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F.D.A. Targets Vaping, Alarmed by Teenage Use

By Sheila Kaplan and Jan Hoffman

Sept. 12, 2018


The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday declared that teenage use of electronic cigarettes has reached “an epidemic proportion,” and it put makers of the most popular devices on notice that they have just 60 days to prove they can keep their devices away from minors. Read more here.



Battling Menthol Restrictions, R.J. Reynolds Reaches Out to Sharpton, Other Black Leaders


Opinion Editorial by Alexandra Winston, Alameda County Public Health Department Tobacco Control Program

6-3-2016 Opinion Editorial by Alexandra Winston, Alameda County Public Health Department Tobacco Control Program

California Legislature admits holding tobacco bills to stall threat

New Generation of E-CigarettesYouth Leaders at La Clinica de la Raza's Peer Educator Program: Social Media is Powerful Against Teen Nicotine Addiction

Youth Leaders at La Clinica de la Raza Explain the Impacts of Tobacco Use among High School Students
Brown Signs Five Anti-Tobacco Bills, Vetoes OneBen Adler

Bills to raise smoking age, regulate e-cigarettes have not arrived on governor’s desk after nearly a month

Legislature is holding measure to prevent referendum threatened by tobacco industry

Officials previously denied manipulating process

Six bills constitute the package to stand up against Big Tobacco power and money

By  Juan Noguera /   Monday, 07 Mar 2016 01:46PM

We already talked about the most resonating bill there is about cigarettes this week in California. There are five more bills that might have an important impact on other issues related to the smokes like vaping, taxes, and tobacco-free campus policy, among others.Here is a summary of all the tobacco bills passed by the Legislature.

By: Alexandra Nelson, Alameda County Public Health Department, Tobacco Control Program

California Senate approves bill to raise smoking age to 21

California Senate approves bills to crack down on tobacco use

Secondhand E-Cig Vapor Can Penetrate Paint. What Does That Mean For Your Lungs?

The aerosol particles emitted from vaping are so tiny they can actually seep through paint on walls — the pores in the paint would look like Swiss cheese in comparison to the particle size. Read more HERE

Smokefree Housing: The City of Berkeley Scores a Win for Public Health and Citizen’s Wallets

By Alexandra Nelson March 5th, 2015

(Berkeley, CA) Do you or someone you live with smoke? If you answered “no” to this question you already may know that smoking and secondhand smoke isn’t your problem, but research proves that other factors may still affect you. According to The Cost of Smoking in California,1 a report released in October 2014, smoking costs Alameda County $702,063 per year, which works out to be a whopping $467 per every resident whether they smoke or not. Read more HERE

You’re out, tobacco: bill would ban products at all California baseball venues


This Week in CTP - Updates from the Center for Tobacco Products
FDA Opens a Public Docket to Coincide with E-Cigarette Workshops.

Please check out further details HERE.

Helping Smokers Quit — Opportunities Created by the Affordable Care Act

Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., Stephen Babb, M.P.H., Simon McNabb, B.A., and Michael C. Fiore, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. November 19, 2014

In its review of tobacco-dependence treatments, the 2008 clinical practice guideline of the U.S. Public Health Service concluded, “Indeed, it is difficult to identify any other condition that presents such a mix of lethality, prevalence, and neglect, despite effective and readily available interventions.”1 read more...

California City Becomes First In State To Ban Tobacco Sales To Anyone Under 21

The Huffington Post  | By Mollie Reilly

Posted: 10/22/2014 3:35 pm EDT Updated: 10/22/2014 4:59 pm EDT

A Northern California city has become the first in the state to approve raising the minimum age for tobacco purchases.

Healdsburg, California's city council voted 4-1 Monday to raise the age threshold required for tobacco purchases from 18 to 21. (California state law mandates that no tobacco products or paraphernalia are sold to anyone under 18.)

Healdsburg, a popular Sonoma County wine country destination, will require individuals purchasing cigarettes, chewing tobacco or other tobacco products to be 21 years of age or older. Electronic cigarettes are also included in the ban. Pending a second city council vote, the ordinance is set to take effect in early December.

"This is about trying to save people's lives -- prevent disease," Healdsburg Mayor Jim Wood said, according to the Press Democrat. "I see more young people than ever before smoking. It's distressing."

