Posts Tagged ‘tobacco’

Here’s What You Should Do When Your Landlord Sends You This Mandatory Tobacco Smoke Disclosure Letter This Month

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Absolutely nothing.

Say it again, y’all: Absolutely nothing.

Background: District One (aka The Richmond, more or less) Supervisor Eric Mar is a bird of another feather – he wasn’t satisfied with issuing edicts from Academia oh no. He descended from the ivory tower to put dreams into action. And his father passed away from lung cancer (AFAIK, pretty sure), so it would make sense that he wanted to do something for San Francisco renters who have to deal with secondhand smoke coming in from other units.

Get all the deets on San Francisco’s 2013 Tobacco Smoke Disclosure Policy as of last year via this excellent article from Christian Watjen right here.

So that’s the background. What’s going on now is that tenants all over the City are getting alarming/confusing letters from landlords. To wit:

Nervous Gay Couple Living With AIDS Get Letter from the Landlord

Now here’s what you’ll get* if your landlord toes the party line of the San Francisco Apartment Association – an excerpt of the pledge they want you to make:

“For purposes of the Tobacco Smoke Disclosure Policy and SF Health Code 19M, I would like to designate my apartment as non-smoking. I verify that neither I nor my guests will ever smoke tobacco within the rental apartment listed below.”

Uh, so why should tenants make this pledge? It’s not explained in this official SFAA letter now is it? And what if Barack Obama or Bill Clinton drops by your pad a few years from now? They puff puff every now and then, right? So what about your signed pledge, what about that?

And here’s what the lawyer(s) of  the SFAA have for you at the bottom of the letter:

“If you do voluntarily decide to designate your apartment as non-smoking, which you are not required to do, the designation is permanent and becomes a consensual change in the terms of your tenancy.”

Oh.

If you’re living in rent-controlled San Francisco, I think you should get some kind of benefit when you change the terms of your tenancy, you know, as a general rule .

And later on, is your landlord going to complain about how you’re violating the terms of your tenancy when you allowed your future bud / date / friend smoke one cigarette to help her get through one of her stressed out moments?

Or your Euro fiance can’t move in with you in 2015 because your “designation is permanent?”

And should we assume second-hand smoke from clove cigarettes and/or the Mary Jane is good for you, since it’s not covered?

Now, IRL, is this issue going to affect you? Prolly not. But I’m just saying.

So, sign your pledge or just ignore it – choose or lose, maybe.

*Assuming that you’re living in a building with fewer than 50 units and you aren’t restricted from smoking now. This is the notification you’ll get otherwise, possibly, and it’s fair enough. And here’s the full rundown from the SFAA. Again, no objections.

All the deets, after the jump

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WWW.SmokeFreeMovies.UCSF.EDU What? Apparently, UCSF Doesn’t Want CA to Subsidize Films that Depict Smoking

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Did you know that the state of California subsidizes movie production Down Hollywood Way to the tune of $100,000,000 a year? Well, some people want the Sacramento to cut off this source of movie funding for films that depict smoking, that’s the news of the day.

Did The Social Network glamorize smoking as far as you remember? I don’t recall, but it will win a few Oscars on Sunday so it’s as good a target as any, I s’pose. Here’s the closest I could find to a still that has somebody smoking:

(Hey, why does California subsidize film production in the first place? Shouldn’t Jerry Brown or somebody cut off this kind of corporate welfare tout de suite?)

All the deets, here and after the jump:

California Health Experts Fault State’s $100 Million Movie Subsidy, Ask for Reform - L.A. County’s health chief and the chair of California’s expert committee on tobacco control want future film projects with smoking made ineligible for millions in California tax credits

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 23, 2011 — Should California taxpayers invest millions of dollars to prevent youth smoking, then hand millions to studios whose films promote youth smoking?

That’s the contradiction spotlighted in separate letters to the California Film Commission released today from Jonathan Fielding, MD, director of L.A. County’s Department of Public Health, and Michael Ong, MD, chair of the Tobacco Education and Research Oversight Committee, which is mandated by the legislature to guide state tobacco prevention efforts.

