinos and gaming facilities are tribal operated
- Given the sovereignty of tribal nations, it is up to the individual tribes to enact policy to ensure all workers are protected
- Join the movement for smoke-free gaming!
- Let the casinos and gaming establishments you frequent know- smoke-free is the way to be!
The single best resource on smoke-free gaming- featuring people who have the facts about poker and smoke-free environments. There is also a great website on Smoke-free Gaming. If you are looking for what national leaders in the smoke-free movement (ANR) are talking about in terms of smoke-free gaming- we highly recommend visiting this site.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
UW-Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI) is conducting a study focusing on Milwaukee's poorest neighborhoods. Using zip codes to narrow the participant pool the findings of their research are astonishing.
First, a little more about the area and survey participants.
Demographics for the area are as follows:
In more simple terms this is a relatively young population, primarily African American, and very poor. The intention of the study was to examine what prevents people in the neighborhood from accessing cessation services.
It was discovered that 42% of the population smokes, more than twice the state average of just under 20%.
Below are some of the findings:
This study is still in progress so please check back for more information about reaching challenging populations.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
What is important to know:
- The top employment category is food-preparation and serving-related jobs (44.7% current smokers)
- Next highest employment category smoking rate is construction workers and miners (42.9% current smokers)
- The lowest employment categories were education, training, and library fields (12.3% reported smoking in the last month)
- 18-25 year olds have the highest recent history of smoking (having smoked in the past month).
- Men smoked at higher rates than women.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Just today Beloit Daily News is discussing the funding cuts to the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program:
"lthough Wisconsin taxpayers are paying more for cigarettes, programs aimed at curbing smoking are getting cut.
State Rep. Kim Hixson, D-Whitewater, Rep. Chuck Benedict, D-Beloit, and Sen. Judy Robson, D-Beloit, are co-sponsoring a bill moving through the legislature that would restore some of the funding to tobacco-related programs like the statewide Quit Line.
“At a time when both the state and federal cigarette taxes have increased substantially, more smokers are wanting to quit and it is very difficult to do it on their own,” Robson said. “They need a plan and they need support. The type of phone counseling and medications offered by the Quit Line have shown great success in helping people quit. Unfortunately, funding has been cut for these important services,” the article stated.
- Clove cigarettes are a thing of the past thanks to the FDA
- Manufacturers of cloves are exploiting a loophole to keep their product on the market (creating little clove cigars)
- The burning of cloves releases a dangerous chemical, eugenol
- Eugenol is a dangerous additive that numbs the throat and increases the likelihood of addiction
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
This morning I was getting my daily dose of talk radio and they featured an ad about electronic cigarettes.
The ad contained statements like:
"Try this product totally free, over a $130 value, yours free!"
"Tobacco-free product that will help you or your loved one quit"
"A safer alternative to smoking"
"Call this number for your free trial offer"
All of this seemed in keeping with other advertising we have seen about the emerging marketing of electronic cigarettes. Throughout the day I tried to call the number but it was busy every time. This product is also widely available in mall kiosks.
What was missing from this ad and from mall kiosks are disclaimers saying that this product has not been thoroughly tested in clinical trials by the FDA like other cessation devices or pharmaceuticals. These ads and kiosks also don't have the disclaimer that these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. It is curious as to how a company can claim a product is safer without providing the evidence that the product is indeed safer.
Continue to check back here as more develops on the issue of e-cigarettes.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Here is what you need to know about the study:
- Secondhand smoke exposure increases risks of heart disease and attacks and can cause heart attacks
- After smoke-free laws are implemented there is an immediate reduction in heart attack rates
- Smoke-free laws save lives, immediately after they are put in place
- We must protect all workers from the dangers of secondhand smoke
Thursday, October 15, 2009
To read the full article please click here.
This sad article points to the tragedy of receiving less than healthy lungs. It also asks the question should smokers' lungs be used in cases of transplant?
