A Sad Lesson About COPD From Leonard Nimoy

March 3, 2015

Leonard Nimoy in 2013

by

Actor Leonard Nimoy — Mr. Spock to his legions ofStar Trek fans — has died at age 83 from a destructive lung disease called COPD, telling his fans in a poignant tweet last month: “Don’t smoke. I did. Wish I never had.”

His wife confirmed his death to the New York Times,saying the cause was end-stage COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

COPD is one of the most common lung diseases and the third leading cause of death in the U.S., causing nearly 135,000 deaths a year. There is no cure. COPD causes inflammation and damage to the lung tissue, making it increasingly difficult to breathe. Symptoms include a chronic cough, shortness of breath and frequent respiratory infections.

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CVS Gives Out Free Cigarette Packs Stuffed With Help For Quitting

November 14, 2014

You can’t buy tobacco products anymore at the newly-renamed CVS Health, but you can get the cashier to give you a free pack. While the little red box is shaped like a cigarette pack, that isn’t what’s inside. These packs are available for free, and have coupons and materials inside meant to inspire customers to quit smoking.

Reader Randy reports that cashiers at his local CVS were putting these statements inside customers’ bags.

statement

Behind the counter, cashiers had these free packs, whcih reportedly have at least one generous (CVS-only, of course) coupon for smoking-cessation aids.

lastpack

What caught Randy’s eye was this warning on the outside of the pack:

warning

CVS pharmacies had originally planned to stop selling tobacco products on October 1, but instead emptied the shelves at the beginning of this month. The chain used to make about $2 billion per year from selling tobacco products, but lawmakers nationwide have been making the case that stores shouldn’t sell smokes alongside medicine.

Click Here to read the article on Consumerist.com


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

October 3, 2014
Supervisors to look at ‘smoke-free’ facilities
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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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Boulder, CO to eye smoking ban throughout downtown

September 30, 2014
The Associated PressUpdated: September 24, 2014 

BOULDER — Boulder will consider extending a smoking ban to cover its entire downtown business district, including alleys behind businesses where smokers frequently take breaks.

An ordinance to be introduced this fall would also ban smoking in city parks, on multi-use paths and anywhere within 25 feet of public bus stops and libraries. It would also cover city-owned open space, including leased agricultural lands and any associated houses, and anywhere in Chautauqua.

On Tuesday, the city extended its existing smoking ban to the Boulder High School campus, The Daily Camera reported (http://bit.ly/Y6IGfY).

One end of the school property has attracted smokers driven from a lawn outside a library that bans smoking. The school has its own smoking ban that has not been enforced by the city.

Boulder’s smoking ban applies to flammable tobacco products, such as cigarettes and cigars, as well as e-cigarettes. Chewing tobacco is not affected.

Councilman George Karakehian, who owns a business downtown, said alleys are littered with cigarette butts that get washed into Boulder Creek.

Councilman Andrew Shoemaker said an alley ban would be hard on Boulder Theater, as smoking is an ingrained part of the entertainment industry culture.

“I’m concerned about displacement, but I’m also concerned about the economic vitality of the entertainment industry,” he said.

Councilwoman Suzanne Jones said culture couldn’t be a major consideration if the reason behind the smoking ban is health.

“If we care about health, we care about everyone’s health,” she said.

The ban would not apply to the University Hill area. Asked why, Molly Winter, who heads up the Downtown and University Hill Management Division, said University Hill is on the cusp of redevelopment and the city didn’t want to do anything that could be perceived as hurting business.

Karakehian noted initial concerns that the restaurant smoking ban would kill Boulder’s restaurant industry but said instead it has thrived.

If approved, the smoking ban extension would go into effect in March.

The ordinance would cap penalties at fines of no more than $1,000 and jail sentences of no more than 90 days for repeat offenders. A typical smoking ticket costs $100.

To see the origional article Click Here


Arizona smokers getting tax bills for online sales

September 30, 2014
About 30,000 Arizona smokers who bought cigarettes online are being hit with bills for thousands of dollars in unpaid state taxes.

The Arizona Department of Revenue says smokers owe the state more than $20 for each carton they purchased after 2006 through online companies that offered discounts by sidestepping state use and luxury taxes.

Smokers who thought they had saved more half off the retail price of cigarettes are receiving letters from the state demanding immediate payment for the unpaid taxes, plus penalties and interest.

Annette Borden of Chandler got a $4,299.20 payment demand last week for cigarettes she purchased online between 2007 and 2009.

