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Taking a Break!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 30, 2012

I was about to publish my regular Monday Morning KNOW YOUR ENEMY! After reading a Blog about Lawyers, I've lost my appetite! The EXperts come here because WE need support, too! Yes, I know that some newbies may not understand or even want to think about somebody with 863 days under their belt needing support but there it is - REALITY! EXcuse me for saying that what some folks call "tough love" is simply REALITY! What? You don't like reality? The alternative is to stay in your addictive haze and (1) feed your addiction or (2) be miserable because you quit! I'm exhausted! I struggle every gosh darn single day of my LIFE with a Smoking Related Illness AND I work full time plus AND I come here to help myself to help others! Somebody nitpicking on who uses bold or CAPS or italics or underline is just the straw that broke the camels' back here! So.... time to take a break - hard telling how long, but I could be at the gym right now - in fact, I believe that's just what I'm going to do! Best wishes to all! May YOU not have the horrible consequences of acquiring an insidious, chronic, debilitating, progressive smoking related illness called COPD! 


Smoking cessation efforts may be more effective if childhood trauma is factored in


Researchers have found a link between childhood trauma in girls and becoming a smoker later in life.  The same link could not be found with male smokers.


A recent study suggests women may smoke due to adverse childhood experiences.


Smoking prevention may be most effective in light of this information in order to shape quit-smoking programs to deal with smoker’s childhood trauma.




Tara Strine, PhD, MPH, led a study to investigate the link between adult female smoking habits and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).


Using data from the Kaiser-Permanente healthcare system, in California, the study evaluated smoking patterns and childhood trauma incidence from 7,210 San Diego residents in 1997.


The team of researchers discovered no link between smoking and ACEs in men.


Dr. Strine said, “Since ACEs increase the risk of psychological distress for both men and women, it seemed intuitive that an individual experiencing an ACE will be more likely to be a tobacco cigarette smoker.”


“However, in our study, ACEs only increased the risk of smoking among women. Given this, men who have experienced childhood trauma may have different coping mechanisms than their female counterparts.”


The study found that in women, 21 percent of smokers were emotionally abused, 16 percent were physically abused, 15 percent were neglected and 10 percent had divorced parents.




Dr. Strine said, “Our results show that, among women, an underlying mechanism that links ACEs to adult smoking is psychological distress, particularly among those who have suffered emotional or physical abuse or physical neglect as a child.”


“These findings suggest that current smoking cessation campaigns and strategies may benefit from understanding the potential relationship between childhood trauma and subsequent psychological distress on the role of smoking particularly in women”


These findings could help influence smoking prevention efforts to include a better understanding of underlying motivation behind smoking.


This study was published in the July issue Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, And Policy.

I often see patients who want to quit smoking. Many of these people fear what life will be like without the cigarettes. "Will I put on weight? Will I sleep at night? If I can't smoke, then how will I handle stress?" They've tried other methods but have failed. Maybe they tried a patch, or a weekend hypnosis seminar, or some herbal remedies -- nothing has helped. Here are my tips on how to fearlessly become a former smoker:










  • Forget the programs that guarantee results in two days. There's no magical pill or workshop that will lead to instantaneous and lasting results. Breaking an addiction requires dedication, commitment, and hard work -- the same ingredients you need to achieve any goal.
  • Deal with the short-term stress. Accept that immediately after quitting, hunger may increase and you may snack a little more. Your metabolism (which increases during smoking) will also be restored to a normal rate. This is part of the process of quitting, but it's temporary.
  • Remind yourself of the choice you made. In order to reap the long-term benefits of better health, you've made the choice to endure the temporary stress and discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.
  • Make a list of all of the reasons you want to stop smoking, such as better health, saving money, and fresher breath. Review your list daily.
  • Set a quit date. Put it on the calendar and enlist friends and family for support and motivation.
  • Line up a sponsor. Find someone who can keep you accountable and give you a kick in the butt when necessary.










    • Get rid of all cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays. You're quitting, so you don't need them. And keeping them around will only give you visual triggers that cause you to think about smoking.
    • Understand that the first two to three weeks will be the toughest. That's when your psychological withdrawal symptoms will be strongest. Remind yourself that this tough time is temporary. You can get through it. During this time indulge in lollipops, gum, carrots or celery sticks to keep your mouth occupied and satisfy your oral fixation.
    • Anticipate tough times. Stressful situations may increase likelihood for relapse, so anticipate them and come up with a plan to manage your stress. For instance, tap into support or take up a new hobby that distracts you from thinking about smoking.
    • Form new habits. Replace what was once your smoke-break with a new activity such as a brisk walk or healthy snack. If you paired smoking with drinking, limit the alcohol and eat nuts instead of smoking. If you used to smoke following a meal, do something else to replace that habit. For instance, get up, wash dishes, and brush your teeth.
    • Place notes in key places around your house and office to remind yourself of your goal. They might say something like, "I'm a nonsmoker and feel healthy, clean, and strong."
    • Put the money you normally would spend on cigarettes into a jar or bank. Use it to reward yourself for the progress you've made. Movies, dinners, and nights on the town will motivate you to enjoy your new smoke-free life.

One in three smokers admitted sabotaging another person's attempt to quit in a study by a pharmaceutical company. 

The reasons to wreck other people's quittingattempts include jealousy, guilt about their ownhabit and wanting a smoking "buddy". 

Pfizer collected data from 6,300 current and former smokers and found that 31 per cent of smokers admit being saboteurs. 

The study also found that 72 per cent of smokers who have tried to quit think someone has tried to ruin their attempts. 

On average, smokers said they tried to kick the habit at least three times. One in five said they had tried five times or more. 

"Beating a smoking addiction is hard enough without the negative influence of others around you casting doubt," the Daily Telegraph quoted London-based GP Sarah Jarvis as saying. 

"I want those who are motivated to give up smoking to be aware that they don't have to go it alone and that there is support available. 

"Even a brief conversation with their healthcare professional ... can increase their chances of success by up to four times, compared with going cold turkey," she added.

Hollywood stars always make headlines when their handlers send them to a far-off location to kick an unhealthy habit, but it turns out they’re not the only ones.

Grabbing headlines now is Tori, a 13-year-old orangutan who has been sent by her keepers at Indonesia’s Taru Jurug Zoo to a deserted island in the middle of a lake within the zoo in order to kick her smoking habit.

Tori, one of four orangutans at the zoo in the Central Java town of Solo, picked up her love of cigarettes from humans who would throw their discarded cigarette butts into her cage.

“A common problem for zoos in Indonesia are naughty visitors,” zoo director Lilik Kristianto told the Jakarta Globe newspaper.  “Although there are sign prohibiting them from giving food or cigarettes to the animals, they keep on doing it. It is not rare that visitors even hurt the animals.”

Tori would hold the still-lit cigarettes between her fingers and puff, just as she watched the humans do, zookeepers said.

Also relegated to the remote island with Tori on Wednesday was her male companion, Didk, who didn’t share her same smoking habit but did have a tendency to stamp on the butts to put them out, according to the zoo.

The permanent move is not completely punitive, however. The new island, the zoo says, is a more comfortable home for the primates that has grass and trees to better mimic their natural environment.

“Tori can climb five big trees on the island. This might be the best orangutan enclosure in Indonesia,” Kristianto said.

Read more: Smoking, sex in movies influences teens’ choices 

When I was little, the Disney movie Peter Pan inspired me to jump off furniture — trying to fly like Peter, Tinkerbelle and Wendy. Today, researchers say kids and teens who watch movies (and TV shows) where characters smoke and/or have sex open an earlier door for making those choices in real life. And ratings that keep more teens out of theaters showing films with this stuff influences some to say No longer.


The news:


An “R” rating for movies with smoking could cut teen smoking 18 percent: A new study from the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in New Hampshire suggests that an R rating — rather than the current PG-13 — for any film showing smoking could substantially reduce smoking onset in U.S. adolescents. The study checked in with 6,522 U.S. adolescents. Movie smoking exposure was estimated from 532 recent hit movies, categorized into three of the ratings brackets used by the Motion Picture Association of America to rate films by content — G/PG, PG-13, and R. They compared smoking rates and movie attendance. Teens went to more PG-13 movies and so were three times more likely to see smoking on the big screen at those movies. The more smoking they saw, the more they were likely to smoke. The less they saw, the less likely. The conclusion: Adolescent smoking would be reduced by 18 percent if smoking in PG-13 movies was largely eliminated.


Researcher quote: "We're just asking the movie industry to take smoking as seriously as they take profanity when applying the R rating," James Sargent, M.D., co-director of the Cancer Control Research Program at Norris Cotton Cancer Center. "The benefit to society in terms of reduced healthcare costs and higher quality of life is almost incalculable."


Watching sex on screen boosts odds for earlier sexual experiments: University of Missouri  researchers checked the movie habits of 1,228  teens and preteens, ages 12 to 14, then returned six years later to find out how sexually active they were — and if they practiced safe sex. They found that teens exposed to more sexual content in movies start having sex at younger ages, had more sexual partners, and are less likely to use condoms with casual sexual partners. According to researcher Ross O’Hara, watching more movies with sexual content amped up teens’ drive for “sensation-seeking.”  It’s a natural desire for new and intense stimulation of all types that’s particularly strong between ages 10 and 15. Add hormone surges and the fact that 57 percent of young teens get most of their sexual info from the media and the influence of movies makes a lot of sense.




Researcher quote: “Parents need to restrict their children from seeing sexual content in movies at young ages," O’Hara said.  That can be challenging. In an earlier study, O’Hara found that 84 percent of top-grossing movies had sexual content, including 68 percent of the G rated films, 82 percent of PG movies and 85 percent of PG-13 movies. Most of the recent films do not portray safe sex, with little mention of using contraception.


What can parents do? You can’t avoid all sexual content — so get ready to talk with your kids about what you see. Does the behavior on-screen match your values and what you want for your kids? What do they think?


You can also avoid surprises by getting a read on a movie’s quotient of “risky and bad behavior” — sex, violence, profanity, smoking, drinking, drug use — by checking reviews on parent movie sites like Parent Previews,  Kids in Mind, and Screen It.





