smoking

Researchers Laura Jean Bierut, MD (left), and Li-Shiun Chen, MD, examine X-rays of a patient with lung cancer.
Robert Boston|Washington University in St. Louis

Can’t stop smoking? Your genes might be part of the problem.

After a case review of 24 studies involving 29,000 participants, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis determined that smokers who carried a relatively common genetic marker tend quit smoking four years later on average than those without. The genetic variation was also linked to earlier diagnoses for lung cancer. 

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate and Missouri House have both passed bills to ban sales of electronic nicotine delivery devices to minors.

House Bill 1690 and Senate Bill 841 would both limit the sales of these devices, sometimes called e-cigarettes, to consumers 18 years old and older, and both versions would not subject the devices to  regulation or taxation as tobacco products. 

(via Flickr/Drongowski)

In the 50 years since the Surgeon General first reported on the dangers of smoking tobacco, much has been done to effect change. At the time of the first Surgeon General’s Report, 42 percent of American adults smoked. Today, only 18 percent do.

That’s according to the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report released in January.

Photo of Nancy Pelosi
Wikipedia

A Words to Live By award goes to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who reportedly advised her fellow Democrats to “embrace the suck” and vote for the budget agreement crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

It seems that liberal colleagues objected to certain provisions of the compromise but Pelosi believed a flawed deal beat no deal at all. Her half-a-loaf-is-better-than-nothing approach was reminiscent of the practicality that once characterized negotiations on Capitol Hill.

(via Flickr/Drongowski)

A proposal to ban smoking in the Capitol offices of Missouri House members has been snuffed out by a committee.

The House Rules Committee rejected the office smoking ban Tuesday on an 8-4 vote, with all Republicans against it and all Democrats for it.  House rules already prohibit smoking in the hallways and the chamber while lawmakers are in session. But legislators can allow smoking in their own offices.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri voters have narrowly defeated an effort to raise the state’s tobacco tax.

If Proposition B had passed, the tax on a pack of cigarettes would have gone from the lowest in the nation, at 17 cents, up to 90 cents.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax of any state in the country – and some of the highest smoking and lung cancer rates. A measure on tomorrow’s ballot – Proposition B – is aiming to change that.

While previous efforts to raise Missouri’s cigarette tax have failed, proponents of this increase are more optimistic.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Public meeting to be held on City-Arch-River Project

Members of the public will have another chance to weigh in on one of the most controversial parts of the City-Arch-River 2015 project - what to do about the portion of Interstate 70 that runs through downtown.

The Missouri Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting on its plans for the depressed section of the interstate at St. Louis City Hall on Tuesday.

(Via Flickr/meddygarnet)

A new report by the American Lung Association puts Missouri near the bottom of the list when it comes to state tobacco control policies.

The report grades states according to their spending on tobacco prevention and control programs, smoke-free air laws, cigarette taxes, and coverage of programs to help smokers quit.

Missouri was one of six states to receive an “F” grade in all four categories.

(via Flickr/Drongowski)

A higher percentage of Missouri's workers are exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke than in any other state.

A 2007 telephone survey funded by the Missouri Foundation for Health looked at the tobacco use, health, and demographics of close to 24,000 indoor Missouri workers.  About 12 percent were exposed to secondhand smoke, compared to about 7 percent of workers nationwide.

(via Flickr/shnnn)

Reporting from KCUR's Elana Gordon used in this report.

A decade ago, more than one in four Missourians smoked. Now, only about one in five smoke, and those who do smoke are doing so less often.

(via Flickr/seannaber)

Philip Morris USA and other major tobacco companies won a favorable verdict Friday in a lawsuit filed by 37 Missouri hospitals seeking more than $455 million for treating sick smokers.

Philip Morris USA was one of six tobacco companies involved in the lawsuit.

The hospitals had claimed cigarette companies delivered an "unreasonably dangerous" product and were seeking reimbursement back to 1993 for treating patients who had no insurance and did not pay their bills.

(via Flickr/shnnn)

It will be harder to find a place to smoke on the University of Missouri's Columbia campus this summer.

Starting July 1, smoking will be allowed only in designated areas. The smoking areas aren't final yet, but they are likely to be in parking lots and on the top floors of parking garages.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the stricter rules are a step toward the university's goal of being entirely smoke-free by Jan. 1, 2014.

The university's current policy prohibits smoking within 20 feet of doors, windows and fresh air intake systems on campus. The Tribune reports that the policy is not strictly enforced, with campus administrators mostly leaving it to students and employees to police each other.

(via Flickr/bridgepix)

Good morning! Here are a few of today's starting headlines:

Missouri to apply for high-speed rail funding

The State of Missouri will apply for federal funding to construct high-speed rail service between the state's two metropolitan areas. Gov. Jay Nixon is scheduled to announce details of the application during a 10 a.m. news conference at the Kirkwood Amtrak station in suburban St. Louis. Nixon's office says the application will include a proposal for immediate upgrades to improve speeds on existing lines between St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.

The recent move of Missouri House of Representatives members to vote in favor of continuing to allow smoking in their Capitol building offices has drawn some criticism - in the form of a formal complaint.

Rossie Judd of Fenton, Mo. has filed an Americans with Disabilities Act complaint against the policy, saying in her complaint that it denies her "meaningful access to the House of Representatives" as a result.

(via Flickr/jimbowen0306)

Though the recent trend in Missouri has been to go smoke free, the Missouri House voted today to continue to allow smoking in members' offices in the Capitol building.

LawPrieR|Flickr

The largest adult health study ever conducted in Missouri is underway across the state. The topic? Tobacco use and the diseases it causes.

The Missouri Foundation for Health is providing close to $2 million in funding for the telephone survey, which is expected to include more than 52,000 people.

Missouri Foundation for Health program officer Matthew Kuhlenbeck says the survey is a follow-up to a similar study conducted in 2007.

Curran | Flickr

Cigarettes are in the news again, but this time it's not about banning the smoking of them.

Eleven men from the St. Louis and Chicago areas are facing federal indictment for allegedly trafficking in contraband cigarettes.

The U.S. Attorney's office in St. Louis announced the indictments on Thursday. Four of the men are from suburban St. Louis, five are from Chicago and two are from Chicago suburbs.

Curran | Flickr

Ventilation systems failed to remove nicotine from smoke-filled air in restaurants and bars in the area, according to a study released Wednesday by Washington University researchers.

University representatives used the results of the study on Wednesday to argue that ventilation systems are ineffective at removing nicotine, putting customers and workers at risk for health problems that include cancer and cardiovascular disease. And they cited the research as the first objective study in St. Louis lending support to comprehensive smoking ban legislation.