Arizona’s anti-tobacco programs performing well but underfunded

January 7, 2015

By Sandra Haros , Reporter KTAR | January 6, 2015


Unlike other U.S. states, Arizona is doing well when it comes funding for anti-tobacco programs, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

“We rank well within the top ten in terms of funding dedicated to these types of programs,” said Wayne Tormala, ADHS Chief for the Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease.

Arizona, indeed, ranks 8th in total money spent on tobacco prevention programs.

However, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the state is guilty of underfunding the programs. A recent report suggests the state will spend just under 19 million dollars on these types of programs that have proven efficient in stopping kids from smoking. According to the campaign’s website, only North Dakota and Alaska currently fund tobacco prevention programs at the levels recommended by the Center for Disease Control.

“Relative to other states, we are doing quite well,” Tormala rebutted. “In fact, over the past few years, over 100,000 teenagers have quit smoking.”

In a report issued late last year, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids revealed that more than 50,000 Arizona high school students smoke — about 14 percent of all such students in the state. That number is about two percent lower than adults who smoke in the state.

The campaign also reported that Arizona ranks 17th in percent of CDS-recommended funding levels. The U.S. as a whole, it says, cumulatively spent just 1.9 percent of its overall tobacco revenue in 2014 on tobacco prevention programs.

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.

Arizona Republic Letter to the Editor: Gwynn death should be warning to chew users

June 30, 2014
I was in San Diego this month and saw many people wearing buttons mourning the loss of hometown hero Tony Gwynn. Back home, I really admired seeing one of our own Arizona Diamondbacks, Addison Reed, announcing he had quit chew after learning how it contributed to Gwynn’s death. Gywnn had been Reed’s coach at San Diego State.

I hope this becomes a call to action for all baseball players, young and old.

For Arizonans who want to follow in Reed’s footsteps, the Arizona Smokers’ Helpline is here to help.

It helps to have a great coach to assist you in kicking a deadly addiction.

Call 1-800-55-66-222 or visit to get started.

— Laurie Thomas,


Tobacco sale ban by CVS praised

February 6, 2014

By Peter Corbett and Ken AlltuckerThe Republic | azcentral.comWed Feb 5, 2014 11:23 PM

CVS Caremark Corp.’s decision to stop cigarette sales drew praise Wednesday for a move perceived as putting health before profits even as skeptics wondered whether alcohol, sugary sodas and other products would be next.

CVS, the nation’s second-largest drugstore chain, announced that cigarettes and tobacco products no longer would be sold in its 7,600 drugstores nationwide as of Oct. 1.

“Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose,” said Larry Merlo, CVS Caremark president and CEO.

CVS is the first major pharmacy chain to halt tobacco sales nationwide, but drugstores have been under pressure to end the practice for years.

In 2010, the American Pharmacists Association recommended a ban on cigarette sales in drugstores and supermarkets with pharmacies.

San Francisco banned tobacco sales in pharmacies in 2008, a move that was challenged by Walgreens, and later expanded that to include supermarkets with pharmacies.

Boston and other municipalities in Massachusetts have similar bans.

CVS is expected to lose $2 billion annually in tobacco and ancillary sales.

Business analysts and health-care advocates say CVS will take a short-term economic hit from halting tobacco sales, but it will get a boost in public perception for staying true to its health-care mission.

Ross Muken, a health-care services analyst with the ISI Group in New York, said CVS’ move helps its credibility.

“The average citizen is skeptical of big business,” Muken said. “They don’t assume that companies will forgo profits. But in the long term, this will help (CVS) to not be in that market.”

Analyst Scott Mushkin of Wolfe Research in New York said it was unlikely that large grocery retailers with pharmacies, such as Kroger and Walmart, would halt tobacco sales any time soon, but other retailers might follow CVS’ lead.

“I think this puts pressure on Walgreens and Rite Aid,” Mushkin said. “It doesn’t make sense to give out drugs to keep people healthy and yet you’re selling them tobacco.”

CVS stands to lose about 1 percent of its $136 billion in annual revenue.

“That’s pretty small potatoes from a big company,” Mushkin said.

Walgreen spokesman Michael Polzin said in an e-mail his company has been evaluating tobacco products “for some time to balance the choices our customers expect from us, with their ongoing health needs.”

He said the company will continue to do this while also providing products that help people kick their smoking habit.

Public-health advocates hailed CVS’ decision as an important step in the efforts to curb tobacco use.

“To have one retailer the size of CVS to make such a bold move and be willing to give up significant revenue is really important,” said Bill Pfeifer, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Southwest, which includes Arizona.

