teen smoking

SAN ANTONIO. After ‘Tobacco 21,’ Metro Health Director Seeks ‘Culture of Health’ for SA (Rivard Report)

By Roseanna Garza

March 28, 2018 (Rivard Report) -- Photographs and awards line the walls and shelves in Colleen Bridger’s office at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, mementos from her last job, in Orange County, North Carolina.

“[Before,] a big day for me would be one press conference and two meetings,” Bridger said of her job in Orange County, which has a population of just 135,000. When she took over as San Antonio’s Metro Health Director just over one year ago, she knew she would have to adjust to a much faster pace.

Bridger moved fast and aimed high during her first big push for change, successfully spearheading San Antonio’s effort to become the first city in Texas to raise the age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21. She introduced the idea to City Council in November 2017, and it was passed just three months later.

She called the legislation, known as Tobacco 21, the “most significant public health policy that I will ever be involved with.”

Counterparts from the Big Cities Health Coalition, which comprises leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments, called the policy success “remarkable” given that little progress implementing Tobacco 21 has been made in other Texas cities despite overwhelming evidence of the positive health impact.

Read more

DETROIT. Detroit teens smoke less than other cities, report says (Detroit News)

Charles E. Ramirez and Evan Carter, The Detroit News

Detroit teens, it seems, think tobacco is wacko and smoke less than their counterparts in 12 other U.S. cities.

An estimated 3.4 percent of Detroit teenagers smoke cigarettes, according to survey data analyzed by a coalition of U.S. city health departments. That compares with the national average of 15.7 percent, according to the Big Cities Health Coalition.

Cass Tech freshman Sage Staten, 14, of Detroit said she doesn’t smoke.

“Personally, cigarettes are nasty to me,” she said. “I don’t like the smell; I don’t like what it does. And we’ve been hearing (smoking is) bad since middle school.”

The Big Cities Health Coalition released its findings this week to recognize World No Tobacco Day, which was Tuesday.

“It’s a very interesting success story,” said Chrissie Juliano, the coalition’s director. “Obviously, there are a variety of challenges Detroit has seen in the past few years and the demographics of the city don’t suggest this. This very low teen smoking number really is a bright spot for Detroit.”

Read more.