I graduated with a degree in magazine journalism and did the next logical thing: I took a sales job as a tobacco minion. Not just any tobacco minion, but a minion at the mother of all mothers of tobacco companies, Philip Morris. (I still say “Philip Morris,” because “Altria”—a name some PR genius conjured up so the company could sell cigarettes and Kraft singles simultaneously—sounds like an Eastern European exchange student who smells like snot and yeast.) Phillip Morris didn’t exactly make it rain Benjamins, but they offered me more money than any entry-level journalism job could. I happily relocated to New York City to live in a swanky corporate apartment, drive around in a company car, and escape the miserable, broke years of post-grad life that so many of my friends are still struggling through. (Side note: Income and spending are directly correlated. The more I made, the more I spent, the more I felt like I was poor, the more I felt like I could never leave. Well, you get the point.)

I liked it. Or at least some aspects of it. Whenever I would meet new people, I would announce myself as the face of evil simply by saying that  “I sell tobacco.” My friend liked to call the big reveal my “trump card.” But it’s a pretty pathetic trump card, if you ask me. When people would ask about my job and if I smoked, I would lie about lurking around schools to recruit potential eight-year-old smokers and assure them that I knew cigarettes lead to a slow and miserable death—or worse, bad skin. And I would roll my eyes when they would ask if I had seen Thank You For Smoking or if they unoriginally called me the “female Nick Naylor.” I defended myself; I defended Marlboro.

In graduate school, paid for by tobacco money, a professor posed a hypothetical to my class, “Is it OK to work for a beer company?” Everyone nodded and agreed there would be no issue. He concurred, then expanded, “Well, is it OK to work for a tobacco company?” He said this in the same tone I imagine someone asking, “Do you believe in killing your unborn child?” instead of asking in a tone of, “Do you believe in abortion?” A tone that leaves a lot of room for debate. A tone that doesn’t make the issue so black-and-white.

The class, of course, immediately said no, and that pissed me off. I raised my hand and said, “I work for a tobacco company. I don’t think it’s more wrong than working for, say, McDonald’s.”

He disagreed. He said that while every cigarette harms you, every hamburger doesn’t. We argued for a bit before he claimed victory using the “I’m older than you therefore I’m right” logic. I think anyone who’s seenFood, Inc. or is aware that McDonald's sprays ammonia on its burgers to get rid of e-coli while blatantly pushing their slop onto children could easily see that giving them the moral high ground over cigarettes is kind of ridiculous.


He was right about one thing, though: You shouldn’t work for a tobacco company. But not for the reason that he thought. Ethics have nothing to do with it. Selling tobacco is no different from selling beer to frat boys hoping to get the latest class of freshmen drunk. Where there is demand, supply shall exist. The people behind it aren’t great masterminds trying to take over the world. I wish. That would’ve been more fun. It was quite the opposite. Simple minds run companies like Phillip Morris. It is controlled by obnoxious men who’ve worked there for 30-plus years because selling an addictive product that essentially sells itself is a lazy man’s jackpot.

You shouldn’t work for a tobacco company, because it’s miserable. You know that reoccurring dream you get where you feel so heavy and you’re trying to move or run but you’re not getting anywhere? And you scream for help, but your voice doesn’t make a sound? And everything is dark? And even when you wake up, you can’t shake off what just happened in your subconscious? You move slower, picking up your feet as if the floor beneath you suddenly turned into quicksand. That’s what it was like working at Philip Morris.

This reoccurring dream, however, consumed 40 hours of my week. I watched as the CEO’s son, whose double-digit IQ shouldn’t even have qualified him to pump gasoline—let alone lead a corporate team—was given a promotion over half a dozen more qualified candidates. I listened to mediocre *** jokes from an over-the-hill, twice-demoted middle manager after he had one too many scotch-and-waters at the company sales meetings. I nodded along when management gave a verbal ******* to one of the executives who decided to take $2 or $3 off the slower-moving brands’ prices to sell more product, as I thought, Brava! Congratulations, you figured out what the bodega owner already knew after two weeks of being in business. This is also the same executive whose eyes didn't make it above my neck when he first met me, the same executive who would later be named a “person of interest” in a woman’s disappearance.

I lied all summer to bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, tobacco-executive-wannabe college juniors about how wonderful it was to work at Philip Morris. “This is such a great company; there is so much opportunity to move up…” The truth was, if you weren’t ready to sign your life away, you weren’t ready for the ultra sexy title of “tobacco executive.” Unless of course you were the product of some incestuous recruiting habit, the friend of the brother of some big client’s kid.

The highlight of my career as a tobacco minion was the day I left.

A few weeks ago I was at a live taping of The Colbert Report, and ironically shelved, next to all things American, was a carton of cowboys’ favorite cigarettes—Marlboro Reds. I smirked, remembering the days I left behind. Tobacco isn’t evil; corporate America just sucks. I would’ve had the same encounters—the same corporate inbred stupidity and the same sleazy old men—whether I sold Chantix, the smoking cessation drug, or whether I sold the latest Marlboro line extension. And, unlike self-righteous professors accepting tainted tobacco dollars to sell graduate degrees, no one in tobacco is delusional.

One Minnesota woman is claiming that smoking a cigarette in the privacy of her own home cost her a job.

Stephanie Cannon was fired from her job as a receptionist at the Frauenshuh Cancer Center of Park Nicollet Health Services on the grounds that she smelled like smoke at work, KSTP-TV reports. Cannon is a regular, pack-a-day smoker, but she told the local ABC affiliate that she never brought her habit with her to work.

Six weeks into her job, Cannon's boss told her she could no longer show up to work smelling like smoke. Despite efforts to eliminate the smell from her clothing -- which she claims included bagging and spraying her clothing with air freshener before work -- the stench just wouldn't go away, and the hospital let her go.

So called "third-hand smoke," or the residue that remains on smokers' hair and clothing, has been shown to put infants and children that come in contact with it at risk, according to The New York Times.

Cannon isn't the only person to find herself out of a job for smoking in the privacy of her own home. Three EVAC paramedics in Volusia County, Florida, were fired last year after they were found in violation of the county's anti-nicotine policy, The Daytona Beach News-Journal report.

Many employers may not go so far as to fire their workers who smoke, but they can be penalized in other ways. Companies are increasingly requiring that employees who smoke, have high cholesterol or are overweight pay more for their health care, according to The NYT. In Michigan, several hospitals have recently started not offering a job to applicants who smoke or chew tobacco, according to MLive.


Stephanie Cannon has smoked almost a pack of Camel Menthols a day for the past 18 years. She got a job as a receptionist, ironically, at the Frauenshuh Cancer Center in Minnesota. Before starting, she learned that it was hospital protocol to not smoke anywhere on the premises, a rule by which she obliged. But six weeks into her stint, she was told by her boss, "We don't want you smelling like smoke when you come here." Okay. Pretty understandable. It is a hospital after all.

But then, she was fired.

Cannon says that she went above and beyond to avoid smelling like smoke. She stopped smoking on her lunch breaks, avoided doing it in her car, kept her work clothes sealed in a plastic bag and sprayed them with air freshener before going in. But still, nothing. According to Cannon, eventually, she was told to "avoid her husband in the morning" because he too is a smoker. And when that didn't work, she got the boot.

Now. According to Minnesota law, you can't be fired for doing something that's notillegal on your own time, like smoking -- which would make Cannon's termination against the law, right? Well, maybe. See, under this same law, employers actually havethe right to restrict the use of legal products like tobacco if they feel it's creating an job-related hazard. So, yeah.

Being that this is a free country and all, I really am not for firing someone for doing something perfectly legal, no matter how gross it is, on their own free time. But, on the other hand, the second part of that law sort of does make Cannon's firing legal. So then I guess my question is: If it is legal to fire someone for smoking in Minnesota (if it's hazardous), and the hospital didn't want an employee who smelled like smoke, why hire Cannon in the first place? And moreover, if the job was so important to Cannon, why not just try quitting?



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 27, 2012

I usually don't post on Friday due to work considerations but these are way too good to miss! Smoke FREE is the Way to BE!


Addiction Recovery

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 25, 2012

When we realize that we are dealing with an addiction, we have opened our eyes to the quit journey! Quiting is more than just not smoking - it is recovery from addiction! Recovery means the process of reclaiming something lost! So what did we lose when we got hooked on nicotine? I would surmise that we lost our true God-given Selves! No pill, patch, e-cig, or other device can give that back to us! Only we can get that back by going to the source of our being - Our Creator! We must forgive ourselves and ask HIS forgiveness for the sacrifices we have made for the sake of our drug - Nicotine! I sacrificed my body, my mind, my spirit, my soul to a dried up dead leaf wrapped in paper and dipped in thousands of deadly chemicals! One by one, I have to reclaim each of these! That takes time! I didn't just wake up one day and say, "I think I'll forfeit all that makes me special to an addictive substance!" NO! It took time - little by little giving up more and more of myself! And I won't get all of that back overnight, either! I need to be diligent, careful, focused, determined! And I need to be PATIENT! In the end, I will be recovering/reclaiming LIFE ITSELF! So what if I'm grumpy for a few days! What's at stake is ME! And my Family and True Friends can only want that for me and more than willingly put up with my rascibility! The GIFT is Abundantly Truthful Living! I can't let myself settle for anything less!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 25, 2012

Good Morning! Not a lot to report today but this one is a jewel! Have a Great Smoke FREE Day! I'll be spending mine at the gym and at work!




Chronic tobacco use equals periodontal disease and tooth loss. Motivating patients to actually consider or give up tobacco habits brings with it many challenges -- not the least of which is the fact that many patients don't think of tobacco use in terms of tooth loss. When asked if they are aware of the greatest reason for adult tooth loss, patients often incorrectly reply, "Old age."

Supporting tobacco cessation in the dental office isn't new. But perhaps it is time to consider a few twists regarding the dental professional's role. We routinely see the evidence of tobacco use related to increased risk and severity of periodontal disease and the increased risk of implant failure.

Review a few startling facts about tobacco that should serve as a motivator to increase our roles regarding tobacco cessation:

  • Nicotine has been shown to be as addictive as heroin or cocaine1
  • Each day over 3,800 youths under 18 years of age start smoking2
  • Of every three young smokers, only one will quit, and one of those remaining smokers will die from tobacco-related causes2
  • The average age of first time smokeless tobacco user is 103
  • On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers4
  • 69% of current smokers say they want to quit5
  • 80% of smokers who attempt to quit on their own return to smoking within one month6
  • Effective tobacco cessation programs utilized in dental offices have been shown to achieve quit rates of 10-15%7
  • Within five years of quitting smoking, the risk of cancer of the mouth, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half1
  • In lieu of facts that remind us how deadly tobacco use can be and how cessation can reduce risks and save lives, below are three suggestions to increase successful outcomes for dental professionals involved in tobacco cessation.

