Tobacco

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Next month, the Onondaga County Legislature could vote on raising the age to buy tobacco products from 19 to 21 years old. The new law would not include an exemption for veterans.

Tom Sinon / Flickr

Anti-smoking advocates in Onondaga County are pushing to raise the county’s legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 19 to 21. The Tobacco Action Coalition of Onondaga County says this would have a dramatic effect in reducing the number of teens and young adults that get addicted to nicotine. 

Physician Leslie Kohman of the Upstate Cancer Center says the change would restrict the amount of access teenagers have to tobacco products.

Lindsay Fox / Flickr.com

According to a recent study by the New York State Health Department, the number of teens lighting up cigarettes in New York state has dropped dramatically in the last 16 years.

When Chris Owens, who runs a tobacco health program at St Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, saw figures showing an 84 percent drop in the teen smoking rate since 2000, he was ecstatic.

"That made me feel so good when I saw it, that drastic decrease in cigarette use by adolescents, because that’s really the key to long term tobacco abstinence,” said Owens.

This week: Gun violence, smoking updates and more

Feb 1, 2017

Public health specialists, concerned about what they call an epidemic of firearm violence, have agreed on some tactics they hope will help reduce the number of people killed or injured by guns.

Assistant professor Margaret Formica, PhD, from Upstate University Hospital's department of public health and preventive medicine, says some studies have tracked gun violence, revealing trends similar to those seen in the spread of infectious diseases such as influenza. This week, she tells how efforts are underway to improve gun safety and explains why more academic research is needed.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse University has joined the ranks of college campuses that are now smoke free.

The ban goes in effect this month.  Work crews dismantled all of the cigarette butt receptacles and signs went up alerting anyone to the new policy, which prohibits the use of all tobacco products -- cigarettes, cigars, snuff, pipes,  and chewing tobacco.  

Gail Grozalis, executive director of the University Wellness Initiative, says vaping is also on the list.

Chewing tobacco means big league risks

May 17, 2015
Ben Roffer / Flickr

As baseball season gets underway, there's a revival of not only hot dogs, but chewing tobacco. Baseball’s history with chewing tobacco began early on, when players sought to keep their mouths from getting dry due to hot, dusty conditions. What are the dangers of chewing tobacco and other forms of smokeless tobacco, and why has it been overlooked even as society clamps down on cigarettes?

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. David Pfister discusses the dangers chewing tobacco has on the mouth area and the entire body. Pfister is the chief of the head and neck oncology service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Chewing tobacco is one of the oldest methods of consuming tobacco. And even as American society has clamped down on the use of cigarettes, the various forms of smokeless tobacco on the market don't get nearly as much attention. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care,"  hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen interview Dr. David Pfister, chief of the Head and Neck Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City about why this kind of tobacco is so dangerous.

Sudipto Sarkar / Flickr

More central New Yorkers are apt to smoke cigarettes, than anywhere else in New York State. This comes at a time when most private health insurance plans, as well as Medicaid and Medicare cover smoking cessation strategies. So why the disconnect?  Experts say getting people to quit comes down to education.

According to the New York State Health Department, just over 22 percent of central New York adults smoke. The state smoking rate is 10 points below that.  

Joseph Morris / Flickr

Poisonings from the liquid that is used in electronic cigarettes is on the rise in New York state. They come in flavors like bubble gum, mint chip and grape, but only one swallow of liquid nicotine can make a child very, very ill, according to Michelle Caliva, head of the Upstate New York Poison Center.

"E-cigarettes contain nicotine, and nicotine is toxic to children," Caliva said. "Whether it’s in the e-cigarette or a cigarette. If they ingest enough of it, they’re going to get sick."

You sometimes hear that with all we know about the dangerous health effects of cigarettes, you’d have to be crazy to smoke.  That turns out to be more true than we might realize.  In this episode of the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher talks with tobacco control policy expert Cliff Douglas, and uncovers a variety of disturbing—and sometimes hopeful—information about our society’s tobacco use, tobacco policies, and the tobacco industry.