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Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 30, 2012


Addiction blinded me to the TRUTH!

- 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!

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! It may leave you Blind for LIFE!


I wish to Thank ALL of YOU who are praying for me and for my Family in Mexico! Update: I hear that the Volcano has stopped rumbling and is in the process of settling down! I hope and pray that is true! Praise the Lord for He is GOOD! 

Folks, again I find myself pleading with you - PLEASE don't let your LIFE go up in Smoke! Life is so precious and no matter where we live on this Planet, there are so many phenomena both man-made and God given which can snuff out entire families in an instant! We don't need to be contributing to that with killerettes! It's YOUR LIFE and YOUR DECISION! I believe that Our Creator wishes for us to choose on the side of Life-Affirming Actions! 

People say that yes, they know sickerettes can kill you but that's not going to stop them! I can't understand this way of stinking thinking! Would you drink a glass of poison every day - even if you "love it?" Would you be willing to pay $10/day or more for the privilege? What's the difference? 

I hope you read the first article in my series today "UCSD Researchers Review Cessation Studies, Call for Changes". it points out some very important information:

Smokers need to make a strong resolution to change;

they need to act quickly on that resolution;

they will be more successful if they make a personal commitment to another to be successful;

and finally, it is important to understand the danger of having even a single cigarette during a quit attempt.

For us here at BecomeanEX, none of this is new! This is what the elders preach day in and day out to anybody who will listen and a mere 6% actually do listen! Wouldn't you like to be one of those 6%? 




Come here every day, especially during those first crucial 4 Months! It's all here! And it does work! Honor LIFE! Save yourself for YOU, for your Family who loves and needs YOU, for your Creator who gave you the Gift of LIFE in the first place! RESPECT and HONOR LIFE! QUIT and PROTECT YOUR QUIT NO MATTER WHAT! 

N.O.P.E.! Have a Super EXcellent Smoke FREE Day!!!!

Mayor Michael Bloomberg ignited controversy when he announced that he planned to propose legislation requiring residential buildings to adopt written policies disclosing where in those properties smoking would be prohibited. Audrey Silk, founder of a city smokers' rights group, has already stated that "there is nothing innocent" about this bill, warning that it is the first step in prohibiting smoking in people's homes. Ms. Silk is partially correct, for it would be a grave mistake to rush to pull the legislative trigger. We are all coming to learn the price of thoughtless, intrusive legislation.  

Ms. Silk's concerns are understandable, but incomplete. The Government should not be concerned with what individuals do in the privacy of their own homes. A lingering concern, no doubt, is about where such governmental intrusions will end. What's next, a rule about what must be the color of one's bed sheets? 

Both Mayor Bloomberg and Ms. Silk seem to be missing a key point. Smoking cigarettes is not simply about what one does in the privacy of one's home. If one merely lights up a cigarette in one's apartment, and neither the odor nor the cigarette's toxins waft into a neighbor's apartment, then there exists no issue here. What one does to one's own body in the privacy of his or her home is, generally speaking, exclusively that individual's business. 

The problem is that the reality in New York City, where people live in close proximity to one another, is different. 311, for instance, received well over 2000 complaints about secondhand smoke in residences, in 2012 alone. 

It would be wrong for anyone to suggest that smokers have no rights. But it would be equally incorrect to assume that smokers have the right to do anything they please, even in their own homes. No one has ever enjoyed such rights.  Generally, one cannot throw loud parties late at night in their private apartment. Any argument that prohibiting such disturbances impinges upon what one has the right to do in one's home would be incredulous -- neighbors have rights too. 

And this is the key. Cigarette smoke from one's neighbors represents a nuisance. Simply put, such noxious fumes prevent the reasonable use and enjoyment of one's property.  

It is somewhat problematic, then, to see Dr. Thomas Farley, the commissioner of New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Mayor Bloomberg, do an awkward dance around this issue and propose legislation requiring residential buildings to disclose information about smoking to its prospective tenants and owners.  

In this respect, Ms. Silk's concerns about the government prohibiting smoking in people's homes are probably quite well founded. A requirement that residential buildings provide such information to prospective tenants and owners about building smoking rules, could foreseeably crowd out smokers. Most individuals nowadays do not even wish to spend a few nights in a smoker-friendly hotel, never mind live in a smoker-friendly building. The Mayor's proposed legislation would essentially require residential buildings to make a decision: yes or no to smoking. It is not difficult to guess what option most buildings will likely chose. 

But the fact that Dr. Farley has stated that this proposed new policy is "just disclosure" ndicates that the Administration is trying to play down the impact of this legislation, in an attempt to appease all sides of the spectrum. In other words, New Yorkers are to believe that this new legislation will not be offensive to their rights, but rather simply help prospective tenants and owners make better informed decisions. 

It seems that a better, though perhaps less politically expedient approach, would be to take a stand on the basis of individual rights. We are all familiar with the legal adage: generally, my right to swing my fist stops at your nose. Similarly, a person's right to light a cigarette in their apartment ought to end where their neighbor's unit begins. Just as one should have the right to smoke in one's apartment, so too should one have the right to be free of cigarette smoke in one's home.  

Yet, there is no justification for Bloomberg's proposed legislation. Existing nuisance laws and lease terms pertaining to odors and noxious fumes should suffice. Let's enforce them. 

If a residential building has a ventilation system that adequately filters the air between units so that cigarette fumes do not travel from one apartment to another, then an individual should be free to smoke in his apartment if he pleases, even though this might not be in his own best interest. Once that cigarette smoke crosses the threshold of another person's apartment, however, then it's time to light up somewhere else. Smokers and non-smokers alike have rights, and it is time to understand the nature and limits of these first, before we promulgate new legislation.

A new government report says Americans' smoking habits have displayed "sizable market shifts" since federal tobacco taxes were increased in 2009.


Sales of pipe tobacco and large cigars, which are taxed at a lower rate, have skyrocketed as smokers have adjusted their buying habits to the new price structure.


Monthly sales of pipe tobacco increased 12-fold, from about 240,000 pounds in January 2009 to over 3 million pounds in September 2011, the GAO found. And monthly sales of large cigars more than doubled, from 411 million pounds to more than 1 billion pounds over the same period.


Pipe tobacco is increasingly used to make relatively inexpensive cartons of roll-your-own cigarettes in machines installed in neighborhood smoke shops around the nation.


In New York, where state tobacco taxes are among the highest in the nation, the machines are in smoke shops in Depew and Lewiston in the Buffalo area; at several locations in Rochester; in New Rochelle, Nanuet and Newburgh in the Hudson Valley; in Brooklyn and Staten Island in New York City; and in Ithaca in the Southern Tier.


Congress increased taxes on both roll-your-own tobacco and packs of cigarettes in April 2009, making them equal. Lawmakers enacted a smaller tax increase for pipe tobacco, which has become a substitute for roll-your-own tobacco.


Likewise, Congress began taxing small cigars at the same rate as cigarettes. In response, manufacturers of small cigars fractionally increased the weight of many of their products so they would qualify as lower-taxed large cigars, even though they often are just slightly larger than cigarettes and often have filters.


Premium handmade large cigars retail for $3 to $20 each, but "smaller factory-made cigars that meet the legal definition of a large cigar can cost as little as 7 cents per cigar," the GAO reported.The market shift has cost the federal government an estimated $615 million to $1.1 billion in uncollected tax revenue between April 2009 and September 2011, the report said. It did not estimate how much individual states may have lost in uncollected taxes.


"That's real money and a tax avoidance scheme Congress ought to be interested in stopping," Gregg Haifley, associate director of federal relations at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said of the GAO report. "It's also counterproductive for the public health benefit of tobacco taxes."


Liggett CEO Ron Bernstein, whose company sells discount cigarettes that are taxed at the higher rate, said his company estimates the tax loopholes have cost the government even more. About 2.7 million people purchased roll-your-own cigarettes last year, and that could grow to 3 million in 2012, he said, citing data from the Treasury Department and the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.


In a written response to the GAO report, Treasury officials noted that the numbers in the report "are not actual losses of revenues, but rather your estimates of the revenue increases if Congress were to change the law to eliminate the disparities."


And that's the GAO's recommendation: Congress should fix the disparities.


According to the GAO report, a woman representing one tobacco company said she knew of no difference between the roll-your-own tobacco her firm formerly produced and the pipe tobacco it switched to making -- other than the federal excise tax.


Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has 15 cosponsors for legislation to eliminate the tax disparities, but the bill is stuck in the Senate Finance Committee.


In contrast, 176 lawmakers House lawmakers and seven senators are co-sponsoring the Traditional Cigar Manufacturing and Small Business Jobs Preservation Act, which would exempt large and premium cigars from regulation by the Food and Drug Administration.The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 gave the FDA immediate authority to regulate most tobacco products but required the agency to go through a rule-making process to regulate cigars and pipe tobacco.


New York co-sponsors of the House bill include Republican Reps. Tom Reed of Corning, Richard Hanna of Oneida County, Ann Marie Buerkle of Onondaga, Chris Gibson of Kinderhook and Michael Grimm of Staten Island as well as Democratic Reps. Bill Owens of Plattsburgh, Steve Israel of Dix Hills, Tim Bishop of Southampton, Charlie Rangel of Manhattan and Edolphus Towns of Brooklyn.


The lead sponsor of the House bill, Republican Rep. Bill Posey of Florida, views the issue as one of personal freedom for "aficionados who enjoy smoking a premium product," said spokesman George Cecala. "It will be unprofitable to have a cigar shop. It's a niche thing that adults do. It's not something that children do."


Currently, cigars are defined as large if 1,000 of them weigh at least three pounds. That would be doubled to six pounds under the House bill. Large and premium cigar wrappers would have to be entirely composed of tobacco, instead of just having some tobacco content. And the large premium cigars would not have filters.


The bill, however, doesn't have a tax component in its current form. It would not change the tax code's definition of a large cigar.


Anti-smoking advocates say the tax loopholes are secondary to the more important and positive health news about decreasing tobacco use among Americans as a result of the April 2009 tax increase, when the federal excise tax on a pack of cigarettes rose to $1.06.


The percentage of American adults who smoke decreased from 20.6 percent in 2009 to 19.3 percent in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


"When you look at the federal tax increase, it's a public health win because tobacco consumption declined and it's a budget win because revenue increased," said Danny McGoldrick, vice president of research at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "And we would add it's a political win because tobacco taxes are one of the few taxes large majorities of the public in both parties support. It would be a bigger public health win and a bigger revenue win if we could fix these loopholes that the tobacco companies are driving their trucks through."


Cigarette sales dropped about 11 percent -- from 17.3 billion packs in the 12 months prior to the tax increase to 15.4 billion packs in the 12 months after the higher rates took effect, according to an analysis of tax data by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.


Phone calls to a toll-free quit-smoking line rose 49 percent in the 12-month period that began in February 2009, two months prior to the tax increase, compared to the same period a year earlier.


At the same time, revenue from the tax increase has been used to expand a federal program that provides health insurance to low-income children. Tobacco tax revenue rose 129 percent to $15.5 billion in the first 12 months the higher tax rates took effect, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' analysis.


A Student's Opinion

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 30, 2012

If I'm going to kick the habit, I need to fear my cigarettes

by Sam Higgins


The cessation classes are a good thing, and when I say that, I mean they aren’t a bad thing. That is really a generous way of me saying the smoking cessation classes are a thing.

I’m still not entirely sure, going in, what I expected of these classes. Their obvious goal was to get people to quit smoking, but the woman running the program doesn’t seem to know much about addiction. She knows about proper health, which includes not smoking, but she can’t empathize with our plight.

I want to make it very clear that the classes didn’t fail me. I failed me. It’s my responsibility to take care of myself and care enough about my own well-being not to smoke.

I will say I have significantly reduced the number of cigarettes I smoke, but I still smoke nonetheless. I attribute my smoking less not to the classes, but to the damn beautiful weather we’ve been having lately.

Something about the heat and sunlight. The sun highlights the distaste and the stale tobacco smell in a way that seems to defy the optimistic and clean atmosphere around me. God, I hate that flamboyant yellow ******* in the sky.

Looking back on the experience, I realize the classes failed to introduce the key element of fear. Fear gets difficult things done. Fear makes a man run a great distance at an inconceivable pace or lift a heavy object to save a life. Fear is what gets people to vote for or against a certain political candidate, find a ride home from the bar, practice safe sex and join the National Rifle Association. Without fear, there would be no shelter.Smoking is the No. 1 preventable cause of death. Smoking costs the country billions of dollars. So why did the classes frame the issue of sweet, deadly tobacco use in terms of the positives of quitting rather than the negatives of continuing? What am I really supposed to take away from four one-hour classes where three to four people, one of them being the counselor, talk about their feelings of frustration?

The classes weren’t aggressive or inspiring. The program kindly and detachedly let you know that smoking is something you should not do, that it’s going to be difficult and that withdrawal symptoms will last about two weeks. It offered a few good methods for relaxation and words of encouragement and not much else.

The only reason people will quit smoking is because they are afraid. Because they embrace the fear and let it facilitate a healthy change.

In order to quit the thing I like so much, I need to be afraid of it, and I need to change the way I view the world. I have to see myself as someone who doesn’t smoke and is happy. I need to exist in the moment and get out of my head. I need to quit caring so much about the security smoking provides. I need to think of myself as someone who doesn’t smoke and not someone who is trying to quit.

I know I will quit if I ever desire to become a complete and self-actualized person. I just need to embrace a healthy amount of fear in my life and focus on the moment.

The withdrawal is fleeting, I just have to let it go and stop caring about the cigarette. The longer I go without one, the harder and harder it is to go back.


Nicotine Screening

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 30, 2012

The Salimetrics High Sensitivity Salivary Cotinine EIA Kit is now offered as an in-vitro medical device and available for use in clinical settings as a test for tobacco products use and exposure.

Cotinine levels have routinely been determined by drawing blood samples, but cotinine also passes easily from the bloodstream into saliva, making it possible to monitor tobacco use by a simple saliva collection, eliminating the inconvenience, expense, pain or hazards of a blood draw. Salivary cotinine is therefore frequently preferred by experts in the field for detection of tobacco exposure. (Jarvis et al. 2008) The Salimetrics Cotinine EIA is especially well-suited for this use since its sensitivity is optimized to detect the lower levels of cotinine found in saliva samples. Most other cotinine EIA kits are designed for use with blood or urine samples and then modified for use with saliva.

Likewise, though a number of qualitative salivary cotinine screening devices have been approved for use in assessing tobacco use, they do not have the sensitivity or accuracy required to detect cotinine levels in the low range that usually results from exposure to second-hand smoke or in individuals who smoke only a few cigarettes per day. The Salimetrics Cotinine Immunoassay was designed with a lower limit of sensitivity at 0.15 ng/mL, in order to fill this need. The Salimetrics Salivary Cotinine EIA, when compared to LC-ES/MS/MS, returned a Pearson correlation of 0.90 with a p value of <0.005, n=40.

Numerous studies have shown that smoking and use of oral tobacco products leads to nicotine addiction and to increased occurrence of diseases, including respiratory problems, cancer, and negative health effects in unborn children. Infants and young children who live in homes with smokers are more likely to have developmental and behavior problems or conditions such as asthma, which have been linked to exposure to secondhand smoke. Insurance companies, smoking cessation programs, public health officials, and child development specialists therefore all have a vested interest in accurate determination of exposure to tobacco products.

Now that clean air legislation is in place in countries such as the U.S. and the U.K., average cotinine values in non-smokers have been dropping, making necessary the lowering of the cotinine cut-off levels that are used to distinguish smokers from non-smokers. Additionally, studies have revealed differences in cotinine levels among different racial groups, which have led to the creation of separate, lowered cut-off levels in order to optimize the ability to distinguish smokers from non-smokers in different populations. (Benowitz et al. 2009) The high sensitivity and reliability of the Salimetrics Salivary Cotinine Immunoassay make possible these sorts of fine distinctions.

A new study reveals that one third of American apartment-dwellers, many of them families with children, must regularly endure the smell of second-hand smoke.

The survey reveals that a startling number of Americans who don't smoke are subjected to the smell and fumes of cigarette smoke from their neighbors. 

Among those who reported they smelled smoke in their buildings, 60 per cent of single people said the order crept into their own apartments.



'As a pediatrician, I have had a lot of feedback from parents who have been telling me that this is really a significant issue for them,' Dr Karen Wilson, a professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the author of the study told medical new service Health Day

The survey polled 323 people from across the country. It was conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence, an advocacy group that focuses on keeping second-hand smoke away from children.All of the people surveyed were nonsmokers.

According to the results, people with children seemed more likely to notice smoke in the hallways, lobbies and stairwells of their apartment buildings -- 41 per cent of parents said they smelled smoke at least once. 

Only 26 per cent of childless apartment dwellers said they noticed smoke. 

People in public housing apartments were more likely to be bothered by second-hand cigarette smoke than people in units that were not government supported. 

Wilson, who supports smoking bans in bars, restaurants and workplaces to protect employees, said apartment smoke exposure to children is more insidious. Adults can switch jobs or move.

'Children in the home, however, do not have that choice,' Dr Wilson said.Anti-smoking advocates say apartment buildings should notify new residents up front about smoking policies so people can avoid buildings where tenants smoke inside. 

They applauded a new initiative proposed by New york City Mayor Michael Bloomberg that would force all landlords to give that information to prospective renters or buyers.


From our archives, 100 years ago

J.B. Lister of Spokane wrote a letter to the editor complaining about an issue that today we would call “secondhand smoke.”

But in 1912, Lister called it the “ungentlemanly habit” of making “your fellow take your smoke.”

“At different times, I have seen men at table in a high-class grill light a cigar or cigarette and puff the smoke all across the table and make others take it in, or get up and leave,” wrote the indignant Lister.

He had even seen the problem in city council sessions, in which six of the seven councilmen “made things blue with smoke.”

“ … One’s clothing gets percolated with smoke in club and council rooms,” he wrote. “But the most impertinent act is to smoke at a table when others do not, and not even ask the privilege.”

He said it was almost as bad as another “ungentlemanly practice”: the cuss habit.

Lister might have been gratified to know that the smoking-in-restaurants issue was eventually addressed. But he might have cussed when he found out it took almost a century.

Smoking is a major public health issue and quitting is the single most important thing smokers can do to improve their health. In the 2012 edition of the prestigious Annual Review of Public Health, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have reviewed the landscape of smoking cessation over the past 20 years. During this time period, there have been improvements in pharmaceutical medications to aid cessation, and free telephone cessation coaching has become available in every state. However, recent trends in smoking cessation are troubling to tobacco control researchers.“For the past decade, attempts to quit smoking have increased, but the proportion of people who become successful quitters has gone down” said John P. Pierce, PhD, professor of Family and Preventive Medicine and director of Population Sciences at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. “Widespread dissemination of cessation services has not led to an increase in the probability that a quit attempt will be successful."

The problem does not appear to be with the cessation services themselves. “Randomized trials continue to demonstrate that innovations in cessation assistance, such as the new text-to-quit service, increase success rates among smokers motivated to be part of clinical studies,” said Sharon Cummins, PhD, director of Evaluation with the California Smokers Helpline and a co-author on the study. “Indeed, one study showed that heavier smokers are much more likely to quit successfully when a doctor actively monitors the quit attempt, pharmaceutical aids are used, and the smoker receives multiple coaching calls from a quitline service”.However, recent evidence suggests that part of the problem may lie in how cessation aids are marketed by pharmaceutical companies: many such ads suggest that quitting smoking may be as simple as putting on a patch. It appears that younger smokers in particular are now more likely to underestimate the amount of work needed in order to quit smoking successfully.

Traditionally, the majority of smokers who quit successfully have done so without assistance, and recent data suggests that this has not changed. However, current national policy discourages unassisted quitting, advising clinicians to make sure smokers who want to quit do so with pharmaceutical assistance. This policy may undermine smokers’ belief in their ability to quit on their own.

Pierce and colleagues noted that some of the earliest texts in psychology – written more than 100 years ago – include chapters on breaking habits such as smoking. In 1890, William James laid out a series of maxims that were widely recognized then and that still hold true today: smokers need to make a strong resolution to change; they need to act quickly on that resolution; they will be more successful if they make a personal commitment to another to be successful; and finally, it is important to understand the danger of having even a single cigarette during a quit attempt.

The researchers suggest that policy makers join those in academia for a serious review of tobacco cessation policy.

It is bad news for those Malayalis who use smokeless tobacco -- in the form of 'gutka' and similar products -- as a research in the US has, for the first time, identified a specific oral cancer-causing chemical in smokeless tobacco products.

Dr. Silvia Balbo of the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, US, found after a study on rats that smokeless tobacco products contain a strong oral carcinogen -- a chemical called (S)-N'-nitrosonornicotine, or (S)-NNN.

Dr. K.R. Thankappan, professor and head, Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies in Thiruvananthapuram, said though this study is yet to be translated on humans, it is a definite pointer to the grave risk that use of smokeless tobacco products poses to health.

"Oral cancer can be extremely debilitating and the use of smokeless tobacco that is fast gaining popularity among Malayali youth should be controlled through strict legislative measures," said Thankappan.

According to a recent study in Kerala, 10.7 percent of adult Malayali users are hooked to smokeless tobacco.

P. Janardhana Iyer, honorary secretary, Regional Cancer Association and a well-known tobacco control activist in Kerala said the sale and use of smokeless tobacco products should be strongly discouraged.

"This (US) study and the example set by Madhya Pradesh which has banned such products indicate the great dangers that these products pose to the society, particularly to the vulnerable young population," said Iyer.Incidentally, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had last year written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting him to ban tobacco products in the country through a legislation.

The Kerala government has extended the ban on sale of tobacco products within a radius of 400 metres around educational institutions, thus extending the scope of Section 6(b) of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act 2003.


SACRAMENTO -- In what is quickly turning into another high-stakes policy battle to be decided by California voters, tobacco giants Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds are forking over tens of millions of dollars to defeat a new tobacco tax on the June ballot.


Proposition 29, which would boost taxes by $1 a pack of cigarettes to $1.87, would raise about $735 million annually, most of which would go toward cancer research.


It would also mean a $1 billion annual loss in California sales to the tobacco industry because the extra buck a pack will cause more people to quit smoking or not start in the first place, experts say. But tobacco companies plan to keep a low profile during the no-on-29 campaign, hoping their anti-tax allies can win the battle for them by appealing to anti-tax sentiments -- rather than trying to garner sympathy for an unpopular industry.


"I don't think it's a secret that tobacco is funding this," said Joel Fox, president of the Small Business Action Committee and a member of the coalition opposing Proposition 29, Californians Against Out of Control Taxes and Spending. "But if the tobacco folks are out there, everybody wants to say the evil tobacco companies are behind this. But there are important policy issues that have to be discussed, and it's not surprising that taxpayer groups are out front talking about this."


What does the tobacco industry have to say?


Apparently nothing. When this newspaper asked the no-on-29 campaign for a tobaccoindustry representative to give the industry's take on the issue, the anti-tax coalition wouldn't provide one.


The coalition has already begun airing radio and television advertisements targeting what it believes is a vulnerability in the initiative: a provision that allows out-of-state organizations to bid on research dollars.


In the ads, Dr. LaDonna Porter, a Sacramento-area physician who starred in anti-tobacco-tax campaign ads in 2006, depicts the measure as a ballot-box boondoggle that would create "a huge new research bureaucracy with no accountability run by political appointees who can spend our tax dollars out of state."


Health care advocates say the criticism is a smoke screen for the opposition's true motive: to protect the tobacco industry's market in California. They insist that virtually all the research dollars would be spent in California but that they wanted to keep the bidding process open to avoid accusations of cronyism.


Proponents also contend that of the $1 billion the tobacco industry would lose in sales if voters approve Proposition 29, $800 million would be profits that would have gone out of state to R.J. Reynolds' base in North Carolina and Philip Morris' in Virginia. Proponents predict that California's smoking rate would gradually be reduced from 12 percent of the population to 8.5 percent if the initiative passes.


