Monthly Archives: November 2013

Smoking is a Huge Environmental Cost

Today is the Great American Smokeout, a day when we reflect on the true costs of smoking. Just as public health advocates succeeded in getting the tobacco industries to warn consumers that cigarettes are bad for your health, we’re now calling on these companies to acknowledge that cigarettes are also an environmental problem—they’re a form of toxic waste. Take action at:

Are you talking about Lung Cancer?

You may not know this, but November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. One month that is, as American Lung Association CEO Harold Wimmer puts it, a double-edged sword. While this month draws attention to lung cancer, it is a short-lived conversation, one that is often forgotten after the month is over.

This is incredibly unfortunate as lung cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer with a survival rate of only 16 percent. So why aren’t we talking about lung cancer year round? Now, I know that smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer – so are we blaming smokers? Is that why there is such little dialogue around this deadly disease?

The fact of the matter is that 19% of adult Americans smoke while 18.1% of American high school students smoke. And in California 12.6% of adults smoke while 13.8% of high school students smoke. Chances are you may know one of those people. Read More »

Districts Are Good For Us

A couple years ago, there was a huge debate across the state about redrawing the legislative districts throughout California. And these legislative districts are an important aspect of our statewide events like Local Legislative District Days and I&E Days (I mean, how do you have District Days without districts?).

But district representation is also critical in the local communities we do most of our tobacco control work in. Recently, this news story from San Mateo caught my eye. Last November, San Mateo residents voted to become the last county in California to be divided into districts, rather than having their county board of supervisor members elected at-large.

This is good news to me because in general, having districts makes more accountable representatives and a more accountable government, since a supervisor/member represents fewer people. This gives all community members, in particular diverse populations and those in rural areas of a county, more access to the people who are representing them. Read More »

We Have Resources for Your CX Process

Recently, I’ve started getting lots of questions about how many and which communities have passed various local tobacco control policies. This is all part of the CX process that local tobacco coalitions are in the middle of right now. At the Center for Tobacco Policy & Organizing, we produce a lot of documents that list the details of policies ranging from tobacco retailer licenses to secondhand smoke ordinances. In addition, we’ve done a lot of public opinion polling over the years, which might also be useful for your coalition to consider.

But with so much information, how do you all figure out what is available for each indicator? There are a lot of indicators, and we have resources for many of them. Here is a quick and dirty summary of some of the information you can find on our website: Read More »

COPD Awareness Month – Four Steps to Better Manage COPD.

In recognition of November as COPD Awareness month we have a Guest Blogger, Lorene Alba, State Director of Programs, American Lung Association in California

I’m a baby boomer – which means I grew up in a world full of second-hand smoke. My parents and grandparents smoked when I was young. Every restaurant we dined in, Broadway show we attended and airplane we flew in for summer vacation was filled with cigarette smoke. It’s no surprise that I, along with most of my family members, have some form of chronic lung disease caused by either smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke.

November is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Awareness Month. COPD (the umbrella term for emphysema and chronic bronchitis) is a progressive lung disease that slowly robs its sufferers of the ability to draw life-sustaining breath. It is the third leading cause of death in the United States, surpassed only by heart disease and cancer. Since smoking is the primary cause of COPD, many living with the disease do so in isolation due to the negative stigma associated with COPD and smoking.

There is no known cure for COPD, but it can be managed. If someone you love is struggling with COPD, Read More »