Latest Blog Entries

Everyday Can Be Independence Day For Our Military

Guest Blogger – Colleen Haydon, Program Manager, Project UNIFORM (Undoing Nicotine Influence From Our Respected Military)/CYAN

As we all recover from our 4th of July holiday, it’s a good time to reflect upon just what independence means. In my world in military tobacco control, independence means many things and that includes a life free of tobacco. There’s been a lot of talk lately about the role of tobacco in the military. Recently, the Secretary of the Navy (SecNav) announced his intent to prohibit the sale of tobacco on Navy and Marine Corps installations and ships. While the SecNav is taking steps to reduce tobacco use in the military, others are strongly opposing stronger tobacco restrictions.

I have dedicated the last eight years of my professional life to this topic and the connection to independence is clear to me. Tobacco makes one dependent. Tobacco controls lives. Tobacco, when used as directed, can kill you. There is nothing about tobacco that deserves the attention of our nation’s bravest and most valuable members. It has been suggested that military service men and women already put their lives at risk every day as a part of their duties so denying them tobacco is a waste of time.

With all due respect to those who have made these misguided claims, I emphatically disagree and reject your premise.

  • First, it is because our nation’s military service men and women are put in harms way on a daily basis that tobacco has no place in that reality. From updated equipment to appropriate training, we do all we can to protect our Service Members from harm to ensure that they survive whatever horrible situation they are put into. Read More »

Meet Our New Intern: The ABC’s of Kevin Bursey

Kevin Bursey is the newest member of the Center team, interning with Stacy on all things policy related! Check out his ABCs and get to know him a little better.

A is for Area Code: 559

B is for Breakfast. What did you have for breakfast today? Coffee with a side of egg whites.

C is for Calling. What do you consider your calling to be? I have always had a drive to help those who cannot help themselves.

D is for Dogs. Do you have any? My favorite dog passed away, and I can’t quite bring myself to invest my love into another one yet.

E is for Energy. What do you do when you need more energy? Doing push-ups and drinking coffee always seems to boost my energy.

F is for Fun. What do you like to do for fun? I love to play sports, the outdoors, and going to new places.

G is for Greatest Accomplishment. What is yours? Consecutively making the Dean’s List in college.

H is for Hometown. Where are you from? Madera, California.

Read More »

Cease-and-Desist Letters Sent to E-Cigarette Companies


Back in April, I wrote a post on how e-cigarette companies were making a fortune selling and marketing Girl Scout cookie e-liquid in flavors like Thin Mint, especially to youth. After writing the blog, I wondered how these e-cigarette companies were getting away with using trademarked names to market their products.  Not only are they using Girl Scout Cookie names as their flavors but they are also using other well known “youth” brand names such as Tootsie Roll and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

At the end of May, Girl Scouts of the USA, General Mills Inc., and Tootsie Roll Industries Inc. sent cease-and-desist letters to the e-liquid companies insisting that they stop using their brand names, or else they’ll take further legal action.  I was very happy to hear that these well-known companies, which market to youth, have all taken a stand against the e-cigarette companies. Read More »

Tobacco Use in Rural California: American Lung Association & CA4Health Release New Survey Results

Today, the American Lung Association and CA4Health released results from a survey of 12 rural California counties on tenants’ attitudes toward secondhand smoke in apartments and other multi-unit housing. These results show that tenants in rural communities are highly aware of the dangers of secondhand smoke and support protections against it in multi-unit housing. This survey found that 69% of rural tenants surveyed favor rules prohibiting smoking in outdoor common areas and 61% favor a ban on smoking inside apartment units.

Although California has many strong local tobacco control policies, rural California has not yet benefitted from the same protections as the rest of the state. However, this new survey shows that renters in these communities want the same protections. Read More »

Has Your Congressman Taken Tobacco Money?

Every six months the Center for Tobacco Policy & Organizing releases new data on tobacco industry contributions to California legislators. This information is important because in California, tobacco interests spend millions of dollars every year on political campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures in an attempt to influence the political landscape at the state legislature. In fact, during the first year of the 2013-2014 election cycle, tobacco interests have already spent more than $2.7 million on campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures to influence legislative policy and elections in California. (And if you haven’t seen it, go check out our searchable contributions database to learn more about whether your legislators have taken contributions.)

Now there is exciting new information nationally on the number of Congress men & women who have (or have not) taken money from the tobacco industry. Read More »