Most smokers do not enjoy smoking, according to a survey conducted by a company that makes products to help people break the habit.
The third annual Nicorette South African Smoking Survey included 14,308 men and women across all education levels, income groups and races, in all nine provinces. It was released on Thursday.
A total of 7761 surveys were completed, and 6547 partially completed.
When asked whether they enjoyed smoking, 62 percent of men and 68 percent of women indicated that they did not.
Three-quarters of smokers had tried to give up in the past 12 months, but only a third had succeeded.
For most smokers, the strongest motivation for quitting was health concerns.
Only 17 percent of men and women said higher tobacco taxes or expensive cigarettes would motivate them to stop.
Q. I’d like to quit smoking and start exercising, but I know that both habits will be tough to stick to. Should I try to quit smoking first and start exercising later?
A. Some people get overwhelmed if they make too many drastic lifestyle changes all at once. But others thrive, especially if adopting one good habit reinforces another good habit. With smoking, you may find that exercising while you stop smoking will make kicking cigs easier. And that’s because they are fairly incompatible habits.
Let me explain.
When you exercise, especially if you do cardio activity such as running, cycling, dancing or Zumba, your body requires extra oxygen to move more. Immediate physiological changes occur: Your breathing rate increases so you can suck more air — and oxygen — into your lungs, to be carried through your blood to the working muscles. Also, your blood vessels expand, increasing your circulation, and your heart beats faster to pump more of that super-oxygenated blood around.
Once you exercise regularly, your body adapts and sustained physiological changes occur: Your lungs can inflate more, taking in more air — and oxygen. Your lungs can deflate more, excreting some of the stale dead air that can linger and limit breathing capacity. Your heart gets stronger and this means that you pump more blood out to your body per beat, and your heart works less hard to push out the same amount of blood.
When you smoke, some opposing effects occur: Your lungs get clogged with toxins, impeding your ability to suck in optimal amounts of oxygen; your heart rate is higher, so the heart works harder at rest. This impairs the ability to pump the extra blood — and oxygen — needed during exercise.
Once you start exercising, regardless of whether you smoke, you’ll start to notice improvements in your cardiovascular stamina. You’ll breathe more deeply and feel more energized, especially as you get fitter. That makes you extra-sensitive to cigarettes that stifle this response. Having a cigarette and then exercising can make the exercise feel tougher. And it just doesn’t feel so good to suck smoke in once you’re opening up those lungs to receiving and delivering more oxygen to your body.
A few research studies suggest that different types and intensities of exercise may be beneficial in kicking the habit. Several studies have shown that high-intensity exercise has positive effects on smoking cessation. A 2009 study published in the journal, Addiction, found that riding a stationary bike at a fairly light to moderately hard intensity for around 20 minutes helped reduced a subject's desire to smoke after the workout. This reduced desire was measured by a reduction in their attention to smoking-related clues that were presented to them in visual tests.
Researchers at Brown University wanted to see if moderate-intensity exercise would improve the ability to quit smoking. In a 2010 pilot study in the journal, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 59 adult women who had smoked at least five cigarettes per day for more than a year were given an eight-week smoking cessation treatment that included one counseling session and a nicotine patch. Half the participants were put in a "wellness" group where they watched 30-minute films about health and wellness three days a week (but were given no additional information on smoking, or information on exercise.) The other group was put on an exercise program where they walked on treadmills at a moderate intensity three times per week, accumulating about 120 minutes per week of exercise.
The smoking status of all the subjects was checked regularly — three times per week throughout the eight-week study and seven weeks and 11 weeks after the exercise or wellness group sessions ended. A device that measures carbon monoxide levels in breath was also used to determine whether participants had smoked. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms were also assessed every week.
Results showed that the exercisers were more likely to have not smoked in the past seven days when assessed for smoking status than those who participated in the wellness educational group. Although these results for not scientifically significant, researchers say they were a preliminary indication that sticking to a moderate-intensity exercise plan might enhance the efficacy of using a nicotine patch along with brief counseling to help quit the habit. The researchers noted that a larger trial to test this theory should be conducted.
Another study looked at the effects of weight-lifting on quitting smoking. The 2011 study published in Nicotine & Tobacco Researchput 25 smokers on a nicotine patch and gave them brief smoking-cessation counseling. Half of the group participated in a 12-week resistance training program twice a week working up to two sets of 10 repetitions of 10 exercises. At the end of the three months, twice the number of those who weight-trained exhibited prolonged abstinence from smoking compared to the group who did not exercise (16% versus 8%). And 15% still sustained this six months later.
Although there can be risks associated with exercising when you smoke (and I’ve written about those here), shifting from an unhealthy habit to a healthy one in order to improve your health and give up smoking appears to help people quit.
Half of all cancer is preventable based on what we already know, including modifiable causes of the disease such as obesity, physical inactivity and the one-third of cancers blamed on tobacco.
"We could prevent more than 70 percent of cancer caused by smoking in the United States - lung cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, head and neck cancer - all from smoking," says Washington University professor Graham Colditz. "Others on the list as well."
Colditz, associate director at the Siteman Cancer Center in Saint Louis, writes about improving cancer prevention in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
He and his colleagues came up with that estimate by projecting the situation in the state with the lowest cancer rate in the country.
Colditz based his analysis on data from a variety of studies in the United States, but he says cancer prevention is just as important in other countries, even if their strategies may differ.
So, while smoking is also a big target in low and middle income countries, he notes that so, too, are the infections often linked to cancer.
"Liver cancer from hepatitis, cervical cancer from the HPV [human papilloma] virus. So the infectious origins account for a bigger percentage of cancer in those settings."
For a variety of reasons, Colditz says cancer research is overwhelmingly focused on treatment. "The reality is that if we could shift just a fraction of the research to prevention, we'd have a major payoff for society."
But it's not just medical professionals who have a role to play.
What we eat, how much we exercise, our environment at work - these are among the factors that can affect our health in general, and the risk of cancer in particular. Lawmakers, Colditz says, can regulate exposure to cancer-causing substances.
"We need the whole of our society to accept the responsibility and the strategies to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid cancer."
Today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released two separate draft guidance documents to help fight the tobacco epidemic and stop children from using tobacco. The draft guidance documents implement provisions of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that will ultimately provide the public with previously unknown information about the chemicals in tobacco products and help prevent misleading marketing about the risks associated with tobacco products.
The first document provides guidance on how companies will comply with the requirement to report on the quantities of potentially harmful chemicals in tobacco products. The second document provides guidance to companies that seek to advertise or market a tobacco product as less harmful or associated with reducing the risk of tobacco-related disease.
"Today’s actions represent critical steps forward on providing Americans with the facts about the dangers of tobacco use and to stop children from smoking," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "We will continue to do everything we can to help smokers quit and prevent kids from starting this deadly addiction."
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act requires tobacco product manufacturers and importers to report quantities of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) found in tobacco products or tobacco smoke by brand and sub-brand. HPHCs are chemicals or chemical compounds in a tobacco product or tobacco smoke that cause, or could cause, harm to smokers or non-smokers. All HPHCs included on the list cause or may cause serious health problems including cancer, lung disease, and addiction to tobacco products.
While there are more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco and tobacco smoke, FDA has today established a list of 93 HPHCs that tobacco companies will be required to report for every regulated tobacco product sold in the United States. The FDA recognizes that industry may be unable to meet the deadline due to current testing limitations. In recognition of this, the draft guidance released today identifies 20 HPHCs that are representative of the full list and for which testing methods are well established and widely available.
FDA intends to focus reporting enforcement on these 20 HPHCs during 2012. FDA intends to make information about the amount of HPHCs in specific products available to the public in a consumer-friendly format by April 2013.
FDA also issued draft guidance today on submitting applications to sell modified risk tobacco products (MRTPs). Modified risk tobacco products are tobacco products that are sold, distributed, or marketed with a claim to reduce harm or the risk of tobacco-related disease.
The Tobacco Control Act establishes rigorous scientific criteria an applicant’s tobacco product must meet before FDA can allow the applicant to sell that product with a claim to reduce harm. The draft guidance describes scientific studies and analyses an applicant should submit to demonstrate its product will, or is expected to, significantly reduce harm or exposure to individuals, and benefit the health of the population as a whole.
"We are forging new territory to ensure that tobacco companies provide accurate information and do not mislead American consumers," said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D. "We are committed to stopping such practices that may cause people to start or continue using tobacco products that could lead to preventable disease and death."
The draft guidance for MRTPs provides details for those who seek to market a tobacco product as modified or lower risk including how to organize and submit an MRTP application, what scientific studies and analyses should be submitted, and what information should be collected through post-market surveillance and studies.
The draft guidance document and a December 2011 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) titled "Scientific Standards for Studies on Modified Risk Tobacco Products" are open for comments from the public until June 4, 2012. Before issuing the final guidance, FDA will consider these public comments, the IOM report and feedback from an FDA public workshop held in August 2011.
For more information:
These are some of the Gifts that come to mind as I CELEBRATE my QUIT:
(1) I feel more SELF-CONFIDENT because I made a choice to change my self-destructive behavior and followed through.
(2) I feel more HONEST because I am not evading truthfulness about the consequences in order to support my Smoking Addiction.
(3) I feel more SELF-RESPECT because I made a decision to QUIT SMOKING and honored that decision.
(4) I feel more SECURE because I no longer have that constant battle "I want to smoke"vs"I don't want to smoke."
(5) I feel more OPTIMISTIC because I no longer attack stress with another cigarette, I attack it with a constructive plan of action.
(6) I feel more SPIRITUAL because when I called upon my higher power for assistance I felt his/her response.
(7) I feel more DECISIVE because I saw how I can set a goal and accomplish it one day at a time each and every day.
(8) I feel more SELF-AWARE because I sense days or situations of weakness and have a winning back up plan to protect my QUIT.
(9) I feel more INTEGRATED because when my body said "I need...." my mind and spirit responded affirmatively.
(10) I feel more JOY as I experience COLLATERAL KINDNESS and CELEBRATE each and every daily VICTORY over my Smoking Addiction with my BecomeanEX friends! THANK YOU for CELEBRATING with me!!!!!!
Lisa sparked something that I've been working on for some time! For those of you who aren't familiar with Plato's Republic I have copied from Wikipedia a quick summary of the Allegory of the Cave which if you've ever read it leaves a lasting impression on your mind!
Plato lets Socrates describe a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Plato's Socrates, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.
Well, for me, that's what coming out of the smoke cloud of Addiction was like! I've been freed from the cave and have come to understand what reality is meant to be by my Creator! I look through the sunshine and see everything in a different sharper, cleaner REAL LIGHT of TRUTH! It's true that I can't get my lung function back, but I'll always be grateful to my Lord for bringing me into the Light! I'm FREE of the Chains of Slavery to Addiction which for so many years, even those short periods of time when I wasn't smoking but still mentally addicted, had me captive, believing that it was reality when in fact, it was only the shadows of a cave!!!
"You are the light of the World! A city set on a Mountain cannot be hidden!" Matt. 5:14
The Journal is following five employees and family members who are taking Smart Steps to quit smoking forever. Smart Steps is a three-session, how-to cessation program developed for the workplace by the Lung Association Alberta & N.W.T. and supported by Health Canada.
Participants are revisited by a program facilitator during followup sessions one month, three months, six months and 12 months. Our quintet of quitters volunteered to have their progress tracked online and in the newspaper. Their first one month followup session with Krista Potter, tobacco program specialist, happened March 8. Here's an update .
Vlad Pylypchuk, massage therapist, married to a Journal employee
Quit cold turkey on Jan. 11, some 11 weeks ago. "I feel great. Still not smoking. Trying not to think about that."
Vlad is trying to be more active since putting on a few pounds.
April Baldonado, paramedic on maternity leave and sister of a Journal employee
Smoked her last cigarette Feb. 2, almost eight weeks ago, after a one-on-one session with a hypnotist. "My desire to smoke is gone, so it's not a craving, but certain things still trigger a memory of smoking."
She hasn't been on the treadmill for a while, something she still hopes to start doing for 20 minutes every day. But she's looking forward to getting outside more with her kids.
Dawn Lemire, Journal sales assistant and April's sister
Quit smoking Jan. 31, eight weeks ago, after a one-on-one session with a hypnotist who helped her quit smoking before. Dawn has gained weight since losing the smoking, but it doesn't bother her.
Debbie Horlick, Journal sales rep
Butted out Jan. 30, eight weeks ago, after attending a stop-smoking hypnosis seminar. Debbie has started the second stage of using the patch, which has less nicotine.
Since quitting smoking, she has discovered candy. To offset the snacking, Debbie regularly walks her dog and is planning to sign up for a walking class with The Running Room.
Rhonda Vickers, Journal sales development manager
Quit Feb. 1, almost eight weeks ago. Rhonda is finally starting to sleep better. She has just started the second stage of using the patch, and continues to chew Nicorette gum, but she needs it less.
Venkat Murphy knows firsthand the health hazards of cigarette smoke. Just smelling it on someone's clothes or in a room can trigger an asthma attack.
“As soon as I enter a room, even if they say it's been disinfected, I can fully smell the smoke butt,” Murphy says. “I know if I do not get out of this environment it will trigger a sever exacerbation."
Murphy is reacting to third hand smoke - the nicotine residue that clings to surfaces and never leaves. It's typically hidden, but not always.
Experts say second hand smoke is six to 12 times more toxic than smoke directly inhaled by a smoker. And according to a recent study, third-hand smoke could be even more harmful because the longer nicotine toxins linger, the more time they have to form new carcinogenic chemicals that can be inhaled or ingested.
George Washington Medical Faculty Associates Pulmonologist Dr. Vinayak Jha says children could be the most vulnerable
“They're crawling along floors, they're ingesting dust and they're putting other objects in their mouths which could be contaminated with third hand smoke,” Jha says.
Emerging research shows these toxins are deeply embedded surfaces in homes and cars where someone has smoked. And ABC7 put it to the test.
First, we wiped off a non-smokers windshield and it came back clean. Then we tried it on a long-time smoker's car – and the results show what the doctors have stated.
Another study on third hand smoke shows that those who live in multi-unit housing are the most at risk because just one smoker in one unit can contaminate the entire building.
For some, the most alarming part is that they're exposed to it without even realizing it.
“What about us who do not smoke?” asked Glynis Kobe. “This is the harm they're causing us. I don't think that's cool at all."
In the meantime, Dr. Jha says more research on third hand smoke needs to be done, but he believes children could be the most vulnerable.
OTTAWA — When Derrek began turning his life around eight years ago he thought that drugs and alcohol would be the biggest demons he would have to face. Six years into his recovery he discovered there was one more addiction he needed to confront.
“I have beat alcohol addiction, I beat drug addiction, and I am not living on the street any more — but tobacco has me beat,” said Derrek, who is now two years smoke-free and is working as a smoking cessation counsellor. Derreck, who asked that his last name not be used, was a participant at a conference in Ottawa last week that tackled the difficult issue of smoking among the homeless and those suffering from psychiatric disorders.
There is a growing awareness in the health community that historical attitudes toward smoking when assisting patients with mental health problems and the homeless is unacceptable. Until recently medical health professionals worried that the strain of quitting smoking would be too much for patients. Many of these individuals were already dealing with addictions to other drugs or confronting their mental health problems and the added stress of quitting smoking seemed too much for these people to take on.
In fact, cigarettes were often used as rewards for good behaviour when patients followed institution rules or were agreeable to staff. Because of this, cigarettes became ingrained in the culture of homeless shelters and psychiatric centres across the country.
His personal experiences have given Derrek important insight on how to lead his smoking cessation support group for people recovering from other addictions. “I don’t know anybody living on the street, or who has lived on the street, where one of the major components of that wasn’t mental health,” said Derrek.
“I wanted to quit everything all at once when I went through rehab at the mission,” said Derrek “they told me no, that I may stress my body too much and have seizures from getting rid of everything immediately, but that I will know when I need to give up tobacco.”
“It’s very sad to look back and recognize what we use to do in those days,” said Dr. Andrew Pipe, chief of the Division of Prevention of Rehabilitation at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, “it was very common for cigarettes to be used as a reward for patient compliance.” Cigarettes even provided what was perceived as a relief from symptoms for their users. “Unfortunately that relief is nowhere near what could be achieved by other, more appropriate treatment,” said Pipe.
According to Pipe, the life expectancy of someone with a psychiatric illness is 25 years less than that of other Canadians. The largest proportion of deaths in this discrepancy is accounted for by tobacco-related diseases such as cancer as well as lung and heart disease. In fact, smokers in Ottawa without adequate housing also run a much higher risk of getting pneumonia from the cold winter weather.
There is a growing awareness that this practice puts patients at risk. “Those attitudes are now changing dramatically as more psychiatric facilities go smoke free and recognize that the thing most likely to kill their patients is their tobacco addiction,” said Pipe.
When the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre polled their patients to see whether they were interested in quitting or cutting down their smoking, a staggering 79 per cent were interested. Because of this the Royal Ottawa went smoke-free in January of 2012.
Until this point the Royal Ottawa still permitted smoking within interior courtyards. This allowed patients who may not have had permission to leave the grounds of the hospital to continue to smoke. Under the Royal Ottawa’s new rules, these patients are now forced to quit, though they are given nicotine replacement therapy to help reduce withdrawal symptoms. Smoking cessation support groups like Derrek’s group have also been created to discuss the challenges of kicking the habit and offer assistance to patients.
“The groups that we facilitate give you all new coping mechanisms,” said Derrek “it’s a whole change in your demeanour, the way you carry yourself.”
This initiative, part of a new program from the Heart Institute, is known as the Ottawa Model and is being implemented across the country and receiving positive reviews from health-care professionals. Patients who wish to smoke but do not have the permission to leave the hospital are offered nicotine in patch, gum, lozenges and inhaler form. “You can be very successful in helping individuals addressing psychiatric challenges deal with their tobacco addiction by using many of the same principles and methods you would use in other settings,” said Pipe.
Dr. Jeff Turnbull is the chief of staff at the Ottawa Hospital as well as the medical director of the Ottawa Inner City Health Project. He is also raising awareness about the staggering rate of smokers in mental health facilities and homeless shelters. Turnbull points to environmental factors as the reason so many homeless individuals smoke.
“It’s a very stressful environment, the whole community around them smokes; it’s viewed as being a normal part of being homeless,” says Turnbull. “You have to change their culture if you want them to change”
According to Turnbull, nearly 100 per cent of chronically homeless in Ottawa smoke. He says this is due in part to the commoditization of cigarettes at shelters and on the streets. According to Turnbull, “the chaos that they live in on a daily basis it is very hard for them to quit smoking.”
So, when should someone that is dealing with these types of issues quit smoking? “The right time is when the individual has a stable environment, through initiatives like supportive housing, with all of the right supports around them, then you can put the (anti-smoking) systems in place,” says Turnbull.
(CNN) -- Since the first surgeon general's report on smoking in 1964, smoking among U.S. adults has decreased from 40% to 20.6%. However, smoking remains high in some groups.
A frequently cited paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that people with either a mental disorder or substance abuse problem consume 44% of all cigarettes smoked in the U.S.
Our efforts to address smoking in these populations is anemic.
I've talked with colleagues about this issue at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Cancer Institute, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most are sympathetic and interested, but they are either unable or unwilling to provide national leadership to address smoking in these populations.
I've talked with colleagues in tobacco control, some of whom are world leaders here at my university, but most have many competing priorities.
Now the Food and Drug Administration, with its regulatory authority over tobacco products through the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, is taking on issues of flavored tobacco products, e-cigarettes and new warning labels.
Opinion: New anti-smoking ads a smart move
Will these efforts reach vulnerable populations where smoking rates are highest?
Cigarette smoke not only can cause cancer, but it's also responsible for the spread of it,
Cigarette smoke is the major cause of lung cancer, Forman said, but nearly half of lung cancer patients remain active smokers. Nonetheless, researchers haven't understood how cigarette smoke causes cancer to metastasize.
The lab was also able to prevent cigarette smoke from activating the enzyme by introducing an antioxidant. Forman's discovery could prove useful in the fight against cancer, as it creates more understanding on how it spreads and how antioxidants can help combat this.
Forman will present his findings on April 21 at the Experimental Biology 2012 conference in San Diego.
Forman coauthored the paper with a professor from the University of Padova in Italy. Forman served as a visiting professor during the summer while also conducting research.
In another paper, recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Forman collaborated with investigators at USC who are experts in looking at how cells maintain themselves using proteasome, which degrades old and damaged proteins. When cells are under oxidative stress, the proteasomes work faster to remove damaged proteins.
However, the lab discovered the signal used to increase a cell's defenses doesn't happen in old age, causing cells to die and turn malignant. The findings offer more insight into age-related problems, such as Alzheimer's disease. Both studies were supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Forman will continue his research this summer, focusing on three projects: understanding how differences in the expression of a particular enzyme increases human susceptibility to air pollution; studying how people with sickle cell trait may have a sickle cell crisis when doing severe exercise; and studying how cigarette smoke activates an enzyme that regulates changes in lung cancer cells that promote metastasis. The three projects are funded by the National Institutes of Health.
When you walk into 88-year-old Ahwatukee Foothills resident Albert Ortiz’s home it’s clear to see that he has a passion.
Ortiz graduated from the Music and Art High School in New York City and served in the U.S. Army for three-and-a-half years. In 1947, he studied at the Pratt Art College of Design and Illustration. After graduating, Ortiz took advanced courses in oil painting and worked at advertising agencies and art studios until he retired in 1990 and moved to Arizona.
His home-turned studio is filled with his artwork, most of which has a clear message: Don’t smoke.
Ortiz’s inspiration for his non-smoking artwork came to him back in 1979 when his favorite actor and idol, John Wayne, died from lung cancer. After doing some more research, Ortiz was inspired to paint. He made four 4-foot square paintings of famous people who died from using tobacco. The four paintings feature more than 200 celebrities and world leaders such as Jackie Gleason, Hubert Humphrey, Joe DiMaggio and Wayne.
“People die everyday,” Ortiz said. “Half a million people die each year from smoking-related cancers.”Another one of Ortiz’s oil paintings showcases Janet Sackman. Sackman modeled in the late 1940s for a cigarette company. She began smoking at the age of 17 at the request of a tobacco executive, and later developed throat cancer. Sackman had to have her larynx removed. Ortiz’s painting depicts Sackman holding up a piece of paper telling her tragic story.
“If you didn’t smoke you were a sissy,” said Ortiz, who took up smoking in 1943 when he was fighting in World War II. Ortiz said the soldiers were provided a free cigarette carton every two weeks. He quit smoking a year later at the request of his young daughter. This caused Ortiz to conduct research, read the Surgeon General’s report and learn more about the dangers of smoking.
To date Ortiz has completed 31 oil paintings in hopes of preventing people from smoking and getting those who smoke to quit. The time it takes him to complete these works depends on both the size and the subject. One painting can take him just a week to finish while others may require more than two months of planning and research.
Ortiz shows his artwork at local high schools so young teenagers will ultimately make the decision not to smoke.
“I want to help people and warn them,” Ortiz said. “People who could live to be 80 are dying at 60.”
In addition to showing his art at local high schools and colleges, Ortiz also works closely with Arizonans Concerned About Smoking (ACAS), a nonprofit organization that aims to educate the public about the hazards of tobacco use. His artwork was recently shown at the American Indian Prevention Coalition in Phoenix.
Ortiz’s paintings, however, are not limited to conveying a non-smoking message. He is currently working on a landscape portrait and is very interested in astronomy. He has 24 paintings that are not related to smoking. In addition to painting, Ortiz enjoys gardening and plays both the piano and the guitar.
Ortiz does not sell any of his non-smoking artwork. The more art that he is able to show, the stronger impression he feels he’s able to have on people.
“I want my paintings to attract attention and deliver a story.”
To view Ortiz’ artwork, visit http://nosmokingart.tripod.com.
Don't be fooled by tobacco myths, you can quit smoking. The number of smokers in California is down to 13.3 percent, but Lake County statistic are 17 percent. This results in higher rates of heart disease, hypertension and diabetes, than California as a whole. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the nation.
Most smokers want to quit, but do not know how to overcome their addiction and the persistent myths about tobacco use. Quitting smoking is a process that takes lots of practice and the knowledge that tobacco companies try to fool you all the time.
Myth: Tobacco use is just a bad habit.
Truth: Most smokers start smoking in their early teens not realizing that trying to look cool can lead to a lifetime of addiction. Nicotine reaches the brain faster that IV drug use and effects the same part of the brain as heroin. It gives you false feel good messages that only last a short time before you begin to crave more nicotine and smoke again.
Myth: Smoking helps me relax.
Truth: Many smokers think that lighting up helps them relax. That jittery and anxious feeling smokers have is tobacco withdrawal, which smokers often confuse with feeling stressed. Lighting up makes them feel better, not because the tobacco eases stress but because it's keeping the symptoms of withdrawal at bay by delivering the next dose of nicotine.
Myth: Switching to light' or menthol cigarettes will cut my risk.
Truth: Smokers who switch to brands labeled "light" or "menthol" compensate by inhaling smoke more deeply or by smoking more. This deceptive advertising practice is now banned, so now the tobacco companies use color codes to fool you into thinking a green package of smokes is more soothing.
Similarly, cigarettes labeled "natural" or "organic" are no safer than ordinary cigarettes. You don't need to add anything to tobacco for it to kill you. There are more than 4,000 chemical compounds in a burning cigarette and 60 of them are carcinogens. The truth is there is no safe tobacco.
Myth: I've smoked for so long; the damage is already done.
Truth: The damage caused by smoking is cumulative and the longer a person smokes, the greater the risk for life-threatening illness. But, you are never to old to quit smoking and to gain health benefits almost immediately.
Within 20 minutes your heart rate drops to normal and circulation improves. You will feel like you get more air, because you do. Within a year, your risk of having a heart attack will be cut by 50 percent. Your body will continue to heal.
Myth: I have tried to quit before, but withdrawal symptoms are overwhelming.
Truth: Tobacco withdrawal can be uncomfortable. But nicotine leaves the system in 72 hours and withdrawal symptoms get less intense and are farther apart every day. Knowing how to minimize withdrawal symptoms helps you know that the urge to smoke will pass in 10 minutes whether you smoke or not. When you understand that withdrawal is actually recovery its easier.
Myth: The weight gain that comes with quitting is just as unhealthy as smoking.
Truth: Smokers who quit smoking gain only 12 pounds unless they substitute one hand to mouth behavior for another. By eating healthier and exercising more before you quit you will not gain weight. But the risk posed by carrying the extra pounds is miniscule compared to the risk of continuing to smoke.
Myth: Cutting back on smoking is good enough.
