Category Archives: Featured News

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#MObusiness kicks off

Business has never been healthier in Missouri, thanks to many restaurants, bars and businesses that are going smokefree. TFM is excited to recognize Missouri’s own hospitality businesses this summer through its #MObusiness hospitality campaign. Join us!

Follow the conversation on Twitter and Facebook, and stay tuned throughout July, August and September for facts, tips and quizzes, as well ways you can help friends and family break the habit.

 

 

Sedalia Approves Clean Indoor Air Act

In a 6-2 vote, the Sedalia City Council recently approved the Clean Indoor Air Act that provides smoke-free air for all public buildings, city parks and playgrounds, licensed childcare facilities and entrances to buildings. Private clubs will remain exempt, however, unless they are hosting a public event.

“Clean Air Sedalia is very happy that the city council went ahead with the decision to make Sedalia a healthier place for our residents and our visitors,” said Jeanean Sieving, Pettis County Health Department.

A recent air quality report categorized the venues that allow smoking in Sedalia as unhealthy on the EPA’s Air Quality Index. This means people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should avoid prolonged exposure to the air in these venues.

“We’re anxious to get started on educating the business people to move forward and transition,” said Sieving. “We hope to move forward with the county as the next step.”

Sedalia marks the second Missouri community to go smoke-free in June with Excelsior Springs approving a smoke-free ordinance earlier in the month. Sedalia’s ordinance will go into effect September 1. Read more.

Excelsior Springs Goes Smoke-free

The Excelsior Springs City Council recently approved a new smoking ordinance that provides smoke-free air for all enclosed places of business and public areas in the city. Excelsior Springs is the 23rd jurisdiction in Missouri to adopt a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance.

Business owners and patrons will have a 30-day grace period to adjust to the new law. The statute also provides non-smokers with a ten-foot buffer from the main entrance of any of these businesses where smokers are not permitted to smoke.  This gives non-smokers the freedom to breathe in smoke-free air as they enter and exit these establishments. Read more.

St. Charles Air Quality Report Released

Do you know what’s in the air you breathe? Residents and business owners in the city of St. Charles  recently found out.

During a city council meeting on May 20, representatives from Smokefree St. Charles shared findings from a new St. Charles Air Quality Report. The report highlights that businesses and restaurants that permit smoking had higher rates of unhealthy air quality than their smokefree counterparts. Moreover, in the study, it only took a few smokers present to create dangerous levels of unhealthy air for all patrons and employees.

Download the St. Charles Air Quality report

Unhealthy Air in St Charles Public Places – Risk for Heart Attack

NEWS RELEASE
Embargoed until 7 p.m. May 20th, 2013
Contact: Don & Kay Young, kay [AT] youngchoices [DOT] org

St Charles city council members received a report Monday that showed air quality measured as unhealthy in public places where smoking is allowed. The study released by Smokefree St. Charles County found restaurants, bars and other public places that allow smoking have high levels of fine particulate matter (PM) pollution.

Because the extremely small particles of PM pollution are easily inhaled deep into the lungs, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that exposure can aggravate lung conditions and can be a cause of asthma and bronchitis. The EPA also found people with heart disease or emphysema are at increased risk.[1]

The air quality report found the average PM level for a smokefree public place in St Charles was rated as “good” by EPA standards. In contrast, the average PM levels were nine times greater in public places that allowed smoking and was rated as “unhealthy.”

The report noted a full-time employee in one of these public places that allowed smoking would be exposed to 140 percent the EPA’s average annual daily limit for PM air pollution.

Only seven percent of people in these public places were actually smoking at any given time, which is a fraction of the 18 percent adult smoking prevalence for St Charles County.[2] Yet, these few active smokers significantly impacted air quality.

Not only does secondhand smoke damage the lungs, but the EPA reiterates it can damage the heart as well. Particles can be so small that they pass through the lungs into the blood stream. Moreover, a growing number of studies demonstrated significant declines in hospital admissions for heart attacks after communities implemented smokefree ordinances. Published studies found an average 14-17 percent decline in hospital admissions for heart attacks within the first year alone in communities that implemented an ordinance for smokefree public places and workplaces.[3,4]

“This is first and foremost an issue of public health,” said Kay Young of smoke-free St. Charles County. “The scientific evidence is consistent there is a causal relationship between secondhand smoke and heart disease. A 14-17 percent decline in heart attacks in communities with a smokefree ordinance is not a minor thing. We encourage policies for smokefree workplaces and public places as a compelling, yet simple way to reduce heart attacks in our community.”

