smoking

Khan Hmong, flickr Creative Commons

The Clean Indoor Air Act went into effect in Kansas five years ago today. The law prohibits smoking in most public places, including workplaces, public buildings, bars and restaurants.

Prior to 2002, smoking policies were left up to the owners and managers of individual facilities. But that year, Salina City Commissioners began debating an ordinance to ban smoking in restaurants, with an exception for late-night hours.

SmartSign, flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas State Fair is being asked to consider banning smoking throughout the fair grounds.

A Reno County youth group called Communities That Care has discussed its research and ideas on a smoking ban with the state fair board twice; the board will consider their request tomorrow.

Smoking is currently not allowed in the fair buildings or in the grandstand seating area.

The youth group wants the fair board to expand that ban to the entire grounds, saying it would create a healthier environment for fairgoers.

Some Lawrence residents say a state law that bans smoking within 10 feet of a public building's entrance is not being enforced by authorities.

Lawrence has a provision in its city smoking ordinance that directs the fire department to enforce a 2010 statewide smoking ban.

The fire department enforces the rule when it receives a complaint, but the city's fire chief says the department seldom receives them.

A Lawrence resident has started an online petition seeking to ban smoking on one of the city's most popular streets through downtown. It has nearly 200 signatures.

Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is urging Kansans who smoke or chew tobacco to check if their insurance plans cover programs to help them quit.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced in May that insurance companies and employer group health plans must cover counseling and other programs that help people quit smoking.

Jeff Willett with the Kansas Health Foundation says Kansans with mental illness are twice as likely to smoke as the general population.

Flickr photo by momentimedia

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.

“We’ve seen glamorized ads on TV. We’ve seen flavors that come in e-cigarettes now of bubble gum and cotton candy. All of the traditional tobacco industry playbook for targeting kids has been used by the e-cigarette industry.”

Garden City Hotels Seek Smoking Ban Change

Jun 5, 2013

Some hotel operators in Garden City say they're losing business because of the local ban on smoking in most public places.

Fried Dough / Flickr

Kansas has lots of work to do to improve its "grades" on tobacco control, according to a new report card from the American Lung Association.

Kansas gets an “A” for its Clean Indoor Air Act. However, the state gets a “D” for the relatively low rate of taxes on tobacco, and an “F” for efforts to prevent tobacco use, and to help those already using it to quit.

“It’s not a whole lot different than last year, but it’s woefully accurate,”says Linda DeCoursey, head of the non-profit Tobacco-Free Kansas Coalition.