    1. Motivational interviewing -- Motivational interviewing is a method of counseling by health care professionals that was first utilized with problem drinkers but has direct application for dental professionals supporting patients in deciding to quit tobacco use. Psychologists William Miller and Stephen Rollnick have written a very intriguing book titled "Motivational Interviewing for Health Care Professionals." Motivational interviewing is nonjudgmental and nonconfrontational. It includes a patient-centered interviewing style, helps patients explore and resolve ambivalence, and evokes change from within.

    While professionals interested in implementing this effective style of communication with patients regarding behavior change will benefit from reading the book, the following questions incorporate the concepts of motivational interviewing. Imagine how you might customize this style of communication to assist your patients.

    • Would you mind if we spend a few minutes talking about the impact of smoking on oral health?

    Offer two to three concise facts, such as:

         √ Smokers are 7 times more likely to have gum disease, which is the leading cause for tooth loss, than those who don't smoke.   
         √ 70 of the 7,000 chemicals and compounds in cigarettes are carcinogens, while other toxins contribute to inflaming the lining of the airways, and increasing risks for blood clots   
    • Were you aware of this?
    • How do you feel about this information?
    • On a scale of one to five with one representing "ready" and five representing "not ready," how ready are you today to consider stopping smoking?
    • What concerns do you have about making a decision to quit?
    • What do you think it would take for you to consider stopping smoking?
    • Here are some options for smoking cessation support. What do you think would work best for you?
    • During motivational interviewing, the role of the dental professional is to increase the patient's awareness of potential problems and consequences of their behavior but to meet the patient where they are, and help reduce ambivalence. In addition, the goal is to help patients identify what obstacles or concerns they have regarding tobacco cessation, and provide support to assist with those obstacles.

      2. Provide cessation resources -- Patients who receive social support and encouragement are more successful in quitting than going "cold turkey" on their own. Patients who have identified a readiness to quit should ask family, friends, and coworkers for support. They should also get individual, group, or telephone counseling. 1-800-QUIT-NOW are resources we should be prepared to provide. These resources provide free quit lines with counselors trained specifically to help smokers quit.

      Patients wanting to learn more about FDA approved nicotine replacement products should go to and type "Smoking Cessation Products" into the search bar. Generally, the most successful tobacco cessation involves a combination strategy of social support and professional support coupled with nicotine replacement products. Patients need to be well informed about the pros and cons of various products shown to assist in decreasing nicotine dependence.

      A smartphone app is available from for a free Quit Guide that can be downloaded to a phone for information and support. A resource for patients seeking natural and nicotine-free replacement products can be found Providing tobacco cessation resources to tobacco users shows genuine concern for their well-being, and lessens the burden for them to have to seek them out on their own.

      3. Provide incentives -- Tobacco users are often concerned about yellowing stains on their teeth due to chronic use; therefore, offering an incentive of complimentary in-office whitening once they have achieved and sustained three months' tobacco free is a tangible incentive to help support them through the difficult first few weeks and months of quitting. Or, for many tobacco users, they have already been diagnosed and treated for accompanying periodontal disease, so another incentive would be to provide complimentary periodontal maintenance for one year following three months of being tobacco free, provided they sustain it.


      While incentives alone will not generate a rise in tobacco cessation with your patients, it does show good faith in their efforts and an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments. Essentially, this equals a small investment from their dental professional in their long-term health.

      Providing tobacco cessation support is a realistic goal once teams are informed of the facts, know how to participate in appropriate communication, and provide cessation resources to patients. Hopefully, lives saved and cancer prevented is the outcome for your tobacco users as you participate in tobacco cessation with a twist. RDH




      2. Accessed May 7, 2012.



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 24, 2012

The United States of America was built by a diverse group of people. The strength, resilience, and richness of the United States of America are based on the diversity of its citizens. Everyone is equal in worth, and is entitled to the same privileges and opportunities regardless of their age, national origin, disability, gender, or race. Each of us has our own unique background and talents.

Diversity creates a Community that is enriched with people from different cultures and that have different experiences, lifestyles, backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas. A diverse Community:

  • recognizes and values talent.
  • eliminates barriers and ensures that all members are treated fairly and have the chance to reach their maximum potential.
  • encourages the exchange of ideas which not only broadens the scope of problem solving, but also improves the possibility that the problems will be solved.

Ours is a Diverse Community and that's an integral aspect of what makes it so effective in achieving SUCCESS!!! We don't always see eye to eye but we have RESPECT for each other! I don't always agree with "tough love" and I don't always agree with moddly coddling, either! Each contact I have with a new member is based on my own experience. I bring to the table my diagnosis of COPD (even when I don't memtion it!), my SUCCESS, my personality! It can hardly be otherwise. It's for the Newbie to take what is useful to them and leave the rest from all the comments and advice they receive!  We all have equal opportunity to add our own input. I've seen many, many, members come and go, some drifting in and out. It's only natural that we are drawn to some members more than others. And time online is a commodity. I most often center on folks with COPD and then on other members who I feel are open to the Fantastic Change which is necessary to become a true EX. That's because my quits in the past have been for Months even Years but not sincere! I was just borrowing time, "cleaning out my lungs so I can smoke some more!" So I know the difference! I Know that's just not good enough! You bring your own talents, experience and personality to your Comments! Each of us contributes something that may help that individual make the ultimate decision - to live addiction FREE! I would like to remind you so you don't get depressed that as you see folks come and go, remember that you have no idea how many mustard seeds you are planting on the way! Maybe that person will come back later or maybe somebody else read that Comment to So-and-So and took it to heart! I think we'd all be surprised at how many people are lurking, reading everything but choose to remain out of the limelight! Finally, contribute what you have and respect that other contributor, too! We all make this Community a Great Place to be and most important SUCCESSFUL!

ATLANTA, July 21 (UPI) -- U.S. physicians are not discussing smoking cessation with their patients as often as they did just a few years ago, health officials found.

Judy Kruger, Lauren Shaw, Jennifer Kahende, all of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and colleagues analyzed data from the 2000, 2005 and 2010 Cancer Control Supplement of the National Health Interview Survey.

The researchers said they limited their study participants to current smokers who had seen a healthcare provider in the past 12 months. Smokers were asked, "In the past 12 months, has a medical doctor or other health professional advised you to quit smoking or quit using other kinds of tobacco?"

The study, published in the Preventing Chronic Disease, found 53.3 percent of the patients received smoking cessation advice in 2000, 58.9 percent in 2005 and 50.7 percent in 2010.

In 2010, women were more likely than men to receive advice from their healthcare provider and the likelihood of this advice increased with age.

Hispanic or Latino participants were less likely than non-Hispanic whites to receive smoking cessation advice. Participants who had a college degree or higher were less likely to receive advice than those who had less than a high school or general education development diploma.

Current smokers who had government-assisted insurance or private/military insurance were more likely than uninsured participants to be advised to quit smoking.

In 2010, 67.7 percent of smokers wanted to quit, the study said.


LETTER: Protection

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 24, 2012

You don’t have to be a smoker for smoking to harm you. Secondhand smoke contains cancer-causing substances that can harm every organ in your body. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of premature death and disease in the U.S. Each year, more than 7,500 Alabamians die from smoking-related causes and another 850 die from exposure to secondhand smoke. Those are hard facts to ignore, especially when you consider that more than 75 percent of Alabamians don’t smoke or use tobacco.


We can protect our citizens form the dangers of tobacco use and secondhand smoke by adopting a statewide law prohibiting smoking in public places and work sites. Twenty-nine states have already adopted such a law. Let’s be the next state to protect our citizens from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.


Janet E. Hill

 After more than 40 years of smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes a day, Colton Dey does not look her age.

“I started smoking when I was 16 years old,” said Dey, a 57-year-old resident of Columbia Housing Authority's Oak Towers.


As she sat in the quiet fifth-floor library, Dey explained her need to finally kick the habit for good. She is among a handful of participants in a smoking cessation program facilitated by the housing authority and the Health Department. 

The initiative is funded by a $118,293 grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health awarded in August 2011. The grant provides funding for two programs to help people quit smoking: one for Columbia public housing residents and one for workers in local low-wage jobs. 

The first public housing smoking cessation classes started in January 2012. The grant was intended to fund concurrent six-week sessions in two public housing buildings, with free nicotine patches and support activities, said Linda Cooperstock, a health planner with the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services. 


Nearing the six-month mark, the program has had few participants so far, and most of those who have tried to quit smoking have not succeeded. But cessation program coordinator Kimberley Nolty said the small team behind the program is tweaking it to make it most accessible for people taking on the daunting challenge of kicking nicotine. 

Nolty is a public health and social work graduate student who has been hired part time by the Housing Authority to coordinate all cessation activities. Her position assisting residents who want to quit smoking is funded solely by the grant. Her other responsibilities include running weekly support activities year-round at both Paquin Tower and Oak Towers, and coordinating the alternating six-week cessation programs with nicotine replacement therapy.

How it works

At first, Nolty divided her time teaching classes alternating weeks at Paquin Tower and Oak Towers in the same six-week period. 

"We found the first program was not quite supportive enough," Nolty said.

Residents reported at the end of the session that they needed more than one class every two weeks to succeed. 

Those observations helped shape the current program, Nolty said. 

Now, residents meet once a week in the facility where they live, either Oak Towers or Paquin Tower. They spend the first two weeks of class doing a multitude of activities in preparation to quit, Nolty said.  They are given a starter kit, including a journal, gum, mints and a straw approximately the size of an unlit cigarette to keep their hands busy.


They also learn from Nolty and a nurse how to approach quitting. Participants are required to keep a careful two-week record of their cigarette intake, and are asked to reduce tobacco use as much as they can. They record every cigarette they have in a log, including their mood and what they were doing at the time of their craving, and the strength of the craving on a four-point scale.

In the third week, it's time to start the nicotine patches. But before distributing them, a Health Department nurse measures the carbon monoxide in each smoker’s bloodstream.

Dey, formerly a pack-and-a-half-a-day Decade smoker, had 78 carbon monoxide parts per million in her blood stream. The average person has only one or two. 

The goal is to get all participants below two ppm by the end of the program.

“I hope it’s a lot lower,” Dey said.

The nicotine patches are key to getting people to show up. When they're not offered, Dey sits alone in a classroom.

