Archive for Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kansas gets poor grades on tobacco laws

Residents may not be too pleased with the grade Kansas received from the American Lung Association.

January 14, 2009


On the street

Do you think Kansas should be a smoke-free state?

Yes, I do … (for) health purposes, secondhand smoke.

More responses

Kansas is doing poorly when it comes to tobacco laws, according to a report by the American Lung Association on Wednesday.

In the categories of tobacco tax, smoke-free air, program spending and cessation coverage, Kansas received a “D” and 3 “F’s,” making it one of the most poorly graded states in the nation.

“It’s disappointing,” said Janelle Martin, executive director of the Community Health Improvement Project (CHIP) in Lawrence. Martin said the report is based on a formula established by the Centers for Disease Control. The reports are meant to act as a guide for states as to how much money should be spent on tobacco use prevention, education and cessation programs.

“Kansas spends about $2 million annually, and according to the CDC formula, we should be spending in the neighborhood of $32 million,” Martin said, explaining Kansas’ low scores.

Despite the discrepancy between suggested and actual funding, Kansas has seen a change in the smoking patterns of many of its residents, Martin said.

“We have been able to see our smoking rate decline (and we’ve) put together the statewide tobacco quit hot line,” she said.

The hot line, 1-866-CANQUIT, was established to help people discuss the pros of quitting smoking.

Martin also said that many programs were aimed at young Kansans, including a computer game that shows teenagers how they will age as a smoker versus as a nonsmoker.

Rod Bremby, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, believes another key to raising the grade in Kansas is education about the dangers of secondhand smoke.

“Fundamentally, secondhand smoke can kill; it can produce cancer, and so that’s why we are concerned about this,” Bremby said. “We think there is enough information out there now (to get legislation banning smoking passed), especially after the CDC’s surgeon general’s report that said that there’s really no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.”

According to U.S. News and World Report, 23 states, Washington, D.C., and many major cities around the country ban smoking in most public places. Martin holds out hope that with enough information, Kansas will one day also fall into this category.

Washington, California, New York and Vermont were some of the states that received an “A” for smoke-free air, whereas West Virginia, South Carolina and Virginia were some that made straight “F’s” in all four categories.


tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 2 months ago

The first bell rang minutes ago, and Kansas is still loitering across the street with West Virginia, South Carolina and Virginia... smoking.

cowboy 9 years, 2 months ago

Might encourage you to take a look at Chips website where they highlight their anti smoking activities. Google communty health improvement project , lawrence ks , .I'd like to know what dollars are being spent for this entirely worthless activity. It has a board of a bunch of Non-Profit staff. This IMHO is exactly the wrong way to spend smoking tax dollars. Show me a concrete rehab activity.

cowboy 9 years, 2 months ago

Seems to me with all the dollars floating into the state , 500 million plus , that the health community could come up with something more than looking down their snobby noses at smokers.Having quit once and understanding how hard it can be you would think they could come up with something better than a blow up cigarette mascot.How about combining a physician , nutritionist , physical therapist , and a low tech facility where smokers can go and get off the tobacco. When you look at the costs which every one on here gripes about , a "detox' center would be a relatively inexpensive facility to run. It possibly could be a profit center if insurance companies / employers / and patients paid a share. Keep in mind that Kansas has garnered about 450 million dollars net after what little they spend on prevention. i think alot of people would go spend a couple weeks trying to kick it if there was a resource.

SpeedRacer 9 years, 2 months ago

Will no one bury this poor dead horse? Couldn't the gagillion dollars in taxes regularly yanked out our butts be used to better ends? Oh, you deadbeats that don't pay taxes but regularly vote to raise them can refrain from commenting.

SpeedRacer 9 years, 2 months ago

Oh, one more rant. Kansas was already below the national average in number of smokers before the no-smoking laws were passed in Lawrence. California has the lowest smoking rate, but Kansas is only 3 percent higher. Population-wise, this equates to 450,000 in Kansas vs. 5.5 million in California. Don't you just love phony stats?

ksrover 9 years, 2 months ago

"... state leaders leave the smoking rules to the businesses and spend their time doing beter things to help our state……………………………….."BRAVO DCS!!! I'm glad someone else gets it.

Matt Schwartz 9 years, 2 months ago

smoking, the true death tax....hurry up and die already.

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