Sons of Anarchy Gets ‘Smoked Out’ on Ellen for GASO

December 18, 2014

As part of Great American Smokeout on Nov. 20th Ellen Degeneres Takes the Smoke Our of Sons of Anarchy.

 


County bans e-cigarettes: County buildings, vehicles now smoke and vapor free

December 16, 2014

File photoE-cigarettes, emitting a vapor, have been banned from all county buildings and vehicles.

File photo E-cigarettes, emitting a vapor, have been banned from all county buildings and vehicles

Joanna Dodder Nellans
The Daily Courier

Yavapai County supervisors agreed to a new countywide policy Monday that bans e-cigarettes in county buildings and vehicles.

They also agreed to a new Human Resources Department proposal to require all employee disciplinary action appeal hearings to be open to the public.

A new state law requires such hearings to be public if they relate to certain law enforcement positions, a county Human Resources memo explains. So HR is proposing a single policy that would make all such hearings open. Currently, county hearings to appeal disciplinary actions are automatically closed to the public unless employees ask for them to be public.

The county didn’t get any employee comments about the HR policy changes relating to appeal hearings and e-cigarettes, HR Director Wendy Ross said.

Supervisor Rowle Simmons cited a Sunday New York Times article about how China manufactures 90 percent of the world’s e-cigarettes, aka electronic cigarettes, personal vaporizers and electronic nicotine delivery systems.

The article states that the industry has little oversight, and studies have found tin particles and other metals in e-cigarette vapors that appear to come from the “solder joints” of e-cigarettes.

Supervisor Jack Smith said any kind of smoking in county vehicles could reduce their sale value.

“For me, there’s a zero tolerance on it,” Smith said.

The HR department will continue to work on revisions to a third policy after hearing employee comments, Ross said. A draft would ban the use of electronic equipment while county employees are driving, but it would allow them to use hands-free cell phones.

Ross said she’ll probably bring that draft policy to the supervisors in January.

Also at Monday’s meeting:

• Supervisor Chip Davis asked his fellow supervisors to vote against his proposal to donate $4,500 of his district’s park fund money to the City of Sedona to build a wildlife viewing platform at the Sedona Wetlands Preserve, where the city processes and cleans wastewater.

Davis explained that voters apparently don’t want non-essential services since the majority voted in November against doubling the county’s jail sales tax to build a new jail in Prescott.

“I’m going to take the first step and ask that we not honor that” request for $4,500, Davis said. “The citizens have spoken and nothing is sacred.”

• The supervisors approved using the remaining $30,463 in the Yavapai County Water Advisory Committee fund to collect hydrologic data in the Verde Valley.

Most of the remaining money, $27,500, was contributed by municipalities in the Verde Valley.

The committee hasn’t met since the summer, shortly after most of the supervisors said they wanted to dissolve the 15-year-old group. They stopped paying dues and also stopped paying for the committee’s long-time coordinator position.

It was the only organization that brought the county and all its municipalities and tribes together to discuss common issues.

Follow Joanna Dodder on Twitter @joannadodder


E-Cigarette Use on Rise for Teenagers, Study Finds

December 16, 2014

A government survey found that more teenagers are trying e-cigarettes than they are traditional cigarettes.CreditNam Y. Huh/Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A new federal survey has found that e-cigarette use among teenagers has surpassed the use of traditional cigarettes, even as smoking of traditional cigarettes has continued to decline. Health advocates say the upward trend for e-cigarette use is dangerous because it is making smoking seem normal again. They also worry it could lead to an increase in smoking of traditional cigarettes, though the new data do not show that.

The survey, released Tuesday by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, measured drug and alcohol use this year among middle and high school students across the country. More than 41,000 students from 377 public and private schools participated. It is one of several such national surveys, and the most up-to-date.

It was the first time this survey measured e-cigarette use, so there were no comparative data on the change over time. Other surveys have shown e-cigarette use among middle and high school students to be much lower, but increasing fast.

The survey found that 17 percent of 12th graders reported using an e-cigarette in the last month, compared with 13.6 percent who reported having an traditional cigarette. Among 10th graders, the reported use of e-cigarettes was 16 percent, compared with 7 percent for cigarettes. And among 8th graders, reported e-cigarette use was 8.7 percent, compared with just 4 percent who said they had smoked a cigarette in the last month.

