E-cigarettes would be banned in public places under California bill

admin   •   January 27, 2015   •   2401

A man uses an E-cigarette, an electronic substitute in the form of a rod, slightly longer than a normal cigarette, in this illustration picture taken in Paris, March 5, 2013.
CREDIT: REUTERS/CHRISTIAN HARTMANN

(Reuters) – California would ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public places and ramp up enforcement against selling them to minors under a bill introduced in the legislature on Monday.

There is growing concern about the health risks from e-cigarettes, also known as vapor cigarettes or vapes, which are not lit or smoked like their old-fashioned counterparts, but do generally release nicotine in a heated liquid.

“Whether you get people hooked on e-cigarettes or regular cigarettes, it’s nicotine addiction and it kills,” Democratic state Senator Mark Leno, who introduced the bill, said in a telephone interview. “We’re going to see hundreds of thousands of family members and friends die from e-cigarette use just like we did from traditional tobacco use.”

The bill would add e-cigarettes to the list of tobacco products regulated in the state, which already forbids smoking in workplaces, restaurants, bars and other places. It would also ramp up penalties for selling e-cigarettes, which come in such flavors as bubble gum and chocolate, to minors.

California would be the fourth U.S. state to treat them like regular cigarettes, and the 23rd to regulate e-cigarettes in some way. In California, the most populous U.S. state, 122 cities and counties have banned the use of e-cigarettes in certain public places.

Second-hand e-cigarette emissions contain cancer-causing chemicals, and could put children and others at risk if they are in proximity to users, said Kimberly Amazeen, vice president of public policy and advocacy for the American Lung Association in California.

The bill was criticized Monday by a group calling itself the American Vaping Association, which said it would harm smokers who are trying to quit by switching to e-cigarettes, which are marketed as a safer alternative to the combustible kind because they do not flood the lungs with smoke.

“California smokers deserve truthful information about smoke-free alternatives, not hype and conjecture designed to scare them away from attempting to quit with these innovative technology products,” Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, said in a press release.

But Leno, whose bill is backed by the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association, said the vapor released by the e-cigarettes contains carcinogens, and the nicotine in them is addictive.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Grant McCool)

Police on scene of reported shooting at annual garlic festival in California

Robie de Guzman   •   July 29, 2019

Police and ambulances raced to a shooting at a food festival in California on Sunday (July 28), and video posted on social media showed people at the event running for cover as shots rang out.

Few details were immediately available, but a police spokesman said there were casualties.

NBC Bay Area reported that ambulance crew were told 11 people were “down” after the shooting on the last day of the Gilroy Garlic Festival, an annual three-day event south of San Jose.

Footage uploaded to social media appeared to show festival attendees scattering in confusion as loud popping sounds could be heard in the background.

“What’s going on?” a woman can be heard asking on one video. “Who’d shoot up a garlic festival?”

Evenny Reyes, 13, told the San Jose Mercury News that at first she thought the sound of gunfire was fireworks. But then she saw someone with a wounded leg.

Another witness, Maximo Rocha, a volunteer with the Gilroy Browns youth football team, said he saw many people on the ground, but he could not be sure how many may have been shot and how many were trying to protect themselves.

He told NBC Bay Area that “quite a few” were injured, “because I helped a few.”

Founded in 1979, the Gilroy Garlic Festival features food, drink, live entertainment and cooking competitions. It says it is hosted by volunteers and describes itself as the world’s greatest summer food festival.

It was being held at the outdoor Christmas Hill Park, where weapons of any kind are prohibited, according to the event’s website.

To provide a safe, family-friendly atmosphere, it said, entry was refused to anyone wearing clothing or paraphernalia indicating membership in a gang, including a motorcycle club.

Festival officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Gilroy is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of San Jose. (REUTERS)

Duterte signs law on higher excise tax on tobacco

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 26, 2019

FILE PHOTO: An illustration picture shows cigarettes in their pack, October 8, 2014. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/Illustration

President Rodrigo Duterte signed on Thursday (July 25) the law imposing higher excise taxes on tobacco products, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has confirmed.

“To address the urgent need to protect the right to health of the Filipino people and to maintain a broader fiscal space to support the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act, the President has signed into law HB no. 8677/ SB no. 2233 Increasing the Excise Tax on Tabacco Products,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, health advocates including the Sin Tax Coalition lauded the signing of the law on increasing tobacco taxes.

“This latest tax increase represents another positive step in protecting more Filipinos from the harmful effects of cigarette smoking,” said Dr. Anthony Leachon, health advocate and former independent director of PhilHealth.

READ: Country in a ‘win-win-win’ situation with increased cigarette tax—WHO

Under the new law, Republic Act 11346, tax rates for cigarettes will increase to P45 this 2020, from P35 per pack. There will be additional P5 for each succeeding year.

Duterte to sign tobacco excise tax this week

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 24, 2019

Courtesy : Pixabay

President Rodrigo Duterte will sign the proposed tobacco excise tax law this week according to the Department of Finance (DOF) on Wednesday (July 24).

Finance Undersecretary Karl Chua said the law is ready for signature and it will lapse into law by July 27.

“I was told it would be signed this week because that is a priority measure certified urgent by the President in the previous Congress and mentioned by the President in the SONA (state of the nation address),” he said.

READ: DOH lauds tobacco tax bill passage in Congress

Based on the proposed law P10 will be the added tax to a pack of cigarette starting next year and it will increase by P5 in succeeding years.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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