A study presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on March 12 supports the theory that raising the tobacco purchase age to 21 from 18 will substantially reduce the number of 15- to 17-year-olds who start smoking and decrease the number of early deaths and low birth weights due to smoking.
Conducted by an Institute of Medicine committee, the study—titled “Public health implications of raising the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products”—reviewed existing information about tobacco use initiation as well as developmental biology and psychology.
Results of the study indicated that, if the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products were increased to 19, smoking prevalence would decrease by an estimated 3 percent by the time today’s teenage users become adults. Additionally, the study found that a 12 percent decrease would occur if the minimum age of legal access were raised to 21, and a decrease of 16 percent would take place should the minimum age be raised to 25.
The committee that conducted the study was chaired by Richard Bonnie, a law professor at the University of Virginia, and researchers used the SimSmoke and CisNet cigarette smoking models to gather information. Researchers also concluded that increasing the minimum age of legal access to 21 would result in 45,000 fewer deaths from lung cancer, 249,000 fewer premature deaths, 438,000 fewer babies born with a low birth weight, 286,000 fewer pre-term births, and 4.2 million fewer years of life lost among those born between 2000 and 2019.
Anyone who has ever walked into a “non-smoking” hotel room and caught the distinct odor of cigarette smoke will not be surprised by the findings of a new study: When a hotel allows smoking in any of its rooms, the smoke gets into all of its rooms, the study suggests, according to a story in USA Today.
Nicotine residues and other chemical traces “don’t stay in the smoking rooms,” says Georg Matt, a psychologist from San Diego State University who led the study, published Monday in the journal Tobacco Control. “They end up in the hallways and in other rooms, including non-smoking rooms.”
The study found smoke residue on surfaces and in the air of both smoking and non-smoking rooms in 30 California hotels where smoking was allowed. Levels were highest in the smoking rooms, but levels in non-smoking rooms were much higher than those found at 10 smoke-free hotels.
Volunteers who stayed overnight in the smoking hotels also ended up with sticky nicotine residues on their fingers, whether they stayed in smoking rooms or not. Urine tests found additional evidence of nicotine exposure in those who stayed in smoking rooms, but not those who stayed in the non-smoking rooms.
A call by the Cancer Council for smoking to be banned at all West Australian (WA) mines sites has been rejected, according to an Australian Associated Press report.
The Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) has said that a ban would cause resentment.
WA’s Department of Mines and Petroleum data show smoking rates in the mining sector are almost double the national average.
The CME’s manager of occupational health and safety, Richard Wilson, was quoted as saying that public health campaigners needed to design strategies to improve the health of the whole population, not target specific industries.
“Singling out one sector above others just causes resentment amongst people in that industry and fails to improve health outcomes across the population,” Wilson said.
The e-cigarette company, FIN Branding Group, has appointed Rick Torgalski as vice president of sales, a role in which he will be responsible for “leading, developing, and growing” the company’s national sales, distribution and promotional efforts.
Before joining FIN, Torgalski served as director of convenience channels at Hostess Brands.
And prior to that he spent 10 years with The Hershey Company, where he held a number of positions, including national account manager and marketing manager.
“Rick’s varied experiences working on national account development is very important for our organization at this juncture,” said FIN chairman and CEO Elliot B. Maisel.
The six member countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) are home to about four million smokers, a number that is increasing by 150,000 a year, according to a story by Habib Toumi for the Gulf News.
Smokers within the GCC, which comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, consume about 50 billion cigarettes annually.
And, according to Arabi Atta Allah and Majdi Ashoor, who were described as experts with the Qatar Supreme Health Council, this consumption level meant that the GCC incurred annual health care costs of $500 million.
“According to one study, up to 50 percent of the GCC students aged between 14 and 18 smoke regularly,” they said as they gave a lecture in the Qatari capital, Doha. “Around 25 percent started puffing at cigarettes when they were between 10 and 15 years old.”
“In the Arab world, the number of smokers has been steadily increasing, reaching 70 percent among males and 25 percent among females.”
The smoking room in the domestic departure area of Thailand’s Phuket International Airport is to be closed at the end of this month, but the smoking room in the international departure area will remain open, according to a story in the Phuket News.
And this is a pattern that will be repeated throughout the country as all smoking rooms within domestic airport facilities will be closed while those in international airport facilities will be retained.
Pratueng Sornkham, director of Airports of Thailand, Phuket, said the closures followed the enforcement of a new Ministry of Health no-smoking law.
In the future, domestic flight passengers travelling through Phuket would be able to leave the terminal if they wanted to smoke.
But once they had checked in and gone through security into the departures area, they would no longer be able to indulge their habit.