Big tobacco firms have a "real strong economic motivation to spend what it takes," said Stanton Glantz, a UC San Francisco professor of medicine who wrote "Tobacco War, Inside the California Battles."


"Even if they spend $100 million, that's one-tenth of what they'll lose every year," he said. "These companies will do everything humanly possible to kill this. They might lose because the public rejects them, but they're not going to lose this because they were cheap."


Tobacco companies have poured $21 million into this year's campaign so far -- $8.9 million in the past month alone -- and could wind up surpassing the $66 million they spent in 2006 to defeat another tobacco tax-hike proposal.


How much they spend may depend on whether they can move voters in coming polls with the barrage of ads that have only just begun. An early March survey by the Public Policy Institute of California showed 67 percent of likely voters in support of the tobacco tax initiative.


The health groups spearheading the initiative -- the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and others -- have raised $2.5 million, $1.5 million from the foundation of cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong, who is co-heading the effort with former state Senate leader Don Perata, also a cancer survivor.


Heavy spending to persuade voters to reject a ballot measure is typically effective because voters are already inclined to vote no on initiatives, said Tracy Westen, CEO of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles. But, he said, it's tougher to defeat initiatives when voters are knowledgeable about the issues -- and tobacco campaigns have a steeper climb.


"Generally, Californians tend to oppose smoking and support restrictions, so the cigarette industry will have to spend their advertising budget talking about other issues," Westen said.


Well-endowed campaigns run by big industrial interests often succeed by the sheer volume of advertising. But Proposition 29 supporters are pinning their hopes on the fact that California voters have shown an ability to reject corporate advances, which are often machine-like in their highly sophisticated, poll-tested campaigns -- much like their product advertising.


Two years ago, voters turned down initiatives sponsored by PG&E and Mercury Insurance despite their lopsided funding advantages. In 1988, California's voters were also the first in the nation to pass a tobacco tax. And they approved another one 10 years later, despite massive expenditures by the tobacco industry.


Still, it has been 14 years since Californians approved a tobacco tax. Four years ago, voters rejected, on a 52 to 48 percent vote, a $2.65-per-pack increase after tobacco companies poured $66 million into the opposition campaign.

Tobacco companies are challenging the federal government's move to increase the size of graphic warning labels on cigarette packs to 75 per cent.


Warning labels on cigarette packs help former smokers to avoid lighting up again, Canadian and international researchers say.

Canada's graphic warning labels have covered half of each pack's surface on both sides since 2000, when it became the first country to introduce them.

The health risks described on the packages deter non-smokers from starting and stop teens who dabble with cigarettes from becoming confirmed smokers. But there wasn't clear evidence on whether they help ex-smokers to continue to butt out.

The answer is yes, according to 1,936 people who'd quit in the previous year and were participating in the International Tobacco Control 4-Country survey. The research project monitors the impact of smoking policies in Canada, Australia, the UK and the U.S.

"This study provides the first longitudinal evidence that health warnings can help ex-smokers stay quit," David Hammond of the department of health studies and gerontology at the University of Waterloo and his co-authors concluded in this week's issue of the journal Tobacco Control.

In total, 57.5 per cent of the participants who had quit said they were still not smoking after a year.

Resisting smoking temptationIn telephone interviews, respondents were asked how often in the previous month they had noticed a warning label — never, rarely, sometimes, often, or very often.

They were also asked to what extent the warnings caused them to reflect on the risks of smoking to their health, ranging from not at all, a little, somewhat, or a lot.

Successful quitters who reported that warning labels caused them to be "a lot" more likely to stay quit showed a relapse rate of 41 per cent compared with 50 per cent among those who said they didn't find the warnings helpful.

New, more explicit graphics for cigarette package labels are starting to circulate.

"We theorize that the mechanism by which [they] help ex-smokers to stay quit involves some sort of active use of the warnings — for example, to help generate reasons for resisting temptations to relapse, and is not something that occurs automatically," the study's authors wrote."We recommend that health professionals encourage all quitters to consider pack warnings as a potential tool to help counter their urges to resume smoking."

Size of warnings

The investigators speculated that those who said warning labels really helped them to stay quit either consciously or subconsciously come up with strategies to use them.

Both the size and novelty of the graphics labels were associated with remaining abstinent.

Country of residence did not make a major difference in predicting relapse, even though the size and type of warning labels differ between countries.

In the U.S., the warning labels are text only and are placed on the side of the pack compared with larger more graphic displays in the other countries studied.

The average age of the participants was 46 and slightly more than half were women.The researchers considered factors such as how many smokers the participants said they had among their friends, relapse predictors like frequency of urge to smoke and the number of cigarettes smoked per day in the analysis.

Earlier this week, Imperial Tobacco Canada announced it was launching a constitutional challenge of the federal government's decision to increase the size of graphic health warnings on cigarette packages to 75 per cent. JTI-Macdonald Corp. also launched a similar legal challenge.

Last week, anti-smoking groups said the federal government's tobacco control strategy has been highly successful but cuts to its budget will put the health of Canadians at risk and mean increased health care costs.

The study was funded by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the U.S. National Cancer Institute, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, Cancer Research UK, the Canadian Tobacco Control Research Initiative, the Center for Behavioral Research and Program Evaluation and the National Cancer Institute of Canada.

Links Between Smoking During Pregnancy  And Autism


Women who smoke in pregnancy may be more likely to have a child with high-functioning autism, such as Asperger’s Disorder, according to preliminary findings from a study by researchers involved in the U.S. autism surveillance program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

“It has long been known that autism is an umbrella term for a wide range of disorders that impair social and communication skills,” says Amy Kalkbrenner, assistant professor in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, lead author of the study. “What we are seeing is that some disorders on the autism spectrum, more than others, may be influenced by a factor such as whether a mother smokes during pregnancy.”

The study was published April 25, 2012, in an advance online release by the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Smoking during pregnancy is still common in the U.S. despite its known harmful impacts on babies.  Kalkbrenner found that 13 percent of mothers whose children were included in the study had smoked during pregnancy.

Kalkbrenner and colleagues’ population-based study compared smoking data from birth certificates of thousands of children from 11 states to a database of children diagnosed with autism maintained by the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDMN). Of the 633,989 children, born in 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1998, 3,315 were identified as having an autism spectrum disorder at age 8.

“The study doesn’t say for certain that smoking is a risk factor for autism,” Kalkbrenner says. “But it does say that if there is an association, it’s between smoking and certain types of autism,” implicating the disorders on the autism spectrum that are less severe and allow children to function at a higher level. That connection, she adds, needs further study.April is Autism Awareness Month, and several studies of possible links between environmental factors and autism are being published by Environmental Health Perspectives at the same time as Kalkbrenner’s study. “The CDC recently released data indicating that 1 in 88 children has an autism spectrum disorder, making such environmental studies even more timely,” says Kalkbrenner.

Because autism involves a broad spectrum of conditions and the interplay of genetics and environment is so complex, no one study can explain all the causes of autism, she adds. “The goal of this work is to help provide a piece of the puzzle. And in this we were successful.”

Image Caption: Smoking during pregnancy is still common in the U.S. despite its known harmful impacts on babies. Credit: Rohit Seth/Veer

Source: redOrbit (

Source: redOrbit (

Don’t you want to begin a new life by changing your attitude towards smoking?

When I hop into a supermarket, I ask the cashier at the counter whether they just hand out packs of cigarettes to youngsters.

The cashiers say they can’t do anything as they need to run a business and in case they do not provide them with cigarettes, the young people come in groups, creating a scene in the supermarket. I have heard people say that smoking gives some sort of a relief. 

After you finish one pack, you get stressed and tensed when problems keep popping in. All of us know that smoking is bad for our health. Youngsters pick up this dirty trait from adults. When they are out with their friends, they love smoking, especially after seeing others smoke and see a wide variety of people.

They watch various advertisements that force them to smoke, which gradually becomes a habit.  A lot of awareness programmes have been set up, but it is you — and only you — who needs to take a stern decision and quit.

Even if you are surrounded by people who smoke, you need to quit through determination, confidence and will power. You may be wondering what happens when you quit smoking permanently?

There are many benefits that you will reap as soon as you quit smoking. Some of these benefits will affect your health and finances while others will positively affect your social being and your relationship with the community or society.

Despite the fact that you know some of these benefits, your addiction to nicotine has blinded you of the many important benefits you may get.

In general quitting smoking will give you a longer life by preventing dreadful diseases in your body that is caused by carbon monoxide, nicotine and other poisonous substance that smoking gives.

There are many sicknesses which you can acquire from smoking, from a simple ulcer, to a severe cough or cold or worse a lung cancer.

Most countries now have laws limiting the smoking area in public places. The price of cigarettes should be increased so that teenagers feel the pinch before they buy those packs.

Some countries that are still being lax on controlling the freedom to smokers are doing it because of the huge amount of tax income they are generating from tobacco companies.

But generally, smokers are losing a place in this world. Honestly, non-smokers detest the bad and awful smell that smoking brings.

Schools play an important role in educating children on the harmful effects of smoking while parents also have a duty to play at home.

We can encourage teenagers to take up sports, for example and to carry out another activity when they feel the need to have a cigarette.

Smokers often say that smoking give them peace of mind. You feel that peace when you smoke because you’re calming yourself from withdrawal symptoms.

How many times have you felt irritated because circumstances won’t allow you to smoke or you have run out of cigarettes?

How many times have you panicked when you see that you only have two to three cigarettes left?

How many times have you gone out in the middle of the night just to satisfy your craving of nicotine? And how many times have you been borrowing money or searching for coins just to buy a pack?

Now it is up to you to decide.

The American Lung Association has thrown its weight behind low-dose CT screening of heavy smokers who meet criteria set forth in the National Lung Screening Trial.

The group emphasized that it does not recommend universal screening at this time, and that it believes chest x-rays should not be used for lung cancer screening. It only recommends low-dose computed axial tomography screening – and only for current or past smokers aged 55-74 years, who have smoked at least 30 pack-years and have no history of lung cancer.

"For those who chose to undergo the screening process, smoking cessation should be continuously emphasized as it remains the best method of reducing lung cancer risk," according to an interimreport outlining the new guidance.

The document comes from a seven-member Lung Cancer Screening Committee formed to assess the American Lung Association (ALA)’s position in light of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) results – the study was the first to show a screening program could reduce lung cancer deaths. The panel’s charge was to review current evidence about lung cancer screening that would, "offer the best possible guidance to the public and those suffering from lung disease."

The NLST randomized subjects at risk of lung cancer to three annual screenings with either low-dose CT or single-view posteroanterior chest x-rays. Investigators reported that low-dose CT was associated with a 20% decrease in mortality compared with chest x-rays. The false positive rate was 96%, however (N. Engl. J. Med. 2011;365:395-409).Since the results were announced, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has similarly endorsed screening of high-risk smokers, and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) has urged physicians to discuss screening with patients who smoke. Many other groups have yet to take a stand, however.

Although the landmark trial found solid evidence supporting annual screens in the population studied, the ALA noted it also raised many "personal and public health issues": among them, what to do about false positive results, the physical and emotional risks of screening and any resultant invasive procedures, cost implications, and equitable access to the CT procedure. The ALA task force sought to provide some guidance around these questions.

"Our hope is that this report will serve ALA well in its mission to guide the public on this very important personal and public health issue," noted committee chair Dr. Jonathan M Samet, professor and Flora L. Thornton Chair, of the department of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and coauthors.

"We believe that the report and the educational materials that stem from it will be invaluable to the tens of millions of people at risk for lung cancer."

Also among the key points in the interim report are:• Providers should continue to stress that smoking cessation is the most important way to reduce the risk of lung cancer.

• ALA should produce a patient-focused toolkit that discusses the risks and benefits of screening, including the physical risks of any invasive diagnostic procedure, and the costs – both financial and emotional – of any false-positive result. The toolkit should have information to help patients with chronic lung disease and their health providers to have a detailed discussion about the risks of any subsequent invasive testing.• Since low-dose CT screening is not currently covered by Medicare or private insurance, it should not be used to recruit patients. Doing so would focus care on financially advantaged patients over financially disadvantaged. Hospitals and screening centers should ethically promote the procedure with full disclosure of the risks, costs, and benefits.

• ALA should "strongly advocate" for screening to be linked to "best practice" multidisciplinary clinical teams that can provide complete follow-up for any positive finding.

The group has also created separate "FAQ" sheets for patients and for physicians to help them discuss screening in an objective, accurate manner.

Dr. Samet said he has no relevant conflicts of interest.

When it comes to smoking, women not only have more health risks, but they also have a harder time kicking the habit, researchers report.One reason may be that husbands may not provide effective support for wives who are trying to quit, according to Kenneth A. Perkins, M.D.

Perkins is a psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He reviewed a large number of research studies on smoking cessation, and he summarized what he found. These are some of the science-based discoveries he found in the literature:

  • Women have less success with nicotine replacement therapy — chewing gum or patches — than men do, a finding that Perkins called “intriguing.”
  • On the other hand, antidepression medication may be more help for women trying to stay tobacco-free than for men, because negative moods are more likely to precipitate a relapse for women.
  • Women smokers are more fearful than men of gaining weight if they quit.
  • Medications to aid smoking cessation are not currently recommended for pregnant women.
  • The menstrual cycle affects tobacco withdrawal symptoms, and responses to anti-smoking drugs may vary with the phases of the cycle.
  • Women may be more susceptible than men to environmental cues for smoking, such as smoking with specific friends or when in certain moods.
  • Many women may enjoy the feeling of control associated with smoking a cigarette.Perkins concluded that if smoking cessation programs addressed the gender-specific concerns of women smokers, they would have greater success.

    The director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Alan I. Leshner, M.D., noted that women now account for 39 percent of all smoking-related diseases, an enormous increase over the percentage of 20 to 30 years ago. “Given the greater relative risk of women to incur smoking-related diseases,” Leshner said, “it is clear that we must find better approaches to help women break their nicotine addiction.”

    Both men and women who smoke are up to 20 times more likely to develop lung cancer, 10 times more likely to develop obstructive pulmonary disease, and twice as likely to develop heart disease and cancers of the bladder, stomach and pancreas.Women who smoke, however, run a greater risk than men for heart attacks and stroke, and the risk is greater still if they use oral contraceptives. Some studies have found they have twice the rate of lung cancer that male smokers do.

    There is some evidence that breast cancer risk increases for women who smoke. Women smokers may have greater menstrual bleeding and greater variability in their periods. They also have more difficulty in becoming pregnant, and reach menopause on average a year or two sooner than women who do not smoke.

    Researchers also say most of the health risks from smoking are reduced or eventually eliminated when you successfully kick the habit.


A Beautiful Threat!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 27, 2012

Please EX Community Pray, Send Vibes, Wish Good Karma, whatever you do to help me, my Family, my Loved Ones, and my Friends in Mexico! My home in Mexico sits at the foot of this Volcano! El Popocatepetl may be smoking but even HE in all His Glorious Destruction can't make ME smoke! Lord, Have Mercy!



My Plymouth Horizon

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 25, 2012

I used to have an old Plymouth Horizon that was bound to break down every single time I took it out anywhere! Go to church, break-down! Go to the store, break-down! Go to work, break-down! Since I barely know a doorknob from a head light I took the car to a mechanic and $500 later he told me the motor was fine! Cool! I'm so excited! I haven't had a reliable car in Months at this point! So I hop in, drive off and 3 blocks away, break-down! O.K., then! I call the mechanic and ask him, "Hey, buddy, what's up?" He calmly told me that he had fixed the motor perfectly but the pump was shot! Well then, let's fix the pump (can't remember if it was a water pump or a fuel pump or whatever!) ! Some $200 later, I pick up the car and drive off and make it 5 blocks, break-down! ARGH!!! Mr. Mechanic says, "Well, yes! I fixed the pump but that doesn't mean that you battery works!" Well, Sir, I say, why didn't you say so? "You didn't ask!" And just how much will that cost me? ......anyway, you get the idea! LMAO!

When we quit smoking, sometimes we're just like that! We think that life is going to be a bed of roses! Smooth riding! Well, not so fast! Life continues to happen! Stress still needs fixing! The kids still drive me to the brink! My job still expects way too much for way too little pay! This is a New Normal as my Friend YaYa says! It doesn't mean that quitting smoking - which does by the way cure a myriad of bad, will make everything in your life run smoothly! It means that at least you can count on that much going right! It's up to you to fix the rest! So don't blame your quit because you argued with your spouse, bailed your kid out of trouble again!, bit your tongue off at work yesterday! Life happens! But smoking sure as heck won't make any of those other things better! 

I'm sure glad I don't have that da#@ car anymore! (Or that mechanic!) LMAO!!!!

Decrease Your Risk!


You go into the doctor's office to consult after the MRI or X-Ray and your worst fears are confirmed. The shadow, that thing was on the film and you have lung cancer. Though you stopped smoking twenty years ago, that blop still appeared. Now what are your chances? This may not be the worst of it. What if you never ever smoked and that blob was there? It happens. Christopher Reeves' wife, Dana Reeves was a prime example of this circumstance. 

The cancer scenario is one that many individuals dread especially if they ever smoked in their lives and stopped or continue to smoke. Lung cancer is no joke and the relationship between that and smoking and other forms of cancer seems clear cut. But if you enjoy cigarettes and have tried to stop 50 times and continue the addiction despite all your best attempts, what to do? You block out imagining such scenarios like the one above and enjoy a deep, long drag from that Virginia Slims that you need, you want, YOU HAVE TO HAVE!  Besides, if you smoke, you don't stress and you eat less. You won't gain weight. Right?

Well, there may be something that you can do rather than select denial as your way to keep smoking. Take an aspirin, though you really should try to stop. A study that reveals startling information about decreasing women's risk of developing lung cancer was reported in the journal Lung Cancer. The study suggests that women who take aspirin have a much lower risk of developing the disease, regardless of whether they ever smoked.

In the study more than 1000 Asian women were sampled. The population included 398 Chinese women who had been diagnosed with lung cancer and 814 women who were healthy. Wei-Yen Lim, of the National University of Singapore and colleagues reported, "Our results suggest thataspirin consumption may reduce lung cancer risk in Asian women."  Specifically, researchers discovered that the women who took aspirin at least twice a week for a month or longer had a 50 percent lower risk of getting cancer than those who didn't take aspirin. Of course, the study results show a relationship but the direct correlation between taking aspirin and not getting cancer is still inconclusive and more research must be accomplished.


What was interesting was that even if the women smoked, if they took aspirin, their likelihood of developing lung cancer carried with it an even lower risk than for those who never smoked. It was found to be 62 percent lower for the smokers and 50 percent lower for the non smokers. The control variables were age, education and diet, including amount of fruits and vegetables consumed. However, Lim was cautious that there may have been other variables overlooked which could have contributed to the 62 percent and 50 percent lower risk in the aspirin users than in those who didn't frequently take aspirin. Additionally, the study is a large selection of individuals which increases percentages so that the lowered risk for the individual may not be that dramatic.

Science has discovered the benefits of aspirin in helping to prevent fatal heart attacks. Feel jaw pain and/or acute indigestion or pain up and down your arm? Chew and swallow a couple of aspirin and immediately call the ambulance. What does aspirin do to help and how may it protect against cancer? It stimulates blood flow, prevents inflammation or mitigates it by blocking cyclooxygenase-2, or COX-2. This is an enzyme of inflammation which causes cell division, and is found in high levels in tumors.

But there are those detractors or "realists" like Andrew Chan at Harvard Medical School, who was not involved in the study. His comment was that the evidence on aspirin and lung cancerwas “mixed.” And he reinforced what all of us have heard countless times. You don't want lung cancer? Well, you know what to do.

“The number one thing a person can do to minimize the risk of lung cancer is to not smoke,” Chan said. Well, not necessarily. Dana Reeve, a lifelong non-smoker died at 44 of lung cancer. Some people don't smoke and still get lung cancer. In Dana Reeves' circumstances, the evidence may not have been so "mixed." If she had taken aspirin two or three times a week, even though she was not Asian, she may have decreased her chances of getting cancer.


Chan, a gastroenterologist who researches colon cancer suggests that there is a greater relationship between aspirin and colon cancer protection. But rather than every fifty, sixty and seventy-year-old rush out to CVS and buy a huge bottle of Bayer and chew them three times a week, Chan, said that a discussion with their doctor might be a reasonable direction to take. And he added that overall health should most likely dictate an individual's and doctor's protocol.

However, it is important to note that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that men aged 45 to 79 take aspirin to prevent heart attacks. The caveat is this: they should pursue the aspirin regimen as long as their personal benefit is likely to outweigh the risk of bleeding. Likewise, for women age 55 to 79, aspirin is recommended as a preventative for ischemic strokes. 

If more studies are conducted as they well should be, aspirin may be one of the greatest, underestimated discoveries in medical research history, without the really horrible side effects of other pharmaceuticals and without their egregious costs. Such aspirin studies are very worthy and perhaps more of an imperative than is realized by medical science. Just think of it. Aspirin! A sexy preventative drug.

U.S. health officials say only 13 percent of U adults have high total cholesterol. That may seem incredible in a nation where two-thirds of adults are overweight.

Experts believe it's largely because so many Americans take cholesterol-lowering drugs, but dropping smoking rates and other factors also contributed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Tuesday. The numbers come from interviews and blood tests of nearly than 6,000 U.S. adults in 2009 and 2010.

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in the blood. Too much total cholesterol is a risk for heart disease.


The government set a goal that no more than 17 percent of adults have high total cholesterol. The goal was achieved about five years ago for women and more than ten years ago for men.

A new website www.SeenEnoughTobacco.orghas been launched to showcase New York teens taking a stand against tobacco marketing.  Visitors can watch campaign videos, view photos from events, follow news and learn how to get involved in the campaign.

(Photo: )

50 Community Partnerships and Reality Check groups are working together to build youth and community support in making tobacco product displays less visible.  "We created this site to provide teens with a showcase for their activities and to empower more schools and youth groupsto get involved," said Susan Kennedy, Media Project Coordinator.

We've Seen Enough Tobacco Marketing! Campaign is a statewide initiative to mobilize youth across the state to protest tobacco marketing and raise awareness of its impact on teen smoking.  Activities include creating YouTube videos, participating in media events, visiting legislators, soliciting statements of support, collecting petition signatures and writing letters.

Community Partnerships for a Tobacco Free New York and the Reality Check Youth Action Programare funded by the NYS Department of Health's Tobacco Control Program.

It is appalling that several prominent U.S. business organizations have threatened retaliation against New Zealand if it pursues innovative proposals to reduce tobacco use. It sends the wrong message to the world about the priorities of American business when these organizations oppose legitimate measures designed to save lives and fight for the interests of an industry whose products will kill one billion people worldwide this century unless governments take effective action.

On Friday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and five other business organizations issued a statement threatening retaliation against New Zealand if it requires that cigarettes be sold in plain packaging, without colorful logos and other brand imagery. The letter stated, "We hope the New Zealand government will consider the concerns we have raised for the possible impact on New Zealand exports, such as dairy and wine, should other governments feel emboldened to take similar measures." Other organizations on the statement are the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue, the Emergency Committee for American Trade, the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Council for International Business and the National Foreign Trade Council.

These U.S. organizations last year also opposed Australia's successful effort to enact the world's first law requiring plain cigarette packaging, which takes effect December 1. The United Kingdom is also considering a plain packaging requirement. Countries are proposing plain packaging to reduce the appeal of tobacco products to children, increase the effectiveness of health warnings and prevent tobacco companies from using package colors and imagery to imply that some cigarettes are less harmful, as they have often done. These efforts will prevent kids from smoking and save lives.