The legislation's proponents, including the American Lung Association, hope that the new regulations will discourage young people from picking up a tobacco habit. According to a U.S. Surgeon General's report released earlier this year, 88 percent of adults who use tobacco began smoking before they were 18 years old. And if the current smoking rate persists nationally, an estimated 5.6 million Americans who are currently younger than 18 will die of a smoking-related illness.

For the entire article see:

Report: The Cost of Smoking in California October 2014

Economic impact of smoking in California

Smoking carries a hefty price tag for all Californians - from the addiction and diseases it causes to the premature deaths of smokers and others - it affects our communities and families in many costly and profound ways.

A county-by-county report of the costs of smoking in California funded by the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) was recently completed by University of California San Francisco (UCSF) researchers, Drs. Wendy Max and Hai-Yen Sung. It is the third in a series of reports on California smoking-attributable costs, following reports done in 1989 and 1999.

Smoking-Related Illnesses in U.S. Total 14 Million, Report Finds

Many Americans suffer from multiple conditions related to cigarettes

Smoking-Related Illnesses in U.S. Total 14 Million, Report Finds

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter Oct.13, 2014

Dire Warnings by Big Tobacco on E-Smoking

By MATT RICHTEL Sept.29,2014

The tobacco industry's giants are putting health warnings on e-cigarettes that outstrip both those on traditional cigarettes and those on e-cigarettes made by smaller competitors, leaving public health officials skeptical about the companies' intent.

Berkeley council regulates e-cigarettes, passes civic center protections

- By Judith Scherr Correspondent Sept. 10, 2014

The council voted unanimously to regulate e-cigarettes just like conventional cigarettes, banning them from city parks, commercial areas, multiunit housing and places of employment. Members also approved a Civic Center District Overlay Ordinance that restricts uses of historic civic center buildings to community-serving functions and limits their height to 50 feet. View Full Story

American Lung Association Congratulates CVS for Removing All Tobacco Products from CVS/pharmacy Stores

Calls on Other Retailers to Halt Tobacco Sales

Statement of Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO, American Lung Association

Chicago, IL (September 3, 2014)


The American Lung Association applauds CVS for removing cigarettes and all tobacco products from all CVS/pharmacy locations across the U.S. This is an important milestone for the health of the American people today and for generations to come.

We are very pleased that CVS has accelerated its timeline to remove all tobacco products from its shelves. We urge all retailers – especially retailers with pharmacies – to follow CVS’s lead. This includes not selling any tobacco products and helping current tobacco users get the support they need to quit. By working to reduce access to tobacco products, every person and every company can play a role in helping to end tobacco-caused death and disease.

Fifty years after the release of the first Surgeon General’s report that linked smoking with cancer and other diseases, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and illness in the U.S. Every year, almost half a million people die from tobacco-caused disease in the U.S. With our health and medical partners, the American Lung Association has called for urgent action by all levels of government to achieve three bold goals:

  • Reduce smoking rates, currently at about 18 percent, to less than 10 percent within 10 years;
  • Protect all Americans from secondhand smoke within five years; and
  • Ultimately eliminate the death and disease caused by tobacco use.

CVS’s courageous move will help our nation achieve these goals.

There is much more work to be done to end the terrible tobacco epidemic. We urge theObama administration to step up to protect the health of all Americans by finalizing the Food and Drug Administration regulation that would give the agency oversight authority of all tobacco products including cigars, electronic cigarettes, pipe tobacco, hookah and other tobacco products by the end of 2014.

On behalf of the Lung Association’s volunteers and staff, I commend the newly branded CVS Health for making a tremendous contribution to the collective fight to make tobacco history.

In Children’s Hands, E-Cigarettes Can Be Deadly

Poison centers are experiencing a spike in calls concerning children exposed to liquid nicotine, from one call a month in September 2010, to 215 calls a month in February 2014. The new findings are just the latest in increasing skepticism over e-cigarettes' safety

Update: Thursday April 3, 2014 4:00 p.m.

E-cigarettes have been criticized for targeting children, since many brands come in bright colors, and candy and fruit flavors. While some worry about tempting kids with an addictive habit, e-cigs can also be deadly for them.

On Thursday, the CDC released a report indicating a “dramatic” rise in e-cigarette-related calls to U.S. poison centers, from one call a month in September 2010 to 215 calls a month in February 2014. More than half of the calls involved children age five and under, while 42% involved people ages 20 and older. The nicotine in e-cigarette comes in a liquid form, which when ingested can lead to vomiting, nausea, and eye irritation.

