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Guide to Cigarette Litter Prevention

January 19, 2015 Comments off

Guide to Cigarette Litter Prevention
Source: Keep America Beautiful

A cigarette butt or cigar tip dropped to the ground seems insignificant. But follow that butt as it’s carried off by rain into storm drains and eventually to streams and rivers. It now adds up to a big impact on the places we live: In fact, 32% of litter at storm drains is tobacco products.

Cigarette butt litter creates blight. It accumulates in gutters, and outside doorways and bus shelters. It’s the number one most littered item anywhere. Increasing amounts of litter in a business district, along riverfronts, or recreation areas create a sense that no one cares, leading to more community disorder and crime.

Cigarette butts and cigar tips don’t disappear. About 95% of cigarette filters are composed of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic which does not quickly degrade and can persist in the environment. Cigar tips, too, are predominantly plastic.

Filters are harmful to waterways and wildlife. Litter traveling through storm drains and water systems, ends up in local streams, rivers, and waterways. Nearly 80% of marine debris comes from land-based sources. Cigarette butt litter can also pose a hazard to animals and marine life when they mistake filters for food.

Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2013

January 5, 2015 Comments off

Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2013
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States, and nearly all tobacco use begins during youth and young adulthood (1,2). Among U.S. youths, cigarette smoking has declined in recent years; however, the use of some other tobacco products has increased (3), and nearly half of tobacco users use two or more tobacco products (4). CDC analyzed data from the 2013 National Youth Tobacco Survey* to determine the prevalence of ever (at least once) and current (at least 1 day in the past 30 days) use of one or more of 10 tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes [e-cigarettes], pipes, snus, bidis, kreteks, and dissolvable tobacco) among U.S. middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students. In 2013, 22.9% of high school students reported current use of any tobacco product, and 12.6% reported current use of two or more tobacco products; current use of combustible products (i.e., cigarettes, cigars, pipes, bidis, kreteks, and/or hookahs) was substantially greater (20.7%) than use of other types of tobacco. Also, 46.0% of high school students reported having ever tried a tobacco product, and 31.4% reported ever trying two or more tobacco products. Among middle school students, 3.1% reported current use of cigars, and 2.9% reported current use of cigarettes, with non-Hispanic black students more than twice as likely to report current use of cigars than cigarettes. Monitoring the prevalence of the use of all available tobacco products, including new and emerging products, is critical to support effective population-based interventions to prevent and reduce tobacco use among youths as part of comprehensive tobacco prevention and control programs.

National and State Cost Savings Associated With Prohibiting Smoking in Subsidized and Public Housing in the United States

January 3, 2015 Comments off

National and State Cost Savings Associated With Prohibiting Smoking in Subsidized and Public Housing in the United States
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Introduction
Despite progress in implementing smoke-free laws in indoor public places and workplaces, millions of Americans remain exposed to secondhand smoke at home. The nation’s 80 million multiunit housing residents, including the nearly 7 million who live in subsidized or public housing, are especially susceptible to secondhand smoke infiltration between units.

Methods
We calculated national and state costs that could have been averted in 2012 if smoking were prohibited in all US subsidized housing, including public housing: 1) secondhand smoke-related direct health care, 2) renovation of smoking-permitted units; and 3) smoking-attributable fires. Annual cost savings were calculated by using residency estimates from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and cost data reported elsewhere. Data were adjusted for inflation and variations in state costs. National and state estimates (excluding Alaska and the District of Columbia) were calculated by cost type.

Results
Prohibiting smoking in subsidized housing would yield annual cost savings of $496.82 million (range, $258.96–$843.50 million), including $310.48 million ($154.14–$552.34 million) in secondhand smoke-related health care, $133.77 million ($75.24–$209.01 million) in renovation expenses, and $52.57 million ($29.57–$82.15 million) in smoking-attributable fire losses. By state, cost savings ranged from $0.58 million ($0.31–$0.94 million) in Wyoming to $124.68 million ($63.45–$216.71 million) in New York. Prohibiting smoking in public housing alone would yield cost savings of $152.91 million ($79.81–$259.28 million); by state, total cost savings ranged from $0.13 million ($0.07–$0.22 million) in Wyoming to $57.77 million ($29.41–$100.36 million) in New York.

Conclusion
Prohibiting smoking in all US subsidized housing, including public housing, would protect health and could generate substantial societal cost savings.

Use of alcohol, cigarettes, and a number of illicit drugs declines among U.S. teens

December 18, 2014 Comments off

Use of alcohol, cigarettes, and a number of illicit drugs declines among U.S. teens (PDF)
Source: University of Michigan Monitoring the Future Survey

A national survey of students in U.S. middle schools and high schools shows some important improvements in levels of substance use.

Both alcohol and cigarette use in 2014 are at their lowest points since the study began in 1975. Use of a number of illicit drugs also show declines this year.

These findings come from the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study, which tracks trends in substance use among students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades. Each year the national study, now in its 40th year, surveys 40,000 to 50,000 students in about 400 secondary schools throughout the United States.