These countries are exercising their sovereign right to protect the health of their citizens from tobacco use, the world's number one cause of preventable death. We would be outraged if foreign businesses threatened the U.S. government when it acts to protect our citizens. We applaud New Zealand Prime Minister John Key for rejecting the U.S. organizations' arguments and defending his country's authority to act.

The statement from the U.S. business groups is part of a growing effort by the tobacco industry and its allies to bully countries and prevent them from implementing strong measures to reduce tobacco use. Increasingly, tobacco companies are challenging tobacco control measures as violations of trade and investment agreements, and they have filed such challenges to Australia's plain packaging law. The business groups' statement parrots the tobacco industry's arguments and even trots out the industry's standard line that the proposal will cause an increase in counterfeit tobacco products, which is what the tobacco industry always argues when facing effective measures to reduce tobacco use.

These actions underscore the importance of excluding tobacco products from trade agreements, beginning with the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that the United States is currently negotiating with eight other countries, including New Zealand and Australia. The rationale for excluding tobacco products is strong and simple: Tobacco products are uniquely lethal and highly addictive. Free trade is meant to lower prices and expand consumption of products. In contrast, there is a global consensus that governments should be doing everything possible to reduce, not increase, consumption of tobacco products.


The United States and other nations should reject the influence of the tobacco industry and its allies and act to protect health, not tobacco.

The business groups' statement can be found at:


World TB Day

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 25, 2012

Peshawar: To commemorate World TB Day, Pulmonology Unit is arranging a seminar and walk on 26th April 2012 to reaffirm a renewed commitment to fight the disease and stop its spread. The event is aimed in raising awareness among the masses and highlighting the role of nurses, doctors, community workers and all others involved in supporting this cause.

According to health experts, there is also association between smoking and TB which is supported by substantial body of epidemiological evidence gathered over the past 50 years. The evidence shows that smoking is a risk factor for TB infection and for the development of pulmonary TB. Hundred million people around the world smoke hukka, shisha or cigarette and the habit is becoming endemic in our part of world and increasing the risks of TB infection, the risk of progression from infection to disease and the risk of death among TB patient

The day once again alarms about a growing health emergency in Pakistan since TB remains responsible for 5.1 percent of total national disease burden in Pakistan. Health experts agreed that nearly 61% TB death are attributable to smoking. Among children living with a patient with active pulmonary TB, passive smoking accelerates the development of active TB.

I grew up a smoker; before I even finished elementary school I could inhale 10 cigarettes in an hour. Shocking isn’t it? I did not smoke by choice; both of my parents were smokers and could put away a pack a day each. According to statistics, children that spend an hour in a smoky room can inhale toxins equivalent to 10 cigarettes. As I grew up and learned the dangers of secondhand smoke, I would leave the room when they lit up. Sadly this was not an option when we took a car ride somewhere, then I was trapped.

The dangers of secondhand smoke are widely known; 69 chemicals in cigarette smoke are known to cause cancer. Secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer in non-smokers, it has also been associated with heart disease in adults, sudden infant death and asthma attacks in children.

It’s probably no surprise that I am not a smoker, I was never tempted to light up and my husband is the same way. I was adamant my children would not be exposed to the dangers of secondhand smoke like I was. So far it has been easy to achieve this, none of our friends smoke and my mom quit so I don’t have to ask her to step outside when she comes to visit.

Over the last decade many states have banned smoking in public places. As a parent, I was thrilled when Connecticut followed suit knowing I could now bring my kids out to eat in a restaurant without fear of the diners at the next table smoking.

Recently, though, one of my kids has been making new friends and one girl has parents who smoke. My daughter went to her house once and her parents pretty much chain-smoked in the house the whole time she was there. The dilemma for me is how do I tactfully turn down further invitations to the girl’s house? So far I have made excuses and had the girl come visit at our house, but I am going to run out of excuses soon.

I know I am not the only one with this problem. I had a conversation with a friend recently and she had insisted that when her son went to the smoker’s house, they play outside in the yard. I have teenagers so they don’t “play outside” any more so her solution was great for her, not so much for me!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 25, 2012

Every time I check the news for smoking related information I'm stunned by the number and variety of articles! for every article that I publish here there are at least 3 or 4 that I could just as easily publish!!!! I select articles on relevance, variety, and interest. So here we go....

If you’re a smoker,[Thomas: EXsmokers also] a new study suggests adding more fish to your diet.

While the best way to protect yourself from the harmful effects of smoking is to quit, researchers from Greece have found that omega-3 fatty acids can help repair arteries damaged by the unhealthy habit.

Presented at the World Congress of Cardiology in Dubai Friday, scientists showed that short-term treatment with omega-3 fatty acids was able to improve arterial stiffness and moderate acute impairment of vascular elastic properties in smokers -- both markers of cardiovascular risk.

For four weeks, subjects were treated orally with 2g of omega-3 fatty acids every day.

Scientists believe the cardioprotective effects come from the nutrient’s anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic effects.

Meanwhile, a slew of studies vaunt the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help with everything from nervedamage to mental fitness and fertility.

For example, a British study published last year found that omega-3 fatty acids could play a significant role in preventing and protecting nerves from injury. After simulating damage in mice by stretching the cells or starving them of oxygen, researchers then enriched the cells with omega-3 fatty acids. The result was decreased cell death and significant protection.

Another study published in February looked at the brains of 1,575 people and found that those whose level of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) -- a nutrient in omega-3 fatty acids -- were in the bottom 25 percent had lower brain volume compared to people with higher DHA levels.

Docosahexaenoic acid is equally important in sperm health, as a US study found that the nutrient is important in the healthy development of men’s swimmers.

Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in sardines, mackerel, salmon, soy beans, flaxseed oil and walnuts.

Current heavy smokers have a more than threefold increased risk for major depression, compared to former heavy smokers.

And while the link between smoking and depression is well documented, the finding adds another twist to the debate between so-called "shared-vulnerability" and causal hypotheses about smoking and depression.

"Under the shared-vulnerability hypothesis, ever-heavy smokers may be expected to have similar elevated risk for major depressive episode irrespective of their smoking status during follow-up," wrote Salma Khaled, Ph.D., in the April issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

"Our results point to the contrary."

Dr. Khaled, who was at the Mental Health Center for Research and Teaching, Canada in Toronto at the time of this research, and colleagues looked at a total of 3,824 adults from the Canadian National Population Health Survey. Participants in the survey completed a baseline interview between 1994 and 1995 and were prospectively followed since then, with new interviews conducted every second year through 2006-2007.

To be included in the study, subjects had to have maintained their smoking status as current, former, and never smokers throughout the survey follow-up duration. "Heavy" smokers were defined as those subjects who smoked 20 or more cigarettes per day (J. Psychiatr. Res. 2012;46:436-43).

"Ever-heavy smokers (current and former) may share similar genetic, behavioral, and environmental vulnerabilities, at least for heavy smoking initiation," according to Dr. Khaled, who is now at the University of Calgary (Alta.), and her associates.

If these factors were wholly to blame for depression – as dictated by the shared vulnerability hypothesis – then we would expect former-heavy smokers and current smokers would have an equal likelihood of having a major depressive episode (MDE), she reasoned.

"However, if the persistence of the exposure (current as opposed to former) had the dominant effect on the risk for MDE, then current-heavy smokers would be expected to have higher risks of MDE relative to former-heavy smokers."

Overall, the 12-year risk of MDE for the entire sample was 13.2% (95% confidence interval, 11.8-14.6), the authors found.

Stratified by smoking status, the risk of MDE among current-heavy smokers was 26.7%; among former-heavy smokers it was 7.1%, and among those who never smoked it was 12.2%.

That amounted to a significant hazard ratio of 3.1 for current heavy smokers, compared with former smokers, even after adjustment for age, sex, and stress (P less than .001).

Moreover, the hazard ratios for MDE among former-heavy smokers, compared with current smokers, decreased incrementally according to time passed since smoking cessation, from 0.5 for those who quit for between 1 and 5 years ago (P less than .05) to a hazard ratio of 0.2 among those who quit smoking greater than 21 years ago (Pless than .001).

"Our findings are consistent with the view that the heavy-smoking-to-major depression pathway is causal in nature, rather than mainly due to confounding by shared vulnerability factors," noted Dr. Khaled and her associates.

People who smoke right after getting out of bed may face a greater risk of cancer than those who wait at least an hour before lighting up.

A study conducted by the Penn State College of Medicine, concluded having a cigarette first thing in the morning may increase the risk of lung, head and neck cancers.

“The study is trying to point out that people who light up immediately handle nicotine differently than people who don’t,” said Dr. Patrick Daugherty, of the Northwest Alabama Cancer Center. “Behavior and preference go a long way in this. It’s like some people can take a narcotic and never have a problem; others can look at a narcotic drug and be addicted.

“The message of the study is not to delay smoking — just don’t smoke period.”

According to the study, smokers who lit up within half an hour of waking up were at a 59 percent higher risk for head and neck cancer and 79 percent elevated lung cancer risk compared with those who waited at least an hour.

“These smokers have higher levels of nicotine and possibly other tobacco toxins in their body, and they may be more addicted than smokers who refrain from smoking for a half hour or more,” said Dr. Joshua Muscat, of the Penn State College of Medicine.

Dr. Therese Lango, of the Tennessee Valley Cardiovascular Center, said smoking first thing in the morning affects how much is smoked the rest of the day.

“Someone who lights up right out of bed could be smoking a pack or more a day,” Lango said. “Someone who waits awhile likely will not be smoking as much during the course of the day.”

Florence residence David Ray said he knows people who have their cigarettes and lighter on the night stand next to their bed.

“They light one up before their feet hit the floor,” said Ray, a longtime smoker. “I can’t do that. First thing I do is get a cup of coffee, and then a cigarette.

“I have to have my coffee first. I don’t smoke in the house. I get a cup of coffee, go outside and then have a cigarette.”

Matt Gruber doesn’t smoke any longer, but when he did, he said he couldn’t just get up and start smoking.

“I never had one the first thing. I like to get moving around first,” he said. “My routine was shower, breakfast and then a cigarette. It was a break before getting off to work.”

Ray said he doesn’t see how waiting to smoke can make that much difference.

“Smoking is smoking, the way I look at it,” he said.

Researchers said the risk of lung, head and neck cancer is already high for smokers compared to a non-smoker.

Cancer researcher Robert West said early morning smokers may smoke more intensively.

“The sooner a smoker lights up, the more smoke is taken into the lungs, and the higher the level of exposure to cancer-causing chemicals,” West said.

One of four people in Alabama smokes, said Daughtery, who stopped smoking 20 years ago.

He said when a physician addresses the issue of smoking it is more likely to have more of an effect on the smoker than a television ad.

“And being a former smoker, I know how difficult it is to quit,” Daugherty said. “It’s harder to quit smoking than to give up alcohol. It’s a very powerful addiction.

“Smoking habits are a part of the addiction because they become a ritual. Like smoking first thing in the morning.

"You have to be more intensive when talking with people about stopping smoking. It becomes ingrained in the brain and it takes a long time to overcome that addiction.”

Exercise may help smokers to quit and remain smokefree, according to new data presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology. Moreover, exercise increases life expectancy in smokers and non-smokers alike.

The study of 434 190 people who went through medical examination program at a private fee-paying company between 1996 and 2008 in Taiwan revealed that active smokers (those engaged in at least moderate activity) were 55% more likely to quit smoking that those that were inactive. Furthermore, these active smokers were 43% less likely to relapse than smokers that were inactive.

Physical activity among these subjects was also shown to increase life expectancy, even among smokers. Smokers that participated in physical activity had an increased life expectancy of 3.7 years and a reduction in all-cause mortality of 23%– equivalent to levels achieved by ex-smokers with low activity levels.

Result demonstration

The results also demonstrated that active ex-smokers increased their life expectancy by 5.6 years and reduced their all-cause mortality by 43%– equivalent to the levels seen in inactive non-smokers."Exercise can help smokers to quit and quitting smoking has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing CVD and that must be the goal of all smokers," said Dr C.P. Wen, National Health Research Institute, Taiwan. "If smokers can continue to exercise, not only they can increase the quit rate, but also they can reduce their mortality for all cause and for CVD in the long run."

The prospective study of 434,190 individuals in Taiwan was conducted over a period of 12 years. Leisure time physical activity of each individual was grouped into 1) Inactive, 2) Low active (15 minute/day), and 3) Active (30 minute/day).

Tobacco use and cardiovascular disease

Smoking is one of the major causes of CVD and directly responsible for one-tenth of all CVD worldwide. Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack as people who have never smoked. Moreover, second-hand smoke exposure is responsible for 600 000 deaths every year.

A person can substantially lower their CVD risk by stopping smoking. Within five years of becoming a non-smoker, a person's risk of having heart attack is halved and within 15 years the risk of developing CVD becomes nearly the same of someone who has never smoked.

While watching TV this weekend, I happened on a gruesomely powerful anti-smoking advertisement. It featured former smokers who were missing body parts: a woman with missing fingers, and a handsome young man with two prosthetic devices where his lower legs used to be. Both talked matter-of-factly about their permanent disabilities, which were direct consequences of their long-time cigarette habits.

This ad is part of a new, $54-million campaign by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the most ambitious and starkest anti-tobacco campaign ever undertaken by the government. Other ads in the campaign show ex-smokers who have had their larynx removed, or a jaw or a lung. The ads are running on radio, in print, and on billboards, as well, where federal health officials hope to shock smokers into quitting the cigarette habit.

Will these scare tactics work? Will shock and disgust accomplish what taxes, outright bans, and years of cajoling have failed to do? The government is hoping that these attention-grabbing ads will persuade as many as 50,000 smokers to give up their debilitating habit, but it's clearly a gamble. I found this message very powerful, and if I were a smoker, I think I would be motivated to quit.But would I really, and am I typical? Might others react to these upsetting ads differently, with cynicism or annoyance or arrogance, and just keep puffing?

The fact is, it's very difficult to know which persuasive messages work and which do not. People are not very good at knowing and reporting their own state of mind, and even worse at predicting their own behavior, much less the behavior of others. As a result, focus groups and other such strategies are notoriously unreliable predictors of what works in the real world. Wouldn't it be helpful to have a simple, objective assessment of anti-tobacco messages, one that predicts how large numbers of people will respond?

Well, psychological scientists are working on just that, and indeed may have identified a neurological predictor of mass behavior change. Three researchers -- Emily Falk of the University of Michigan, Elliot Berkman of the University of Oregon, and Matthew Lieberman of UCLA -- have been conducting scans of smokers' brains as they watch actual public health ads aimed to deter smokers. They wanted to know: Does brain activity of a small group of smokers, while watching anti-smoking ads, foretell the overall effectiveness of the ads in changing the deadly behavior of America smokers?

To answer this question, the scientists recruited men and women, age 28 to 69, who were heavy smokers with a strong intention to quit. All the volunteers viewed professionally made TV ads that were designed to help smokers quit. They watched 10 ads in all, representing three different ad campaigns, while their brains were scanned with an fMRI. The scientists were particularly interested in the neuronal firing in a brain region highly associated with individual behavioral change.

They also asked the same volunteers to react to the ads: Is this one powerful? Is it believable? Persuasive? They ranked the three campaigns in order of effectiveness. The ads, which were subsequently run in large TV markets, all ended with a display of the phone number for the National Cancer Institute's quit-line. The idea was to see if the volunteers' opinions of the ads (a regular focus group, in essence) or their brain activity (a "neural focus group," if you will) was a better predictor of population-wide change, as measured by the jump in the number of calls to the quit-line after the ads aired.

The results were encouraging. As reported online in the journal Psychological Science, neuronal activity in the targeted brain region did indeed predict the real-world success of the ad campaigns for a large population of smokers. Activity in other brain regions did not, nor did the volunteers' own opinions of the ads. When asked to rank campaigns in order of persuasiveness, the volunteers as a group ranked them in the same order as industry experts ranked them. But the brain told a different story: The neural focus group basically flipped the order, into one more predictive of the three campaigns' relative success. In other words, the brain scans seem to have tapped into a reaction that is deeper and more useful than conscious thoughts and judgments.

This scientific report does not describe the three ad campaigns in detail, so it's not clear if any of the ads used the shock tactics of the government's current effort. But the findings do raise the hope that public health officials will be able to tailor future ads more effectively, giving them better tools to target not just smoking but all the disorders of behavior, from obesity to drug and alcohol abuse.

At a press conference Wednesday, Mayor Bloomberg clarified new legislationrequiring building owners to tell tenants where they can and can't smoke, defending the measure against critics who are calling it a nanny-state law.

"We're not trying to ban anything, but I've always believed, as you know, that if you want to smoke, I think [you] should have a right to do so," he said, according to Capital New York. "But it kills you."


And when asked if the bill was the beginning of an attempt to completely ban smoking in apartments, hizzoner responded, "If you really intellectually start thinking about it, we protect people from hurting themselves, if they're trying to jump off a bridge we restrain them," he said. "Should you really do it with smoking? We're not gonna do it with smoking."

But is it a slippery slope? Last summer, when Bloomberg introduced the ban on smoking in public parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas, he said, "the police will not be enforcing this. That's not going to be their job," Bloomberg told a caller to his WOR-AM radio show. "This is going to be enforced by public pressure." In effect, the mayor was saying people wouldn't be penalized.

But so far in 2012, 108 summonses have been issued to people smoking in parks, a stark rise from the meager 84 tickets issued from last May through the end of 2011. In the first month of the ban, only one ticket was issued. Tickets can cost a smoker up to $300, a number 6 times greater than previously made public.

Bloomberg's new bill requires, according to The New York Times, buildings with three or more apartments to draw up written policies on where smoking is permitted and probhibited-- including balconies, lobbies, courtyards, individual apartments, and so forth.

The penalty for violating the law would be $100.


Smokers are more worried about the stigma of their habit than their health, with research showing they are increasingly likely to hide their addiction and feel guilty about it.


This finding, after Cancer Council of WA research into the emotional and social aspects of smoking, forms the basis of a new campaign aimed at encouraging guilty smokers to quit.


It is a shift from traditional anti-smoking advertisements that warn smokers of health dangers.


"Smokers who are still at it have resisted the messages of previous campaigns, so we really had to take a different approach," Cancer Council WA education and research director Terry Slevin said.


Seeing smokers standing around a corner or dustbins and not having much fun was the image the campaign would push.


The research found smokers were increasingly likely to hide the habit from new acquaintances and feel guilty about the effects of their habit on friends and family.


Advertisements would focus on how the community viewed smoking and asked smokers "how they are seen".


"We all know what's good to do for ourselves but often the stronger motivation is what is good to do that benefits other people and that's what this campaign is relying on," Mr Slevin said.


Father-of-three Kim Clayforth said he tried everything to kick his pack-a-day habit before the birth of his first child inspired him to quit.


"I tried the patches, the tablets, hypnosis, nicotine gum, you name it," he said.


"The moment I saw the baby I thought, 'One day this child is going to be 18 or getting married and I want to be around to enjoy it'."

Mr Clayforth said he was able to quit cold turkey once he had such a strong personal motivation. "You don't wake up one day and say, 'It's a bit too expensive' or something like that, you have to have a reason (to quit)," he said.  


Quitting smoking is a tough task, yet it is possible. Withdrawal symptoms are the first psychological and physical battle a smoker faces when he or she decides to quit the habit.

Withdrawal symptoms are the result of the reduced levels of nicotine in the body. According to the drop in nicotine in the blood disturbs the balance of the central nervous system, creating symptoms such as craving for tobacco, irritability, anger, increased appetite and weight gain. 

Other symptoms include poor concentration, depression, tiredness, constipation, restlessness, insomnia and anxiety. 

This stage decides whether the smoker will lose or win the struggle. Those who are not able to resist these strong desires go back to smoking. This stage in the quitting process is most precarious and many smokers fall at the first hurdle.

Professor John Osei-Tutu a lecturer at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Trondheim was a chain smoker for more than 20 years. He says cravings while trying to quit the habit are very difficult to handle.

“When you go to the shop the cigarette will be calling you, buy me! buy me! and the body will be responding yes I need it, I need it,” he noted.

“As a way of satisfying the unquenchable urge to smoke sometimes I stay around people who smoke just to inhale their smoke,” he explained.

“But anytime I coughed I knew I was digging my grave by smoking,” he said.

Prof Osei-Tutu finally broke the hold that tobacco had on him by telling himself he did not want to be a slave to any substance.

“It is nothing else but will power,” he said, adding: “Therapy is good but it must be backed by will power.”

Dr Lily Appoh a researcher at the Psychology Department NTNU says it is important that family members, peers and friends whom a smoker may be accountable to, to support him or her in their bid to stop smoking.

There are various types of help available to people who want to stop smoking. The first is the desire to quit. These efforts could be augmented by cognitive behavioural therapy, aversion therapy, drug therapy, telephone based help (counselling) and nicotine replacement therapy.

In cognitive behaviour therapy, the therapist helps identify distorted and negative thought patterns in the patient and assists in recognising and changing these beliefs. 

The critical aspect of this therapy is that the therapist helps the patient to see that they have the ability to stop smoking. They are assisted to learn alternate forms of dealing with stress and what to do when they feel the urge to smoke. 

Nicotine replacement therapy is a process whereby regulated amount of nicotine are introduced into the body through stick-on skin patches, chewing gum, nasal spray or lozenges. 

These methods are effective in relieving withdrawal symptoms as they help control nicotine cravings. The dosage of nicotine is reduced gradually until it is totally withdrawn. 

The drugs are available to help smokers overcome smoking. Some of the medications could be used along with nicotine replacement therapy. 

Drugs such as Bupropion, Varenicline, Nortriptyline and Clonidine are available to assist addicted smokers to quit the harmful habit.

Counsellors can help smokers to devise appropriate strategies to help them stop smoking, based on each person’s unique smoking pattern and assist the victims to avoid the emotional pitfalls they may encounter in the process.

In Ghana, though there no organised national rehabilitation programme for smokers, medical officers at the various hospitals and health centres are willing to assist anyone who wants to kick out the butt off his or her fingers. Help is also available to addicted smokers on

Rejecting nicotine in any form (cigarette, pipes, bidies, kretes, clove cigarette snus snuff) is very critical because it is the second major cause of preventable death worldwide and the fourth common risk factor for disease. 

According to the World Health Organisation, tobacco in 2005 alone caused 5.4 million deaths and predicted that if current smoking pattern persists the death toll would jump to 8 million each year. 

Apart from the ailments that nicotine inflicts on its users it exacerbate poverty, contribute to world hunger, damage the environment and above all affect production by lowering national productivity. 

Every nation for that matter Ghana needs healthy and energetic work force to transform her economy and every smoker forms a critical part of that revolutionary force of economic emancipation. 

The tobacco industry through crafty manipulations will continue to entice smokers especially the youth and imprison them for life to enjoy the habit, but the power to resist the antics and break the fetters of nicotine slavery rests on the will power of the victim to decide to quit smoking now! 

Quitting smoking is painful and stressful but the best way to avoid the pain of quitting smoking is never to start smoking.

FILE - This file combo made from images provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shows two of nine new warning labels cigarette makers will have to use by the fall of 2012. A federal appeals court is considering the constitutionality of requiring large graphic photos on cigarette packs to show that smoking can harm or kill smokers.  (AP Photo/U.S. Food and Drug Administration, File)


In court filings, the companies — including Philip Morris USA, the nation's largest tobacco maker — say that the 2009 law "eliminated any reasonable likelihood that defendants would commit future RICO violations," thus making the need for remedies like corrective statements moot.


Judge David Sentelle, one of three judges on the appeals court panel, told a lawyer arguing for the tobacco companies that the logic in their case "escapes me."


"Your client is here because they didn't obey the law," he said.


The attorney, Miguel A. Estrada, argued that the companies couldn't violate the law even if they wanted to, because of the oversight authority that the FDA now has under the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. He used an analogy of a car thief who is placed under house arrest, and so is prevented from engaging in the criminal behavior.