Truth: Cutting down on the number of cigarettes you smoke is not an effective strategy if your goal is to end the cycle of tobacco addiction. Smokers who cut back draw more deeply and smoke more of each cigarette to compensate. Withdrawal remains unmanageable.
So even though you smoke fewer cigarettes, you keep the addiction alive. The data suggest that the only smoking cessation strategy that works consistently is to learn how to live without cigarettes as your new lifestyle.
I'm getting nervous....
At the triennial World Conference on Tobacco or Health, participants wore blue ribbons in solidarity with the millions of people who support smoke-free policies.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific created the campaign for the Region’s governments to recognize and acknowledge people and organizations working to implement the WHO Framework Convention provisions on smoke-free environments.
“Second-hand smoke is a serious health threat,” says Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific. “Each year around the world, second-hand smoke accounts for more than
600 000 deaths, including 168 000 children. The evidence is clear that second-hand smoke kills and that there is no safe level of exposure to it.”
At a session here on smoke-free policies, WHO called on governments to take life-saving action against second-hand smoke, citing research that even brief exposure can cause heart attacks.
In the Western Pacific, exposure to second-hand smoke is generally high, according to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). For example, in China 72.4% of nonsmokers have been exposed, and 38% are exposed daily. In Viet Nam, 49% of nonsmoking workers are exposed. In the Philippines, 36.9% of people who work indoors or outdoors in an enclosed area, were exposed at their workplace during the previous 30 days.
In Cambodia, more than half of adults live where smoking is allowed on a daily basis, according to the 2011 National Adult Tobacco Survey. And a study of nonsmokers in Seoul, Republic of Korea, found that 68% were exposed during a typical day.Youths also are highly exposed at home and in public places. In the Philippines, 64.8% were exposed in public places and 54.5% at home, according to a 2007 study. In Malaysia, 64.1% were exposed in public places and 48.7% at home, according to a 2009 study. In many Pacific island countries, the youth exposure rates are even higher. In Papua New Guinea, 86.4% were exposed in public places and 73.9% at home, according to a 2007 study. In Solomon Islands, 79.2% were exposed in public places, according to a 2008 study.
Internationally, public support for bans on indoor smoking is high. For example, in Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, public support for smoke-free environments increased after smoke-free legislation was enacted. In the Western Pacific, GATS shows that most adults support smoking bans in public settings, and it is estimated that 88% of youths favor bans on indoor smoking.
“Governments can accelerate awareness of the harms of second-hand smoke through media campaigns and by recognizing the good work that civil society is already doing,” Dr Shin says. “The blue-ribbon campaign aims to help the millions of nonsmokers who support smoke-free policies.”
For more information about the blue-ribbon campaign, visit:www.wpro.who.int
CINCINNATI—The negative health effects of early-life exposure to secondhand smoke appear to impact girls more than boys—particularly those with early-life allergic sensitization, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine.
If you’re a smoker, you probably know you should stop. That’s a good start toward quitting, but you need a powerful motivator to follow through. Knowing the truth about how smoking harms your health may be what it takes.
An alarming fact is that smoking affects nearly every part of your body, including your:
• Airways. Delicate tissues in your lungs become inflamed because of smoking. This can lead to serious disorders, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoking can also cause cancer to develop in your lungs, throat and mouth.
• Heart. Smoking harms the cells lining the blood vessels and heart and can increase the risk of clots that cause heart attacks. Smoking can also contribute to an abdominal aortic aneurysm — the weakening of the major artery near the stomach.
• Other blood vessels. Damage to vessel linings can cause them to narrow, restricting blood flow to the kidneys, stomach, arms, legs and feet. This can lead to a range of problems, including pain, kidney disease and gangrene leading to amputation.
• Brain. Blood clots that form in damaged arteries can travel to your brain and cause potentially fatal strokes.
• Bones and tendons. Smoking increases the risk for osteoporosis – weak bones – and fractures in both men and women. Overuse injuries, such as tendonitis, and traumatic injuries, such as sprains, are also more likely among smokers, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
• Immune system. Some of the cells that destroy germs in the body are less likely to be found in smokers than in nonsmokers. That leaves you more vulnerable to infections.
In addition, smoking can cause cancer of the pancreas, kidneys, cervix and stomach. It also can cause leukemia, which is cancer of the blood. And smoking increases your risk for eye diseases and dental problems.
Women who smoke tend to have more complications with pregnancy, including premature births, low-birth-weight babies and stillbirths. And their babies are more likely to die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome than babies whose mothers don’t smoke.
Turn your risks around:
There’s another list that’s much more encouraging – the benefits of giving up smoking. Check it out, along with the American Cancer Society’s guide to quitting smoking, at morehealth.org/quit4good.
Ask your doctor about the many options to help you quit smoking for good. When you quit, your health risks decrease immediately and continue to diminish over time, no matter how long you’ve smoked. The National Tobacco Quitline can also help you quit for good. Call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669).
A federal judge in north Alabama has set the first two trials stemming from more than 2,400 lawsuits filed nationwide against pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer over its stop-smoking product Chantix.
The United States Judicial Panel on Multistate Litigation consolidated the Chantix suits and assigned them to U.S. District Judge Inge Johnson.
Johnson has selected a few to be heard first. He has set a trial for Oct. 22 in a lawsuit filed by Duluth, Minn., resident July Ann Whitley over the suicide of her husband in November 2007.
Johnson set a Jan. 22, 2013, trial date for a suit by the estate of Sandra Corey, of Jacksonville, Ore., who died from a gunshot in July 2008.
Plaintiff attorney Kristian Rasmusssen told The Birmingham News ( http://bit.ly/GPxtGY) that they intend to show a link between the suicides and Chantix.
"They thought they were taking a safe medication that would help them stop smoking and live longer. Unfortunately, they committed suicide, and we expect the evidence to show Chantix caused it," he said.
Rasmussen is with the Birmingham-based law firm of Cory, Watson, Crowder and DeGaris, which is the lead plaintiff firm in the cases.
Pfizer issued a statement saying it stands by Chantix as a safe, effective treatment for adults who want to stop smoking. The company said it has been prescribed to 15 million smokers, including 8 million in the United States.
"Pfizer remains confident in the strong science demonstrating the safety and efficacy of Chantix," the company said.
While the first two cases deal with suicides, the vast majority of the more than 2,400 suits deal with other issues.
Johnson's order said the third case he will schedule for trial was filed by Billy Bedsole Jr. of Demopolis, who said he suffered insomnia, anxiety, severe depression and other health problems after taking Chantix.
A novel study suggests difficulties processing auditory stimuli, genetic factors and smoking are potential risk factors for schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia has long been known to be hereditary although researchers have been unable to determine the main gene responsible for the condition.
In order to study the genetic background of schizophrenia, the frequency of particular risk genes between healthy and ill people has mostly been compared until now. In a new study, researchers used electroencephalography (EEG) to study the processing of simple acoustic stimuli (a sequence of similar clicks).
When processing a particular stimulus, healthy people suppress the processing of other stimuli that are irrelevant to the task at hand. Patients with schizophrenia exhibit deficits in this kind of stimulus filtering and thus their brains may be inundated with too much information.
As psychiatrically healthy people also filter stimuli with varying degrees of efficiency, individual stimulus processing can be associated with particular genes.
In the current study, involving over 1,800 healthy participants from the general population, psychiatrist Dr. Georg Winterer and Boris Quednow, Ph.D., examined the relationship between acoustic stimulus filtering and a known risk gene for schizophrenia: the so-called “transcription factor 4″ gene (TCF4). TCF4 is a protein that plays a key role in early brain development.
As patients with schizophrenia often smoke, the scientists also studied the smoking habits of the test subjects.
In the study sample, investigators determined that psychiatrically healthy carriers of the TCF4 gene also filter stimuli less effectively – like people who suffer from schizophrenia.
Researchers discovered that smokers who carry the risk gene display a less effective filtering of acoustic impressions. This effect was all the more pronounced the more the people smoked.
Non-smoking carriers of the risk gene, however, did not process stimuli much worse. “Smoking alters the impact of the TCF4 gene on acoustic stimulus filtering,” said Quednow, explaining this kind of gene-environment interaction. “Therefore, smoking might also increase the impact of particular genes on the risk of schizophrenia.”
The results could also be significant for predicting schizophrenic disorders and for new treatment approaches, he said. ”Smoking should also be considered as an important cofactor for the risk of schizophrenia in future studies.”
A combination of genetic (e.g. TCF4), electrophysiological (stimulus filtering) and demographic (smoking) factors could help diagnose the disorder more rapidly or also define new, genetically more uniform patient subgroups.
You can't help feeling twinges of sympathy. You did smoke for 20 years, after all. You had an intimate knowledge of cigarettes - their toasty taste first thing in the morning, their comforting solidity between your fingers, their near-magic capacity to quell relentless yearnings that overpowered you whenever you went for too long without nicotine.
And you experienced first-hand the torture of quitting (several times, in fact), a memory that endures even after 28 years. Occasionally, you think of the cost, realizing that, had you maintained your habit at the same rate, you'd now be watching roughly $100 a week go up in toxic smoke. You'd be a pariah, too, banished to a butt-strewn patch in the rain or snow for every shivering cigarette break.
So you are not unmoved. When you see those smokers on television explaining why they are going after the tobacco industry - which they claim tricked them into smoking and therefore ruining their lives - you find yourself experiencing a slight frisson of something like sympathy.
But it's very, very slight. A landmark class-action suit against the Canadian tobacco industry got underway in Montreal last week, with a group representing almost two million Quebec smokers seeking damages of $27 billion. It claims the industry knowingly sold them harmful products and got them addicted, permanently and helplessly.
One 65-year-old lead plaintiff complained that she had tried to quit, but "it didn't work." Another, a 68-year-old with lung cancer and emphysema, chain-smoked through the interview, saying he couldn't quit, either.
Not their fault, it seems. Both started smoking when nobody, apparently, knew it was harmful. (Isn't memory strange? Generationally, these are my people. And yet I can't remember a time when I didn't know smoking was dumb.)
And while all eyes are on the Quebec case, provincial governments across the country, including Ontario, are pushing ahead with their ongoing efforts to sue the tobacco companies for smoking-related health-care costs. Everybody's going the legal route, it seems, ever since Big Tobacco in the United States was ordered in 1998 to pay out $206 billion.
Revenge is sweet, I guess. But do these slaps in the bad guy's face make any sense? Are they even right?
Don't misunderstand. I hate smoking. As a longtime nonsmoker now, I hate the smell and dirtiness. I hate the fact that it caused my father's protracted and painful death from emphysema, and that it probably contributed to my mother's death from lung cancer, contracted two full decades after she'd actually quit.
And I hate the tobacco industry, which has indisputably waged relentless campaigns over the years against initiatives to reduce smoking - i.e. cut into profits. Tobacco execs have been duplicitous, self-serving and dedicated to the promotion of their poison.
Personally, I'd put the whole death-dealing industry right out of business. Outlaw tobacco. Period.
And no, I don't think the resulting black market with unregulated product is reason enough not to do the right thing.
t's a question of principle. If government truly believes tobacco is nothing but injurious, as its legal initiatives suggest, then why does it allow its sale? How about some honesty? How about, "We're shutting you down because your product harms and kills?"
Oh. Wait a minute. Could it be that addiction thing again? In recent weeks, discussion has been heated on the subject of the Ontario government's plans to increase the problem gamblers in this province by adding more venues and more ways for more people to lose more money. Numerous observers have noted that the government, unwilling to dam up that rich (if unconscionable) revenue stream, has a gambling addiction all its own.
Well, it also has a tobacco addiction, one it shares with the feds. Buy a pack of cigarettes in Ontario, and - with provincial and federal tobacco taxes, as well as provincial and federal shares of the HST - more than 60 per cent of the cost goes to the government. In every other province except Quebec, the taxes are even higher.
That's an awful lot of money. That's a huge amount to go missing if, say, some politician with an attack of scruples illadvisedly suggested shutting down Big Tobacco.
So we won't hold our breath. But might we at least hope for modest reductions in the egregious double standards by which governments operate? "We think you're evil, and we plan to sue the pants off you," does not coexist rationally with "But how about that revenue stream you generate, eh?"
It's as jarring as hacking smokers lighting up and suggesting some unseen third party is sticking the thing in their mouths and forcing them to inhale.
The devil made us do it, addicts and governments keep saying about the tobacco industry, a most convenient devil. Instead, they might try taking a look in the mirror.
Janice Kennedy is an Ottawa freelancer and former writer for the Ottawa Citizen.
In a piece of good news for public health officials, a new study based on a Yale model shows that tobacco control initiatives have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
Anti-smoking campaigns and policies prevented almost 800,000 lung cancer deaths in 25 years, according to a study published March 14 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The researchers estimate that without anti-smoking policies, which began in the 1950s, an additional 552,000 men and 243,000 women would have died from lung cancer between 1975 and 2000. But scientists say further policies and awareness campaigns are needed to eliminate tobacco-induced deaths.
"The study shows that tobacco control strategies have saved lives in the United States," said Theodore Holford GRD '73, co-author of the study and professor of public health and statistics at Yale. "The proportion of deaths that were averted is about 30 percent of those that could have been."
The Yale team was one of six research groups that developed independent models to quantify the impact of changes in smoking behaviors on lung cancer mortality rates in the United States. The researchers reconstructed the smoking histories for individuals born between 1890 and 1970 and used that data to analyze the association between smoking and lung cancer deaths.
Combining the results of the models, the study determined that had everyone quit smoking following the Surgeon General's first report on smoking in 1964, over 2.5 million lung cancer deaths could have been prevented. As it was, 32 percent of those 2.5 million deaths were prevented. The study reported that by 2000, the lung cancer death prevention rate — representing the number of lives saved over the number that could be saved if everyone stopped smoking — had reached 44 percent.
Holford attributed this acceleration to the success of anti-tobacco efforts, such as advertisements that discourage the consumption of tobacco products by children.
"The estimates in this study are very important to show what we can accomplish [with interventions]," said Kenneth Warner GRD '74, professor of public health at the University of Michigan. "People tend to assume that the smoking problem has been taken care of, but we have close to a fifth of adults still smoking today."
Warner added that taxes on tobacco products, laws that create smoke-free spaces and educational media campaigns are the three most effective anti-smoking interventions.
Last Monday, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) launched a $54 million, 12-week national anti-tobacco advertising campaign called "Tips from Former Smokers."
The campaign features people who are living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities, such as 57-year-old Annette who smoked for over 30 years and had a lung removed after being diagnosed with lung cancer at age 52.
"Although they may be tough to watch, the ads show real people living with real, painful consequences from smoking," CDC Director Thomas Frieden said in a March 15 press release. "There is sound evidence that supports the use of these types of hard-hitting images and messages to encourage smokers to quit, to keep children from ever beginning to smoke, and to drastically reduce the harm caused by tobacco."
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and is expected to kill over 160,000 Americans in 2012, according to a January report released by the American Cancer Society.
The latest facts and figures from the all of the most influential medical journals; newspapers; and health, fitness, and wellness websites.
The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday it will not hear an appeal by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co in a Florida case in which it was ordered to pay $28.3 million to a woman whose husband died of lung cancer after decades of smoking its cigarettes.
The justices refused an appeal by the Reynolds American Inc unit, which argued that its constitutional due process rights had been violated and that the issue could affect thousands of pending cases in Florida against tobacco companies.
In 2009, a state trial court in Pensacola, Florida, ordered Reynolds to pay more than $3.3 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages to Mathilde Martin.
Her husband, Benny Martin, died in 1995 of lung cancer that she blamed on his long-time smoking of Reynolds' Lucky Strike cigarettes.
The jury found that Reynolds was 66 percent responsible for his death and that Martin, who started smoking in the 1940s before cigarette packages had health warnings, was 34 percent responsible.
The lawsuit stemmed from the so-called "Engle progeny" cases filed against tobacco companies by sick Florida smokers or their relatives. A class-action lawsuit filed in 1994 by a pediatrician, the late Dr. Howard Engle, produced a $145 billion judgment against cigarette makers six years later.
The Florida Supreme Court overturned the Engle award in 2006 and ruled that the state's smokers could not sue as a class.
But it allowed them to sue individually and upheld the trial jury's findings that smoking causes disease, that nicotine is addictive, that cigarettes are defective and dangerous, and that tobacco companies concealed the health effects of smoking.
In its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, R.J. Reynolds argued the state court in the Martin case precluded litigation of issues that had not been necessarily decided during the Engle proceedings, violating its due process rights.
The tobacco companies have been ordered to pay more than $375 million in 60 of the cases arising from the Engle litigation, Reynolds said. Trial dates have been set for 75 more suits for this year.
The Supreme Court case is R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co v. Mathilde Martin, No. 11-754.
Drop in and take all you want!
Do Graphic Ads help your Quititude? I really want to know what the EX Community thinks! Thanks for your participation!
By: JOHN RAILEY | Winston-Salem Journal
When you're smoking, you cling to myths, including the one about somebody's relative who smoked every day and lived to be 90.
I can see through that psychological haze now, having quit smoking four years ago. The dangers, acknowledged even by the cigarette companies, are obvious. With the self-righteous zeal of the reformed, I'm for anything to get others to quit and to curb the secondhand smoke I'm still forced to inhale.
But I find it hard to get behind the FDA's push to mandate graphic images for cigarette packages and advertisements, including photos of sewn-up cadavers. That government intrusion on a legal product may well be unconstitutional, as one court decision on the matter seems to have said.
Just as important as the constitutional question is another one: Will the graphic labels even be effective? An FDA study found that although the labels may stir the smokers' emotions, the Journal's Richard Craver reported, the labels might not cause smokers to quit. That's not surprising.
Many of us took up smoking in the first place as a rebellious act in our teens. It wasn't rebellious at all, really, considering that most of our elders smoked and the cigarette industry was a backbone of our economy. But it felt rebellious, and the feeling stayed, especially as government taxes shot up the cost of our smokes and we smokers were segregated first to special rooms in our office buildings and homes, and finally kicked outside.
Four years after quitting, I still relish those outside jaunts with new friends I made and old friends I got to know better. We joked about being pariahs. Pariahs against the wind.
We'd vow to keep on smoking, no matter what the government threw at us. Smokers are still rebelling. As some local ones told Craver, they'd just buy cigarette cases to store their smokes in so they wouldn't have to look at the graphic images. I'd probably do the same thing if I was still smoking. Denial is a big part of the smoker's psyche, or it was at least for me.
As a smoker, I'd get the creeps when I visited friends and family in the hospital. I'd think about how smoking could land me there. But then I'd dismiss the thought, remembering those stories about the daily smokers who lived to be 90, forgetting what I knew about friends and family killed by cigarettes. I'd tell myself that my cigarette-roughened voice was cool, that even my smoker's hack had character. Smoking eased my nerves and kept me thin. I suspect I wasn't the only smoker sustained by such warped thinking.
Smokers may be weak in their inability to quit, but they're strong in their resistance to anti-smoking forces. My general-practice doctor finally got me to stop. After his warnings didn't get through to me during each annual physical, he finally hooked me up to a machine that measured my lung capacity. It said I had the capacity of a 96-year-old.
We need more efforts like that, more education in schools and churches, more chipping away in general at the smoking culture to change attitudes. If we can scare our children away from ever smoking, good.
But it's hard to see how government scare tactics leveled at adult smokers will do much good. The dangers touted by do-gooders are overrated, many of those rebels will say. Or at least that's what I'd say if I was still smoking.
A major research trial to test whether extra support for smokers calling an NHS quitline - on top of what is already offered by the service - has found the additional help does not improve success rates for quitting the habit.
The pilot scheme offered smokers additional help in the form of free nicotine patches and extra telephone counselling from the English National Quitline. The Department of Health and UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies (UKCTCS)-funded study led by The University of Nottingham's UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies has just been published in the online version of the British Medical Journal.
The work was carried out to establish whether the tried and tested support from the quitline could be improved to help more people stop smoking. The trial also examined whether the offer of free nicotine replacement therapy made to quitline callers increases the numbers of smokers who give up for good.
Leading the study, Professor Tim Coleman of UKCTCS, said: "This important trial has shed useful light on how telephone quitlines can be used to help smokers wanting to quit. I think the results highlight just how hard it is for most people to break their addiction to tobacco and just how powerful and damaging a drug this is. On the basis of this study, giving out free nicotine patches and more intensive telephone counselling through the English national quitline just doesn't seem to work. It brings into sharp relief the need to find other ways of using quitlines help smokers give up and so to reduce the terrible effects smoking has on people's lives and the costly burden to the NHS."
Smoking remains the single most important avoidable cause of illness and death and research into smoking cessation is a top public health priority in the UK. This latest study by UKCTCS set out to compare the effectiveness of a package of extra support offered to smokers with the standard support offered through the English NHS Smoking Helpline.
The researchers carried out a parallel four group (2x2), randomised controlled trial among 2,591 non-pregnant smokers who called the English NHS smoking helpline between February 2009 and February 2010. Each smoker was randomly assigned to one of four groups:
The proactive groups were contacted by counsellors before their agreed quit date, on the day itself, and then at 3,7,14 and 21 days after quitting. Counsellors were trained to use specially designed motivational interviewing techniques which were tailored to each stage of the quitting process. The support closely monitored the two proactive groups' progress, and offered counselling, encouragement and congratulations.
Trial follow up was carried out by a market research company who were blind to treatment allocations. They collected data by telephone at one and six months after quit dates. The primary outcome was self-reported, prolonged abstinence from smoking from the quit date to six months. Lapses of no more than five cigarettes in that period were allowed. Prolonged abstinence from the quit date and one month was also monitored with the same lapses permitted.
Analysis of the substantial bank of data recorded during the trial showed that at six months after quitting 18.9 per cent of the 59 per cent of participants who were contacted said they had managed not to smoke. Those whom the researchers were not able to contact were assumed to be smoking. Nearly 80 per cent of these agreed to give a breath test for carbon monoxide to validate their claim and 80 per cent of the tests proved they had quit successfully. Crucially no significant difference in success rates was observed between quit rates in the standard and proactive counselling groups or between those offered and not offered, NRT.
At one month after quit date higher follow-up rates were achieved (65.3 per cent of participants were contacted) but even with more complete data and the higher overall quit rates at one month (40.1 per cent), no significant differences were detected between the different intervention groups.
Overall the study has concluded that offering free nicotine patches or proactive counselling to smokers calling the English national smoking quitline was no more effective than the standard reactive quitline support which is currently on offer through the NHS. Quitlines can reach large numbers of smokers who are highly motivated to stop smoking . Consequently, future research needs to test other methods of providing cessation support to quitline callers so the most effective ways using quitlines can be discovered.
Scotland is continuing to gain the health benefits from the smoking ban introduced exactly six years ago, according to an anti-smoking charity.
Legislation outlawing smoking in enclosed public places, such as pubs, restaurants and almost all workplaces, came into force in Scotland on March 26, 2006.
The law was introduced to protect people from the health risks of passive smoking, and is enforced by local environmental health officers, who have the power to enter all no-smoking premises to make sure the law is being complied with.
Ash Scotland said the ban has proved popular among smokers and non-smokers with 83% of adults supporting it, including almost half of adult smokers. The charity also said health figures, such as a reduction in the rate of child asthma admissions by 18% per year since the ban, support its implementation.
There has also been a fall from 25.4% pre-ban to 18.8% in the number of mothers who smoke, according to research.Ash Scotland chief executive Sheila Duffy said: "Six years on we can clearly see how Scotland's smoke-free law is benefiting people. That law was opposed by the tobacco industry who sought to delay and derail it, much as they are doing with current legislation.
"Tobacco smoke is a toxic substance and poses a threat to health, particularly to children's health. We need to continue to strive for people's right to breathe clean air."
Earlier this month a study showed that complications in pregnancy have fallen as a result of the ban. Researchers found there had been a decrease in the number of babies being born before they reached full term and a reduction in the number of infants being born underweight.
The research team, led by Professor Jill Pell of the University of Glasgow's Institute of Health and Wellbeing, looked at more than 700,000 single-baby births before and after the introduction of the ban.
Dr Pell said: "These reductions occurred both in mothers who smoked and those who had never smoked. While survival rates for pre-term deliveries have improved over the years, infants are still at risk of developing long-term health problems so any intervention that can reduce the risk of pre-term delivery has the potential to produce important public health benefits."
A team of researchers led by A. K. Rajasekaran, PhD, Director of the Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research, has shown that a key protein involved in cell function and regulation is stopped by a substance present in cigarette smoke. Their work is published online in the American Journal of Physiology -- Lung Cell and Molecular Physiology.
Cigarette smoke is well recognized as a cause of lung cancer and is associated with many other forms of cancer in adults. Cigarette smoke has more than 4,000 components, many of which are linked to the development and progression of lung cancer. Evidence has shown secondhand smoke to be as dangerous as primary smoke due to its impact on the cells of the body.
In the study, the authors found a cancer-causing agent called reactive oxygen species (ROS) present in the gaseous phase of cigarette smoke that has the ability to inhibit normal cell function. Exposure to the secondhand smoke produced by as little as two cigarettes was found to almost completely stop the function of a cell's sodium pump within a few hours.
In normal cells, the sodium pump plays a critical role transporting potassium into the cell and sodium out of the cell. The competence of the cell's sodium pump, i.e., its inability to regulate sodium, is predictive of cell damage, disease progression and ultimately, survival."This is critical information with regard to secondhand smoke," said Dr. Rajasekaran. "We now know that one need not inhale the particulate matter present in secondhand smoke to suffer the consequence of smoking. Exposure to the gaseous substance alone, which you breathe while standing near a smoker, is sufficient to cause harm."
Dr. Lee Goodglick, Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UCLA, and co-senior author of the study, noted, "Few reliable lung cancer biomarkers that could predict survival, treatment options or response to therapy exist today. Even fewer have been recognized where the function of the biomarker is known, yielding important information about the mechanism of action. This study really accomplishes both."
This research is the latest finding in the compendium of evidence that supports protecting children from exposure to cigarette smoke. Excessive exposure to cigarette smoke during childhood can facilitate lung cancer development as children grow into adults.
While more research is needed to understand the consequences of sodium pump inhibition by cigarette smoke, this study reveals that secondhand smoke may be even more dangerous than previously thought.
People believe that smoking kills, but that’s only part of the story; smoking also disables, disfigures and robs smokers of their independence.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched the “Tips from Former Smokers” national tobacco education ad campaign that depicts the harsh reality of illness and damage real people suffer as a result of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.
In these ads, former smokers bravely expose their smoking-related disabilities in advertisements that have begun to run in New Hampshire and will air from March to June. The former smokers in these ads will show you the reality. We must address tobacco use for what it really is: an addiction that causes suffering and death.
Every hour, the tobacco industry spends $1 million to market and promote their products. Their goal is to make smoking look glamorous, sexy and mature.