“I’m kind of baffled by the fact that they are coming after me,” Borden said, adding that she knew nothing about the taxes until she received a phone call last week from the state. “You’re contacting me seven years later and saying we owe this money. We never received a notice or we would have filed taxes.”

But Borden said she is more concerned the state might not stop at cigarettes. If the Department of Revenue can come after residents for unpaid taxes on cigarettes, she asked, what’s to stop officials from demanding taxes for other online purchases?

The state’s answer: Theoretically, nothing. However, unlike with online-cigarette sales, state officials currently have no way of tracking individual online purchases for items bought on sites such as eBay, where state sales taxes are often not charged or collected.

“Nothing you buy over the Internet is tax-free,” said Sean Laux, Department of Revenue spokesman. “People were buying (cigarettes) thinking they were getting a deal, no tax was applied. That didn’t mean no taxes were due.”

In 2012, federal law made online cigarette sales illegal. Companies were forced to give customer lists and purchase data to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which distributed it to states.

Laux said the department began notifying taxpayers in 2013 they must pay a use tax of 5.6 percent to 6.6 percent on every pack of cigarettes purchased online. They also have to pay a luxury tax of 10 cents a cigarette, or $20 a carton. Notices went out with specific details about individual cigarette purchases and offered taxpayers an opportunity to avoid penalty interest charges in exchange for immediate payments.

Borden said the state offered to knock down her bill to $2,800, a savings of about $1,500.

“It is a lot of money,” she said. “That’s my property taxes for a year.”

The state is taking the position there is no statute of limitations on the unpaid cigarette taxes, and officials can pursue cases indefinitely. In many cases, laws limit the number of years a state can audit an individual income-tax return. Typically it can go back no more than four years.

Laux said the limitations are lifted if a taxpayer committed fraud or never filed taxes. In those cases, the state can go back as far as it wants.

He said unpaid cigarette taxes are akin to not filing taxes.

“This is no different to us than someone who doesn’t file income tax,’ he said.

A carton of Marlboro Reds in Phoenix today costs about $71. Customers who bought cigarettes online paid about half of the retail price.

Laux said most of the online sales occurred in Arizona from 2006 to 2011. He said bills for unpaid taxes range from hundreds of dollars to several thousand. He said he is unaware of any tax bills that top $10,000.

Borden said she purchased cigarettes online for the convenience factor, not to try to avoid paying taxes.

“It’s shocking,” she said of the state’s effort to collect back taxes. “I’m not going to lie. I bought the cigarettes.”

Borden said the tax bill won’t make her quit smoking. But she is adamant it will make her quit shopping online.

“My thought process was, ‘Oh my God, do you know how much money I spend online?’ What’s to say they won’t come back to me eight years from now?” she said. “I’ll never buy another thing online.”

Reach the reporter at robert.anglen@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @robertanglen.

Click here to view the article on azcental.com

 

 


CDC’s 2016 Tips Campaign Recruitment

September 16, 2014

RecruitmentBannerPS4-low-res

We are beginning our ad participant recruitment efforts for the 2016 Tips From Former Smokers (Tips) campaign and would greatly appreciate your help to broadly share this information. Similar to previous Tips campaigns, we are conducting a national search to identify people who experienced smoking-related health problems and are willing to share their compelling stories.

 

We have developed the following 2016 Tips campaign recruitment materials and tools we hope you will find useful:

 

  • A letter signed by me with detailed information about our recruitment criteria
  • A sample e-mail for use by you and your colleagues (attached)
  • Two sample newsletter articles (attached)
  • Social media materials
    • Two Facebook images and sample posts and tweets (attached)
    • Both high- and low-resolution recruitment buttons and banners (attached) that your organization and partners can place on your respective Web sites
  • Links to recruitment flyers for the various conditions we are recruiting for, all of which are listed below

 

For more information, please visit the 2016 Tips recruitment Web site at www.joincdctips.com

Sincerely,

 

Timothy McAfee, MD, MPH

Director, Office on Smoking and Health

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Recruitment Letter from Dr. McAfee

Tips 2016 Sample Recruitment Partner Email

Tips 2016 Recruitment Partner Newsletter

Tips 2016 Social Media Content

Recruitment Banner low res

Recruitment Banner high res

 


Countertobacco.org’s 2014 Photo Contest

September 9, 2014

CounterTobacco.org has launched its third annual photo contest. According to the Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Reports, in 2011, the tobacco industry spent $7.6 billion dollars making their presence known in the retail environment. The goal is to visually capture the tobacco industry’s point of sale marketing tactics. The contest closes September 18, 2014 at 11:59pm EST 8:59pm Arizona Time. Click here to enter.