Posted by Erich at 9:36 AM
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The intention behind this vaccine is prevent re-lapses among smokers who have successfully quit and as an aid to help people quit in the first place. Because nicotine dependency and addiction are very difficult to treat, this vaccine presents hope for current smokers and for former smokers those who have found a successful way to quit and want to keep it that way.
How does the vaccine work?
NicVAX (registered trademark of Nabi Biopharmaceuticals) is a nicotine deriative bond chemically to a specially selected carrier protein using patented vaccine technology. NicVAX causes the immune system to produce anti-bodies that bind to nicotine and prevent it from entering the brain. The intention is for the anti-bodies the immune system produces to act as sponges which soak up all the nicotine and prevent it from going to the brain. Blocking nicotine from entering the brain helps to curb the reward system that creates and maintains nicotine addiction.
How close are we?
A large grant was given to Nabi Pharmaceuticals to enter into third phase clinical trails. This is the final trial and thus far it has proven very successful in helping smokers who are ready to quit get over the hump of the initial withdrawal period.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
To see what other states are doing on the issue of smoke-free housing click on the links below (many cities, and other states not listed).
Minnesota is making great strides in smoke-free housing.
So is New York
To read the latest smoke-free housing news visit the website for Americans for Non-Smokers Rights.
Monday, October 12, 2009
To read the full article click here.
Friday, October 9, 2009
"Starting next July, bars and restaurants in Wisconsin must go smoke-free. Now local smoke-free coalitions which backed that state law say they're already starting to see more smokeless tobacco products.
For many years Big Tobacco has used language light, ultra light, low tar, mild, and other descriptors of their products, mostly cigarettes. Typically Big Tobacco uses color association as well as descriptors. For example Marlboro Milds uses a blue package and the language of mild invoking a sense of reduced harm and potentially a safer product. Many smokers believe that lights or milds are not as harmful as other products.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Our first post about flavored cigarettes can be read here: CLICK HERE
We hope you are as excited about the possibilities of learning more about the FDA regulation as well as the always dubious ways of Big Tobacco.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
On October 1st, Montana implemented the final phase of their smoke-free air law. Their law includes all hospitality venues and state-run casinos. Congratulations to Montana smoke-free advocates for clearing the air and improving the public health of all Montanans.
A little background: in 2005 Montana's legislature voted to go smoke-free by passing the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act. The Act requires all enclosed workplaces be smoke-free starting October 1, 2009. This is a very strong law that will protect non-smokers from the hazards of secondhand smoke. Many workplaces including restaurants went smoke-free in 2005 with bars and casinos joining earlier this month. While the four year wait must have been quite long, smoke-free air is finally granted to all workers and customers no matter the business or venue.
While Montana joins the growing number of states and municipalities going smoke-free many states still do not have comprehensive protections from secondhand smoke. Click here to see a map of the United States.
Click here to read an editorial about the newly implemented provisions of the law.
Congrats to Montana for taking a step in the right direction for public health!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Marshfield went smoke-free by referendum in April's election last year. The rest of the state will join next year in July.
"The unintended health impacts to employees was the driving factor," said Mayor Chris Meyer. "People who work in a tavern or in a restaurant may not have the opportunity to choose where they work. So working in an environment with second-hand smoke was a concern of healthcare professionals and to many others." (Newsline Channel Nine Article)
To read the full article click here: FULL ARTICLE
Friday, October 2, 2009
The FDA has launched a whole new website dedicated to its important work of regulated tobacco products.
As many of you know candy flavored cigarettes are a thing of the past as of September 22, 2009. If you see a retailer stocking these products or are able to purchase these products you should report that retailer to the FDA. It is important that we make sure retailers are aware of the changes to the law about flavored cigarettes like clove, vanilla, grape, or strawberry.
To report a retailer who is selling or still stocking these products visit the FDA website.
To read more about flavored tobacco products see the FDA's Factsheet.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
"Starting Thursday, smokers with health insurance who call the state Quit Line for help kicking their habit will get less help, the result of a 55 percent cut in state funding to smoking cessation and anti-smoking programs.