This is far from the reality. The “Tips” campaign shows smoking in its true light – what physicians like me have seen in their offices. Reality is emphysema, heart attacks, amputations, cancer and lost voice boxes.
Studies conducted by the international scientific community conclude that the most effective counter tobacco advertisements are those that feature emotionally charged messages showing the effects of long-term tobacco use and that also provide information on how to quit.
Bringing these messages to the public is vital if we intend to save people from the devastation of more tobacco-related death and disease. Now is the time to quit.
My dad, Neil, had been a smoker for 50 years. He’d started taking oxygen in 1996 but the gravity of his emphysema didn’t dawn on me. In 1999, he had the most diseased parts of his lungs removed. In 2002, aged 67, he was told he had six months to live.
I had been laid off from my job as an animator. I said I’d move to California and take care of him, not knowing what I’d let myself in for. I stayed with him until he passed away in May 2003. I didn’t realise how hard it was going to be.
He had two sides to him. He was a successful architect with clients who adored him. He built some of the most celebrated houses in my home town and had a street named after him when he passed away. But on a personal level, he was always working so wasn’t around. He and my mother divorced when I was eight. He decided he didn’t want to force visits on his children – he thought if we wanted to see him we’d ask but he never invited us, which we thought meant he didn’t want to see us. He was very remote. Moving in with him was interesting because he was still a remote figure. Living with him for his last six months changed how we interacted with each other.
A typical day would mean I’d get up at 5.30am. Sleeping for him was difficult. He’d sleep on a reclining sofa because lying down made him feel he was suffocating. I’d count out his pills – 20 each morning and evening. I’d make him breakfast and 12 to 15 times a day, he’d have breathing treatments. He’d use a nebuliser and take pills and each time I’d have to sterilise the apparatus. In between he’d read or watch daytime TV. I started drawing little comic book vignettes about what was happening to us. Then I’d do lunch, buy groceries, do dinner, more pills, then put him to bed. The nurse visited twice a week, a carer helped bathe him three times a week and the doctor came once a fortnight.
A month before he died, my sister said: ‘I wonder how long this is going to go on?’ Then she realised what she’d said. It’s bizarre. You’re sitting around waiting for something to happen but you don’t want it to happen. The interminable circumstances send you a bit mad. Waiting was the hardest part.
He’d defined himself by his work. He no longer had the energy to work, so had to turn his focus to other things. He’d always loved me but didn’t understand my interests. He got a little freaked out when I told him I was drawing a comic about us but one day he shuffled over to my desk, saw I’d drawn him as a rhinoceros-headed character and was delighted. He kept asking to see the next page.
Because he had to put his work aside, it meant he focused more on our relationship. There’s nothing worse than dealing with the death of a loved one but the blessing was we knew what was coming. If someone dies in an accident, you don’t have the chance to have those conversations.
It was a watershed experience in my life. Things I was worried about before became irrelevant and it made me think about who I wanted to be and how I treat people. Of course, I’d rather still have my dad here.
Things To Do In A Retirement Home Trailer Park (Myriad Editions) is out now. www.trailerparkbook.com
Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/lifestyle/893693-animator-reflects-on-fathers-death-in-things-to-do-in-a-retirement-home#ixzz1pl9vnsvj
Self-control is getting alot of attention these days, as managing emotions, behaviors and desires is integral to improving health behaviors and controlling stress.
But self-control is a resource that can be exhausted. And paradoxically, researchers are learning that for smokers, smoking can be a means by which they regain their sense of self-control.
In a new study, researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center exposed a test group and a control group — totaling 132 nicotine-dependent smokers — to an emotional video depicting environmental damage.
One group in the study expressed their natural emotional reactions (no depletion of self-control) while the second group suppressed their responses (self-control depletion).
Half of the participants in each group were subsequently allowed to smoke a cigarette. Everyone then was asked to complete a frustrating task that required self-control.
“Our goal was to study whether tobacco smoking affects an individual’s self-control resources,” said lead author Bryan W. Heckman, M.A.
“We hypothesized that participants who underwent a self-control depletion task would demonstrate less persistence on behavioral tasks requiring self-control as compared to those with self-control intact, when neither group was allowed to smoke.
“However, we also hypothesized that we would not find this performance decrement among participants who were permitted to smoke.”
Study results supported the benefits of smoking to restore self-control.
“We found that smoking did have a restorative effect on an individual’s depleted self-control resources,” said Heckman. “Moreover, smoking restored self-control, in part, by improving smokers’ positive mood.”
Investigators believe self-control is a limited resource that acts like a muscle — expending self-control on a task has the short-term effect of depleting the resource, making it more difficult to engage in another task that requires self-control.
While nicotine has been found to enhance performance on a variety of cognitive activities, such as motor abilities, attention and memory, this study was the first to evaluate the effects of smoking on self-control.
Study results suggest the desire to restore depleted self-control may contribute to a smoker’s addiction to tobacco.
“Smoking is obviously a maladaptive way to restore self-control,” said study co-author Thomas H. Brandon, Ph.D. “Finding other ways to relax or enhance one’s mood would be much healthier alternatives. In fact, even raising glucose level — perhaps by consuming a sugary drink — has been shown to restore self-control.”
Researchers believe learning alternative methods to restore self-control are essential for smokers wanting to quit or reduce their tobacco dependency.
The authors concluded that smoking cessation treatments would benefit by further research aimed at identifying how smoking restores self-control, as well as identifying additional alternative strategies for strengthening or restoring self-control.
The study is in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- An oral cancer survivor visited Annapolis on Tuesday with a mission: show lawmakers how tobacco ruined his life.
Gruen von Behrens said he decided to get in the face of legislators arriving to work to make a point words alone could not. He wants them to see -- up close and personal -- what tobacco use did to him.
The 34-year-old Illinois native said he wants the General Assembly to increase the tobacco tax on little cigars, premium cigars and smokeless tobacco to 70 percent, the same level as the tax rate on cigarettes.
on Behrens' appearance alone made a very strong impression. It's one thing to hear about something, but quite another to see it for yourself, 11 News reporter David Collins said.
"(At) 13 and 17, tobacco was the game. I had no idea that tobacco could do this to me," von Behrens said.
Von Behrens, whose speech is slurred as a result of his cancer treatment, had to have half of his tongue removed, in addition to another radical surgery that removed half of his neck muscles.
"Tobacco is tobacco is tobacco, and I believe having a lower tax on some tobaccos and a higher tax on the smoking tobaccos, that's basically representative of saying this is a safe alternative, when it is not," von Behrens said.
Von Behrens said he began chewing tobacco to "fit in" at the age of 13, and that he quickly became addicted.
Three years later, he noticed a white spot on the side of his tongue where he kept his tobacco dip. At 17, cancer split his tongue in half and it spread. Doctors gave him a 20 percent chance of survival.
"Other teens worry about the prom or the next baseball game. I had to worry about saving my life," von Behrens said. "My mom (was warning) me, 'Don't use tobacco,' and I was using it behind her back. When she found out that I got sick, it broke her heart. It hurt her, but it hurt me more seeing how my mother reacted."
According to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, almost as many high school children smoke cigars as they do cigarettes. The DHMH figures also indicate 8.4 percent of high school boys surveyed said they use smokeless tobacco products.
Officials have blamed the low cost of cigar marketing, saying some products are marketed as bubble-gum flavored.
"If you think you're having a bad day, you aren't. Take a look at this face and tell me about a bad day," von Behrens said.
The Senate already agreed to increase the tax on cigars and smokeless products, and a House committee has voted in favor of an increase. Advocates said neither proposal goes far enough.
Read more: http://www.wbaltv.com/politics/30725818/detail.html#ixzz1pl1w6XPb
This statistic shows why smoking is not just the Addict's Business! It's everybody's business! Get involved - protect the innocent children in your Community! Think about it this way - 1000 innocent people in your state died last year due to other people's "right to smoke!" Does that really make any sense to you?What about these folks RIGHT TO LIVE???
(Reuters) - Tobacco-related deaths have nearly tripled in the past decade and big tobacco firms are undermining public efforts that could save millions, a report led by the health campaign group the World Lung Foundation (WLF) said on Wednesday.
In the report, marking the tenth anniversary of its first Tobacco Atlas, the WLF and the American Cancer Society said if current trends continue, a billion people will die from tobacco use and exposure this century - one person every six seconds.
Tobacco has killed 50 million people in the last 10 years, and tobacco is responsible for more than 15 percent of all male deaths and 7 percent of female deaths, the new Tobacco Atlas report found. (www.tobaccoatlas.org)
In China, tobacco is already the number one killer - causing 1.2 million deaths a year - and that number is expected to rise to 3.5 million a year by 2030, the report said.
That is part of a broader shift, with smoking rates in the developed world declining but numbers growing in poorer regions, said Michael Eriksen, one of the report's authors and director of the Institute of Public Health at Georgia State University.
"If we don't act, the projections for the future are even more morbid. And the burden of death caused by tobacco is increasingly one of the developing world, particularly Asia, the Middle East and Africa," he said in an interview.
Almost 80 percent of people who die from tobacco-related illnesses now come from low- and middle-income countries. In Turkey, 38 percent of male deaths are from smoking-related illnesses, though smoking also remains the biggest killer of American women too.
WLF's chief executive Peter Baldini accused the tobacco industry of thriving on ignorance about the true effect of smoking and "misinformation to subvert health policies that could save millions".
The report said the industry had stepped up its fight against anti-tobacco policies, launching legal challenges and seeking to delay or stop the introduction of plain packaging, legislation banning smoking in public places, advertising bans and health warnings on packets.
The world's six biggest tobacco firms made $35.1 billion in profits in 2010 - equal to the combinedearnings of Coca-Cola, Microsoft and McDonald's, the report said.
Smoking causes lung cancer as well as several other chronic pulmonary diseases and is a major risk factor in heart disease, the world's number one killer.
More than 170 countries have signed up to a World Health Organization-led convention committing them to cut smoking rates, limiting exposure to second-hand smoke, and curbing tobacco advertising and promotion.
WHO director general Margaret Chan said thanks in part to that convention, 1.1 billion people have in the past two years become covered by at least one measure designed to curb tobacco use. She added, however, that the battle was far from over and urged more countries to fight the industry.
"We must never allow the tobacco industry to get the upper hand," she said in a foreword to the report. "Tobacco is a killer. It should not be advertised, subsidized or glamorized."
The menace of tobacco use across the world came to the fore Tuesday as delegates to the 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) were told that tobacco-related diseases kill about 5.4m people annually.
Speaking to journalists shortly before the opening of the conference, Mr. Matt Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said a substantial part of this number were second-hand smokers, among them children.
He urged governments around the world to implement the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Article 5.3 whose guidelines were approved in 2008 to protect their people from the tobacco multinationals.
The Article provides for the protection of public health policies with respect to tobacco control from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry.
Myers maintained that there was a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco industry's interests and public health policy interests.
Speaking at the opening ceremony in the presence of some of the world's leaders, Health Minister of Singapore, Gan Kim Yong, said the meeting was a major milestone in the fight against smoking in the country.
Yong said that Singapore, as a signatory to the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, was keen to establish, engage and support local, regional and international partnerships for tobacco control.
"The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced. It kills nearly six million people a year. This is why tobacco control is one of the top priorities in Singapore's public health efforts. We believe the linkages formed through this important platform of WCTOH 2012 will enable diverse groups to come together to take a collective stand against tobacco and save more lives," he said.
Present at the opening ceremony were Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organisation; Dr Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General, Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Health Ministers and national representatives from ASEAN, Australia, Fiji, Norway, Russia, Turkey and the USA; as well as renowned technical experts Prof Judith Mackay, Prof Sir Richard Peto and Dr. Prakash C Gupta.
This will be the first time the Conference is hosted in Southeast Asia, and about 2,600 international delegates and policy-makers from 100 countries are participating.
"Singapore is the first in the world to impose duty-paid marking on cigarettes to counter-illicit trade, the first in Asia to make graphic health warnings mandatory and also a global forerunner in having a comprehensive smoke-free ban," said Mr. Ang Hak Seng, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore's Health Promotion Board (HPB).
Organisers said this year's conference theme, "Towards a Tobacco-Free World: Planning Globally, Acting Locallyâ€Ã Â¸, is strategically focused on planning and coordination of multi-sectoral tobacco control efforts at the international level, while customising local policies and programmes to suit the unique requirements of individual countries.
In a keynote address, Dr Chan said the tobacco industry is engaged in an all- out effort to subvert tobacco control laws: "Tactics aimed at undermining anti-tobacco campaigns, and subverting the WHO FCTC were no longer covert or cloaked by an image of corporate social responsibility.
They are out in the open and they are extremely aggressive. We can, and must, stop this industry's massive contribution to sickness and death."
Also speaking at a workshop for journalists, Mr. Bode Oluwafemi of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), said as the tobacco control measures gathers momentum, the industry has escalated efforts at undermining control legislations.
Oluwafemi said that since the west had imposed heavy taxes on tobacco aimed at reducing consumption, the tobacco multinationals have turned their searchlight on African countries with aggressive marketing to recruit smokers.
He urged African countries especially, Nigeria, not to sign off the future of their youths by refusing to pass tobacco control legislations that would have substantially reduced the number of people likely to pick the habit.
He said the danger of tobacco is that passive smokers (second-hand) are as affected by the dangers of the epidemic as well as the smokers themselves.
WCTOH is one of the world's most prestigious platforms on tobacco control, where the best and most dedicated experts and leaders congregate for debate, exchange of perspectives and overall pursuit of greater solidarity against tobacco use.
The overall objectives of WCTOH according to the organisers are to: provide a platform to build countries' capacity in tobacco control through the sharing of best practices, experiences, knowledge and research; Strengthen the next generation of tobacco control advocates through a youth pre-conference and the participation of youth delegates at the main conference and renew the commitment to fight the global tobacco epidemic through the conference declaration.
I have always loved Spring! I love the fabulous smell in the air. I love the fact that the grass and trees finally turn green again. I love taking long walks and watching all the wildlife coming out of their winter hiding places. I love the baby animals. I love the bluer than blue skies. i love drinking in the sunshine. I love opening the windows and letting in clean, fresh air. I love getting out the clothes I haven't seen since October. I love the feeling of rebirth! I love the Easter Holiday!
All of these things are simple pleasures that I could not enjoy as a smoker! For me, Spring became a time of coughing and breathlessness! I couldn't go for those long lingering walks because I didn't have the stamina! I opened the windows but couldn't purge my home or my clothes of the musty smell of third hand smoke. I was too busy smoking outside to notice the grass, trees and sky. It's just not the same to contemplate rebirth and salvation when you're killing yourself puff after puff!
Salvation is intricately tied to FREEDOM - FREEDOM from sin, FREEDOM from slavery! And now, FREEDOM from Addiction! Spring will always be tied to my Salvation from the slavery of Nicotine Addiction! Of all the days on the calendar, the first day of Spring is the most EXcellent day I could DECIDE on! I'm FREE! Smoke FREE is the Way to BE!
Hi, folks! I found this on whyquit.com and that's why I chose March 20 as my quit date! maybe you will too!
To emerge and arise, spring, the season of birth can be the greatest period of personal awakening a smoker has ever known. Nicotine dependency is a brain "want" disease. The "want" felt for that next cigarette is born of slavery not choice. Feed the "want" and bondage continues. Say "no" and the process of rebirth can at last begin, a slow yet steady bloom into entire days where never once do we want for nicotine.
Try recalling what it was like before getting hooked, the beauty of going days, weeks, and months without once wanting to smoke? Can you remember the calm and quiet mind you once called home? If honest, the answer is no, you can't. None of us could. That's what drug addiction is all about, about quickly burying all memory of the comfort we left behind.
The mind's want circuitry, its dopamine pathways, were designed to assure our survival, to create "want" for food and water. Nicotine de-sensitized our dopamine pathway receptors, which in turn caused our brain to grow millions of extra receptors. A vicious cycle, one cigarette, two, three per day then four, the more we smoked, the more receptors nicotine numbed, and the more that were needed. Soon, any attempt to stop brought potential for an emotional train wreck that takes up to 3 days to peak in intensity and up to 3 weeks before the sensitivity and number of receptors return to normal.
Want for food, want for nicotine. The difference is that without food we die, while without nicotine we thrive. Recovery is a temporary journey of re-adjustment that transports us home.
Nicotine addiction is about living a lie. Hijacked "want" pathways pound home the falsehoods that smoking nicotine defines who we are, gives us our edge, helps us cope and that life without it would be horrible. Lies, all lies. In fact, within 2-3 weeks we discover that everything we did while nicotine's slave can be done as well as or better without it.
Although we each invented a long list of reasons to explain why we'd smoke that next cigarette, there was really only one reason. We did so because we had to, because a rising tide of anxieties would begin to hurt if we didn't.
There was always only one nicotine dependency recovery rule determining the outcome for all. It's called the Law of Addiction and it states, "Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance." Like the alcoholic taking a sip, just one puff of nicotine and all our healing gets flushed like a toilet. "One is too many, a thousand never enough."
Studies show that just one puff and within ten seconds up to 50% of the brain's "want" pathway receptors become occupied by nicotine. While most walk away from relapse feeling like they've gotten away with smoking just once, it isn't long before their brain is soon begging for more. There was always only one rule, no nicotine just one hour, challenge and day at a time.
Freedom is our birthright. A spring recovery means that by summer we can begin experiencing entire days where we never once want to smoke nicotine. After the first such day, they become more and more common, until they become our new sense of normal.
As I'm sure you've heard, smoking costs half of adult male smokers an average of 13 years of life and female smokers an average of 14 years. For each of the five million smokers claimed by nicotine addiction this year, 20 others are suffering from a smoking related disease. Smoke's more than 3,500 chemical particles, 500 gases and 43 cancer causing chemicals destroy additional cells and tissues with each and every puff. Smoking truly is a brain priorities "want" disease that had us committing slow suicide.
It isn't that we loved or liked smoking but that we didn't like what happened when we didn't smoke, up to 72 hours to empty the body of nicotine and reach peak withdrawal.
While it felt like nicotine relieved stress, truth is, all nicotine relieved was its own absence. You see, stress, alcohol and vitamin C are each acid events that cause the alkaloid nicotine to more quickly be removed from the bloodstream. The more stressed we became, the greater the urge to replenish. But once we satisfied our addiction the underlying stressful problem remained. If the car's tire was flat it was still flat. One of recovery's best gifts is an amazing sense of calm during crisis, as we are no longer adding nicotine withdrawal to it.
Imagine a spring awakening where we discover that years of fears about coming home were unwarranted, that even the love in our heart, we get to bring it with us. Imagine lots of extra time, money, improved breathing, enhanced smell and taste, fewer root canals, less hair and vision loss, and a permanent end to ash and the stink. Most of all, imagine not dying by our own hand, of enjoying up to 5,000 extra sunrises.
A few quick tips. Don't skip meals (especially breakfast) and if your diet allows, drink natural fruit juices the first three days. Eating little and often will stabilize blood sugar levels, reducing or eliminating a host of needless symptoms. If concerned about weight gain, consider fruits and vegetables as healthier alternatives or a temporary increase in daily activities.
If a heavy caffeine drinker, you need to know that nicotine doubled the rate by which caffeine was removed from the body. If feeling anxious or jittery consider cutting daily caffeine intake by up to one-half.
Remember, crave episodes are good not bad. See each as an announcement that you are about to be rewarded with the return of another aspect of life, the destruction of a time, place, person, activity or emotion smoking cue during which you had conditioned your subconscious mind to expect a new supply of nicotine. While crave episodes are less than three minutes, time distortion is normal during early recovery, so be sure and look at a clock. The number of crave episodes usually peaks by day three and is down to about one per day by day ten.
Take a few minutes to write down your reasons for wanting to stop, carry them with you and read them during moments of challenge. Also, try not to be afraid during craves as its like pouring fuel on a fire. Instead, fully embrace each as they cannot cut, hurt or harm you. It will soon be over and you'll be rewarded with return of another piece of a nicotine-free life.
How and when to begin? Contrary to pharmaceutical industry brain washing, each year more long-term ex-smokers succeed by quitting cold turkey than by all other methods combined. As for when, as strange as this may sound, two recent studies found that unplanned attempts are twice as likely to succeed as planned ones.
Why allow a mountain of needless anticipation fears and anxieties to build and fester when there has will never be a better moment to reclaim your freedom than here and now?
Knowledge is power. It allows us to become vastly smarter than our addiction is strong. Visit WhyQuit.com to download free stop smoking books, watch free counseling videos or visit Freedom from Nicotine, our free online support group. Remember, spring will birth freedom so long as no nicotine enters the body. There was always only one rule that if followed provides a 100% guarantee of success to all, no nicotine just one hour, challenge and day at a time.
Truckin', I'm a goin' home! Whoa, whoa, Baby, back where I belong,
Back home, sit down and patch my bones, and get back truckin' on.
Hey now, get back truckin' home....What a long, strange trip it's been!
So yesterday I spoke of getting started. Then I was thinking about all the ups and downs of my Quit Journey and I couldn't get this song out of my head!
For EXample, I recall like it just happened staring mesmerized, like Newfound Joy, at my boss's sickerettes on day 90-something just after having been told I'd be laid off for the first time in my life within 2 weeks! I finally had the guts to walk up to her and EXplain to her how rude and insensitive she was for leaving her stuff right on my counter when she knew that I was in the struggle of my life to stop smoking!
Then, I was thinking of January (9 months quit) when my beloved Godmother passed away and at her wake we all stood there most of my Family smoking like chimneys! With customary courtesy, they passed the sickerettes around throughout the day and night!
I also thought about my Son's weddding (15 Months quit) because as we all know, happy as well as sad times can be a huge trigger! And yes, I caught myself staring at the "designated smoking area" where a handful of celebrants puffed away like mad so they could get back to the party!
There are many, many other ups and downs that could have been death traps had I not gone into each with N.O.P.E. emblazened in my mind!
That's the POWER of N.O.P.E.! It gets you through the highs and lows! It starts that stream of anti-addiction positive thoughts that saves the day and allows you to truck on down the road and COME HOME!
When I was diagnosed with COPD 2 years ago, I left the Doctor's Office with one goal in mind - I had to quit smoking ASAP and for good! But how? I'd quit smoking like Mark Twain:
Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times.
This was different! This time there was no going back EVER! So I searched the webs looking for a way - not to quit - I had that part down just fine - but to STAY QUIT - which in my EXperience is so much more difficult! After all, every time we go to sleep at night, we quit for 8 hours! The problem is going back....
So I had to Start Over for LIFE! And I stumbled, literally, onto BecomeanEX! I had never blogged before in my life! I knew nothing about the ettiquette of writing in a very public place yet EXposing myself enough to get real help! For me, there was something embarrassing about the whole thing - the smoking and the COPD! It didn't fit in with my image of myself AT ALL! To admit that I, Thomas, who barely smoked at all, was an ADDICT jonesing for my FIX like those junkies on the TV show Intervention - well, it wasn't easy! But I was faced with the real FACT of COPD - a smoking-related illness! It doesn't get any more reall than being reminded every darn time you take a breath!!!!
There's something magical about releasing old EXpectations and floating out into the unknown looking for a NEW ME! And there is no way I could have been able to do that if I didn't have my Great New Friends here at BecomeanEX to talk me through it - to reassure me that the other side of this process is EXcellent! I listened - I READ the websites recommended - I paid attention - and I gave it my all - because Smoking was not - is not - an option for me NO MATTER WHAT!
In the end I changed my perspective because of 2 things:
I kept them away from my face
I used Positive Affirmations to retrain my brain!
It wasn't something that a pill, patch, gum, etc., could give to me! It had to come from within!
That's why I started a Group called Positive Affirmations for Success! - because it made a BIG DIFFERENCE in my ability to protect my Quit! It wasn't willpower! It was focus and determination!
Make this your FOREVER QUIT! Learn what it takes for YOU to Stay Smoke FREE for LIFE! If I can do it - you can, too!
"Giving up smoking can lead to the pounds, if not stones, piling on.
"This is partly because nicotine seems to bump up the metabolism by about seven per cent. It appears to have a pretty instant effect that lasts for about 30 minutes per cigarette.
"The stronger the nicotine content, the greater this metabolism-boosting effect.
"Smoking also seems to help to suppress the appetite. It does this in part by helping to block the action of chemicals in the brain that stimulate hunger.
"But it is important to put things into perspective and to appreciate that, although some people do put on a lot of weight after quitting cigarettes, the average gain is between three and ten pounds.
"The good news is that some experts report that using nicotine patches helps to lower appetite, and that those who use them while trying to quit gain less weight than those who do not. Having regular 'doses' of carbohydrate may also help to beat the hunger pangs which may be triggered by quitting.
"And on the day you decide to give up, make sure you have breakfast and keep up this habit.
"Not having anything to eat first thing can be a real problem because, by mid-morning, your body will not only be craving its usual nicotine fix but will also have low blood sugar.
"It is important when giving up smoking to remember that, even though cigarettes appear to help a bit in the battle of the bulge, there are plenty of slim people who do not smoke and plenty of overweight people who do smoke.
"Continuing to smoke because you think giving up will make you fat is no excuse not to try quitting.
"Doing so could well save your life."
"A new study has discovered that vigorous exercise can have a positive impact on the success rate of women trying to give up smoking.
"This is exciting news, especially when combined with previous research that shows exercising for one to two hours a week while quitting also significantly reduces the amount of weight gained.
"By incorporating exercise into your quitting programme, the feelgood endorphins your body produces also help you to overcome the mood swings that come with quitting."
Commit to daily exercise sessions during the first month of quitting.Preferably in the morning to perk your mood up for the day ahead.
Sign up to classes, if you can, to keep you on track and schedule in things like swimming and cycling. If you prefer, a fast 30-minute walk, skipping or working out to a DVD at home all count.
Exercise can help to relieve stress, making it the ideal antidote to tense moments during the day, which can otherwise leave you reaching for the ciggies.
Work out what your cigarette triggers are. If you reach for one when you pick up the phone, walk up and down the stairs instead while chatting. Or if you can, go outside and talk while you walk.
If your trigger is when you relax in front of the telly, stop watching and try skipping indoors or, again, go for a walk to distract you. Work out your own problem moments and plan ahead to avoid them by replacing them with something active.
Define your goals. If you don't have a specific goal, your training will lack direction.
To help support your goals, look for programmes that match your needs. For example, if you're running a race to raise money for charity, most charities provide training programmes.
Or, try one of the many fitness apps – Nike Training Club, for instance, is free to download.
Keep a training diary. Once you've worked out your training programme, it's important to keep a record of your workouts in a diary.
The easiest, quickest way to log details is to develop a code for the type and length of workout you do.
It also means you can add up your total number of exercise minutes each week. Aim to increase what you do until you have reached four to six hours a week.