The air quality report and other information may be obtained from the Tobacco Free Missouri website, http://www.tobaccofreemo.org.

 

References

[1] Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) http://www.epa.gov/air/particles/health.html

[2] Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services’ County Level Study http://health.mo.gov/data/mica/County_Level_Study_12/header.php?chkBox=A&cnty=183&profile_type=04

[3] Lightwood, James, PhD, et.al., “Declines in Acute Myocardial Infarction After Smoke-Free Laws and Individual Risk Attributable to Secondhand Smoke”, Circulation, October 6, 2009; 120:1373-1379

[4] Meyers, David G., MD, Cardiovascular Effects of Bans on Smoking in Public Places, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 54:14, 2009

Tobacco Free Kids Honors Show-Me PALS Youth Leaders

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids logo

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids

Congratulations, Show-Me PALS! Members of Missouri’s Show-Me PALS (People Advocating Living Smoke-free) Youth Advisory Board have been named Youth Advocates of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The organization recognized Madison Kellums, 16, of Arbyrd; Daniel Giuffra, 17, of Chesterfield; and Becky Bade, 15, and Alyssa Bradley, 15, of New Bloomfield for their leadership in the fight against tobacco. They will be honored with the national Group Award at a gala in the nation’s capital on May 2nd, along with a national winner, four regional winners, and military winner, Alex Higginbotham. Read more about the group award

Higginbotham, 16 of Odessa, is also being honored by Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids with its military award. As Show Me-PALS Vice President Higginbotham will be presented with the 2013 Joining Forces Award for Youth Advocacy. In 2011, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids announced a partnership with Joining Forces, the White House initiative to support military families and improve the health of active-duty personnel, their families and veterans. Its wellness component includes tobacco prevention and cessation, two keys to reducing the debilitating disease and death caused by tobacco and preventing the children of military personnel from starting to smoke. Read more

 

Show Me PALS Giuffra featured in St. Louis Today

Show Me PALS Youth Advisory Board Member Daniel Giuffra was recently honored by ACT Missouri – Missouri Youth/Adult Advocacy Alliance with its 2013 Outstanding Youth Award. Giuffra attends Mary Institute Country Day School in St. Louis County and is a member of the Missouri Show-Me PALS (People Advocating Living Smoke-free) Youth Advisory Board. Giuffra, one of three Show Me PALS YAB members honored with this award, was recently featured in the Suburban Journals of St. Louis Today.

Read the article>>>

 

ACS gets behind federal tobacco tax hike

04/05/2013 – John R. Seffrin, PhD, CEO of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) has released a statement in support of the Obama Administration’s proposed tobacco tax hike.

“ACS CAN applauds President Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products in the FY 2014 budget. A significant increase in the tobacco tax could have a dramatic impact on the public health of our nation by preventing disease and premature deaths and reducing health care costs associated with tobacco use.

“Raising the price of tobacco products is one of the most effective approaches to encouraging people to quit and preventing kids from picking up the deadly habit in the first place. In fact, research has consistently shown that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by 6.5 percent and overall cigarette consumption by about 4 percent. By discouraging tobacco use through increased prices, we can reduce the serious health care costs associated with using these deadly products, which total more than $96 billion a year.

“The current federal tobacco tax is just over $1, last increased by 61 cents in 2009. A 2012 report by the Congressional Budget Office projected that a 50-cent increase in the federal cigarette tax would generate $41 billion over 10 years.

“Tobacco use is the nation’s most preventable cause of death, yet more than 443,000 Americans will die from smoking-related diseases this year. By increasing the tobacco tax, our lawmakers have the ability to change the price of tobacco products and prevent more children from getting addicted.

“A federal tobacco tax increase would complement ongoing tobacco tax campaigns at the local and state level, which are critical to comprehensive tobacco control efforts across the country. ACS CAN will continue to urge state lawmakers to increase tobacco taxes to improve the health of residents in their state.

“ACS CAN commends the president for his efforts to improve public health, and encourages members of Congress to seize the opportunity to increase taxes on all tobacco products. We look forward to working with both the president and Congress to pass a meaningful, lifesaving tobacco tax increase this year.”

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.

Kansas City Parks Going Smokefree

3/27/2013-The Kansas City Parks and Recreation Board recently approved a measure to improve the quality of air around its playgrounds, ball fields and other recreation areas. The Board unanimously passed the Smoke-Free Park Areas Policy, which creates smokefree zones in and around its parks and park facilities. The Board’s decision reflects a growing trend among America’s parks and recreation departments. To date, more than 600 cities have park smokefree policies in place.

Read more…