Pfeifer said the decision resonates for both symbolic and practical reasons.

He said it’s a signal that a national health-oriented retailer is taking a stand to promote healthy living among its customers. It also could have practical benefits, with competitors such as Walgreens feeling heightened pressure to follow CVS’ lead.

“Using tobacco products is really not the normal thing in today’s society. Just 18 percent of the population in the U.S. is using tobacco products. Here a major retailer decided to make a statement,” Pfeifer said.

Tobacco is responsible for about 480,000 deaths a year in the U.S., according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Pfeifer added that he is equally pleased that CVS’ decision extends to banning the sale of electronic cigarettes.

Though these nicotine-delivery devices are tobacco-free, some public-health experts believe more study is needed before declaring the devices safe.

Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said the move is smart because CVS’ business focuses on health and wellness.

“It’s a good move in the long run because it sends a really clear message to all of their customers and all their potential new customers that they really take that mission seriously,” Humble said. “They are willing to take a short-term hit on the revenue side to make that strong commitment to their wellness mission.”

CVS got plenty of support from the public for its decision, but many raised questions about its motives and whether the company would eliminate alcohol and other products that can be unhealthy.

“If they’re so keen on health care, then better get rid of sodas, candy and chips as well,” wrote Jeff Edson on the Facebook message board.

CVS chief medical officer Dr. Troyen Brennan said the company has no plans to remove alcohol.

“At this point, we’re dealing with cigarettes, which are unalterably unhealthy for people and different from any other substance that people either drink or eat,” he said.

David Livingston, a supermarket consultant with DJL Research in Milwaukee, said CVS could attract a better mix of customers, noting that Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and other retailers do not sell cigarettes.

“I can remember when drugstores sold pornography,” he said. “But they have taken steps to improve their image, and this is the same type of thing.”

In addition to eliminating tobacco products, CVS plans to launch smoking-cessation programs at its pharmacies and MinuteClinic locations.

CVS Caremark’s stock price closed the day at $65.44, down 1 percent from the previous close.

Reach the reporter at USA Today and the Associated Press contributed to this article.

New York Tobacco Education Task Force Recommendation is Accepted by US Medical Licensing Board

January 15, 2014

November 26, 2013

Contact: Susan Lennon, TTS POW’R Cessation Center/American Lung Association
of the Northeast
Phone: 914-407-2307
Cell: 914-805-9379
or Patricia Folan, MS, RN, DNP North Shore-LIJ Center for Tobacco Control
Phone: (516) 466-1980


More tobacco dependence and treatment content to be on physician exams in 2014

ALBANY, NY- A Tobacco Education Task Force in New York State has received approval from the United States Medical Licensing Board (USLME) for more comprehensive tobacco dependence and treatment content to be included in future physician examinations beginning in 2014. This change in content will result in physicians entering medical practice better educated in the evidence-based methods of treating tobacco use and dependence and more confident utilizing the recommended method of helping their patients quit smoking.

Read the rest of this entry »

Arizonans Concerned About Smoking Announce Health Leadership Award Inductees

January 15, 2014

Arizonans Concerned About Smoking (ACAS) Press Release: January 13, 2014

Media Contact: Philip Carpenter, (602) 751-0190 or Dr. Leland L. Fairbanks, (602) 316-1419.

We are pleased to announce Health Leadership Award Inductees for our 5th Annual ACAS Health

Leadership Award Ceremony on Saturday, February 15th, 2014, starting at 10:30AM at Porter Plaza:
525 W Southern Ave. Mesa, AZ 85210. These awards are presented to Individuals, Companies and
Institutions of Higher Learning for their Tobacco Control efforts. This Ceremony will be

The General Public is Welcomed at no charge, but to help us plan, please call Telephone (480) 733-
5864, and leave a message as to how many are in your party for attending on Saturday, 02/15/14.
Please call with your reservations by Tuesday, 02/11/14.

Name and Reason for Recognition

 Advanced Surgical Associates –  Smoke-Free Campus since 2008

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies –  Tobacco-Free Campus since 07/01/13

Brenda Serna –  Commitment to Arizona Smoke-Free Living (ASFL) Project

Talyah Sands –  Commitment to Arizona Smoke-Free Living (ASFL) Project

Connie Diaz –  Commitment to Arizona Smokers’ Helpline (AshLine)

Mesa Community College (MCC) –  ‘Peervention’ Volunteers Life Long Volunteers for  ‘Peervention’ on 100% Tobacco-Free Campus (including no e-cigarettes) since 07/01/12

American Legion Post #39 –  Gilbert Indoor Smoking Ban Policy since 09/15/13 Post #39 Merrill-Mitchell 206 N Gilbert Rd. Gilbert, AZ 85234 (480) 892-7038 Comment: Providing Color Guard at Ceremony

American Legion Post #11 Douglas Indoor Smoking Ban Policy since 01/01/13 Post #11 FRED – HILLBURN Douglas 1325 North G Avenue Douglas, AZ 85608 (520) 364-5171

CarMax, Inc. –  Nation-wide Tobacco-Free Campus Policy (including no e- cigarettes) since 03/01/13.

