BTCD smokeless tobacco media tour visits Apache, Greenlee and Graham

February 25, 2011

BTCD Chief Wayne Tormala embarked on a whirlwind media tour of Northeastern Arizona which coincided with Through With Chew week and to visit the counties that have some of the highest rates of smokeless tobacco use.  Wayne met with radio, newspaper and some county staff in three counties: Apache, Greenlee and Graham. Tour stops included Window Rock, Springerville, Clifton and Safford.

Window Rock
Wayne met with the Navajo Times to discuss smokeless tobacco. In addition, he recorded a PSA on KTNN 660AM re: smokeless tobacco. He was joined by Peter Nez of Black Hills who gave a similar message in Navajo. In addition to the media tour, Wayne and Peter met with recently elected Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly.

KTNN 660 AM - Window Rock

(l-r) Peter Nez, President Ben Shelly, Wayne Tormala

Window Rock

In Springerville Wayne had  a round-table discussion with Apache County Health Dept. staff before being interviewed by the White Mountain Independent. Smokeless tobacco trends were the main topic.

Wayne met with Greenlee County Health Dept. staff to discuss smokeless tobacco use in Clifton, Morenci and Duncan.

Greenlee County Courthouse

(l-r) Wayne Tormala, Carren Nicklas, Miguel Montiel, Sabrina Dumas

The last stop provided an opportunity for Wayne and staff from Mt. Graham to be interviewed by the Eastern Arizona Courier.

Wayne Tormala and Toni Williams

All articles and radio recordings will provided on TFA when they are printed or aired. Please stay tuned!

Senator seeking ban of e-cigarette sales to minors

February 25, 2011

Tessa Muggeridge – Feb. 25, 2011 12:00 AM
Cronkite News Service

A state senator wants to keep electronic cigarettes out of kids’ hands by making it a petty offense for merchants to sell them to minors and for minors to buy them.

“If we’re going to say minors can’t buy regular cigarettes, it doesn’t seem valid to say they can have access to electronic cigarettes,” said Sen. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler. “Hopefully a few less young people will suffer nicotine addictions with this ban.”

The so-called e-cigarettes are battery-powered plastic and metal devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution that users inhale as a mist. They’re available in hundreds of flavors, including cherry, chocolate and beer, as well as the flavors of popular cigarette brands.

Though companies often claim they don’t sell to buyers younger than 18 or that the e-cigarettes are used to help smokers quit, Arizona youth can legally purchase them even though they can’t buy tobacco products.

Senate Bill 1280 won preliminary approval this week from the Senate Committee of the Whole, setting up a final vote that would send it to the House. The penalty for a petty offense is a fine up to $300. Read the rest of this entry »

National Conference on Tobacco or Health Update

February 25, 2011

The National Conference on Tobacco or Health (NCTOH) will be held in 2012. With the success of the last national conference held in Phoenix in 2009, BTCD Chief Wayne Tormala has been asked to be a part of the National Steering Committee for NCTOH 2012. Wayne’s focus will be to help represent Arizona’s interests as the planning unfolds.

The site of the 2012 national conference is still TBD as well as exact dates and times. It will be taking place in late summer. More information is to come. To join the mailing list for further details as they become available, go here. If your program or a program you know of may be interested in sponsoring the 2012 national conference, please go here.

Rental cars also going smoke-free

February 23, 2011

Frequent business traveler Bill Perigo says all car-rental companies should follow the lead of smoke-free hotels and prohibit smoking in their vehicles.

“Cars are so much smaller than hotel rooms,” says Perigo, a consultant in Woodstock, Md.

Four car-rental brands have already gotten the message.

The Avis Budget Group on Feb. 9 was named winner of the National Smoke-Free Business Award for its September 2009 decision to ban smoking in rental vehicles.

The award was presented by Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, an organization formed in 1976 that’s dedicated to promoting “people’s right to breathe clean air in the workplace and enclosed public spaces.”

Avis or Budget renters who violate the company’s no-smoking policy are charged a $250 cleaning fee, says spokeswoman Alice Pereira.

“A lower fee may be charged at the discretion of the location manager on a case-by-case basis,” she says.

In January, the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group announced that Dollar and Thrifty rental cars are 100% smoke-free, and renters who smoke in vehicles “may face a charge of up to $250.”

Rental cars “that have been smoked in will be immediately grounded” and removed from the fleet “for a thorough detailing before being returned for customer use,” the company said.

By Gary Stoller

See article online here.

Smokeless Tobacco are on the Rise Among Youth

February 23, 2011

Smokeless tobacco has many names — chew, dip, snuff, snus — and is a growing problem, especially among Arizona’s young people who often use it as a cheap and convenient substitute for cigarettes. To read more about the dangers of smokeless tobacco and its effect on Arizonans, visit

The 2010 Arizona Youth Survey (AYS)1 found that smokeless tobacco use is rising among 8th through 12th graders in Arizona. Rates are as high as eight percent (8%) among 12th grade students. This increased from 5.4 percent of 12th grade students in 2004 to 8.1 percent in 2010.

“This is an alarming trend,” says Carolyn Holman of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, Office of Oral Health. “We’ve done a good job getting the message to youth about the dangers of smoking – we need to also make sure they know chewing tobacco is dangerous.”

The percentage of adults using chew in Arizona has held at 3.08 percent. This means approximately 139,000 Arizonans are smokeless tobacco users. (2009 AZ BRFSS). Overall, more men than women use chew tobacco.2

In response to both declining cigarette sales and tougher smoke-free laws around the country, tobacco companies are developing more types of chewing tobacco products and marketing them as alternatives to smoking indoors and as providing quit assistance. Tobacco companies are offering many new addictive alternatives that come in fruit and mint flavors – and look like candies and breathe mints – which are very attractive to young people. Read the rest of this entry »