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Guam

In 2005, the Guam Legislature passed Public Law 28-80, also known as the "Natasha Protection Act," which restricted smoking in some workplaces and public places. Unfortunately, the law is very weak and still allows smoking in bars, and after 10 p.m. in attached bar areas of restaurants and private clubs. In 2007, all Executive Branch government facilities went smokefree. In 2009, a bill was signed into law creating a smokefree zone within 20 feet of public buildings.

Guam advocates and health groups are working to build support for strengthening Guam's law to bring truly smokefree protections for the island's workers, residents, and visitors. A key barrier to strengthening the law is a massive build-up of U.S. troops at the military base there. Even though indoor areas of bases are smokefree, troops light up in Guam’s bars. This is cited by opponents and some lawmakers as a reason why smokefree bars wouldn’t work. Of course, bars are smokefree in many military base towns across the country, but still it creates a perceived barrier to policy change.

2013-2014 Legislative Session: 1/14/2013 - 12/31/2014 (Est.)

Smokefree News

Is Guam smoking more? Tobacco tax revenue up by $1.6 million
Pacific Daily News - October 16, 2014

Gov. Eddie Calvo on Monday said fewer Guam residents are smoking cigarettes, but taxes collected from the sale of tobacco products tell a different story. As of August, the government of Guam had collected $10.16 million in cigarette taxes -- $1.6 million...

ACS CAN Applauds Vice Speaker Cruz for Introducing Anti-Smoking Legislation
Pacific News Center (PNC) (gu) - July 22, 2014

... introducing Bill #384 which would restrict those involved in the sale of tobacco products on Guam from offering discounts, free samples or multi-pack purchase prices. ACS CAN points out that tobacco remains the number one preventable cause of cancer on ...

Lawmakers set agenda for May session
KUAM.com - May 1, 2014

... distribution of electronic cigarettes to minors; Senator Tony Ada's Bill 296 regarding the issuance of concealed firearms licensing; and Senator Chris Duenas's ...

GRMC: New Hospital Adopts a Smoke-Free Policy
Pacific News Center - March 28, 2014

Tamuning, Guam (March 28) - When patients visit the Guam Regional Medical City later this year, they shall be visiting a smoke-free facility. GRMC management ...

Smoking now banned in Port Authority yard
KUAM.com - March 26, 2014

Guam - Smoking in the Port Authority of Guam yard compound is now prohibited after the Port Authority was fined yet again by the Coast Guard. In 2001 the ...

Bill would prohibit sale of 'e-cigarettes' to minors
Pacific Daily News - March 13, 2014

A bill that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors got full support during a public hearing yesterday. Bill 264 would prohibit the sale and distribution ...

Smoking ban: Strict policy in sight for Pacific
The Pacific Index - March 13, 2014

...More specially, “smoking and tobacco use applies to all tobacco projects, ... With all these restrictions in place, it is made certain that those attempting to quit ...

VIDEO: Support for Bill Banning E-Cigarettes to Minors, but Vape Shop Owners Against Taxing Them
Pacific News Center - March 12, 2014

Guam - There was tremendous support for Senator Dennis Rodriguez's Bill 264, which would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors under the age of 18. But the discussion at the public hearing today could also inspire further legislation to regulate the controversial product, even among adults.

Health officials support prohibiting sale of e-cigarettes to kid - KUAM ...
KUAM.com - March 12, 2014

Guam - Electronic cigarettes have become increasingly popular throughout the nation and it's no different here on Guam. But because they're highly unregulated, it's fallen into the hands of our island's youth. Legislation aims to prevent just that.

Public Health: e-cigarettes should be taxed as tobacco product
KUAM.com - March 11, 2014

Guam - The Department of Public Health and Social Services wants more than just restrictions on the sale of the e-cigarettes to minors. While agency director ...

VIDEO: Dr. Felix Cabrera Says E-Cigarettes Have Helped His ...
Pacific News Center - February 24, 2014

Guam - At least one local doctor is concerned about the message being sent regarding the negative effects of e-cigarettes, or vaping. Internal Medicine ...

UPDATE: New policy prohibits use of e-cigarettes at Public Health ...
Pacific Daily News - February 20, 2014

Electronic cigarettes, a vapor based delivery system for nicotine inhaled directly into the lungs, are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

DPHSS Bans "Electronic Cigarettes" in ALL Public Health Facilities ...
Pacific News Center - February 20, 2014

Guam - The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) announced today "Electronic Cigarettes" have been banned in all Public Health Facilities ...

