Tag Archives: Secondhand Smoke

Decrease Fire Hazards with Smokefree Multi-Unit Housing Policies

We talk a lot about the health benefits of smokefree multi-unit housing policies, but there are safety benefits as well. Last week, tossed cigarette butts triggered a Santa Rosa apartment complex fire resulting in approximately $200,000 in damages, leaving 58 residents without a place to stay. Tenants from one of the units had left their cigarette butts in a container, which later caught on fire during the night. Next to that container was a gallon of gasoline which ignited due to the fire created by the cigarette butts.

These fires are proving to be a common occurrence. In June, a cigarette caused a fire in a Castroville apartment complex, displacing 40 residents. In that same month, a discarded cigarette caused a Dinuba apartment complex fire, displacing 70 residents. In July, a cigarette butt caused a fire in a Campbell fourplex, displacing a few residents. These fires, caused by cigarettes, have all happened in just the past three months in California. Read More »

Getting the Gold Star in Protecting Kids

Smoking and child care? You wouldn’t even think that’s a topic of discussion today, right? In fact, California does regulate smoking in licensed child care facilities by prohibiting smoking at all times in child care centers, or a facility that’s sole purpose is to provide childcare services, but not child care homes, or day care facilities operated out of a person’s home. In child care homes, smoking is only prohibited during hours of operation and when children are not present. Despite the intrinsic difference in setting (someone’s home versus a separate business), we all know the dangers associated with exposure to secondhand smoke do not discriminate. The risk is the same whether a child is cared for in a center or in a home setting.

In late April, the American Lung Association in California Smokefree OC project launched the GOLD Star Provider program in the city of Costa Mesa to help prevent exposure from secondhand smoke in licensed child care homes. Read More »

Cigarette companies are starting fresh with E-cigarettes

On June 28, 2013, Carl Quintanilla, a CNBC anchor, posted a short clip on Vine showing Murray Kessler, CEO of Lorillard Tobacco, smoking an E-cigarette on the CNBC set at the New York Stock Exchange floor. In August 2012, Lorillard Tobacco made a bold and surprising move and purchased one of the largest e-cigarette brands, Blu Cigs, for $135 million! A little more than a year later, e-cigarettes are now becoming a bigger trend.

As cigarette sales are dropping, most tobacco companies have been introducing smokeless tobacco like snuff and snus to the market. But recently, there has been an increase in the prevalence of e-cigarette advertising on TV, in what many believe to be an attempt by the tobacco industry to counter the increased scrutiny of tobacco products, and their declining use. Read More »

E-cigarettes: The next big thing?

Last weekend, I walked into a bar and saw people smoking inside. My first reaction: “Why aren’t the bouncers stopping them?” My second reaction: “Why are those cigarettes in cool colors?” I then walked up to these smokers and realized they were smoking E-cigarettes. I have seen them before because my dad tried them to quit a few years ago (he said they didn’t help). But back then, they just looked like long plastic pens. The E-cigarettes these people were smoking came in different colors and they were proud to show them to me.

After they showed me their different E-cigarettes that came in pink, white, black and blue, I blatantly told them that those will not help them stop smoking and there haven’t been enough studies to know if what they are inhaling and exhaling will cause harm. Their responses were along the lines of “At least I’m not smoking a real cigarette.” Although this is a common excuse used by those that smoke e-cigarettes, they are still smoking where and when they would normally be prohibited from doing so. The “freedom” to smoke where you want and the belief that this will help them quit are what grabs consumers, however, a quick Google search shows me that E-cigarette brands acknowledge in small print that they are not a cessation product and are marketing themselves as a new and stylish way to smoke. Read More »

Secondhand smoke is a women’s issue

Guest Blogger – Jaime Jenett, MPH, Policy Coordinator, Contra Costa Tobacco Prevention Project

Worldwide, 40% of women are exposed to secondhand smoke regularly. Secondhand smoke doesn’t only make us sick, it’s killing us. Women make up 47% of the 600,000 annual secondhand smoke deaths throughout the world, compared to 26% men.

I always found secondhand smoke irritating but I never knew how dangerous it is until I started working in tobacco control. I didn’t know this toxic substance can actually trigger cardiac events in people with heart disease or that even low levels are harmful.

The majority of the secondhand smoke complaint calls I take as part of my job are from women. They usually call because secondhand smoke is drifting from a neighboring apartment or condominium. Many of the women and their children have health issues that are being made worse by the smoke. They are literally trapped in their homes with toxic fumes. They call me because they don’t know what to do.

The World Health Organization and the U.S. Surgeon General have determined that the most effective way to protect people from secondhand smoke is through secondhand smoke protections policies. Despite this, only 7.4% of the world lives in jurisdictions with comprehensive smoke-free laws. In California, the state law protects people in a few places including most indoor workplaces. In the last ten years, an increasing number of local communities are adding even more protections. Read More »