New American Lung Association report focuses on COPD risks for women

June 25, 2013

A new study by the American Lung Association will undoubtedly get the attention of women who otherwise may not pay much attention to COPD issues.

According to the study, women are 37 percent more likely to have COPD than men, and half of them don’t even know they have it, according to a new American Lung Association Report. “Taking Her Breath Away: The Rise of COPD in Women” examines the nation’s third leading cause of death and its increased prevalence among women in the U.S.

More than seven million women in the United States currently have COPD, compared to six million men. The number of deaths among women from COPD has more than quadrupled since 1980, and since 2000 the disease has claimed the lives of more women than men in this country each year.

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American Heart Association Voices for Healthy Kids Request for Award

June 18, 2013

BACKGROUND

Over the past four decades, obesity rates have soared among all age groups. Today, nearly one-third of children and adolescents in the United States are either overweight or obese.[1] Obese and overweight children and adolescents are more likely to become obese adults,[2] ,[3] placing them at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and certain forms of cancer.[4]

The American Heart Association (AHA) together with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) are working to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States by 2015 and to decrease racial, ethnic, and income disparities in prevalence. Through our Voices for Healthy Kids’ Strategic Campaign Fund, the AHA is targeting the following six state, local and tribal advocacy priorities:

  • · Reduce access to unhealthy competitive foods in schools
    · Reduce unhealthy beverage consumption using pricing (dis)incentives
    · Increase incentives and demand for strengthening industry self-regulation and government regulation of food marketing to kids
    · Increase the number of healthy food retail outlets receiving funding from food financing initiatives in underserved communities
    · Increase the use of joint use agreements and street-scale improvement in underserved communities
    · Improve physical activity standards in out-of-school/out-of-class time in underserved communities

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Ruling Clears Way for Collection of Taxes on Internet Cigarette Sales

June 18, 2013

By Dale Anderson and Phil Fairbanks, The Buffalo News

A three-year legal battle over the sale of tax-free cigarettes on the Internet is over.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara ended the fight when he dismissed the last remaining lawsuit filed by a Seneca Nation business challenging the 2010 federal law restricting the sale of cigarettes on the Web.

Arcara’s decision means the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act can now be fully enforced.

It also ends an injunction that prevented the government from collecting state sales taxes on cigarettes sold on the Web.

Other provisions of the law, including a ban on shipping cigarettes through the U.S. Postal Service, have been in effect for years, forcing retailers to find other ways to deliver.

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Oregon bans smoking in cars with kids

June 12, 2013

If you’re driving with children in the car, you can’t smoke, says a new Oregon law. If you do, you could face a $250 fine.

The Associated Press

 SALEM, Ore. — Oregon drivers caught smoking in cars with kids may face hefty fines under a new state law.

Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law on Tuesday a bill that prohibits drivers from lighting up if a person under 18 is also in the car.

The bill was the subject of a fiery debate in the Legislature.

Supporters said secondhand smoke is a health hazard and children shouldn’t be harmed by their parents’ bad decision to smoke.

Critics said the state shouldn’t regulate what drivers do in their own cars.

A police officer could enforce the ban only if the driver had been pulled over for a separate traffic violation. A maximum fine for the first offense would be $250.

The law also covers marijuana and regulated narcotics.

 


Smoking Ban Goes into Effect in Russia

June 7, 2013
  • A woman smokes at a fountain in a boulevard in downtown Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 1, 2013. A law that bans smoking in public places has come into effect in Russia, a contentious move in a country with one of the highest smoking rates in the world. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

    Associated Press/Mikhail Metzel – A woman smokes at a fountain in a boulevard in downtown Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 1, 2013. A law that bans smoking in public places has come into effect in Russia, a contentious …more

MOSCOW (AP) — A law that bans smoking in public places has taken effect in Russia, a contentious move in a country with one of the highest smoking rates in the world.

The ban, which came into force Saturday, prohibits smoking in workplaces, schools, universities and on public transportation. More restrictions will be applied a year later.

Authors of the ban have pointed to the hundreds of thousands of Russians who die of smoking-related illnesses every year. The measure has been approved by both houses of parliament and signed by President Vladimir Putin.

Cigarettes are much cheaper in Russia than in the U.S. and Europe, with the price of a pack starting at about $1. About 40 percent of Russians smoke.


Healthy You: KTAR’s Pamela Hughes Weighs in on Study that Smokers Cost Employers $6,000 per year

June 7, 2013

Smoking employees cost $6,000 a year more, study finds

June 7, 2013

Lucas Jackson/ Reuters-Smokers stand outside of an office building in New York City in 2009. A new study calculates that smokers cost their employers $6,000 more a year than nonsmokers.

By Maggie Fox, Senior Writer, NBC News

Smokers cost their employers nearly $6,000 a year more than staff who don’t smoke, researchers said on Monday in what they say is the first comprehensive look at the issue.

And in what some might see as a dark twist, they’ve taken into account any savings that might come because smokers tend to die younger than non-smokers, drawing less in pension costs.

The findings support a growing trend among employers to not only ban smoking in the workplace, but to refuse to hire smokers in the first place, argues Micah Berman of Ohio State University, who led the study.

“I think it’s certainly relevant to the argument,” says Berman, an expert in public health law.

Many studies have shown that smokers cost the health care system more and that they cost health insurers more. Because many companies self-insure – meaning they pay for health care costs even if a health insurance company manages the benefits for them – that means smokers cost their employers more.

There’s also the lost productivity of workers stepping away for a smoke break – and those breaks take longer as more employers ban smoking anywhere in the office or workplace.

But no one study put all these costs together, Berman says. “I was really surprised to see that there wasn’t any really good study out there,” he said in a telephone interview.

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