Stop boredom creeping in. One of the biggest reasons we fall out of love with fitness is getting stuck in a rut.
Why not try inline skating or join a sports team? Aim to do at least two different types of cardiovascular exercise a week, whether it's running, cycling or swimming.
This keeps your body challenged and mind engaged.
Any activity that focuses your mind will ensure you use your body more effectively so you'll get better results.
Ideal activities include martial arts such as t'ai chi, karate, capoeira or yoga and Pilates.
Get a big exercise high. There's nothing like a high-intensity workout to give you an exercise high and get you wanting more.
Research shows intense bouts of exercise release more feelgood hormones and get you fitter quicker. Do at least one good stretch and relaxation session each week as well.
Higher taxes on cigarettes, limits on selling to kids and campaigns to educate people on the dangers of smoking have saved nearly 800,000 lives, according to a US study released on March 14.
The research is based on scientific models that counted how many people smoked up until 1970 and projected how many would have died of lung cancer between 1975 and 2000 if not for a concerted US effort to cut back.
"This is the first attempt to quantify the impact of changes in smoking behaviors on lung cancer mortality based on detailed reconstruction of cigarette smoking histories," said lead author Suresh Moolgavkar of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
"The methods that were developed as a part of this research should prove to be invaluable to other researchers investigating the adverse health impacts of cigarette smoking."
If everyone had quit smoking after the Surgeon General's 1964 report that first warned of the hazards of cigarettes, 2.5 million lung cancer deaths could have been avoided, said the study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
But since that did not happen, of course, there were more than two million deaths among men from lung cancer and more than a million among women from 1975 to 2000.
Tobacco control efforts averted 550,000 lung cancer deaths among men and 240,000 among women during that span, said the study, funded by the National Cancer Institute.
The study only extended to 2000 because the researchers lacked detailed data for subsequent years at the time when the study first began, the study authors said.
However, more can be done, said co-author Eric Feuer, chief of the National Cancer Institute's Statistical Methodology and Applications Branch.
"An overwhelming majority of lung cancer deaths can be prevented by eliminating cigarette smoking," said Feuer.
"The progress that has been made by tobacco control programs and policies in reducing lung cancer deaths represents about a third of the progress that could have been made if all cigarette smoking had ceased in 1965."
A total of 20.6 percent of the US population currently smokes, including nearly four million youths, according to the latest government data.
Disapproval curbs smoking
“In 2008, the United Kingdom became one of the first countries in Europe to make it mandatory for cigarette packets sold within the U.K. to display fear-provoking, graphic anti-smoking images, founded on the assumption that the use of fear is an effective method to encourage smokers to quit,” says Scitechdaily.com. “However, in contrast to the assumed effects of fear on quitting intentions, a series of experiments conducted by [psychologists at Canterbury Christ Church University] consistently revealed that fear provoked by graphic images had no effect on smokers’ intentions to stop smoking. Instead, the researchers found that smokers were more willing to consider quitting if they accepted non-smokers’ negative attitudes toward their habit.”
Relax to fight temptation
“If you are trying to avoid temptation, stop fighting it and just relax,” says Psych Central. “In a new study, researchers from the University of Illinois found that people who are ‘actively’ motivated to change bad habits may actually be setting themselves up for not only failure but to act impulsively. But those who used ‘inaction’ words, such as ‘stop’ or ‘pause,’ are more relaxed and, ultimately, more successful. ‘Our research suggests that the relaxed state is better at inhibiting the pull of temptations,’ said University of Illinois psychology professor Dr. Dolores Albarracin.”
Many smokers wish there was a way to detect lung cancer in its early stages -- a test that would do for the No. 1 cancer killer what mammograms did for breast cancer.
But studies of X-rays and early CT scans found screening with these tests didn't reduce the number of people who eventually died from the disease.
Then in June came the results of a trial of more than 50,000 patients, all heavy smokers with no symptoms of lung cancer. Deaths among those screened with low-dose helical CT scans were 20 percent lower than among those screened with chest X-rays.
Because of the finding, WellPoint now covers screening scans for smokers who fit the profile of those in the study. A major local hospital offers $99 screening scans.
Lung cancer is a major killer in the U.S. and Indiana. Each year, lung cancer claims the lives of 160,340 people, the American Cancer Society says.
In Indiana, where about 21 percent of people smoke, lung cancer kills about 4,140 people each year, and about 5,460 people are diagnosed yearly.
Early lung cancers don't cause symptoms, making them hard to detect. The majority of lung cancers are found only after the disease has spread.
So doctors have yearned for a test to find lung cancer early.
But the American Cancer Society and most physician groups still don't recommend blanket screening for heavy smokers. Many experts say it's not clear that screening, which carries risks, is for everyone.
WellPoint doesn't agree. In November, the insurer's policy committee deemed the tests medically necessary for an estimated 250,000 of their policy-holders.
"In this high-risk group, there was a survival benefit. I think that's notable," said John Whitney, WellPoint's medical director for policy. "It's a very important consideration in screening. If you're going to screen and find things that you can't do anything about, there's not much point in that."
The study looked at asymptomatic people ages 55 to 74 who had a history of smoking about one pack a day for a year. Participants did not have to currently smoke, but if they were former smokers, they could not have quit more than 15 years before.
Just as the study did, WellPoint's policy allows for an annual screen every year for three years. After that, it's not clear what the insurer will recommend; that will depend on what subsequent studies find, Whitney said.
Depending on policy specifics and where the scan is performed, the cost to the policy-holder ranges from $150 to $300, WellPoint says.
The study compared the outcomes of 26,000 heavy smokers who underwent annual CT screening for three years with those of 26,000 people who had screening X-rays. Ten years later, 354 people in the first group had succumbed to lung cancer, compared with 442 in the second group.
But there was a flip side. Forty percent of those who had CT screenings had an abnormal result that led to additional testing, and 16 premature deaths occurred because of interventions prompted by the screening, such as needle biopsies of the lung. Six of those people didn't have lung cancer.
"It saves lives, but it also costs lives," said Dr. Otis Webb Brawley, chief medical officer and executive vice president of the American Cancer Society.
Compare this scenario with mammography, Brawley suggested. That test, which the cancer society recommends, can produce false positives, leading to additional testing. But a false positive on a mammogram will seldom cause complications.
About a quarter of all lung screens find something abnormal, said Dr. Nasser Hanna, an associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center. In Indiana, where the lung disease histoplasmosis is common, the percentage of people with problem spots may be even higher, Hanna said. And for about 95 percent of these people, the abnormality will be benign.
But it's impossible to know unless a biopsy or second scan is done.
For that reason, it's critical that patients who undergo screening discuss it with their doctors or a screening counselor to help them understand what the scan reveals, Hanna said.
"The decision to get screened is not simple," Brawley said.
The American Cancer Society stopped short of recommending screening for all heavy smokers. The group said smokers should be aware of the trial and discuss screening with their doctors.
For some, screening is a no-brainer. Sue Caudill heard about the $99 scan while going through St. Francis' smoking cessation program.
A few months earlier, the Elizabethtown resident had a chest X-ray after she started coughing up "this black stuff." Nothing scary was detected, but she wanted to be sure.
At 52, Caudill, who smoked for more than 30 years, is a few years shy of the lower age limit, but she persuaded St. Francis to allow her to have the scan.
"I said, 'I'm here to get this done, because for one, I want to know if there is anything wrong, and if there is, I'm hoping to catch whatever it is early,' " she said. "I was afraid because I had smoked a long time."
Since August, about 70 patients have had scans at St. Francis.
So far, doctors haven't picked up any early cancers or found any lesions that have gone to biopsy.
The doctors counsel the patients on the significance of potential results, said Dr. Raj Gupta, a St. Francis radiologist. And they urge those still smoking to quit.
"Prevention is the key," Gupta said.
Many hospitals offer low-cost CT screening as a "loss leader," Brawley said. Because about 40 percent of screenings result in an abnormal finding, hospitals profit from the follow-up testing.
"There's lots of money to be made in screening," he said.
More understanding is necessary when it comes to people choosing whether to have the scan, he said.
"The most important thing for people to realize is it's not an open-and-closed book. . . . It's important because there are so many people who think if people get screened, they won't die," Brawley said. "It is not 'don't get screened'; it's not 'do get screened.' It's a real decision to make."
Nicotine is a naturally occurring compound in tobacco products and is the chemical that makes tobacco addictive. When nicotine is introduced to the body, it rapidly gets into the bloodstream. It can cross the "blood-brain" barrier and reach the brain within 10 to 20 seconds of inhalation.
Smokeless tobacco, which is held in the mouth for long periods, is particularly addictive because it releases much more nicotine than inhaled smoke.
Once the nicotine gets into the brain, it increases the flow of the brain chemical transmitter dopamine, creating a pleasurable response. Nicotine also increases alertness and suppresses appetite, which is part of its attraction. When blood levels begin to fall, people crave it and experience withdrawal symptoms.
Research from Brown University shows that nicotine itself can cause cardiovascular disease by promoting the invasion and damage of smooth muscle cells that line blood vessels. This process ultimately leads to the formation of artery-clogging plaques.
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SURELY you've seen the I Did It Champix commercial on TV. An ex-smoker is high-fived by buddies and adored by his kids, all to the theme from Rocky. It's a nice carrot to encourage smoking cessation, even if it is pushing another drug. Now it's time for the stick. New research shows smoking accelerates brain decline in men as early as age 45. The same effect was not found in women.
Researchers at University College London led by Sverine Sabia crunched the data from long-term studies of current smokers, ex-smokers and never-smokers, ranging in age from 44 to 69. The subjects were white-collar British civil servants, followed over a 25-year period.
They were tested for short-term memory, vocabulary, verbal and mathematical reasoning. In men, smoking was associated with a faster decline over a 10-year period, equivalent to an additional 10 years of aging. However, Sabia writes, "our results show no association between smoking and cognitive decline in women."
Sabia notes, on average, women smoke fewer cigarettes per day than men, and men drink more alcohol. Also, "it is also possible that smoking clusters with other risk factors differently in men and women."
One piece of good news emerging from this study is that men who had quit smoking at least 10 years ago didn't suffer the same cognitive decline, and "no residual adverse effect of smoking on cognitive decline was observable."
In fact, long-term quitters scored slightly higher than men who had never smoked. One possible explanation is that when people stop smoking, they often go on a health kick. Food tastes better, so their diet may improve. They may start exercising and adopt other healthy habits.
When people feel like they’re being discriminated against, no matter their race, they’re more likely to turn to smoking. Those are the new findings of researchers who looked at how perceived discrimination affects smoking rates.
“We found that regardless of race or ethnicity, the odds of current smoking were higher among individuals who perceived that they were treated differently because of their race, though racial and ethnic minority groups were more likely to report discrimination,” said Washington University in St. Louis professor James Purnell, a co-author of a new study out in the American Journal of Public Health.
“It’s important to understand the factors that promote smoking among racial and ethnic minority groups,” Purnell said in a statement.
The study underlines that people of color in particular, who are more likely to report having to deal with racial discrimination, may turn to smoking as a way to cope with the psychological stresses of prejudice. Researchers say their findings may offer some insights on how to develop new smoking cessation strategies for communities of color.
“Our findings also suggest that alternative forms of coping with discrimination may be a fruitful area of discussion in counseling interventions designed to help individuals quit smoking,” Purnell said.
Interpersonal racism impacts people’s health in more ways than one. Just last year researchers also found that people who felt like they dealt with racial discrimination lost actual sleep over it, and that it negatively impacted their health.
Editor's note: As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rolls out a new anti-smoking ad campaign this week, Terrie Hall, 51, of Lexington, North Carolina, has become a poster child of sorts. One of the hard-hitting ads starkly features Hall's remarkable struggle against deadly tobacco-related disease.(CNN)
CNN: Do you remember the first time you smoked cigarettes?
HALL: The first time was on a camping outing with friends in North Carolina. One of my friends snuck them in. I was thirteen. That was the first time I tried a cigarette. It made me sick. Then, at seventeen, I started smoking to be with my friends and be with them. It didn't make me sick that time. it was pretty quick that I became addicted and within a year I was a pack-a-day smoker.
CNN: Tell us about the photo of you when you were younger.
HALL: That was my senior year in high school, right after I started smoking.
CNN: At that age, did it ever occur to you that it might be dangerous? What, if anything, did you know about the possible downsides of smoking?
HALL: I knew nothing. Absolutely nothing. It just made me feel grown up. I wish I had had someone like me come see me in school and talk to me about the dangers of tobacco. I think it would have changed my life.
CNN: How long were you a smoker?
HALL: I smoked for 23 years
CNN: At your worst, how much did you smoke in a day?
HALL: Two packs a day.
CNN: Tell me a bit about your life.
HALL: I am divorced and I have one daughter in her thirties and a ten-year-old grandson. I do a lot of volunteer work and advocacy work. I go to the middle and high schools around North Carolina and talk about smoking and tobacco education and awareness.
CNN: It's clear in the ads that you've been sick. Tell us about your condition today. How are you doing?
HALL: I'm still undergoing treatment for cancer. My cancer initially started in my mouth and was discovered by my dentist and I had to go through radiation.The whole time I was going through radiation, I had a really bad sore throat and I thought I was just smoking too much. After the radiation was complete, in June 2000, I lost my mother in August and in December I discovered the tumor on my larynx. They told me they were going to remove my voice box, but all I heard was cancer.I didn't hear the part about them taking something from me. So I woke up in ICU and the nurse asked me if she could get me anything, and I was in really bad pain, and I opened my mouth to speak and nothing came out. Not even a breath. I have a hole in my neck now, and I'm called a laryngectomee. It's just shocking. You can't wrap your mind around it.That's when I faced the reality of what happened.That was my worst moment.That's also when I quit, at age 40 in 2001.
CNN: Can you tell us a bit about the people you love most and how your journey has impacted them?
HALL: My daughter and grandson, my stepfather and my fellow laryngectomiees are the most supportive. My daughter is very proud of me. She recently quit smoking herself in January. It makes me feel wonderful! They are very proud that I have taken a stand in a positive direction and that I am trying to help save other people's lives.
CNN: How did you become a part of the CDC ad campaign?
HALL: I was approached by Save organization, Survivors and Victims of Tobacco Empowerment. They gave my name to the CDC because of all that I had been through. Because of tobacco. It's been more than my mind can wrap around, but I am excited about the possibilities and the numbers of lives this campaign can save is overwhelming.
CNN: What does it mean to you to be a part of this?
HALL: I feel very honored and I really appreciate the privilege to be a part of something so positive. And I know that it will save lives and I'm glad to be a part of it.
It's real. We are all real victims of it, and we're survivors.We did survive and we should get the word out to other people that this can happen to you too.
If you never start, you never have to worry about stopping.It's the number one preventable death.
CNN: What do you hope the ad you're featured in can accomplish?
HALL: I hope it gets the message out to young people and middle age people that this can happen to you. I only smoked for 23 years and that's not that long to be diagnosed with any cancer. This is reality.
DHULIYAN, India (AP) — Sagira Ansari sits on a dusty sack outside her uneven brick home in this poor town in eastern India, her legs folded beneath her. She cracks her knuckles, then rubs charcoal ash between her palms.
With the unthinking swiftness of a movement performed countless times before, she slashes a naked razor blade into a square-cut leaf to trim off the veins. She drops in flakes of tobacco, packs them with her thumbs, rolls the leaf tightly between her fingers and ties it off with two twists of a red thread.
For eight hours a day, Sagira makes bidis — thin brown cigarettes that are as central to Indian life as chai and flat bread.
She is 11 years old.
Sagira is among hundreds of thousands of children toiling in the hidden corners of rural India. Many work in hazardous industries crucial to the economy: the fiery brick kilns that underpin the building industry, the pesticide-laden fields that produce its food.
Most of the children in Sagira's town of Dhuliyan in West Bengal state work in the tobacco dust to feed India's near limitless demand for bidis.
Under Indian law, this is legal.
Sagira, who has deep brown eyes and a wide smile, joined her family's bidi work when she was 7. At first she just rolled out thread for her older sisters and brother, then she helped finish off the cigarettes, pushing down the open ends. Last year, she graduated to full-scale rolling.
She is not alone. Her best friend, Amira, also rolls bidis. So do Wasima and Jaminoor and the rest of the girls in a neighborhood that is, at its heart, a giant, open-air bidi factory.
Parents and children roll cigarettes on rooftops, in the alleyways, by the roads. One woman draped in a red shawl in the yard behind Sagira's house breast feeds her baby while rolling. Of the roughly 20,000 families in Dhuliyan, an estimated 95 percent roll bidis to survive.
Sagira is expert enough that even when distracted, her fingers continue to flit blindly through the tobacco shavings in front of her.
She says the work can make her ill, with a cold, a cough, a fever. Her head often aches. So do her fingers.
Sometimes, she takes her woven basket of tendu leaves and tobacco to the banks of the Ganges to roll in a circle with her friends. She stops every so often to splash in the river for a few moments. Then she gets back to work.
"I can't play around," she laments.
Manu Seikh, the bidi king of Sagira's neighborhood, sits on a roadside bench. In front of him lie orderly stacks of rupee bills — tens, fifties, hundreds — large bags filled with one- and two-rupee coins and a small box holding his asthma inhaler.
He and thousands of middlemen like him are the linchpins that provide the veneer of legality to the bidi industry, insulating the powerful companies selling bidis from the families and children rolling them.
Seikh, 66, got his start in a bidi factory when he was 16, back when bidis were rolled on the factory floor.
A 1986 law barred children under 14 from working with bidis and other hazardous industries, but left a huge loophole that allowed children to assist their families with work performed at home.
So now, while the tobacco is threshed, cut and blended in factories, it is then given to Seikh and other middlemen to distribute to families for rolling. The bidis are then brought back to the factory for roasting, packaging and shipping. A pack of 10 to 12 will retail for 6 rupees, or 12 cents.
The informal nature of the work makes it nearly impossible to count how many of India's 7 million bidi rollers are children, but estimates range from 250,000 to 1 million.
Every noon, adults and children carry baskets and tubs filled with bundles of bidis to Seikh's corner stall, where his men scan them for quality, reject those deemed substandard and stack the others in shallow wooden boxes. A bookkeeper makes a note in a ledger and hands over a chit for payment.
Then the rollers receive more tobacco and tendu leaves for another day's work.
Seikh blames poverty for forcing the children to work, and the government for failing to stop it.
"I am very concerned about children not going to school and losing their futures. But we are helpless," Seikh says.
In his nearby factory, Ranjan Choudhary, 37, also distances himself from blame, even as boys aged about 7 or 8 slide bidis into plastic pouches and seal them on a small stove.
Whatever the child labor laws say, he sees the industry as "a lifeline" for the people.
"It affects children, but for them to survive, this is the only industry here. There is no other source of income," he said.
The industry's chief trade group also brushed off responsibility.
"The child has every right to help the mother. As long as we don't recruit the children to roll bidis, I don't think we violate any act," said Umesh Parekh, chief executive of the All India Bidi Industry Federation.
Bidi rollers should "themselves exercise restraint" in using children, he said, adding that his trade group had no plans to fight against child labor.
"The industry is not doing anything for that. It is for the government to do," he said.
The government is reevaluating its child labor policy, said Mrutyunjay Sarangi, India's labor secretary, but had yet to decide on any concrete action.
"We are having discussions," he said.
India has tacitly recognized this Dickensian nightmare with a recent law making education compulsory up to age 14, said Bhavna Mukhopadhya of the Voluntary Health Association of India, an aid group. "Everything has a time, and I think this is the right time to do it ... you have to ban child labor across the board, strictly," she said.
But efforts to change the labor laws are complicated by the bidi industry's clout in government. One company owner even sits in the national Cabinet.
Sagira's town was once a textile center where her family for generations wove scarves and sarongs on hand looms.
Mired in poverty, they lived in a mud and thatch hut and could afford only a single meal a day for their 12 children. "We were starving," said Sagira's father, Mahmood Ansari.
Then the Ganges caused flooding that destroyed the family's house — and its loom.
Meanwhile, merchants from other states realized the cheap labor here would be ideal for bidi work.
Sagira's grandfather turned to bidi rolling, then her father when he turned 12.
Now, every day at 8 a.m., Sagira, her 17-year-old brother and sisters aged 18 and 14 begin a four-hour rolling session. They stop to bathe and have lunch, spend a few hours cutting the tendu leaves into neat squares and then roll for a few more hours.
Because of bidis, his seven children are far better off than he was, Ansari said.
The family gets 75 rupees ($1.50) for every 1,000 bidis rolled, totaling about $150 a month. That's enough for three meals a day, with a little fish or egg once a week. A few months ago, Ansari used loans to replace the home of tarps and sticks his family had lived in for two decades with an unfinished two-room house of brick and plaster with dirt floors.
But there is not much hope for Sagira's future.
She's been to school only twice in the past month; she's too busy, her mother, Alea Bibi, said. She goes only when there's a reason, when new books are being handed out or to register for the aid the government gives to bidi rollers as an incentive to educate their children.
When she does show up, she is humiliated for her absences, made to hold her ears with her elbows outstretched and repeatedly sit down and stand up. It doesn't work, yet each year she graduates to the next grade, regardless of her attendance.
She barely knows math, but can at least count to 25, the number of bidis in a finished bundle.
But at night, after the work is done, her brother, who rarely attends school himself, uses her schoolbooks to teach her to read.
She dreams of being a schoolteacher.
Far more likely, she will get faster at rolling bidis, which will improve her marriage prospects. Then, as so often happens here, her husband might stop working, and she — and eventually her own children — will become the bidi-rolling breadwinners.
Her father sees no way to break the cycle.
"We are destined to roll bidis," he said.
Exposure to the toxins in secondhand smoke can cause or contribute to health problems from heart and lung disease to various cancers. Secondhand smoking can cause chronic coughing, phlegm and wheezing, as well as eye and nose irritation.
It has been classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a “known human carcinogen.” There a several terms that relate to secondhand smoke including passive smoking, involuntary smoking or environmental tobacco smoke.
Secondhand smoke includes the smoke that the smoker exhales (mainstream smoke) and the smoke that comes directly from the burning tobacco product (sidestream smoke). There are at least 50 carcinogens (chemicals that are known to cause cancer) in secondhand smoke.
Some of those chemicals include:
Research has shown that 50 percent to 75 percent of children in the U.S. have detectable levels of cotinine (the breakdown product of nicotine) in their blood, so even children who do not live with smokers may be at risk for adverse effects of secondhand smoke. In addition to risk of developing pneumonia and respiratory infections, babies exposed to secondhand smoke increase the risk of developing asthma as a child.
Secondhand smoke also puts children at risk for other health problems including:
There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure. Even very low levels could be harmful, therefore avoid secondhand smoke as much as possible.
For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way -
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.
Did you notice how Good Luck is separate from Health and Happiness? That's because luck has nothing to do with DECIDING to LIVE ADDICTION FREE! Every single one of us have made a DECISION - to live Nicotine FREE Today or not to! I wish that ALL of us make the right Choice and that we Honor our Decision by eliminating Smoking from our LIves - for TODAY! You'd be Amazed how far it will get you! For Dale taking it one day at a time has brought him to Day 1901! For Hattie 2 Months! For Aunt Dee (my Quit Buddy! WHOOHOO!!!) 2 YEARS! None of us anticipated this day when we started this Quit Journey! And that's what it is - not an Event, A JOURNEY! So let's Celebrate St. Patrick's Day and Count Our Blessings, Empower Ourselves to change that which we can and yes, Wish for a bit of Luck in Life!
As most of you know for a few Months now I launched a series of news reports called Know Your Enemy. So when I have time at least a couple times a week I google all the relevant smoking, smoking related illness, and tobacco articles and publish them here. At this moment I am very angry!
I can't believe that an epidemic that kills a human being every 6 seconds doesn't get any real network attention! At it's peak H1N1 killed 12,000 people a year - Did any of us not hear about this horrible epidemic?Leggionnaire's Disease killed about 35 people the year it peaked - That made the front pages! But smoking related deaths kill 450,000 people in the US every single year! That's a fact that should be on everyone's tongue - yet all we see is the little blip at the bottom of the news screen - if that! To me, this is outrageous!
You've heard me say that I really had no idea what COPD/ Emphysema was. And I'll bet I'm not the only one! I know that I am teaching the nurses in the Assisted Living Facility where I work about COPD!!!! WHY? You can say that we knew the risks of Cancer since before we started smoking and I could disagree about the extent of knowledge but not the fact that we have heard the term cancer sticks from way back but I honestly had no idea about COPD and stroke risks in young people, I had never heard of Buerger's Disease (Thromboangiitis obliterans)
This is ridiculous! EDUCATION needs to start from the beginning and to really show our next generations and their parents what they are up against! The fact that the tobacco settlement money is being used to balance state government budgets is intolerable!
So it's not that I like spending 2 hours sorting through 25-30 articles a day looking for the best ones to post or having to clean out my computer daily so I get rid of the viruses I pick up in Google! I will continue to post these articles so that maybe one more voice will spread the word!
SMOKING KILLS! KNOW YOUR ENEMY!
Scientists have gained insight into how second-hand tobacco smoke damages the earliest stages of human embryonic development.
The UCSF-led team made its discovery by studying the impact of smoke on human embryonic stem cells as they differentiated, or specialized into various cell types, in the culture dish.
They determined that both nicotine and non-nicotine components of tobacco smoke impede the cells from specializing into a broad range of cell types, including those of the blood, heart, musculoskeletal systems and brain.
They also established that at least some of the impact was mediated through several molecular pathways known to play a role in differentiation.In one of the pathways, the toxins dramatically increased the activity of a key gene that keeps embryonic stem cells in an undifferentiated state, suggesting that its disruption might be responsible for much of the delay seen in embryonic development.
Scientists already know that in utero exposure to tobacco smoke increases the risk of a child being born pre-term and underweight, conditions associated with an increased risk of respiratory distress syndrome, cardiovascular defects, cleft lip and palate, immunodeficiency and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. They also know that exposure is associated with increased risk of childhood leukemia, lymphoma and brain tumors, and, later in life, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders, as well as other behavioral and psychological problems.
However, until now, they’ve known little about the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for these pathologies. The study, reported in the April issue of Differentiation, provides some of the first hard evidence.
“We know second-hand smoke exposure is bad for thedeveloping fetus, causing everything from heart defects to childhood cancer, but we haven’t understood why,” said senior author Harold S. Bernstein, MD, PhD, who is a UCSF professor of pediatrics and a member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCSF. “We hope the findings will be a launching pad for further investigations on the impact on fetal development at the cellular level.”