University of California (UC) –  System-wide (10 Campuses plus Berkeley Lab and 5 UC Medical Centers) 100% Tobacco-Free Campus policies at all ten UC campuses, Berkeley Lab and 5 UC Medical Centers (including no e-cigarettes) since 01/14

Ohio State University –  100% Tobacco-Free Campus policy (including no e-cigarettes) since 01/14

US Surgeon General’s Office/US Public Health Commissioned Officers Foundation No Tobacco use policy when in uniform on duty as of 01/14.

January 2014 is the 50 Year anniversary of Tobacco Control Progress being celebrated by new U.S.

Surgeon General’s Report to be released this month. This report will feature key historical
achievements of remarkable Tobacco Control progress. This includes more and more total
Tobacco-Free Campuses both indoors and outdoors which has dramatically changed and elevated the
social norm.

The first U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking & Health by Dr. Luther L. Terry, 50 years ago in
January of 1964 overwhelmingly connected tobacco use with causation of devastating preventable
chronic disease and the clear need for remedial action. Despite early resistance from “Big
Tobacco,” ever accelerating Tobacco Control social norm changes are occurring every day. Public
rejection of secondhand smoke pollution harm to others is seen every year by communities passing
new more inclusive public & workplace & multi-unit living options tobacco bans as simply ‘the right
thing to do.”

Regarding the Health Effects of Tobacco Use there have been thirty additional Surgeon General’s
Reports that have been released since 1964. They have produced growing evidence of health effects
from smoking and second-hand smoke (SHS):

o Heart disease
o Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD)
o Cancers
o Pregnancy complications
o Pediatric diseases

Costs of Tobacco Use

· More than 440,000 Americans die every year from smoking.
· Eight million Americans live with at least one serious chronic disease from smoking.
· Cost to U.S. economy is $193 billion a year.
o Nearly $96 billion in direct medical costs.
o Additional $97 billion in lost productivity.

50th Anniversary Surgeon General Report

· In 2014, Surgeon General will release a new report on smoking and health.
· Report will cover three major topics:
o Historical and trend information on tobacco use over last 50 years.
o New findings on health effects of smoking.
o Call to action – how we can end the continuing tobacco use epidemic.

Old traditional U. S. Uniformed Services smoking behavior literally promoted addictive behavior

ultimately resulting in cancer and heart disease, by sanctioning, even promoting highly addictive
tobacco “Cancer Sticks” & smoking, as part of Uniformed Service experience. By contrast very
significant Uniformed Veterans Services American Legion Post indoor smoking bans have been
implemented at American Legion Posts in Gilbert, AZ and Douglas, AZ. Both will be recognized on

The 6,700 U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Officer’s have stepped forward nationwide. Their
new policy for role model health promotion, when in their official Uniforms on duty serving our
Country thoroughly rejects the tobacco disease sanctioning of the past & now promotes a healthier
‘Tobacco- Free’ United States Public Health Uniformed Service policy as of January 01, 2014:

No Tobacco use of any kind permitted when in USPHS Commissioned Corps Uniform on duty

Key leaders will be recognized at our ACAS 5th Annual Health Leadership Award Ceremony in Mesa,

AZ. For more information, please visit
We look forward to seeing you at Porter Plaza on February 15th, 2014 at 10:30AM

Please RSVP at (480) 733-5864 by leaving a message.

Click Here to download the Press release

New Year’s Resolutions and Project Quit on Fox10 Phoenix

December 31, 2013
Courtney Ward, Office Chief for Tobacco Programs at the Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease discusses Project Quit, ASHLine and New Year's Resolutions with Diane Ryan of Fox10 Phoenix

Courtney Ward, Office Chief for Tobacco Programs at the Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease discusses Project Quit, ASHLine and New Year’s Resolutions with Diane Ryan of Fox10 Phoenix

Project Quit, part of the Arizona Smokers’ Helpline, will encourge Arizonans who want to quit using tobacco as part of their New Year’s resoluion.

via How to make your ‘quit smoking’ resolution stick.