Nicotine Science and Media Update December 8th 2014

The spirit of Michael Bloomberg is extending beyond New York, as a major Arizona county is considering a ban on hiring smokers as municipal employees and imposing a surcharge on the health insurance of tobacco users already on the payroll. The Pima County Board of Supervisors will vote Dec. 16 on the plan, which also would give the county the right to demand nicotine tests of employees if county officials suspect they’re secretly puffing or dipping, […]


Federal prisoners will be prohibited from smoking under new rules from the Bureau of Prisons. With few exceptions, the smoking ban in federal prisons will target more than 212,000 inmates who will be disciplined if they are caught with cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or any other tobacco products, according to the bureau. The prison bureau’s crackdown on smoking comes as part of an effort to promote a healthy and clean environment for prisoners and guards.


The legal situation surrounding e-cigarettes in Australia is complex. […] Professor Simon Chapman, professor of public health at the University of Sydney and long-time tobacco control activist, says the e-cigarette issue has split the health profession into two camps: those who focus on the benefits of e-cigarettes at an individual level in helping a smoker quit and those, such as himself, who are looking at the issue at population level.


Last month, people voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Oregon, Alaska and the District. As the movement toward marijuana legalization continues, lawmakers and policy experts are looking to the experiments in Colorado and Washington for guidance. We should not overlook, however, valuable lessons from our experience with another legal drug: tobacco.


The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously passed new regulations cracking down on e-cigarette use indoors. The new rule prohibits e-cigarette use in indoor public places including stores, restaurants and workplaces. The author of the change, Council Member Cam Gordon, stressed that it does not prohibit sampling in e-cigarette shops, however, which he intends to make more explicit in a later change to city ordinance.


Quitting smoking sets off a series of changes in the brain that Penn Medicine researchers say may better identify smokers who will start smoking again–a prediction that goes above and beyond today’s clinical or behavioral tools for assessing relapse risk. Reporting in a new study […] found that smokers who relapsed within seven days from their target quit date had specific disruptions in the brain’s working memory system […]



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