Senator seeks to regulate e-cigarettes
Pacific Daily News (Guam) - January 23, 2014

A new bill would prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., D-Dededo, along with several other senators, is sponsoring Bill 264 to forbid the sale or distribution of electronic cigarettes to minors.

E-cigarettes burn up: An updated policy bans e-cigs on campus
Boise (ID) State University The Arbiter Online - January 23, 2014

Once upon a time, Michael Nash was allowed to use his electronic cigarette in his dorm at his leisure. He was shocked to find out this would no longer be ...

GOVERNMENT TO ENFORCE BAN ON PUBLIC SMOKING
Foroyaa Newspaper (gm) - December 18, 2013

Mr. Kebba Manneh, Chief Executive Officer of JFPH described the act of smoking at public places as devastating and a difficult matter to handle as it involves many stakeholders.

Bill would raise tax on smokeless tobacco
Pacific Daily News - December 17, 2013

Residents who chew tobacco could see an increase in prices if a bill is passed into law.

Cruz Bill Would Raise Tax on Smokeless Tobacco Products to the Same Level as the Tax on Cigarettes
Pacific News Center (PNC) - October 14, 2013

Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz has introduced a bill to make tax rates on smokeless tobacco equal to cigarettes. The aim is to reduce consumption of all tobacco products and prevent the associated harm it causes..

DPHSS says new hires must be non-smokers
Pacific News Center - December 18, 2012

Guam - The Department of Public Health and Social Services has established a new policy requiring all new hires at the department be non-smokers. The policy is effective immediately and was announced to the media and posted on the department's website this afternoon. …

DPHSS & Guam DOE Join to Promote Tobacco Free Schools
Pacific News Center - December 5, 2012

Guam - The Department of Public Health and Social Services is continuing its partnership with the Guam Department of Education to promote healthy living by providing the Guam public schools with aluminum tobacco signage to promote Tobacco-free campuses. …

GovGuam staffers at tobacco control training
KUAM.com - May 3, 2012

by Mindy Aguon Guam - Individuals in the government who enforce tobacco-free policies underwent special training today. The policies include the Natasha Act ...

Light Turnout for Bill Banning Smoking in Car When Children Are Present
Pacific News Center - Kevin Kerrigan - June 1, 2011

Guam - Not much of a turn-out Tuesday afternoon at a hearing on Senator Dennis Rodriguez's controversial bill to ban smoking in cars when children are present. Bill 188 would impose a maximum fine of $100-dollars for violators. ...

Rodriguez Bill Would Ban Smoking in Vehicles When Child is Inside
Pacific News Center - Kevin Kerrigan - May 12, 2011

Guam - A Bill introduced by Senator Dennis Rodriguez would ban smoking inside a motor vehicle when a child is inside that vehicle. In a release, Senator Rodriguez says he is "concerned with the fact that minors often have no say in circumstances where ...

Bill bans smoking in cars with kids
Pacific Daily News - Laura Matthews - May 11, 2011

If passed into law, Bill 188 will ban smoking in a vehicle when children under 18 are present. A person who violates this will have to pay $100 upon conviction for the first offense. The court may suspend this fine if the person hasn't previously been ...

King, B.A.; Dube, S.R.; Ko, J.Y., "Secondhand smoke concentrations in hospitality venues in the Pacific Basin: findings from American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam," Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention 12(11): 2881-2885, 2011.

This air quality study conducted in American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) bars and restaurants found that particulate matter (PM2) concentrations where smoking is permitted [arithmetic mean (AM)=299.98 µg/m3; geometric mean (GM)=200.39 µg/m3] was significantly higher (p<0.001) than smoke-free venues [AM=8.33 µg/m3; GM=6.14 µg/m3]. In venues where smoking was permitted during certain hours, the average level of of PM2 outside of these hours was significantly higher [AM=42.10 µg/m3; GM=41.87 µg/m3] than smokefree venues. The researchers urged for smokefree venues.

Will Guam Senators Raise Tobacco Taxes Too?
Entryway Smoking Ban Raises Question
Guam News Factor (gu), 2009-11-30
News Analysis Written by Jeff Marchesseault, Guam News Factor Staff Writer

On Friday Governor Camacho signed into law a measure that bans smoking within 20 feet of public buildings. No doubt, Public Law 30-63 is a step in the right direction for the health and longevity of the people of Guam. Although it probably won't be popular with all public employees at first, the law represents an important shift in attitudes among elected officials about how one person's privilege may impinge on another's rights. It forces people to change their behavior in order to protect nonsmokers and could even result in smokers rethinking how the habit affects their own health.