But Judge Laurence H. Silberman, like Sentelle an appointee of Republican President Ronald Reagan, had a quick rejoinder, wondering if "there's evidence you've broken out of your house."


Estrada said that even if one assumed the tobacco companies were run by "black-hearted people," they won't have an opportunity to violate the law now.


In a separate case, some of the tobacco companies in this case — although not Philip Morris — are challenging the 2009 law's authority for the FDA to require the companies to use graphic cigarette warning labels.

The nine graphic warnings proposed by the FDA include color images of a man exhaling cigarette smoke through a tracheotomy hole in his throat, and a plume of cigarette smoke enveloping an infant receiving a mother's kiss. A federal judge in Washington has ruled the FDA's proposed warnings violate First Amendment free speech protections and he has blocked their implementation. That case has been appealed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the same court from which the three-judge panel in Friday's case was drawn.


Sentelle told the tobacco lawyer that the companies are trying to get rid of the very law that they've cited in this case. And he noted that the 2009 legislation specifically says that nothing in the law should be construed to affect any action pending in court.


Kessler, the judge who ruled against the tobacco companies, has said she wants the industry to pay for broadcast and print ads, but has not said what corrective statements should be included in them. The government wants the companies to admit that they lied to the public about the dangers of smoking and to pay for an advertising campaign of self-criticism. The companies have argued the statements are inflammatory, inaccurate and "designed solely to shame and humiliate" the companies.


The defendants in Kessler's corrective statements case include Philip Morris USA's parent company, Richmond, Va.-based Altria Group Inc.; Greensboro, N.C.-based Lorillard Inc., and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., and its parent company, Reynolds American Inc., based in Winston-Salem, N.C.

A report released at the World Heart Federation World Congress of Cardiology in Dubai reveals significant gaps in public awareness regarding the cardiovascular risks of tobacco use and secondhand smoke.

The report, entitled "Cardiovascular harms from tobacco use and secondhand smoke", was commissioned by the World Heart Federation and written by the International Tobacco Control Project (ITC Project), in collaboration with the Tobacco Free Initiative at the World Health Organization. 

According to the report, half of all Chinese smokers and one-third of Indian and Vietnamese smokers are unaware that smoking causes heart disease. Across a wide range of countries, including India, Uruguay, South Korea and Poland, around half of all smokers - and over 70% of all Chinese smokers - do not know that smoking causes stroke. Awareness of the risk of secondhand smoke is even lower. In Vietnam, nearly 90% of smokers and non-smokers are unaware that secondhand smoke causes heart disease. In China, 57% of smokers and non-smokers are unaware of the link. Even in countries with well-developed health systems and tobacco control regulation - such as Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia - between a third and a half of smokers do not know that secondhand smoke can damage cardiovascular health.

Professor Geoffrey T. Fong at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and Chief Principal Investigator of the ITC Project, commented, "This report shows a broad correlation between poor knowledge of the risks of tobacco use and high levels of smoking prevalence. To break this link and reduce the deadly toll of tobacco, more needs to be done to increase awareness of the specific health harms. Our research shows that the risks of tobacco use to lung health are very widely accepted. But we need to attain the same level of knowledge and awareness that tobacco use can cause heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease and secondhand smoke can cause heart attack. Health warning labels are known to be an effective method for educating the public on the health harms of tobacco products. A number of countries have introduced warnings about the increased risk of heart disease or heart attack, but no country has yet implemented a label to warn people that secondhand smoke causes heart disease. Increasing knowledge of these specific health risks will help encourage smokers to quit and help non-smokers protect themselves, so raising awareness is an important step in reducing people's exposure to tobacco smoke."

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world's leading cause of death, killing 17.3 million people every year. Eighty per cent of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, which are increasingly being targeted by the tobacco industry. Tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure causes about one-tenth of global deaths from CVD. Even smoking a few cigarettes a day significantly increases the risk of heart disease. Smokeless tobacco products have also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Secondhand smoke exposure increases the risk of heart disease by 25-30% and more than 87% of worldwide adult deaths caused by secondhand smoke are attributable to CVD. 

Johanna Ralston, CEO of World Heart Federation, commented: "If people don't know about the cardiovascular effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure, they cannot understand how much or how quickly smokers are endangering not only their own lives, but those of family members, friends, co-workers or other non-smokers who breathe tobacco smoke. In countries like India or China, so many people are at high risk for heart attack or stroke, and it strikes at a relatively early age: risks of CVD are far more present and immediate than most of the better-known fatal effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. Knowing about cardiovascular risks of tobacco will help smokers take quitting seriously, and encourage people to demand and comply with policies that protect everyone from the harms of tobacco. The World Heart Federation calls on governments around the world to a make these policies an immediate priority, as they committed to do last year through the Political Declaration of the United Nations' High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases." 

Dr. Douglas Bettcher, Director of the World Health Organization's Tobacco Free Initiative, noted that, "This report provides conclusive proof that the level of information people have about the cardiovascular harms of tobacco use and secondhand smoke is still insufficient and therefore mass media campaigns and warnings are urgently needed to make people aware of these lethal harms. In fact, to avoid the enormous toll of needless deaths caused by tobacco use, a special UN high level meeting on non-communicable diseases recently called upon Parties of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) to accelerate implementation of this Convention, recognizing the full range of measures, including measures to reduce tobacco consumption and availability. I hope that this report will boost the sense of urgency that world leaders and the public health community are trying to instill into the implementation of the WHO FCTC. This will mean the difference between death and life for almost six million people each year."

The report, which presents data from two major global tobacco research and surveillance studies - the Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS) and the ITC Project - recommends three steps to reduce the current and future cases of CVD due to tobacco use - which may total over 100 million people - among the one billion people throughout the world who smoke today, and of their families exposed to secondhand smoke:

1. Support tobacco control policies outlined in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), including those that:

a. Increase the price of tobacco products

b. Eliminate tobacco promotion and marketing

c. Implement 100 per cent smokefree laws in workplaces and public places - which is proven to significantly lower hospital admissions for heart attacks

d. Make the necessary step-change in public awareness through committing to population-level strategies, such as large graphic warnings on tobacco product packaging and mass media public education campaigns - including warnings and messages about the risk of smoking and secondhand smoke to cardiovascular health

e. Introduce plain packaging to discourage youth from starting smoking

2. Increase training in cessation advice and support among health professionals

3. Implement programmes and protocols to ensure cessation advice, support and aids are provided systematically.


What do YOU Think???

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 23, 2012

IN RESPONSE: Smoker hacks into insurance cost claims of ban backers


I could not let Jackie Jackson's letter of April 19 go without response.

She regurgitated the typical lies we hear about smoking. It drives up insurance costs, second hand smoke is the root of all evils, blah, blah, blah!

Do smoker's really drive up insurance costs or is it all you do-gooder health nuts who plan on living until you're 100? After all, the majority of health care expenses come from end-of-life care such as nursing homes, hospice care, doctor visits, prescriptions, etc. We smokers will be long gone by then. Actually, smokers are paying for all those benefits that you health nuts will be receiving.

And please shut up with all the junk science about secondhand smoke! Do you really think that we are getting unbiased information about smoking and secondhand smoke from groups like The American Heart Association, The American Lung Association, or worst of all, the federal government? I am amazed at how incredibly gullible most people are. Some group comes out with a bunch of statistics and people believe it. Just because a geek in a lab coat does some study does not make it scientific fact! Just look at all the global warming hype.

Jackson made a comment about how smokers are "self-serving". Let me get this straight, you think you have the right to tell me what I can and can't do in my business, and I'm the self-serving one? What a hypocrite! How much of my property taxes are you going to pay this year? And the "double-dipping" I take on Social Security and Medicare as a business owner, how much help can I expect to receive from you on that? My guess is zero, which is exactly how much business she has in telling me how to live.


No More Butts!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 22, 2012

Do These Butts Make My State Look Bad?


(Credit: John Macdougall/AFP/Getty Images)

    April 20, 2012  |  By JANICE PODSADA,,    The Hartford Courant



We've stopped chucking batteries into the garbage and pouring motor oil down the drain. We recycle cardboard boxes, plastic jugs and electronics —  some of us even pick up after our dogs.


Now, what do we do about the one billion cigarette butts thrown away each day in the United States as litter? Not just an eyesore, they contain a witch's brew of chemicals — arsenic vinyl chloride, acetone, mercury, lead, hydrogen cyanide - that leach into soil and streams.




Take a stroll in any Connecticut town, any state park, any beach and count the cigarette butts. Dizzy?


Now, meet fifteen-year-old Daniel Kruger of Orange, a member of the "No Butts About It" litter campaign. The volunteer brigade, made up of Kruger, his cousins David, Allie and Amy Steinmetz and other family members, is trying to rid Connecticut of cigarette butts, the most littered item in the state — in the United States.


"We're a much more environmentally aware country than we were in the past," said Cheryl Healton, president and chief executive of Legacy, a nonprofit public health group, based in Washington D.C.


But when it comes to cigarettes butts we're in a haze.


Each second, 142 cigarette butts are flicked out of car windows, tossed onto the grass or stubbed out on the sidewalk, Healton said. Nationwide, that adds up to an estimated 176 million pounds worth of cigarette litter each year.


"Frequently, the people doing this are unaware that what they are throwing out is a toxic substance that can take decades to degrade," said Healton. "This is a new issue for us. We're trying to raise awareness of this issue."


About 95 percent of cigarette filters are composed of cellulose acetate, "a form of plastic which does not easily degrade," according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.


Dispersed into waterways through storm drains, their toxic chemicals can harm fish and other stream dwellers, according to The Ocean Conservancy.


Animals mistake them for food. Cigarette butts and filters have been found in the stomachs of birds, wildlife, marine mammals and fish. Children pick them up and ingest them, sending nearly 1,000 to the hospital each year.


"In Connecticut more than 2.5 billion cigarettes [129 million packs] were sold last year. Careless disposal of those butts adds toxic trash to the state each and every day," Healton said.




No Butts About It


In 2009, Kruger and his cousin David Steinmetz, now 20, launched the "No Butts About It" campaign to clean up cigarette litter and raise awareness about its hazards. For their efforts, they received a 2011 GreenCircle award from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The department gives out between 25 and 30 awards each year.




Working with the Connecticut Cigarette Litter Prevention program and Keep America Beautiful, "they have conducted preliminary and secondary 'scans' [ cigarette counts] at state parks, beaches and in the towns of Woodbridge and Orange," said Dwayne Gardner, DEEP spokesman.


Steinmetz began picking up cigarette litter when he and his sisters were young; Kruger joined in when he turned 13.


"For my Bar Mitzvah, I needed to do a good community thing," said Kruger, a ninth-grader at Amity High School in Woodbridge. "We — me, my cousin and my aunt — went to Hammonasset State Park and did a preliminary count. At one picnic pavilion there were over 1,000 butts."


That's nearly one-pound of cigarette litter, according to Butt Redemption Value, a San Diego program that pays $3 per pound of cigarette butts.


Near a bike rack at Hammonasset, Kruger counted and collected more than 300 butts. "Those plastic filters can take 25 years to disintegrate. State parks are supposed to be beautiful places for everyone," Kruger said.


After receiving permission from local officials, the group put up posters they'd designed: a hand-drawn rendering of the earth that shows four cigarette butts protruding from the top of the globe that's encircled by the words, "The Earth is Not Your Ashtray. Keep Our Earth Clean!"


They also persuaded park officials to boost the number of ashtrays and receptacles.


"Six months later we went back to the pavilion and instead of 1,000 there were 300 cigarette butts," said Kruger, who wears disposable latex gloves when picking up litter.


In Woodbridge, the group conducted a preliminary count, and then asked local officials and business owners to hang a few posters and add a few trash receptacles.


When they returned a few months later, they saw a similar decrease in cigarette litter, Kruger said.


"Most of the areas we scanned — some parks and picnic areas and around restaurants — had about 300 to 500 cigarette butts. When we came back there were around 100. That was really impressive."


No More Butts


In a perfect world, no one would smoke.


In Connecticut an estimated 17 percent of adults — 450,000 — smoke; another 33,000 middle and high school students light up.


Know Your Enemy!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 20, 2012

For those of you who are new to this site, I have taken on the theme KNOW YOUR ENEMY! I post articles from the internet on smoking-related subjects for perusal by our Community so that you (1) know the danger of smoking to yourself (2) know the danger of smoking for your loved ones and pets (3) know what you can do about it (4) see world trends and whether you live in New Zealand, India, or Colorado Nicotine Addiction and it's way out are the same! You CAN quit and NO, it does not have to be the hardest thing you've ever done in your life! In fact, when folks take that point of view, their chances ofsuccess are reduced! You have been given very effective resources by our EXperts and Friends who deal in SUCCESS! It's up to you to pick up the gauntlet and run with it! The main thing is to know that you do have the key and the power to succeed! READ, study, be involved, and LIVE!

My name is Thomas and I have been quit 25 Month. I also have COPD which is a chronic progressive debilitating smoking related illness with no cure! Be smarter than me! Quit TODAY before you smoke your killerette! It only takes one and you'll never know which one it was!

Researchers at Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh have illustrated how mobile technology can support health research and maybe even help people quit smoking.

In a six-week nicotine addiction study, published online in the journal Prevention Science, researchers used smartphones to evaluate cigarette addiction, tracking the participants in their natural environments.


Researchers at Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh have illustrated how mobile technology can support health research and maybe even help people quit smoking.

In a six-week nicotine addiction study, published online in the journal Prevention Science, researchers used smartphones to evaluate cigarette addiction, tracking the participants in their natural environments.


The researchers used mobile technology to collect data five times a day, at random intervals. The mobile devices prompted participants to answer questions regarding their current emotional state, their urge to smoke, or if they were smoking at the time. The ability to collect data via mobile technology, combined with a new statistical model to interpret the data collected, allowed researchers to look at how baseline nicotine dependence and negative emotional states influenced participants' urge to smoke during their smoking cessation process.

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The study "demonstrates the potential for technology to help us figure out the processes involved in withdrawal," explained Stephanie Lanza, scientific director of The Methodology Center at Penn State and a lead author on the study.

During the six-week study, researchers tracked 304 long-term smokers, who smoked at least one pack a day on average, in their attempt to quit smoking. New software allowed scientists to look at several variables that fluctuated over time, based on the participants' responses when prompted to rate their urge to smoke or their emotional state. "Without software like this, we would have no idea how to look at this data," added Lanza.


According to Lanza, the process of nicotine addiction and withdrawal is a complex mixture of biological, social and psychological factors, and the study's findings reflect how tough it is to break nicotine addiction.

Out of the 304 participants, 40 quit smoking only for the first 24 hours, 207 participants remained relatively tobacco-free during the two weeks after quitting, while 57 participants were not able to quit even for 24 hours. Smokers who relapsed but smoked less than five cigarettes per day were considered successful quitters.

"Our hope is that this kind of software paired up with data gathered through mobile devices will give tobacco researchers new information on how to create interventions that are personally tailored, since everyone's withdrawal is different," said Lanza, noting that such mobile technology methods could be used to study other types of addiction as well. "The bright spot to me is that research is shifting to help us understand how to break this addiction."

While this study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse used mobile technology only to analyze addiction, other efforts use phone messaging to actually help people quit smoking. The U.S. Government, for instance, offers apps such as QuitNowTxt and SmokeFreeTXt to help smokers resist nicotine cravings, and several private companies offer a range of similar apps.

Such services send motivational messages to smokers, encouraging them to fight the urge to smoke, and round-the-clock support is available for people on the verge of relapse. In the future, researchers could follow these examples and add supportive texts to their study, rather than just asking participants to rate their moods and urges to smoke. Nonetheless, this study still marks an important milestone in how mobile technology can support health research.

On Friday, I was driving west on Highway 9 when all hell broke loose. The rain had begun to come down, and I recall there was a bit of hail. I proceeded on my course despite the radio’s urgent calls to take shelter far from a vehicle. I was crossing the overpass heading due west before the road bends onto Interstate 35 when I saw it: a portion of the dark-grey sky dipping to the ground. A tornado was manifesting itself before me, and I was driving right into its path.

No, it can’t be like this, I thought.

I don’t want to die in fear.

I want to express myself more. I want to take more photos, write more stories and have more sex.

Do the people driving in front of me, acting like cattle, know what could happen to them?

Well, come to think of it, this actually is a fairly badass way to go out.

I didn’t accomplish anything. I didn’t finish anything. For what will I be remembered?

I really wanted to have more sex.

My heart was palpitating, I slowed the car and then sped up. I was going to outrun it. I was going to Bill Paxton the Twister.


I made it about a mile when I heard the tornado had crossed the highway at Lindsey Street. I was going to be fine, and in that brief minute, when I was faced with one of nature’s most destructive juggernauts, I genuinely appreciated my life. I had the will to make something of myself. I acknowledged the fragility of my life’s vessel and had an urge to truly take care of it.

I realized these things, took them to heart and then smoked a pack of cigarettes.

I wasn’t able to quit thinking about death. I imagined my eulogy:

“Sam Higgins is a person who was, and he always will be that. Oh, and he wrote some articles for a student newspaper. Donations will be accepted for Sam’s grieving parents, and there also is a bar in downtown Tulsa that has been losing money hand-over-fist since the loss.”

After Monday’s university-sponsored cessation session, it has become more apparent to me that I don’t really want to quit smoking. I just know I have to. This is causing something you psychology students may identify as cognitive dissonance.

I love something and want to want to quit doing it. It’s a great thing that’s bad for me. I have to stop, and I’m stopping because of fear.


What feeling will rush over me when a physician tells me the bad news? When they tell me the irreversible consequences of my habit, will I feel that chilling sensation akin to having my skin filled with ice like a plastic bag?

If I continue, I’ll know death is right there in front of me, sooner than I had thought, and of course there is no turning back.

But right here and now, I do have a chance to turn around and avoid that perilous situation, watching the others go in — like cattle.

Tiffany Dowell, 27, smokes a pack-and-a-half cigarettes a day and is not ready to take advantage of free smoking cessation aides funded by the province. But she wouldn't rule it out in future.

In the six months since the B.C, Smoking Cessation Program was launched, more than 100,000 orders for patches and drugs to help kick the habit have been filled.

The program was launched Sept. 31, 2011. Once each calendar year smokers can apply to make use of the program by calling 811.

Of the total, more than 50,000 were first-time orders from people trying to quit.

Nanaimo numbers are unavailable, but a Nanaimo Regional General Hospital doctor found a way to match the provincial initiative with federal funds to make a pilot program to support patients quitting after hospitalization for smoking-related illness.

Dowell, 27, started smoking at 15. Even a heart infection that landed her in hospitalize, with an intravenous tube in her wrist, was not enough to make her quit.


"I enjoy my smoking," Dowell said. Even if now isn't the right time to quit, in future she might consider using the program.

"It's good to know there are things out there to help," Dowell said.

A close call with a smokerelated illness such as a heart attack or chest infection that lands a patient in hospital can make him or her take stock and give up tobacco, but a home environment exposes patients to the same old stresses that can trigger a relapse.

"The problem is they are scared to death here in hospital (and) they're motivated to quit today: 'Today is the day I want to quit, I want to see my kids grow up,'" said Dr. David Forbes, regional manager of Vancouver Island Health Authority's clinical pharmacy program. "Then they go home and really get no support."

In January Forbes led a three-month trial at NRGH and Victoria's Royal Jubilee Hospital to give that support to patients as they leave hospital. The study is so new it's effectiveness isn't fully known but Forbes has high hopes it will be extend lives.


Under the federally-funded Quitnow program, patients can connect with others through community forums, get coaching advice from a 24-hour help line, motivational messages and quitting tips on their smart phones.

Provincially funded nicotine replacement therapy can be used to control the cravings.

"David has taken federal money and tied it into a provincial program," said Dr.

Richard Stanwick, VIHA chief medical health officer.

The trial took in between 35 and 50 patients. Forbes' next challenge is to get VIHA to support expanding it.

"The biggest challenge is getting all the front-line staff, nurses, pharmacists, even doctors, to do this on a regular basis," Forbes said.

Dubai (20 April 2012): Exercise may help smokers to quit and remain smokefree, according to new data presented today at the World Congress of Cardiology. Moreover, exercise increases life expectancy in smokers and non-smokers alike.

The study of 434,190 people who went through medical examination program at a private fee-paying company between 1996 and 2008 in Taiwan revealed that active smokers (those engaged in at least moderate activity) were 55 per cent more likely to quit smoking that those that were inactive. Furthermore, these active smokers were 43 per cent less likely to relapse than smokers that were inactive.

Physical activity among these subjects was also shown to increase life expectancy, even among smokers. Smokers that participated in physical activity had an increased life expectancy of 3.7 years and a reduction in all-cause mortality of 23 per cent – equivalent to levels achieved by ex-smokers with low activity levels. The results also demonstrated that active ex-smokers increased their life expectancy by 5.6 years and reduced their all-cause mortality by 43 per cent – equivalent to the levels seen in inactive non-smokers.

"Exercise can help smokers to quit and quitting smoking has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing CVD and that must be the goal of all smokers," said Dr. C.P. Wen, National Health Research Institute, Taiwan. "If smokers can continue to exercise, not only they can increase the quit rate, but also they can reduce their mortality for all cause and for CVD in the long run."

The prospective study of 434,190 individuals in Taiwan was conducted over a period of 12 years. Leisure time physical activity of each individual was grouped into 1) Inactive, 2) Low active (15 minute/day), and 3) Active (30 minute/day).


Tobacco use and cardiovascular disease

Smoking is one of the major causes of CVD and directly responsible for one-tenth of all CVD worldwide. Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack as people who have never smoked. Moreover, second-hand smoke exposure is responsible for 600,000 deaths every year.

A person can substantially lower their CVD risk by stopping smoking. Within five years of becoming a non-smoker, a person's risk of having heart attack is halved and within 15 years the risk of developing CVD becomes nearly the same of someone who has never smoked.




About the World Congress of Cardiology

The World Congress of Cardiology Scientific Sessions (WCC) is the official congress of the World Heart Federation and is held every two years. Through the Congress the World Heart Federation offers an international stage for the latest developments in science and public outreach in the field of cardiovascular health. The WCC places emphasis on the complementary nature of science and public outreach and strives to spread the message that through individual, community and patient-care interventions, the growing epidemic of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented. For more information, please; keep up with the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #WCC2012Dubai

About the World Heart Federation

The World Heart Federation is dedicated to leading the global fight against heart disease and stroke with a focus on low- and middle-income countries via a united community of more than 200 member organizations. With its members, the World Heart Federation works to build global commitment to addressing cardiovascular health at the policy level, generates and exchanges ideas, shares best practice, advances scientific knowledge and promotes knowledge transfer to tackle cardiovascular disease – the world's number one killer. It is a growing membership organization that brings together the strength of medical societies and heart foundations from more than 100 countries. Through our collective efforts we can help people all over the world to lead longer and better heart-healthy lives. For more information, please visit:

Anti-tobacco television advertising helps reduce adult smoking, according to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Health Research and Policy -- but some ads may be more effective than others.


Adults and youth are exposed to a variety of anti-smoking messages on television. However, no research had been done on whether the ads, produced by various sponsors, impact adult smoking behaviors, or on how the ads differ, says Sherry Emery, a senior scientist at the UIC institute and lead author of the study.

The new study, in the April issue of the American Journal of Public Health, looked at the relationship between adults' smoking behaviors and their exposure to ads sponsored by states; by private foundations; by tobacco companies themselves; or by pharmaceutical companies marketing smoking-cessation products.

The researchers measured exposure to smoking-related advertisements using Nielsen ratings data for the top 75 U.S. media markets from 1999 to 2007. They combined this data with individual smoking data and state tobacco-control-policy data.

