Chicanos Por La Causa Announcement: President Named One of 50 Hispanics Most Influential in the NationOctober 23, 2014
Students from the Trevor Browne High School STAND Coalition met with Phoenix Councilman Daniel Valenzuela and Deputy Parks & Recreation Director Tracee Crockett to discuss their proposal to implement a smoke-free parks policy in Phoenix. Ms. Crockett provided the coalition with some advice to help them move their policy efforts forward.
Arizona Capitol Times: By: Hank Stephenson, October 20, 2014, 7:12am
The devastating recent state budget projections have some lawmakers eyeing additional taxes on e-cigarettes as a new source of revenue that could help bridge the $1 billion projected deficit by nextyear.
As the popularity of electronic cigarettes has skyrocketed in recent years, the issues of regulation and
taxation have become points of contention at state capitals across the nation, with dozens of states considering legislation related to e-cigarettes last year alone.
Electronic cigarettes use battery electricity to heat coils that heat liquid nicotine, which users inhale as a vapor. They
come in two basic styles: disposable or cartridge-based tubes that resemble cigarettes in appearance and are sold
at convenience stores, and larger, higher-end inhaler devices that users refill with liquid nicotine are sold at “vape
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Northern Arizona University could become a tobacco-free campus.
Members of NAU’s Student Health Advocacy Committee have been meeting with faculty and staff this week to garner support for a policy that would make the Mountain Campus kick the habit.
The committee has been working on a tobacco-free campus policy since 2011, when it sent out a survey asking students what they felt were the biggest health concerns on campus. Currently, smoking is prohibited only in university buildings and university-owned vehicles.
“Tobacco use, cigarette litter and second-hand smoke were all things that they identified as problems,” said SHAC President and NAU senior Kelsey Pruett. “As the Student Health Advocacy Committee, we said, ‘If it’s a problem for the students, it’s a problem for us.’”
What followed were three years of research on the kinds of tobacco-free campus policies that had proved most effective at other institutions.
SHAC members discovered that NAU was the only one of Arizona’s three major public universities without a tobacco-free campus. Other in-state schools, like the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott campus and Maricopa Community Colleges, also had tobacco-free policies.
There are now more than 1,400 campuses in the United States that are either smoke-free or completely tobacco-free.
“We found that, actually, this is kind of a nationwide movement that’s been happening pretty recently,” said SHAC advisor Melissa Griffen.
Under the proposed NAU policy, the use of tobacco products would not be allowed in any university facilities, vehicles, residence halls or outdoor spaces. Cigarettes, e-cigarettes, hookah, e-hookah, chew, snuff, cigars, pipes would be among the prohibited items.
Rather than punishing tobacco users, the policy drafted by SHAC would call for students, faculty and staff to approach anyone seen using tobacco, educate them about the tobacco-free policy and offer cessation resources.
The SHAC students timed how long it would take to walk off campus from any of the smoking hot spots on campus. Even going at a leisurely pace, it took them no more than five minutes.
“Our main goal with this is really just changing the social norms on campus to include healthy lifestyle choices while being on campus,” Pruett said. “If you aren’t seeing people using tobacco on campus, you’re less likely to use it.”
The policy does include a caveat that would allow chronic violators of the tobacco-free policy to face disciplinary action starting in the 2015-2016 school year.
NAU’s Health Promotions Office has conducted at least three surveys gauging attitudes about tobacco use among students. The most recent study found that less than 12 percent of students reported using tobacco products in the past month.
“We have a fairly low rate of tobacco users,” Griffen said.
In each survey, more than 50 percent of respondents said they would support a tobacco-free campus. Several respondents described walking through another person’s smoke at the entrance to a building as an “annoyance,” while others complained about litter from cigarette butts.
SHAC secretary and NAU senior Dani Goettl said in addition to the well-known health risks associated with tobacco use and second-hand smoke, litter and smoke from tobacco products pose an environmental risk to the campus, which is supposed to become carbon-neutral by 2020, according to the university’s Climate Action Plan.
“NAU is beautiful and green and clean,” Goettl said. “We want to keep our campus that way and be known for that.”
SHAC recently brought the tobacco-free policy to President Rita Cheng, whose last job was at a smoke-free campus.
“She was very well-educated on the smoke-free and tobacco-free campuses,” Pruett said.
Cheng said she wanted to get a formal vote or “resolution” from the faculty senate and classified staff. She also wanted an opinion from the Native American cultural center.
In addition, Cheng wanted to see a survey asking every student at NAU whether they wanted a tobacco-free campus.
The Health Promotions Office sent the survey to all student email accounts. It will remain open until Oct. 17. By the end of last week, 2,235 students had taken the survey. Of those students, 55 percent said they wanted NAU to be a tobacco-free campus.
SHAC also collected more than 2,800 student signatures in favor of the tobacco-free policy last semester. Signatures can still be added to the petition in the Health Promotion Office on the NAU campus.
”The (University of Arizona) and (Arizona State University) are much larger in population and campus layout than NAU,” Pruett said. “If it’s successful on that big a campus with that many students, it absolutely can be successful here.”
A proposed draft of the tobacco-free policy, a list of smoke-free and tobacco-free colleges and a list of smoking cessation resources can all be found on the tobacco section of the NAU Health Promotion website at nau.edu/tobacco.
