Teen Smoking Keeps Falling

monitoring-the-future-logo-12-14-11As we get ready to ring in a new year, Monitoring the Future, an annual report funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found cigarette use among U.S. teenagers fell to historic lows and a four-year rise in marijuana use appears to have leveled off.

The report indicated the number of teenagers who reported smoking cigarettes in the prior 30 days fell to 10.6% this year from 11.7% in 2011, the lowest level recorded since the survey began in 1975. The survey tracks tobacco, drug and alcohol use, as well as attitudes about drug risk among 45,000 students in eighth, 10th and 12th grades.

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Teens Buy Less Tobacco When Displays Are Hidden

pos_ad_2012A new study conducted using a virtual reality game suggests teens may be less likely to try to buy cigarettes at convenience stores if they aren’t sold in plain sight behind the counter.

Studies show that the more time youth spend in these stores, the more likely they are to start using tobacco.  In New York City, there are 9,700 licensed tobacco retailers, and approximately 75 percent of these stores are located within one thousand feet of a school perimeter. Research shows that kids who shop at stores with tobacco marketing two or more times a week are 64% more likely to start smoking than their peers who don’t. We should limit the sale of tobacco near schools to reduce our youth’s easy access to tobacco products. 65% of New Yorkers support limiting tobacco retailers near schools.

In New York State, the tobacco industry spends $1 million every day marketing its deadly products. We need to more to protect our youth from Big Tobacco’s targeted marketing.  Why aren’t we insisting that tobacco retailers remove tobacco displays given this new study?

We believe it is unacceptable that our youth be lured into a lifetime of nicotine addiction and should be protected from tobacco product displays. Policies that require retailers to store tobacco products out of view could have a positive health impact and reduce the chances of kids lighting up.

SILENCE=DEATH

lgbtIn 1995, Big Tobacco targeted gays in a marketing campaign titled Project SCUM. Ironically, as the LGBT community was heralding a major victory in the battle against AIDS, putting them in the spotlight, the tobacco industry saw them as a viable market to exploit, especially LGBT youth.

A recent article released in the American Journal of Public Health found that LGBT people smoke cigarettes at rates that are nearly 70 percent higher than the general population. It is estimated that LGBT adults are 1.5 to 2.5 times more likely to smoke than heterosexual adults.

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Are You Really Smoke-Free? Secondhand Smoke Affects Most Apartment Residents

Smoke-free HousingAs many as 29 million U.S. apartment dwellers who have no smoking rules for their own homes are exposed to secondhand smoke seeping in from neighboring apartments and common areas, reported The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).  The study was the first to estimate how many Americans are at risk from secondhand smoke because they live in apartments.

Exposure to secondhand smoke in apartments is not something an apartment dweller can control.  Even if you have a smoke-free home rule, if you live in an apartment building, you are being involuntarily exposed to secondhand smoke from neighbors who smoke.

51.7% of New York State residences are in multi-unit dwellings, the highest percentage in the country. In NYC, almost 500,000 adults and children are exposed to secondhand smoke at home. The best way to protect people living in apartments is to have the building voluntarily adopt a smoke-free policy.

We already know that secondhand smoke kills 42,000 Americans each year, including nearly 900 infants.  The CDC study indicated that one-third of those who are at risk from secondhand smoke because they live in apartments are either children or seniors over 65—two groups especially likely to become sick from secondhand smoke.

In NYC, 70 percent of residences are in multi-unit housing. Our children and seniors are at risk, especially in New York City where many of us live in apartment buildings.

Nearly 60% of New York City voters already want to live in a smoke-free apartment building. We encourage apartment buildings to voluntarily go smoke-free so we don’t have to be involuntarily exposed to secondhand smoke.

We believe that smoke-free housing is the next natural step in protecting the health of New Yorkers. Our work is not done. The Coalition is committed to increasing the number of apartments, condos and co-ops in our city that are 100% smoke-free.

This seminal research proves that our work will saves lives as we promote voluntary smoke-free housing and provide New Yorkers with more smoke-free housing options.

Our city’s most vulnerable should not have to be involuntarily exposed to secondhand smoke. All New Yorkers have the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air where they live, work and play.

Smoke-Free Home for the Holidays

HolidaysMany parents have a no-smoking rule when it comes to the home. But if you live in an apartment and the neighbor upstairs lights up, is your child exposed to cigarette smoke?  Absolutely.

Almost 500,000 NYC children and adults are involuntarily exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes. They inhale their neighbor’s cigarette smoke as it seeps through cracks and vents. Secondhand smoke can never be isolated. If you live near a smoker, secondhand smoke becomes your constant companion—and your child’s.  On average, up to 60% of the air in multi-unit buildings is shared.

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Just Stick to the Facts

broken promisesFederal Court Judge Gladys Kessler has ruled that Big Tobacco needs to just stick to the facts. Specifically, she’s ordered tobacco companies to publish corrective statements that say they lied to us about the dangers of smoking and simply state the deadly health effects of smoking. As we wrote in our Letter to the Editor published in today’s  New York Times, these statements are not “forced public confessions,” just the indisputable truth.

More truth was revealed in today’s headlines.  “States Cut Antismoking Outlays Despite Record Tobacco Revenue”.  In a report released today by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, we learn that states will collect a record $25.7 billion in taxes and settlement money in the current fiscal year, but they are only set to spend less than 2 percent of that on prevention.

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