In the study, led by Water Liszewski, who was at the time a technician in the Bernstein lab, the scientists took a two-pronged approach. First, they extended the analysis of gene activity in umbilical cord stem cells previously examined by their University of Connecticut co-authors, determining that tobacco smoke increased the activity of genes that delay the development of mesoderm – the layer of tissue that gives rise to blood, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems – as well endoderm and ectoderm, the two other layers of embryonic cells that give rise to the tissues of the body.
Next, they exposed human embryonic stem cells in the culture dish either to tobacco smoke or nicotine at concentrations found in fetal blood. They did so while the cells were spontaneously specializing.
Then, using microarray analysis, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunoblot analysis, they assessed gene activity at key time points in the process of specialization. Theydiscovered that both nicotine and non-nicotine components of tobacco smoke increased the activity of genes that hold embryonic stem cells in a pluripotent, or undifferentiated, state. They also showed that the toxins increased activity of genes that delay the development of the three germ layers.
Finally, they assessed gene expression in three stem cell differentiation pathways, known as Notch, canonical Wnt and TGF-β. They determined that sentinel genes in each pathway were over expressed, but one most prominently: Expression of the Nodal gene was 50- to 75-fold higher in nicotine and tobacco smoke-exposed cells, respectively, than in untreated cells.
The findings reveal the widespread impact of both nicotine and non-nicotine components of tobacco smoke on early embryonic development, according to Bernstein.
They also highlight the power of human embryonic stem cells as a model of human development. “They allowed us to get at questions which, until now, we couldn’t examine in humans,” he said.
First author Liszewski currently is a second-year medical student at Tulane University School ofMedicine. Other co-authors of the study are Carissa Ritner, Julian Aurigui, Sharon S.Y. Wong of UCSF, and Naveed Hussain, Winfried Krueger and Cheryl Oncken of the University of Connecticut.
The study was supported by funds from the Connecticut Department of Health and the University of Connecticut General Clinical Research Center, a grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institutes, a gift from the Polin Foundation, and funds from the Department of Pediatrics, UniversityCalifornia, San Francisco.
UNITED NATIONS: Tobacco use is responsible for five million or 12 per cent of all deaths of adults above the age of 30 globally each year, according to a new United Nations report unveiled on Friday.
The new report by the UN World Health Organization (WHO), entitled ‘Mortality Attributable to Tobacco,’ provides – for the first time – estimated mortality rates attributable to tobacco for 2004, the year before the international treaty on tobacco came into force.
The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) that came into force in 2005 requires parties to restrict tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion, set new labeling and clean indoor air controls and strengthen laws against tobacco smuggling.
The report shows that five per cent of all deaths from communicable diseases worldwide and 14 per cent of deaths resulting from non -communicable illnesses among adults aged 30 and above were attributable to tobacco use.
Although many people associate tobacco with non-communicable diseases such as cancers, heart and respiratory diseases, tobacco is also a major cause of communicable diseases, tuberculosis being a case in point where the disease is at times in latent or dormant state until activated by tobacco use, said Ala Alwan, the WHO Assistant Director-General in charge of Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health, in a forward to the report.
The regions with the highest number of deaths related to the use of tobacco are the Americas and Europe where tobacco use has been in use longer, according to the report.
Globally, deaths from tobacco-related cardiovascular diseases were more likely to occur among younger adults.
Thirty-eight per cent of deaths of adults resulting from ischemic heart disease in the 30-44 age group were attributable to tobacco, while 71 per cent of all lung cancer deaths were linked to the use of tobacco.
The five million deaths translate to an incredible statistic, one death every six seconds, said Dr. Alwan. Unless strong actions are taken to halt the tobacco epidemic, one billion people are projected to die this century, we cannot let this happen, he added, urging all countries to implement the Convention on tobacco control.
The report contains country-specific estimates including death rates attributable to tobacco. It is intended to help countries assess the mortality of tobacco use and measure the success of efforts to discourage the use of the substance.
It follows the 2008 WHO report on the issue, which prompted some Member States to request the agency to consider generating estimates to give them an indication of their progress in combating tobacco use.
Adolescent girls who were exposed to tobacco smoke while in the womb are more likely to take up smoking and become dependent on tobacco than their peers without this exposure, a new study finds.
"[S]ymptoms of nicotine dependence and progression in tobacco use in adolescent girls can be linked with nicotine exposure in utero," the researchers write.
They note that the associations remained "robust" after taking into account several potential confounding factors, including parents' social position and postnatal tobacco use. Tobacco dependence "should be added to the risks of passive exposure during the prenatal life," conclude Mina Rydell, MSc, from the Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Epidemiology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues.
Their study is published in the March issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.
Brain Priming Effect
Nicotine crosses the placenta barrier and can result in even higher fetal concentrations than maternal concentrations, the authors note in their report.
"Research in both animals and human cell systems have indicated that prenatal nicotine exposure might result in a brain priming effect, where the exposed fetus might be more vulnerable to tobacco dependence following tobacco use later in life," Rydell told Medscape Medical News.
However, results from previous epidemiological studies have been "inconsistent, and there is a distinctive lack of prospective longitudinal studies," she noted.
The new findings stem from a prospective longitudinal study involving 3020 Swedish youths who were followed from about the ages of 11 to 18 years. Tobacco use was assessed at baseline (age 11) and 6 more times during follow-up via a self-administered questionnaire. The annual participation rate ranged from 87% to 96%, with 69% of the adolescents participating in all assessments.
About 27% of these young people were prenatally exposed to maternal tobacco smoke, and 43% were prenatally exposed to any parental tobacco use. During follow-up, 1007 children started using tobacco (41.7% of those exposed to prenatal maternal tobacco use, compared with 30.6% of those unexposed), of which 761 started smoking daily (33.7% of those exposed to prenatal maternal tobacco and 22.2% of those unexposed).
The corresponding figures for current snus (Swedish smokeless tobacco) use were 38.3% of those exposed and 29.2% of those unexposed; the figures for those who took up daily snus use were 34.1% and 24.8% for those exposed and unexposed, respectively.
2-Fold Increased Risk
At age 17 years, girls who were prenatally exposed to mom's tobacco and who took up smoking had roughly a 2-fold higher likelihood of both heavy tobacco use (5 or more cigarettes or snus dips per day; adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.30 - 2.86) and a strong craving for tobacco (adjusted OR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.28 - 3.32).
They also had a 2- to 3-fold higher likelihood of experiencing a high number of withdrawal symptoms (at least 4 vs fewer than 4 symptoms; adjusted OR, 2.83; 95% CI, 1.68 - 4.87).
These associations were weaker among boys and did not reach statistical significance, which "adds strength to the hypothesis of a stronger vulnerability of the female fetal brain to nicotine neurotoxicity," the authors say. Similar sex differences have been reported in animal studies.
"There are growing indications not only that girls are more vulnerable to prenatal nicotine exposure but also that this difference concerns measures of nicotine dependence, as opposed to uptake of tobacco, which is rather influenced by social factors," Ms. Rydell said.
Smokers expose non-smokers to second-hand smoke but also to the "more lethal" third-hand smoke, a medical specialist said today.
Dr. Imelda Mateo, a pulmonologist, said third-hand smoke is more dangerous if not euqlly lethal thansecond hand smoke, as the smokers themselves become the carrier of the toxic chemicals which are passed to those who come in contact with them.
"Third-hand smoke is far more damaging since the smoker himself can transfer the nicotine from his body to others," Mateo said at a press briefing by the National Youth Commission's anti-smokingcampaign.
She also said that the third-hand smoke are gases and small particles in cigarette smoke that are deposited on surfaces they come in contact with. These toxic particles can be deposited on the smoker's hair, clothing and even skin and to the surroundings where the cigarette has been put out, she said.
Mateo said babies who crawl on the floor are susceptible to third-hand smoke as the particles accumulate overtime in a certain area.
"It accumulates there overtime...hindi mo maalis kahit anong punas ang gawin mo, it sticks there...kaya maawa kayo sa babies niyo," she said, adding that third-hand smoke is "more carcinogenic."
Mateo said that it is better to inform the people, specifically smokers, about the dangers of the vice rather than tell them to kick the habit.
"Our advocacy is not prevent them from smoking or ban smoking but make them aware of the dangers of smoking..We want them to quit voluntarily and let them be an independent decision maker," she said.
(HealthNewsDigest.com) - Wilmington, DE— A team of researchers led by A. K. Rajasekaran, PhD, Director of the Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research, has shown that a key protein involved in cell function and regulation is stopped by a substance present in cigarette smoke. Their work is published online in the American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cell and Molecular Physiology.
Cigarette smoke is well recognized as a cause of lung cancer and is associated with many other forms of cancer in adults. Cigarette smoke has more than 4,000 components, many of which are linked to the development and progression of lung cancer. Evidence has shown secondhand smoke to be as dangerous as primary smoke due to its impact on the cells of the body.
In the study, the authors found a cancer-causing agent called reactive oxygen species (ROS) present in the gaseous phase of cigarette smoke that has the ability to inhibit normal cell function. Exposure to the secondhand smoke produced by as little as two cigarettes was found to almost completely stop the function of a cell’s sodium pump within a few hours. In normal cells, the sodium pump plays a critical role transporting potassium into the cell and sodium out of the cell. The competence of the cell’s sodium pump, i.e., its inability to regulate sodium, is predictive of cell damage, disease progression and ultimately, survival.
“This is critical information with regard to secondhand smoke,” said Dr. Rajasekaran. “We now know that one need not inhale the particulate matter present in secondhand smoke to suffer the consequence of smoking. Exposure to the gaseous substance alone, which you breathe while standing near a smoker, is sufficient to cause harm.”
Dr. Lee Goodglick, Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UCLA, and co-senior author of the study, noted, “Few reliable lung cancer biomarkers that could predict survival, treatment options or response to therapy exist today. Even fewer have been recognized where the function of the biomarker is known, yielding important information about the mechanism of action. This study really accomplishes both.”
This research is the latest finding in the compendium of evidence that supports protecting children from exposure to cigarette smoke. Excessive exposure to cigarette smoke during childhood can facilitate lung cancer development as children grow into adults. While more research is needed to understand the consequences of sodium pump inhibition by cigarette smoke, this study reveals that secondhand smoke may be even more dangerous than previously thought.
Children exposed to tobacco smoke may be at significantly increased risk of developing chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder (COPD) in adulthood, new research suggests.
A study of 433 patients with COPD found that children who had been exposed to tobacco smoke had nearly double the risk of developing the disease in adulthood than those not exposed.
COPD is a progressive disease that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and other symptoms. It is caused by smoking, exposure to smoke, dust, chemicals and air pollution.
The study, published in the journal Respirology, was conducted by researchers in Norway between 2006 and 2009. It found that women were more at risk of developing COPD — a 1.9-fold greater risk — than women who hadn’t been exposed to passive smoke. Men exposed to tobacco smoke had a 1.5 to 1.7-fold greater risk.
"Reduction of childhood environmental tobacco smoke exposure could contribute to the prevention of COPD respiratory symptoms," reads the study.
The study’s publication coincides with a new report from the Conference Board of Canada that predicts the economic burden of three chronic lung diseases will be $24.1 billion in the year 2030. The three diseases are lung cancer, asthma and COPD.
The report suggests that new strategies to reduce risk factors could reduce this amount by an estimated $1.5 billion. It points to strategies in the National Lung Health Framework, such as reducing smoking rates and second-hand smoke exposure, as well as reducing radon exposure and exposure to carcinogens in high-risk professions.
In 2010, the burden of these diseases was estimated at $12 billion, which includes costs for drugs and doctors, as well as indirect costs such as disability and premature death.
Projections in the report suggest that the number of people with lung cancer will rise from just over 42,000 in 2010 to just under 65,000 by 2030. The number of patients with COPD is expected to rise from just over 1.65 million to more than 2.5 million in the same period. Asthma cases would rise from just under 3.2 million cases to 3.9 million, the projections state.
The conference board report was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
14th March 2012 - The 29th No Smoking Day is taking place with the aim of helping as many people give up cigarettes as possible.
Organisers say 750,000 smokers are expected to try to quit on the day. They say that since it started in 1983, over a million smokers have given up for good.
In 2010, 20% of British adults smoked, compared with 45% in 1974 when smoking figures were first collated.
The Office for National Statistics says 64% of adult smokers say they would like to quit, and 58% said they would find it difficult to go without a cigarette for a whole day.
13 Best Ever Stop Smoking Tips:
(1) Know Why You Want to Stop
(2) Going Cold Turkey isn't Easy
(3) Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy
(4) Ask about Prescription Medication
(5) Don't Go It Alone
(6) Manage Stress
(7) Avoid Lighting Up Triggers
(8) Clean the House
(9) Try and Try Again
(10) Get Moving
(11) Eat Fruit and Vegetables
(12) Choose Your Reward
(13) Do It For Your Health
A report from the US Surgeon General confirms a big problem among Cherokee teenagers. The latest report shows American Indian adolescents ages 12-17, and young adults ages 18-25, smoke more than any other race or ethnicity. The tribe is fighting back with anti-tobacco programs taken to schools and into the community. Some involve handing in their cigarettes. Manuel Hernandez with “Healthy Cherokee” says he uses props to emphasize the damage that smoking or chewing tobacco can cause. He also hands out literature to help people quit.
MONTREAL — Despite mounting evidence in the 1960s that smoking tobacco was killing more than 30,000 people in Canada every year, Canada's largest tobacco company made no effort to inform the public about the dangers of its products, a former Imperial Tobacco executive testified Tuesday in the $27-billion class-action lawsuit against the nation's three largest tobacco companies.
Michel Descoteaux, who for years served as Imperial's official spokesman, said the company's policy was to claim that there was no scientific evidence linking smoking to disease.
He said that because of this policy the company had "no credibility" with the general public.
"The reputation of the company was very bad," he said. "Public opinion was that cigarettes were causing all kinds of diseases."
He added that the company "had no credibility even among smokers."
He said, however, that he believed that "everything Imperial Tobacco communicated to the public was true."
When plaintiff lawyer Bruce Johnston asked him if smoking's lethal results were ever discussed by the company, Descoteaux replied: "I have no recollection of a specific moment when the question of does the product kill or not kill (came up)."
Referring to the statistical evidence of the dangers of smoking, he said that "you could drive a truck through the whole thing anyway."
Descoteaux said he began working for Imperial Tobacco in 1963 and for the last at least 20 years was its only spokesman. He retired in 2002. He said outside the courtroom that after his retirement he stopped smoking.
He said that during the 1960s and 1970s he was aware of no tobacco company in the world that admitted that smoking caused diseases such as cancer and emphysema.
The class action revolves around when the tobacco companies knew or should have known about the potential dangers of their products and what they did about it.
Descoteaux said his personal beliefs evolved with the policy of the company, and added that if his opinions had been opposed to the company's position, he would not have lasted long at Imperial Tobacco.
He said the company's public statements evolved over the years from total denial of a direct relationship between smoking and cancer to admitting that some people contracted some diseases because of smoking. He was unable to pinpoint a date when the company admitted that smoking caused cancer and other diseases.
When Johnston asked him why he didn't make it his job to find out the truth about smoking and disease, he said: "That's a good question."
He added, however, "I got my information from people who were serious and honest."
Descoteaux is a thin man of medium height with a snow white beard. Throughout his testimony, he often joked with Johnston and his answers frequently meandered and avoided questions.
At one point he claimed that he had very little to do with setting Imperial policy and that these policies were set according to the advice of scientists. Yet in a memo he wrote in 1981, he recommended that the company not follow advice from Imperial's major stockholder, British American Tobacco, that employees follow doctors' advice not to smoke while pregnant.
He wrote in the memo employees should be told that "in the absence of definitive answers to this question, many doctors advice (sic) their pregnant patients to modify their smoking habits during pregnancy as a sensible part of prenatal behaviour." He added that advising employees to follow the advice of their doctors "could open the door to claims for warnings on cigarette packages."
Descoteaux testified that he was "amazed that I wrote something as strong as that."
"So are we," Johnston replied.
Descoteaux is the plaintiffs' first witness. He told the court that prior to his testimony he had been briefed for about four days by Imperial Tobacco lawyers.
Rothmans Benson & Hedges and JTI McDonald are also defendants in the case, which could last up to two years.
The case involves two classes of plaintiffs. One represents about 1.8 million smokers who claim damages of $10,000 per plaintiff for their addiction. The second involves 90,000 smokers who have contracted cancer or emphysema. They want $105,000 each.
A confidential memo dated July 11, 1979, from Descoteaux to Jean-Louis Mercier, former president and chairman of Imperial Tobacco, also was entered into the record. It shows Imperial tried to involve employees in campaigns to counter government regulations in Quebec and Ontario that the company believed would harm their sales.
"We have an interest in engaging the enthusiasm of our unionized employees, to support them 'technically' and to 'frame' their actions to assure that their policies and those of the company are the same," the document states.
The document also talked about making sure the company's policies on smoking and health "conform to the policies of the international industry."
U.S. tobacco-control programs prevented nearly 800,000 lung cancer deaths in the last quarter of the 20th century, but more than three times as many could have been spared had the entire population stopped smoking in 1965, according to a study released Wednesday.
The study, conducted by researchers at Rice University, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and other institutions, provides the first numbers showing the life-saving effect of tobacco tax hikes, bans on smoking in public places, limiting underage access and public education campaigns.
“This study is proof of how well these programs work,” said Olga Gorlova, a professor of epidemiology at M.D. Anderson and one of the study authors. “Screening is good secondary prevention, but we now know just how many deaths primary prevention can avert.”
Gorlova said she hopes the findings lead to more aggressive tobacco-control efforts. She singled out the need to counter tobacco companies' targeting of young people, the time when most smokers acquire the habit.
The study, published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, was based on sophisticated modeling that estimated the numbers of smoking-related lung cancer deaths from constructed tobacco-use histories of people born from 1890 through 1970. Six models, the Rice-M.D.Anderson team's among them, reached very similar conclusions.
Despite more than 40 years of tobacco-control programs, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women, killing more than 160,000 annually in the United States alone. More than 80 percent of lung cancer cases are attributed to smoking.
Gorlova called the study's estimate of smoking-related lung cancer deaths on the “low side,” and stressed it did not consider the influence of smoking on other cancers and diseases, such as emphysema and heart disease.
To arrive at their numbers, study researchers projected two scenarios — if all smoking in the United States stopped in 1965 and if there were no change in smoking trends starting that year — and compared them to actual smoking and lung cancer death data. About 2.5 million deaths would have been prevented had everyone stopped smoking, they found.
The 800,000 prevented deaths included 552,0000 men and 243,000 women.
David Sylvia, a spokesman for Philip Morris USA, said company officials couldn't comment on the study because they hadn't reviewed it. He acknowledged in a statement that smoking is “addictive and causes serious disease” and said the company agreed with established anti-smoking approaches.
“A complementary strategy, focused on the development of and appropriate communications about potentially lower risk tobacco products, may be one of the most meaningful actions that the Food & Drug Administration can take to reduce the health effects of smoking,” the statement said.
Smoking rates have declined in America since the 1960s, when the Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health prompted anti-smoking interventions. In 1964, 53 percent of men and 32 percent of women smoked. By 2008, the numbers had dropped to 23 percent and 18 percent respectively.
But the reduction has slowed in recent years. A surgeon general's report last week said steep declines in youth smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco had leveled off, a trend that the NCI's Thomas Glynn attributed to a mid-1990s complacency about anti-smoking efforts.
Glynn said anti-smoking interventions have picked up again in recent years, particularly tax hikes and restrictions on smoking in public places. In San Antonio, those restrictions now extend from all public enclosed areas to some outdoor ones.
Still, in an accompanying editorial in the NCI journal, Glynn asked how, over the past 100 years, “we allowed tobacco to kill and cause disease with such abandon.”
“Despite knowing what works and having the science to back that up, we have often lacked the political and financial will to do what is necessary to take full advantage of our knowledge and put an end to the scourge of tobacco in our society,” wrote Glynn, the NCI's director of cancer research and trends.
Federal health officials are unveiling Thursday a $54 million national media campaign to get smokers to quit and prevent anyone else, especially children, from starting.
The campaign, called "Tips From Former Smokers," is intended to educate Americans about the dangers of smoking through the stories and graphic pictures of ex-smokers who have suffered severe health consequences of tobacco use.
The former smokers profiled have suffered ailments like stroke-related paralysis, limb amputation, lung removal and heart attack. One breathes through a stoma, a surgically created hole in the neck through which a person who has undergone larynx or voice box surgery can breathe.
The ads are the brainchild of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Office on Smoking and Health. The agency says smoking remains the country's leading cause of disease and preventable death, resulting in more than 443,000 fatalities annually. More than 8 million Americans live with a smoking-related illness or conditions, according to the disease agency.
The combination of public service announcements and paid advertising for television, radio, newspapers and magazines, also spotlights the dangers of exposure to secondhand smoke. The ads will also be featured on billboards, in theaters and online--including on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The campaign includes eight television ads (one of them in Spanish); seven radio spots in 30- and 60-second versions; seven print ads and five billboard and bus stop ads.
The campaign marks the first time the CDC has run a paid, comprehensive national anti-tobacco advertising effort. The primary target is smokers ages 18 to 54, but public health experts also hope it will dissuade children from adopting the habit.
Last week the Surgeon General released a new report on youth smoking leading Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to declare: "Targeted marketing encourages more young people to take up this deadly addiction every day. This administration is committed to doing everything we can to prevent our children from using tobacco."
The agency said, "Targeted messages and images that portray smoking as an acceptable, appealing activity for young people are widespread, and advertising for tobacco products is prominent in retail stores and online."
The need for such a campaign is urgent, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
"This media campaign is a smart investment that will reduce tobacco use, save lives and reduce tobacco-related health care costs," Matthew L. Myers, president of the advocacy group. "The tobacco industry spends more than a million dollars every hour on marketing that entices kids, discourages smokers from quitting and portrays its deadly and addictive products as normal and appealing. The CDC's campaign will counter the industry's marketing with the harsh truth about tobacco use, told by former smokers themselves."
The CDC says the tobacco industry spends more than $27 million a day on marketing to kids and others. That's about $10 billion a year. In two days, the industry spends about what the government has budgeted for the entire 12-week campaign. The industry denies that it markets to children.
Tobacco giant Phillip Morris would not comment of the campaign, telling CNN: "Philip Morris USA agrees smoking is addictive and causes serious disease. While we are not prepared to comment on CDC's anti-smoking campaign, preventing underage tobacco use, discouraging smoking initiation and promoting quitting remain important to reducing the harm from cigarette smoking. A complementary strategy, focused on the development of and appropriate communications about potentially lower risk tobacco products, may be one of the most meaningful actions that the Food & Drug Administration can take to reduce the health effects of smoking."
Not in dispute is the deadly impact smoking can have on health. According to The American Heart Association, about a third of the smoking-related deaths in the United States are linked to heart disease.
"The ads highlight a shocking but very realistic fate that could await some current smokers if they continue their tobacco addiction," said Nancy Brown, the association's CEO. The ads note that smoking contributes to one in five strokes and increase the odds of having a heart attack. "The American Heart Association believes these graphic ads, coupled with vigorous tobacco control at the state level, will reach not only the adults who smoke, but also will break through to teens and discourage them from ever taking up this deadly habit," she said.
The campaign begins less than a month after a federal mandate requiring tobacco companies to place graphic images on their products warning of the dangers of smoking was tossed out by a judge in Washington, with the judge saying the requirements were a violation of free speech.
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act passed in 2009 would have required nine written warnings such as "Cigarettes are addictive" and "Tobacco smoke causes harm to children." Also included would have been alternating images of a corpse and smoke-infected lungs.
At a recent webinar on smoking cessation one man claimed that all his friends who quit smoking got sick after they gave it up.
Michael Mark, of the Illinois Tobacco Quitline who ran the webinar, says it is common to hear such comments because people are looking for excuses not to quit.
"The facts are absolute," he says. "There is no possible way that continuing smoking would benefit that individual or any individual."
Whether trying to cut back on drinking, smoking or changing years of poor eating habits, medical professionals agree: No matter the age it's not too late to benefit from lifestyle changes.
Why stop now?
Just as there are excuses there are reasons to make a change, many of them backed by research and statistics.
Mark says it is the 55 and older group they speak to more than anybody. "They're still vibrant and still have the capacity to exercise and enjoy life," Mark says.
Rather than a mentality of "I've smoked all these years the damage is done why would I quit now?," Mark suggests people should think about stopping the progression.
"Quit destroying what you have," he says. "You're approaching retirement, you have dreams."
Bufalino says many patients in cardiovascular services are in the 55 and older crowd, typically to assess risk for heart disease. There are many factors considered including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, family history, weight, diet and exercise, Bufalino says.
"Absolutely you can clearly reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke at any age," Bufalino says. "It's amazing how much better folks can feel if they are willing to exercise a few days a week."
For those who already have established lung disease such as chronic bronchitis or emphysema, quitting is still beneficial because the rate of the progression of the disease and severity of symptoms is slowed.
Quitting smoking can improve blood circulation, decrease the amount of carbon dioxide levels in the blood, improve heart rate and blood pressure and the percentage of developing lung disease goes down.
So what could you expect from quitting? Mark says some people may experience increased coughing and mucus production after quitting because areas of the lungs that have been asleep are beginning to wake up. But he says benefits include an increased sense of smell and taste, improved lung capacity and energy and decrease in shortness or breath and infections. Risk of heart attack or stroke also goes down.
For those who are skeptical, just ask a physician. "There are countless stories," Bufalino says. He mentions a man he has followed for 15 years who had a bypass in his mid-60s but changed his lifestyle.
"He's run 20 marathons by now and is in his mid 70s. It's totally revolutionized his life." While that may be an extreme example Bufalino says many people see it as a wakeup call and a second chance.
With a life expectancy now around 79, Bufalino says changes can improve quality of life.
"Get in, get seen and evaluated," Bufalino says. "And change now."
Bufalino says he understands change isn't easy and there may be a fear factor, but there are resources available to help.
Cardiac patients are offered a cardiac rehabilitation program involving structured exercise three times a week while monitored by an EKG. It is a three-month program designed to equip the patient to continue exercising on their own.
For others, he says, it may mean walking 10 minutes a day and working up to more.
"You have to get something you are comfortable with and stay with it," he says.
For those interested in quitting smoking they can contact the Illinois Tobacco Quitline, 866-QUIT-YES (866-784-8937), a free service from the state. Mark says they try to take people through the quitting process so they won't experience withdrawal symptoms. He says many people hesitate because they've tried before and failed, but he says they may not have used the right method or product for their needs.
The Quitline incorporate everything from smoking cessation classes to lozenges, patches and armbands. "The right combination is different for every person," Mark says.
14th Mar 2012
Key statistics for No Smoking Day show that smoking has dropped dramatically in 35 years but that 20% of the population still haven't kicked the habit
In 2010, 20% of the adult population of Great Britain were cigarette smokers compared with 45% in 1974 when the smoking data were first collected.