Once they get the patches and learn how to use them safely, participants attend mandatory classes every Friday for the next four weeks, learning about nutrition, health, exercise and how to live without cigarettes. Nolty and the Health Department nurse share their wealth of knowledge about the impact of tobacco use on the body and help participants recognize the ways they're feeling better even while they're going through the agony of nicotine withdrawal.  


The participants are also invited to an optional support activity during the week. There's a tobacco-themed Bingo game, morning card games and coffee, progressive relaxation and "Afternoon Crunch" — a nutrition lecture with complimentary crunchy vegetables to temper oral and tactile fixations. 

A healthy obsession

For Dey, the healthy "crunch" of choice will have to be a banana. Next week, she'll have oral surgery to remove all of her bottom teeth. Eventually, she'll get dentures. She will save for her new teeth by setting aside money she used to spend on cigarettes — between $150 and $200 a month. 

A week after the oral surgery, Dey will have bladder surgery. 

It is imperative to her recovery process that she remain smoke-free. Nolty said upcoming surgery is often the factor that forces people quit smoking, even if attempts are not successful in the long term. 

Like others before her, the upcoming operations have made Dey ponder the state of her health and reconsider her life choices. She is extremely motivated to quit smoking for good.

Nolty said many people in the first session were able to quit for a short time, but picked the habit up againafter recovering from surgery.   

Dey has tried to quit at least four times before. This is not uncommon, Nolty said, because on average a smoker tries to quit seven times before he or she is successful.


Success rates for the program are not officially available through the Health Department yet — they still need to do follow-ups and formal analysis — but Nolty, who has been with participants every single week, has preliminary numbers. 

In the first six-week trial program, where participants were spread across two locations, two of 14 participants are still smoke-free today. 

Nolty said five people were enrolled from Paquin Tower and nine were from Oak Towers. The Health Department declined to confirm the success rate, though Cooperstock said she's happy with the program and the partnership between the Health Department and Housing Authority.

Though the numbers may seem low, Nolty said she expected a program success rate of about 15 percent. 

"The average success rate of a person who quits smoking cold turkey is about 7 percent," she said. "When they use nicotine replacement therapy, their success rate almost doubles, to 12–15 percent." She tries to keep her expectations realistic because nicotine addiction is so strong. 

Oak Towers only had a success rate of 11 percent, while Paquin had a success rate of 20 percent due to a smaller sample size. 

A smoke-free environment

Dey lives on one of two smoke-free floors in Oak Tower. Resident Services Coordinator April Steffensmeier explained that residents are still allowed to smoke inside on five floors of the public housing building. 


In Paquin Tower, three floors, common areas and hallways are smoke free. Smoking is allowed on 10 other floors.  Steffensmeier said managers work to move people to the area they would prefer to live.

“Over the past year, managers have been transferring people in both directions,” she said.

Cooperstock would like to see all public housing smoke-free eventually. She believes people who do not want to breathe secondhand smoke are entitled to a completely smoke-free environment — regardless of their income or status as a public housing resident.  

According to 2009 literature review published in the peer-reviewed Nicotine & Tobacco Research journal, research has found that people who live in smoke-free environments are 50 to 70 percent more likely stay cigarette-free than people who live in places where others still smoke.

Further, according to the researchers, "studies consistently found complete home smoking bans appeared to be beneficial, while partial home smoking restrictions showed little or no effect."

Cooperstock said though many would support smoke-free public housing, the housing authority has seen some backlash to the smoke-free policies from smokers who feel discriminated against, which is why buildings have not been designated nonsmoking. 

However, Cooperstock does not believe smokers can take a non-smoking movement personally. “Smoking is not an inalienable right,” she said. "You can change your status as a smoker. You can quit." 


Still, the smoking cessation program runs on a voluntary basis; it's only intended to help individuals with limited resources quit smoking. The task of overcoming nicotine addiction is notoriously difficult even for those who can afford to quit with the assistance of a physician. 

No one living in public housing will be forced to quit, Nolty said, because that would be a waste of resources. “You can’t help someone stop smoking unless they really want to quit,” she said. 

What it's like to quit

Bob Turner, 67, is also in the cessation program with Dey. He is counting on the program to improve his quality of life.

“I feel better since I’ve quit,” he said. “I breathe easier. The heat doesn't affect me as much. and food tastes a lot better.”

To this, Dey nodded in agreement. “I’m starting to notice — there was not much taste before,” she said. 

For two years, her favorite relaxation spot has been on her couch: her right hand hovering over an ash tray and her left hand stroking her eight-pound Maltese, Rainbo. Though she still keeps the cigarette-sized straw from the starter kit in the crook of her lips, she no longer has to worry about burning her dog with the lit cigarette, or dropping ashes on him. 

Her dog is happier. “My dog really likes me not smoking because now I have two hands to pet him,” Dey said.


Turner and Dey agree that the smoking cessation program is helpful. “It’s a good program – I’m glad we have it,” Dey said. “I breathe so much easier. You think, ‘Hey, I should have been doing this in the first place!’” 

Turner agrees, but unfortunately this is his third attempt working with Nolty to quit. He says he has probably seriously tried quitting seven or eight times. 

“I’m confident this time will work – that’s the way you have to look at it,” he said. 

Illicit drug use is common among heavy cigarette smokers in the general population, but among outpatients with schizophrenia who are heavy smokers, it is most common in the first decade of illness, according to findings from a study of 70 patients and 97 controls.

The findings have important implications for the management of schizophrenia patients who are in the early stages of their disease, Kristen M. Mackowick of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and her colleagues reported in the August issue of Schizophrenia Research.

The prevalence of cigarette smoking among those with schizophrenia is 58%-90%, compared with about 20% in the general population, a particular problem given that those with mental illness or substance use disorders are more susceptible to smoking-related illnesses because they smoke more cigarettes per day and have more difficulty quitting.


"A significant cause for concern in the schizophrenia population, in addition to increased morbidity and mortality rates, is that cigarette smoking and use of other drugs often covary," the investigators said, noting that one study showed that the odds of someone with a substance abuse diagnosis also having a diagnosis of schizophrenia was 4.6 times higher than for the rest of the population. Other studies show that the combination of psychiatric disorders with a substance use disorder greatly increases the likelihood that an individual will need psychological health services, be more aggressive, and be less compliant with medication.

In the current study, lifetime drug use was similar among the participants with schizophrenia and controls, except that more of those with schizophrenia reported ever using hallucinogens (49% vs. 25%) and inhalants (21% vs. 5%).

Notably, fewer than 3% of schizophrenia participants "reported current use of any drug other than alcohol (17% current use), whereas considerably higher percentages of controls reported current use of some drug (alcohol 69%, heroin 12%, cocaine 25%, marijuana 45%). However, more schizophrenia participants than controls reported past, but not current, use of some substances (alcohol 71% vs. 29%, cocaine 51% vs. 34%, marijuana, 84% vs. 49%) with most having not used for more than a year," the investigators found (Schizophrenia Research 2012;139:194-200).


After controlling for age, they also found that most current substance use occurred between at age 20-30 years in both patients and controls, with discrepancies becoming greater with increasing age. The rates of current use declined for schizophrenia patients, but not for controls, they noted.

The findings suggest that the co-occurrence of schizophrenia, tobacco dependence, and drug use remains a serious health concern, as well as a barrier to improving health and quality of life in those with schizophrenia, they said, noting that the finding that schizophrenia participants reported more past substance use than controls is a concern, because "early-onset drug use may increase an already vulnerable individual’s chance of developing psychosis."

Research has shown, for example, that individuals who possess the Val allele on the COMT gene and who had early-onset cannabis use were at an increased risk of developing psychotic symptoms, they noted.

The finding with respect to inhalant use also is of concern, as it has been shown to have the potential to produce persistent psychotic symptoms in those at risk for psychosis, they added.

Participants in this study were adults aged 18-65 years who smoked at least five cigarettes daily, and who had a breath carbon monoxide (CO) level of at least 8 parts per million. Patients were outpatients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder; controls had no major Axis I psychotic disorder as determined by the SCID-I (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders).


The study consisted of one 2- to 3-hour session involving screening (the CO measurement and SCID), smoking of one cigarette to standardize the time since last tobacco exposure, and completion of a semistructured interview and research questionnaires.

The findings – particularly the substantial history of past substance use among schizophrenia participants aged 20-30 years – underscore the need for enhanced efforts to treat tobacco dependence in those with schizophrenia, both for the obvious health benefits and to help protect against initiation of drug use, the investigators said.

"Clinicians should also be vigilant when treating schizophrenia patients who are in the early stages of their illness, as prodromal and first-episode patients may be more vulnerable to drug use, as we observed more past drug use than current use in our schizophrenia participants," they concluded.

This study was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and by a NIDA Residential Research Support Services contract.



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 24, 2012

TODAY is a Great Day to LIVE Smoke FREE! Knowing your Enemy might just help you either quit or stay quit. I know it has helped me! Only 4 articles today but they're good ones! May you know abundant living - Smoke FREE!


YOU CAN BE a 7%er!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 23, 2012

68.8 percent of current smokers say they want to quit and 52.4 percent tried to quit during the past year. In addition, 48.3 percent of smokers who saw their doctor in the past year say they got advice to quit. Moreover, 31.7 percent had counseling alone or with drugs to help them quit in the past year. And about 7percent quit successfully in the past year.


Do you want to be in the 7%? LISTEN to the people in this Community! Do your reading:

The Easy Way by Allen Carr

Blog, Comment, make Friendships, join Groups, come here before you are in over your head!!!!

The folks who contribute a lot to this site SUCCEED! The people who don't take it seriously don't last! You will have plenty of time when you quit smoking - I spent 1 1/2 HOURS a day just smoking!!!! That's a lot of time!

TODAY is a Great Day to LIVE Smoke FREE!!!!

What's he doing these days?" I ask the mother of a 10-month-old boy.

"He's crawling all over the place, chasing the family dog around in circles on the living room carpet," she states, smiling at the image of her son and dog going through their daily routine.

We go through the visit and I discover that there are smokers in the home, including his mother, but she adamantly states "we never smoke around" her son.

As he sits steadily on the exam room table, his hand almost completely inside his drooling mouth, massaging his swollen teething gums, I imagine the toxins that his imprinted fingertips are distributing into his developing body: arsenic, cyanide, and lead, just to name a few of the hundreds of toxins that are within my little patient's fingerprints, potentially causing harm that could last a lifetime.


