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 »

Arizona Daily Sun: NAU may go tobacco-free

October 10, 2014
October 09, 2014 7:00 am  • 

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

Reporter Michelle McManimon can be reached at or 556-2261.

Kingman Daily Miner: Mohave County includes e-cigs in county’s smoking ban

October 10, 2014
E-cigarettes added to what’s not allowed
An electronic cigarette. (Courtesy)
An electronic cigarette. (Courtesy)

Hubble Ray Smith
Miner Staff Reporter

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.

Kingman Daily Miner: E-cig policy part of update to Mohave County smoking rules

October 3, 2014
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.

Water attorney

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.”

Click Here to read the article at the Kingman Daily Miner

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Phoenix teen’s art to inspire Hugo Medina mural

August 11, 2014

Ross Dunham, The Republic |

A Phoenix North High School student’s anti-smoking art will be the inspiration for a mural by well known Valley artist Hugo Medina.

Students Taking a New Direction (STAND), Arizona’s anti-smoking youth coalition, asked student artists all over Arizona to create and submit art that inspired others “to take a STAND against tobacco.”

Joseline Valenzuela, 18, earned the 2014 “Art of Resistance” top pick and $200 in art supplies for her piece titled, “Make the Right Choice.”

Valenzuela’s art will be the inspiration for a Medina mural later this year at a location yet to be determined. The art will also be featured as the cover photo on the STAND Facebook page.

Medina, is a 41-year-old Phoenix resident and native of Bolivia, who participated in the Calle16 mural project in 2010, creating murals along 16th Street in Phoenix.

The Republic and conducted a readers’ choice poll featuring 13 entries in the “Art of Resistance” contest.

With 50 percent of the votes, “From Life to Death,” by Jennifer Ramos of Phoenix Trevor G. Browne High School, was the top reader pick.

Valenzuela’s work came in second with 30 percent of the votes.

Republic reporter David Madrid contributed to this article.

To read this article online or view the murals, visit this link.

University of Arizona to start fall semester as smoke, tobacco-free campus

July 17, 2014

Posted: Jul 16, 2014 4:45 PM Updated: Jul 16, 2014 6:15 PM

By Jackie Kent

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) –

A letter sent to University of Arizona students and staff spells out a big change in campus policy for the upcoming school year.

The U of A will be smoke and tobacco-free as of August 15, before the fall semester starts, officials confirmed on July 16.

“The University’s new ‘Smoking and Tobacco Policy’ is designed to promote the health and wellness of all members of the University community, including visitors to campus, and it will prohibit the use of tobacco- and nicotine-containing products on property owned or controlled by the UA,” Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Melissa Vito wrote in the letter. “We spent the last academic year collecting feedback from students and employees, and we are in the final weeks of accepting comments from the general public.”

The new policy will prohibit the use of nicotine and tobacco products on all UA-owned property, including the main campus, the Arizona Health Sciences Center, Phoenix Biomedical Campus, UA South, satellite campuses, in university vehicles or any UA-leased property.

The prohibited forms of tobacco or nicotine include pipes, cigars, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and water pipes. The university will allow smoking cessation aids, like nicotine gum, patches and nasal sprays.

The UA isn’t the first campus in the area to ask its students to cut down on smoking.

Pima Community College approved a similar policy last December, creating designated smoking areas. Arizona State University became a tobacco-free school in August 2013.

Public comments began in March and will continue through through July 27. Comments can be sent to UA Vice President for Human Resources and Institutional Effectiveness, Allison Vaillancourt, at

Read the policy here:

Arizona Smokers’ Helpline: (800) 556-6222 or

UA Life & Work Connections “Quit Tobacco” resources:

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

Miami, AZ Votes to Make Veterans Park Smoke-free

June 30, 2014

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 18th, 2014

Miami — At its meeting on June 9, the Miami Town Council voted 4-2 to make Miami Veterans Memorial Park a smoke-free area. Michael Black, Don Reiman, Robert Baeza and Darryl Dalley all voted for the measure, while mayor Rosemary Castaneda and vice mayor Susan Hanson voted against it.

Outlawing smoking at the park has been a year-long project of the Miami High School’s Anti-Tobacco Club. Before the council discussed the matter, Vanessa O’Connor, president of the Anti-Tobacco Club, read a prepared statement. The club had made several prior presentations to the council, but the matter had been tabled each time.

“We surveyed more than 300 community people asking their opinion of a ‘smoke-free’ park and received 85-percent support,” O’Connor said in part.  “We provided a model ordinance that could be used by the council when adopting their ordinance.
“We even ofered to help with the cost of signage.  These dedicated youth all graduated from Miami High School in May.  We deserve to have the council take action on our request before we leave for college.”

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