The researchers analyzed variables such as smoking status, intentions to quit smoking, attempts to quit in the past year, and average daily cigarette consumption.

They found that in markets with higher exposure to state-sponsored media campaigns, "smoking is less, and intentions to quit are higher," Emery said.

Higher exposure to state-sponsored, private (American Legacy Foundation), and pharmaceutical advertisements was associated with less smoking. Higher exposure to tobacco industry advertisements was associated with more smoking.

"On the surface, the tobacco-industry ads were mostly anti-smoking and a little corporate promotion, but they weren't promoting the act of smoking," Emery said. "But the effect of the ads is that they are associated with more smoking."

An unexpected finding of the study was that adults who were in areas with more ads for pharmaceutical cessation products were less likely to make an attempt to quit.


"Since we looked at the total amount of exposure to anti-smoking campaigns -- and the campaigns are very different -- our data suggests that it may not matter what you say to people, just that you're saying it a lot," she said.

Most of the recent state-sponsored media campaigns were supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The researchers suggest that the recent increased funding for anti-tobacco campaigns may contribute to meaningful reductions in smoking among U.S. adults.

Co-authors include Yoonsang Kim, Young Ku Choi, Glen Szczypka, and Frank Chaloupka of UIC and Melanie Wakefield of the Cancer Council in Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.

The former president of Imperial Tobacco Limited admitted in a confidential internal document that it is an unrefuted and accepted fact that smoking is a serious health issue - but a few months later told a federal legislative committee that there is not proof that tobacco causes disease.

In a 1987 memo, Jean-Louis Mercier, along with Wilmat Tennyson, Imperial's marketing man at the time, conceded that the tobacco industry had lost the battle "on four critical fronts": health, social cost, social acceptance and secondhand smoke. The memo concluded the industry should shift the blame to the federal government.

Testifying Thursday at the trial in which Quebec smokers are claiming $27 billion in damages from Canada's big three tobacco companies, Mercier repeated that the government, not the tobacco companies, was at fault.

"Personally, I said that if it's true that it kills 32,000 people a year, I don't understand why we sell cigarettes," Mercier said in a large courtroom filled with lawyers on the top floor of Montreal's courthouse. "Why does the government permit it?


"It should have taken the leadership."

Mercier also noted that the government, which has made billions of dollars over the years from tobacco sales tax, should have put some of that money into researching how the negative effects of smoking could be reduced.

The tobacco industry lost the health debate, the memo says, because it was "clearly constrained by the basic flaw that it could not argue smoking is good for you."

It was also hamstrung by the fear of liability and handcuffed by its own lawyers.

"Smoking is a serious health hazard; it is an accepted fact and there is no longer any possibility of refutation," the memo says.

But according to the transcripts from the legislative committee on Bill C-204 to regulate smoking in the federal workplace and common carriers, Mercier, just months after writing his internal memo, denied smoking caused disease.


"Our views are that, in the context of the current scientific knowledge, these diseases are most likely caused by the interaction of many factors," he told the committee. "The role, if any, that tobacco or smoking plays in the initiation and the development of these diseases is still very uncertain."

The transcripts weren't presented in court, but The Gazette obtained a copy.

The memo also says that the industry, through inaction and apathy, has been "shouldering the entire burden of guilt" and should shift the onus onto government.

"If it is too late to change public perception, the target of the wrath can be changed and this can be done relatively easily and quickly," the memo says. "The blood is not on the hands of manufacturers engaged in a legitimate endeavour."

The memo ends in a deflated tone, noting that neither the public nor government has any confidence in the tobacco industry.

"We will continue to stumble along, a sunset industry, heading for a smokeless society."


The trial, which began in March and is expected to last at least two years, involves about two million Quebec smokers and is the largest claim in Canadian history.

The plaintiffs allege the cigarette industry made and sold a product it knew was dangerous.

The companies - Rothmans Benson & Hedges, JTI Mac-Donald and Imperial - deny the allegations.

Read more:

A report released today at the World Heart Federation World Congress of Cardiology in Dubai reveals significant gaps in public awareness regarding the cardiovascular risks of tobacco use and secondhand smoke. The report, entitled "Cardiovascular harms from tobacco use and secondhand smoke", was commissioned by the World Heart Federation and written by the International Tobacco Control Project (ITC Project), in collaboration with the Tobacco Free Initiative at the World Health Organization.

According to the report, half of all Chinese smokers and one-third of Indian and Vietnamese smokers are unaware that smoking causes heart disease. Across a wide range of countries, including India, Uruguay, South Korea and Poland, around half of all smokers – and over 70 per cent of all Chinese smokers – do not know that smoking causes stroke. Awareness of the risk of secondhand smoke is even lower. In Vietnam, nearly 90 per cent of smokers and non-smokers are unaware that secondhand smoke causes heart disease. In China, 57 per cent of smokers and non-smokers are unaware of the link. Even in countries with well-developed health systems and tobacco control regulation – such as Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia – between a third and a half of smokers do not know that secondhand smoke can damage cardiovascular health.

Professor Geoffrey T. Fong at the University of Waterloo, Canada, and Chief Principal Investigator of the ITC Project, commented, "This report shows a broad correlation between poor knowledge of the risks of tobacco use and high levels of smoking prevalence. To break this link and reduce the deadly toll of tobacco, more needs to be done to increase awareness of the specific health harms. Our research shows that the risks of tobacco use to lung health are very widely accepted. But we need to attain the same level of knowledge and awareness that tobacco use can cause heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease and secondhand smoke can cause heart attack. Health warning labels are known to be an effective method for educating the public on the health harms of tobacco products. A number of countries have introduced warnings about the increased risk of heart disease or heart attack, but no country has yet implemented a label to warn people that secondhand smoke causes heart disease. Increasing knowledge of these specific health risks will help encourage smokers to quit and help non-smokers protect themselves, so raising awareness is an important step in reducing people's exposure to tobacco smoke."


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world's leading cause of death, killing 17.3 million people every year. Eighty per cent of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, which are increasingly being targeted by the tobacco industry. Tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure causes about one-tenth of global deaths from CVD. Even smoking a few cigarettes a day significantly increases the risk of heart disease. Smokeless tobacco products have also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Secondhand smoke exposure increases the risk of heart disease by 25

The number of men dying from lung diseases including emphysema and chronic bronchitis has fallen dramatically since the 1970s, a new report has found.

The drop in male death rates from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) followed a reduction in the number of men smoking, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report showed.

The death rate from COPD fell to 29 per 100,000 men in 2009, less than a third of the 1970 rate, according to the report.

The male death rate peaked at 95 deaths per 100,000 population in 1970.

AIHW spokesman Dr Adrian Webster said smoking was the main, although not the only, cause of COPD.

He said the death rate generally followed levels of tobacco consumption, which had been declining among men since the 1970s and 80s.


Hospitalisation rates for men with COPD aged 55 and over also dropped, by 20 per cent in the decade between 1998/1999 and 2009/2010, the report showed.

The female death rate associated with COPD has been consistently lower than men's, with fewer women than men smoking, although the gap is narrowing.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease causes mild or severe shortness of breath by limiting airflow in the lungs.

A GOP U.S. Senate hopeful in West Virginia is comparing a local ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and hotels to the *****’ persecution of the Jews.

John Raese, who's campaigning to unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin this November, likened indoor air rules that took effect in Monongalia County last month to the yellow Star of David that **** Germany forced Jews to wear.

In all, 20 counties in West Virginia prohibit smoking in commercial establishments, WDTV-5 reported.

"But in Monongalia County now, I have to put a huge sticker on my buildings to say that this is a smoke-free environment," Raese told an audience at the GOP Lincoln Day Dinner in Hurricane, W.Va. last week. "Remember Hitler used to put Star of David on everybody’s lapel, remember that? Same thing.”

Raese also compared the smoking ban to the Depression-era National Recovery Act, which authorized President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom Raese referred to as "General Roosevelt" and "Fidel Roosevelt," to take steps to spur economic recovery.


These kinds of analogies to **** Germany are offensive and inappropriate," Deborah Lauter, director of civil rights for the Anti-Defamation League, told the Daily News. "They're out of bounds for everyone, including elected officials."

"We just hope that candidates use more common sense and can be more careful with their words," added Lauter, who noted that Thursday is Holocaust Remembrance Day, an international day that marks the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.

For his part, Raese stood by the Hitler analogy. "No, this is not a standard line, nor a misstatement. It is a loss of freedom," he told Politico in a statement. "As Ronald Reagan once said, there is no such thing as partial freedom, there is only freedom."

Raese, a businessman who lost to Manchin in a special election in 2010 to fill the remainder of a term left vacant by the late Sen. Robert Byrd, has a history of suggestive remarks.

He referred to Manchin, whose grandfather was an Italian immigrant, as "Gov. Soprano," in a 2010 interview, and to U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu by other Asian-sounding last names, the Charleston Daily Mail reported.

Read more:*****-persecution-jews-west-virginia-republican-senate-candidate-article-1.1064538#ixzz1saApkCMa

How do we vanquish our fears and fight our personal demons successfully? Should we fight them at all?

It certainly takes spiritual fortitude to face your fears and battle your demons but is warring the best way to victory?

Whether you believe in literal demons who breathe fire from hades or not, you most likely face personal demons that seem just as formidable as if they were in third-dimensional form. Among those energies / collective thought form entities that can appear overwhelming and bigger than we are stands fear, doubt, worry, shame, guilt and rage. 

I've learned I can almost gauge my ability to transmute and evolve as a spiritual being on any level, by how often I am facing personal demons. 

How you choose to approach fighting demons says a lot about the path you are choosing as spiritual being as well. Though it may feel as if there really is only one way to victory, there are different ways of healing and transforming.

One of the most overlooked ways to work through our fears is through those who challenge us. Those who push our buttons the most may also prove to be our best spiritual teachers. 


Acceptance as a Warrior Approach:


Another way of fighting our demons without fighting lies in the way of accepting what is and releasing resistance to the present moment. 

Note that starting with nonresistance and acceptance was not my way initially. 

Accepting my reality, when that reality was painful and undesirable seemed the last thing I'd ever do, for a long time. 

Acceptance and non-resistance as a way to overcome fears and face personal demons seemed to be admitting that a wrong situation was ok. It took a while for me to realize that wasn't what was being said at all in embracing the present moment with self-responsibility. 

The idea of accepting the presence of a situation within which I was suffering or accepting the presence of a person whose actions resulted in pain for me, seemed to be a type of defeat that would leave me helpless and forever vulnerable. 

Seeking to avoid feeling weak and vulnerable, I fought against this idea of surrender into what is. I fought it for a long, long, tedious time. 

In other words, I fought against not fighting my personal demons. The need to resist them was stronger than my ability to see another way; the fear of not resisting them was stronger than the faith of having support to walk thru them.

I guess I may have kept fighting except for a situation that so completely slammed me that I had nothing left with which to battle anything. 

I collapsed, because I had no choice. 

I surrendered out of lack of energy to do anything else.

In the stillness that followed, nothing happened for what seemed an eternity but was only 3 months in linear time. I was not yet surrendered completely; my mind had gone numb as a defense mechanism of the ego. 

When my soul decided that's enough of that, the situation and pain and person came rushing back into awareness and I had a choice to make. 

This time, I did something different - nothing. Instead of raising back up to do battle, I simply recognized that I owned this situation. I had called these people to me and chosen to co-create this situation. Realizing this, I realized something else ....

I had to stand and fight in the only way that really ever works. I had to let the situation be what it was, let each person be who they were, and still be who I was, in it.

At that moment, I finally understood that the only way to stop this situation from recurring was to fully get it. Know my part in it. Be with the effects of it til I realized what it was in me that drew it. 

I realized that fighting demons outside myself would never work. The reality was that my personal demons originated with me and could only really be conquered on the inner ground of my consciousness.


Did You Know.....?????

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 18, 2012

According to a study by U.S. scientists, all it takes is a few minutes – not years – of puffing on a cigarette to cause genetic damage linked to cancer, The Daily Mail reported.

"The effect is so fast that it's equivalent to injecting the substance directly into the bloodstream," the researchers said in findings described as a "stark warning" to the millions of people who smoke out there.

The lead researcher, Dr. Stephen Hecht from the University of Minnesota, and his colleagues followed 12 volunteers and tracked certain pollutants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are a group of chemicals that are formed during the burning of coal, oil, gas, wood or other substances such as tobacco and charred meats.

Hecht zeroed-in on one pollutant in particular called phenanthrene, and found that it quickly formed a toxic substance in the blood that is known to “trash DNA, causing mutations that can cause cancer."

"The smokers developed maximum levels of the substance in a time frame that surprised even the researchers: just 15-30 minutes after the volunteers finished smoking," the study said. "These results are significant because PAH diol epoxides react readily with DNA, induce mutations, and are considered to be ultimate carcinogens of multiple PAH in cigarette smoke."

The study, which appears in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, was funded by the National Cancer Institute.


Have you "tried your best to fight the craves and can't seem to win?" Are you sitting there scratching your head about what went wrong and feeling like you can "never win?" I'll tell you something I learned Thanks to the Elders who helped me launch the adventure of my lifetime - Smoke FREE Living! 

I came here like most of us not knowing anything about Nicotine Addiction and was told to read and I did! It really helped but there was this guy who I thought was goofy (Thank Goodness I now know that he was spot on!) His name is James and his moniker is the Happy Quitter! ....Say what? what's there to be happy about? Strong, yes! Determined, yes! Stubborn, fierce, a fighter! But happy??? As I thought about it, something really clicked and the light bulb came on! 


I had been fighting the Nico-Demon with willpower! What could be more effective than that? But I was missing the essential...The Nico-Demon is ME!!!!!


So when I was fighting myself, how could I win without losing??? And guess what, the loser had been the part that wanted to be FREE! You can't be FREE when you're fighting!!!! 

This fellow James had something - something I really, really wanted! he was not just Quit - He was Happy being Quit! 

So how do you handle the craves if you don't fight??? What do you do instead? 

There's a fellow here named Tommy who repeatedly told me to use Focus and Determination. Could I combine these 2 great pieces of advice? Think about Focus for a minute....


When you focus with determination instead of fighting with determination, the whole picture changes! I had changed my perspective! The Nico-demon became more blurry, less important and the object of my Focus increased in POWER - the POWER to WIN! And what was that very important object of my FOCUS?



FREEDOM from the Chains of Addiction! 

FREEDOM to be the ME that my Creator made me to be!

FREEDOM from pain, suffering, illness, devastation!

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize and ignore the Nico-Demon - but don't fight Him because HE IS ME! Just Focus on the Prize! Will He scream for attention? Oh yea! But when you ignore Him long enough, He loses energy - you Energy is on your Prize! And He gets weaker....and weaker...and weaker...and becomes a little bitty gnat that once in a great while bugs you but you easily have the POWER to swat Him back into His place tiny! So worthless! 



I'm absolutely fascinated by the Blogs I've seen these last few days! I hear people talking about how they "can't"because it's just "too hard!"I can't help but remember my first days of my quit journey 759 days ago! I had just been diagnosed with a chronic progressive illness that's incurable. My life expectancy just went waaaaaay down with one little word. What's more I was convinced that my Quality of Life would really be looooow. In other words, don't expect much from life except pain, suffering, and early death. Talk about STRESS! Please Newbie, don't tell me about stress!!!! And do you know the worst part of it? The personal knowledge that I had done this to myself......with yes, smoking! So I was diagnosed with COPD/Emphysema on March 14 and had my last puff March 19! That's all the preparation time I gave myself! Not weeks.....not Months....not NRTs.....not chantix.... just one tool you folks would be smart to use - KNOWLEDGE! So where did I acquire this knowledge so fast? Right here at BecomeanEX. I didn't join to fool around with slips and relapses. I didn't come here with an "I already know it all" ATTITUDE! I didn't come here with a line about how we are all different and nobody understands me!!!! I came here to be included in the 6% who SUCCEED in their first year of quitting!!! I came here to listen to those who had already achieved what I wanted! I didn't blame them for being too harsh! I listened! Because they had something that I not only wanted - but something I needed!I had a clear cut choice: QUIT or DIE!!! Simple! I humbly asked questions and accepted advice. I did my homework without hesitation! I made friends and exposed my ADDICTIVE SELF to these EXers with integrity and honesty! I let that smoke cloud of distorted thinking lift because FIRST and most important - I kept them away from my face!!!! So my issue was never to smoke or not to smoke!!! My issue was "What do I do instead?" 

Folks, do you really want to wait until you have a smoke related illness before you quit? Or worse, continue to smoke knowing that you are literally killing yourself????Are you even aware that HALF of all smokers will DIE of smoke related illness????? Or do you want to pay attention and follow the road map that has been put right in front of you and shows you each and every step to take if you really want to be in the 6%? No excuses! Keep them away from your face and listen!

Orthopaedic surgeons outline steps to help patients stop smoking, ideally before surgery

Tobacco and nicotine use are known to impair the body's ability to heal bones and wounds. Two new studies presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons looked at the effects of smoking on total joint replacement. A separate Smoking Cessation Forum featured expert testimony on how orthopaedic surgeons may successfully encourage and aid patients in quitting smoking, optimally before surgery.

The first study, "Increased Revision Rates Following Total Knee Arthroplasty in Patients Who Smoke," found that patients who smoke before and/or after total knee replacement (TKR) surgery had a 10-fold higher revision rate compared to non-smokers. The investigation involved 621 TKR patients, including 131 smokers (median age 62). All patients who were smokers were encouraged to participate in a smoking cessation program prior to TKR surgery. Clinical outcomes, including pain, function and range of motion, were assessed following surgery in both groups. The smoking group had 13 knee replacement failures (10 percent) compared to five in the non-smoking group (1 percent). The medical complication rate also was "significantly higher" in the smoking group, with 27 patients (21 percent) having a medical complication compared to 60 (12 percent) of non-smokers. Complications included deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots, anemia requiring treatment, cardiac problems, and acute renal failure. Investigators recommend that patients stop or minimize nicotine use prior to TKR.


The second study, "Smoking is a Harbinger of Early Failure with Ultraporous Metal Acetabular Reconstruction," looked at the effects of smoking on patients who underwent reconstruction of the acetabulum - the cup shaped cavity at the base of the hip bone - with ultraporous metal. In general, the newer materials have resulted in increased survival rates and fewer hip replacement failures than other implants made from standard porous metal. Between 1999 and 2009, ultraporous acetabular components were used in 533 hip replacements, including 159 primary and 374 revision surgeries. Of these patients, 17 percent were smokers, 31 percent previous smokers, 50 percent non-smokers, and 3 percent unknown. The failure rate in smokers was 9.1 percent, compared to 3.4 percent in non-smokers. Investigators recommend that orthopaedic surgeons strongly advocate for smoking cessation before surgery to ensure optimal recovery and outcome.

During the Smoking Cessation Forum, experts provided testimony on the harmful ingredients and outcomes associated with smoking. Patients who quit smoking before and during orthopaedic treatment have less pain than those who smoke, but also better outcomes.

Among the recommendations provided by orthopaedic surgeons during the Forum:

Orthopaedic surgeons can help ensure optimal care by refusing to perform surgery on patients who smoke, said Glenn R. Rechtine, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon and associate chief of staff and adjunct professor at the University of South Florida. Forty percent of Dr. Rechtine's patients have stopped smoking as a result of his mandate.


Richard D. Hurt, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Nicotine Dependence Center at Mayo Clinic, outlined a three-step process that clinicians can initiate to help their patients stop smoking. "First, ask about tobacco use," said Dr. Hurt. "Have your receptionist ask, your nurse ask, your physician's assistant ask, and you ask - even if you already know the answer. Asking shows the patient that smoking is a serious problem that must be addressed. Then, advise the patient to stop smoking. Don't just say, 'you know, you ought to consider stopping someday.' Tell the patient, 'you need to stop smoking.' Finally, because smokers are going to push back, it's important to offer help." Each state has a free Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) that provides free, telephone counseling, by trained professionals, said Dr. Hurt.

David O. Warner, MD, associate dean for clinical and translational science at Mayo Clinic, urged the Academy to replicate the American Society of Anesthesiologists' (ASA) Smoking Cessation Initiative which strives to offer smoking cessation assistance to every patient who smokes. "Smoking is the most costly and most preventable risk factor in postoperative complications," said Dr. Warner. "Surgery is a teachable moment - one we need to capitalize on.", a women's health and wellness website headquartered in Mission Viejo, Calif., has launched a new Smoking Cessation Health Center that provides valuable tools to help women stop smoking.

"Women who want to stop smoking are looking for the best, most effective ways to quit," says Laurie Berger, Lifescript Editor-in-Chief. "We help them sort through the options with expert tips and advice on kicking this harmful habit for good."

The goal of the Smoking Cessation Health Center is to support women in taking this important step. "We put readers' minds at ease by providing doctor-reviewed information they can trust," Berger says.

For the 18% of American women smokers, quitting is daunting - and it often requires several attempts. But the counseling, exercises, medications, and support resources found in the Smoking Cessation Health Center are geared to help fight smoking addiction.

Hundreds of articles and interactive features, written by medical experts and reviewed by physicians, include how to lower risk factors, manage addiction, curb cigarette cravings, handle a relapse and undo the bad effects of smoking. The Smoking Cessation Health Center also covers the latest information on treatment options and clinical trials"Quitting smoking is very challenging for busy, multitasking women and moms," Berger says. "If you're one of our many readers intent on giving up smoking for good, you'll find all the help you need here -- top treatments, natural remedies, and effective ways to ease symptoms."

The Smoking Cessation Health Center is one of 66 health centers already launched on the site as part of a plan to release 70 condition-specific centers by the end of this year. Lifescript Health centers are designed to help women live healthier lives with medically reviewed articles, expert interviews, lifestyle tips, quizzes, recipes and more.

ABOUT LIFESCRIPT: One of the fastest-growing online healthy living publishers, ( ) attracts 6.3 million unique visitors monthly and is the leading website focusing exclusively on women's health. More than 7 million readers also subscribe to Lifescript's six daily email newsletters. The company has offices in Mission Viejo and Beverly Hills, Calif., and in New York City.

LAS CRUCES — It was a bad day.

I couldn't decide whether it was allergies, the onset of a migraine or if I was coming down with a respiratory malady that had felled most of the newsroom.

All of the above ailments have something in common: All are aggravated by cigarette smoke.

And smoke seemed to be unavoidable that day. It started in my driveway, where smoking passersby had deposited a pile of cigarette butts. I was stuck in traffic behind a truck with two cigar smokers, both of whom had their windows down. At stoplights, fumes and ashes drifted toward my windshield.

At work, both exits were surrounded and I couldn't go in or out either door without suffering blasts of smoke. Instead of dissipating it, spring breezes conspired to deliver whirlwind blasts of smoke from smokers outside offices on both sides of me.

I was feeling worse by the minute. What could be better than a workout and a salad from my organic market, right? Wrong.

The dressing room at the health club reeked of cigarette smoke. Could someone have been audacious enough to sneak a smoke there, or had the smell permeated her clothing and towels? I made it through my laps and ran the gauntlet of smokers outside the health club. (Work out and stoke up, you guys? Really?)

As it happens, the back entrance to my market is right across the parking lot. There was no way I could get to the market without navigating an alley filled with employees from the health food market, all - you guessedit - puffing up a storm out back.

As my respiratory passages swelled and closed down and my migraine went from a threat to a promise of hours of misery, I pondered whether karma was at work.

I, too, once smoked, in my late teens and early 20s. Recent studies have revealed that I may have been an unwilling "smoker" for my first 18 years, too. My mom and dad each smoked several packs a day, so my involuntary secondhand smoke intake dated back to the womb.

"Smokers have no conscience," my spiritual mentor Tenny Hale once told me.

It was my ashamed realization that she was right, along with my then-small son's allergies and the coughs and complaints of the nonsmokers in our smoke-filled newsroom, that prompted my decision to quit, back in the days when cigarettes cost less for a carton than people now pay for a pack.

