Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Douglas County receives grant to expand anti-smoking efforts

December 8, 2005


Since the city's smoking ban took effect, the air smells cleaner at Royal Crest Lanes, 933 Iowa.

"We lost some bowlers, but we also gained some," manager Mary Sexton said of the ban. "You don't go home smelling like smoke anymore."

Health proponents are hoping tobacco smoke will become rarer still in Douglas County, thanks to a new grant to be used to expand anti-smoking efforts.

During a presentation Wednesday morning, state officials and members of the Douglas County Community Health Improvement Project described how they would use $248,000 in grant money to curb tobacco use. The county was one of five state communities to receive grants.

"This is an exciting opportunity to have a real impact on the health of Kansans," said Roderick Bremby, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The money will be used to support programs aimed at:

Target employee Kathy Bauman, center, gives a pep talk to fellow bowlers and employees Amy Lewis, left, Steph Barkmeyer and Justin Schiffner as their team competes against their Target co-workers during the company's Christmas party Tuesday afternoon at Royal Crest Lanes, 933 Iowa.

Target employee Kathy Bauman, center, gives a pep talk to fellow bowlers and employees Amy Lewis, left, Steph Barkmeyer and Justin Schiffner as their team competes against their Target co-workers during the company's Christmas party Tuesday afternoon at Royal Crest Lanes, 933 Iowa.

¢ Providing free assistance to Kansans who want to quit smoking.

¢ Making it more difficult for minors to purchase tobacco.

¢ Making indoor air safer.

¢ Concentrating on groups affected by tobacco use more than others.

Some programs will be launched in county school systems, such as using computer software to show children the effects of smoking on aging, training health care workers to help people quit smoking, the use of multimedia to get anti-tobacco messages to the public and establishing tobacco prevention specialists to work with youths, said Melissa Smith, facilitator for the CHIP special committee on tobacco use.

CHIP was involved with the effort to get the city of Lawrence to pass a smoking ban at public places more than a year ago. Smith and executive director Janelle Martin said that effort would be pushed for the rest of the county.

The funding comes to CHIP from the KDHE Tobacco Use Prevention Program by way of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Legacy Foundation. The Kansas Legislature approved spending $1 million on tobacco prevention efforts, allowing the allocation of the money. Kansas Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, and Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, attended Wednesday's event.

Smith and Martin said there would be strategies to measure the effectiveness of the local tobacco prevention effort.

That suited lung specialist Dr. Charles Yockey just fine.

The No. 1 thing a smoker can do to improve health is to stop smoking, he said.

"Over the 35 years I've been doing this I've never had a patient come back and say, 'I'm so sorry I quit smoking,'" Yockey said.


Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 5 months ago

I can see that this is really going to fire up some people. Once the smoke clears, maybe they will realize that smoking is not a "right", especially when it effects the health of others.

allateup2 12 years, 5 months ago

You know what ticks me off is using tax money to fund social issues. I personally don't care to be around smokers but have never found it to be a problem finding establisments that have seperate areas for smoking or are completely smoke free at the OWNERS discretion. On the occasion I wish to go somewhere that is not smoke free I deal with it if I want to be there.

neopolss 12 years, 5 months ago

HKP, those people placed themselves in harm's way, not the smoker. If you have an issue, you should take it up with the owner. Maybe he'll change policy if he sees enough people want it. Don't play the victim.

Not smoking a cigar in a bowling alley? It's an attack on the blue collar community, that's what it is. Next they'll be pushing beer prohibition in the name of public health.

spikey_mcmarbles 12 years, 5 months ago

This is the first manager/businessman that's come out in print supporting the smoking ban; me thinks the hospitality industry in Lawrence leans on it's members not to say kind words about the ban. Comments?

Perhaps the JW could do a quick tally of how many bars/resturants Lawrence has lost/gained since the ban took effect? Does anyone have first hand knowledge of any business that has closed it's doors due to the smoking ban?

pt 12 years, 5 months ago

I went to a restaurant in KC the other day where there was no ban. I realized after I took my first bite of hamburger that smelled and tasted like smoke how much I appreciate this ban. If you want to smoke, do it outside, its that simple. As for the "attack on the blue collar community", if anything it will help it live a little longer by forcing people to think twice as to whether or not its worth it.

Any industry that openly confesses to deception and conspiracy like the tobacco industry should be shut down. Period.

nonsmoker 12 years, 5 months ago

Morion, The big money comes from the fact that 80% of the state does not smoke, and would rather not have to put up with it. Personally, I and my children have asthma, and allergies, and every smoker who lights up around us causes us to face the risk of a visit to the ER. Funny how you feel your right to smoke over rides my right to breathe, or do you feel I should lock myself in a room to stay away from all who feel it is their "right" to blow smoke in another's face. One persons rights end when they remove rights from another, if you want your nicotine, get a patch. I don't live in Lawrence, but I am one of many, who is supporting the ban by finding Lawrence a place we can stop to get a bite to eat while travelling without having to worry about dying for someone else's "right".

Ember 12 years, 5 months ago

I smoke and I am damned proud to say it. Why, you might ask? Because, as an American, I am entitled to something called 'self-determination'.

I am also a tax paying American, and a large chunk of the taxes I pay are on cigarettes.

Let's assume that POOF no in the state of Kansas smokes. Yay, health care costs drop. Whiny people who can't seem to control their own medical conditions properly with medication can go eat at Old Chicago.

Uh oh, the end of the fiscal year is here, and there is such a large drop in the amount of available monies. What happened to it?

Oh yeah, that's right, we stopped having smokers contribute several hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. Hmmm, I guess we will just have to make up the deficit somewhere else.

Road construction and repair? hey can make due with 2/3 of what they got last year.

Education? As long as they know how to turn on a computer and format their hard drive, we'll do just fine.

Care for the elderly? Well, they have lived a long life, so no need to help them live longer than they should have in the first place.

Crop aid? We got enough farmers, so if we loose a few thousand it won't matter much int he scheme of things.

These are 4 areas that are directly funded by the taxes garnered from cigarette sales. Think it sounds ridiculous, just remember one thing.

We can't break even WITH the taxes from smokers. Do you think we are magically going to sprout the difference from a Money Tree? Nope, property taxes will rise. Sales taxes will rise. School vouchers will be a thing of the past most likely. Food stamps will be drastically cut, as will financial aid for low income families.

Ask somebody that works on the laws in this state sometime how much funding comes in from smokers, and the taxes on their addiction. Might be more than you are willing to make up.

Ember 12 years, 5 months ago

Here's a question for you to ponder as well.

Lawrence Citizen A, A.K.A. LCA, wants to open a business within the city limits, where he/she lives, that caters only to smokers. LCA's idea for a business is, say, a restaurant which will hopefully rate 3-4 stars.

Is it lawful for a city council to restrict free commerce simply because the concept of the business is not in concurrence with city ordinances?

Ember 12 years, 5 months ago

Observer, then you haven't tried to do exactly that. I have, and was basically told that I could not open a business that catered to smokers only because it would be against city ordinance.

Don't believe me?

Go try it yourself and see what you are told.

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