A 2013 youth tobacco survey by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released in November found that the share of American high school students who use e-cigarettes rose to 4.5 percent in 2013 from 2.8 percent in 2012. The share of middle school students who use e-cigarettes remained flat at 1.1 percent over the same period.

The gap between the two sets of findings was substantial, and researchers struggled to explain it. Both are broad, reliable federal surveys that go back years, and their methodologies do not differ greatly. The drug abuseinstitute uses individual school grades, while the disease centers combine grades, which may account for some of the difference.

Some experts said that the new data suggested the rate may have increased substantially since 2013, though it will be impossible to know for sure until the C.D.C. releases its 2014 data sometime next year.

E-cigarettes have split the public health world, with some experts arguing that they are the best hope in generations for the 18 percent of Americans who still smoke to quit. Others say that people are using them not to quit but to keep smoking, and that they could become a gateway for young people to take up real cigarettes.

But that does not seem to be happening, at least so far. Daily cigarette use among teenagers continued to decline in 2014, the survey found, dropping across all grades by nearly half over the past five years. Among high school seniors, for example, 6.7 percent reported smoking cigarettes daily in 2014, compared with 11 percent five years ago.

Most experts agree that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than traditional cigarettes. But they contain nicotine, an addictive substance that some experts contend is potentially harmful for brain development. Some experts also warn that nicotine use could establish patterns that leave young people more vulnerable to addiction to other substances.

The survey found significant declines in the use of other drugs. Among high school seniors, about 6 percent reported having taken a prescription drug, substantially down from the peak of 9.5 percent in 2004. Abuse of Vicodin, the opioid pain reliever, declined by nearly half among 12th graders over five years.

In states with medical marijuana laws, 40 percent of high school seniors who reported using marijuana in the past year said they had consumed it in food, compared with 26 percent in states without such laws.

Click here to read the story at nytimes.com


Study offers support for the notion of e-cigarettes as a gateway drug

December 16, 2014
A new study offers support for the idea that electronic cigarettes can serve as a gateway drug to regular smoking. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

A new study offers support for the idea that electronic cigarettes can serve as a gateway drug to regular smoking. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

By KAREN KAPLAN

Study finds significant overlap between use of electronic and regular cigarettes. Does one lead to the other?
29% of the high school students surveyed had used e-cigarettes at least once, researchers say
Among ninth and 10th graders who had tried e-cigarettes, 41% also smoked traditional cigarettes
Do e-cigarettes lure teens into a world of vice that turns them into smokers of regular cigarettes? This is the big fear of anti-smoking activists, and new data from Hawaii suggest they may be right.

A survey of 1,941 ninth- and 10th-graders from Oahu found that 29% of them had tried electronic cigarettes at least once, and that 18% of them had used the devices in the last month, according to a study published Monday by the journal Pediatrics.

These figures represent a substantial jump from e-cigarette smoking rates reported in earlier years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Youth Tobacco Survey, for instance, found that 10% of U.S. teens had tried e-cigarettes in 2012, up from 4.7% in 2011.

Read the rest of this entry »


ASHLine moves literally to help more clients.

December 11, 2014

Dec 10, 2014
By Carissa Planal, Tucson News Now

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -
A statewide smokers’ hotline is moving its operations in hopes of helping more clients to kick the habit. This week the Arizona Smokers’ Helpline, or ASHLine, moved into the Pima County Health Department building off Ajo Way.

About 20-percent of adults smoke, a statistic that has leveled off through the years. Dr. Cynthia Thomson, a University of Arizona Public Health professor overseeing the helpline, says she hopes to reach out to new clients at the new location.

Thomson says people who visit the clinic are the people who would benefit from quitting smoking, including mothers involved in the Women, Infants, and Children program, and sick people visiting the downstairs clinic.

The new location is also a hub for health researchers to collaborate.

“It brings together researchers in wellness at the Cancer Center and the College of Public Health,,and Llife Sciences. Health care providers, helping them to be engaged in the quit process,” says Thomson.

Thomson says workers at the helpline are coordinating with health officials to offer referrals to patients who could use help putting down the smokes for good, but anyone can call the helpline to work with a quit coach for free. To reach the Arizona Smoker’s Helpline, call (800) 556-6222.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

Click Here to read the article on Tucson News Now


University of Arizona Team to Use Social Media in Study of E-Cigarettes

December 11, 2014
UA Eller College of Management | December 10, 2014

Five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health will support project that is as much about data-gathering methods as it is about public health.

