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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

    Should smokers who want to work for the county be forced to sign a pledge they will quit smoking cigarettes — and then be required to follow through before starting work?Should they pay more for their health-care coverage if they don’t keep the pledge, or decline to sign it?Is it discrimination for government not to consider smokers to fill open positions?The Muscatine County Board of Supervisors decided to have the county’s Health and Safety Committee study the issue, which was brought up by Sheriff Dave White at the Board’s regular meeting Monday.White told the Board he’s heard...

  • 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...

Fultondale Passes Gold Standard Of Smoking Ordinances

The Fultondale City Council adopted tonight what is being called the strongest smoking cigarettes ordinance in Jefferson County.

Effective Sept. 1, the ordinance prohibits smoking cigarettes in all enclosed public places in the city, including all workplaces, private clubs and bars.

The action was praised and called the "gold standard" of smoking cigarettes ordinances by the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and the Jefferson County Health Action Partnership.

Only 13 other cities in Alabama have similar smoking cigarettes ordinances and none are located in Jefferson or Shelby counties, said Kevin Burke, a spokesman for the American Lung Association.

Not everyone in Fultondale is pleased.

Four people spoke out against the ordinance at tonight's meeting, including a restaurant owner and Bill Steber, commander of the American Legion in Fultondale.

Steber said the American Legion was a private organization and only members were allowed through the doors. He said about 85 percent of the members, mostly veterans, smoked at the club.

John Douglas, owner of Home Field Sports Grill, said he questions why the city is taking action now, when the ordinance would only affect about five businesses in the city. He said he has been told for years that the city would not pass an ordinance until the state took action.

"I could handle a statewide ban," Douglas said. "But with the local ban, we are surrounded by communities and competition that allows smoking cigarettes. If I thought having a non-smoking cigarettes policy was good for my business, I would already be non-smoking cigarettes. This is just another example of government interference in private business. Nobody holds a gun to somebody's head and forces them into my place of business. People are there by choice."

There was no discussion by council members or Mayor Jim Lowery before the vote on the ordinance, which passed unanimously.

Previously, Lowery has said the city waited for the state to take action on the matter, but when that didn't happen, Fultondale needed a comprehensive smoking cigarettes ordinance in place.