Tag Archives: Youth

NYC Raises Tobacco Purchase Age: Will Others Follow?

Guest Blogger – Julia Velonjara, Youth Program Coordinator, California Youth Advocacy Network

The Big Apple is making a big change and we get to the core of the issue! Mayor Bloomberg recently signed legislation raising the minimum tobacco purchasing age (MTPA) to 21. First let’s look at the history of this type of policy. New York City is the largest jurisdiction to increase the MTPA from the federal standard of 18. In 2005, Needham, MA was first to change local laws to age 21. Additionally, four states and a number of other jurisdictions have a MTPA of 19. The Food and Drug Administration is currently prohibited by the 2009 FDA Act from increasing the MTPA above 18 federally, hence this piecemeal approach. The outpouring of publicity around New York City’s law brings this issue into the spotlight. Other recent developments include Hawai’i County Council unanimously voting for a MTPA of 21 and Utah taking up the issue in the next legislative session. Now that we know what’s going on around the country with this issue, let’s explore the pros and cons of the issue. Read More »

Flavored Products are Keeping Youth at the Hands of Big Tobacco

Flavored tobacco has been a great issue in the fight to stop youth tobacco use for a long time. In an attempt to reduce youth tobacco consumption, in 2009, Congress passed legislation that banned all cigarette flavors. Although this was a huge step forward, this ban failed to include all menthol tobacco products and flavored cigars. Recently, there has been more attention focused on flavored cigars and cigarillos (or little cigars) because their use among youth has significantly increased. With fruity and sweet flavors like chocolate, cherry, lime, margarita, white grape and many more, it’s not surprising that youth are drawn to giving these cigarillos a try which often times leads to repeated use. Another factor that may explain why the use of flavored cigarillos has increased, is the packaging. Cigarillos are sold individually or in small colorful packages for prices much lower than a pack of cigarettes. These cigarillos also come in sizes very similar to cigarettes.

I  have noticed cigarillos before, but never noticed the large quantity and diversity of cigarillos sold at stores until recently. 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 »

Plain Packaging

The latest in our series “Tobacco & Twenty-somethings”, by Stacy Song

Have you seen or heard about the cigarette warning labels in Australia? One of my friends just got back from studying abroad “down under” and told me about the labels they use. This packaging is termed “plain packaging” and it involves the majority of the pack to be covered in health warning leaving only a small space for the brand of the cigarette. Australia has the strictest tobacco advertising laws, requiring cigarette companies to strip their labels for graphic images of the negative outcomes of tobacco smoking. You can view the labels here, and will probably not be able to stop yourself from cringing. Australia, however, is not the only country with images used as warning labels. 64 countries and jurisdictions already require pictures or images on cigarette packs. Read More »

Hookah vs. Cigarettes

A new post in our series “Tobacco & Twenty-somethings”, by Stacy Song 

Reality television is my guiltiest pleasure. I know it probably lowers my IQ a few notches, but for some reason I just cannot get enough of it. Over the weekend, I decided to catch up on the newest season of  The Real World. In one of the episodes, there was a debate between two characters over whether smoking a cigarette is more dangerous than smoking a hookah. This argument starts when one of the cast members confidently says that smoking hookah is the equivalent to 1/77th of a cigarette. Obviously, this fact sounds flawed so another cast member decides to google some information. Most viewers just see this as a menial argument, however, it brings up a good point. After this episode, I decided to look up some facts for myself. Read More »