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Smoking

Bills sponsored by Ald. Dionne Flowers, D-2nd Ward, would boost the age to purchase tobacco products in the city to 21
Drongowski | Flickr

Grocery chain Schnucks announced Thursday it will stop selling tobacco products beginning Jan. 1. The company plans to sell existing inventory of cigarettes, chewing tobacco and similar products through the end of the year.

Spokesman Paul Simon said the announcement falls in line with the Maryland Heights-based company’s increasing focus on health and wellness.

A study from SLU is one of the first clear indications that quitting smoking during pregnancy can have health benefits for a developing fetus throughout the third trimester.
(via Flickr/shnnn)

The longer a woman smokes during pregnancy, the more likely she is to have a low birth weight baby, a study by a St. Louis University epidemiologist has found.

The link between smoking and low birth weight babies has been well-established. But the study published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal is one of the first clear indications that quitting smoking during pregnancy can have health benefits for a developing fetus throughout the third trimester, said Pam Xaverius, an assistant professor of epidemiology at SLU.

“So a pregnant mom should not say, ‘Oh well, I’ve already been smoking; it’s not going to do any good now to quit,’” said Xaverius, who serves as director of the school’s maternal and child health program.

Pritzker To Decide If 'Tobacco 21' Becomes Law

Mar 14, 2019

The Illinois Senate Thursday approved raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. All eyes now turn to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has yet to say where he stands on the idea. 

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is asking state lawmakers to raise the tax on cigarettes, and begin taxing vaping products. It’s part of a plan he introduced last month to balance the state budget.


Lois Jackson, who lives in the Villa Lago housing complex in Spanish Lake, sits outside her apartment. Public housing residents have recently been banned from smoking inside their homes.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

James Parker has been smoking for more than six decades. But to keep his habit, he's had to make changes. Every time he smokes, he has to go outside his home in the Badenfest apartment complex on North Broadway in St. Louis.

Parker is one of the hundreds of smokers in St. Louis who can no longer light up in their homes. Residents and housing agencies are adjusting to a new rule from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development which bars residents from smoking within 25 feet of their apartments. Residents and housing advocates have criticized the policy and are worried it will result in more evictions.

Flickr | SuperFantastic

All public housing in Missouri is now smoke-free.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the policy change in November 2016, mandating the facilities prohibit smoking by July 30 of this year.

The deadline went into effect on Monday for all public-housing facilities in Missouri. Cheryl Lovell, the executive director for the St. Louis Housing Authority, said the news has been met with mixed reactions from residents living in public housing in St. Louis.

Ciggfreeds is a St. Louis vape shop. In St. Louis and St. Louis County, you must be 21 or older to purchase tobacco products. (Dec. 27, 2017)
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

A year after St. Louis and St. Louis County passed legislation to raise the age of purchasing tobacco products to 21, teenagers are still possessing these products at a high rate. A 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shows that while the number of teenage tobacco users has declined, the number of teenagers who use electronic cigarettes is greater than those who use conventional cigarettes.

Bills sponsored by Ald. Dionne Flowers, D-2nd Ward, would boost the age to purchase tobacco products in the city to 21
Drongowski | Flickr

Updated with first-round board approval Nov. 10 - Measures boosting the age to buy tobacco products in the city of St. Louis sailed out of the Health and Human Services committee on Thursday (Nov. 3).

The bills, sponsored by Alderman Dionne Flowers, D-2nd Ward, would bring the city in line with St. Louis County by making it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to buy tobacco products. The new requirement applies to both traditional tobacco products like cigarettes, and newer ones like electronic cigarettes.

Daniel Gallagher holds up a sign outside of the St. Louis County Administrative Building in Clayton. Gallagher says he opposes a bill raising the age to purchasing tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 7:50 a.m., Sept. 7 with council approval - The minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping equipment in St. Louis County is about to change. The county council has voted in favor of an ordinance increasing the age from 18 to 21.

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. 

Bills sponsored by Ald. Dionne Flowers, D-2nd Ward, would boost the age to purchase tobacco products in the city to 21
Drongowski | Flickr

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The film Platoon is narrated by a fictional American infantryman in Vietnam named Chris Taylor. At one point, battle-scarred and exhausted, he says, “Hell is the impossibility of reason.” For his sake, let’s hope Chris didn’t become a cable news junkie in his later years because the 24/7 news cycle contains enough illogic to fuel several infernos. To cite but a few examples:

Bills sponsored by Ald. Dionne Flowers, D-2nd Ward, would boost the age to purchase tobacco products in the city to 21
Drongowski | Flickr

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.

Effort To Raise Cigarette Tax Fails (Again)

Nov 7, 2012
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.

Thi article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 3, 2012 - The film "Platoon" was narrated by a fictional young infantryman named Chris. Charlie Sheen played the role back when he was merely a talented actor, rather than the walking self-parody he’s become. At one point, Chris comments on the madness of warfare by observing that “hell is the impossibility of reason.” He didn’t know the half of it.

Morning headlines: Monday, April 9, 2012

Apr 9, 2012
(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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 14, 2011 - The number of adult Missourians considered obese rose by 512,000 during the past decade to more than 1.4 million in 2011, out of a total of 4.6 million. The number of diabetics jumped by 150,000 during the same period to 429,000 adult Missourians.

These numbers are included in a snapshot of Missouri health conditions in the America's Health Rankings report this month by United Health Foundation. The latest numbers for Missouri come as a new initiative, called Live Well STL, is being put together by a coalition of local employers to help area residents become healthier. The group is expected to announce specific initiatives at the start of next year.

Bills sponsored by Ald. Dionne Flowers, D-2nd Ward, would boost the age to purchase tobacco products in the city to 21
Drongowski | Flickr

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.

A study from SLU is one of the first clear indications that quitting smoking during pregnancy can have health benefits for a developing fetus throughout the third trimester.
(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.

Philip Morris USA, others win favorable verdict from St. Louis jury

Apr 29, 2011
(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.

MU closer to becoming smoke-free campus

Apr 4, 2011
(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.

Morning Headlines: Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mar 29, 2011
(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.

Smoking-ban supporters try again for statewide action

Feb 13, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 13, 2011- Year after year, public-health advocates have lamented political inaction on tobacco-related policies. But they might have found an effective spark plug for statewide action on public smoking: Start local.

With help from these advocates, jurisdictions large and small, liberal and conservative have approved more than a dozen public smoking bans across the state in the past two years, many of them comprehensive. And on Jan. 31, a strict smoking ban went into effect in Missouri's capital, Jefferson City.

ADA complaint filed against Mo. House smoking policy

Jan 25, 2011

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 20, 2011 - Which Missouri location has the highest percentage of adults who smoke cigarettes? St. Louis? Kansas City? Actually, the answer is Taney County, where Branson is located.

This finding was uncovered in a statewide tobacco study done in 2007 by the Missouri Foundation for Health. The foundation embarked this month on an even more ambitious study: a year-long comparison of progress on tobacco and three other health issues within each county across the state.

Smoking still allowed in Mo. House Capitol offices

Jan 13, 2011
The dome of the Missouri Capitol.
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.

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