See also: E-cigarettes surpass tobacco cigarettes among teens (PDF)

State Laws Prohibiting Sales to Minors and Indoor Use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems — United States, November 2014

December 16, 2014 Comments off

State Laws Prohibiting Sales to Minors and Indoor Use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems — United States, November 2014
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and other devices such as electronic hookahs, electronic cigars, and vape pens, are battery-powered devices capable of delivering aerosolized nicotine and additives to the user. Experimentation with and current use of e-cigarettes has risen sharply among youths and adults in the United States (1,2). Youth access to and use of ENDS is of particular concern given the potential adverse effects of nicotine on adolescent brain development (3). Additionally, ENDS use in public indoor areas might passively expose bystanders (e.g., children, pregnant women, and other nontobacco users) to nicotine and other potentially harmful constituents (4,5). ENDS use could have the potential to renormalize tobacco use and complicate enforcement of smoke-free policies (1). State governments can regulate the sales of ENDS and their use in indoor areas where nonusers might be involuntarily exposed to secondhand aerosol (4,5). To learn the current status of state laws regulating the sales and use of ENDS, CDC assessed state laws that prohibit ENDS sales to minors and laws that include ENDS use in conventional smoking prohibitions in indoor areas of private worksites, restaurants, and bars. Findings indicate that as of November 30, 2014, 40 states prohibited ENDS sales to minors, but only three states prohibited ENDS use in private worksites, restaurants, and bars. Of the 40 states that prohibited ENDS sales to minors, 21 did not prohibit ENDS use or conventional smoking in private worksites, restaurants, and bars. Three states had no statewide laws prohibiting ENDS sales to minors and no statewide laws prohibiting ENDS use or conventional smoking in private worksites, restaurants, and bars. According to the Surgeon General, ENDS have the potential for public health harm or public health benefit (1). The possibility of public health benefit from ENDS could arise only if 1) current smokers use these devices to switch completely from combustible tobacco products and 2) the availability and use of combustible tobacco products are rapidly reduced (1). Therefore, when addressing potential public health harms associated with ENDS, it is important to simultaneously uphold and accelerate strategies found by the Surgeon General to prevent and reduce combustible tobacco use, including tobacco price increases, comprehensive smoke-free laws, high-impact media campaigns, barrier-free cessation treatment and services, and comprehensive statewide tobacco control programs.

Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults — United States, 2005–2013

December 5, 2014 Comments off

Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults — United States, 2005–2013
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, resulting in more than 480,000 premature deaths and $289 billion in direct health care expenditures and productivity losses each year (1). Despite progress over the past several decades, millions of adults still smoke cigarettes, the most commonly used tobacco product in the United States (2). To assess progress made toward the Healthy People 2020 target of reducing the proportion of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes to ≤12.0% (objective TU-1.1),* CDC used data from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to provide updated national estimates of cigarette smoking prevalence among adults aged ≥18 years. Additionally, for the first time, estimates of cigarette smoking prevalence were assessed among lesbian, gay, or bisexual persons (LGB) using NHIS data. The proportion of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes declined from 20.9% in 2005 to 17.8% in 2013, and the proportion of daily smokers declined from 16.9% to 13.7%. Among daily cigarette smokers, the proportion who smoked 20–29 cigarettes per day (CPD) declined from 34.9% to 29.3%, and the proportion who smoked ≥30 CPD declined from 12.7% to 7.1%. However, cigarette smoking remains particularly high among certain groups, including adults who are male, younger, multiracial or American Indian/Alaska Native, have less education, live below the federal poverty level, live in the South or Midwest, have a disability/limitation, or who are LGB. Proven population-based interventions, including tobacco price increases, comprehensive smoke-free policies in worksites and public places, high-impact anti-tobacco mass media campaigns, and easy access to smoking cessation assistance, are critical to reducing cigarette smoking and smoking-related disease and death among U.S. adults, particularly among subpopulations with the greatest burden (3).

Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems

December 2, 2014 Comments off

Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (PDF)
Source: WHO

The use of ENDS is apparently booming. It is estimated that in 2014 there were 466 brands and that in 2013 US$ 3 billion was spent on ENDS globally. Sales are forecasted to increase by a factor of 17 by 2030. Despite this projection, transnational tobacco companies are divided about the prospects of the growth of ENDS sales and some companies have reported a slowdown in sales in some markets. There are no data on ENDS use at the global level and for many countries. However, data mainly from North America, the European Union (EU) and Republic of Korea indicate that ENDS use at least doubled among both adults and adolescents from 2008 to 2012. In 2012, 7% of EU citizens aged 15 years and over had tried electronic cigarettes. However, only 1% of the total population used them regularly.1 In 2013, 47% of smokers and ex-smokers in the United States of America had tried e-cigarettes, but prevalence of established use was 4% in this group. Users report that the main reasons for using ENDS are to reduce or stop smoking and because they can be used in smoke-free places.

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