Chris_Tilden (Chris Tilden)

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Lawrence group begins effort to raise tobacco-purchasing age to 21

What seems to be substantially overlooked in this discussion is that "tobacco 21" rules are not created in isolation. They are part of comprehensive efforts, including tobacco-free spaces (like clean indoor air policies), price increases (as enacted by the state legislature last year), efforts to support cessation (like tobacco quitlines and education of health care professionals how to help patients quit), and others. Research is clear that comprehensive, coordinated policy approaches help decrease rates of tobacco use, and rates are dropping dramatically in the U.S. as a result of integrated policy approaches. I

February 15, 2016 at 2:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Common Ground program looks to expand past established roots

Thanks to everyone involved in this program, particularly the volunteers who help coordinate and manage each of the community gardens. It's great to see more gardens popping up all over our community -- at schools, worksites, Common Ground sites. It's a great sign of a healthy community to see this "movement!"

February 15, 2016 at 1:47 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence group begins effort to raise tobacco-purchasing age to 21

The State of Kansas spends an estimated $171 in health care expenditures each year attributable to diseases caused by smoking. If we are going to control the escalating costs of health care in this country, we are not going to do it by reforming the health care system. We will only achieve cost control by effectively dealing with the principal causes of death and disability. The leading causes of death in Douglas County are diseases attributable to tobacco use. Tobacco use begins in adolescence for the vast majority of users, and leads to life-long addiction. Adopting evidence-based strategies like high purchasing ages makes sense financially, is good for youth and is good for society as a whole.

February 15, 2016 at 8:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission to decide on tobacco ban in Lawrence parks and other recreational areas

Lawrence has joined over 1,200 other communities nationwide who now have smoke-free parks. Parks and Recreation officials have indicated that it is unlikely that users of parks in remote areas are going to be substantially effected by this policy. LPRD's primary interest is to keep tobacco from being used in high-traffic areas like band concerts or spectator areas around ball fields. The policy is just a piece of paper; enforcement is the real issue. I'm confident Lawrence Parks and Recreation will adopt and enforce this policy in an effective and reasonable manner.

January 13, 2016 at 8:44 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission to decide on tobacco ban in Lawrence parks and other recreational areas

The increase in advertising was for the period 2011-2014, according to the CDC.

January 12, 2016 at 1:39 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission to decide on tobacco ban in Lawrence parks and other recreational areas

Kristine, I laud you for your efforts to do your research to try to purchase a product you feel is safe; I hope all consumers do the same and know what they are buying. Lawrence Parks and Recreation is not trying to prohibit you from "vaping;" they simply want to eliminate the use of tobacco (including e-cigarette) use on recreation grounds. As for "big tobacco," nearly all of the major tobacco companies are producing electronic cigarettes. It is not hurting their bottom dollar; they are using these products to create nicotine addiction in their next generation of customers. In the U.S. expenditures for e-cigarette product advertising increased from under $7 million to about $115 million. For big tobacco this is BIG business. As for busses, I have been part of the community's Safe Routes to School initiative, and am working on efforts to get more kids to walk and bike to school so as to eliminate congestion around schools, in part to reduce their exposure to automobile emissions. I am not trying to draw any lines, I'm just trying to do what I can to help make this a healthy community, in part by promoting evidence-based strategies that have proven effective. Public discourse on these issues is an important part of that process.

January 12, 2016 at 1:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission to decide on tobacco ban in Lawrence parks and other recreational areas

In the UK there are consumer product regulations on electronic cigarettes. In the United States, to date the EPA has not taken any steps to regulate them and they have not been approved as nicotine replacement therapy. I believe regulation (and more research) is important, but in either case I don't believe it is the right course of action to allow their use in public spaces.

January 12, 2016 at 11:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission to decide on tobacco ban in Lawrence parks and other recreational areas

David, I think there are two reasons to include e-cigarettes in the policy: first, their is limited research on these products, but given that they are unregulated we cannot be confident what is in the aerosol they produce; tests have shown the presence of nicotine, heavy metals, and other chemicals in the aerosol. More importantly, in my mind, is that we are seeing alarming increases in the use of e-cigarettes by youth. They are being bombarded by images of e-cigarettes in the media and exposed to their use in public spaces. I think it's important we minimize the exposure our children have to smoking, or a behavior that mimics smoking. This is not a ban on e-cigarette products per se. If you are a former smoker, kudos to you for taking steps to quit! It is incredibly difficult to do. It takes most smokers multiple attempts to quit. KAN-QUIT is a free resource to help smokers develop and implement a plan to quit. 1-800-QUIT-NOW

January 12, 2016 at 8:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City Commission to decide on tobacco ban in Lawrence parks and other recreational areas

The economic vitality of Lawrence and Douglas County are greatly influenced by the health of our people, and unfortunately tobacco use is still the leading cause of death in Douglas County. There is ample evidence showing that strong tobacco policies for current smokers to quit. Talk to C.J. Alam. C.J., a former smoker, credits his employer (KU Endowment) and their tobacco-free grounds policy, for providing him with the motivation to quit. This is not an "anti-smoker" ban; it is a reasonable policy to limit use of tobacco in public spaces. Kudos to Lawrence Parks and Recreation for their leadership in this area.

January 12, 2016 at 8:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Parking plan

It is helpful not to always rush to the conclusion that we need 1:1 parking accommodations in all situations. A recent study in Philadelphia found that a reduction of public parking spaces did not result in worsened parking availability. At least in part, it appears that efforts to enhance walking and biking in the urban core, as well as improvements in public transit, have decreased pressure on demands for parking.

A link to study results: bit.ly/1RjJXdh

January 6, 2016 at 9:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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