ADHS News: AZ Takes the Challenge to Protect Kids from Tobacco

June 30, 2011

Thanks to a new contract from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) is hitting the streets to protect our youth from tobacco.  The contract allows ADHS to work with retailers to make sure they are following the rules about the sale of tobacco, including making sure the buyer is old enough to buy it.

 “It’s just like alcohol.  You have to be a certain age to buy tobacco, but some clerks don’t get the message in training or just plain forget to check IDs,” said Will Humble, ADHS Director.  “Our goal with this contract is for all people who sell tobacco – to not let kids buy it.  It’s all about training and emphasizing the importance of checking IDs.”

 “By joining forces in a partnership with FDA, ADHS is using its experience with law enforcement to inspect retailers to make sure they’re fully complying with the new FDA law that prevents kids from buying cigarettes and smokeless tobacco,” said Lawrence R. Deyton M.S.P.H., M.D., Director, Center for Tobacco Products, FDA. “Since most tobacco users start young, become addicted, and end up with diseases ranging from emphysema and lung cancer to lip and throat cancer, this partnership is saving lives. Those who don’t begin using tobacco products as teens or as children are unlikely to ever start.”

 Each day, about 4,000 kids in the United States try their first cigarette and an additional 1,000 kids under 18 years of age become new regular, daily smokers. That’s 400,000 new underage daily smokers in this country each year according to a 2009 SAMSHA report.  Arizona is about same as the nation for the number of high school students who smoke – 19.7 percent of Arizona teens smoke and the national average is 19.5 percent. However, only 13.5 percent of the Arizona adult population smokes, compared to 19.8 percent nationally.

 The percentage of Arizona youth who report using chewing tobacco has increased slightly over the past few years. A total of 5.1 percent of students report using chewing tobacco within the 30 days prior to taking the survey and 11.7 percent reported using chewing tobacco at least once in their lifetime. That’s up from 3.8 percent 30-day use and the 11 percent life-time use reported in 2006.

 In 2009, Congress instructed the FDA to regulate tobacco to reduce the toll on public health.  The FDA contracted with several states, including Arizona, to direct undercover buys and conduct Advertising and Labeling inspections to monitor compliance with regulations including: the flavored cigarette ban, age and access restrictions, and promotion and advertising restrictions.

 Potential violations are reported to the FDA, which inspects retailers in partnership with State Agencies like ADHS, and it handles the violations.  Since the beginning of this contract, the FDA has sent warning letters to 19 Arizona businesses.  <>  ADHS has conducted more than 500 inspections since the contract began in September.  Arizona hopes to be awarded another contract for the coming year.


Click Here for the Release 

For More Information Contact:

Laura Oxley, ADHS Public Information


Humana Won’t Hire Smokers in Arizona

June 30, 2011

Insurance giant to test applicants for nicotine

by Ken Alltucker -The Arizona Republic

If you light up a cigarette, it will snuff out your chances to land a job with health-insurance giant Humana Inc.

 The health insurer said Wednesday that it will no longer hire workers in Arizona who smoke or use other tobacco products, part of a trend of employers who are cracking down on tobacco use among workers.

 To enforce the tobacco ban that starts Friday, Humana will test new employees for nicotine use during a pre-employment urine drug screen.

 Humana representatives say it makes sense for a company in the health-care field to lead by example. Smoking’s harmful effects on human health are well-documented, and Humana seeks to promote health and wellness – starting with its workers.

 “Humana is dedicated to helping our employees take charge of their own health,” said Dr. Charles Cox, Humana vice president and market medical officer for Arizona, Nevada and Utah.

  Read the rest of this entry »

Philip Morris Sues Australia Over Cigarette Packaging

June 28, 2011

Philip Morris International said it had started legal action against the Australian government over the nation’s plans to allow the sale of cigarettes only in plain packages.

The company filed a notice of claim against the government saying that the proposals violate terms of Australia’s Bilateral Investment Treaty with Hong Kong, according to an e-mailed statement on Monday from Philip Morris’s Asian unit. A copy of the court document was not immediately available.

Australia, which has already banned the public display of tobacco products in retail outlets, wants to outlaw logos on cigarette packs and force them to be sold in plain dark-olive packaging, carrying health warnings instead of company logos. Cigarette brand names will appear on the packages in the same size and style of printing. The legislation, if passed by Parliament, would come into force in 2012.