“E-cigarette liquids as currently sold are a threat to small children because they are not required to be childproof,” said CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden in a statement. “Use of these products is skyrocketing and these poisonings will continue.”

The study follows a New York Times report about the dangers that “e-liquids” pose, where small amounts can cause vomiting and larger amounts can lead to seizures and even death. “A teaspoon of even highly diluted e-liquid can kill a small child,” according to the Times.

The new findings are just the latest in increasing skepticism over e-cigarettes’ safety. The support for these cigarette alternatives is manifold: people argue they are are healthier than conventional ones because they don’t contain tar and tobacco, that pushing people towards lower spectrum nicotine carriers is ultimately better, and that they may help people kick their conventional smoking habit.

But evidence against them is mounting. Just last month, a small study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine reported that smoking e-cigs doesn’t help people smoking conventional cigarettes quit. Another study found that young people who smoke e-cigarettes are more likely to smoke regular cigarettes as well. Whether e-cigs are a gateway to the real thing remains unclear.

It’s too early for a definitive conclusion on e-cigarettes’ full spectrum of risks and benefits, but the CDC warns that they may be an emerging public health issue. In response to the study and growing concerns over safety, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg pushed senators at a Congressional budget hearing on Thursday to allow the FDA to establish regulation authority over e-cigarettes, Reuters reports. The FDA’s proposed rule is currently being reviewed by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.



Congressional report outlines electronic cigarette concerns, presses for federal regulation





With Critical FDA Regulations Still Under Review, Report Finds Evidence of

E-Cigarette Marketing Reaching Substantial Youth Audiences


[WASHINGTON, DC] – Eleven Democratic lawmakers from the Senate and the House of Representatives today released a report that shows a dramatic recent increase in the marketing of electronic cigarettes – or e-cigarettes – with extensive resources being dedicated to social media, sponsorship of youth-oriented events, and television and radio advertisements that reach substantial youth audiences. The report, “Gateway to Addiction? A Survey of Popular Electronic Cigarette Manufacturers and Marketing to Youth,” is the first comprehensive investigation of e-cigarette marketing tactics and was compiled using responses from eight e-cigarette manufacturers received by the lawmakers from their investigation into the industry and other publicly available information.


In light of the findings in this report, and following investigative reports recently released by the New York Times and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the group of lawmakers once more called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to promptly issue deeming regulations that would expand the agency’s regulatory authority over tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.


The report was released today by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), who was joined by U.S. Representative Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee; U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR); and U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ).


The major findings of the report include:


  • All surveyed e-cigarette companies appear to use various marketing practices that appeal to youth, such as social media outreach, sponsorships of and free samples provided at youth-oriented events, and radio and television advertisements played during events and programs with significant youth viewership.


  • Six of the nine surveyed e-cigarette companies market e-cigarettes in flavors, like Cherry Crush, Chocolate Treat, Peachy Keen, and Grape Mint, that could appeal to children and teens.


  • E-cigarette manufacturers have significantly increased marketing spending, more than doubling marketing expenditures between 2012 and 2013. Last year, six leading e-cigarette companies spent a total of $59.3 million on marketing alone.


  • Six of the eight respondents support some form of regulation, including restrictions on the marketing and sale of e-cigarettes to children and teens.


“Six months ago, with growing public health concerns regarding liquid nicotine and growing e-cigarette use among young people, my colleagues and I reached out to nine leading e-cigarette companies with questions about their distribution and marketing to children and teenagers,” Durbin said. “The answers came back: from candy flavors to rock concert sponsorships, every single company surveyed in this report has employed a marketing strategy that appears to target youth. For years, federal regulations prohibiting tobacco companies from targeting young people have helped to protect a new generation of smokers from getting hooked on nicotine. Now, we must close this new gateway to addiction to protect our children.”


“E-cigarette makers are starting to prey on kids, just like the big tobacco companies,” said Waxman. “With over a million youth now using e-cigarettes, FDA needs to act without further delay to stop the companies from marketing their addictive products to children.”


“This report provides clear evidence that e-cigarette manufacturers are marketing to kids and teens using tactics that would be illegal if these were traditional cigarettes.  This should not be a surprise since some of the e-cigarette makers examined are owned by large tobacco companies well-versed in marketing nicotine products to kids and teens,” Harkin said. “The report shows that e-cigarette manufacturers are investing millions of dollars to create a new generation of nicotine addicts—which is shameful and must be stopped immediately.  As the Chairman of the Senate committee with oversight of the FDA, I urge the agency to swiftly issue deeming regulations that give the agency the authority to regulate e-cigarettes and to stop these marketing practices that are already illegal for traditional tobacco products.”