The culprit: cigarettes. Cigarettes that were smoked earlier in the day over morning coffee. Cigarettes that were smoked earlier in the week after a hard day's work.

It's a controversial concept that has caused a news frenzy: thirdhand smoke exposure.

Thirdhand smoke is the contamination left on surfaces after a parent's cigarette is extinguished. It is the contamination that leaks through shared air ducts and ventilation from neighbors in an apartment building that a low income family cannot afford to move away from.

Recently released Philip Morris Company data from the tobacco settlement case showed that after a cigarette has been extinguished, a highly carcinogenic, tobacco-specific substance known as 4-(methylnitrosamino)-I-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) is present for hours, where it can be inhaled by tiny lungs and touched by tiny hands.

In fact, starting in the mid-1900's, as the landmark Times Square Camel smoke ring billboard blew 12-foot-wide smoke rings above thousands of onlookers, scientists were already discovering the link between smoking and lung cancer, and the battle between the tobacco lobbyists, advertisers, politicians and scientists had begun.

Now 58 years after the Marlboro Man advertising campaign first originated, considered one of the most brilliant of all time, and 20 years after one of the original Marlboro men died of lung cancer at 52 years old, the deadly effects of smoking and secondhand smoke are irrefutable.


Snus over smoking

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 23, 2012

Is doing harm worse than allowing harm to occur?

By discouraging people from switching to reduced-harm tobacco products that are proven to work, the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society and all U.S. health departments willfully allow an estimated 100,000 tobacco-related death to occur each year.


The smoking-cessation methods the agencies encourage only work for about 7 percent of smokers. If they would promote smokeless tobacco products (such as electronic cigarettes or Swedish snus), around 100,000 lives could be saved.

They discourage smokers from switching to smokeless products because they have chosen to demonize nicotine consumption due to their close affiliation and funding from the pharmaceutical industry.

Smokeless products such as snus have decades of usage statistics to prove the reduced harm of cancer, yet they choose to demonize the product.

Electronic cigarettes have been around for nine years with only positive effects reported.

Smokers need to know there are real options that work for more than 7 percent of the population.

We need our health agencies to stop harm from occurring and take innovative measures to improve American lives.

Aaron Frazier Director, Utah Vapers Association

WOOD RIVER JCT. — Astrid Meijer, a paid campaigner against nicotine addiction, faces some stiff competition in the battle for the hearts, minds and lungs of today’s teenager.

It comes in the form of products and marketing that package nicotine in candies, gum, and packets — a far cry from some of the harsh tobacco products that introduced the drug to earlier generations.

“Toothpicks that are loaded with nicotine,” she said. “There are also these things called ‘Orbs’ or ‘Ariva.’ They’re like little Tic Tacs that are loaded with nicotine and have ground tobacco in them as well, sometimes. They have these strips that dissolve in the mouth and you get your nicotine that way. There’s also something called ‘Smokingel’ and it’s a clear gel that you apply similar to lotion.”


Meijer, the tobacco control program coordinator for the Chariho Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force, provides information and technical assistance to communities that want to ban smoking at events like Little League games, or on the beaches. Her job is funded by the Rhode Island Department of Health.

She is an experienced and often intense speaker and facilitator. Her most dramatic prop is a large case filled with brightly colored candies, toothpicks and pretty packages holding tiny gauze packets — all of them chock full of nicotine.


Meijer said she was surprised to see Ariva for sale in a local Rite Aid drugstore.

“I saw the Ariva looking just like gum … It’s just crazy to see the green, red and blue Ariva that looks just like the green, red and blue gum,” she said.

Another popular smokeless tobacco product available in Rhode Island is Snus. It comes in small gauze packets that are placed between the gum and the cheek like old-fashioned chewing tobacco. But there’s no spitting, so the user swallows and absorbs even more nicotine. Snus comes in flavors like wild strawberry, licorice and melon.

Rhode Island law requires that stores keep all tobacco products behind the counter. It is also illegal to sell tobacco to anyone under 18. Nicotine toothpicks, gel and lotion aren’t sold in Rhode Island stores, but they can easily be purchased online. All are labeled as being for adult use only, and are intended to allow smokers to ingest nicotine in an increasing number of situations where they can’t light up.

But they also make it easier for young nicotine addicts to indulge their habit anywhere, including in the classroom.

“A kid can have all they want but will not smell like cigarettes when they walk in the door,” Meijer said.

The ongoing fight against underage tobacco use is complex. The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, a national nonprofit organization, posts figures on its website showing that so far in Rhode Island in 2012, 11.4 percent of high school students said they smoked, 9.8 percent of male high school students said they used smokeless tobacco, and 1,300 teenagers under 18 have become regular smokers. The organization says that each year in Rhode Island alone, the tobacco industry spends an estimated $27.3 million on marketing.

At the local level, a 2010-11 survey at Chariho Regional High School found that 131 students, or 55 percent of the 384 teenagers who took the survey, had smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days.

Seema Dixit, program manager of the Tobacco Control Program at the state Department of Health, said her department’s anti-tobacco efforts are effective. The state has been taking aim at underage tobacco use for more than a decade, and Dixit said it is now seeing positive results.

“Our youth tobacco use rates have really dropped down since we began efforts about 10 or 15 years back,” she said. “We have the third lowest smoking rate in the country, 7.4 percent. We started at somewhere around 35 percent, so we have really gone down.”

State policies aimed at preventing underage tobacco use include the introduction of tobacco-free schools, and one measure that may be the most effective deterrent of all for both youth and adults — high tobacco taxes.

Rhode Island has the second-highest cigarette excise tax in the country — $3.46 per pack. New York has the highest at $4.35; Connecticut levies $3.40; and Massachusetts’ tax is $2.51.

“As the prices of cigarettes have gone up, the prevalence among youth and adults has come down,” Dixit said.

In addition to higher taxes, a federal law passed in 1992 and named after its sponsor, Congressman Mike Synar of Oklahoma, requires states to pass and enforce laws preventing the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18.


“Synar surveys,” or compliance checks using local police departments, involve sending an underage buyer or decoy into a store to see if he or she will be sold tobacco products. The results of the surveys must be reported every year to the Department of Health and Human Services. Municipalities are also free to do their own additional checks if they have the resources to do so.

The 2011 Synar survey shows that there were no products sold to decoys in Richmond or Charlestown. Hopkinton did not have figures for that year, and in Westerly, of the 11 businesses checked, five sold tobacco to the decoys.

“The previous years, we had been at zero,” said Westerly Police Lt. Mike Murano, who oversees the town’s compliance program. “This is out of the norm, to have five establishments that sold to us during the checks. It could be that there needs to be a little bit more education of the employees.”

Penalties for non-compliant stores start with a warning letter and escalate to fines from $250 to $1,500, with license suspensions for repeat offenders.

While efforts to curb cigarette sales to young people seem to be working, Dixit admitted that new products in the smokeless tobacco market present a growing problem.

“It’s like a huge area of products that are popping into the market almost by the minute every day,” she said. “They are very cheap, because they don’t get levied similar excise taxes like the cigarettes. These products are being sold as cheap as a dollar a piece, and that makes them very affordable for everybody to use. Cigarettes are fast being replaced by the emerging smokeless tobacco products.”

In its 2012 “State of Tobacco Control” survey, the American Lung Association says that smoking costs Rhode Island “close to $870 million in economic costs every year.” The organization praises the state for its high cigarette tax and smoking restrictions, but gives it an “F” for not spending more on tobacco prevention control and smoking cessation programs.


Mary Lou Serra, coordinator of the Westerly Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force, recited a list of ongoing prevention programs that focus on substance abuse and include tobacco, but do not specifically focus on it.

Serra takes her message to whomever will listen — town councilors, student assistance councilors, school administrators, community resource officers, parents and the police chief.

“It always comes down to money,” she said. “The more money at our disposal, we could do more. Until you have zero, you have to keep doing more and more. It’s never enough. But you just have to keep trying, because if you stop one, you’ve succeeded.”

Mary Ellen Powers is the mother of two girls, 10 and 14 years old, and the treasurer of the Chariho girls’ softball team. She supports the efforts of the Chariho Task Force, but she said some parents continue to set a bad example when they smoke at their children’s games.

“Parents kind of go off into the parking lots and smoke if they have to, but it’s the minority, not the majority, which is good, because I think the whole thing is you lead by example,” she said.

On Feb. 24, I lost my dad and best friend, Kenneth Hrdlica, to lung cancer.

I cannot begin to tell you the void this has left in my family. I have to admit, I didn't give much thought to the disease in the past.

I, along with so many others, thought of it as a "smokers' disease" and left it at that. After doing some research, I have learned that this very smoking stigma has done an incredible disservice to many cancer patients. That's why I am trying to change that perception.

Please mark your calendar for Aug. 1, the first worldwide Lung Cancer Survivors Day!

Lung cancer, often referred to as the "invisible disease", is generally asymptomatic and often goes undetected or misdiagnosed, while advancing to a late incurable stage. Only 15 percent of patients diagnosed in the late stages will survive five years.


By the time my own dad was diagnosed, he was already at Stage 4. He lasted less than a month.

Although early detection screening has been a topic of great concern and study, the established guidelines continue to leave a large percent of the population ineligible for screening.


Remember, anyone can get lung cancer.

Over 60 percent of newly diagnosed patients have never smoked or quit years ago (according to My dad for instance, had been smoke-free for 26 years before he was diagnosed.

Lung cancer claims 160,000 lives annually. This is almost 10 times the amount of lives lost to AIDS (18,000 annually) and this is more than breast, colon, kidney and melanoma cancers ... combined.

Yet despite these staggering statistics, lung cancer receives less research funding (per death) than any other type of cancer. It boggles the mind, doesn't it?

Lung cancer patients face the same physical, emotional and financial hardships as any other cancer. They battle the same fears, depression, losses and grueling treatments.


Yet due to the smoking stigma, those battling receive minimal recognition and support from our society. Lung cancer is bad ... its victims are not. Like AIDS, alcoholism, obesity, drug abuse and a myriad of diseases that can be "rooted in causes," lung cancer patients deserve support, not shame and blame.

For more information, please visit Lung Cancer Survivors Foundation on Facebook, and please, hug a cancer patient today.

Denise Hrdlica Rowell

Mobile, Ala.


Smokers Need Vitamin D

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 23, 2012

Three quarters of American adults are considered vitamin D deficient. Consistent research has shown a lack of vitamin D can cause to a variety of health issues, including impairment of lung function for smokers.