That was before the warning labels, the definitive medical studies, the advertising bans and the prohibitive laws. But when I consulted my finally-smoke-free conscience, I knew I'd always known that smoking was bad for me and those around me.

And so had my parents, even though they had grown up in an era when the "health benefits" of smoking were actually touted in ads, and my pipe-smoking physician grandfather had lots of company at medical conventions.

I knew they knew, because they always looked guilty when we three kids begged them not to smoke in the car during long drives, because they pleaded with us never to take up the "habit" ourselves, and seemed heartbroken when two of their kids became smokers. That's how I felt when I realized the son who inspired me to quit had become a smoker himself.

Now I have become the kind of nag I hated when I was a smoker. Nicotine is one of the deadliest and most addictive drugs ever to lure and enslave humanity. And it's a drug that can effectively sicken and poison those who don't use it, too.

That's why you'll hear usually laissez-faire, liberal me pushing for more anti-smoking laws and regulations and for enforcement of those we have. (Have you ever known anyone who was actually punished for smoking when or where he shouldn't?)

And that's why I'll keep nagging.

It's true that I don't want to develop immediate and long-term health problems because of secondhand smoke.

But it's also true that I care about you and don't want to see you and your kids suffer and miss you when you die, decades before your time, as my parents did.

If you're thinking about starting or resuming smoking, please don't. And if you smoke, set a date to quit now.

Some generation must finally end this addiction that maims and kills not only ourselves, but also innocent strangers and those we love the most. Whatever it takes, let this be the generation that calls it quits for good.

Anti-smoking advocates lauded federal lawmakers in 2009 for banning the sale of flavored cigarettes they said appeal to young would-be smokers.

But tobacco companies have found other ways to reach young people, Assemblyman Sean M. Ryan said Sunday as he urged passage of a state bill that would ban other flavored products, including small cigars, chewing tobacco and snuff.

“These are gateway products,” Ryan said. “Without this, you’re not going to have a young adult smoke cigarettes. Because we all know cigarettes taste awful— you’re not going to become addicted without these flavors.”

The products, Ryan said, are flavored to taste like fruit, chocolate, vanilla, herbs and spices. While the federal legislation banned the sale of flavored cigarettes, the flavored small cigars, chewing tobacco and snuff can still be sold.


A bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, would close what Ryan sees as a loophole in the federal law and enact an outright state ban on flavored tobacco products. The bill passed overwhelmingly in the Assembly in January but has lingered in the Senate.

Ryan, who will appear today at Roswell Park Cancer Institute with representatives from the American Cancer Society and the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition, has been calling for Senate passage of the bill.

“At the same time we’re working in government to try to help people quit smoking, there are these products being marketed to help people start smoking,” Ryan said. “The state should do everything in its power to lessen the number of people starting to smoke.”

Tobacco companies have said the appeal of flavored tobacco to young people is unintended, but Ryan said the products are clearly marketed to young crowds.


“The tobacco companies are clever,” he said. “It’s clear that some of the flavors really are aimed at a younger audience. I’ve never seen an adult smoking a chocolate mini-cigar.”

A 2005 survey by Roswell Park found that 20 percent of smokers ages 17 to 19 said they used flavored cigarettes, compared with 6 percent of smokers older than 25.

The federal legislation banning flavored cigarettes followed a 2006 agreement in which the R.J. Reynolds tobacco company agreed to a national ban on its line of flavored cigarettes, which included “Twista Lime” and “Mocha Taboo.” Other flavors included “Winter Warm Toffee” and “Kauai Kolada.”

In addition, the flavoring of menthol cigarettes has led to an increase in smokers and has made it harder for smokers to quit, according to a 2011 study by a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel. The federal legislation also gave the FDA authority to regulate ingredients in cigarettes.

For Ryan, D-Buffalo, the issue is personal. While his mother quit smoking, his father-in-law is still dealing with the ravages of the nicotine addiction he gave up years ago.

“My grandfather and grandmother both had their lives cut short by smoking,” Ryan said. “I’m one of the few people in my family who don’t smoke. But you can see the awful power of addiction.”

Smoking tobacco increases the risk for progression of Barrett’s esophagus (BE) to high-grade dysplasia (HGD) or cancer by twofold compared with never smoking. This risk was found in a study by Coleman et al, published in the February issue of Gastroenterology (2012;142:233-240).

Lead study author Helen Coleman, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast, in Northern Ireland, told Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, “It has previously been known that smoking was a risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma, but what wasn’t known was the stage at which carcinogens in tobacco smoke act.”

Historically, it was not clear whether smoking promoted the conversion of healthy tissue to inflamed tissue, inflamed tissue to BE, or BE to HGD or cancer.

“This study has shown for the first time that smoking is a major reason for progression from BE to high-grade dysplasia/cancer,” Dr. Coleman said.


For their study, Dr. Coleman and colleagues analyzed data from the population-based Northern Ireland BE register, which includes all adults diagnosed with columnar-lined epithelium of the esophagus between 1993 and 2005 in Northern Ireland. The researchers identified 3,167 patients who had ever been diagnosed with specialized intestinal metaplasia, and they collected data on lifestyle and clinical and demographic characteristics from hospital case notes. Linking the Northern Ireland BE register to the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, the researchers identified which of these patients later developed esophageal HGD or adenocarcinomas of the esophagus or gastric cardia.

By Dec. 31, 2008, a total of 117 patients with BE had developed esophageal HGD or adenocarcinomas of the esophagus or gastric cardia. Using Cox proportional hazard models, the researchers determined that current tobacco smoking was significantly associated with increased risk for progression compared with never smoking, across all strata of smoking intensity (hazard ratio, 2.03; 95% confidence interval, 1.29-3.17).


Additionally, the researchers found that risk for progression of BE was not related to alcohol consumption. Body mass index was not associated with risk for neoplastic progression, although caution in interpretation was advised because of inconsistent collection of data on height and weight.

The researchers recommended that smoking cessation strategies be considered in patients with BE. Previously, there was no “evidence base to specifically target these patients with dedicated smoking cessation programs,” Dr. Coleman said. “Therefore, this would be a change of practice.”




By John Crown


Sunday April 15 2012


I AM a former smoker. I was addicted to tobacco products. I often reached for the cigarette first thing in the morning, and last thing at night. I smoked when I was a medical student, when I was a young doctor, and even when I was training to be a cancer specialist.


I wasn't alone in this. I remember a time when doctors smoked in hospitals. I remember consultants doing ward rounds with cigars in their mouths (in one famous case being followed by a dutiful nun carrying an ash tray).


I've known senior cardiologists, lung specialists and yes oncologists who smoked.


Sadly, I know some doctors and many nurses who still do. They all know/ knew it was bad for them. They all wanted to stop. Some could. Some couldn't. Some paid the ultimate price. Others will.




They were all addicts.


Addiction clouds your judgment. It makes you rationalise your behaviour. It makes all other considerations subservient to your need to get the next fix. I remember, with huge embarrassment, how intolerant my addiction made me of the desire of others not to be exposed to my passive smoke, something we now know to be hazardous. How could these fanatics dare to infringe my right to smoke in their presence? Why should I stand outside to smoke? If they don't want to be in a smoky junior doctors' sitting room, why don't THEY stand outside?


Such is the disordered thought process -- the "stinkin' thinkin'" of the addict. The overwhelming power of addiction must be borne in mind when considering the arguments of the opponents of anti-smoking regulations. Such opposition is now mobilising against the legislation that I, together with my colleagues, senators Mark Daly and Jillian van Turnhout, will be introducing into Seanad Eireann, legislation that -- by a simple short amendment to the existing smoking ban -- would extend it to include cars in which children are present.


The reasons for such a ban can be neatly summarised as follows:


• Second-hand and side-stream smoke are dangerous, and particularly dangerous for children.


• Smoking in cars produces high concentrations of dangerous chemicals.


• Some people who know these facts continue to smoke in cars with children.


Exposure to smoke increases the risk of childhood asthma, bronchitis and ear infections. It has effects on the heart and circulation. There is compelling evidence that it increases the risk of childhood cancer, which is not surprising given the documented high levels of multiple cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke. These are facts -- not opinions. Cars are a uniquely hazardous environment. A smoky car has a level of pollution 30 times higher than the level at which the US environmental Protection Agency recommends fleeing indoors and closing windows. Passengers in a car are exposed to a 10-fold increase in smoke compared to firefighters fighting a brush fire.


An hour in a car with a smoker equals the smoke exposure of eight hours in a smoky pub. And yet we still see adults smoking in cars with children. They are usually their own children, children they love. Such is the power of addiction.


The existing law, introduced a decade ago by then health minister Micheal Martin was designed to protect workers from the ill effects of tobacco smoke in the workplace.


It has been a huge success and has moreover, provided a model and precedent for similar bans worldwide.


Our smoke-free bars, restaurants, shopping centres and hospitals are a testament to this visionary piece of public policy; a policy which, at the time of its proposal, prompted very considerable scepticism and opposition. Similar scepticism and opposition is being mounted to our legislation. Forest Eireann, a smokers' rights lobby, which receives funding from Forest UK -- themselves beneficiaries of support from the tobacco industry -- have been particularly vocal.


I have, however, heard no substantial objection from them or from anyone to the scientific evidence of the perils of smoke, but rather charges of 'nanny statism'. It's the old addiction thinkin' again.Far from being a nanny statist, I have a very strong libertarian streak and would defend the rights of smokers to sate their addiction as long as no other individuals are harmed.


The problem is when others are harmed. The evidence that indirect smoking is harmful to bystanders is overwhelming. It is particularly hazardous for children whose rapid rate of breathing and smaller body size gives their systems much bigger dose of inhaled toxins.


Consider this paradox. At present it is illegal to smoke when you are alone in your company car. It is, however, perfectly legal to smoke in your private car with three children strapped into their seats.


Let me know your thoughts on this issue. Contact me on Twitter @ProfJohnCrown or email


You might also consider letting your TDs and senators know how you feel.


Senator John Crown is a consultant oncologist


- John Crown

With comprehensive, smoke-free policies and local ordinances protecting youths, our Duluth and St. Louis County region, which cares deeply about health and health care, consistently has been ahead of the curve in protecting our residents from the dangers of tobacco.

Since the passage of the Freedom to Breathe Act, Minnesotans have enjoyed fresh air in most public spaces. However, we need to do more. Only a small number of Minnesota communities, such as Lake and St. Louis counties, are protecting children in foster care from the dangers of secondhand smoke. This is why I am proud to stand with Rep. Tina Liebling, DFL-Rochester, and Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, who introduced a bill earlier this legislative session to make all foster-care homes in Minnesota smoke-free.

In 2010, about 8,000 at-risk youths were in foster-care homes in Minnesota. The state, as their legal guardian, has a lawful and moral obligation to protect these children. About 80 percent of children who live in foster homes in this country have at least one chronic medical condition. Such conditions can be exacerbated by exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke contains 11 known cancer-causing poisons and 250 known toxins and is a recognized cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, potentially fatal respiratory tract infections, frequent and severe asthma attacks and frequent ear infections.

Infants and children are highly susceptible to the health risks of secondhand smoke because their bodies are still developing. Yet in many parts of the state we continue to put these children at risk. Children in foster care should have the same safeguards against secondhand smoke as they do against other hazardous chemicals such as lead paint, radon and asbestos.

Children placed in foster care need and deserve a healthy and stable environment in which to live. Smoke-free policies help ensure their safety. More than a third of all U.S. states already prohibit smoking in foster-care homes, and the National Foster Parent Association supports smoke-free foster-care legislation. Now it’s Minnesota’s turn to take a stand.

My time at the Capitol has allowed me to be a part of many meaningful public-health policy decisions that have improved the lives of Minnesotans. Rep. Liebling’s bill provides lawmakers with another important opportunity to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens from secondhand smoke. Smoke-free foster care is the right thing to do and the state should lead the way.

I’d like to thank the Minnesota Daily for bringing attention to the Centers for Disease Control’s recently released Tips From Former Smokers campaign. While some may think it’s ridiculous to keep talking about smoking and secondhand smoke, both of these articles illustrate the very real problem tobacco still poses. Despite declines in cigarette smoking, smokeless tobacco use is on the rise. Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease, causing more deaths each year than HIV, illegal drugs, alcohol, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and homicides combined.

Like column author Erin Lengas, I too hate walking across campus and being smacked in the face with cigarette smoke. I don’t blame tobacco users, though. I take issue with the 7,000 chemicals in secondhand smoke — hundreds that are toxic and 70 that cause cancer — that cannot be controlled or contained.

Smoking is a powerful addiction that the tobacco industry has engineered and reinforced. They spend more than $1 million every hour on marketing that discourages tobacco users from quitting and portrays tobacco as normal and appealing. While the majority of scientific evidence clearly outlines that tobacco is harmful, the tobacco industry is doing everything it can to frame the debate around “personal freedoms” and a person’s “right to smoke.” Contrary to popular belief, however, no court has found a specially protected federal constitutional right to smoke exists. Tobacco users are not a specially protected class of people.

Continuing to smoke is not the choice most tobacco users want to make. Most are interested in quitting at some point and have made multiple attempts to quit. As a result, we should be doing everything we can to encourage tobacco users to quit and stay tobacco free. The CDC and FDA are doing their part, but what is the University of Minnesota doing?

College campuses have increasingly gone 100 percent smoke and tobacco free to promote the health of everyone on campus. College students are of particular importance because tobacco companies have targeted them. The tobacco industry is also well aware of the experimental and transitional time period the college years provide for encouraging new smokers and solidifying existing smoking behaviors. In fact, 99 percent of all first tobacco use happens before the age of 26. Therefore, if young adults remain tobacco-free throughout their college years, very few will ever become tobacco users.Tobacco-free policies have been shown to help tobacco users reduce their smoking or quit altogether. The University‘s Duluth and Crookston campuses have already made the transition, and it’s time the Twin Cities campus make that choice.

There are concerns that such a change would be impossible to enforce, especially because of the large, urban nature of our campus. However, other large institutions have successfully gone smoke and tobacco free, including Big Ten rivals Michigan, Iowa and Indiana. Additionally, the nation’s largest urban university system, City University of New York, is set to go tobacco free by fall 2012, and all University of California campuses are currently planning their efforts to implement tobacco-free policies by 2014. 

The experience of the many schools that have made the change show that with enough planning, education and communication with the campus community before the transition, the policy should be mostly self-enforcing.

Enough with the excuses. As home to one of the best public health schools in the nation, we should be setting the example. It’s time to proudly commit to improving the health of our campus community. It’s time the Twin Cities campus joined the fight against the number one cause of preventable death and disease by transitioning to a 100 percent tobacco-free campus.


Thomas the Doubter

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 11, 2012

So my Avatar says it all! I am a doubter in the sense of St Thomas the Apostle, my namesake! Which brings me to YOU! Are you still in denial about smoking related damage? Try this exercise: close your eyes and examine each part fo your body. Thank that foot for carrying the burden of your weight each and every day! What a sacrifice! Is there pain there? What is that foot telling you about how you treat it? On to the next part....


When you get to your lungs, brain, heart, and skin (yes, skin deserves a Special Thanks for it's functions in keeping you alive and healthy!) think of what smoking has done to these very essential organs! Ask your body for forgiveness and remind these critical organs that you are a quitter now and you promise to Protect Your Quit because sickerettes are hurting you and damaging your health! Don't forget to listen to your heart to your lungs, even to your skin - let them tell you their story of suffering while you chose to smoke! They'll probably Thank You for quitting when you did! And remmber to Thank them for their Daily Hard Work! They deserve recognition! 


The Lord used Thomas' Scepticism to reveal himself more fully not just to Thomas but to you and me as Thomas testifies, "My Lord and My God!" and Jesus remarks, "Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed!" Thomas came to Believe in Reality beyond the Senses! You can come to Believe in YOURSELF as a Worthy Child of Our Creator who deserves a Healthy Body, Mind, and Spirit! 


If you are still a Sceptic about your ability to Quit for Life, this exercise might just change your perspective and bring you to BELIEVE in Yourself! If you have already launched your Quit Journey, it can Affirm your Great Decision and help you to Protect Your Quit!


Go ahead, put your mental fingers right in those holes and feel around! It's the beginning of Believing and Healing for the sceptic! 

Ever wonder why so many of our grandparents died of smoking related illnesses? ALL FOUR of my grandparents died of lung disease or Cancer. NOW I UNDERSTAND!

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

It's no secret that smoking is bad for your health. But only 50 years ago this week, the Royal College of Physicians in the U.K. issued the first major report warning of smoking's dangers.

Two years after the British report, the U.S. Surgeon General issued its own report on health risks from smoking. It led to Congress requiring warning labels on tobacco products the following year, and eventually, imposing tighter restrictions on cigarette advertising.

But prior to these reports, some of the biggest tobacco salesman were doctors, dentists and nurses. To ease a public that was growing increasingly concerned with smoking's health risks in the early 20th century, cigarette companies turned to images of medical professionals for their campaigns.

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

Blowing smoke: Vintage ads of doctors endorsing tobacco

These are only 25 of the 47 adds you can see at this website! Check it out! 



Allergy season is among us and a lot of folks are wondering if allergies can lead to more severe problems like Bronchitis or even pneumonia.

KETK spoke with Dr. Bryan Lowery at the Trinity Clinic who says it's not impossible. Allergies can cause some post nasal drip which leads to consistent cough called allergic bronchitis or acute Bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis is the sudden inflammation of the tracheobronchial tree, which comprises the trachea, or windpipe. It is typically associated with a viral upper respiratory tract infection (URI), such as the common cold, and is usually mild. In patients with chronic lung or heart disease, acute bronchitis is more severe, and can become chronic (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]) and progress to pneumonia.

People who have chronic bronchitis are more susceptible to bacterial infections of the airway and lungs, like pneumonia. (In some people with chronic bronchitis, the airway becomes permanently infected with bacteria.) Pneumonia is more common among smokers and people who are exposed to secondhand smoke.

Smoking  is the cause of more than 80% of all cases of chronic bronchitis. People who smoke also have a much harder time recovering from acute bronchitis and other respiratory infections.


Bronchitis affects the upper airways while pneumonia affects the lungs. Doctors tell KETK usually pneumonia is more severe and can even lead to hospitalization so it's important to see a physician right away.

To prevent any type of infection, the best way to do it is to wash your hands and cover your cough. Also it's important to stay home...especially if you have fever.

Children with fever should remain at home at least 24 hours after their fever subsides so as not to spread to other children.

If you don't smoke, don't ever start smoking — and if you do smoke, try to quit or cut down.

Try to avoid being around smokers because even secondhand smoke can make you more susceptible to viral infections and increase congestion in your airway.

Also, be sure to get plenty of rest and eat right so that your body can fight off any illnesses that you come in contact with.

The government on Tuesday defended graphic tobacco labels and advertising that use pictures of rotting teeth and diseased lungs as accurate and necessary to warn consumers about the risks of smoking.

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday asked an appeals court to undo a lower court ruling that said such labels were unconstitutional, violating tobacco companies' free-speech rights.

Mark Stern, a lawyer from the Justice Department representing the FDA, said the labels showing, for example, a man smoking through a hole in his throat were necessary to show the true risks of smoking, including addiction.

"Adolescents notoriously underestimate their ability to resist addiction," he told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

"Do (these labels) accurately and realistically depict the message that this is really addictive? Yes, (they) do."


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates some 45 million U.S. adults smoke cigarettes, which are the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States.

Congress passed a law in 2009 that gave the FDA broad powers to regulate the tobacco industry, including imposing the label regulation. The law requires color warning labels big enough to cover the top 50 percent of a cigarette pack's front and back panels, and the top 20 percent of print advertisements.

The FDA released nine new warnings in June 2011 to go into effect in September 2012, the first change in U.S. cigarette warning labels in 25 years. Cigarette packs already carry text warnings from the U.S. Surgeon General.

Reynolds American Inc's R.J. Reynolds unit, Lorillard Inc, Liggett Group LLC, Commonwealth Brands Inc, which is owned by Britain's Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co Inc challenged the rule, arguing it would force them to engage in anti-smoking advocacy against their own legal products.

"You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes ... to figure out what the government is doing here: telling people, 'Quit smoking now,'" said Noel Francisco, a lawyer with Jones Day in Washington, D.C., who represents the tobacco companies.


He said the labels went beyond simple facts about smoking, instead trying to disgust or revolt people about cigarettes.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon sided with the tobacco companies in a February ruling, saying the warning labels were too big and the government could use other tools to deter smoking, such as raising taxes or using factual information on the labels rather than gruesome images.

One of three appeals court judges who heard the case on Tuesday also appeared to question whether the government was going too far in trying to warn people about smoking.

"Could you have a text that says, 'Stop, if you buy this, you are a moron'?" asked Judge Janice Rogers Brown.

And Judge A. Raymond Randolph wondered if the government could also place warning labels on automobile doors with gruesome images of car accidents to warn people about the risks of speeding.

However, Randolph disagreed with the tobacco companies, saying there is no case that shows commercial disclosure should only provide information, not deter use of a product.

The judges will rule on the case later, but any decision is likely to be appealed further and could eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court, especially as the tobacco law has led to divergent rulings in lower courts.


The U.S. Appeals Court for the 6th Circuit, based in Cincinnati, upheld the bulk of the FDA's new tobacco regulations last month, including the requirement for warning images on cigarette packs.

The case on Tuesday was R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company et al v. FDA, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, No. 11-5332.

WILMINGTON, Del. (CN) - Monsanto, Philip Morris and other U.S. tobacco giants knowingly poisoned Argentinean tobacco farmers with pesticides, causing "devastating birth defects" in their children, dozens of workers claim in court.

     The farmers, on their own behalf and for their injured children, sued Altria Group fka Philip Morris Cos., Philip Morris USA, Carolina Leaf Tobacco, Universal Corporation fka Universal Leaf Tobacco Company, Monsanto, and their affiliates and Argentine subsidiaries, in New Castle County Court.

     The farmers grow tobacco on small family-owned farms in Misiones Province and sell it to U.S. tobacco distributors. Most of Argentina's tobacco is grown in Misiones, a rural northeastern province.

     The farmers claim the tobacco companies asked them to use herbicides, pesticides and other toxic products made distributed by Monsanto, and assured them the products were safe.

     They say the defendants "wrongfully caused the parental and infant plaintiffs to be exposed to those chemicals and substances which they both knew, or should have known, would cause the infant offspring of the parental plaintiffs to be born with devastating birth defects."

Birth defects cited in the 55-page complaint include cerebral palsy, psychomotor retardation, epilepsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, metabolic disorders, congenital heart defects, Down syndrome, missing fingers and blindness.

     The farmers claim Philip Morris and Carolina Leaf used a tobacco brokerage company, Tabacos Norte, to buy tobacco from the farmers and sell them crop production supplies, including herbicides and pesticides.

     Tabacos Norte, based in Misiones, was created by Carolina Leaf and Philip Morris' Argentine subsidiary in 1984, to produce tobacco fit for the North and South American markets, according to the complaint.

     The farmers say the tobacco companies that bought their crops asked them to replace the native tobacco with a new type, used in Philip Morris cigarettes, which required more pesticides.

     They say the defendants pushed for excessive use of pesticides and failed to warn them of the dangers or provide them with information or protective gear.

     Most farmers in Misiones used Roundup, a glyphosate-based herbicide made by Monsanto, to kill weeds and clear tobacco fields, according to the complaint.

Monsanto and Philip Morris told them to use glyphosate frequently and in quantities beyond that necessary for effective weed control, the farmers say.

     "Monsanto defendants, the Philip Morris defendants, and the Carolina Leaf defendants promoted the use of Roundup and other herbicides to tobacco farmers in Misiones even though they were on direct and explicit notice that at all relevant times farmers in Misiones, including the instant plaintiffs, lacked the necessary personal protective equipment and other safety knowledge and skills required to minimize harmful exposures to Roundup," the complaint states.