But the real test for lawmakers will come with their stance on a bill aimed at increasing tobacco taxes as a deterrent against smoking and chewing. Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz' Bill 150 seeks to raise taxes on cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco.

The proposal would raise taxes on cigarettes to $1.50 per pack of 20; on cigars to 30 cents, 33 cents or 37 cents, depending on size; and to $21 per pound of chewing tobacco. ...

Bill to extend smoking ban
Smokers pushed 20 feet from public entrances
Pacific Daily News (gu), 2009-10-29
Brett Kelman Pacific Daily News

Senators are ready to vote on a bill that would require smokers to move more than 20 feet from the entrance of an enclosed public place before they can enjoy a cigarette.

There was little debate or objection to Bill 101 during session yesterday. The Legislature will vote on the bill the next time it is discussed.
Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz, one of the senators who introduced the bill, yesterday said he didn't want smokers standing by the door of a place if they can't smoke inside. Because lawmakers don't require a restaurant customer to tolerate cigarette smoke while eating, they shouldn't have to walk through a cloud of smoke to get to the door, either, Cruz said. ...

Session Begins Without Bill 185
Pacific News Center - October 28, 2009

They also discussed bill 101 which would ban smoking within 20 feet of an entrance to any public place where smoking is already prohibited.

Study: Guam Memorial Hospital A National Leader In Going Smoke-Free
Pacific News Center - August 25, 2009

Guam Memorial Hospital is a leader in the United States in instituting a smoke-free campus policy, according to a new study from The Joint Commission ...

Military Push To Ban Smoking
Guam News Factor, July 7, 2009

GUAM - As the debate continues to intensify on the issue of tobacco use on Guam, recent news that the U.S. military is studying ways to eliminate tobacco use among all military services presents strong evidence to back the Guam Medical Society's push to significantly raise the cost of cigarettes.

A study conducted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has revealed that the U.S. military “has nearly twice the smoking rate of the civilian population.”

Similarly, a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control revealed that one in three adults on Guam is a smoker and Guam’s smoking prevalence is 57% higher than the rest of the nation.

A July 1, 2009 Stars And Stripes article reports IOM's call for an all-out ban on tobacco for all branches of the military within a deadline of 20 years.

The Department of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) requested the study be conducted in order to address the high number of smokers among servicemembers. ...

Tobacco tax hike proposed: Guam voters could ratify proposal at a referendum
Pacific Daily News (gu), 2009-06-16
Connor Murphy * Pacific Daily News

A bill introduced yesterday would allow Guam voters to decide if a tax on cigarettes should increase to $1.50 a pack.

Bill 150, introduced by Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz, would increase the local tax on cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and other tobacco products. The current $1 tax on a pack of cigarettes would increase by 50 cents. The current 25-cent tax on a tin of chewing tobacco would increase sixfold to $1.50 a tin.

If the bill becomes law, the new tax would take effect 30 days after it's ratified by Guam voters in a referendum during the 2010 General Election, according to the legislation.

About one out of every three people on Guam smoke cigarettes, giving the island the highest smoking rate in the nation ...


USA: Guam’s restaurant law prompts wider action
ANNETTE DAVID
Guam Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse; amdavid@guamcell.net

Tobacco Control 2006;15:422-423

The passage of Guam’s smoke-free restaurants law (see Tobacco Control2006;15:78–9) has served as a tipping point for tobacco-free policies in both the public and private sectors. Since the passage of the law, the Guam Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, the University of Guam and the Guam Community College all enacted 100% tobacco-free policies, banning all smoking and chewing of tobacco products, both indoors and outside, on their premises. In the private sector, two health insurance companies, Netcare and TakeCare, also adopted similar policies. The latest to join the trend is Guam Memorial Hospital, which is going 100% tobacco-free in October.

Health advocates have noted how the law seemed to push these organisations over a certain threshold, from reluctance to acceptance of a tobacco-free corporate norm. In addition, Guam’s restaurants, now 100% smoke-free indoors, are enjoying a robust traffic in customers. Not a single one has ...

Smoking ban in restaurants now in full effect
Marianas Variety (mp), 2007-02-06
Gina Tabonares / Variety News Staff

A SMOKING ban in all dining establishments on Guam is now fully in effect after the Supreme Court of Guam dismissed the appeal of former attorney general Douglas Moylan and affirmed the constitutionality of the Natasha Protection Act. Affirming an earlier decision of the trial court, the Supreme Court said that the Natasha Protection Act is enforceable and not unconstitutional as earlier argued by the former AG. With this development, Atty. Mike Phillips said smoking is now prohibited 24 hours in all restaurants. Bars that exclusively serve alcohol are not covered by the smoking ban while the regulation does apply to bars that double as restaurants. Smoking would be allowed in such establishments between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., provided they “employ an appropriate smoke ventilation device.” ...

