Secretary of State Jason Kander’s Office announced Monday that three initiative petitions regarding cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement have been cleared for circulation. The petitions would create a one and a half cent tax per cigarette and repeal or change the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, which requires tobacco companies to compensate states for increased public health costs created by cigarettes.
Some of Missouri’s strongest anti-tobacco advocates just happen to be under 18 years old. More than one hundred students from across the state arrived in Jefferson City Thursday for an anti-tobacco advocacy and education event at the capitol organized by the Tobacco Free Missouri Youth Advocacy Board. The students delivered over two thousand signatures of support along with pinwheels to represent their desire for clean air to House of Representatives Majority Leader John Diehl.
The University of Missouri in Columbia has wrapped up its first week as a smoke-free campus.
The ban on smoking, which took full effect on July 1, had been in the works since 2009 when Chancellor Brady Deaton announced a plan to become a smoke-free campus within five years.
As part of the transition, the school began allowing smoking only in designated areas in 2011. The Smoke-Free Mizzou website says the move was meant to give smokers time to quit or "make necessary adjustment to their smoking patterns."
The University of Missouri announced Thursdsay that MU’s campus will become 100 percent smoke–free earlier than planned. The smoke-free date has been moved up from January 2014 to July next year. KBIA’s Maddie Heidenreich reports.
For the second year in a row, the March of Dimes has given Missouri a grade of “C” in its annual state rankings of premature birth rates. Factors including maternal smoking, lack of access to health care, and obesity are to blame.
The Jefferson City City Council has taken on a debate about smoking in public housing. A subcommittee of the City Council has announced a special meeting to discuss smoking regulations in public housing and whether the council has any power to change them. Several citizens from public housing and Smokefree Jefferson City asked the council earlier this month to strengthen regulations on smoking in public housing.
Missouri has one of the highest smoking rates in the nation -- at 21 percent, it's double the rate in states like Utah and California. But some segments of the population smoke even more. In this week's Health & Wealth update, I talk with MU researchers who have found that the smoking rate among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Missourians is much higher than in the population at large.