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.
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.