Tobacco

Emotions ran high in the House of Delegates late Wednesday evening as HB 2519 – the Campus Self Defense Act – came to the floor after a day of procedures that took it off and then back on the House’s active calendar. We recap the night’s action, and we take a special look at foster care.

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The West Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would raise the state's minimum legal age for using tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The Senate passed the bill on a 20-14 vote Wednesday. The bill covers all tobacco and vaping products. A similar bill is pending in a House committee.

Wednesday is crossover day, meaning it’s the last day for the West Virginia House of Delegates and Senate to consider bills on third reading, or voting stage, in their chamber of origin. Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso about legislation they hoped would make it out and on legislation they still hope to consider.

The House of Delegates considered amendments to SB 451 – comprehensive education reform – all day, and they’ve continued their work into the evening. We break down the day’s proceedings, and we have a discussion with the Senate Health Committee over several healthcare bills that are moving through the legislative process.

We bring you another Friday Reporter Roundtable. Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by statehouse reporters to recap the week and look ahead to the next. We explore the massive education reform bill, the debate over legalizing cannabis in West Virginia, child welfare needs, and the latest on legislation related to an Intermediate Court of Appeals.

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West Virginia University is seeking public input on a new proposal to tighten its tobacco-free campus rules.

School officials say the new rules will be available for public comment from Monday through Jan. 21.

On The Legislature Today, thousands of teachers and state workers again showed-up at the Capitol to protest low salaries and rising health care costs, as their work stoppage entered a third school day – tomorrow will be the fourth. We bring you the latest on the work stoppage. Also, in this episode, we look at a variety of health-related legislation and chat with Sen. Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha and Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone.

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Outside of a 4th Avenue bus stop in Huntington, Ronni Stone is smoking a cigarette. She started when she was 15 years old and has been smoking for 35 years. She says she’s tried to quit about four times but was only able to last for about a week before the withdrawal symptoms made her light up again.

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
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A West Virginia University researcher is working in two counties to apply lessons about peer groups from Iceland where he says teenage use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco has been "virtually eradicated."

Alfgeir Kristjansson, assistant professor in WVU's School of Public Health, says the island nation pushed to replace unsupervised, aimless leisure time with purposeful, organized activities that help them cope with stress, fill their need for camaraderie and provide a goal to pursue as a team.

Cigarette, tobacco
nikkytok / Dollar Photo Club

The West Virginia Senate is set to vote on a bigger tobacco tax hike than Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has proposed.

The Republican-led chamber's vote is slated for Tuesday.

Cigarette, tobacco
nikkytok / Dollar Photo Club

A new Tobacco-Free Coalition from the Tennessee Department of Health has proclaimed February 22-26 as Tennessee Quit Week.

According to a press release, “It is part of a statewide effort to raise awareness of the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine and other free resources available to help Tennesseans quit smoking and/or using other tobacco products.”

Learn more and find a calendar of Quit Week events at http://tn.gov/health/topic/FHW-tobacco. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #QuITTInTimeTN.

Jarek Tuszynski / CC-BY-SA & GDFL

You’ve probably seen them. Barns with faded paint usually in black or red with yellow lettering delivering an old message from another time: “Chew Mail Pouch” and “Treat yourself to the best.”  Once upon a time these hand-painted advertisements covered more than 20,000 barns all across America.


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Health officials are gathering for a summit on how to reduce tobacco use among pregnant women in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Management of Maternal Smoking Initiative, also known by the acronym MOMS, will be unveiled at Wednesday's summit at the state Department of Health and Human Services in Charleston.

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West Virginia ranks 24th in the country in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit, according to a national report released today by a coalition of public health organizations. 

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  The American Lung Association says West Virginia isn't making much progress on tobacco control.

An annual report released Wednesday by the association gives the Mountain State failing grades for tobacco prevention and control program funding, access to cessation services and tobacco taxes.

West Virginia received a D for smoke-free air.

A group of public health organizations say West Virginia isn't spending enough money on programs to prevent tobacco use.

According to a report, states this year will collect $25.6 billion from the national tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes. But they'll spend less than 2 percent of it on tobacco prevention and cessation programs.

The House of Delegates passes a bill to make the sale e-cigarettes illegal to minors and addresses the issue of sexual abuse of minors. The
Senate deals with two issues--state purchasing and pseudoephedrine--that have been in mind since interims. Representatives of the Our Children, Our Future campaign to end child poverty discuss their legislative priorities with Beth Vorhees.

Daniel Walker

In Thursday’s House session, one bill on third reading and two bills mentioned in a speech dealt with the health and well-being of West Virginia’s children.

H.B. 4237 would protect the health of children from new products alternative to the traditional sources of tobacco.

These new products include electronic cigarettes and cigars and dissolving products such as toothpicks, gum and lozenges.

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Youth tobacco use in West Virginia is declining based on just released data.

The 2013 West Virginia Youth Tobacco Survey indicates that the percentage of high school students who reported they have never tried or used any form of tobacco has gone from a little over 20% in 2000 to 46% in 2013.

The data indicates the programs and outreach efforts by the Bureau for Public Health are working, according to Dr. Letitia Tierney, State Health Officer and Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health.

Are smoking bans working at Marshall and WVU?

Sep 5, 2013

With smoking bans at both of the state’s largest higher education institutions in full effect since July 1st, it’s now that students are back on both campuses that the real test begins.