Daily Archives: April 16, 2009

Sales of Tobacco Products in Vending Machines

Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia restrict the placement of tobacco product vending machines; only Alabama and New Jersey do not. Idaho and Vermont prohibit the sale of tobacco products through vending machines. Seventeen states prohibit tobacco vending machines everywhere
except for bars, taverns and other places where minors are not permitted by law. Nevada prohibits vending machines except in public areas where people under 21 years of age are prohibited from loitering. Twelve states and the District of Columbia restrict vending machine placement to bars, private clubs with liquor licenses and/or workplaces not generally open to the public. Sixteen states allow vending machines in any location with a locking device or within the direct line of sight of store employees. Twenty-four states require owners, operators and/or supervisors of tobacco vending machines to post warning signs on the machines advising of age restrictions for purchase or sales.

Age Restrictions on Sales of Tobacco Products

All 50 states and the District of Columbia prohibit the sale of tobacco products to minors. Most states define minors as persons less than 18 years of age, however, enforcement varies widely. Four states—Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah—define minors as persons less than 19 years of age. Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia require retailers to post signs at the point of purchase stating
that selling tobacco products to minors is illegal.
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia require a person selling tobacco products to check the identification of a purchaser who appears to be under a certain age.
Penalties to Minors:
Forty-five states penalize minors for tobacco-related offenses. Thirty-five states prohibit minors from possessing tobacco products. Eighteen states have language prohibiting the use of tobacco products by minors. Twenty-five states order minors
who are guilty of a tobacco-related offense to perform community service as well as, or in lieu of, a fine. Nine states—Florida, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Vermont—may suspend the driver’s license of a minor who violates their youth access law. Sixteen states—Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming—require minors to attend smoking education/cessation programs in addition to, or in lieu of, other penalties for tobacco-related offenses.
{Penalizing children has not been proven to be an effective technique to reduce underage tobacco usage. In fact, penalties may adversely affect existing
programs that are proven to be effective and are required, such as compliance checks utilizing young people.}
Placement of Tobacco Products:
Twenty-three states—Alaska, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming—restrict customer access to cigarettes
and/or tobacco products. Fourteen of these states—Alaska, California, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wyoming—completely prohibit customers from having direct access to tobacco products in retail stores, and/or have language prohibiting the use of self-service displays. Almost all laws do not apply to retail stores that do not allow minors to enter.

Restrictions on Smoking in Public Places

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws/policies restricting smoking in certain places. These laws range from simple, limited restrictions,
such as requiring designated smoking areas in government buildings, to laws that prohibit smoking in virtually all public places and workplaces.
Seventeen states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Washington and Vermont—as well as the District of Columbia prohibit smoking in almost all public places and workplaces, including restaurants
and bars. Montana and Utah prohibit smoking in most public places and workplaces, including restaurants; bars will go smokefree in 2009. New Hampshire prohibits smoking in some public places, including all restaurants and bars. Four states—Florida, Idaho, Louisiana and Nevada—prohibit smoking in most public places and workplaces, including restaurants, but exempt
stand-alone bars. Fifteen states partially or totally prevent (preempt) local communities from passing smokefree air ordinances stronger than the statewide law.
* Maryland and Oregon have passed legislation prohibiting smoking in almost all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars, but the laws have not taken effect yet.

Studies underscore genetic involvement in nicotine addiction & aggressive hostility

Two new studies in the current issue of Behavioral Neuroscience present new evidence of how genes may foster two potentially harmful proclivities: one, to nicotine addiction; the other, to aggressively hostile behavior. Behavioral Neuroscience is published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Do ex-smokers report feeling happier following cessation? Evidence from a cross-sectional survey.

Many smokers fear that when they stop smoking they will give up an important source of enjoyment and be less happy. Yet, little is known about the long-term affective impact of quitting. The present study examined ex-smokers’ reports of change in happiness following cessation and factors associated with these reports. METHODS: In a cross-sectional household survey of a randomly selected, representative sample, 879 ex-smokers were asked to indicate whether they felt happier now, less happy, or about the same compared with when they were smoking. In addition to sociodemographic variables, the survey assessed how long ago ex-smokers had quit as well as prior enjoyment of smoking. RESULTS: The large majority of ex-smokers (69.3%, 95% CI = 66.2-72.3) reported feeling happier now than when they were smokers, and only a very small minority (3.3%, 95% CI = 2.2-4.7) reported feeling less happy. In multiple regression analysis, controlling for all other variables, we found that greater happiness following cessation was associated with being younger (odds ratio [OR] per 10-year decrease in age = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.09-1.35) and having quit more than a year ago (OR = 2.37, 95% CI = 1.48-3.80), but responses were not related to other sociodemographic factors, prior cigarette consumption, or previous enjoyment of smoking. Irrespective of these associations, in every given category of respondents, the majority of ex-smokers reported being happier having quit smoking. DISCUSSION: Ex-smokers overwhelmingly reported being happier now than when they were smoking. There are many possible reasons for this finding, including self-justification, but it provides at least partial reassurance to would-be quitters that quality of life is likely to improve if they succeed.

Vrdolyak’s fee hidden in smoke and mirrors

Lost in the uproar last month over a federal judge’s decision to go easy on Fast Eddie Vrdolyak was another piece of information to emerge from his sentencing that was nearly as outrageous.

Administration announces campus tobacco ban in 2010

Chancellor Mark Wrighton announced on Monday through the Office of Public Affairs that all campuses of Washington University will be tobacco-free by July 2010, including all University-owned and managed properties.

Border Zone Cigarette Taxation: Arkansas’s Novel Solution to the Border Shopping Problem

Fiscal Fact No. 168

Smokers Can’t Blow Off Stress

Ask cigarette smokers why they light up and one answer you’re likely to hear is that it relieves stress.