The General Household Survey (GHS) and General Lifestyle Survey (GLF) have been monitoring smoking prevalence for over 35 years.
And the 2010 survey included questions on cigarette consumption, type of cigarette smoked, how old respondents were when they started smoking, and dependence on cigarettes.
Dentists are being urged to help patients quit smoking as No Smoking Day approaches.
No Smoking Day takes place today (14 March) and more than a million smokers are expected to make a quit attempt.
The campaign – now in its 29th year – has the backing of British Dental Health Foundation chief executive Dr Nigel Carter.
He said: 'Smoking presents a very real danger to the public's oral and overall health. Dentists find themselves in a unique position to warn patients of the risks of smoking, which causes tooth staining and exacerbates gum disease – which has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, strokes and premature and low birth-weight babies.
'Tobacco is also linked to around three-quarters of all cases of mouth cancer. Placed on top of all the health concerns surrounding smoking, these risks stress the importance of campaigns such as No Smoking Day, and the Foundation wholeheartedly supports the campaign.'
Among adult smokers, 64% said they would like to stop smoking altogether and 58% said they would find it difficult to go without smoking for a whole day.
Furthermore, 15% per cent of smokers had their first cigarette within five minutes of waking up.
Over the last 20 years, there has been a substantial increase in the proportion of smokers who smoke mainly hand-rolled tobacco.
In 2010, 39% of men smokers rolled their own compared with 18% in 1990.
Amongst women, in 2010, 23% of smokers said they rolled their own compared with only 2% in 1990.
The difference in smoking prevalence between men and women has decreased considerably since the 1970s.
In 1974, 51% smoked cigarettes compared with 41%, whereas in 2010 there was no significant difference between smoking prevalence among men and among women (21% of men compared with 20% of women).
At the beginning of my last prevention education program I started off by asking the students "how many of you have a parent, grandparent or other family member you spend time with who smokes or chews tobacco?" Over 80 percent of the hands went up with their smiles dropping down to frowns. I couldn't help but frown too, knowing that 100 percent of those kids who raised their hands are being exposed to over 7,000 chemicals and toxic poisons and are four times more likely to use themselves. Growing up in a two pack-per-day smoker household myself, I know all too well the influences that come from loved ones who use tobacco products. I often think, "if only their parents could see all of those young hands rise, maybe they'd realize that their "personal right" and choice to smoke impacts so many more lives then just their own.
The health risks of tobacco are well known, but kids and teens continue to smoke and chew. Each day, more than 3,800 youth try tobacco for the first time, while 1,000 of them become regular daily smokers. Knowing that over 90 percent of all adult tobacco users started before the age of 18, it is so important to make sure kids understand all of the dangers associated with tobacco use early in life. Are these educational programs enough? Even when kids know the facts, what still influences them to start? A common answer I hear is "Well, my parents do it."These facts are often challenged when I explain to adult tobacco users that their choice to smoke influences the likelihood that their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews will use tobacco products someday by four times. I often hear, "My smoking is a personal right and doesn't impact anyone else but me!" While their children admit to me, "The other kids at school make fun of me because I always smell like a dirty ashtray from home." Or "My family doesn't have enough money to get groceries, but my Dad always has his smokes." Or "I get headaches all the time from my Grandpa's smoking, but I never say anything because I don't want to upset him." Or "my Mom uses it to relieve her stress, so even though I don't like the smell of it, I figured it could help me relax, too."
There is the cold hard truth. If it's not the evidence-based research, facts or figures that motivate you, maybe the honesty of our children's words will. You have a choice to either continue to use, or to quit now and make a positive impact on the younger generations. You are the one who holds the power to gain freedom for yourself while building a healthier foundation for our community to grow on in the future.
Back in the day, Rebecca Dickerson remembered, smoking was the thing to do.
"It was just cool," she said.
But what started as something cool in the 1970s became an addiction that would not let go of her for 39 years.
"I got hooked," she said. "I tried to stop many times, but went back."
Dickerson became one of 8 million African-Americans in this country who smoke. Tobacco-related diseases kill more African-Americans each year than car crashes, AIDS, murders and drug and alcohol abuse combined, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For African-Americans, avoiding tobacco requires willpower against far more than nicotine, as a host of historical, cultural, geographical and economic factors come into play. As slaves working in tobacco fields, they smoked to ease their pain. As consumers, certain brands are marketed toward them.
An internal tobacco company memo made public via landmark litigation urged marketers to "take advantage of the relatively small and tightly knit" nature of the African-American community. Many older members smoke and hand down the habit to younger generations, who have difficulty rejecting their elders' traditions.
"It has been in our history for a long time," said Kara Endsley, program manager for the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network in Durham, N.C. "We survived the [civil rights struggles of the] 1960s, we got Obama in the White House. We need that same fortitude to fight tobacco ... We are free from slavery, but still in bondage."
She was the keynote speaker at a recent workshop at Edward Waters College that brought together health education experts seeking ways to curb smoking by African-Americans in Northeast Florida. EWC, a tobacco-free campus since 2008, received a grant from the Tobacco-Free Jacksonville Coalition to stage the event.
Helping smokers quit
The key to breaking the smoking habit is to provide affordable, easily accessible no-smoking programs at the community level, Endsley said.
That's what helped Dickerson kick the habit.
She had many stops and starts. In early 2011, she woke up one morning and told herself the six cigarettes she had left would be her last.
"I decided I wouldn't buy any more. I was going to enjoy those six," she said with a chuckle.
Dickerson kicked the habit for two weeks on her own, used nicotine patches to help, then joined the free Quit Smoking Now program sponsored by the Northeast Florida Area Health Education Center.
Now 61, she has been smoke free for 14 months.
"Just being able to be with people in the same predicament I was in ... Nobody judged me," she said.
Another success story is Yvette Perry, 29, who started smoking when she was 18 or 19.
"Everybody was smoking," she said.
She decided to quit cold turkey a year or so ago because of the cost of cigarettes — $6 a pack — and worries about the possible impacts on her health and appearance.
"One day, I said I didn't want to smoke today," she said. "If you have strong willpower to give something up, you can give it up."
Her timing was critical. Shortly after she quit, she became pregnant.
'They lure us ... bait us'
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., the second largest tobacco company in the U.S., makes Camel and Kool cigarettes, among other brands. Spokesman David Howard told the Times-Union in an email that the company markets "to all adults who choose to smoke — regardless of smokers' ethnic background — and that includes white smokers, African-American smokers, Hispanic smokers and all other adult smokers. Our goal is to try to capture U.S. market share by offering adult smokers a wide variety of brand choices and styles, and to communicate with as broad a spectrum of adult smokers as possible."
Endsley said more education about smoking should be spread the way tobacco is marketed — in the roots of the community."Our community is under attack," she said. "But there is a lack of awareness. A lot of people don't understand."
She called for free no-smoking programs in churches and schools in African-American neighborhoods, promoting no-smoking policies for public places, providing booths and information at cultural events, and getting to adults through youths' anti-smoking programs.
Beat the tobacco companies at their own game, Endsley said.
"They lure us, they bait us," she said. "They don't care whether you live or die. They want to make money."
PETS living with smokers are twice as likely to get certain types of cancer as those in non-smoking homes, an animal charity has claimed.
In a warning timed to coincide with today’s No Smoking Day, the PDSA said smaller pets and birds are also very vulnerable because they are very sensitive to smoke.
The charity’s senior vet Elaine Pendlebury said: “The effects of second-hand smoke on humans are well- documented, however, the effects of passive smoking on our pets have only recently begun to be fully researched and understood.
“Cigarette smoke falls, so animals, and children, will breathe in more smoke as they are closer to the ground than adults.
“Smoke can also settle on fur, and as pets groom themselves they ingest the smoke toxins, meaning they can be exposed to higher levels of the harmful chemicals than humans.”
Research carried out with Glasgow University’s Vet School showed dogs in smoking households have higher levels of nicotine in their fur than those in homes where no-one smokes.
Professor Clare Knottenbelt from the university said: “People need to know about these dangers so that they can take necessary precautions and make healthy choices for their pets.”
Pets can also die after being poisoned by eating the contents of ashtrays.
The PDSA urges smokers to quit, or only light up outdoors and thus cut the risks of passive smoking.
The seemingly huge tobacco settlements (more than $200 billion paid to the states’ attorneys general) haven’t cost Big Tobacco (Altria, British American Tobacco, Lorillard, Phillip Morris and Reynolds) more than a few farthings and a sixpence. Big Tobacco hired the slickest and most clever, creative and “snaky” lawyers a decade ago to ensure continued important profitability and necessary stability of the tobacco industry. Like it or not, cigarettes are essential to the health of the economy, vital to state government budgets and to millions of Americans who depend on tobacco sales and profits to earn their living.
So when the jury decided the tobacco industry was guilty as sin, Big Tobacco paid out billions — but just by increasing the price of a pack of cigarettes (POC). And in the agreement, cobbled by the tobacco lawyers over a dozen years ago, Big Tobacco got almost everything it wanted. The states agreed they would never sue Big Tobacco and tied its state payments to tobacco sales. So if tobacco sales decline, the states get less money, in effect putting the states in the tobacco business.
Remember 25 years ago, when a POC cost about 50 cents to 75 cents? Today, in many states, a POC costs about $7 to $9, which includes $1.01 in taxes for the federal government, plus taxes of $3.00 to $5.35 for every POC sold in states like Washington, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Hawaii and New York.
The multibillion-dollar settlement with the states was pabulum for the anti-smoking lobby; it garnered millions for education programs, cancer research and related support groups. And if Big Tobacco sales fall, the states will see smaller revenues from tobacco taxes. Our states have unwittingly become addicted to tobacco and the survival of all those programs employing more than 110,000 Americans.mericans fail to realize how significant tobacco taxes have become to their well-being. The tiny state of Montana collected more than $85 million from cigarette taxes in 2010. New York City collected more than $1.5 billion, while the federal government was richer by more than $18 billion. Yes, billion! In 2010, states, counties, cities and the federal government collected more than $200 billion in cigarette sales taxes. What a deal -- and the smokers pay 100 percent of the costs of their transgressions. The anti-smoking lobby has been a big failure, but its top management is paid big bucks.
In the past five years, Big Tobacco has increased revenues, earnings and dividends quite nicely, and their share prices have also done well. So I believe that Altria’s (MO — 29) $1.64 dividend yielding 5.7 percent, Lorillard’s (LO — $123) $6.20 dividend yielding 4.9 percent and Phillip Morris’ (PM — $82) $3.08 dividend yielding 3.9 percent represent above average investments for revenue, earnings and dividend growth. Each of these companies generates a strong cash flow that enables them to maintain sizeable payouts despite the challenges ahead. And in spite of the negative factors that surround this industry (which I believe are discounted in their current share prices), these companies have good cost management and effective pricing.
Two years ago today was my last day of Addictive Blindness!
- Sure I had that Morning Cough - Allergies, I said.
- Well, my Voice is a bit crackly - Genes, I said.
- My Throat was full of phlegm - Upper Respiratory Issues, I said.
- I got so Winded I couldn't run far - Lack of Exercise, I said.
- Shallow Breathing - Well, I ain't 20 any more, I said.
- Frequent Sore Throat - Childhood Malnutrition, I said.
- Difficulty Swallowing - Nothing a cig couldn't relieve, I said.
No way this has to do with smoking! I barely smoke! My lungs are clear as a bell! My weight is good! I work hard - I deserve to have a cig!
March 14 was my rude awakening!
COPD! Quit Smoking Immediately or pay a very dear price for your cig! You DESERVE to live Smoke FREE! May you awaken from your Blindness before you succomb to a Smoking Related Illness!
Love Your Lungs! Love Yourself!
I remember like it was yesterday! I was 4 years old and my brothers and I decided to take a pack off my Mother's coffee table and ... "YUK! Are you sure this is supposed to taste good? That's disgusting! PHEWIE!" "Oh no," said my brother Ross,"you're just not doing it right! you supposed to suck it into your tummy and let it come pouring out your nose! Don't keep it in your mouth! EVERYBODY knows that!" Oh My Goodness! I pretended to enjoy that awful junk because I wanted to be like EVERYBODY!
And we, of course, got caught! We didn't know that good ol' Mom being a Nicotine Addict had every single sickerette accounted for! Her solution, you ask? She made us smoke the rest of the pack - or as much as we could before we wretched and coughed our little lungs out! I wonder what ever made her think that would work?
So what's your story? Why did you pick up that first coffin nail?
Newswise — TAMPA, Fla. (March 12, 2012) – Researchers from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., are participating in the 18th Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) from March 13-16 at the Hilton Americas Houston Hotel in Texas.
According to Thomas H. Brandon, Ph.D., chair of the Moffitt Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior and director of Moffitt’s Tobacco Research and Intervention Program (TRIP), the large contingent of Moffitt tobacco and nicotine researchers will be presenting research results that focus on smoking cessation and relapse, behavioral aspects of nicotine addiction, and the “cues” that can cause smoking relapse in those trying to quit.
“Our researchers conduct high-quality research of psychosocial and behavioral factors that contribute to tobacco use,” said Brandon. “We also focus on the development and evaluation of improved and novel methods for tobacco use prevention and smoking cessation.”Their work covers research on nicotine addiction, relapse, intervention and conducting clinical trials. For example, Brandon and colleagues have developed a “self-help” relapse-prevention intervention program now in use by the National Cancer Institute.
During the SRNT 18th Annual Meeting, Brandon will give a plenary talk on “Back to the Future: Reinvigorating Behavioral Smoking Cessation Research” and be a discussant.
David Drobes, Ph.D., Moffitt senior member and TRIP researcher, will be a discussant. He is also the secretary/treasurer of SRNT.
Moffitt researchers attending SRNT will present research data on a number of featured topics noted below.
• Predictors of Smoking Relapse Among Pregnant Women and Postpartum Women – Previous relapse prevention programs have been largely unsuccessful for this population. In a clinical trial to test a series of self-help relapse prevention materials for women recruited in their fourth to eighth month of pregnancy, researchers discovered important variables to target in treatment development and potential clinical applications for targeting pregnant women at-risk for smoking relapse.
• Trajectories and Predictors of Relapse in Lung and Head and Neck Cancer Patients Following Surgery – Cancer patients who continue to smoke are at increased risk for adverse outcomes and poor survival rates. Little information is available regarding relapse in this population, and there are no interventions tailored to them. This study examined a large number of variables, including smoking-related emotions, fears, perception of risk, pain and predictors of smoking relapse. Findings guided the creation of a relapse intervention program for this population.
• Effects of Mood Manipulations on Smoking Motivation: A Meta-Analysis – This study aimed at estimating the magnitude of cue-provoked cravings that increase when smokers are exposed to smoking-related cues. Discussion addresses potential moderators, implications and future directions for cue-related research.
• Visual Search and Attentional Bias for Smoking Cues: The Role of Familiarity – Findings on the relationship between drug cues and drug use are mixed. This study investigated attentional bias among non-smokers, smokers and smokers who had abstained for 12 hours. Attentional bias for smoking cues was strongly associated with previous environmental exposure to tobacco smoke but not smoking behavior variables.
• Cues, Cognition and Addiction: Alcohol-Nicotine Interactions – Alcohol and nicotine dependence are highly linked, but research on cross-cue reactivity has been limited. Results of this study suggest that cross-cue reactivity effects may extend beyond craving and shed a light on a potentially interactive role for smoking and drinking cues.
• Self-reported vs. Behavioral Effects of Perceived Drug-Condition Assignment: Inferring Expectancy Effects of Varenicline – This study conducted secondary analyses from a placebo-controlled, double-blind study on the effects of varenicline on craving and smoking reward looking at how participants expectancies about which medication they were receiving would affect their self-report responses on craving, smoking satisfaction and behavioral measures such as smoking motivation. Patients’ guess about medication (drug vs. placebo) predicted self-report measures.
• The Effects of Exercise on Smoking Behavior – While it is known that exercise can reduce the desire to smoke, little is known about puff volume and puff duration after exercise. This study assessed whether smoking behavior is affected by session exercise during periods of nicotine withdrawal and satiation. Study participants displayed a “non-significant trend” towards reduced average puff volume and puff duration following exercise. The study suggests that smokers may inhale less cigarette smoke following exercise and that exercise may be helpful in attempts to quit smoking.
• The Abstinence-Related Motivational Engagement Scale as a Predictor of Smoking Cessation Outcome – Little research has been conducted on changes in post-cessation motivation to remain smoke-free. This study tested the Abstinence-Related Motivational Engagement scale (ARME) as a predictor of smoking cessation outcome. Researchers found that motivational engagement is a significant predictor of six-month cessation.
(Reuters) - Two Slovak children were suspected of burning down a large gothic castle in eastern Slovakia when their experimentation with smoking went wrong, police said on Sunday.
Police were investigating two boys on suspicion that they set grass at the foot of the Krasna Horka castle on fire on Saturday when they tried to light up cigarettes, said Jana Mesarova, police spokeswoman for the eastern Slovak region of Kosice. Children under the age of 15 cannot be prosecuted in Slovakia.
"A unit sent to the site found that two local boys aged 11 and 12 were trying to light up a cigarette and because of careless use of safety matches, they set grass at the castle hill on fire," Mesarova said.
The castle subsequently caught fire and emergency services deployed 84 firefighters to the scene.
The Slovak National Museum wrote on its Facebook page that damage to the castle was extensive but about 90 percent of historical collections were saved, including contemporary photographs of furnished castle premises from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, oil paintings and various ornaments.
"The castle's roof burned down completely, as well as the new exhibition in the gothic palace and the bell tower. Three bells melted," the museum said.
The castle, near the UNESCO-protected Domica Cave, dates back to the early 14th century.
MONTREAL—Cécilia Letourneau has the low, smoky voice of a lounge singer, and it’s not for no reason.
Letourneau has been smoking for 45 years. She’s made “countless” attempts at quitting, all to no avail.
“Each time I tried to quit and it didn’t work,” the 65-year-old Rimouski, Que., resident suggested. “You suffer a loss, which rattles your self-esteem.”
Letourneau is now one of the lead plaintiffs in a massive class-action civil suit against Canada’s tobacco titans that began in Quebec Superior Court on Monday.
The $27 billion suit is unprecedented in Canada and the biggest in this country’s history. JTI-Macdonald Corp., Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd., and Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc. are the defendants.
After nearly 14 years, many delays and interim court judgments, the historic case is finally before Justice Brian Riordan.
There are actually two suits being heard, representing the roughly 2 million Quebecers who are hooked on tobacco or have suffered related diseases, such as cancer or emphysema.
The smokers say the industry misled them, withheld critical information and minimized the risks associated with tobacco. It has also targeted children, they claim.
The industry is mounting a vigorous defence. It’s not denying the risks of smoking, as in the past. Rather, it now says it’s impossible not to know the risks and that an individual’s responsibility must be taken into account.
Failing that, the industry also says the federal government should be held to account, since it has played a central role in the companies’ regulation, from packaging to distribution.
Letourneau, 65, said she started smoking about the same time she started to work. “To smoke was in fashion,” she declared. “I chose to smoke to show I was ‘in.’”
She spoke of the glamorous cigarette advertising at the time. “It was a free choice, but really I was programmed by an industry that made me captive to the product.”
She is simply unable to quit, she says.
Unlike Letourneau, 67-year-old Jean-Yves Blais, another plaintiff, has suffered lung cancer and emphysema. Like her, however, he says he can’t quit.But tobacco companies argue that no one today can say they are unaware of the dangers of smoking.
“It’s been a number of years, 40 to 50 years, that the dangers related to smoking have been known,” said Suzanne Côté, lawyer for Imperial Tobacco. “And the people who decide to start smoking, or continue smoking, must assume the consequences of a choice they made.
Before the judge, Côté said that despite the ubiquitous and graphic warnings that now adorn cigarette packages, “tens of thousands start smoking, even in 2012.”
Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society, said there were no package warnings before 1972 and even then they were weak. The industry has also opposed stronger warnings, he added.
“It was the people who began smoking in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s as kids, who later had emphysema. The health effects were not known,” Cunningham said.
He also said the majority of people start smoking before they’re 18, when they can’t be expected to have the same level of awareness. In addition, he said the industry has used misleading advertising to undermine the warnings.
The suit will force the industry to testify under oath about these allegations, he noted, “so their internal secret documents will become public for the first time ever.”
In the U.S., the tobacco industry has been forced to pay states for health-care costs. Some provinces in Canada are pursuing the same path.
It could take two years for the Quebec civil case to run its course, and even then appeals are inevitable.
For Holly and Doug Halonen, it's not a matter of politics or taxes.
It's simply about saving money.
About 18 months ago, they became regulars atTobacco Joes, a shop tucked into a small strip of business along Everett Mall Way.
People are drawn to the business by the promise of savings -- big savings -- on cigarettes.
But customers have to be willing to take on a do-it-yourself style project: picking out the specific type of tobacco they want from a line of plastic storage bins and choosing the paper cigarette tubes into which the tobacco will be inserted.
In a matter of about 10 minutes, a nearby automated machine can produce the equivalent of a carton of cigarettes for about half the price of store-bought.
Customers are able to bypass hefty cigarette taxes by using pipe tobacco, which is taxed at lower rates. It's triggered a debate among state lawmakers, who are considering whether this tobacco should be taxed at higher, cigarette-like rates.
The debate doesn't involve small change. At stake is about $13 million a year in potential tax revenues, according to the state Office of Financial Management.
If the state does increase taxes on pipe tobacco, it would mean that the equivalent of a carton of cigarettes at the roll-your-own shops would cost about $67.60, nearly matching the state average of $70 a carton.
The state House approved increasing the tax before the end of the legislative session Thursday. The state Senate would need to take action in its special session that starts today for it to go into effect.
The equivalent of a carton of cigarettes can be purchased at Tobacco Joes for about $39. Discounts for multiple purchases allow customers to buy the equivalent of two cartons for about $68, a savings of as much as $50 to $60 a carton depending on brand, Holly Halonen said.
The roll-your-own shops are diverting business from the state’s small convenience stores, where a carton of cigarettes can cost about $80, said T.K. Bentler, executive director for the Washington Association of Neighborhood Stores.
Taxing the pipe tobacco at cigarette-like rates would take away the economic incentive for customers to come to his store, said Joe Baba, owner of Tobacco Joes.
That would put an estimated 250 employees out of work at the 65 Washington stores that have the $30,000 roll-your-own cigarette machines, he said.
Stores like his are still paying tobacco taxes, he said. But if the Legislature approves the new tax, "it doubles the price of the tobacco we buy."
"The state believes our customers, by choosing pipe tobacco to make their smokes, are avoiding the cigarette excise tax," Baba said. "Rolling your own has been around for 100 years. People have always had that choice."
Many customers choose to buy pipe tobacco and make their own cigarettes "when it tastes good and it's a lot cheaper," Baba said. "In today's economy, saving money is a huge priority for most families."
Bentler said he thinks the machines will continue to spread across the state.
"It's very clever," Bentler said. "They basically buy loose tobacco, which we believe is really cigarette tobacco, where they don't have to pay as high of a tax as the cigarette excise tax."
Bentler said that those who think that the tobacco used in roll-your-own shops is inferior should go see for themselves what's being offered. "They'll ask what kind of cigarette (they want) and if they say Camel, they'll point you to the blend that's like that kind of cigarette," Bentler said.
"Convenience stores are losing money," he said. "The state's losing money. I believe these machines will continue to grow as long as people can purchase for 50 percent less what they buy at our stores."
Holly Halonen said she and her husband used to smoke Marlboros, and recently paid nearly $9 for a pack for the name-brand cigarettes.
They're able to produce a pack of cigarettes at Tobacco Joes for about $3 each, she said. "After we had been smoking these for a while, they are really good," she said.
Her husband said they both had the same reaction --"yuck" -- to temporarily switching back to Marlboros after running out of their roll-your-own supply.
The store has provided petitions so that customers can let lawmakers know about their objections to the proposed new tax on pipe tobacco.
"It would run us out of business," said Toni Haddanuff, the store manager.
An eight-year-old Indonesian boy who smokes two packets of cigarettes a day has highlighted the government's failure to regulate the tobacco industry, the country's Child Protection Commission says.
After food, cigarettes account for the second-largest household expenditure in the South-East Asian country of 240 million people, nearly half of whom still live on less than $US2 ($A1.90) a day.
But there is no minimum age for buying or smoking cigarettes."Ilham started smoking when he was four years old ... his smoking habit grew day by day and now he can finish smoking two packs of cigarettes a day," the boy's father, a motorcycle taxi driver called Umar, was quoted as saying by state news agency Antara.
The boy, who lives in a village in West Java provincial district of Sukabumi, would flare up in a rage and "smash glass windows or anything" if he was not given cigarettes, he added.
"He doesn't want to go to school anymore. He spends his whole day smoking and playing."
The government has increased excise taxes but prices remain extremely low by international standards, with a pack of 20 costing little more than a dollar.
Indonesia's Child Protection Commission chairman Arist Merdeka Sirait said the latest case further highlighted the government's failure to regulate the industry.
"This is yet another evidence showing the government has been defeated by the tobacco industry," he said.
"The growing number of smokers are a result of the industry's aggressive marketing targeting young people."The government makes about $US7 billion a year in excise taxes from the industry, which employs thousands of people on the island of Java.
In another case, a two-year-old boy who smoked about 40 cigarettes a day managed to kick the habit after he received intensive specialist care in 2010.
According to the World Health Organisation, smoking rates have risen sixfold in Indonesia over the past 40 years.
Smoking kills at least 400,000 people in Indonesia every year and another 25,000 die from passive smoking.
New Surgeon General’s Report Calls on Kansas to Make The Next Generation Tobacco-Free
Almost 50 years after the landmark 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on tobacco, Regina Benjamin, M.D., United States Surgeon General, released a new report yesterday and called on the nation to make the next generation tobacco-free. According to the report, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, far too many youth and young adults are using tobacco. Today in Kansas an estimated 4,800 middle school students1 and 20,800 high school students2 smoke cigarettes.Each day, more than 1,200 people nationally die due to smoking. For every one of those deaths, at least two new youths or young adults become regular smokers. And 90 percent of these replacement smokers smoke their first cigarette before they turn age 18.
In Kansas, high school student cigarette smoking has declined by 45 percent since 20002. In contrast, the percent of young Kansas adults 18 to 24 years old who smoke cigarettes has not changed significantly since 20003. The latest data show that smokeless tobacco use by Kansas male high school students has also not changed significantly since 2000.2 Nationwide, declines in the use of tobacco by youth and young adults have slowed for cigarette smoking and stalled for smokeless tobacco use after years of steady progress.