Dr. Fielding’s letter, dated January 14, notes that two recent Sony blockbusters, The Social Network and Burlesque, both rated PG-13 and featuring tobacco imagery, qualified for more than $12 million in California tax credits through a $100 million a year program that began its payouts on January 1, 2011. (The two films have grossed $135 million so far.) “Any benefit that tobacco-related subsidies for films might have for California’s interstate competitiveness must be balanced against proven, catastrophic ‘collateral damage’ to young audiences and long-term health costs to the state,” the letter says.

Dr. Ong’s letter, dated February 18, reports that “approximately 44 percent of adolescent smoking initiation can be attributed to exposure to onscreen smoking” and 100,000 high school students in California are currently smokers as a result of this exposure. “It is unconscionable that one state program threatens to undermine our state’s public health achievements and goals, our investment in tobacco prevention, and our savings in health care costs, particularly in a time of declining state revenues,” the letter says.

Both letters urge that future film projects with smoking be made ineligible for taxpayer subsidies in California. Similar reforms are advocated by health groups in New York, New Mexico, Ontario and British Columbia, all major sources of film production subsidies. In 2008, U.S. states granted an estimated $500 million in production subsidies to youth-rated films with smoking, rivaling the $518 million they will spend for tobacco prevention in 2011.

Also today, the Smoke Free Movies campaign based at University of California, San Francisco, published a full-page ad in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter noting that two-thirds of Oscar®-nominated films this year include smoking and forty percent of these are rated PG or PG-13. The ad centers on the new animated film Rango (Viacom: Paramount and Nickelodeon) opening March 4. Headline: “How many studio execs did it take to OK smoking in a ‘PG’ movie?” California already makes animated films ineligible for public subsidy. The ad can be seen at www.smokefreemovies.ucsf.edu/ourads/index.html.

SOURCE University of California, San Francisco, Smoke Free Movies Initiative

University of California, San Francisco, Smoke Free Movies Initiative

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Please Note: San Quentin Prison is a “TOBACCO FREE ENVIRONMENT”

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

‘Cause you wouldn’t want anybody dying in there prematurely or anything…

Main Gate, on the day Snoop Doggy Dog dropped by for a rally:

Click to expand

(Note to self – Marin County has yellowjackets, apparently.)

Jerry Brown Throws Down: No More Strawberry, Chocolate, Banana or Cookies-and-Cream Flavored E-Cigarettes for Kids

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Our California Attorney General Jerry Brown can’t abide companies that market electronic cigarettes to minors, so he just did something about it, again. All the deets, below.

Mmmmm…. yummers:

El Protector de la Gente, Jerry Brown:

via Thomas Hawk

Electronic Cigarette Maker Agrees to Stop Marketing to Minors

OAKLAND – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced a settlement to prevent Smoking Everywhere, one of the country’s largest electronic cigarette sellers, from targeting minors and claiming that its products are a safe alternative to smoking.

“Smoking Everywhere aimed ads at minors and falsely claimed its products were safe,” Brown said. “This settlement stops the company from marketing these addictive products to kids or claiming they aren’t dangerous.”

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices with nicotine cartridges designed to look and feel like conventional cigarettes. Instead of actual smoke, e-cigarettes produce a vapor from the nicotine cartridge that is inhaled by the user.

Smoking Everywhere and other electronic cigarette makers have claimed that e-cigarettes are safe because they contain no carcinogens or tar, and produce no second-hand smoke.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, found that some electronic cigarettes contain a variety of dangerous chemicals, including nicotine, carcinogens such as nitrosamines, and one brand also contained diethylene glycol, commonly known as antifreeze.

Some e-cigarettes come in strawberry, chocolate, mint, banana and cookies-and-cream flavors designed to appeal to a young audience.

Today’s settlement prohibits Smoking Everywhere from marketing to minors and from making false or misleading claims about electronic cigarettes. Specifically, the company has agreed that it will not:

- Market or sell electronic cigarettes to minors. Its website will be age-restricted, and a customer will need to show a government-issued ID. Retail products will be behind a counter. Advertising must note the age restriction.
- Sell flavored electronic cigarette cartridges such as strawberry, mint or bubblegum that could appeal to minors.
- Advertise its products as a smoking cessation device unless the FDA approves them for that purpose.
- Claim that its products are safer than cigarettes or contain no tobacco, tar or carcinogens, and produce no second-hand smoke unless there is competent reliable scientific evidence to support the claims.

