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Spin Control

Posts tagged: cigarettes

Smoking in cars with kids could mean a ticket

OLYMPIA — Washington drivers who smoke in a car with children would be liable for a traffic ticket under a bill being discussed in the state Senate.

The proposal, which had its first hearing Wednesday in the Senate Transportation Committee, wouldn't allow law enforcement officers to stop a driver just because they see smoking and a child present. Rather, it would be a “secondary infraction” which means they'd get a ticket if they were stopped for some other violation and were seen to be smoking with someone under 18 in the car.

Sen. Scott White, D-Seattle, said the bill would bring Washington in line with California, Oregon and three other states who have similar laws, and makes sense with this state's Clean Air Act: “We prevent a person from smoking in a bar with other adults present, but we don't prevent smoking in a car with a two-year-old strapped in a car seat and driving across the state.”

State Health Secretary Mary Selecky said it would be a valuable tool for keeping children healthy: “Second-hand smoke is especially h armful to children and there is no safe level of exposure.”

White urged the committee to send SB 5016 to the Health Committee for further review. As currently written,if it passes, it wouldn't take effect until three months after the session and would require law enforcement officers to just give a verbal warning for six months after that. A ticket for smoking around a minor would not be part of a driver's record and wouldn't be available to insurance companies. 

Gregoire smoking mad over Camel promo

OLYMPIA — Gov. Chris Gregoire is blasting the makers of Camel cigarettes for its use of Seattle as one of 10 “cool” locations in an ad campaign.

The “Breaking Free” campaign, which will use 10 locations on which the iconic dromedary and standing in front of an artistic rendering of Pike Place Market and Mount Rainier. “Home of grunge, a coffee revolution and alternatives who’ll probably tell you they’re happy when it rains. It’s the smell of vinyl in that hidden record store, that worn t-shirt and a ticket stub with a scribbled phone number — all with the spirit of our Gold Rush ancestors who didn’t think twice before breaking free for the glowing future ahead.”  (Note to RJ Reynolds: You’d have to be smoking something much stronger to see the mountain, Pike Place and the skyline like that.)

“I am alarmed and disappointed at R.J. Reynolds’ new marketing campaign which exploits the name and image of Seattle to recruit young smokers,” Gregoire said in a prepared statement today. “Special edition cigarette packs featuring Washington landmarks, including the Pike Place Market and Mt. Rainier, are being co-opted to sell a product that is responsible for killing about 7,500 people in our state every year.”

The glowing future is “a one-way ticket to disease and addiction,” she said.

Reynolds contends it is not a program aimed at teens. The locations they picked are adult themed, such as Las Vegas, Sturgis, S.D., which is the site of an annual motorcycle gathering, and Route 66. The contest is connected to a website that is designed for adults, asking for date-of-birth information as well as name, street and e-mail address, phone number and brand preference. (None/non-smoker is not an option.)

And of course, teen-agers never lie about their age to get something they want.

Gregoire is not alone in her ire. The city of San Francisco is unhappy that one of the other break away destinations is The Haight. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has called on Reynolds to cancel the campaign.

The company has thus far refused.

McKenna stubs out some cigarette sales

OLYMPIA — Smokers who like Bronco, Champion, GT, Silver or 32degrees brand may want to stock up by the middle of February.

As of Feb. 19, they have to be pulled from the shelves in Washington stores. Attorney General Rob McKenna is ordering them out of stores because their manufacturer, General Tobacco, has not made required payments to a settlement between the states and the tobacco firms.

A press release from McKenna’s office says the company owes about $284 million to the national fund, and Washington’s share of that is more than $7 million.

Stores that have General Tobacco cigarettes with current stamps can sell them through Feb. 19, but after that those brands must come off the shelf.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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