The comprehensive report provides further scientific evidence on young people’s sensitivity to nicotine. The younger they are when they start using tobacco, the more likely they are to get addicted and the more heavily addicted they will become. Nicotine addiction will cause about 3 out of 4 teens to smoke into adulthood, even if they intend to quit after a few years.
The report finds that tobacco marketing is a key factor in causing young people to start using tobacco, and nicotine addiction keeps them using it. More than $1 million an hour is spent on marketing tobacco products in this country--and 99 percent of all new smokers come from youth and young adult populations who are enticed to smoke by this marketing, according to the report. The more young people are exposed to cigarette advertising and promotional activities, the more likely they are to smoke. Images in tobacco marketing make tobacco use look appealing to young people who want to fit in with their peers. Kids and teens see smoking in their social circles, movies they watch, video games they play, websites they visit, and many communities where they live. Smoking is often portrayed as a normal, acceptable, even appealing activity; young people exposed to these images are more likely to smoke. And in 2010, nearly a third of top-grossing movies for children – those with G, PG, or PG-13 ratings – contained images of tobacco use. The report concludes that smoking in movies causes youth to start smoking.
“The evidence in the Surgeon General’s report clearly demonstrates a great need for the continued commitment from our public health professionals, health care advocates and concerned community leaders and citizens to prevent our young people from using tobacco,” said Robert Moser, M.D., Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary and State Health Officer. “We’ve seen success in Kansas with our youth cessation tools, so we know what works. Our local partners have made great strides in these efforts, and we must all work together to protect the young people in Kansas from the health dangers of tobacco use.”
While the long-term health effects of tobacco use are well-known, this report concludes that smoking early in life has substantial health risks that begin almost immediately--even for youth and young adults. For heart disease, we see early damage in most young smokers and those most sensitive die very young.
The significant health effects of tobacco use also have a financial impact on the state. Kansas spends an estimated $196 million annually in Medicaid costs to treat tobacco-related illnesses and an estimated $860 million in lost productivity costs are attributed to tobacco use in Kansas. (Source: Sustaining State Programs for Tobacco Control, Data Highlights 2006, CDC) “In Kansas, the public health community uses evidence-based strategies to prevent youth tobacco use and encourage cessation. We’ve been working on tobacco-free school grounds to reduce youth exposure to secondhand smoke and de-normalize tobacco use. Our online cessation tool for youth is relatively new, and it was implemented after hearing strong sentiment from youth who said they would not call a phone-based Quitline to work with a Quit Coach.” said Moser. “We’ve made some progress with these resources, but a lot of work remains.”
To provide assistance to tobacco users of any age who are ready to quit, KDHE offers free cessation support and information online at www.QuitNow.net/Kansas link or toll free at 1-800-QUIT NOW (784-8669). To further assist youth and young adults, in January KDHE launched www.KanQuit.org link , an online resource for teens and young adults seeking information about the health effects of tobacco use and resources to help them quit. For more information on the Kansas Tobacco Use Prevention Program, please visit www.kdheks.gov/tobacco link . For online copies of the full Surgeon General’s report, executive summary and an easy-to-read guide on tobacco use and young people visit www.surgeongeneral.gov link
On March 9, 2012, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted the FDA’s motion to consolidate the agency’s appeal of the Nov. 7, 2011, federal district court ruling granting a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the FDA’s graphic image/text statement cigarette warnings and the Feb. 29, 2012, federal district court summary judgment decision finding that these new health warnings violated the free-speech protections under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on both of these appeals on April 10, 2012.
The five major tobacco manufacturers that brought the original lawsuit against the FDA challenging the graphic image cigarette warnings include R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Lorillard Tobacco Co., Commonwealth Brands Inc., Liggett Group LLC and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. Inc. The main claim made by the tobacco manufacturers in the lawsuit is that the FDA’s graphic image warnings violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that protects free speech, including commercial speech such as advertising. When the government mandates that a company make a statement that the business would not otherwise make if it had a choice, this type of speech is known as "compelled speech" and is presumptively unconstitutional.
For compelled speech to be constitutional, a government can only mandate that a company provide factual and uncontroversial information to consumers about its products, such as the factual statements in the current Surgeon General warnings on cigarette packages. In the Feb. 29 decision, Judge Richard Leon found that “the graphic images here were neither designed to protect the consumer from confusion or deception, nor to increase consumer awareness of smoking risks; rather, they were crafted to evoke a strong emotional response calculated to provoke the viewer to quit or never start smoking.”
That is, the FDA’s main objective was not to give the public factual information about smoking in order to make an informed choice, but rather to advocate for a change in an individual’s behavior, namely, to never start smoking or to quit smoking. Judge Leon determined that the FDA crossed the line “between the constitutionally permissible dissemination of factual information and the impermissible expropriation of a company’s advertising space for Government advocacy.” In other words, Judge Leon reasoned that the FDA was unlawfully requiring the tobacco manufacturers to “speak" to their customers through the graphic image warnings by telling them not to purchase legal tobacco products.Moreover, the judge stated that there are numerous alternatives to the large graphic images that would be more narrowly tailored such as reducing the warnings from 50% of the front and back of packages to 20% of the packaging space, requiring warnings only on the front or back of packages, selecting graphics that convey only factual and uncontroversial information, and improving efforts to prevent the unlawful sale of cigarettes to minors.
In the concluding paragraph of his ruling, Judge Leon found that the FDA failed to carry both “its burden of demonstrating a compelling interest and its burden of demonstrating that the [graphic image mandate] is narrowly tailored to achieve a constitutionally permissible form of compelled commercial speech.”
A press release issued Feb. 29 by the Obama Administration regarding the FDA’s appeal of the federal court ruling stated: “This Administration is determined to do everything we can to warn young people about the dangers of smoking, which remains the leading cause of preventable death in America. This public-health initiative will be an effective tool in our efforts to stop teenagers from starting in the first place and taking up this deadly habit. We are confident that efforts to stop these important warnings from going forward will ultimately fail.”
Two years ago, I wrote to the editor about having “hung up” the 40-plus-year-old cigarette smoking habit.
I simply did it the plain old “cold turkey” way.
On Feb. 22, 2010, on a Saturday night, I smoked my last Marlboro.
Several events caused me to use the cold turkey way.
My age, my four adult children who were nonsmokers, the price of cigarettes and, most of all, my loving wife of 55 years, who was also a smoker, and had passed away in February 2009.
To really allow me to let it sink in that now is the time for me to quit, I had two visitors that Saturday evening who were non-smokers.
My son-in-law and his golfing buddy friend who had come to Florida on a golfing event and stayed overnight.
After a dinner outing that Saturday evening and a return to our condo, I always would light up as I got out of the car.The women had gone into the condo, and the three men delayed our entry so I could stay out of doors to complete smoking.
Well, that is when it really hit me.
I was thinking to myself, “how thoughtless” of me, to be standing there smoking as my two visitors were getting the secondhand smoke.
When Sunday morning arrived, that is when I started the “cold turkey” thing.
I had an open package of cigarettes with two more full packs in the glove compartment of my truck.
That opened pack was thrown away the next day. The two full packages of cigarettes are now mounted on a plaque that I made, noting the date, place and time that I gave up the smoking habit.
Yes, I did gain a few extra pounds, but I have saved somewhere around $1,500, plus or minus a few bucks.
I have been able to taste food and drink so much better.
But the real end result of my many years of smoking is now I am being treated for bladder cancer.
So folks, think twice every time you light up.
Earl F. Shepherd,
In response to Peggy, Dale and all of us who feel discouraged these days, I wish to repost this Blog first posted May 13, 2011. I hope we all think about what we really are doing here....
Shared grief is half the sorrow,
but happiness when shared, is doubled.
Life often brings us to a crossroads of choices and it can be confusing as to where to turn. Somewhere along the way I have turned down many a blind alley and wound up in a few ditches. I think that's human. But then there came a time when I read and took in what M. Scott Peck was actually communicating in his book, The Road Less Traveled. I've read and reread at different times the message but it seemed to apply to other luckier people not to me until I realized that he wasn't writing this book for the fortunate - you know the type who get upset when they break a fingernail! Tommy many months ago came here to this Community and captured what we are all about and why we are successful in quitting smoking! Smoking is destructive and we do it to ourselves so even if we didn't set out to do it or even recognize what we were doing we had actually been self-destructive which destroys our self esteem! When a cigarette is our Best Friend then people aren't, are they? But when we quit, we have to reintegrate into the human Community and Tommy calls that sincere, caring give and receive relationship "Collateral Kindness"! It isn't just a nice little bonus of quitting successfully-it's a requirement of learning how to become that Ex-Smoker we aim to be. We learn to share our grief, not with a dead leaf wrapped in paper and dipped in 4000+ deadly chemicals but with real life flesh and blood human beings (YOU and ME!) We also learn to spread our JOY not just about our Milestones and Triumphs of beating the Addiction that lives in us but in all aspects of living - of how Happily we CAN live if we DECIDE to! Before we know it we find ourselves being kinder to Family members, Coworkers, the Clerk at the grocery store, even folks who are not so kind to us! But going through life Addiction FREE and Happy doesn't mean that our days are always without grief - it just means that we are more open to Compassion both in the giving and reception so that we know that when Life gets painful - and it will, at times- we know that we are not alone and lonely with our killer cigarettes as our only comfort! The more you give- the more you receive! Let's be there for each other because that's what works about this Community!
I LOVE YOU PEOPLE! Thanks for helping me to LIVE FREE!
WASHINGTON -- More than 3.6 million kids smoke cigarettes, according to a new report from the surgeon general on the scope and health consequences on tobacco use among youth.
"Today, more than 600,000 middle school students and three million high school students smoke," according to U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, who called youth smoking an "epidemic."
The report is the first aimed at children and adolescents since one in 1994 that concluded that if young people don't try smoking by the age of 18, they'll likely never start.
Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable and premature death, killing an estimated 443,000 Americans each year, according to the report.
Every day in the U.S., more than 3,800 young people under 18 smoke their first cigarette and more than 1,000 of them will become daily smokers, according to the report.
About three out of four high school smokers continue to smoke well into adulthood, the report said.
Although youth smoking rates dropped rapidly from 1997 to 2004, they are falling more slowly now.
The report culled existing research and found that starting to smoke at a young age has "substantial health risks that begin immediately" including shortness of breath, wheezing, and asthma in susceptible adolescents, impaired lung growth and reduced lung function, and early abdominal aortic atherosclerosis in young adults.
"We now know smoking causes immediate physical damage, some of which is permanent," Benjamin said.
There's also suggestive -- but not sufficient -- evidence to conclude that there is a causal relationship between smoking in adolescence and young adulthood and coronary artery atherosclerosis in adulthood, the report said.
The report writers also found:
Cigarettes aren't the only problem, the report found. Nearly one in five white adolescent males uses smokeless tobacco and one in 10 young adults smoke cigars.
Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, wrote in a preface to the report that the government must build on its past anti-tobacco efforts and work to cut teen tobacco use rates even further.
The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement -- when the major U.S. tobacco companies agreed to pay $206 billion to states over 25 years -- eliminated most cigarette billboard advertising, print advertising directed to underage youth, and limited brand sponsorship of cigarettes.
More than a decade later, a 2009 law that gave the FDA regulatory control over tobacco products contained a number of provisions aimed at preventing kids from smoking, including banning certain flavored cigarettes which public health advocates say are intended to get kids hooked early by masking the tobacco taste of cigarettes.
The economic stimulus bill that same year gave $225 million to support tobacco prevention efforts in states, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurers to cover tobacco cessation programs at no cost to the patient.
Sebelius remarked in the report that the perception of smoking has changed markedly in the past several decades.
"We have come a long way since the days of smoking on airplanes and in college classrooms, but we have a long way to go," Sebelius wrote. "We have the responsibility to act and do something to prevent our youth from smoking. The prosperity and health of our nation depend on it."
Christopher Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) agreed.
"Combating tobacco use requires a multi-pronged approach that includes strong federal regulation, higher tobacco excise taxes, comprehensive smoke-free laws, sustained public education campaigns, school-based policies and programs, and strong tobacco prevention and cessation programs," Hansen said in a press release.
The surgeon general's report comes a week after a federal judge ruled that requiring cigarette packages to carry graphic health warnings on their labels is a violation of the tobacco companies' First Amendment rights.
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These are some of the Gifts that come to mind as I CELEBRATE my QUIT:
(1) I feel more SELF-CONFIDENT because I made a choice to change my self-destructive behavior and followed through.
(2) I feel more HONEST because I am not evading truthfulness about the consequences in order to support my Smoking Addiction.
(3) I feel more SELF-RESPECT because I made a decision to QUIT SMOKING and honored that decision.
(4) I feel more SECURE because I no longer have that constant battle "I want to smoke"vs"I don't want to smoke."
(5) I feel more OPTIMISTIC because I no longer attack stress with another cigarette, I attack it with a constructive plan of action.
(6) I feel more SPIRITUAL because when I called upon my higher power for assistance I felt his/her response.
(7) I feel more DECISIVE because I saw how I can set a goal and accomplish it one day at a time each and every day.
(8) I feel more SELF-AWARE because I sense days or situations of weakness and have a winning back up plan to protect my QUIT.
(9) I feel more INTEGRATED because when my body said "I need...." my mind and spirit responded affirmatively.
(10) I feel more JOY as I experience COLLATERAL KINDNESS and CELEBRATE each and every daily VICTORY over my Smoking Addiction with my BecomeanEX friends! THANK YOU for CELEBRATING with me!!!!!!
Since Scotland introduced a ban on smoking in public places in 2006 there has been a 10% drop in the country's premature birth rate, say researchers.
They believe this is a smoke-free benefit that can be chalked up alongside others, like reductions in heart disease and childhood asthma.
Tobacco smoke has been linked to poor foetal growth and placenta problems.
Plos Medicine analysed smoking and birth rates for all expectant women in Scotland before and after the ban.
It included data for more than 700,000 women spanning a period of about 14 years.Significant change
Scotland was the first country in the UK to ban smoking in public places, followed by Wales, Northern Ireland and England in 2007.
After the legislation was introduced in Scotland, fewer mothers-to-be smoked - 19% compared with 25% before.
Andy Cole Chief Executive of Bliss
It is important to remember that the reasons a baby can be born premature or underweight are complicated and that smoking is just one risk factor”
At the same time there was a significant drop in the number of babies born prematurely or with low birthweight.
The investigators believe both are linked to the smoking ban, even though these rates started to go down some months before the ban was introduced and smoking incidence started to creep up again shortly after the ban.
They say there have not been any major changes in maternity care that would explain the findings.
Also, the reduction in premature births was both in non-smokers and women who continued to smoke when pregnant, which they say suggests passive smoke exposure is likely involved.But while their work suggests a link, it is not proof that one thing necessarily causes another. As with all retrospective studies like this, it is impossible to rule out entirely all other factors that might have influenced the finding.
However, Dr Daniel Mackay and colleagues from the University of Glasgow say their findings "add to the growing evidence of the wide-ranging health benefits of smoke-free legislation" and "lend support" to the adoption of such legislation in countries where it does not currently exist.
Andy Cole, chief executive of the special care baby charity Bliss, said: "We welcome the findings of this new study, which highlights a reduction in the number of babies born early or with low birthweight in Scotland, where around 8,000 babies are born each year needing specialist hospital care.
"Bliss always recommends that women should not smoke during pregnancy and that they should lead a healthy lifestyle. However, it is important to remember that the reasons a baby can be born premature or underweight are complicated and that smoking is just one risk factor."According to the British Heart Foundation, there are more than nine million smokers in the UK, and smoking remains the UK's biggest cause of avoidable early death.
It says the focus should now shift to the effect of smoking in the home and confined spaces, such as cars, especially where children are present.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: "We are continuing to build upon the achievements made to protect future generations from the devastating effects of smoking such as bans on cigarette vending machines and the displays in shops.
"We are committed to ensuring a new comprehensive robust tobacco control strategy for Scotland is developed this year. This strategy will focus on prevention and cessation and include ambitious targets for reducing smoking across Scotland."
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Counter Tobacco and the American Heart Association released a report today that essentially accuses tobacco companies and convenience stores of being in cahoots to market tobacco products to kids.
This new report, which may appear to many as being high in hyperbole and short on verifiable facts, nevertheless represents one of the broadest attacks on convenience stores, linking them to tobacco companies as co-conspirators in the eyes of health advocacy organizations.
"Tobacco companies have enlisted convenience stores as their most important partners in marketing tobacco products and fighting policies that reduce tobacco use, thereby enticing kids to use tobacco and harming the nation's health," stated a news release from The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
The report, entitled "Deadly Alliance: How Tobacco Companies and Convenience Stores Partner to Market Tobacco Products and Fight Life-Saving Policies," goes on to say that tobacco companies spend more than 90 percent of their marketing budget to "saturate convenience stores, gas stations and other retail outlets" and pay stores billions to ensure that cigarettes and other tobacco products are advertised heavily, displayed prominently and priced cheaply “to appeal to both kids and current tobacco users.”
That statement alone should cast doubt on the accuracy of the report since c-store industry executives often note that, with few exceptions such as Native American reservations, cigarettes prices per pack and cartoon are at all-time highs, and stores already face severe fines and penalties for illegally selling to underage children. The report also accuses convenience stores of becoming "front groups for the tobacco industry in fighting higher tobacco taxes and other public policies that reduce tobacco use." However, the report doesn’t say how it distinguishes between a “front group” and a business that is simply lobbying for its right to sell a legal product to adult smokers.
"The result of this alliance is more kids smoking, fewer adults quitting, more tobacco-related death and disease, and higher health care costs for everyone," the report states. "In short, the tobacco industry and its convenience store allies are making a killing by making deadly and addictive tobacco products all too convenient."
Actually, national volume of cigarette consumption has declined from approximately 1.82 billion cartons in 2007 to 1.31 billion in 2011, according to Convenience Store News’ latest Industry Forecast Study. C-store cigarette volume has also declined, albeit as a slower rate than other types of retailers who have voluntarily exited the cigarette business.
The report presents the hardly-startling fact that “convenience stores and other retail outlets have become, by far, the dominant channel for marketing tobacco products in the United States. “C-stores sell about two-thirds of all cigarettes. In OTP (other tobacco products), c-stores’ share is about 91 percent, compared with 6 percent for supermarkets and just less than 3 percent for drugstores, according to Nielsen figures.
"Despite their claims to have changed, tobacco companies continue to bombard kids with messages encouraging them to smoke, and convenience stores have become their most important partner in doing so," said Matthew L. Myers, president of The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. It is critical that elected officials reject the influence of these special interests and take action to protect the nation's children and health instead, he added.
"This report exposes how tobacco companies enlist retailers to advertise and promote their deadly products. As a result of this alliance, stores are now the major channel where they lure youth with colorful advertisements and entice current smokers with aggressive price promotions. This report is a wakeup call that states need to be focusing on the point of sale to combat these harmful industry practices," said Kurt M. Ribisl, Ph.D., Director of the Counter Tobacco project and Associate Professor in the Department of Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.
The report calls on elected officials to adopt policies – especially higher tobacco taxes – that reduce tobacco use and counter the influence of point-of-sale marketing. Despite evidence that in high tax states like New Jersey, tobacco taxes are reaching the point of diminishing returns, the report calls higher tobacco taxes a “win-win-win for states -- a health win that reduces smoking, especially among kids; a financial win that produces significant new revenue; and a policy win that polls show is strongly supported by voters across the country.”
The report doesn’t address the fact that tobacco taxes might unfairly burden smokers, who tend to be working class or poor, and jeopardize jobs at retailers at a time of high unemployment.
People who have a cigarette on the weekends may think they are less at risk from the health consequences than their regular smoking peers.
But now British scientists have found social smokers are actually causing as much damage to their everyday memory than those who puff away on a daily basis.
A team from Northumbria University studied three groups of 28 undergraduate volunteers: social smokers who had around 20 cigarettes, typically when out at the weekend; people who smoked 10 to 15 cigarettes a day and people who had never smoked.
None of the volunteers used illegal substances and did not drink more than recommended 'safe' weekly amounts.
The participants were asked to remember a series of pre-determined actions at specific locations when viewing a short video of a busy high street. For example, they were asked to remember to text a friend when passing a landmark, or exchange a shop in a certain store. This ability to carry out planned actions in the future is known as prospective memory.
In the first study of its kind, researchers found that both groups of smokers performed 'significantly worse' than those who had never smoked, with no difference according to the pattern of smoking.
Dr Tom Heffernan, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, who conducted the research with Dr Terence O’Neill, said: 'Smoking-related memory decline in general has been linked with increases in accelerated cerebral degeneration such as brain shrinkage.
'This new research suggests that restricting smoking to weekends makes no difference – smoking damages your memory.'
Dr Heffernan has previously shown that smokers could lose around one third of their everyday memory, but this could be restored if they quit.
Participants were asked to recall small details, such as music acts
listed to play at the students’ union and tasks completed at various points
known as a real world memory test.
Smokers performed badly, remembering just 59 per cent of tasks. But those who had given up smoking remembered 74 per cent and those who had never smoked recalled 81 per cent of tasks.
The team said they could next test how prospective memory of smokers and social smokers is affected by real world settings.
'Prospective memory is often carried out over prolonged delays such as hours, day or even weeks,' they said.
The study has been published in the Open Addiction journal.
She's found herself at the centre of a huge amount of controversy since photographs first emerged of her smoking while pregnant.
But Stacey Solomon today showed that the stress of the scandal is taking its toll, as she was reduced to tears during an interview on This Morning.
Stacey was talking to Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on the show about her actions and struggled to control her emotions as she admitting indulging in her habit while seven months along with her second child is a 'selfish' thing to do.
Asked by Holly if she had considered the harmful effects smoking might have on her baby, Stacey replied: 'At the end of the day, nothing that I can say makes it right. All I can say is that from the day I found out that I was pregnant, I have tried my best to give up. I completely understand why people would be angry, because for some people it's uncomprehendable.
'I understand that it's a selfish thing to do, so I don't think the comments are unjustified, although I do thing some are a bit harsh.'
Stacey also insisted that she has '100 per cent cut down' from the amount of cigarettes she smoked before she fell pregnant.
She added: 'As soon as you get pregnant, you think you need so stop. I did smoke between 5 and 10 a day, but I completely cut down and from there on I have been trying to stop.
'I'm smoking] between 1 and 3 a day, if that... I just thought I would be able to quit. And some days I've done really, really well and had none but there are some days when I have had some. I'm doing my best to just go without, but sometimes it's not just as easy to cut it out.'
Stacey was also asked how she felt about being cut out of the Foxy Bingo Celebrity Mum of the Year campaign.
She said: 'I feel that they have to set a good example so it's absolutely their decision and I have to accept it because at the end of the day they can't be seen to support that.'
Phillip and Holly also asked Stacey, who has a four-year-old son Zachary from a previous relationship, how her fiancé Aaron Barnham feels about her smoking while pregnant.
Stacey replied: 'Aaron is not happy with it but at the same time he's supportive of me and he will help me no matter what. He's always trying to do things with me - all he can do is support me.'
Struggling to hold back her tears, Stacey continued: 'I don't condone it in any way and I think it's important that people know that. I don't want people to think it's OK or that I think it's OK.'
I want to offer additional facts regarding the Gazette's Feb. 27 story referencing smokeless tobacco products made by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and other tobacco companies.
It is a guiding principle of R.J. Reynolds that minors should never use tobacco products. The story implied certain dissolvable tobacco products are targeted toward youth. Camel Snus and Camel dissolvables are, in fact, made for and marketed to adult tobacco consumers in an effort to encourage them to switch from cigarettes to these smokeless tobacco products.
The products are sold and advertised on the same store shelves as other tobacco products, behind the sales counter, requiring a clerk's assistance to access. Proof of age is required to purchase these products.
According to the latest federal government research, retailers in Montana are at a 96.4 percent compliance rate in preventing illegal sales of tobacco to minors. Additionally, in Montana, it is illegal for youth to possess tobacco products. R.J. Reynolds supports strong enforcement of these laws.
We believe adult smokers have a right to be fully and accurately informed about the risks of serious diseases, the significant differences in the comparative risks of different tobacco and nicotine-based products, and the benefits of switching or quitting. This information should be based on sound science.
Had R.J. Reynolds been contacted for the story, we would have been happy to provide you this relevant information.
Richard J. Smith
Administration continues to push for graphic warning labels on cigarette packages.
Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration appealed the February 29, 2012decision issued by Federal District Court Judge Richard Leon which held that the FDA’s new graphic images and text warnings for cigarette packaging and cigarette advertisements violate free speech protections under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. A Notice of Appeal was filed by the FDA in the U.S. District Court in Washington,DC, according to the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO).
As previously reported by NATO, Judge Leon’s February 29th ruling stated that the FDA’s graphic images and text statements did not constitute factual or uncontroversial information and were designed to change people’s behavior rather than give consumers information on which to make an informed decision about smoking. According to Judge Leon, this constitutes compelled speech and crossed the line “between the constitutionally permissible dissemination of factual information and the impermissible expropriation of a company’s advertising space for Government advocacy.
The FDA previously appealed Judge Leon’s November 7, 2011ruling that imposed a temporary injunction on the enforcement of the graphic image and text statement health warnings. That appeal, according to NATO, is scheduled for oral argument before a three judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals next month on April 10. It is not known at this time whether the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will consolidate both of these appeals and hear arguments on the merits of the case based on Judge Leon’s February 29th ruling.
Many renters who live in multi-unit housing in Chicago are single mothers.
Did you know that cigarettes are the leading cause of fires in multi-unit housing? Today, a growing number of landlords have discovered it is too costly to rent to smokers. Besides property damage such as smoke-stained walls, landlords also have to worry about removing the foul stench that permeates a smoker’s apartment. They have to worry about non-smoking tenants getting sick from secondhand smoke. By law, prospective tenants should have to reveal their smoking habits.
It also should be made easier to evict tenants who lie about their smoking habits. Let’s help landlords transition to smoke-free buildings and to enforce smoking bans. Smokers have the right to destroy their health, but they do not have the right to harm children and non-smokers.
Kellie has been talking about lung reduction surgery for Stage IV Emphysema/COPD. I thought the Community might want a little background on exactly what that means so that our thoughts and prayers can be more specific in support of our Sister, Kellie! So here goes:
Lung volume reduction surgery is used to improve breathing in some people with severe emphysema, a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). During surgery, small wedges of damaged lung tissue are removed to allow the remaining tissue to function better. There is a fairly rigorous process to qualify as a candidate for the surgery. After surgery, people often have less shortness of breath and are better able to exercise."By removing the section of lung that is primarily affected with severe emphysema, we can decrease air trapping and consequently the shortness of breath, which can thereby improve the patient's perceived quality of life."