Vitamin D deficiency is associated with worse lung function and more rapid decline in lung function over time in smokers, suggesting that vitamin D may have a protective effect against the effects of smoking on lung function according to a new study.

"We examined the relationship between vitamin D deficiency, smoking, lung function, and the rate of lung function decline over a 20 year period in a cohort of 626 adult white men from the Normative Aging Study," lead author Nancy E. Lange, M.D., MPH, of the Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital was quoted as saying. "We found that vitamin D sufficiency (defined as serum vitamin D levels of >20 ng/ml) had a protective effect on lung function and the rate of lung function decline in smokers," she added.

In the study, vitamin D levels were assessed at three different time points between 1984 and 2003, and lung function was assessed concurrently with the measurement of breath.

In vitamin D deficient subjects, for each one unit increase in pack-years of smoking, mean forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was 12 ml lower, compared with a mean reduction of 6.5 ml among subjects who were not vitamin D deficient. In longitudinal models, vitamin D deficiency exacerbated the effect of pack years of smoking on the decline in FEV1 over time.

No significant effect of vitamin D levels on lung function or lung function decline were observed in the overall study cohort, which included both smokers and non-smokers."Our results suggest that vitamin D might modify the damaging effects of smoking on lung function," Dr. Nancy E. Lange was quoted as saying. "These effects might be due to vitamin D's anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties."

The study has some limitations, including the fact that the data is observational only and not a trial. Also, vitamin D levels fluctuate over time and that the study has limited generalizability due to the cohort being all elderly men.

"If these results can be replicated in other studies, they could be of great public health importance," Dr. Lange added. "Future research should also examine whether vitamin D protects against lung damage from other sources, such as air pollution," Dr. Lange concluded.

Source: American Journal Of Respitory And Critical Care Medicine,July 2012

Glenn Norris, Powell

I read with some interest the article regarding lung cancer deaths in Tennessee and the measures to curb smoking such as raising tobacco taxes. I have an idea of a different direction that might work.

Forty-eight years ago my employer, Fred Vreeland, a respected local engineer, offered me $50 if I would quit smoking for three months. I guess he could see that maybe I would be more productive if I wasn't smoking, but maybe he was just considerate of my health. I was 23 years old at the time and had been smoking since I was 13. I knew this would be a very difficult task, but I had my eye on a special .22-caliber rifle I wanted. Also, at about this time medical information came out that for every minute you smoked, you lost a minute of your life. I thought at the time that this was a terrible price to pay for smoking. I went "cold turkey" and laid down my smokes for three months.

So, guess what? I haven't had even a single cigarette for the past 48 years. During that time I have saved thousands of dollars and have benefited from relatively good heath. But I have had a couple of heart bypasses that I probably wouldn't have survived had I smoked.

I have offered several other individuals the same offer I received, but I have had to sweeten the pot to $300 to entice them to quit smoking. I highly recommend others would give a special person the same offer my boss gave me 48 years ago. I can testify this method really works.

Nearly a quarter of college women try smoking tobacco with a hookah, or water pipe, for the first time during their freshman year, according to new research from The Miriam Hospital's Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine.

The study, published online by Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, suggests a possible link to alcohol and marijuana use. Researchers found the more alcohol women consumed, the more likely they were to experiment with hookah smoking, while women who used marijuana engaged in hookah smoking more frequently than their peers.


Dramatic rise in young hookah smokers

They say the findings are troubling since hookah smoking rates have increased dramatically among young adults over the last two decades, with some studies putting it on par with cigarette smoking. Many college students also mistakenly believe hookah smoking is safer than cigarettes, even though hookah use has been linked to many of the same diseases caused by cigarette smoking, including lung cancer, respiratory illness and periodontal disease.

"The popularity and social nature of hookah smoking, combined with the fact that college freshmen are more likely to experiment with risky behavior, could set the stage for a potential public health issue, given what we know about the health risks of hookah smoking," said lead author Robyn L. Fielder, M.S., a research intern at The Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine.


Hookah smoking 101

Originating in ancient Persia and India, hookah smoking is a highly social activity during which users smoke tobacco filtered through a water pipe, according to the American Lung Association. The tobacco mixtures used in the hookahs vary in composition, with some having flavorings and additives, such as candy and fruit flavors, that help disguise the harshness of the smoke. Hookah smokers are exposed to higher doses of nicotine compared to cigarettes, as well as carbon monoxide and a very high volume of smoke, which contains toxic and cancer-causing smoke particles.

In the study, 483 first-year female college students completed an initial survey about their precollege hookah use, followed by 12 monthly online surveys about their experience with hookah smoking. Of the 343 participants who did not report precollege hookah use, 23 percent (79 students) tried hookah tobacco smoking during their first year of college.


Connections to alcohol, marijuana

An analysis revealed alcohol consumption predicted the likelihood of hookah use, while marijuana use and certain personality styles, such as a higher level of impulsivity and a strong tendency to compare oneself to others, predicted frequency of use.

Fielder says the findings corroborate prior research showing strong correlations between hookah and other substance use, but their research is the first to show that alcohol and marijuana use are prospectively related to hookah initiation.

"Youth tend to overestimate the extent to which their peers use substances, and because it's important to fit in with one's peers, this can lead to greater risk-taking," said Fielder. "Our research suggests prevention and intervention efforts should jointly target all substance use, including hookah, alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes, to optimize the public health impact."

New research suggests that even grandpa should quit smoking. Traditionally, the medical evidence for smoking cessation has been limited to young and middle-age patients, making the push to quit at an older age a weak initiative.


The assumption has been that elderly patients have more pressing health problems, and the potential benefit from smoking cessation at an elderly age, although present, might not be substantial.


A new research study and accompanying commentary published in June’s Archives of Internal Medicine refutes this assumption and demonstrates that the benefit of smoking cessation in elderly patients is significant.


Dr. Carolin Gellert and colleagues combined data from 17 studies to examine the risk of death in patients ages 60 and older. After accounting for differences such as alcohol consumption and exercise between smokers and nonsmokers, they show that smoking contributes to an 83 percent higher risk of death.


Elderly patients who quit smoking lowered their risk of death by approximately 25 percent. Even when examining patients 80 years and older, researchers found that patients who quit smoking at such an advanced age had a similar reduction in their risk of death.




Smoking is a costly activity for the smoker and for our country. In a 2008 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking was the primary risk factor for almost one-third of cancer deaths and a major contributor to heart disease. It is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. In addition, grandpa’s second-hand smoke increases his grandchildren’s risk of developing lung disease. Smoking costs our country almost $25 billion in lost productivity each year.


For patients who wish to quit, the most effective strategies involve a combination of counseling and medications. Patients should set up an appointment with their physician, who can help coordinate the process. Individuals can also or call the free national smoking quitline at (800) QUIT-NOW to connect with trained counselors who can assist with the process.


Good Morning, Fellow EXers and Becomers! Today I celebrate Day 856 of my Quit Journey with GRATITUDE for LIFE and for EVERY BREATH I take! With the help of Great Exercise, Nutrition, Medication, Health Care,Life style change, and GOD's GRACE I am happy to report that I am breathing easy these days, in spite of having Stage II COPD/Emphysema - a chronic, progressive, incurable smoking-related illness. If you have smoked at least 1 cigarette in your life-time (YES, I MEAN YOU!) you need to ask your Doctor to give you a SPIROMETRY TEST that will help with early diagnosis of this illness which 1 out of every 2 smokers will have during their lifetime! Early diagnosis gives you HOPE! A negative result gives you confidence!

As frequently as I possibly can within my NEW LIFE I publish the latest news about smoking and smoking related issues in the hope that I will possibly help inspire you to either QUIT TODAY if you haven't quit or to fortify your Quit DAILY if you are already on yopur quit journey! I have found that Knowledge is POWER and keep this quit smoking tool right on top of my quit smoking tool box! Now, I share it with all those who also find it useful! 

ENJOY an EXcellent Smoke FREE DAY!



Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 20, 2012

Most of us have heard of the cowardly act of a 24 year old young man in a crowded Movie Theater in Aurora, Colorado. His senseless act of terrorism cost the lives of 12 innocent people! One of these victims, incredibly survived a mass attack just months ago in Toronto. Her name was Iessica Redfield. After surviving that first shoot out in a busy shopping mall Jessica a sports writer blogged about the aftermath of her experience. Here's what she wrote:



"I was shown how fragile life was," Redfield wrote. "I saw the terror on bystanders' faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don't know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath. … I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted.

"Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given."


Folks, let's take Jessica's testimony to heart and cherish life enough to stop the insanity of killing ourselves one puff at a time! Cherish every second of every day and if you haven't quit, yet - well, TODAY is a GREAT DAY to Quit for LIFE! If you have Quit, PROTECT YOUR QUIT as if your LIFE depends on it ....because IT DOES! LOVE LIFE - especially your own!

I posted this 3 hours ago and it disappeared! Soooo here it is again....


Staying motivated is a struggle — our drive is constantly assaulted by negative thoughts and anxiety about the future. Everyone faces doubt and depression. What separates the highly successful is the ability to keep moving forward.

There is no simple solution for a lack of motivation. Even after beating it, the problem reappears at the first sign of failure. The key is understanding your thoughts and how they drive your emotions. By learning how to nurture motivating thoughts, neutralize negative ones, and focus on the task at hand, you can pull yourself out of a slump before it gains momentum.

Reasons We Lose Motivation

There are 3 primary reasons we lose motivation.

Lack of confidence – If you don’t believe you can succeed, what’s the point in trying?

Lack of focus – If you don’t know what you want, do you really want anything?

Lack of direction – If you don’t know what to do, how can you be motivated to do it?

How to Boost Confidence

The first motivation killer is a lack of confidence. When this happens to me, it’s usually because I’m focusing entirely on what I want and neglecting what I already have. When you only think about what you want, your mind creates explanations for why you aren’t getting it. This creates negative thoughts. Past failures, bad breaks, and personal weaknesses dominate your mind. You become jealous of your competitors and start making excuses for why you can’t succeed. In this state, you tend to make a bad impression, assume the worst about others, and lose self confidence.


The way to get out of this thought pattern is to focus on gratitude. Set aside time to focus on everything positive in your life. Make a mental list of your strengths, past successes, and current advantages. We tend to take our strengths for granted and dwell on our failures. By making an effort to feel grateful, you’ll realize how competent and successful you already are. This will rejuvenate your confidence and get you motivated to build on your current success.

