Policy

Tobacco related policy continues to play an increasing role in the everyday life of Americans, whether they know it or not. As empirical research about the negative health effects of tobacco use grows, more and more policy makers are beginning to look for and implement tobacco policies to protect the health of those they serve. But policies are not influenced solely by scientific research. Policy is often influenced by advocacy groups which serve to provide a voice for the people that policy makers serve. Advocacy groups, such as S.T.O.P.S., play an important role in fostering policy change by providing information to policy makers, raising awareness among constituents, and linking individuals to their representatives by giving them a louder voice with which to promote tobacco cessation and prevention.

 **NEW POLICY SURVEY** - We are asking that ALL educators/administrators/providers associated with any Maryland University or College please complete our Maryland Colleges/Universities Brief Tobacco Control Survey located here This brief survey (takes 5-10 minutes!) will help us to assess (and address!) the needs of our Maryland institutions with respect to tobacco policies on campus.

 Cigar Related Policy

Cigar use is increasing among college students.  A report by the Tobacco Technical Assistance Consortium (TTAC) reported that almost half (44%) of college students had reported ever smoking a cigar.

 Most popular among the college-aged population of 18-24 year olds are small cigars/cigarellos.

Here are some important facts related to small cigar/cigarillo purchasing and policy:

  • Small cigars/cigarillos are often cheaper to purchase than cigarettes, because, unlike cigarettes, they are allowed to be sold by the single. Thus, less than $1.00 can buy a long smoke for a price-conscious youth or low-income adult.
  • Small cigars/cigarillos which are sold by the single are not required to bear the Surgeon General's health warning.
  • Unlike cigarettes, small cigars/cigarillos may be sold in a variety of sweet flavors, such as grape, apple, cream, and wine. This makes them particularly attractive to young people.
  • Unlike cigarettes, retailers and manufacturers may give away free samples of cigars or offer other promotions, such as buy-one-get-one-free offers.
  • By federal law, cigarettes must be stored behind the counter. In contrast, cigars may be offered in self-service displays, making youth more willing to make a purchase.
  • Additionally, cigarettes are taxed at a much higher price than cigars, which keeps the price of small cigars/cigarillos low.

Policymakers are considering addressing the above issues by:

1)      Mandating a minimum pack size for small cigars/cigarillos

 ------------Doing so would also result in required health warnings on all sales.

2)      Banning the sale of flavored small cigars/cigarillos

3)      Including cigars in the federal regulation preventing giveaways and other promotions, as well as banning self-service displays

4)      Increasing the tax on small cigars/cigarillos

Information provided by Kathleen Dachille, JD, Director of the Legal Resource Center for Tobacco Regulation, Litigation, and Advocacy at the University of Maryland, School of Law

College Policy

Organizations on campuses throughout the state and country are working for smoke-free campuses. With the release of the Surgeon General's Report on second hand smoke in 2006, smoke-free campuses would reduce the harm and risk of harm from second hand smoke. Check out each coalitions' policy on tobacco here.

 The following Maryland colleges and universities have a 100% smoke-free policy:

Carroll Community College

Garrett College

Harford Community College

Maryland Bible College and Seminary

Montgomery College

Towson University

Campus Data Collection & Evaluation:

Prior to instituting any new policies on your campus, it is a good idea to collect data about the true norms on your campus, like how many people do and do not smoke, and any misperceptions that may exist about those norms.  Additionally, such surveys can also inquire about students' attitudes toward a number of tobacco control policies.  Gathering this information can be very helpful in terms of evaluating your school's needs and better understanding students' attitudes regarding tobacco control. 

Click here for a pdf version of a sample Tobacco Use Survey that may be used on your college campus.

State Policy

Tax Issues

Research has suggested the single greatest policy determinant of youth smoking is the price of cigarettes.2 As of August 1, 2010 Maryland ranks 11th in the U.S. in terms of highest tax rate per pack of cigarettes ($1.00 per pack).

Smoke-free Initiatives

Clean Indoor Air Act of 2007

The Clean Indoor Air Act was signed into law on May 17, 2007. The Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits smoking in indoor areas open to the public, public indoor meeting spaces, mass transportation vehicles owned or operated by the government, and indoor places of employment. Based on recommendations by the Surgeon General's Report on second hand smoke in 2006, the purpose of the Act is to limit the people of Maryland's exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. The Act will affect college students in several ways. Indoor smoking areas will no longer be permitted, protecting the health of students working in places such as bars and restaurants as of February 1, 2008.  For more information, check out the CIAA's website.

MDQuit Newsletters

Click here for a pdf version of MDQuit's latest newsletter (Summer/Fall 2010)

 


Helpful Links for Creating a Tobacco Free Campus

For more information on why advocating campus tobacco-free policy is important, see our Prevention section.

For up-to-date information on Policy across Maryland, sign up for S.T.O.P.S. eNews and check out our Newsroom often!

American's for Non-Smoker's Rights list of Smoke Free Colleges and Universities (January 2, 2011).

DHMH, Environmental Health Coordination Program's CIAA webpage

TOBACCO FREE U (Created by the BACCHUS Network)

American Cancer Society: Advocating for a Tobacco-Free Campus
American Cancer Society: Smoke-Free College Campus Iniative
American Cancer Society: Standards for Smoke-Free Campuses
American Cancer Society: Sample Policy

Reference

  1. Federation of Tax Administrators (2006). Retrieved August, 2007 from: http://www.taxadmin.org/FTA/rate/cigarett.html
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