tobacco

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The percentage of Oklahomans who smoke is lower than ever before, according to new numbers from the Centers for Disease Control.

As KFOR reports, in 2015 a little over 22 percent of Oklahoma residents smoked tobacco. As of last year, the rate had fallen to 19.6 percent.

The Denver Post

If a new Colorado amendment passes, taxes on a pack of cigarettes could go from 84 cents a pack to $2.59 a pack, reports The Denver Post.

Big tobacco is making a big push to ensure that voters reject the measure next month. Tobacco companies have pumped millions into advertising and other get-out-the-vote efforts. Altria, the parent company of tobacco giant Philip Morris, has contributed over $16 million toward defeating Amendment 72.

Duncan Banner

Tobacco sales to minors have doubled in Oklahoma over the past four years, reports The Duncan Banner.

The rise in sales was detected by more retailers selling tobacco products to undercover minors during random checks throughout the state. This year’s non-compliance rate of 14 percent is more than twice the seven percent recorded only four years ago.

Emily Deshazer / Topeka Capital-Journal

Over the past 18 years Kansas has been paid slightly more than $1 billion by tobacco companies, officials said Monday. As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, the money has come from annual payments to compensate for the health consequences of smoking. The money came as part of a 1999 legal settlement to resolve claims by 45 states, including Kansas.

The Wichita Eagle

If you live in Kansas, you might have heard the phrase “tobacco securitization” lately. It’s an idea that could help ease the burden from the state’s $290 million budget hole, reports The Wichita Eagle.

Governor Sam Brownback loves the idea. But what is it?

Tobacco Use in Oklahoma Is Declining

Nov 10, 2015
Pixabay / Creative Commons

The smoking rate among adults in Oklahoma has reached a new low, reports member station KGOU. According to a press release from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the number of adult smokers dropped by almost 80,000 between 2013 and 2014. Over the last four years, the number of smokers in Oklahoma has declined by almost 20 percent.

Rep. Don Hill, a Republican from Emporia, introduced a bill last year that would have raised the state’s cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack.

The bill died in the House Taxation Committee, where the chairman, Rep. Richard Carlson, a Republican from St. Marys, did not deem it worthy of a hearing.

Kansas lawmakers try to get handle on hookah

Mar 16, 2015
Andy Marso

Kansas legislators are trying to determine what they should do, if anything, to regulate hookah.

But first, several of them have to determine exactly what hookah is.

“Having lived a very sheltered life in southeast Kansas, I had to Google this to even find out what it was,” Rep. Jim Kelly, a Republican from Independence, said during an information hearing on the subject last week.

Hookahs are water pipes used to smoke flavored tobacco.

To Hani Chahine, they’re also a focal point for social gatherings and commerce.