”The forced removal of trade marks and other valuable intellectual property is a clear violation of the terms of the bilateral investment treaty between Australia and Hong Kong,” Anne Edwards, a spokeswoman for Philip Morris Asia, said in the statement. ”We believe we have a very strong legal case and will be seeking significant financial compensation for the damage to our business.”

The government raised tobacco taxes by 25 percent last year as it sought to curb smoking, which is the nation’s largest single preventable cause of death, according to the nation’s health minister, Nicola Roxon.

”We don’t believe that taking that action is in breach of any of our international obligations,” Ms. Roxon told Sky News. ”We believe that we are able, and the Australian people I think would expect their government, to take action in the interests of public health.”


Additional Men’s Health Week Coverage – National Exposure!

June 28, 2011

Additional Men’s Health Week Coverage:

YouTube – Men’s Health

6 min – Jun 15, 2011 – Uploaded by AZPBS
Wayne Tormala, Men’s Health coordinator for the Arizona Department of Health Services, talks about nationwide health indicators that show

Search – WLOX-TV and – The News for South Mississippi

Jun 8, 2011 of ……information they can access,” said Wayne Tormala, Chief, Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of Tobacco & Chronic

noodls® › gateway to facts | Men’s Health Week, June 13-19, 2011 (PDF)

Jun 8, 2011 “I‟m not surprised by the perception among men about their health,” says Wayne Tormala, Men‟s Health Coordinator for the Arizona Department…/state…/mens-health-week-june-13-19-2011-pdf

Overweight | 73 Percent Of Arizona Men Are Overweight Or Obese

Jun 14, 2011 only perform in the every day slight we contingency be ok,” says Wayne Tormala from AZ Dept. of Health Services about the man psyche.…/overweight-73-percent-of-arizona-men-are-overweight-or- obese/



1.   AZ men rank health as good, CDC not so sure | Phoenix Business Journal

Jun 14, 2010 “I’m not surprised by the ranking or the perception among men about their health ,” says Wayne Tormala, Men’s Health Coordinator for the

2010 Arizona Biennial Tobacco Control Report Released

June 22, 2011

The 2010 Arizona Biennial Tobacco Control Report has been made available at under the Control Reports & Plans section. Other reports including the 2008 & 2006 report are available for review as well.


Arizona men’s health would be better if they went to the doctor

June 22, 2011

Scott Orr
The Daily Courier

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says Arizona’s men have the lowest rate of cancer in the U.S., and 85,000 have quit tobacco last year. But there’s bad news, too, and officials say it is entirely preventable.

The CDC survey said Arizona men fall in the bottom half of its rankings for overall health due to a lack of health screenings and a high rate of obesity.

Yet, of the men surveyed, 86 percent said their overall health is good, very good or excellent.

Why the disconnect? “I’m not surprised by the perception among men about their health,” said Wayne Tormala, Men’s Health Coordinator for the Arizona Department of Health Services. “Too often, men judge their health by how they feel or how they look.”

But that’s not an accurate gauge, he said. Read the rest of this entry »

FDA unveils final cigarette warning labels

June 21, 2011

June 21, 2011
Contact: Jeffrey Ventura
(301) 796-2807

New labels will help prevent children from smoking and help adults quit

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today unveiled the nine graphic health warnings required to appear on every pack of cigarettes sold in the United States and in every cigarette advertisement. This bold measure will help prevent children from smoking, encourage adults who do to quit, and ensure every American understands the dangers of smoking.

The warnings represent the most significant changes to cigarette labels in more than 25 years and will affect everything from packaging to advertisements and are required to be placed on all cigarette packs, cartons and ads no later than September 2012.

“President Obama is committed to protecting our nation’s children and the American people from the dangers of tobacco use. These labels are frank, honest and powerful depictions of the health risks of smoking and they will help encourage smokers to quit, and prevent children from smoking,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “President Obama wants to make tobacco-related death and disease part of the nation’s past, and not our future.”

Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature and preventable death in the United States, responsible for 443,000 deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and costs our economy nearly $200 billion every year in medical costs and lost productivity. Read the rest of this entry »