Smoking Everywhere also agreed to implement quality control standards to eliminate harmful substances in its products and submit to independent audits.

Smoking Everywhere will also provide a Proposition 65 warning that its products contain nicotine, a chemical known to be addictive and to cause birth defects or reproductive harm. The warning must appear on product packaging, Smoking Everywhere’s website and at retail sites.

Smoking Everywhere and its owner will pay $170,000 in penalties and fees.

Jerry Brown Throws Down: Penalizes Maker of Cookies and Cream-Flavored Electronic Cigarettes

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Our California Attorney General Jerry Brown can’t abide companies that market electronic cigarettes to minors, so he just did something about it. All the deets, below.

Mmmmm…. yummers:

El Protector de la Gente, Jerry Brown:

via Thomas Hawk

Brown Announces Electronic Cigarette Maker’s Agreement to Stop Deceptive Marketing and Sales to Minors

OAKLAND – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announceda settlement with Sottera, one of the country’s largest electronic cigarette producers, to prevent the company from targeting minors and claiming that electronic cigarettes are a safe alternative to smoking.

“Electronic cigarette companies have targeted minors with fruit-flavored products and misleading claims that their products are safe,” Brown said. “This settlement will stop Sottera from marketing these dangerous and addictive products to kids.”

Brown and Sottera reached the settlement without litigation based on Sottera’s willingness to adopt measures that address Brown’s concerns about the dangers of its electronic cigarettes. In January this year, Brown filed suit against the nation’s other leading e-cigarette retailer, Smoking Everywhere. That lawsuit is proceeding in Alameda County Superior Court.

All the deets after the jump

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Jerry Brown Takes Down: “Operation Knockout” Arrests 94 Norteños and Sureños in Salinas

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

California Attorney General Jerry Brown can’t abide gang wars in Steinbeck Country. So today he’s telling us about the people in his Gang Suppression Enforcement Program, along with a whole bunch of other California and federal peace officers, arresting 94 suspected Montery-area Norteños and Sureños.

And to keep things going, Jerry just announced a local, Salinas-area gang task force.

Anyway, there was a big press conference today – look at who all was there.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello (Northern District of CA), Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo, Salinas Chief of Police Louis Fetherolf, Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue and a host of others down in Salinas :

Check it:

“Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today discussed “Operation Knockout,” in which agents from Brown’s Gang Suppression Enforcement Program (GSEP) of the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement arrested gang members after an eight-month, wide-ranging investigation and sweep targeting the most powerful gang leaders in the Salinas area.”

via Thomas Hawk

All the deets:

Brown Announces Major Gang Takedown in Salinas

SALINAS – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced that more than 200 agents from his Gang Suppression Enforcement Program and other law enforcement agencies today arrested 37 members of two vicious gangs responsible for a rampage of violence — including more than three dozen murders and 200 shootings — that terrorized the citizens of Salinas and nearby areas.

Today’s mass arrests culminated an eight-month operation, code-named “Operation Knockout,” aimed at apprehending members of the Norteños and Sureños gangs that turned Salinas into a hub of murder, robbery and drug dealing.

The operation targeted the most dangerous gang leaders in the Salinas area. In addition to the arrests made today, agents seized 40 pounds of cocaine, 14 pounds of marijuana, nine ounces of methamphetamine, $34,000 in cash, and 12 guns. An additional 57 arrests were made before today’s sweep.

“Operation Knockout was designed to restore safety to the streets of Salinas,” said Brown. “Citizens in John Steinbeck’s hometown deserve better than having to endure a violent crime rate that’s three times the national average. We owed it to the people of Salinas to arrest these out-of-control gang members and ensure a heightened sense of personal security throughout the city.”