It might sound strange that repeating things you already know can improve your mindset, but it’s amazingly effective. The mind distorts reality to confirm what it wants to believe. The more negatively you think, the more examples your mind will discover to confirm that belief. When you truly believe that you deserve success, your mind will generate ways to achieve it. The best way to bring success to yourself is to genuinely desire to create value for the rest of the world.

Developing Tangible Focus

The second motivation killer is a lack of focus. How often do you focus on what you don’t want, rather than on a concrete goal? We normally think in terms of fear. I’m afraid of being poor. I’m afraid no one will respect me. I’m afraid of being alone. The problem with this type of thinking is that fear alone isn’t actionable. Instead of doing something about our fear, it feeds on itself and drains our motivation.

If you’re caught up in fear based thinking, the first step is focusing that energy on a well defined goal. By defining a goal, you automatically define a set of actions. If you have a fear of poverty, create a plan to increase your income. It could be going back to school, obtaining a higher paying job, or developing a profitable website. The key is moving from an intangible desire to concrete, measurable steps.


By focusing your mind on a positive goal instead of an ambiguous fear, you put your brain to work. It instantly begins devising a plan for success. Instead of worrying about the future you start to do something about it. This is the first step in motivating yourself to take action. When know what you want, you become motivated to take action.

Developing Direction

The final piece in the motivational puzzle is direction. If focus means having an ultimate goal, direction is having a day-to-day strategy to achieve it. A lack of direction kills motivation because without an obvious next action we succumb to procrastination. An example of this is a person who wants to have a popular blog, but who spends more time reading posts about blogging than actually writing articles.

The key to finding direction is identifying the activities that lead to success. For every goal, there are activities that pay off and those that don’t. Make a list of all your activities and arrange them based on results. Then make a make an action plan that focuses on the activities that lead to big returns. To continue the example from above, a blogger’s list would look something like this:



Write content


Research relevant topics


Network with other bloggers


Optimize design and ad placements


Answer comments and email


Read other blogs


Keeping track of your most important tasks will direct your energy towards success. Without a constant reminder, it’s easy to waste entire days on filler activities like reading RSS feeds, email, and random web surfing.


When my motivation starts to wane, I regain direction by creating a plan that contains two positive actions. The first one should be a small task you’ve been meaning to do, while the second should be a long-term goal. I immediately do the smaller task. This creates positive momentum. After that I take the first step towards achieving the long-term goal. Doing this periodically is great for getting out of a slump, creating positive reinforcement, and getting long-term plans moving.


It’s inevitable that you’ll encounter periods of low energy, bad luck, and even the occasional failure. If you don’t discipline your mind, these minor speed bumps can turn into mental monsters. By being on guard against the top 3 motivation killers you can preserve your motivation and propel yourself to success.


Dear Dr. Donohue: I work with a woman who claims she has emphysema. She smokes regularly and finds herself out of breath when coming up the stairs. She is 60. She says the onset of this condition occurred when she was 9. A local gas station near her childhood home moved and, in the process, pulled up the gas tanks that provide gas to the pumps. The fumes from the move caused her emphysema. She doesn’t know anyone else with the problem, and there are no class-action lawsuits I can find that cite gas fumes from moving gas tanks as causing emphysema.

Will you clarify and talk about emphysema? — E.E.


A: Emphysema is destruction of the millions of air sacs that fill the lungs. It’s through these sacs that oxygen reaches the blood. One of the chief signs of emphysema is shortness of breath when active, as in climbing stairs. Emphysema is one-half of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD. The other half is chronic bronchitis, an inflammation and narrowing of the breathing tubes, filled with pus. The inflamed tubes obstruct airflow into the lungs. The chief sign of chronic bronchitis is a never ending cough.

Smoking is the greatest cause of COPD, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but not the only cause. In past days, workers in mines inhaling the dust were subject to emphysema, as were people who worked in cotton mills. Those who made a living in grain-processing plants also were subject to COPD. Now stringent regulations protect these workers.

An inherited condition, called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, also leads to emphysema. Alpha-1 antitrypsin tells cells that scrub the interior of air sacs to stop the scrubbing when the air sacs are cleaned. Without its signal, scrubbing goes on, and the air sacs are destroyed.

I have never heard of emphysema arising in a situation like your fellow worker describes. She must be happy explaining her situation the way she does. Let her be happy. It’s her way of coping with the illness. She also must be smart enough to know that smoking is harming her greatly, regardless of her emphysema cause.

Pamela and Gord Weitzel are breathing a smoke-free sigh of relief after a long, stressful battle against a chain-smoking neighbour.



The Langley couple are claiming victory against second hand smoke wafting into their home for the past three years.



The Weitzels dropped their BC Human Rights complaint against their chain-smoking neighbour after he agreed to install an expensive exhaust fan in his suite and now their strata complex has voted for a “no smoking allowed” bylaw last month.



“Non-smokers rights count in this millennium,” said Gord. He is ecstatic that he and his wife can stay in their ground level condo. Also, his chain-smoking neighbour passed away in April. He was only 68, said Weitzel.



Gord and Pam both suffer from health disorders and when they moved into Willow Park Estates, outfitted the doorways with ramps and expensive grab bars. They like their condo’s nearness to Willowbrook Mall and didn’t want to move.



They provided their strata with doctors’ notes indicating that the smoking was impacting their breathing. The strata council said at the time it didn’t have the power to do anything.



The Weitzels decided to file a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal in fall 2010.



The  Tribunal  accepted the complaint and served the strata notice.  It was only a couple of months ago that the Tribunal awarded a Langley couple $8,000 in compensation for having to live with second-hand smoke at their  53 Avenue condo complex. The tribunal ruled that the strata pay the couple for “injury to their dignity and self respect” and for costs for an air conditioner and naturopathic treatments after having smoke waft into their condo from smokers living below them.


Melanie and Matthew McDaniel had filed a complaint to their strata about cigarette smoke coming into their unit from smoker’s below.



Melanie said she is severely allergic and was six months pregnant at the time. She pointed out she had more rights at work than in her own home.



It does seem the tables are turning on smokers’ rights. There are fewer and fewer places smokers can light up. Also a recent study released said fewer and fewer teens are taking up the cancerous habit.



This year, Metro Vancouver Parks banned smoking in all 33 of its regional parks and greenways, including Derby Reach and Brae Island in Langley.



B.C. bans smoking in all indoor public spaces, near any doorways or windows and at bus stops. In Vancouver, there is no smoking on restaurant patios as well.

Every fortnight during the summer I come second to a plethora of noisy vehicles. Formula One has arrived and those cars on the screen are seen by my godson and mates as some of the coolest objects on the planet. Anything associated with this world, however subliminally, is cool too. I know, I'm a specialist in brand positioning.

But don't listen to me. Just watch a shocking video put together by Cancer Research UK, where primary school children chat about cigarette packs. One child takes one look at a Marlboro pack and simply says "Ferrari". I suspect that's why Philip Morris is willing to continue to pay an estimated £100m a year in sponsorship to this F1 team despite being banned from making any link to the Marlboro brand name. Another gazes at a cigarette pack and says "it makes you feel like you're in a wonderland of happiness".

And this is where my problem starts. I don't normally jump on soapboxes. If adults choose to shorten their lives by smoking I can't criticise – I've been there. But when an industry marketing products that are the UK's single greatest cause of preventable illness and early death protests that "there is no proof to suggest that the plain packaging of tobacco products will be effective in discouraging young people to smoke" (British American Tobacco on plain packaging) I feel obliged to stand up and be counted.


They got me at the age of 13. Back then their quest for my attention started with advertising, but it was the slim silvery green pack perfectly complementing my other accessories that coerced me into an addiction that took 25 years to break. It clinched the three-second decision process. So you can imagine my anxiety as I listen to my young godson and friends debate the merits of one tobacco brand over another; anxiety heightened by my awareness of positioning and media strategies.

I have worked with, or had cause to research, many brands that cannot target young people directly, either for legal reasons or because they're monitored for "pester power". Subliminal visual cues and connection are therefore key – through social media, in-game placement, brand extensions such as characters and games, and, most overtly, packaging design. The power of packaging is simply demonstrated by the reduced popularity of a certain children's sweet brand. My own recent research with teenagers found that simply by switching pack shape the brand no longer inspires their imagination. All that is left are small sugar-coated chocolates, with previously bright colours tamed by elimination of chemical additives, now competing less successfully with a plethora of similar imported competitors.


The tobacco industry therefore has no choice but to keep packaging design firmly in its sights. Let's face facts. Every year 100,000 smokers die in the UK and must be replaced to avoid industry obsolescence. Smoking is an addiction most commonly started in childhood, with two thirds of smokers taking up the habit while under 18, and smokers are typically brand loyal. To succeed, tobacco companies have to attract new young smokers. They can't advertise at them, they can't promote to them, so the only vehicle with which to attract attention is packaging.

When Imperial Tobacco introduced its Lambert and Butler celebration pack in 2004 market share increased by 0.4% – doesn't sound like much until you do the numbers and realise this was worth over £60m in additional turnover in just four months. Commenting on this "success" Imperial Tobacco's global brand director, Geoff Good, stated that "the pack design was the only part of the mix that was changed, and therefore we knew the cause and effect".

The industry argues that packaging innovation is about encouraging adults to switch brands, not enticing youngsters to start smoking, that standardised packs will not reduce the number of young people taking up smoking. This is clearly untrue; from my own experience and from Cancer Research UK's explorations with very young people, it is clear that the more attractive the cigarette pack the more likely it is that kids will aspire to the brand as part of their lifestyle portfolio.


Why do I care? Because tobacco is like no other product. There is no safe level of consumption and the product kills when used as intended. That's why it's impossible to argue against plain packaging.

The Australians have shown the way – they're putting cigarettes in astandard brown pack with large health warnings from December this year. We must do the same. That's what I'll be saying when I respond to the government consultation currently under way, because I don't want my godson to be a Marlboro man. I want him to live a long and healthy life.

Tennessee women who lit up Virginia Slims and other cigarette brands in the 1960s and 1970s as acts of liberation are dying of lung cancer more often than women of earlier generations.

A new study shows a spike in lung cancer deaths among Tennessee women who started the habit when it became more socially acceptable to smoke and tobacco companies targeted them in marketing campaigns.

However, the same study shows women were able to largely avoid this death cycle in California and other states that imposed strict anti-smoking policies and higher tobacco taxes.