     "What is more, at all relevant times Tabacos Norte, the Monsanto defendants, the Philip Morris defendants, and the Carolina Leaf defendants did not recommend protective measures to farmers and their families in Misiones. In fact, aforementioned defendants actively recommended and/or required that contracted tobacco farmers, including the instant plaintiffs, purchase excessive quantities of Roundup and other pesticides.

     "At all relevant times, defendants were on direct and explicit notice that fruits, vegetables and farm animals designated for family consumption would be contaminated with pesticides including Roundup if contract farmers followed the defendants' aggressive chemical application specifications for tobacco cultivation."

 Monsanto's pesticides contaminated the farmers' non-tobacco crops, water wells and streams meant for family use, exposing their families to the toxic substances, the farmer say.

     "The plaintiff tobacco farmers' lack of training and instruction on the safe disposal of unused Roundup and other pesticides caused further exposure," the complaint states. "Leftover pesticides were discarded in locations where they leached into the water supply."

     The farmers claim their exposure to the pesticides caused their children's birth defects.

     They claim that Monsanto and the tobacco companies, "motivated by a desire for unwarranted economic gain and profit," ignored health risks associated with pesticides.

     The farmers seek compensatory and punitive damages for negligence, product liability, breach of warranty, ultra hazardous activity, aiding and abetting, willful and wanton misconduct and violations of Argentine laws.

     Their lead counsel is Ian Connor Bifferato.  image


WASHINGTON (BP) -- America's favorite pastime has returned for another season. The Major League Baseball tradition, with peanuts and crackerjacks inseparably entwined with it, is as American as apple pie.

But when fans pass through the turnstiles of Major League ballparks or tune in to watch their favorite team this season, they may notice the diminished visibility of something that has also been part of the baseball tradition since its earliest days -- smokeless chewing tobacco.

For the first time in history, Major League ball clubs this season will play ball with limits on the usage and visibility of smokeless tobacco on the field and in front of fans and cameras. As part of a five-year collective bargaining agreement reached in November between MLB and the players association, players, coaches, managers and other team personnel will no longer be permitted to stash a can or package of smokeless tobacco in their back pockets or anywhere else in their uniforms when taking to the field or anytime fans are in the ballpark. Nor will they be permitted to have a wad of smokeless chew -- otherwise known as dip -- tucked under their lip when signing autographs or participating in on-camera interviews or fan meet-and-greets.

The new restrictions are a positive step toward curtailing smokeless tobacco's widespread and devastating impact on health: oral cancer, mouth lesions and gum disease, to name a few ailments caused by the products, which also have been linked to heart attacks and pancreatic cancer.

And with a 36 percent rise in the rate of smokeless tobacco use among high school boys since 2003, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the new limits are a positive step toward reducing the damaging influence of smokeless tobacco.

"While not a complete victory, this is tremendous progress in the right direction," said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), following announcement of the agreement.

The agreement, enthusiastically supported by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, follows a concerted effort last year by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and other faith groups, along with numerous public health organizations, in calling for a complete ban on smokeless tobacco products in Major League Baseball.

"What players do on their own time is their business, but what they do when they are in uniform and on camera is all of ours, especially considering what's at stake," Land, along with two dozen other faith leaders, wrote in a letter last May to Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Baseball Player Association. 

To be sure, efforts to curb smokeless chew in the Major Leagues pre-date last year's push by groups like the ERLC. But not until now has baseball made any movement.

The faith groups' goal -- a total ban on smokeless chew in ballparks -- might sound overly ambitious. But action by professional sports leagues is not unprecedented. The minor leagues enacted a ban on smokeless tobacco in 1993. A year later, the NCAA put in place a total ban for college teams during games and practices. The National Hockey League also prohibits players from chewing while in fans' view.

For many young users, watching their baseball heroes combine the game with smokeless tobacco -- chewing, spitting and reloading a wad of the cancer-causing products under their lower lips -- has taken them unwittingly down the road to addiction. And many of today's players in the prime of their professional baseball careers -- nearly a third of whom are estimated to consume smokeless tobacco in some form -- followed that road to addiction by emulating their baseball heroes as kids. It's a cruel, endless cycle of bondage -- but a cycle that the ERLC hopes will soon end.

Many players and managers see it that way too. Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, well known for his long career managing the New York Mets, is one of the leading voices within the league calling for a ban. "Major League players who chew tobacco on the field are, in effect, providing free advertisement for these efforts," he wrote in a New York Times op-ed last year.

Tony Gwynn, the Hall of Famer and former San Diego Padres slugger who now coaches baseball at San Diego State University, is one of the more prominent faces behind the dipping addiction. Like countless other players, he tried to quit multiple times without success. Now he suffers from salivary cancer, which he attributes to his decades of dipping. Recently, he underwent his fourth oral surgery, this time to remove a cancerous tumor.

The smokeless tobacco habit is one that many players like young Washington Nationals ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who played under the coaching of Gwynn, and Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, whose addiction to drugs and alcohol nearly ended his baseball career before it began, have tried with great difficulty to kick.

And, hopefully, as Major League Baseball's first set of limitations on the "cancer in a can" takes effect this season, the habit will have less allure to impressionable young boys to take their first dip. It's a habit worth knocking out of the park.

Among Mike Wallace’s many accomplishments as a journalist was his crusade against big tobacco, and what he believed to be their executives’ lies about the safety of their products.


But long before Wallace went after big tobacco, he was selling it. He was a very effective pitchman for Parliament and Philip Morris cigarettes.

There can be little doubt that the gravelly-voiced Mike Wallace made a ton of money for Philip Morris and the Richmond workers who made the cigarettes he smoked and pitched on his first big news show.

“So I’m more convinced than ever,” Wallace said in a typical 1950s ad at the beginning of “The Mike Wallace Interview,”   “that today’s Philip Morris is something special . . . here is natural mildness, genuine mildness . . .”

There can also be little doubt that tobacco executives saw millions go up in smoke because of Wallace’s pursuit of them and the product he once championed.

He got the huge interview with Brown & Williamson’s former research director, Dr. Jeffrey Wigand, who alleged that firm’s executives knew full well their product was addictive and dangerous . . .  and lied about it to Congress.

That interview was famously shelved in Nov. of 1995 because CBS feared it would be sued for encouraging Wigand to break a confidentiality agreement.


But it finally aired in February of 96. CBS 6 covered the fallout from the story, since this is a tobacco town and Philip Morris’ stock plunged.

The next month came the second of a one-two punch.

Dr. Ian Uydess, a Richmond-based researcher who had left Philip Morris in good standing, came forward to say that firm could make a safer, less-addictive cigarette, but hadn ‘t.

Dr. Uydess and his wife, Carol, would spend a lot of time with Wallace during the next few years as they fought to hold the tobacco industry accountable.

“He was an extremely thoughtful and caring person,” Uydess said during a telephone interview with CBS 6.  “He was very personally involved in what he was doing at that time.”

Both Uydess and his wife were trusting Wallace with their lives.

Dr. Wigand had seen his life turned upside-down after details leaked about the story before it aired. And that would be just the beginning of the attacks that ruined Wigand’s marriage.

Uydess said Wallace handled their story honestly, with total journalistic integrity.


His story was a carefully measured one in which, at one point, the researcher held up a cigarette, saying he supported the rights of people to enjoy their cigarettes and the manufacturers to make them.

He just wanted them to be a safe as possible.

Dr. Uydess had a second career with the pharmaceutical industry after testifying in hearings and trials that cost the tobacco industry tens of millions of dollars. He says he didn’t get a penny of it.

He moved from his home in Midlothian and now lives in Pennsylvania.

And for all those years of smoking cigarettes and high-stress journalism, Mike Wallace lived a long time – 93 years.

A landmark U.S. health policy already was being struck down even as protestors surrounded the Supreme Court over the attack on President Obama's healthcare law. Behind closed doors in Geneva, a World Trade Organization (WTO) tribunal issued a final ruling ordering the U.S. to dump a landmark 2009 youth anti-smoking law.

The Obama administration's key health care achievement slammed by the WTO was the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act(FSPTCA), sponsored by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). The ruling, issued Wednesday, was on the final U.S. appeal which means that now the U.S. has 60 days to begin to implement the WTO's orders or face trade sanctions.

This outrageous WTO ruling should be a wake up call. Increasingly "trade" agreements are being used to undo important domestic consumer, environmental and health policies. Instead, the Obama administration has intensified its efforts to expand these very rules in a massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) "free trade" agreement.


The WTO's ruling against banning the sale of flavored cigarettes isn't the only example of its attack on consumer protection and health laws. The U.S. has filed WTO appeals on two other U.S. consumer laws -- U.S. country-of-origin meat labels and the U.S. dolphin-safe tuna label -- both were slammed by lower WTO tribunals in the past six months. Yup, in short order we could see the WTO hating on Flipper, feeding us mystery meat and getting our kids addicted to smoking.

The challenged tobacco control U.S. law was designed to reduce teen smoking by banning "starter flavorings," since tobacco firms had begun marketing flavors like cola, chocolate, strawberry and clove. The 2009 law forced U.S. firms to cease sales of these products, whether imported or domestically produced.

Wednesday, the WTO sided with Indonesia, who claimed that the U.S. ban of their imported clove-favored cigarettes should not be allowed. A key reason was that the U.S. had not banned all flavored-cigarettes (namely menthols). Thus, they argued, the policy unfairly hit Indonesia. However, data showing that teens are more likely than adults to smoke cloves (while menthol smokers include vast numbers of adults) was dismissed.

Given these recent WTO rulings spotlighting just how dangerous the existing "trade" agreement model is for an array of non-trade public interest policies, you might expect that the Obama administration would finally start implementing candidate Obama's 2008 election pledges to renegotiate existing agreements and create a new model. Instead, the U.S. is pushing for completion this summer of a nine-nation TPP that contains the same rules. The deal would also empower foreign corporations to privately enforce these rules by suing the U.S. government directly before kangaroo courts, comprised of three private sector lawyers operating under UN and World Bank investor-state arbitration rules.

The American public is uniquely united against more-of-the-same trade deals. Thus, if only for political expediency, the administration must stand with the thousands of Americans who have signed a Consumer Rights Pledge calling on the U.S. to not comply with these illegitimate trade pact rulings, and to "knock it off" on the TPP negotiations that would greatly intensify this problem.

This ruling just adds to the growing evidence that today's "trade" agreements are no longer mainly about trade; they're about corporate power and influence. Chevron is using these corporate power grab terms to try to dodge paying $18 billion to clean up horrific contamination in the Amazon ordered after 18 years of U.S. and Ecuadorian court rulings. Philip Morris is using the system to attack Australian and Uruguayan cigarette plain packaging laws that were designed to discourage smoking.

So what can we do? First, we need to insist that our elected officials stop supporting these corporate power tools branded as trade agreements -- starting with the pernicious TPP proposal. To date, U.S. trade officials have refused even to make the draft TPP text public, even though the 600 official U.S. corporate trade advisers have full access. And, in the short term, we must urge the administration to ignore these WTO rulings.

If there is any silver lining to today's ruling, it is that it will confirm the views of growing numbers of consumers, citizens and governments that the WTO must be shrunk or sunk. There is a path forward: we must put the TPP on hold and renegotiate the WTO's mandate. It's time to craft a real 21st century trade policy. 

People who smoke menthol cigarettes were more likely to have a history of stroke than smokers who prefer regular cigarettes, an analysis of federal health survey data indicated.

Among 5,167 current smokers participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2001 to 2008, those who reported that they usually smoke menthol cigarettes were more than twice as likely to have had a stroke as those smoking nonmenthol cigarettes, according to Nicholas Vozoris, MD, MHSc, of St. Michael's Hospital and Queen's University in Toronto.


Vozoris calculated an odds ratio of 2.25 for a history of stroke among the menthol versus nonmenthol cigarette smokers (95% CI 1.33 to 3.78), according to his research letter published in the April 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

"These results highlight the need for further review of the last legally allowed tobacco additive in North America, given that mentholated cigarettes may be placing individuals at even greater risk of potentially devastating cerebrovascular disease than regular cigarettes," Vozoris wrote.

Much of the difference was seen among women and whites, he found.

The odds ratio for stroke history among female menthol cigarette smokers was 3.28 (95% CI 1.74 to 6.19) and among non-African-Americans -- who were predominantly white -- it was 3.48 (95% CI 1.70 to 7.13).

The calculations reflected adjustments for age, sex, race, education, household income, body mass index, recent smoking behavior, and age at which the respondent started smoking regularly.


Vozoris indicated that histories of other cardiopulmonary conditions -- hypertension, MI, heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease -- were not significantly related to menthol cigarettes.

Odds ratios for these conditions in menthol versus nonmenthol cigarette smokers ranged from 0.89 to 1.32 among all smokers in the analysis, none of which came close to statistical significance.

With additional adjustments for reported histories of multiple cardiopulmonary conditions, menthol cigarette smoking was still significantly associated specifically with stroke and at odds ratios very similar to those in Vozoris's primary analysis.

In NHANES during the period covered by the analysis, participants were asked about their smoking habits, including their preference for menthol versus nonmenthol cigarettes, at what age they started smoking, how often they had smoked in the preceding month, and how many cigarettes they smoked on average.

Health history information was also supplied by respondents, who were read a list of conditions and asked whether they had been told they had them by a health professional.

Vozoris noted the oddity that menthol cigarettes were apparently associated with stroke but not other cardiovascular problems.


"A possible explanation is that mentholated cigarettes exert some selective effects on the cerebrovascular system," he wrote, citing previous studies indicating that menthol cigarette smokers had increased carotid artery stiffness whereas menthol and nonmenthol cigarette smoking had the same effects on coronary artery reserve flow.

However, he also conceded that the association of menthol cigarettes and stroke could have non-causal explanations, such as that smokers choosing menthol cigarettes may have higher baseline risk for stroke or decreased likelihood of having medical therapy to prevent stroke.

Shortly after the FDA's authority to regulate tobacco was expanded in 2009, the agency banned most flavorings in cigarettes but exempted menthol while it studied whether it poses special risks.

Last March, an FDA advisory panel determined that mentholation does indeed make cigarettes more harmful, largely by making them more addictive and therefore harder for smokers to quit.

On the other hand, it also found that there wasn't enough evidence to say whether menthol cigarette smokers were at higher risk of disease than other smokers.

The FDA has not yet taken any action against menthol in cigarettes.


Scaring off smokers

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 10, 2012

I’m going to be honest: There’s nothing I hate more than taking a deep breath, expecting to inhale the crisp Minnesota spring air but instead getting a mouthful of cigarette smoke.

I’ve always wondered how someone could deliberately harm their body in such an obvious way and why government organizations and the media haven’t done more to voice the negative side effects of smoking.

Almost as if they were inside my head, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recently created guidelines and programs that address the harm of tobacco use.

Starting in April 2013, the FDA will require tobacco companies to list harmful ingredients on tobacco products. They recognized 93 harmful and potentially harmful constituents found in tobacco products and will require the listing of 20, which are representative of the entire group.

But let’s get real — although labeling these harmful ingredients on packages is being more honest about what’s in cigarettes, will it really persuade someone to quit smoking?


I’m hoping that by now smokers realize their habit is unhealthy. And no, reading that you’re inhaling formaldehyde doesn’t sound good for you, but just listing the harmful and potentially harmful chemicals in cigarettes does not demonstrate the effects they have on a smoker’s life.

That’s where the CDC comes in. They have already begun to release graphic advertisements that show real smokers or former smokers attesting to the negative side effects of smoking.

The ads are running through all media: billboards, magazines, newspapers, radio, television, theater and online. They are also being spread with the help of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other forms of social media.

If anything, these ads — these very real, firsthand accounts of life-changing experiences — will be a driving force to spur smokers to quit.

The CDC is backing up the ads with scientific evidence that states these types of graphic campaigns are impactful. The hard-hitting, emotional and sometimes disturbing images coupled with encouragement and tips on how to quit are proven to be successful in reducing the number of smokers in the U.S. Along with the advertisements, the CDC has started a “tobacco education program” and “tips from former smokers.”


It’s important to listen to these tips because more than 1,200 people die from smoking each day in the U.S., according to the CDC. And smoking doesn’t just affect the smokers themselves. Each year, 49,000 people die from secondhand smoke exposure. In Minnesota, between 2000 and 2004, an average of 5,536 people died each year.

Let’s narrow the scope of this smoking discussion to the University of Minnesota. With such a large, urban campus, it would be difficult to institute a smoking ban like other schools in the state. According to Boynton Health Service, 25 colleges are smoke free or tobacco free in Minnesota including Minnesota State University, Winona State University and University of Minnesota-Duluth.

However difficult integrating a smoke-free campus would be in the Twin Cities, forcing smokers to head off campus to light up might prompt more to try to quit.

Whatever the reason, smokers need to know the real life consequences that can result from tobacco use. If this motivates them to quit or simply helps them prepare for their future, the FDA and the CDC have done their job publicizing the harmful effects of smoking.

About two months ago, I quit smoking. At the time there were many reasons influencing my decision to finally choose a smoke-free lifestyle. I was worried about my health. I had high blood pressure. My doctor and everyone I knew was encouraging me to kick the habit. My family history is one of lung cancer and diabetes. The list goes on and on.

Now that I've been without tobacco for the past couple months (63 days, to be exact), I've noticed some changes in the way I'm living.

All are positive and are in direct relation to my body's depletion of those nasty chemicals I've called friends for the last 12 years.


So I thought I would list those changes and explain how I have been affected by each. Though my list is restricted to 10, it is by no means an exhaustive one.

1. No more chronic cough: All smokers know what "smoker's cough" is. I didn't realize how annoying this was until I stopped coughing all the time. After about a week being smoke-free, I noticed I didn't have to clear my throat every few minutes.

I recall plenty of times when I was at a function or meeting and needed to cough so badly, but couldn't because I knew it would be rude and interrupting to those around me. It's like an insect hovering in your throat - not touching, just drying everything between your tongue and your stomach - and you can't do a darn thing about it.


2. The smell: I didn't know I smelled so badly until I was around other smokers. Their clothes, home, car, even their pets reek!

About a week after I smoked my last cancer stick, my daughter and her boyfriend, a smoker, dropped by for a visit. Their dog always peels for the door and makes it into the house first. Yeah, I actually smelled the odor of cigarettes coming from the dog.

3. No more cleaning butts: I swear that cigarette butts would multiply when I wasn't looking. I once placed a butt can out back on the patio and initially used it as intended. Pretty soon, I was too lazy to walk down the steps to the can and just started flipping cigarette butts out into the yard, in the area of the butt can (as if I were shooting a jump shot). I rarely scored.


Eventually, they were lying everywhere. So much that I would just wait until the weekends to "clean" them with the leaf blower. Nasty, nasty, nasty!

4. It's just an extra $200 per month: Really, the extra money wasn't even noticed, as I can easily spend that on a night grilling on the patio (I love king crab and filet mignon, and only the finest Belgium beer!) So I really didn't look at this as a true benefit of not smoking.

But, with the price of cigarettes reaching about $6 a pack in my area - and up to $11 in other areas of the nation - I discovered this adds up. And, it was clear the price of tobacco was just going to continue to rise.


So, I got out my calculator. $6 a day multiplied by 365 days in the year. Comes out to $2,190. Looking at this long term, that's about $122,000 over the next 56 years (when I turn 100). Assuming cigarettes continue to increase in price at the present rate, then it's easy to see that number growing to half-million dollars. Invested wisely, I'm sure I can leave someone a big, fat payday!

5. Lost productivity: Sure, we all need a break or two during the work day. But I realized I was taking about 20 of these 5-minute breaks. In all honesty, each was probably about 10 minutes. About two-thirds of my breaks were when I was at work (I have a home-based web development business). So, that's more than 2 hours of breaking as opposed to working.How in the world was I getting my work done? I have since realized that I wasn't.

6. Food tastes much better: I don't know if it has something to do with a cleaner mouth, but food simply tastes better. I also find that I use less salt.

I've heard on several occasions that if one quits smoking one gains weight, but I would warn people from using the weight-gain excuse as a viable argument when attempting to become smoke-free. Trading one bad habit for another isn't the way to go.

7. Non-smoking or non-smoking?: I think the air-line industry coined the phrase: "Smoking, or non-smoking?" And, I think it was the first group to eliminate cigarette smoking from a certain area (the airplane).Today, it's almost preposterous to think we once smoked during an international flight on a 747! "Non-smoking or non-smoking?" seems to be the rhetorical, unasked question wherever you go these days. It's understood. There will be no smoking here, or here, or there, or over there, or in there, or... well, you get the point.

Unlike the Golden era of the 1920s and 1930s, when smoking was an upper-class hobby, a smoker's world is an unfriendly one today.Since the airlines quit asking that redundant question, smoking has been eliminated from virtually all public places. Restaurants, high-school football games, town parks, even bars and drinking establishments have become smoke-free.For smokers, drinking a beer without a cigarette is like playing pool without a beer! Whether smokers realize it or not, the very fact that one uses tobacco limits them in myriad ways - especially socially. I don't have to worry about that anymore.

8. Dry, sticky contact lenses: As a wearer of these miracle discs of ocular health, I know what smoking does to your contact lenses. Smoke makes them dry. They become cloudy and you're constantly rubbing your eyes. Eventually, your lenses get to the point where you must get them out.

Fortunately, I wear disposable contact lenses. All I had to do was pop in a new set. But, at a couple dollars per lens, this was costing me. How to solve this annoying problem? Quit smoking!


9. Physical appearance: In the few months I've not smoked, I can tell my overall physical appearance has improved.

My skin isn't dry and wrinkly. My bit of gray hair is actually going brown. My self-confidence in speaking directly to someone isn't hindered by my desire to turn at an angle because of smoker's breath.

10. Bye, bye yellow teeth: No matter how hard I brushed or swished fluoride, I couldn't seem to keep perfectly white teeth.

"It's because you smoke," my dentist proclaimed. "And, unless you do something about that, your dental health will continue to deteriorate, thus affecting your overall health."

Bad teeth can lead to serious health effects throughout your body. Yesterday I had a cleaning at the dentist, and plan to keep my teeth white and healthy from now on.



Good Grief!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 9, 2012

The psychological recovery process is very similar to the grief cycle, how someone feels when a loved one dies. Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross did research on death and dying. She found that anytime we experience a major change in life, we grieve for the old in order to make room for the new. She also found that there are usually five stages to a person’s grieving process. Think about how these stages of grieving relates to quitting for you:

Denial & Isolation

Denial and isolation are the mind’s first way of protecting us from a sudden change or loss. People who lose a friend or family member say they feel numb. This is called a psychological defense mechanism. What this means is that although you know the importance of quitting, you may not want to believe it. The denial phase probably happened before you even found this program. 

Have you ever said any of these statements?

I know I should quit, but I’m not sure I want to. 
Cigarettes don’t affect my health like they do others. I’m not huffing and puffing. 
I can quit anytime I want to. 
I’m not addicted. 
I’ll switch to a low-tar cigarette. 
Cigarettes haven’t been proven harmful. 
My parents both smoked and they’re fine. 
These are denial statements. What are some other denial statements that perhaps you have used in the past?


When we begin to accept a loss, we often feel anger. If you perceived comfort from smoking you are likely to feel angry about the change. You may be angry about the loss of your “friend.” You might be angry about many things, or everything.

Some typical feelings or statements made during this phase include:

Why me? I’m mad I started, I’m mad I quit. I’m mad cigarettes are harmful. I’m mad it’s so hard. I’m mad that things aren’t going my way. 
You might be angry with me, your Facilitator, and other participants on the Message Boards. You might find yourself reacting angrily to things that normally wouldn’t bother you. 
Your anger may be directed toward family members, friends, nonsmokers or coworkers. In fact, a lot of people avoid quitting because they feel so irritable during the recovery process. 
Remember that anger is part of the process. Don’t try to resist it. Accept it, safely vent it, and take some time to feel it. You may feel angry and testy. You don’t have to have a reason to feel that way, you just do. It will subside. Sometimes naming the feeling lowers the intensity of your anger.


