Locals respond to smoking bill awaiting Obama’s signature


Bigger warnings. Bad taste. No flavors. At the national level, lawmakers hope these changes to cigarettes will discourage people from smoking.

On June 11, the Senate approved the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act by a vote of 79-17, and the House passed the measure 307-97 on June 12. President Obama, a smoker, is set to sign the bill.

If Obama signs this bill, it will give the FDA the ability to set standards that regulate nicotine content and the chemicals that tobacco companies put in cigarettes.

Lawmakers hope the tactics will successfully decrease the number of people who smoke cigarettes and make cigarettes less attractive for the younger people.

While the legislation works on limiting the number of smokers by using tactics such as increased taxes and this proposed bill, many people don’t think current smokers will quit the habit.

“We’re not worried,” said Luther Moss, the manager of the Tobacco Bowl, 111 S. Dubuque St., a cozy smoking and coffee place on the Pedestrian Mall.

Moss said the Tobacco Bowl hasn’t suffered financially after any previous legislation regarding tobacco products. When Obama signed a bill to raise cigarette taxes — which went into effect in April — to nearly $2, the Tobacco Bowl kept the margin on its prices the same and didn’t seem to lose any business.

UI junior Luke Goddard is also not concerned that this bill will affect him or other smokers.

“If people want to smoke, they’re going to smoke,” he said.

The bill seeks to make smoking less attractive by replacing the colorful advertisements with ones containing black and white text only.

Professor John Peters, the head of the communication-studies department, believes it’s difficult to predict what advertising can do, and he noted that sometimes, messages can backfire.

“The effects of messages like this are often hard to determine in advance,” he said.

The bill also bans outdoor advertisements of tobacco within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds.

Goddard does not endorse government regulation of tobacco, and while admitting he knows smoking is bad for him, said he still enjoys it.

“If I quit, it’ll be because I want to quit, not because the government told me to,” he said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from January to June 2008, approximately 20.8 percent of adults 18 and over were smokers. This is more than the previous year, with 19.7 percent reported being smokers. The CDC reported roughly 5 percent more males than females were smokers.

The American Cancer Society said nearly 20 percent of high-school students smoked cigarettes in 2007.

Smoking cigarettes accounts for almost 30 percent of all cancer deaths, such as lung, larynx, mouth, throat, and bladder, according to the cancer organization. Other complications include heart disease, emphysema, and risk to a woman’s reproductive health, it said.

UI senior Andrea Coughlin believes efforts to regulate smoking are a good idea because of the health effects.

This bill could make smoking less appealing to younger people, she said. She is a nonsmoker but believes people already smoking won’t be persuaded to quit by potential legislation.

“By the time you’re in college, you already know [the risks],” Coughlin said.

comments powered by Disqus
Daily Iowan Advertising
Today's Display Ads | Today's Classifieds | Advertising Info

Follow the DI through:

Sponsored Links  
T-Shirt Design  
Insurance Leads Charlotte Web Design
Health Insurance Leads Home Equity Loans
Home Service Guides  
Life Insurance DMI Furniture
Custom Magnets Buy a text ad

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.