States continue to spend a miniscule portion of the billions of dollars they collect annually in tobacco revenues on smoking prevention and cessation programs, according to a new report by six leading health organizations.
Missouri spent $76,314 on tobacco prevention in the latest fiscal year, the report says. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended it should have spent nearly $73 million.
Only one state, New Jersey, spent a smaller percentage of its tobacco funds on anti-smoking programs. New Jersey allocated no funds for tobacco prevention.
The Kansas City of the future would be a place where people have affordable medical care, policymakers work with the community on health issues and residents suffer less from chronic diseases and violence.
That, at any rate, is the consensus that emerged Saturday at a forum in Kansas City, Mo.
And it was just the start of what participants said a vigorous metropolitan area should look like in the next decade.
Carlo Cavallaro pours a brown liquid into a device that looks a little like a Star Trek phaser. When it hits battery-heated coils, the liquid sizzles and turns into vapor. He takes a big draw and exhales a sugary-smelling cloud.
Cavallaro makes his own custom nicotine-infused e-cigarette juice.
“This one that I have here is a fudge brownie,” he says.
E-cigarettes have only been around the United States for about seven years, and during that time they have been left largely unregulated by the federal government or most state governments, including Missouri.
Rankings from the United Health Foundation show Kansas is on a long, steady decline — from 8th healthiest state in 1991 to 27th in 2013.
To address the problem, health officials from all over the state are spending two days in Wichita at the Kansas Health Foundation Symposium. The event is a call to action to make Kansans healthier.
"That is the purpose of this conference—to spark the discussion to help us reverse this horrible trend in Kansas," said Kansas Health Foundation President and CEO Steve Coen, summarizing the need for the symposium.
In Kansas last year, more than 4,800 women smoked cigarettes during their pregnancies, according to a preliminary summary of birth statistics released Tuesday by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
The finding means that in 2013, about one in every eight births - 12.5 percent - involved mothers who smoked for at least three months shortly before or during their pregnancies.
A city council committee is recommending that e-cigarettes and similar nicotine delivery devices be banned from Kansas City buses and streetcars.
The city already bans tobacco smoking of any kind on public transit vehicles and other public facilities, but some smokers have been using e-cigarettes, cigars or pipes to circumvent those bans.
Dr. Rex Archer of the Health Department told the Public Safety committee there is no data on adverse health effects of the vapors emitted from the devices, but there is no question about the danger of the liquids that fuel them.
The CDC says nearly seven percent of middle and high school students have tried e-cigarettes, and more than two percent are current users. Erika Sward of the American Lung Association says the rapid growth is due in large part to an aggressive marketing campaign.
Three years after taking effect, the Clean Indoor Air Act remains overwhelmingly popular among Kansas voters, according to a statewide public opinion poll. It finds that 78 percent of Kansas voters approve of the law that prohibits smoking in most public places.
One of the tradeoffs made to get the law passed exempts state-operated casinos from the smoking ban.
An ordinance allowing the city of Kansas City, Mo. to suspend or revoke the tobacco-sales licenses of stores which sell illegal synthetic drugs or sell cigarettes to minors sailed through a final city council vote yesterday.
Missouri's Secretary of State has now approved more than a dozen petitions related to the taxing of tobacco products. But a lot fewer are likely to end up in circulation, and of those remaining, the aims may be very different.
St. Louis, Missouri – The Missouri Foundation for Health is providing close to $2 million dollars to fund a state-wide survey of tobacco use and its health effects. The largest adult health study ever conducted in the state will reach more than 52,000 Missourians.
The year-long study is a follow-up to a similar one conducted in 2007.
Kansas City, MO – A statewide smoking ban takes effect this week in Kansas.
Lawmakers approved the measure earlier this year. It prohibits smoking in public places, bars and restaurants, but exempts tobacco shops, casino gaming floors, and some private clubs.
Several cities throughout the state, including Lawrence and Overland Park, already have similar bans in place. Wyandotte County approved one about a year and a half ago. But it includes a three year transition period, and means many businesses still allow smoking.