Lawmakers await GHRA's stance
Pacific Daily News (gu), 2006-06-22
Valerie Lynn M. Maigue / Pacific Daily News

Members of the Guam Hotel Restaurant Association have not yet taken a position on the newly enacted Natasha Protection Act. And until they do, lawmakers don't plan to change what some have called a flawed law, the legislative speaker said yesterday.

At the GHRA's General Membership meeting yesterday, Speaker Mark Forbes told the leaders of the island's hospitality industry that the current ban on smoking in hotel rooms that the act created was an "unintended consequence" of the legislation. ...

Smoking ban in full effect
Pacific Daily News (gu), 2006-06-13
Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno Pacific Daily News

Guam's invitation for tourists will likely include a footnote that smoking in hotel rooms might get them in trouble with local law.

The island's attorney general said the Superior Court of Guam's June 9 decision not to stop the enforcement of portions of the new and broader no-smoking law has the effect of including bars and hotels in the ban.

There's no question restaurants are now covered by the smoking ban, Attorney General Douglas Moylan said. He added he intends to take the new law's unresolved portions -- affecting bars and hotels -- to the Guam Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, he instructed the Department of Public Health and Social Services in a letter after the court's move on Friday that, "until this question is further answered by the courts, that (establishments do) not permit any smoking in any public facilities on Guam, regardless of the installed filtration device, or face prosecution." ...

Smoking ban takes effect
Pacific Daily News (gu), 2006-06-10
Gene Park Pacific Daily News

The restaurant smoking ban is now in effect, after the case against it was dismissed yesterday.

Superior Court of Guam Judge Steven Unpingco yesterday dismissed the civil case filed by the attorney general's office over the enforceability of the Natasha Protection Act.

The attorney general's office plans to appeal the dismissal to the Supreme Court of Guam.

The law's namesake, Natasha Perez, also died yesterday. The Natasha Protection Act was named after the teenage cancer patient. ...

Teen who inspired anti-smoking law passes away
KUAM (gu), 2006-06-09
Mindy Fothergill, KUAM News

When you head to a local restaurant this weekend, remember there's no smoking. And in addition to considering that, remember Natasha Perez, the young girl for whom the Natasha Protection Act was named. Superior Court Judge Steven Unpingco issued an order dismissing Attorney General Douglas Moylan's lawsuit that questioned the constitutionality of the Act.

The judge's decision comes hours after the AG and Attorney Mike Phillips presented arguments on the constitutionality of the Act. Moylan argued the Act could not be enforced and requested the judge clarify the Legislature's intent. "This law will be enforced if the court chooses not to rule on it," the AG maintained. "As we pointed out in court we're going to be back with a lot of different people coming in with their attorneys litigating the question that we're trying to have amicably and dispassionately resolved today."

Attorney Phillips argued the Act should be implemented immediately. ...

Smoking banned in Guam restaurants
Pacific Daily News (gu), 2005-12-09
Steve Limtiaco Pacific Daily News

Gov. Felix Camacho this morning signed a law that prohibits smoking in Guam restaurants, except for restaurants that turn into bars late at night.

“It will take time to adjust, but certainly this is a monumental thing,” Camacho said during a brief signing ceremony in his office at Adelup. “This is a real improvement in the quality of life.”

The ban takes effect 150 days from today, which is May 6, 2006.

“This is a health issue,” said Sen. Lou Leon Guerrero, who wrote the law and who attended the ceremony. Leon Guerrero thanked the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association for supporting the change since she had expected opposition from the group.

The new law is named the “Natasha Protection Act” after Natasha Perez, a high school student with respiratory problems who has a hard time breathing in a room with smoke. ...

Smoking restriction bill passed
Pacific Daily News (gu), 2005-11-30
Gene Park Pacific Daily News

Lawmakers yesterday passed the smoking regulation bill Natasha Protection Act of 2005, which places heavier restrictions on smoking in public places.

The final vote was 12-2, with Sens. Eddie Calvo and Jesse Lujan passing on the vote three times, which becomes a vote of no.

Bill 16, now awaiting approval from Gov. Felix Camacho, puts restrictions on smoking in restaurants, and requires adequate ventilation or filtration devices in public places or businesses where it is allowed.

The bill would not impact bars, private residences, hotel and motel rooms to guests, retail tobacco stores or a private enclosed office work place occupied by smokers. ...