People, Places & Events

     
   

Surgeon General reports need for smoke-free laws
Special to The Monitor
AUSTIN–American Cancer Society staff and volunteers in Texas marked the release of Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona’s new report on the harmful effects of secondhand tobacco smoke by calling on local communities across the state to protect the health of workforce employees by enacting a comprehensive smoke-free ordinances. Currently, Texas has 43 communities with smoke-free ordinances.
The report, titled “The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke” and released June 27, is the first report by the Surgeon General’s office on secondhand smoke in 20 years.
The last report, released in 1986, marked the first comprehensive scientific analysis of the health data surrounding secondhand smoke.
The new report reinforces that and years of scientifically irrefutable evidence on the health hazards of secondhand smoke. I
t also comes at a time of unprecedented gains in the numbers of states and communities that are adopting smoke-free laws.
In addition to addressing the health effects of secondhand smoke exposure, including lung cancer, the new report states that ventilation systems are ineffective at reducing the harm caused by the emission of cigarette smoke in restaurants and bars.
The report also highlights the unequal occupational hazard for restaurant, casino, bar and hotel employees. It is estimated that only 43 percent of the country’s food service workers are protected against secondhand smoke, while 76 percent of white-collar workers are.
Furthermore, children and ethnic minorities also remain more at risk than other segments of the population.
The report identifies comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws as key and effective way to protect all Americans and help eliminate these disparities.
It also refutes the argument that these laws are detrimental to the financial well being of businesses.
The Surgeon General’s report is a touchstone to the progress the Society, its volunteers and partners throughout the nation have made to pass smoke-free laws.
Currently, 16 states, Washington, DC and more than 2,200 communities have passed smoke-free laws. Most recently the city of Philadelphia and the states of Hawaii and Louisiana passed smoke-free laws, both to be implemented in the next several months.
“The first Surgeon General’s report on this issue in 1986 emphasized the strong need to pass smoke-free work place laws,” Director of Government Relations for the American Cancer Society in Texas James Gray said.
“Since the early 1990s, the Society has been working to engage lawmakers across the country in the public policy solutions for tobacco-related diseases.
This new report reenergizes these efforts. We have made great advances, but the majority of Americans remain unprotected and until we change that, we will continue to push for passage of these laws.”
“The number of comprehensive smoke-free laws passed has more than tripled since the early 1990s,” Gray said.
“Now is the right time for the remaining Texas communities to put public health first.,” he added.
It is estimated that secondhand smoke causes 35,000 to 45,000 deaths each year from heart disease and 3,000 more deaths from lung cancer among nonsmokers.
The Society has long been committed to studying the health consequences of secondhand smoke; the Society’s Hammond-Horn study initiated in 1952 confirmed the link between tobacco and cancer, and its successor, Cancer Prevention Study I (CPS-1) provided the data that enabled the first Surgeon General’s report in 1964 on smoking stating that smoking was irrefutably linked to cancer.
More than 564,000 Americans will die from cancer this year, and 30 percent of those deaths will be caused by tobacco. The American Cancer Society and its sister advocacy organization, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM (ACS CAN), are committed to improving health for all people and providing everyone the right to breathe clean air.
The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service.
For more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
 

Teen seeks help with medical costs
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

PAYNE SPRINGS–Christina Adams Stanford is looking for a way to finance her medical needs.
Diagnosed with a tumor in her left eye in her early years at Mabank High School, Stanford said doctors have continually found other problems.
She tried homebound classes for a time, but didn’t finish her courses.
Had she completed her courses, she would have graduated this year, she said.
She is now planning a yard sale, something that has been successful in the past. She hopes to earn funds for another trip, scheduled for Wednesday, July 26, to M.D. Anderson’s cancer research center for more tests.
“I will have to stay overnight and possibly longer, depending on what they find and what other examinations are needed,” Stanford said.
“The trip costs vary. I never know when I am going to get sick,” she added.
She is seeking donations for the yard sale planned for Thursday through Sunday, July 14-16.
The location is 9878 Manning Ranch Road. Turn off State Highway 198 (at Center Hope Baptist Church), onto Manning Ranch Road and follow the balloons to the dead end. The sale is on the right-hand side.
If anyone has something to donate and needs it to be picked up, they can call (903) 451-5419.
“I want to raise what I can because Nov. 13, when I turn 19, I will have no insurance or anyway to pay for my medical expenses,” she explained.
Stanford currently earns money by baby-sitting.
Doctors are still looking for causes and names for her problems.
Dr. Thad Hardin of Athens discovered the tumor.
Surgery to remove the tumor provided some hope however, that was soon dashed when it was determined the surgery did not get all of it.
She visited a new doctor, and endocrinologist, in Tyler, June 29.
“Doctors are checking to see if my problems might be hormonal,” she said.
Since she was recently married, Stanford said her friends will remember her by Adams, her maiden name.
Stanford married Billie Stanford II, Feb. 5.
She is the daughter of Joyce Woods of Payne Springs and John Adams of Athens.
Stanford is the youngest sibling in her family.
Her five brothers and two sisters range in age from 33 to 52.