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|E-cigarettes added to what’s not allowed|
KINGMAN – You’ll have to snuff your e-cigarette before entering a public building after a change in Mohave County’s no-smoking policy.
The Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Monday to clarify county policy regarding “smoke free” facilities and change the wording to include e-cigarettes, which emit a water vapor instead of smoke.
Supervisor Steven Moss said he was having a “philosophical quandary” over banning e-cigarettes because there’s no evidence of health and safety issues affecting the public. He cast the lone dissenting vote.
Moss corrected board chairwoman Hildy Angius when she said some e-cigarettes contain hemp or tobacco and have an odor that almost made her throw up when it was blown in her face. He said e-cigarettes contain a nicotine substitute, not tobacco.
“So it’s not smoke that we’re banning. We’re then banning an odor. Then we should ban perfumes and colognes and those who don’t bathe,” Moss said.
Supervisor Buster Johnson wanted to know if the policy change applies to an entire county “campus” or just the buildings.
“I like rules that apply to all places, not just one place,” he said.
For example, some Mohave County Sheriff’s Department employees can’t leave the campus during their shifts, so they have a designated smoking area outside.
“It was my intent to include all types of smoking, but not change where the restrictions apply,” said County Administrator Michael Hendrix during the discussion.
Moss cited the county ordinance that specifically bans the use of “tobacco products” such as smokeless tobacco, or “chewing tobacco,” and said even if it was changed to “nicotine products,” he would still oppose the policy.
From a legislative standpoint, e-cigarettes are not widely banned from public places, but more businesses are enacting stricter policies. Despite negative public perception, more studies are suggesting that e-cigarettes may be useful tools for curbing smoking, thereby improving public health and safety.
In other action, the Board of Supervisors:
• Approved a transfer of $27,500 from the general fund contingency to cover general election overtime and temporary employees.
Mohave County Recorder Carol Meier said the funds were included in previous election year budgets, but were inadvertently left out this year due to an oversight on her part.
• Authorized an amended application for 2014 state Community Development Block Grant funds.
• Approved a standard employee housing agreement for Mohave County employees assigned to no-cost housing at Camp Davis and Hualapai Mountain Park for emergency response services.
• Approved abandonment of part of Katherine Drive 30 feet wide by 70 feet long, reserving existing utility infrastructure of a 20-foot wide easement, at Katherine Landing at Lake Mohave.
|Supervisors to look at ‘smoke-free’ facilities|
Hubble Ray Smith, Miner Staff Reporter
KINGMAN – Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson said he doesn’t care what people are smoking – as long as it’s not in a county building.
That includes electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, which emit a vapor, not smoke.
Johnson said someone was smoking a pipe in a Lake Havasu City courtroom and county employees have complained about people coming in with e-cigarettes and blowing smoke in their faces.
Mohave County’s no-smoking policy prohibits the smoking of tobacco products within 20 feet of public buildings, but leaves a loophole for chewing tobacco, nicotine gum and e-cigarettes.
“They can say they’re smoking apple peels or peaches. I don’t care what they’re smoking, as long it’s not affecting our people,” Johnson said at Monday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
The board voted 3-1 to come up with an all-inclusive policy regarding “smoke-free” facilities, with Supervisor Steven Moss opposed to the motion. Chairwoman Hildy Angius was absent.
Moss said he sees e-cigarettes much like nicotine gum – as a way to beat addiction.
“I will confess some ambivalence to e-cigarettes,” he said. “I’m not necessarily in favor of prohibiting e-cigarettes. However, there has to be decorum.”
County administrator Michael Hendrix asked the board to come up with an “all-inclusive” smoke-free policy, with a goal of placing all new procedures in one personnel policy document.
In other action, the board unanimously approved a motion to hire legal counsel to represent Mohave County regarding water issues in the Hualapai Valley and other areas of the county for not more than $10,000.
Johnson pulled the item from the consent agenda for discussion because he had not received backup information.
Hendrix explained that the county was unable to retain counsel as directed by the board on July 24. Nick Hont of Development Services contacted additional law firms and was successful in contracting with one firm, but didn’t gather information for backup in time for the meeting.
Motorized vehicle ban
Another consent item pulled for discussion was the placement of signs prohibiting motorized vehicles in several washes in the Meadview area.
Public Works Director Steve Latoski said the frequency of off-road and all-terrain vehicles using washes near residential streets has “risen to the level of public nuisance.” One step to mitigating that nuisance is the placement of “No Motorized Vehicles” signs.
“I own land out there,” Johnson said. “Are you telling me I can’t run through my wash? Thanks for putting the sign up.”
Supervisor Jean Bishop, whose district includes Meadview, said the particular area in question has a new “fitness trail” with exercise spots and benches. The problem, she said, is motorized vehicles “racing up and down the banks and destroying the beauty of the fitness park.”
The motion carried 4-0.
Water export tax
The board voted 4-0 to approve a motion by Supervisor Moss to establish an ordinance imposing an excise tax on the export of water from Mohave County. Moss said the issue was brought to his attention during a meeting in Phoenix as a potential method for “readjusting the scales.”
“It has nothing to do with people using water in Mohave County,” he said. “It has everything to do with people drilling for water to take out of Mohave County.”
Moss said he’s hoping Arizona’s political delegates in Washington will make sure that the “wheels of justice turn in such a way to give us a seat at the table.”
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