TOBACCO BARN: NEWS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Members "of a state tobacco control panel ... blasted"This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
California Gov. Pete Wilson's administration this week "for
delaying televised ads designed to win public support of a
forthcoming ban on smoking in bars," San Francisco Chronicle
reports. In June, the Tobacco Education and Research Oversight
Committee asked the administration to ready the ads for broadcast
in August; however, committee members were "stunned to learn"
Tuesday that the ads would not be ready until December. The $5
million campaign, funded through the state's tobacco tax, is
intended to "explain to the public when and why smoking will be
banned in California bars." Committee member Stanton Glatz, "a
renowned tobacco industry critic" and University of California at
San Francisco professor, told an administration official, "All
this looks to me like foot-dragging, designed to make the program
fail." The ban on smoking in bars takes effect January 1
Gov. Wilson (R) signed a bill Monday that will allow
"Californians suffering from smoking-related illnesses to sue
tobacco manufacturers." San Francisco Chronicle reports that the
new law eliminates "special treatment for tobacco companies,
which had been protected from product liability lawsuits by a
1987 law" (Fernandez, 9/30).
The Winthrop Board of Health "is proposing a first-in-the-
nation ban on the sale of all tobacco products within the town's
boundaries," Boston Herald reports. Board member Ralph Sirianni
said, "Under the Massachusetts general laws, we have the power to
regulate and control the pollution and emission of smoke, as well
as anything that constitutes a nuisance to the public health." A
hearing on the proposal is set for October 15 (Beckam, 9/29).
Taxes on cigarettes sold in Alaska rose from 29 cents per
pack to $1 Wednesday, AP/Anchorage Daily News reports. The
increase was approved by legislators last year in an effort to
curtail youth smoking (Germain, 9/29). Alaska now has the
highest tobacco tax in the nation.
A law making Florida the 14th state "to outlaw teen-aged
smoking" went into effect October 1. Approved by legislators
last spring, the law imposes a variety of penalties, including
$25 fines and up to 16 hours of community service, on minors
under 18 caught buying, possessing or smoking tobacco. First-
time offenders will be given the option of attending smoking-
cessation classes (Cotterell, Tallahassee Democrat, 9/29).