“I am deeply disturbed that e-cigarette companies are mimicking tactics that tobacco companies used in the past to glamorize smoking for youth,” Rockefeller said. “Recent reports on rising poison center calls involving e-cigarettes and children under age six is yet another red flag regarding potential health consequences posed by youth exposure to e-cigarette products.  No matter what profit may be involved with encouraging young people to use nicotine products, marketing e-cigarettes to kids should be absolutely off-limits.”


The group of lawmakers also recommended several steps that regulatory authorities and e-cigarette companies should take to ensure that children and teens are adequately protected from deceptive advertising practices or unsubstantiated claims. These recommendations include:


  • E-cigarette companies should take immediate action to prevent the sale of their products to children and teenagers. This should include refraining from the use of television and radio advertisements.


  • E-cigarette companies should terminate marketing campaigns that target children and teens, including product promotion through social media and event sponsorships intended for youth audiences.


  • The FDA should promptly issue deeming regulations asserting the agency’s authority to regulate e-cigarettes.


  • The FDA should issue regulations to prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to children and teenagers by requiring age verification and face-to-face sales, and by limiting purchases through vending machines.


  • The FDA should implement restrictions on e-cigarette companies marketing to children and teens, and, where appropriate, should work with the Federal Trade Commission to enforce such restrictions.


  • The FDA should prohibit misleading product claims on e-cigarettes, and should require clear, uniform labels to inform consumers of the health risks associated with their use.


Following a September 2013 Centers for Disease Control & Protection report that showed a dramatic increase in the use of e-cigarettes among children and youth, twelve members of Congress called on nine e-cigarette makers to provide additional information regarding the sale, distribution, labeling, and marketing of their products to children and teens.


The letter was sent to the following companies: NJOY, Lorillard Inc., Reynolds American Inc., Altria Group, Inc., LOGIC Technology, Eonsmoke, GreenSmoke, VMR Products, and Lead By Sales LLC. Every company but one – Lead by Sales LLC, the maker of White Clouds Cigarettes – responded to the lawmakers’ request, and their responses formed the basis of today’s report.


The Surgeon General presents compelling data on menthol's effects on youth and African Americans and asks Obama to let FDA to ban Menthol Stunning increases in youth smoking menthol from 36% to 50% 2002-2011 and African American's smoking menthol from 69% to 82% 2002-2010. Here is the link to the archived press conference:


California survey shows ready availability of alcohol, tobacco and sugary drinks near schools

Posted:   03/06/2014 06:24:06 AM PST By Tom Lochner Contra Costa Times

MARTINEZ -- On his way to and from school, Nicholas Reed navigates a multitude of advertisements for sugar-spiked alcoholic beverages, e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco products.


"When we walk outside, we see that we're able to obtain three cigarillos for 99 cents," said the 17-year-old Antioch High School senior, noting that the price is the same as that of a candy bar. Alcoholic beverages with heavy sugar content, too, are ubiquitously displayed -- on storefronts, in magazines and online -- and they're marketed, Reed said, as a stress-reliever to teenagers.


Reed was among a group of students who spoke of their experiences alongside health officials at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center on Wednesday to unveil the results of a statewide survey on the availability and advertisement of unhealthy foods and drinks and tobacco products targeted at young people.


The conference coincided with the launch of a statewide campaign sponsored by nutrition and health advocacy groups and public agencies, including the health departments of Contra Costa, Alameda, Solano, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, and Berkeley.


The Bay Area mirrored statewide statistics that showed high concentrations of stores selling tobacco products, alcohol, sugary drinks and other unhealthy products near schools and in low-income areas. Displays provided by health officials included a photograph shot inside a food and convenience store near Berkeley High School showing a rack stacked with bottles of liquor and another with fruit-flavored cigars and cigarillos. In deference to a federal prohibition on flavored cigarettes other than menthol, manufacturers now sell tobacco sticks wrapped in tobacco leaf rather than paper, several officials noted.


The same store also offered Twisted Shotz drinks with 20 percent alcohol content, in flavors such as "Sex on the Beach," "Porn Star," "Whipped" and "Buttery Maple."