However, LVRS has a small but inherent danger of perioperative mortality."LVRS has risks that patients need to understand and acknowledge," said Dr. Benzo. "In NETT (National Emphysema Treatment Trial), close to five percent of the patients undergoing lung reduction died in the post-operative period. However, once the post operative period is over, the quality of life benefit comes right away."
Q. What are the benefits of lung volume reduction surgery?
A. There are many potential benefits of LVRS. Benefits include:
Most patients who have been selected for LVRS report a great improvement in their overall quality of life. Better breathing means less fatigue and more energy to enjoy life.
Q. Who is a candidate for lung volume reduction surgery?
A. Not everyone with severe emphysema is a good candidate for LVRS. Being a good candidate for LVRS is an important factor for surgical success. A large, nationwide study completed in 2005 found that people with severe emphysema in the upper lobes of the lungs with decreased exercise capacity benefit the most from LVRS. The study also showed that patients who do not meet the criteria would receive little or no benefit from LVRS.
Q. What are the risks associated with lung volume reduction surgery?
A. LVRS is an elective surgery, and as with any type of surgery, there are risks. The benefits of the surgery are not immediate, and may take time to be fully realized. Complications such as pneumonia, infection, and air leaks within the chest cavity can occur. Ultimately, there is no guarantee that the surgery will work.
In the 1990s, LVRS was more common and was performed at many hospitals that did not have the proper framework or expertise to perform the procedure. Over time, it was apparent that some patients who had LVRS were not faring well, so Medicare (the nation's largest health insurance program) stopped paying for the surgery. Medicare initiated a study to determine which people with emphysema are the best candidates for the procedure. The study was completed in 2005 and led to specific guidelines for surgical candidates and reimbursements by Medicare,NETT.
So, as you can see, this is a very major, very emotional decison! I hope this little explanation gives you a clearer picture of her dilemma! I think of you, Kellie, with every single breath I take! My prayers go out for Kellie and for her loving family at this time of intense stress and hope! God Bless Kellie! May her outcome be easy breathing!
The expression, "the smoking lamp is lighted," is older than the United States of America. It is the word that is "passed" when it is all right to light up a cigarette, pipe or stogie. When it's time to stop smoking (e.g. during the loading of ammunition), the word is "the smoking lamp is out."
Now the Navy is moving to end the epidemic of smoking in the ranks of the Navy and Marine Corps. This makes the smoking police very happy, witness the press release from the American Lung Association. It said,
American Lung Association Lauds New Health Initiative,
Encourages Tobacco-free Culture in Navy and Marine Corps
Statement of Charles D. Connor, President and CEO of the American Lung Association
WASHINGTON—“The American Lung Association commends Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus for taking important steps to confront the military’s tobacco epidemic. The 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative will help Sailors and Marines quit tobacco, promote tobacco-free environments and put in place environmental changes that will reduce tobacco use throughout the Navy and Marine Corps. This is an unprecedented investment in the comprehensive health of Sailors, Marines and their families.
“To its great credit, the leadership of the Navy and Marine Corps has recognized this issue and is calling ‘all hands on deck’ to change the status quo and overcome the self-defeating culture of heavy tobacco use. We laud the efforts of Navy and Marine Corps leaders on this front and look forward to a future in which all tobacco products are dishonorably discharged from the Sea Services.
“This initiative smartly incorporates aspects of the recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2009 to implement a systematic approach to denormalizing and eliminating tobacco use by members of the U.S. armed services.
“It is our hope that the Department of the Navy will continue to press forward and further implement the IOM’s broad range of recommendations to develop and enforce a timeline for achieving complete tobacco-free status, recognizing that smokeless tobacco products—which the tobacco industry is now pushing even more aggressively—sustain addiction to nicotine.
“Tobacco use is a significant problem in the U.S. military. Evidence shows that it drastically compromises troop readiness, and it imposes high healthcare costs on the Department of Defense and Veterans' Administration.
“Today’s actions by Secretary Mabus are an important step in the right direction for the protection of America’s Sailors and Marines.”
The Indiana General Assembly has the opportunity this week to pass legislation that would better safeguard the health of millions of Hoosiers. That legislation -- a workplace smoking ban that would include most restaurants in the state -- does need to be strengthened in conference committee after the Senate last week added several nonsensical exemptions to the proposed ban. Yet, even in its current form, the bill, if it becomes law, would be a significant improvement over the status quo.
The debate on the Senate floor last week revealed that some lawmakers still don't understand why secondhand smoke poses such a grave health hazard to Indiana workers. It also exposed the weakness of the arguments used to water down the bill.To help underscore why a comprehensive workplace smoking ban is necessary, The Star Editorial Board reviews the scientific research on secondhand smoke and dissects a few of the arguments against the measure.
So why all the fuss about secondhand smoke?
The medical community is strongly united around the fact that secondhand smoke is dangerous to your health. In 2006, the U.S. Surgeon General found "overwhelming scientific evidence" that thousands of Americans die every year from cancer and heart disease because they were exposed to secondhand smoke. The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Toxicology Program both classify secondhand smoke as a "known human carcinogen." Research also indicates that secondhand smoke triggers respiratory tract and lung infections and aggravates asthma symptoms, including in children.But is it really that dangerous just to work around people who are smoking?
There's compelling evidence that workplace smoking bans save lives. Research from the Mayo Clinic, released late last year, found that heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths were cut by half in the decade after Minnesota's Olmsted County adopted a smoking ban. The Institute of Medicine in 2009 released an analysis of 11 studies and found that all of them showed a decrease in the rate of heart attacks after smoking bans were implemented.
OK, so even if it's agreed that secondhand smoking is dangerous and workplace smoking bans save lives, isn't it still up to business owners to decide for themselves what to allow or not allow on their properties?Business owners certainly have the freedom and right to make many decisions about how to run their operations. But it's long been accepted that businesses can't knowingly permit conditions that harm the health of their workers. If there's clear evidence that secondhand smoke poses a significant health hazard -- and there is -- then the ability of businesses to make independent decisions is necessarily compromised, just as it is already in regard to other dangerous substances or conditions.
We keep giving up our freedoms. I just want to be left alone to enjoy a smoke when and where I want. What's wrong with that?
It's one thing to make a decision about your own health. But you don't have a right to hurt someone else's health, including the waiters, bartenders and chefs paid to serve you. Indiana is late to the game on this issue -- 22 states already have comprehensive workplace smoking bans that include restaurants and bars. Those states wrestled with many of the same questions that Indiana lawmakers are now considering. But ultimately they moved forward, and the research strongly indicates that it was the right call. Indiana should do the same this week.
As a former smoker of 75 to 125 cigarettes per day for more than 35 years, and the author of several books that have helped so many smokers quit, it should be obvious that my main concern is helping smokers.
As such, I have to make a clear statement to each and every smoker in Orangeville that feels they have the right to smoke on publicly owned lands.
According to a report in The Times, Vinton G. Cerf, summed rights up as follows: “There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right. Loosely put, it must be among the things we as humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture and freedom of conscience ...”
Where does smoking qualify in that definition?
Every person who smokes is an addict. Everyone knows that. A smoker is no different than any other junkie, with the exception that the law permits smokers to pull out their “works” and get their “fix” in front of anyone who happens to be standing nearby.
By so doing, smokers act to influence children and young adults by pretending what they’re doing is an acceptable and social act, rather than an unacceptable and dangerous addiction that causes a host of health issues to not only the smoker, but to others who are subjected to their second-hand smoke.
Second-hand smoke is a proven health hazard. The proof cannot be denied.
Merely burning a cigarette creates 4,000 to 8,000 chemicals, many toxic and/or carcinogenic.
There’s absolutely nothing beneficial in smoking. It’s not a sociable act (it’s anti-social actually), or something that makes you cool, sexy or glamorous.
My new neighbor downstairs is a smoker. Even with all of our windows and doors shut, I can still smell their smoke. My wife and I are worried because along with our own health, we are concerned about our new daughter’s lungs (11 weeks old). I don’t know if it helps, but we are good renters, never had a late payment nor any complaints. Is there anything we can do?
— Worried new dad, North Park
California state, county, and city laws don’t do much of anything to protect you. There are no laws with regard to second-hand smoke in private, nonbusiness dwellings. (Consider moving to Utah, the only state where your non-smoker rights are better protected by state law.) But your landlord or the dreaded homeowners’ association can make any rules they like about smoking in their buildings. Courts would not consider such rules “discriminatory” because smokers are not recognized as a “protected group” the way, say, the disabled are. Unfortunately for you, existing tenants would be excluded from the new rule. You as superior, star-studded tenants might have some juice with management, so approaching them with your concerns could be fruitful. It’s more expensive to clean up an apartment that was occupied by smokers, so they might be inclined to hear you out. The only legal situation you have on your side is the implied warranty of “habitability” and “peaceful enjoyment” of your home, which applies to every lease. You can challenge your uncooperative landlord in court, saying the smoker interferes with your rights of habitability. But it’s very tough proving to a court that their smoking is unreasonable or a “nuisance.” Based on current case law, it’s been very hard for a case like that to prevail, but it’s an option. If you go that route, you obviously need the (ugh) help of a lawyer. The smoke is most likely coming into your apartment through the building’s ventilation system. If you can close that off in the baby’s room, that could help. Talking politely, calmly to the offending neighbors might help. Or try the Americans for Nonsmokers Rights Foundation (no-smoke.org) for a little moral support.
New research suggests that smokers who give up could save thousands of pounds in life insurance payments, as well as improving their health.
A life insurance policy is a good way to protect your family’s finances should the worst happen. You can compare life insurance with Money Expert.
National No Smoking Day is taking place on 14th March, and smokers are being reminded of the wealth benefits of giving up, as well as the health benefits.
Research by MoneySupermarket has found that smokers who kick the habit can save thousands of pounds on different life insurance policies.
It was found that smokers who strongly consider quitting the habit could save an average of £5,490 if they take out a life policy combined with critical illness cover. If they just take out a single life insurance policy, they could save up to £1,788.
“With significant savings to be made, those who make the decision to quit should shop around for the best insurance deal to suit their circumstances. Insurers will insist smokers have kicked the habit for a full year in order to be classed as a ‘non-smoker' and qualify for savings on their life insurance premium.”
On top of the savings on life insurance, the high cost of cigarettes mean that going smoke-free can save almost £2,000 per year. It was found that up to £1,880 per year could be saved by not buying cigarettes.
“Critical Illness Cover could prove vital if a person is unable to work due to serious illness, which is especially important in today's financial climate,” added Ms Walker.
“With considerable savings to be made, smokers will hopefully find the willpower to permanently kick the habit, benefiting both their physical and financial health.”
You can compare life insurance with Money Expert.
Reporting on a YouGov survey on quit smoking issues, QuitFullStop learns that nicotine addiction is on the tip of people's tongues when it comes to sexual turn-offs.
Official figures reveal that men and women think twice before entering into a relationship with a smoker.
The survey in question, conducted on behalf of the quit smoking No Smoking Day campaign, involved over 2,000 adults and unveiled some surprising attitudes towards an obsession that was once intertwined with romance and seduction.
It was found that 55 per cent of men and 51 per cent of women would think twice about getting hitched or starting a family with a smoker.
VishneeSauntoo, a smoking cessation adviser with the No Smoking Day campaign, which takes place each year on March 14th, echoed the sentiments by stating that cigarette smoking can be a 'real turn off'.
'By taking the leap today if you smoke and promising to quit on No Smoking Day, you'll have two weeks to see your GP or a local stop smoking adviser, tell your family and friends you're quitting and stock up on patches, gum and anything else you might need,' she pointed out.
The statistical evidence, supported by quit smoking ambassadors, all points to the conclusion that nicotine addiction not only limits the chances of a long-standing, healthy existence but also the pursuit of romance.
The news could mean that for men and women who may be considering entering into a relationship, simply making a small but tough sacrifice could bypass the scare of harrowing smoking related illnesses, such as lung cancer, emphysema and stroke.
QuitFullStop is an online information portal dedicated to helping people quit smoking and stay smoke-free. Online a smoker can obtain free, impartial advice on the most relevant topics surrounding smoking cessation.
At QuitFullStop a smoker can find the necessary stop smoking tools, tips and treatment to help them achieve their goal.
'The benefits of quitting are enormous, so whatever the state of your love life, this proposal is bound to help you live happily ever after.'
Make new friends
But keep the old,
One is Silver
And the other Gold!
acornisheye is back! Just a bit shy!
I don't eat Sushi!
I don't wear kilts!
I don't play foosball!
I don't bungeejump!
And I DON'T SMOKE NO MATTER WHAT!
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - They are the sometimes disturbing anti-smoking commercials that many people are talking about – but if Gov. Andrew Cuomo has his way, they may not continue.
Cuomo’s proposed budget includes a $5 million cut to the program used to pay for the ads that make many people uncomfortable.
The ads run frequently in an effort to keep people from lighting up and to stop those who do.
And smoking cessation programs say they’re seeing the difference.
“When the person is getting info from the doctor seeing the spot on TV or hearing them on the radio, that’s really what prompts the person to take the initiative and make the calls to the quit line,” said Tobacco Cessation Coordinator Chris Owens.
According to the New York Smokers Quit Line – which runs the ads – in 2009, more than 270,000 calls came in. The total was their highest ever after the commercials ran.
"Every time the quit line puts out a new batch of ads, whether it's the graphic ads or if it's the ads that are supposed to affect people on an emotional level, the number of calls to the quit line has a drastic spike and that's been shown over the course of the years,” Owens said.
But in the last couple of years, anti-smoking programs have seen less funding from the state and the fear is further cuts will reverse the state’s trend of declining smoking rates, which are at historic lows.
"My prediction is we're going to start to see the smoking rates creep back up to where they were years ago,” Owens said.
St. Josephs’ tells us their tobacco cessation program is not directly impacted by the proposed cuts.
There is a projected $2 billion state budget gap. The governor's office did not return our phone calls for comment.
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. -- Auto Club Speedway today announced that it will host the first celebrity FundRacing qualifying event. The inaugural DRIVE4COPD Pro-Am Celebrity Racing Challenge will feature well-known faces in entertainment, music and business who will take the wheel of a NASCAR stock car to support awareness, screenings and research for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The star-studded race is created in partnership with the COPD Foundation in support of DRIVE4COPD, the Official Health Initiative of NASCAR.
Pro-Am participants will attend Rusty Wallace NASCAR Racing School and then tackle Southern California’s fastest motorsports oval behind the wheel of a stock car. The celebrity race will be held at 6 p.m. PST on Friday, March 23, following the DRIVE4COPD NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying for the weekend’s race. Two slots in the racing event will be auctioned off to members of the public online. Additionally, Auto Club Speedway will make a donation to DRIVE4COPD and fans will be encouraged to text donations from the track.
“COPD takes more lives each year than breast cancer and diabetes combined but still there is not enough awareness of the disease,” said John Walsh, President, COPD Foundation. “Funds raised during this race will help us in our mission to raise awareness, encourage screenings, bolster research and advance progress for those living with COPD.”
Members of the public can earn a spot among the celebrity race team by bidding on one of two VIP race seats being auctioned off by COPD Foundation through eBay’s Giving Works program powered by MissionFish. The first auction begins on February 28 and ends on March 8. Starting bids are $1,500 which includes travel and accommodations. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to the COPD Foundation and are tax deductible as allowed by law. Click here to visit the auction site to learn about eligibility and racing requirements.
COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both, is progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time, making early diagnosis especially important. More than 24 million Americans have COPD, yet half remain undiagnosed and it takes one life every 4 minutes. DRIVE4COPD, the nation’s single largest awareness campaign for COPD, encourages Americans aged 35 and older to log onto DRIVE4COPD.ORG to take a brief, five-question screener to learn if they might be at risk for the disease. If the screener indicates risk, results can be printed to share with a doctor.
“We’re proud to be able to use the Auto Club 400 race weekend and Auto Club Speedway as a platform to highlight DRIVE4COPD and the program’s important mission,” said Gillian Zucker, Auto Club Speedway President. “We’re confident that our combined weekend efforts will bring a higher level of awareness of COPD throughout the year.”
Tickets for DRIVE4COPD Qualifying Day (scheduled to begin at 4:15 p.m. local time) and the Inaugural DRIVE4COPD Pro-Am Celebrity Racing Challenge on Friday, March 23 are as low as $20 for a general admission seat and children 12 and under are FREE with a FREE membership to Lefty’s Kids Club.
For more information visit the Auto Club Speedway ticket office, located at 9300 Cherry Ave. in Fontana, call 800-944-RACE (7223) or log on to www.autoclubspeedway.com.
For more information on the COPD Foundation please visit COPDFoundation.org or call 866-316-COPD (2673).
This is a national day of activism for youths worldwide to take a stand and speak out against big tobacco. If we can keep our youths from ever trying tobacco, there is a greater chance they will never become one of the 4,400 people who die each year in Colorado as a result of tobacco use. About 90 percent of adult tobacco users began before they were 18 years old.
Tobacco use is a burden for everyone — not only for the individual’s health and related expenses, but also for the entire state, which pays $1.3 billion for smoking-related health costs each year.
Children and teens can be easily influenced by tobacco companies through movies, advertising, friends and other sources. Teens may not realize how addictive nicotine is and are often unaware of the serious health consequences they might face over time. Tobacco use leads to cancer, heart disease, emphysema, osteoporosis, infertility, hypertension and early wrinkling and skin changes.
Unfortunately, Pueblo’s youth rates for tobacco use are higher than the state's rates: 19 percent of Pueblo youths smoke, compared to 11.9 percent for Colorado; 14.6 percent of Pueblo youths chew tobacco, compared to 7.4 percent for Colorado; and 26.6 percent of Pueblo youths smoke cigars, compared to 15 percent for Colorado.
Tobacco companies are constantly inventing new products in order to appeal to our youths and to gain new customers. Clear evidence of this is reflected in the new dissolvable tobacco products — sticks, strips and orbs. These products consist of finely ground tobacco along with highly addictive nicotine and are absorbed in the mouth. People can only speculate what other dangerous chemicals are in these products, since they are not currently regulated by the FDA.
These products, being test marketed in Colorado, can easily be hidden and used without parents or teachers knowing. They look like breath mints, strips and toothpicks, and the containers are cellphone-shaped. Young children and infants are at risk for overdose if they ingest them.
The Colorado State Board of Health, of which I am a member, passed a resolution asking R.J. Reynolds Co. to stop selling the dissolvable tobacco products until the FDA had an opportunity to review them. Soon after, the Colorado Public Health Association and the Pueblo City-County Health Department’s Board of Health also passed similar resolutions. R.J. Reynolds immediately responded that they would not remove the products from Colorado. This sent a message from R.J. Reynolds inferring the state health board's resolution is of no significance to them — and the health of Coloradans is not a concern.
According to the 2008 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, three out of four high school students in Pueblo County who tried to purchase tobacco were successful.
Colorado does not require a license to sell tobacco. Requiring licenses of tobacco retailers would allow for local enforcement to educate retailers and watch for illegal sales to minors. The health department and the Pueblo Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership’s coalition would like to eliminate illegal sales of tobacco to minors in our community and licensing can be effective.
There is evidence that licensing retailers decreases tobacco use in minors. After enacting licensing for tobacco retailers, Woodridge, Ill., decreased illegal sales from 70 percent to 5 percent; Coachella, Calif., decreased illegal sales from 69 percent to 11 percent.
Tobacco licensing ordinances have recently been passed in three Colorado communities: Steamboat Springs, Manitou Springs and Fountain. In the coming months, there will be more information in our community from the coalition about efforts to advocate for tobacco licensing in Pueblo. The coalition wants to stop illegal sales of tobacco and wants to assist businesses in complying with federal, state and local laws.
The goal is to make a statement as a community that we will protect our youths and take necessary measures to keep tobacco out of the hands of our teens and help them to lead long healthy lives.
Parents and adultss are encouraged to talk to their children and teens about the consequences and dangers of tobacco use. Please visit the Pueblo Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership website attacklingteentobacco.com. The website also shows where Kick Butts Day displays will be in Pueblo.
When family law courts seek to make a determination regarding child custody, they often consider a wide variety of factors, all of which in the end speak to what situation may or may not be in the child’s best interest. These factors can range from the parents’ income to their mental health. But there’s one factor in particular that appears to be gaining momentum among family law courts, and it could impact a significant number of child custody hearings.
“Anything that can affect a child’s health is under the purview of the court and this includes tobacco use,” says Myra Fleischer, an attorney at Fleischer & Associates. “Take for instance a child who may have asthma and a parent who smokes. If the parent who smokes is not refraining from smoking around the child, this may cause the court to factor this into custody for health reasons.”
As courts continue to put smoking under scrutiny, smoking parents and non-smoking parents need to be aware of how their or the other parent’s habits may factor into a child custody case.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 46.6 million Americans smoke cigarettes. Each year, an estimated 443,000 die prematurely from direct or secondhand smoke exposure, while another 8.6 million live with serious health consequences. Additionally, more than half of children ages 3 to 11 are exposed to secondhand smoke.
“Secondhand smoke exposure causes serious disease and death, including heart disease and lung cancer in adults and sudden infant death syndrome, acute repertory infections, ear problems and more frequent and severe asthma attacks in children,” according to the CDC.
The legislatures and courts are aware of the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and have already begun to address the intersection between smoking and child custody. For example, in 2003 Maine passed a law forbidding foster parents from smoking or allowing others to smoke in their homes or vehicles. According to a study compiled by the Action on Smoking and Health, an anti-smoking advocacy group, in at least 18 states, courts have ruled that subjecting a child to tobacco smoke should factor into child custody hearings.
“Everyone knows the health risks,” says Linda Ostovitz, an attorney at Silverstein & Ostovitz. “A parent who heavily smoked in the presence of a child has a factor against him or her.”
Other noteworthy results from the ASH study include:
If you are a smoking parent, the best thing you can do to bolster your custody case is to quit smoking. Barring that, you should try to minimize your smoking as much as possible.
“Never smoke in the presence of the child, and do everything you can to try to quit and advocate for a non-smoking lifestyle for your kids,” Fleischer says. “Be the good example.”
Meanwhile, a non-smoking parent who is embroiled in a custody dispute with a smoking parent has a clear advantage. Fleischer says that non-smoking parents should definitely raise their concern about the smoking parent’s habits in court.
“If they have a concern, a parent may raise the issue as one factor any time that custody is at issue,” Fleischer says. “I tell parents who are going to court for custody to bring all of their concerns before the court.”
Whether you are a smoking parent or a non-smoking parent, you will want to hire a family law attorney to help you in your child custody case. Although any experienced family law lawyer should be able to help you with your case, if you wish to bring up the issue of secondhand smoke, you may want to ask the lawyer about his or her experience with such issues during the consultation.
Additionally, you and your attorney may need to seek out scientific experts to discuss either the effects or non-effects of secondhand smoke on children.
“I would also bring in medical experts if the child has underlying medical problems that are being affected,” Fleischer says.
"What's wrong with the occasional cigarette as long as your lungs don't look like down town L.A.? After all, a cigarette once in a while can't be all bad - it may be a vice but it's a legal vice and it doesn't hurt anybody - at least not like alcohol or drugs! besides nobody's perfect! Look, I just smoke a pack a week! Yea, I know about Cancer and such, but surely that's people who smoked 2 or 3 packs for 40 or 50 years not me! Heck, I was over 30 when I started smoking and I've quit now and then just to give my body a break, so I'll be O.K. Everything in moderation ain't all that bad! "
That was me talking 2 years ago, completely confident that I had successfully dodged the silver bullet by carefully playing the odds! I would be the last person on Earth to get sick from smoking-related illness! But guess what? I was wrong! Boy, was I ever wrong! Holy Smokes!!! ( pun intended)
When I woke up that beautiful Spring morning with a fever of 102 there is absolutely no way I would have predicted the path that my life was about to take! That trip to the Emergency Room (it would have to be on a Sunday!) changed my life forever! I, Thomas, was diagnosed not just with a lung infection but with Emphysema!!! The guy who was so careful to beat the odds just lost the game of poker and there's no going back! Emphysema is chronic, permanent, and progressive! Most likely, although only Our Creator knows for sure, it will be my cause of Death! How does a young (relatively) healthy (usually) active fella like me get Emphysema, for crying out loud?
What I didn't know was way more than what I did know about Emphysema and COPD!!! Oh, I'd seen the pictures of the happy retired folks puttering around in their gardens or playing with their grandkids because they were smart enough to take Advair or Spiriva! That's about it! My Grandma who lived in another State died of Emphysema when she was in her nineties but we all have to die of something, don't we? Eventually! But heck, I was 52 and had never really been sick much at all my entire adult life! I worked 60 to 80 hours a week and never thought anything of it - hard physical labor, not a desk job!
Here are some facts that I have since learned about COPD: it is an auto-immune illness. it doesn't care if you are 20 or 80 years old! It doesn't care if you smoke 2 or 3 cigs a day or 2 or 3 packs! Just one cigarette will trigger your body's defense mechanism and there you have it! About half of the folks who have COPD don't even know it! Meanwhile the damage that they are doing to their lungs can NEVER be repaired! Your body creates all kinds of mucus in your lungs and bronchials that is a perfect breeding ground for any kind of bacteria or virus you cross paths with like pneumonia! Every time you get a lung infection a bit more irreparable damage will have been done and your condition deteriorates. Because your lungs don't work so well you can inhale fairly well, but you can't exhale so well at all. What people exhale is Carbon Dioxide - you know, poison! That CO2 stays in your system and makes your whole body in a constant state of being poisoned! Because your body wants Oxygen and not CO2 your heart overworks itself trying to get enough Oxygen to where it's needed. Eventually, the heart deforms itself from working overtime! Then you have Congestive Heart Failure! Don't forget, you're still getting those lung infections from time to time! The toxins make your limbs feel like wet spaghetti so that such things as getting dressed or washing dishes become monumental tasks! When you cross a room you huff and puff like the Big Bad Wolf! And know you can't even blow out a candle - let alone blow down a house! This is my reality! Oh you remember that part about not hurting anybody but myself? What do you suppose my Family and Loved Ones are feeling knowing that I did this to myself?
Now, do you still want that occasional cigarette? You still think it won't happen to you? Do you know that people die of smoke related illnesses in their TEENS? Check out Brian's Story at www.whyquit.com! Do you know that one single cigarette can not only trigger COPD it can cause a life-altering Stroke? Do you know that one single cigarette can change your DNA permanently setting you up for Cancer? ONE CIGARETTE! Do you believe it? I am testimonial that in this business you can't beat the Odds - the Odds can beat YOU - down! Forever! Get Smart! Be honest, at least with yourself! Smoking KILLS! Every time you light a cig you are committing the little suicide! You are spitting on the Gift of LIFE that your Creator bestowed on you! Enough is enough! Stop playing the Odds! TODAY is the Right Day to become Smoke FREE for LIFE!