This is the stage where participants feel tempted to postpone the inevitable. You might try to switch brands, smoke only at home or only at work. You might also try to make deals and empty promises. This is a risky phase because a lot of people slip or relapse at this point, so be careful!

Some typical comments made during the bargaining phase are:

I think I have the worst licked. If I just have one cigarette, I’ll get right back on track afterward and I won’t do it again. 
I’ll just smoke on vacation. 
I’ll just light your cigarette. 
I’ll quit as long as my weight stays down. 
I’ll try, but I’m not making any promises. 
Do these statements sound familiar? Everyone is tempted to bargain. Realizing that it is a natural part of the process of quitting sometimes helps to move past it. Laugh it off and have a heart-to-heart talk with your inner self. Make a strong commitment to be in control of the cigarette. If you give in to bargaining, the cigarette is once again in control. Say out loud, “Nothing or no one controls me.” Put that statement on a sticky note and put it in a place where you’ll be reminded to think about it and repeat it often.


When participants acknowledge and accept the loss of their “friend,” the cigarette, it’s natural to experience some sadness. This is especially true when no one else seems to know or understand this loss. People often experience this in one of two ways. They either feel a deep sense of sadness or a deep sense of deprivation.

Some typical comments during the depression stage are:

I feel so emotional. I cry all the time. 
I feel so deprived. 
Why can’t I have this one little pleasure? 
Life without cigarettes is awful. 
I feel lonely. 
This is the “ain’t it awful” stage. You may feel like you’ve lost your best friend. Don’t resist this stage or think it’s crazy to mourn the loss of a cigarette. Be as direct with this stage as we suggest with the anger stage. Accept it. Talk about it. Take some time to just feel sad. Then move on and focus on the benefits of what you’re doing. 


A healthy person who has suffered a loss eventually accepts its reality and goes on living life. In this stage, you begin to realize that your former smoking lifestyle is over. You are finally resolving your sense of loss or grief. You can get on with living your new found, healthier lifestyle. A new and better life begins.

Some typical comments during the acceptance phase are:

I think I’m going to actually be successful. I still don’t like it a lot but I think it will stick. 
I’d still like to smoke but I choose not to. 
I am going to teach myself to like my new nonsmoking lifestyle. I’ll do it gradually and positively. 
I am living a smokefree life. 
I am an ex-smoker! 

The key to moving through the psychological recovery is your attitude toward quitting. Continue to look at these symptoms as part of the process. Move through them with a sense of challenge, expectation and excitement over what lies ahead for you. You will make discoveries about yourself. Reject the feeling that you have given something up. It’s quite the opposite. You've gained something: your freedom and self-mastery. 
This is not an exercise in self-denial, but self-determination. You are giving a precious gift to yourself and to those around you.



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 5, 2012


So today is Maundy Thursday and I have always related this day of Holy Week as a call to service! What better service can we provide our fellow Addicts than genuine understanding and support in our mutual declaration of FREEDOM? 

I know not everybody who becomes a 6%er continues to come here and pay it forward. Also many of us have our unique ways of paying it forward: some of us can only be found in the Forums, others are in Group participation and a rare gem of a Blog, and some of us have our Friends that we visit daily with love and support. I commend each of you who are paying forward the gift of support and encouragement that you were given when you first started out! And I Thank each and every one of the folks who were there for me! I will never forget them! 

Service is what makes this Community so Special! We don't just take what we need and run - although we'd be perfectly FREE to do so! We stay and offer help to the folks coming along beside us! That simple act of generosity with time and emotion has a Powerful Moral Value that helps us by restoring that Integrity which we unwittingly sacrificed to our Addiction! By helping others we help ourselves! So let's Celebrate Maundy Thursday and the Service rendered to us by our Friends as well as the Service we profer toward others! Some of my Dearest Friends are right here and I have never met them but on a certain level I know and cherish them most of all!

Thank You Friends for your Support and Service!


Women tend to find it harder to quit smoking than men, and a new study suggests why — women's brains respond differently to nicotine, the researchers say.


When a person smokes, the number of nicotine receptors in the brain — which bind to nicotine and reinforce the habit of smoking — are thought to increase in number.


The study found in men, this is true — male smokers had a greater number of nicotine receptors compared to male nonsmokers. But surprisingly, women smokers had about the same number of nicotine receptors as nonsmokers.


"When you look at it by gender, you see this big difference," said study researcher Kelly Cosgrove, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine.


The findings are important because the main treatments for people who want to quit smoking are nicotine-replacement therapies, such as nicotine patches and gums. The study suggests women smokers may benefit more from other types of treatment that don't involve nicotine, including behavioral therapies, such as exercise or relaxation techniques, and non-nicotine containing medications, Cosgrove said.


Elements of smoking not related to nicotine, such as the smell and act of holding a cigarette, may play a greater role in fueling the habit of women smokers, compared with men, Cosgrove said.


Locating nicotine receptors

Cosgrove and colleagues scanned the brains of 52 men and 58 women, about half of whom were smokers. The researchers examined nicotine receptors in the brain by using a radioactive marker that binds specifically to an important group of receptors that are primarily responsible for the body's physical dependence on nicotine, Cosgrove said.


Smokers in the study had abstained from smoking for a week so that their nicotine receptors would be free to bind to the marker used for imaging.



The researchers found that male smokers had about 16 percent more nicotine receptors in an area of their brain known as the striatum, 17 percent more in the cerebellum, and 13 to 17 percent more in the cortical region, or outside layer, of the brain compared with male nonsmokers. Female smokers, on the other hand, had similar numbers of nicotine receptors in these brain regions.


Why are female brains different?

Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in N.Y., agreed more attention should be paid to non-nicotine related smoking therapies.


"You can replace all the nicotine you want, and people might still want to smoke," Horovitz said. For instance, smoking is a big stress reliever for some people. Even the act of deep breathing is a part of the habit, and breathing exercises may help smokers because they mimic puffing a cigarette, Horovitz said.

The reason for the sex difference seen in the study is not known, but it may have something to do with levels of the hormone progesterone. Levels of this hormone fluctuate in females depending on the stage of the menstrual cycle, and are much higher after ovulation. The study found higher levels of progesterone were associated with a lower number of available nicotine receptors, the researchers said, suggesting progesterone may indirectly block these receptors.


The study is published in the April issue of Archives of General Psychiatry


Of the more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco and tobacco smoke, at least 93 can really mess you up, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is now requiring the tobacco companies to divulge exactly how much of exactly which potentially harmful chemicals are present in their products.

Flexing the new tobacco control muscles it grew from the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, the FDA announced that tobacco companies will be required to report the chemicals that FDA calls Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHCs) -- "that cause, or could cause, harm to tobacco users or non-users" in all of their products, including smokeless tobacco products.

Also See: FDA to Regulate Electronic Cigarettes as Tobacco

In the initial phase of enforcement, the tobacco companies will have until the end of 2012 to report the presence and quantities in their products of any of 20 chemicals appearing on an initial list of 93 harmful chemicals.


The FDA chose these 20 chemicals because they are easy for laboratories to identify and are representative of the chemicals on the larger list of 93 HPHCs. Eventually, the tobacco companies will be required to use the full list of 93 chemicals when submitting their reports to the FDA.

All 93 chemicals have been identified by the FDA as causes or possible causes of cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, developmental or reproductive problems, and addiction to tobacco products.

According to the FDA, the results of the HPHCs reports will be made available to the public by April 2013 in a "consumer-friendly format."

"This will be important new information for American consumers, who -- for the first time -- will know which harmful and potentially harmful chemicals are in tobacco products," said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., in a press release "And, as industry discloses information about harmful and potentially harmful chemicals in its products to FDA, we are building knowledge about tobacco products to help us to make science-based regulatory decisions that improve the public health."



A chemical in smokeless tobacco products has been found to cause cancer, according to a new study in animals. The chemical was a strong inducer of oral tumors, the study showed.


While use of smokeless tobacco products has been strongly linked to the development of cancer, no specific chemical in the products had been identified as a strong oral-cancer causing agent until now, the researchers say.


The chemical, called (S)-N'-nitrosonornicotine, or (S)-NNN, "is the only chemical in smokeless tobacco known to cause oral cancer," study researcher Silvia Balbo, a cancer researcher at the University of Minnesota, said in a statement. The finding may explain how smokeless tobacco products cause cancer, Balbo said.


Balbo said the findings are an affirmation that tobacco products should be avoided. Smokeless tabacco products are already required to carry warning labels saying the products can cause mouth cancer or are not a safe alternative to cigarettes, the Food and Drug Administration says.



The most common type of smokeless tobacco product is moist snuff placed in the mouth.

Previous studies have suggested that a group of chemicals called nitrosamines, of which (S)-NNN is a member, cause various types of cancer in animals, but no study has looked at the carcinogenicity of (S)-NNNspecifically, the researchers say.


Balbo and colleagues administered (S)-NNN  to 24 rats. The rats were given (S)-NNN  or tap water. The total dose was approximately equivalent to the amount of (S)-NNN to which a smokeless tobacco user would be exposed from chronic use of these products.


All 24 rats given (S)-NNN had esophageal tumors and oral tumors, and died within 17 months.

"Measures should be taken to reduce this chemical in smokeless tobacco," Balbo said.



In future studies, Balbo said she and her colleagues hope to identify other carcinogens in smokeless tobacco, and to understand what levels of these chemicals are present in smokeless tobacco products.

The study will be presented this week at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting in Chicago.





  Ackman: Can’t remember why documents shredded

MONTREAL — A retired tobacco executive says he can’t remember the details of research documents that were destroyed under his watch and can’t recall why they might have been shredded.


Roger Ackman, 73, was part of a management team that destroyed documents that included industry research related to the health effects of smoking, but he told a historic civil trial Tuesday that his recollection of the events is hazy.


Ackman was testifying in a landmark case pitting Quebec smokers against Canada’s three largest tobacco companies over $27 billion in damages.


Separate groups of claimants are arguing that they were either misled by cigarette companies about the addictiveness and dangers of smoking, or that they personally suffered health problems for which the industry is to blame.


Ackman repeatedly cited memory gaps as the plaintiffs’ lawyers went through a handful of confidential tobacco company documents, which specifically mention the health effects of smoking and which were purportedly destroyed in Montreal.


One document Ackman was questioned on included a study, from March 1974, that revealed testing on hamsters cited tobacco smoke as a "tumour promoter." Another study from 1973 pointed to emphysema of the lungs as being linked to cigarette smoking.


Ackman claimed to have never seen either document and said neither one was a topic of discussion among Imperial’s braintrust.




The documents were destroyed in Canadian offices in the early 1990s — an unprecedented move, according to Ackman’s testimony.


The original documents were tracked down at British American Tobacco offices in England a few years ago. Their existence came to light in a U.S. trial. Lawyers for the plaintiffs have said they’d never have known about them if not for the American proceedings.


"I have no present recollection, sir," repeatedly said Ackman, a former vice-president of legal affairs at Imperial Tobacco, under questioning from the plaintiffs’ lawyer Gordon Kugler about various policies and memorandums. Some of the documents were signed by him.


When asked if some of the information in the documents linking smoking to illness would have been of interest to government scientists, Ackman replied: "I have no opinion."


It was a U.S. court that concluded in 2006 that much of the research was destroyed in the United States, Canada and Australia and transferred to Britain to hide evidence and create hurdles for gathering evidence.


In 2006, the U.S. Federal District Court concluded tobacco companies had set up a complex series of hurdles to downplay research on the dangers of smoking, ranging from public relations spin to the shredding of documents.


The ruling by U.S. Judge Gladys Kessler said research was shredded in Canada, the United States and Australia. Some copies have remained on file with British American Tobacco.


One of a series of internal memos and letters deposited Tuesday showed that Imperial Tobacco revised its policies in the early 1990s and agreed to shred or return pertinent research information as requested by British American Tobacco.




Ackman continues on the stand today in what is considered the largest class-action suit in Canadian history and the first trial of its kind involving cigarette companies in this country.


The trial, which got under way in early March, is expected to last as long as two years.


CDC National Tobacco Ad Campaign “Tips From Former Smokers” a Huge Success


Two weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched the Tips from Former Smokers campaign, calls to the 1-800-QUIT-NOW quitline have more than doubled.

Call volume rose from 14,437 calls for the period Monday, March 12 – Sunday, March 18, to 33,262 calls for the period Monday, March 19 – Sunday, March 25, and a record 34,413 calls for the period Monday, March 26 – Sunday, April 1, the CDC reported.  The ads were launched March 19, and will run for at least 12 weeks on television, radio, and billboards, online, and in theaters, magazines, and newspapers nationwide.

Previous experience from state and local media campaigns promoting quitlines shows at least five to six smokers try to quit on their own for every one person who calls a quitline.

The campaign features compelling stories of former smokers living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities, and the toll smoking-related illnesses take on smokers and their loved ones. The ads focus on smoking-related lung and throat cancer, heart attack, stroke, asthma, and Buerger’s disease, a rare condition affecting arm and leg arteries and veins. The campaign features suggestions from former smokers on how to get dressed when you have a stoma (a surgical opening in the neck) or artificial limbs, what scars from heart surgery look like, and reasons why people have quit.  The ads are tagged with 1-800-QUIT-NOW, a toll-free number to access quit support across the country, or the website, which provides free quitting information. A three-fold increase in total visits to the website was observed in the first week of the campaign.



“Although they may be tough to watch, the ads show people living with real, painful consequences from smoking,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “For every one person who dies from tobacco, twenty are disabled or disfigured or have a disease that is unpleasant, painful, expensive. There is sound evidence that supports these ads – and, based on the increase in calls to 1-800-QUIT-NOW, we’re on our way to helping more smokers quit.”

The Tips from Former Smokers campaign is another bold step in the Obama administration’s commitment to prevent young people from starting to use tobacco and helping those that smoke quit. Recent milestones include the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco products, including, to prevent use by minors. Additional support to help smokers quit is provided through state toll-free quit lines and implementation of web and mobile based interventions.

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing more than 443,000 Americans each year. Cigarette smoking costs the nation $96 billion in direct medical costs and $97 billion in lost productivity each year. More than 8 million Americans are living with a smoking-related disease, and every day more than 1,000 youth under 18 become daily smokers. Still, nearly 70 percent of smokers say they want to quit, and half make a serious quit attempt each year. The Tips from Former Smokers campaign will provide motivation, information, and resources to help.


Last week, thousands of teens and 20-somethings rallied at over 1,000 anti-tobacco events around the country and around the world for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ 17th annual Kick Butts Day.  But according to a new surgeon general’s report about teen smoking, every day should be Kick Butts Day.

One in four high school seniors smokes cigarettes. Most will become adult smokers and half will die prematurely from tobacco’s effects according to the report – the first on teens and smoking since 1964. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin called smoking a "pediatric epidemic." While youth smoking rates dropped for a while, they leveled out in 2007.  

Behind the stall-out? Groups like CTFK say tobacco companies are targeting teens as replacement smokers for the hundreds of thousands of older, long-time smokers dying each year. Benjamin’s report says tobacco industry come-ons aimed at young people are using a variety of promotional tricks to get teens to try tobacco – and encourage them to keep using.

How can you help teens in your house resist or quit if they’re already smoking? Show – and tell – them this:

Tell them tobacco companies want them hooked. According to the report, Big Tobacco’s dreamed up special products to attract younger smokers, and sells them at deep discounts at convenience stores – where a huge percentage of young people go for snacks each week. Like smokeless tobacco in colorful packages and fruity flavors. And cigars and cigarillos in fruit and even candy flavors.


Know that cigarettes are more addictive than ever. A Harvard University study found that the amount of nicotine delivered to a smoker’s lungs per cigarette rose 11 percent from 1998 to 2005. That means stopping once you start is more difficult than ever.

Warn that the health effects start now.  If long-term effects like heart attacks, strokes, cancer, lung disease, brittle bones and an early death aren’t compelling, tell them about the stuff that’ll start happening within days or weeks. Like stinky hair and clothes, bad-looking skin, bad breath, higher risk for injuries (including sports injuries) and slower healing time due to reduced circulation and weakened connective tissue, not-so-hot sports performance due to breathing problems and more sick days due to colds and flu.

Show them the CDC’s new ads. A series of graphic anti-smoking videos featuring real people – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign – boosted calls to smoking ‘quit lines’ 77 percent on the campaign’s first day and up to 200 percent since then. Watch the ads here.

Help them quit. Your teen can find a quit line here and get more information and support for quitting from the American Lung Association’s widely used, successful and voluntary teen quit program Not On Tobacco.

What about you? Any tips for other parents on how to keep kids away from tobacco?


Cigarette smoke is six times more damaging to girls than boys, according to a new study done by Dokuz Eylül University. Professor Oğuz Kılınç from the Department of Chest Diseases at İzmir’s Dokuz Eylül University Faculty of Medicine said the 10-year study examined the effects of tobacco smoke on newborns and children as old as 2-years-old. 

Speaking to Anatolia news agency, Kılınç said University of Cincinnati researchers found lung function in girls exposed to tobacco smoke was six times worse than in boys with the same levels of smoke exposure and allergy sensitivity. 

Passive smoking begins in a mother’s womb,” he said. “If the mother is smoking while she is pregnant the baby cannot be nourished enough and is born under weight. This increases the risk of disease.” 
Kılınç said children whose lung function lowered due to passive smoking increase their risk of catching many diseases such as asthma. 

As dangerous as bungee jumping
Smoking during pregnancy can cause birth defects he said. “I tell families who smoke next to their children that they expose a very precious thing to 4,000 chemical materials. This cannot be forgiven. They cause chronic disease. This is as dangerous as bungee jumping.” 

The study, which involved 476 kids, also found children exposed to high levels of secondhand smoke and who had allergic sensitizations at age 2 had a higher risk of decreased lung function at age 7. 

“Our study shows that the timing of allergic sensitization is crucial because children who are sensitized by age 2 are more likely to suffer the greatest lung deficits during childhood as a result of secondhand smoke exposure,” said researcher Kelly Brunst. 



Smoking kills, we are well aware of it, yet we continue to do it. 

But are you aware of the impact it's having on your children?

98 per cent of children wish their parents would stop smoking and 41 per cent said that cigarette smoke makes them feel ill. 

What will it take for you to give up this nasty habit?

Health secretary Andrew Lansley says: "We all know smoking kills but not enough people realise the serious effect that secondhand smoke can have on the health of others, particularly children."

A new hard-hitting campaign is being launched to highlight the shocking truth behind second-hand smoke. 

"This campaign will raise awareness of this danger and encourage people to take action to protect others from secondhand smoke. 


"This is just one part of our wider strategy on tobacco.  We need to do more.  That is why next week we will end tobacco displays in large shops.  We will also be consulting on plain packaging this spring," explains Andrew. 

Millions of children in the UK are exposed to secondhand smoke that puts them at increased risk of lung disease, meningitis and cot death.  It results in over 300,000 GP visits, 9,500 hospital visits in the UK each year and costs the NHS more than a staggering £23.6 million every year.   
The only way to completely protect people from secondhand smoke is to make homes and cars entirely smokefree. 
Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies says:"Secondhand smoke can cause a range of serious health problems for children and adults.  Smoking damages our lungs, causes cancers and is now the biggest risk for cot death.  Parents who smoke need to think about the effect it has on their family. 

"Giving up smoking or making sure you have a completely smokefree home and car is the only way to protect your family.


"If people do want to quit there is excellent support and advice available.  Get in touch with your local stop smoking service, GP or pharmacist or visit"

The new TV and radio adverts will show that smoking by a window or the backdoor is not enough to protect children from secondhand smoke. 

Over 80 per cent of secondhand smoke is invisible. It contains harmful cancer causing toxins an poisons that are unknowingly damaging children across the country everyday.
Consultant Paediatrician at the Royal Surrey Hospital Dr Charles Godden says: "I see children every week with conditions which are made worse by secondhand smoke. Most parents would be horrified to know that even a short car journey where an adult has been smoking would result in breakdown products of nicotine in their child’s urine.

"This shows exactly why we should all make our homes and cars smokefree and that children need protection from exposure to secondhand smoke."


What is Middle Age?

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Apr 4, 2012

When I was a very young boy I thought Middle Age is 30-something. As I got older, my concept of Middle Age got older and if asked a week ago, I would have said, yes, at age 54, I am Middle Aged! But all that changed since then. I have lost another Dear Friend, Laura! Laura died of an insidous, cruel smoking-related illness called COPD. Now, if you're like I was 2 years ago, you have probably heard of COPD but don't know much about it. Isn't it like Asthma or allergies or something? "Old people" must get it because those commercials for Spiriva and Advair seem to have old white grandparents running and playing with their grandkids because they tool their medicine, right? But what does that have to do with Middle Age?

Well, for My friend Laura, Middle Age was - although surely she didn't know it - 29 years old! Can you imagine? 29! So "Young!" She was no different than you and me at 29. She had a Family to raise, kept her home, visited with her friends, had a relaxing smoke from time to time during her busy day, thought, yes, dreamed of the future.... Little did she know that her life was half over!

What Laura - and I - didn't know about that ocassional smoke was that it was literally killing her - one puff at a time! She didn't know that just ONE SICKERETTE was enough to trigger an auto-immune response that would permanently damage her lungs! She didn't know that that little cough she had was more than "just allergies or maybe a cold the kids dragged home from school!" She didn't know that her shortness of breath was more than just the normal exhaustion that all parents feel from time to time or that the fact that she ran out of energy after walking or running a little too much was anything other than natural "maturation." 

When Laura died, I went into a deep depression. I relived all those warning signs that I had ignored 5, 10, 20 years ago! I reenacted in my mind that ominous day 2 years ago when I heard those incredible words - inflated lungs - emphysema - COPD! What on Earth are you talking about? If that Doctor had said Cancer I would have been less surprised, I think! We've all been told of Cancer, even joked about Cancer Sticks! But Emphysema! I honestly had never heard of it in any clear way!

Now isn't that Amazing! The third largest killer in the U.S. Who hasn't heard of heart disease, Cancer, Strokes, Diabetes - but COPD? It was sort of like MS - something that I just never had much reason or opportunity to know anything about! Old man's disease? Not! Folks all ages unfortunately have COPD - 90% of which is smoking related! 

We've all seen those old people with their oxygen tanks and air hoses but we try not to look and flip a forget switch in our brains - especially Nicotine Addicts or at best, take a second to Thank God I'm not like that! That person has nothing to do with me! Then we turn our backs and go about our business! That's what I'm going a long way toward saying! That person could be YOU and ME! That person was Laura, JoJo, Thomas, people you know - people you call Friends even though you never met us! That's one small part of what it means to have COPD!

You have no idea what it's like to be on  the receiving side of that diverted glance! You can't imagine the painful conversation the day you have to tell your Wife, your Children that you have a chronic, progressive smoking-related illness that will suck the energy right out of you and literally leave you breathless! I hope you never know what it's like to tell loved ones - please don't come near me if you have "just a cold" because it could land me in a hospital! Or to tell the Wife, I can't clean this or paint that, I can't go here or keep up with you there, I can't take care of you, I can't even promise that I'll be there for you in the futureI CAN'T! I'm the Husband! It's my job - my identity to do those things! But now I have a new identity - the sick family member that everybody has to take care of me! I will need more and more care, more and more money, more and more of your energy because the one sure thing about COPD is that it never ever gets better - at best, it stays the same and more likely, it gets worse.....and worse...and worse... and then like my Friend Laura, you finally succomb to death - at 50 something years old!

Still want to light that SICKERETTE?

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