Tobacco

Public Health
5:01 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Washington's Tobacco Quitline Cuts Off the Uninsured

Julio Cortez Associated Press

If you’re trying to quit smoking and you don’t have health insurance, it’s going to be harder to find help as of August 1. The state’s free tobacco quitline will be cutting services to the uninsured, due to budget cuts.

Those without insurance can get a little bullet-point advice from the quit counselor, but after that, they’re on their own. State Health Department spokesman Tim Church said the cutbacks will harm some of the most vulnerable.

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public health
12:04 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Changing of guardian for health as smoking reaches crossroads

Retiring Washington state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky is seen in this photo.
Department of Health

For the first time since 1998, Washington is getting a new secretary of health. Mary Selecky is retiring, and her replacement starts today.

Selecky has been a familiar face during health emergencies, such as the pandemic flu. She made tobacco her top health priority, and saw smoking rates drop year after year. But, as she steps down, the anti-smoking crusade is at a crossroads.

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Smoking laws
1:36 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Should hookah bars remain open despite Washington's indoor smoking ban?

In this 2005 file photo Cary Wilson (right) and Lyle Klyne smoke a hookah in Fire and Earth, a former Olympia hookah lounge, days prior to the smoking ban. The business continues to sell hookahs, smoking supplies and gifts.
John Froschauer AP

Washington banned indoor smoking nearly seven years ago, but one exception survives: hookah lounges.

Local health departments have struggled to shut them down. 

The lounges say they’re private clubs, not public venues, so the law doesn’t apply. They all charge some sort of membership fee, typically about $5.

That defense doesn’t sway health officials, like Frank DiBiase of the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department. His office inspected three hookah bars in Tacoma last year.

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youth and tobacco
5:55 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

The kids are still smoking, and we're not doing much about it

“It’s worth recognizing that just about nobody takes up smoking after age 25. And something like 9 of 10 adults who smoke say they started before 18."
Anthony Posey Flickr

Youth smoking is re-emerging as a concern in Washington. The US Surgeon General came to Seattle this week to give a pep talk to anti-smoking campaigners, who are coping with three years of drastic budget cuts.

If it seems like smoking is already on a perpetual decline, that's a mis-perception, said assistant Surgeon General Patrick O’Carroll, in an interview:

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Second-hand smoke
11:42 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Smoking in your apartment - not for long?

Smoking is banned at work. It’s banned in restaurants and bars. But most smokers can still head home and enjoy as many cigarettes as they’d like. That’s starting to change, when it comes to apartment buildings. 

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Higher Education
3:21 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Should colleges ban smoking on campus? Many in NW think so

Soon, you might not see college students smoking on campus. Schools are increasingly giving cigarettes the boot.
montchr Flickr photo

The ability to smoke a cigarette on college campuses is becoming a subject for the history books.

Several colleges in the Pacific Northwest have banned smoking – not only in and around buildings as required by law – but everywhere on school grounds.

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