"This is what high school kids look at every day," said Tenzih Chinkarlaprang, a recent Berkeley High graduate and youth volunteer for the city of Berkeley.


On a table was a collection of BuzzBallz, with 200 milliliters of 20 percent alcohol drinks like "Choc Tease," with vodka, orange wine, cream and "natural" flavors, or "Strawberry Rum Job."


"Have a Ball! " reads the container.


Some of the drinks are specifically designed to appeal to girls and young women, said Fatima Sol Mahal, substance abuse program manager for Contra Costa Health Services, pointing to certain color patterns. Others, such as Mike's Harder Mango Madness Punch, were targeted to boys and young men, she said.


Rounding out the display was a collection of "hookah pens," flavored e-cigarettes and vaporizers, along with flavored cigars and cigarillos -- all targeting young people, according to Contra Costa Public Health Director Wendel Brunner.


"Adults aren't into watermelon-flavor or gummy bear-flavor cigarillos," Brunner said.


The survey, with specific data for counties and some cities, is available at


E-Cigarettes, by Other Names, Lure Young and Worry Experts



SAN FRANCISCO — Olivia Zacks, 17, recently took a drag of peach-flavored vapor from a device that most people would call an e-cigarette.



But Ms. Zacks, a high school senior, does not call it that. In fact, she insists she has never even tried an e-cigarette. Like many teenagers, Ms. Zacks calls such products “hookah pens” or “e-hookahs” or “vape pipes.”



These devices are part of a subgenre of the fast-growing e-cigarette market and are being shrewdly marketed to avoid the stigma associated with cigarettes of any kind. The products, which are exploding in popularity, come in a rainbow of colors and candy-sweet flavors but, beneath the surface, they are often virtually identical to e-cigarettes, right down to their addictive nicotine and unregulated swirl of other chemicals.



The emergence of e-hookahs and their ilk is frustrating public health officials who are already struggling to measure the spread of e-cigarettes, particularly among young people. The new products and new names have health authorities wondering if they are significantly underestimating use because they are asking the wrong questions when they survey people about e-cigarettes.



Continue reading the main story









 Read full article here


Assembly Bill 746: Update

On Wednesday, April 17,  AB 746 was heard in its first committee in the legislature and, sadly, was defeated 5 - 2.  AB 746 was the smoke-free multi-unit housing bill that would make all apartments, condos and duplexes in California smoke-free. Kevin Mullin who represents South San Francisco was appointed to the committee that heard the bill, and voted in favor. If you would like to thank him for his support - Call his office: 916-319-2022.
Related stories:  SF Gate and The Sacramento Bee




Menthol Petition Filed with FDA

April 2013 The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium filed a citizen petition with the Food and Drug Administration on behalf of itself, the American Lung Association and 15 other public health and research partners, asking FDA to prohibit menthol as a characterizing flavoring of cigarettes.  The petition can be found on our website.




American Lung Association Supports FDA’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee Recommendation

In March of 2011, the American Lung Association and our partners at Heart, Cancer and TFK issued this statement announcing our support of the recommendation of FDA’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, which concluded that it would be appropriate for the protection of public health if menthol cigarettes be removed from the marketplace...Read Article




California legislature proposes to protect nonsmokers from e-cigarettes (just like cigarettes): SB 648 is a good idea

E-cigarette company is trying to mobilize opposition to SB648, a bill in the California legislature that, quite sensibly, would protects innocent bystanders from  e-cigarettes the same way that California protects them from cigarettes. Read Article






Community Colleges Are Important Partners in Reducing Tobacco Use

Break Free Alliance is pleased to report that it has convened two meetings with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to discuss the problem of tobacco use among community college students and how community colleges can benefit from and become a part of the “Tobacco-Free College Campus” initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Read on




Smokers Create Long-Lasting Damage

Studies find that toxicity caused by second-hand smoke remains long after a smoker leaves the premises. Read Article from University of California Riverside






Boston Housing Authority Residents Highly Exposed to Second Hand Smoke There’s an interesting study described at here on the PRWeb site about second hand smoke detected in non-smoking residents of the Boston Housing Authority. See the abstract for the study at



Dublin and Fremont Heralded

Dublin and Fremont Heralded for Adopting New Tobacco Prevention Laws Over a quarter of a million Alameda County residents received an early Christmas gift last Tuesday (12/4/12) when both the cities of Dublin and Fremont finalized two significant tobacco control more