Monthly Archives: October 2011

If I Were Writing This Report

On Tuesday the American Lung Association released an exciting new report entitled Luchando por el Aire: The Burden of Asthma on Hispanics; it is part of its Disparities in Lung Health Series of reports.  The Spanish title translates as “fighting for air,” an experience that is all too common among people with asthma. 

Here in California we have nearly thirteen million Hispanics, many of whom may be needlessly suffering from asthma, a severe chronic, or life long, disease that can be serious – even life threatening.  The report finds that compared to non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics with asthma are less likely to be in the care of a regular doctor or clinic; less likely to be prescribed appropriate medicines; less likely to have access to specialized care; and more likely to end up being treated in the emergency department or hospitalized in a crisis. 

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Smoking in China—it helps you become talented

China is making very slow progress on tobacco control despite the ban on tobacco advertising on radio, TV and in newspapers as well as the new prohibition on smoking in public places introduced in May.  The agency charged with enforcing the ban on smoking in public places also regulates China National Tobacco, the world’s biggest cigarette maker, which provides nearly 7% of the government’s annual revenues.

While in the U.S. and many Western countries widespread public education preceded changes in policy, the reverse is happening in China.  According to Bloomberg Business Week 10/3-10/9, 2011, in many rural villages, local units of China National Tobacco actually sponsor their schools.  The article quotes Xu Guihua, secretary general of the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control, saying, “on the gates of these schools you’ll see slogans that say ‘Genius comes from hard work—tobacco helps you become talented.’” Read More »

A New Analysis on Proposition 26

The California Taxpayers Association recently released Understanding Proposition 26, a guide to the new tax structure in California.  I was interested to see what this organization had to say about Prop. 26 since they were one of the sponsors of the ballot initiative. 

As most of you know, in November 2010, California voters approved Prop. 26, which reclassified many local fees as taxes, subjecting them to a two-thirds vote requirement.  Throughout the campaign and after the initiative was adopted, many tobacco control advocates were wondering how this would impact their local tobacco control work, specifically related to tobacco retailer license fees.

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