 When Facebook announced in September that it would use all that personal data it collects to roll out a new ad platform to rival Google, privacy advocates groaned and marketers grinned.  But what if all that intelligence could be used to crack open one of today’s most pressing — yet least understood — public health issues?
Professor Daniel Zeng of the UA's Eller College of Management expects to create "a suite of novel technologies" for studying e-cigarettes.

Professor Daniel Zeng of the UA’s Eller College of Management expects to create “a suite of novel technologies” for studying e-cigarettes.

That’s precisely the vision of the University of Arizona’sDaniel Zeng, MIS professor at the Eller College of Management, and Scott Leischow, adjunct faculty in the UA College of Medicine and professor of health services research at Arizona’s Mayo Clinic.

Fusing cutting-edge informatics and public health, their plan to scrape social media to create the world’s best data on e-cigarette usage and marketing recently won a five-year, $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The project will tackle four distinct goals. It will:

  • Create a massive, real-time and continuously growing data set of what consumers and marketers say about e-cigarettes on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as social media forums focused on e-cigarettes and “vaping.”
  • Mine that content for insights into why people use e-cigarettes, how they believe they affect their health and whether they help them quit smoking.
  • Document the marketing landscape — all the ways brands and vendors use these channels to promote their products and how consumers respond.
  • Integrate all of that information in the world’s first one-stop resource for wide-ranging data on e-cigarettes as revealed through social media as a tool for other researchers, health care professionals and more.

While e-cigarettes are relatively new in the U.S. — they were introduced in 2007 — sales are doubling annually and were expected to reach $1 billion last year. Even so, any time public dollars fund research, two questions naturally arise: Why study this? And why study it this way?

“There’s so much we don’t know about e-cigarettes,” Leischow says. “The scientific community has found mixed data on whether they’re helpful for smoking cessation. We have questions about how different flavorings impact use, particularly among minors. And many health professionals worry that e-cigarettes may ultimately lead to more young people taking up smoking. All of these blind spots around a product that is still totally unregulated make this a top-priority area for the FDA.”

As for why it makes sense to study e-cigarettes in this way, Zeng’s MIS expertise holds the key.  By mining social media in real time, as Zeng and Leischow have proposed, there are a number of strategic advantages:

  • Data comes from people interacting naturally in their day-to-day lives, thus removing “presentation bias” problems intrinsic in surveys.
  • The data collection is automated, which means sample size is not constrained by how much money or how many eyeball hours researchers can muster.
  • The lack of constraint also makes anecdotal information scientifically relevant: One personal story is just that, but 10,000 or 100,000 personal stories over time equal robust statistical data.
  • Because content is processed by algorithms, not people, data is available in near real time, not months or even years after countless hours of labor-intensive review. Read the rest of this entry »

Students take lead at Great American Smokeout

December 11, 2014
Photo: Courtesy Maricopa County Department of Public Health Dominique Arvizu, a senior at right, explains to her Ironwood High School classmate Abraham Smith, a sophomore, that he has passed a carbon monoxide breath test with flying colors. They were practicing with the device to help any smokers who stopped by their educational display outside a CVS store Nov. 20.  

Photo: Courtesy Maricopa County Department of Public Health
Dominique Arvizu, a senior at right, explains to her Ironwood High School classmate Abraham Smith, a sophomore, that he has passed a carbon monoxide breath test with flying colors. They were practicing with the device to help any smokers who stopped by their educational display outside a CVS store Nov. 20.

 Thursday, December 11, 2014

Several students from Ironwood High School participated in the Great American Smokeout Nov. 20, challenging some customers at a nearby CVS pharmacy store to quit cold turkey and helping others make a plan to stop smoking.

Jo Ann Brown, a prevention specialist for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, credited CVS with removing all cigarettes and tobacco products from its shelves last month and making a store available for the educational efforts of those students.

About 10 local youth attended that event on the sidewalk of the CVS store at 75th Avenue and Cactus Road. They belong to Students Taking a New Direction, an anti-tobacco coalition of teens and students from across Arizona.

Dominique Arvizu, a high school senior and a cousin to Brown, serves as secretary of the club at Ironwood. She began recruiting students in August, primarily through lunchtime events, and the club now has 30 active members. Read the rest of this entry »


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 43 other followers