Ever more deets after the jump

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Jerry Brown Throws Down: Organic Cigarettes Might Not Be a Healthy Choice for You

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Our California Attorney General Jerry Brown can’t abide you smokers out there thinkingorganic” cigarettes from American Spirit are better for you than other cigarettes. So he just cut a deal with the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company affacting how these ciggies will get marketed in California. Deets below.

Anyway, an appealing package, IMO:

The deets:

Brown Secures Agreement with American Spirit Cigarettes Maker over Misleading Marketing of Organic Tobacco Products

Los Angeles-Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that his office has secured an agreement with Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Inc., the manufacturer of American Spirit tobacco products, that requires the company to clearly disclose that its organic tobacco is “no safer or healthier” than other tobacco products.

Attorneys general from 32 other states and the District of Columbia signed onto today’s agreement.

Stamping an organic label on tobacco products is ultimately a distinction without a difference-organic or not, cigarettes are bad for your health,” Brown said. “Today’s settlement with Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company ensures that all future advertisements make it clear that organic tobacco is no safer or healthier.”

Jerry Brown, automático para la gente:

More deets after the jump.

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New UCSF Meta Study Proves Cigarette Smoking is a Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

All right, a new UCSF Medical Center study shows that smoking cigarettes won’t help you avoid Alzheimer’s disease.

This might come as news to some people, especially to those who rely on tobacco-industry funding to show that tobacco helps people avoid Alzheimers.

Deets below.

UCSF, back in the day, along with the ur-N Judah:

Study Shows Cigarette Smoking a Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease

February 02, 2010

A UCSF analysis of published studies on the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and smoking indicates that smoking cigarettes is a significant risk factor for the disease. After controlling for study design, quality of the journals, time of publication and tobacco industry affiliation of the authors, the UCSF research team also found an association between tobacco industry affiliation and the conclusions of individual studies. Industry-affiliated studies indicated that smoking protects against the development of AD, while independent studies showed that smoking increased the risk of developing the disease. 

Study findings were published online in the Jan. 29, 2010 issue (19:2) of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. An abstract of the paper is available online

Ever more deets, after the jump

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Outrageous: Berkeley Pharmacy Owner Says Only Pharmacies Should Sell Cigarettes

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Bay Area “serial entrepreneur” Stuart Skorman (be sure to read his congratulatory, self-written Wikipedia entry here) has used a tiny piece of his remaining millions to pay PR-types to promote his Big New Idea. That’s right, the founder of Berkeley’s closed-down Elephant Pharmacy wants to restrict tobacco sales in California to pharmacies only.

Yes, that’s contrary to recent trends in the 415 und 510, but Stuart wants the chance to cross-sell nicotine patches and gum. In his words, this would be “good for business.” Read all the deets below and here, at HealthyPharmacies.org.

The view from my tenement apartment’s living room, betwixt the roof of a garage and the hard partiers upstairs. Will Mr. Skorman’s proposal serve to slow this cascade of cigarette butts? We Can Only Hope:

IMG_9562 copy 

Whatever survives the ten foot fall stays there forever, out of reach. Oh well.

That was the wind-up, and here’s the pitch:

San Francisco, Berkeley Missed Public Health Opportunity by Moving Tobacco Sales Out of Pharmacies

Pharmacy Pioneer Stuart Skorman Says Only Pharmacies Should Sell Tobacco, Help Smokers Quit

San Francisco and Berkeley missed an opportunity to help smokers quit when the cities moved all tobacco sales out of pharmacies, according to a new Bay Area health initiative. Instead of having smokers buy cigarettes in convenience stores and at other retailers, smokers should buy cigarettes only at pharmacy counters, says Stuart Skorman, founder of Elephant Pharmacy.

Launching HealthyPharmacies.org, Skorman is focused on making pharmacies centers of health and wellness at the community level. “They can’t just sell medicines to people who are sick. They must educate consumers and give them tools to lead healthier lives.”

Keeping cigarettes behind the pharmacy counter would do just that, Skorman says. When a smoker asks for a pack of cigarettes, pharmacy staff would have the opening to offer nicotine replacement, such as the patch or gum, or point smokers in the direction of counseling and other tools. The approach wouldn’t require a prescription for tobacco but would offer smokers tools to help them quit.

Ever more deets, after the jump

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