Gee, I wonder how that could have happened? How could corporations control the supreme court? Oh yea, I forgot they pretty much own them. This should have happened a long time ago, but big money from the tobacco companies stopped the regulations to at least protect youth which allowed thousands more to start smoking which will cost us millions in healthcare. Smoking is an addiction, research shows that a lot of people who are addicts and alcoholics picked tobacco as their first drug. I am very happy to see the push towards healthier behaviors we have had lately in the U.S., especially for children. This is extremely important for controlling our healthcare costs. I have watched many people suffer at the end of their lives due to cigarettes and they usually spent years with limited ability to do what they wanted due to lung disease before this. I would like to see advertising for cigarettes banned altogether, but in a corporation controlled country this is the best we could do.

From the FDA page about the law:

New Requirements Relating to Sale and Distribution

*Prohibits the sale of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco to people younger than 18.

*Prohibits the sale of cigarette packages with fewer than 20 cigarettes.

*Prohibits the sale of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in vending machines, self-service displays, or other impersonal modes of sales, except in very limited situations.

*Prohibits free samples of cigarettes and limits distribution of smokeless tobacco products.

New Requirements Relating to Marketing (Labeling, Advertising, and Promotion)

*Prohibits tobacco brand name sponsorship of any athletic, musical, or other social or cultural event, or any team or entry in those events.

*Prohibits gifts or other items in exchange for buying cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products.

*Requires that audio ads use only words with no music or sound effects.

*Prohibits the sale or distribution of items, such as hats and tee shirts, with tobacco brands or logos.

These laws become affective June 22 2010. That means if children are smoking it can be reported and dealt with.

I love the apartment I live in and I really doubt that except for one other situation I can think of which is equal to this one I could not find a better place to live. The only negative thing was there were chain smokers living here before me. The owner painted, but in the bathroom and hall it oozed through the walls, Gross! I washed the walls several times and repainted the bathroom. This is third hand smoke which is very toxic and carcinogenic, it is everywhere in a building where there has been smoking. In Alaska many landlords are not permitted depending on their situation to tell tenants they can't smoke in the building. It seems the information about the health causing problems of smoking tobaco have in large part been ignored in Alaska, but Anchorage has recently passed some no smoking legislation. It is a bad situation for landlords also because they have to deal with an apartment or house with an odor, yellow disgusting crap everywhere, and potential tenants who will not rent from them because the place was smoked in. I think there should be a law that unless the landlord specifically has a contract that allows smoking inside people should only smoke outside. Third hand smoke is very toxic to small children who put their hands on everything and then stick them in their mouths. I have had many experiences of having someone sit down next to me and asking if I mind if they smoke. Of course I say I do mind and then they get angry, or light up anyway. In Nome it was so strange to see the nurse managers smoking together a couple feet from the door to the hospital. They were angry when I complained that it sent the wrong message to the patients who needed to stop smoking and the young people who went by the hospital and saw the healthcare professionals in the community smoking. I do know many people who smoke who never smoke inside even if they own the house. An adult choosing to smoke is their own business unless it affects others because even a small amount of secondhand smoke is harmful.

The FDA will be the enforcing agency and grants for states to assist with enforcement and inspections will be given. I would imagine they will try to get schools involved for educational purposes and hopefully they will at least be allowed to take the tobacco products from kids when they discover them in schools. Where I grew up there was a law against those less than 18 having cigarettes, law enforcement did not generally do more than take them from the kids, talk to them about why they should not be smoking, and contacting their parents. I heard they could issue a citation if they felt it was necessary. Of course there is always someone willing to buy cigarettes for them or they can steal them from their parents, but there could be penalties for adults who supply cigarettes to kids. One problem I can foresee is kids who are addicted to tobacco products who are cut off from retailers and in nicotine withdrawal may have such a compulsion to feed the addiction they shoplift and get into trouble, I hope there is some kind of access to treatment for them. Most responsible stores have been leaning towards putting tobacco products where kids can’t get to them and that helps protect them also.

Tobacco companies were one of the first drug companies to control the information doctors told patients. My parent's generation were told cigarettes were healthy and were shown ads with doctors recommending smoking or glamorous movie stars smoking. My generation was bombarded with TV ads for cigarettes with a huge number targeting youth. Considering the overwhelming amount of scientific information we have had about the health affects of cigarettes it is sad it took this long to finally take a stand against cigarette smoking among youth at the federal level. This extra authority will give people who are already working on this issue some assistance. Unfortunately the tobacco companies are targeting youth in other countries.

No comments: