A recent study from the Annal of Internal Medicine says guidelines that are set to regulate sugars in foods are unreliable. It is also important to note that this study was funded by sugar “giant”, so to say, such as Coca-Cola, McDonald, And Pepsi. This conflict of interested could be a problem considering that sugars are scientifically linked to the current obesity epidemic in America.
Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed legislation that would have expanded California’s ban on public smoking to all California State University and community college campuses.
The governor announced last Monday that he is taking initiative on the legislation that would have banned tobacco use on all 136 CSU and community college campuses.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the legislation by Democratic Assemblyman Kevin McCarty of Sacramento would have prohibited chewing, dipping, smoking or vaping natural or synthetic tobacco products at the schools, which have about 2.5 million students.
The bill would have allowed school trustees and board members to decide whether to fine campus smokers up to $100. The money would have gone to support education programs at the campus where the violation occurred.
“I honestly, cannot stand smokers on campus its toxic fumes being polluted on this campus,” says Sacramento State student Tamicia Hightower. “This bill would have helped decrease the harmful effects of nicotine and secondhand smoke on campus.”
According to the L.A Times Brown, says the colleges already have that authority and are fully capable of setting their own smoking policies.
Earlier this year the governor has already taken more action by approving tougher tobacco regulations as part of a special legislative session on health care, including boosting the legal age to buy tobacco to 21 and extending existing regulations governing tobacco to electronic cigarettes.
It’s already known Californians are making an effort to raise taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products at the November ballot box. Proposition 56 would raise the per-pack tax on cigarettes by $2 and raise taxes on other tobacco and vaping products.
As the Election Day nears many California voters will soon be able to cast their ballots in hopes that the tobacco companies will be taking another hit.
According to a post on the Sacramento Community College website, the campus is going smoke and tobacco free by the fall semester. The school is the last of the Los Rios colleges to go smoke free just as American River College and numerous other universities have.
This change comes after a survey completed last spring of both teachers and students in which around half said they would prefer a smoke-free campus.
“In addition to being harmful to health, addiction to any form of tobacco is difficult to manage in the workplace and no longer allowed at most four-year colleges and universities,” says Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, President of Sacramento City College.
“By being a smoke-free and tobacco-free institution, we will be promoting the type of healthy lifestyle that increases our students’ chances at success in life after SCC.”
As reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, since 1964, 2,500,000 non-smokers have contracted health problems due to secondhand smoke. The new smoke and tobacco-free campus would allow people to get less exposure to the harmful chemicals in cigarettes.
“I think it’s good because it leaves the school contaminate free,” says Joshua Arevalo, a student attending Sacramento City College. “It rids some of the pollution in the air. It won’t be good for the smokers though.”
In addition to cigarettes the new rule would also eliminate vaping from the campus. Vaping is a raising trend of inhaling tobacco-like chemicals. It is said by some to be less harmful than smoking because it does not contain as much nicotine as its deadly counterpart, the cigarette. As reported by the CDC, there has been an increase of e-cigarette use by youth- so much so vaping has become more popular than regular cigarette use.
For additional information about this new rule, click here to visit the SCC website.
A few weeks ago the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 7 which would raise the minimum smoking age of 18 years to the age of 21. This bill would be enforced statewide if signed by Governor Jerry Brown. Senate Bill 7 was introduced in July 2015 by State Sen. Ed Hernandez of West Covina. This bill was a part of a legislative package composed of six bills, all of which are aimed to decrease tobacco use.
Joel Moskowitz, director of the campus Center for Family and Community Health, previously stated that 95 percent of smokers pick up the habit before the age of 21. He stated this in defense of Senate Bill 7.
“If they don’t start as adolescents, as young adults, they’re probably not going to take up smoking,” Moskowitz said.
Many senators were quite skeptical on the senate bill and it’s effectiveness. State Sen. Patricia Bates of Laguna Niguel recently said that she was opposed of the bill because the people’s liberty shall be protected, regardless of the reported health consequences of tobacco use.
“I’m sure plenty of minors are smoking without concern about the current minimum age of 18,” said Sen. John Moorlach of Costa Mesa, regarding the effectiveness of the bill. “I don’t expect human nature to change, whether in or out of a university.”
While some think that this bill should be signed by Governor Jerry Brown in hopes to decrease the use of tobacco, others think the bill could just be a futile effort on the government’s behalf. There is still an ongoing debate within the two thought processes and it is up to if Governor Brown to see if Senate Bill 7 becomes a law.
According to the California Department of Public Health, 13.8% of high school students in California smoke cigarettes. SB 151 is a bill that was created by Senator Ed Hernandez and was passed June 2nd of this year to raise the legal smoking age to 21 in California. If signed into law by the governor, California would be the first state to raise the smoking age to 21. The bill passed 26 to 8.
Politicians believe that if the smoking age is raised then less young people will smoke cigarettes. The California Department of Public Health wants to bring the smoking rate down to about 12% by 2020.
Between 2010 and 2013 over 36,000 people in the state of California died from the health effects related to smoking. The deaths caused California to pay for higher medical expenses.
In 2014, there were only two laws that concern smoking which were signed into law in Sacramento. One is the Assembly Bill 1819 that prohibits smoking around children in designated areas. The second bill is Assembly Bill 2359 that states smokers have to be 25 feet away from farmers markets due to families trying to be healthy.
“I think that smoking is terrible because of how harmful it is and because I have family members who smoke so I see the effect,” said Lilli Mercado, a 16-year-old Sacramento resident who lives with family members that use tobacco products.
The next step for this bill is making it a law in California.
There are several organizations that are working to make people stop smoking. For example, the American Lung Association is partnering up with the California Department of Public Health to start a Healthy Campaign. The American Lung Association is also working on increasing the tax on cigarettes.
According to an article by ABC News, E-cigarette use has grown from a couple thousand users in 2006 to several million worldwide. California has already passed a law that prohibits the sale of E-cigarettes to minors, and any retailer caught selling them to a minor is subject to a license violation which can lead to it being revoked.
How effective are these laws in California and how are they working in Sacramento can’t exactly be said.
A survey conducted by this AccessLocal.Tv correspondent shows that it is easy for a minor to buy E-cigarettes at Sacramento liquor stores. Out of 5 stores I visited, none of them asked for my I.D. when I attempted to purchase an E-cigarette starter kit. Since I am 17-years-old, I am considered a minor in California. But the stores that I visited were ready to sell E-cigarettes to me without asking for any sort of I.D..
All of the stores in my survey were located on Freeport Blvd or on Sutterville Road. The stores do a very good job of advertising the products, as all five of the stores had a sign that shows E-cigarettes with the price in their windows or on signs outside.
When I asked, store clerks said that they are aware of the law and that they can’t sell tobacco to minors. But when I asked to purchase E-cigarettes at the counter they still didn’t ask to see my I.D..
“E-cigarettes are a tobacco product and therefore can not be sold to anyone under 18,” said one store worker.
Cigars and tobacco products are kept on the back wall of these stores, behind the registers where younger kids can’t see or grab them. But at three of out the five stores in my survey, the E-cigarettes were located right next to beef jerky and bubble gum.
A study released by the University of San Francisco shows that minors who use e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke cigarettes and less likely to quit. Health officials say that minors are getting their first taste of nicotine through E-cigarettes then moving on to regular cigarettes.
Tobacco products such as cigars and cigarettes are regulated by the State of California, but E-cigarettes regulations are still being figured out in Sacramento.
Now, everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health, and many people pay for their habit with years of their lives. Smoking however doesn’t only drain your health, but also your pocketbook. Many would be surprised by just how much money is spent by smokers every single year.