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  • 20.11.2012 Covenant Kicks The Habit

    Amy Olson-Yarbrough was tired of being a prisoner to tobacco."I decided I didn't want cigarettes to control my life any more," Olson-Yarbrough said. "When you're a smoker you have to figure out where you're going to be able to smoke cigarettes next, how long until my next cigarette, how am I going to hide it from my kids . . ."So, on Nov. 23, 2010, Olson-Yarbrough - a pack-a-day smoker who had been at it for close to two decades - quit smoking cigarettes.Now, Olson-Yarbrough can't stand anything about it."The smell of buy cigarettes really nauseates me," she said. "I'll never go back to...

  • 18.10.2012 No-smoking Policy For New Hires

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  • 10.09.2012 Court Upholds Big Award In Smoker's Case

    A state appeals court upheld $13.8 million in punitive damages against Philip Morris on Wednesday for the addiction and death of a 45-year cigarette smoker, saying the company's decades of concealment and lies about the dangers of its products were "extremely reprehensible."In a 2-1 ruling, the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles affirmed a verdict by a Los Angeles County jury in the case of Betty Bullock of Newport Beach (Orange County). Bullock had started smoking cigarettes Marlboros in 1956, at age 17, and quit in 2001 after she was diagnosed with lung cancer, two years...

  • 09.09.2012 California Court Approves 16:1 Punitive Damage Award

    Corporate America has pushed hard for years to hold the line on punitive damages, with some successThe Supreme Court has ruled that excessively high punitive damage awards, designed to punish defendants for particularly egregious behavior, can violate the Due Process clause. And the California Supreme Court had held that punitive damages typically should not be more than nine to ten times the size of damages awarded to compensate injured parties.But in a smoking cigarettes case against Philip Morris, a California appellate court yesterday signed off on punitive damages that were 16 times...

City Gets Grant To Cleanup Cigarette Butt Litter

Cigarette butts are unsightly and one of the country’s most common sources of litter, but they can also clog up storm drains. A new grant could help the city of Bluefield alleviate this problem.

The city of Bluefield was recently awarded a $1,000 grant from Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program. This money will allow Bluefield to buy cigarette butt receptacles and fund a public awareness campaign, said Melanie Farmer, community relations coordinator.

These receptacles will be placed throughout downtown Bluefield to reduce the cigarette butt litter ending up on the streets and sidewalks.

“We had to do some preliminary scans of the area,” Farmer said.

The bus station on Princeton Avenue and Chicory Square are two locations where cigarette litter has been a problem, she said.

It has been estimated that 32 percent of litter in the city’s storm drains is cigarette litter, Farmer said. Approximately 95 percent of cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate, a type of plastic that takes years to degrade.

“It’s also been a large concern for the sanitary board,” she added. “It (litter) can clog up storm drains. They’re made of a type of plastic that doesn’t biodegrade.”

Keep America Beautiful’s litter program addresses the problem by encouraging enforcement of litter laws, raising awareness with public service messages, placing cigarette litter receptacles in places like public building entrances, and distributing pocket ashtrays to adult smokers.

“We are very pleased to have received this funding,” said City Manager Andy Merriman. “This campaign will help continue our efforts to create a clean, healthy and beautiful Bluefield that we all deserve.”

Cigarette butts are the most-littered item in America, representing almost 30 percent of all items documented in nationwide clean-up campaigns, Keep America Beautiful officials said. The overall rate of cigarette butt littering is 65 percent and accounts for 38 percent of roadside litter.