Women in those states quit smoking earlier and lit up less often than Southern women, according to the study, which was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. It used white women born in 1933 as a baseline. The Tennessee death rate increased by more than 50 percent over that baseline for women born in the 1950s and 1960s.

f you need another reason to steer clear of cigarette smoke, consider this: a new study presented at a conference this week suggestsbreathing in secondhand smoke is linked to higher risks of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Presented on Sunday at The Endocrine Society's 94th Annual Meeting in Houston, the findings show that adults exposed to secondhand smoke have higher rates of these diseases than non-smokers who are not exposed to tobacco smoke.

Co-author Dr Theodore C Friedman, chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Charles R Drew University in Los Angeles, told the press:

"More effort needs to be made to reduce exposure of individuals to secondhand smoke."

For the study, Friedman and colleagues used data from a nationally representative sample of more than 6,300 adults who took part in the US National Health andNutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2001 and 2006.

As well as answering questions about smoking, the participants had also given blood samples, from which various measures were taken, including levels of cotinine, an alkaloid found in tobacco that is also a metabolic byproduct of nicotine. The researchers used this to verify passive smoking exposure.

Friedman explained that while other studies have shown a link between type 2diabetes and secondhand or passive smoking, none of them had used a blood marker to confirm the results.

25% of the participants in Friedman's study were current smokers, which he and his colleagues classed as those participants who said "yes" when asked "Do you smoke cigarettes?" and whose cotinine levels were above 3 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).

41% of the sample were classed as non-smokers. These were participants who answered "no" when asked "Do you smoke cigarettes?", and whose cotinine levels were under 0.05 ng/mL.

34% of the sample were classed as secondhand smokers. These had also answered "no" to the current smoking question, but their blood cotinine levels were above 0.05 ng/mL.

After adjusting the results to rule out any effects from age, sex, race, alcohol consumption and exercise, the researchers found that compared to non-smokers, secondhand smokers showed signs of a number of factors that can lead to type 2 diabetes, such raised insulin resistance, elevated fasting blood glucose or blood sugar, and higher hemoglobin A1c, a measure of blood sugar control over the past three months.

He called for further studies to investigate whether secondhand smoke actually causes type 2 diabetes.

If you've ever watched the television series Mad Menyou've probably noticed how its main characters chain smoke like it's an Olympic sport. The show's dapper lead man, advertising executive Don Draper, is rarely without a cigarette in hand as he maneuvers through Madison Avenue of the 1960s. Smoking, of course, was a sign of the times -- a cool fashion, whether you were a housewife, a hippie or a high-society ad man.

Thankfully, adult smoking rates have dropped by halfin the decades since Draper lit up. But that good news masks some disturbing trends: Lung cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer in the U.S., behind only cancers of the prostate for men and the breast for women.

Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that more American men and women die from lung cancerthan from any other form of the disease. This year alone, lung cancer is expected to claim the lives of 160,000 people. That's more than the total numbers of deaths from cancers of the colon, prostate, breast, liver and kidney combined.

And the outlook remains grim for too many patients, given the challenges of diagnosing the disease early and the poor prognosis for those who discover it late. More than half of patients with lung cancer die within one year of their diagnoses. Less than 16 percent survive beyond five years; only pancreatic cancer has a lower survival rate.


All of this illness not only devastates families, it also drives up medical spending: Lung cancer accounted for an estimated $12 billion in medical costs in 2010, according to a government analysis. 
Despite these troubling figures, lung cancer rarely gets the sort of attention -- or research funding -- showered on other higher-profile forms of the disease, particularly breast and prostate cancers. Perhaps that's because of the stigma attached to it. Lung cancer is a smoker's disease, to be sure, mostly a self-inflicted death sentence in the eyes of many. In fact, smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, accounting for 90 percent of such deaths in men and 80 percent in women.

Killer Tobacco

Smokers should beware: Even if you stop, it doesn't wipe the slate clean. Damage caused by smoking can linger for decades. And if you're a nonsmoker, you're not necessarily free from harm either. The recent death of pop diva Donna Summer at age 63 was a vivid reminder. She had never smoked and yet died from the disease, one of about 3,400 adult nonsmokers who succumb to lung cancer each year. Second-hand smoke also increases the risk of heart disease, causing an estimated46,000 deaths annually among adults in this country who do not light up. It presents other hazards as well: Pregnant women who are exposed to secondhand smoke face the risk of giving birth to low-weight babies. Children, meanwhile, have a greater risk of infections, colds, pneumonia and asthma.


One of my Cedars-Sinai colleagues, thoracic surgeon Robert J. McKenna Jr., M.D., sees all of these variations in his practice. McKenna, medical director of Thoracic Surgery and Trauma and co-director of the Women's Guild Lung Institute, says the perception that only smokers get lung cancer is off base. About one in five of his patients never smoked, while a significant percentage quit as many as 20 years before their cancers appeared.

"They did the right thing," he says, "and still went on to get lung cancer."

If smokers knew what they were putting into their bodies, they might think twice about their habit. Consider these frightening facts: Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, and at least 69 of them can cause cancer, including arsenic, benzene, beryllium, chromium, nickel and vinyl chloride. This toxic buffet bathes cells in harmful metals, hazardous gas, even radioactivity.

A Huge Toll

Zab Mosenifar, M.D., another of my colleagues and a preeminent lung specialist and runner, explains that cigarette smoke can take a huge toll on the lungs and the body. Carbon monoxide molecules that result from smoking hamper the hemoglobin's ability to pick up oxygen from the lungs and distribute it, robbing precious oxygen from muscles and vital organs. Mosenifar, medical director of the Women's Guild Lung Institute at Cedars-Sinai, says that nicotine, a vasoconstrictor, narrows the muscular walls of blood vessels and slows blood flow, potentially causing permanent damage to arteries. Reduced blood flow and oxygen ultimately decreases strength, energy and function of organs throughout the body.


Smoking cessation, Mosenifar says, is the best and most important means of preventing lung cancer. Those who do smoke also face the risk cancers of the esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder and pancreas. And that's not all. Tobacco use contributes to a multitude of other health problems for millions of people, increasing the risks of strokes, coronary heart disease, emphysema and other diseases. Indeed, smoking's adverse health effects account for about443,000 deaths, or nearly one in five, each year in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The federal agency also reports that smoking causes more U.S. deaths annually than the combined fatalities from alcohol, auto accidents, HIV, illegal drugs, murders and suicides.

Anti-smoking advocates, seizing on the frightening statistics, have fought for years to curb cigarette use. Groups have sought to raise taxes on cigarette packs and have waged public safety campaigns to keep children and adults from picking up cigarettes in the first place. One of the most recent of these efforts, the Proposition 29 ballot initiative in California, narrowly was rejected by voters. The $1-per-pack tax on tobacco would have raised $860 million for research on tobacco-related diseases and smoking-prevention programs. It faced unyielding opposition by tobacco giants Philip Morris USA and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., who spent millions of dollars to defeat it.

Public health authorities know all too well that the scourge of smoking is not confined to American borders. Tobacco killed an estimated 100 million people worldwide in the 20th century and, if current trends hold, will kill another 1 billion people this century, many of them in poor or developing countries. Indeed, tobacco use is the most preventable cause of death worldwide.

Passive smoking may be much more harmful that you thought. Researchers have found that people who are exposed to passive smoke are exposed to 16 times higher than the background level. The study has found that smoking on city street footpaths increases the amount of dangerous fine particulates many times in the air. The five-week-long study used a sensitive air monitor to measure air quality at a shopping centre as they passed 284 people who were smoking on the footpaths.

They found that when smokers were observed, at an average distance of 2.6 metres, there was an average of 70 percent more fine particulates in the air (PM2.5 or less than 2.5 mm in diameter) than when there were no smokers around. When standing next to a smoker at a bus stop, the mean fine particulate pollution level was 16 times the background level, with a peak of 26 times the background level.

Although  the problem of smoking on streets is being addressed with a growing number of cities successfully adopting smoke-free policies for at least some outdoor parts of shopping areas.  However, the fact that the city administration had not taken into account shopping areas policies should be put in place to protect the common man. Other likely benefits of smoke-free streets could be decreased street cleaning costs from less cigarette butt litter, a better public image for a city and the reduction of second-hand smoke drifting into shops and offices.

One of the Most Effective Tools in my Protect Your Quit Tool Box is this series of articles from the news. Today we have a wide range of information. Hopefully they will help fortify your Quititude as well! Have a Fabulous Smoke FREE Day!


Malware Warning!

Posted by Thomas3.20.2010 Jul 10, 2012,

I keep getting warnings from Norton about BecomeanEx being infected with this malware. It won't let me vist others or do much of anything! Just thought you should know! Hopefully, you don't have this problem as well!

Forget the patches, the electronic cigarettes, the nicotine gum: Pretty soon quitting smoking could be as simple as getting one single shot. Researchers have created a vaccine that floods the body with an antibody that stops nicotine from reaching the brain, rendering the relaxing effects of cigarettes ineffective. Experts believe this could pave the way for new treatments that help smokers kick the bad habit for good. Here's what you should know about the vaccine:

How does it work?
The vaccine tricks the body into creating antibodies that attack nicotine as soon as it enters the system, effectively making it impossible to experience that "high" you get from a cigarette. Its creators used a harmless virus to sneak instructions for making special nicotine-targeting antibodies into the liver, kind of like a "Trojan horse." Once those cells were "infected" by the virus, they began to produce a protein that targeted the cancer-causing chemical. "It's sort of like having Pac-Man floating around in the blood,"says researcher Ronald G. Crystal of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. 


How effective is the vaccine?
When tested on mice, just one vaccine was enough to last their entire lives. The mice stopped showcasing the "heart-rate slowdown" or "blood pressure drop" associated with nicotine, says LiveScience, and demonstrated an 85 percent decrease in the level of nicotine in their head. "As far as we know, it's safe to use in humans," says Crystal. "Based on results from other studies with this class of viruses, we'd expect them to function forever."

Haven't scientists developed smoking vaccines before?
A few similar options are already available, but those treatments involve injecting antibodies directly into the blood. After a few weeks, the antibodies disappear, and the nicotine-fighting effects diminish. This new method is different because the body continues producing more of these specialized soldier cells long after the shot has been administered. 

Will this really help people quit?
It's important to note that the antibodies don't actually get rid of a lifelong smoker's nicotine cravings, but makes it nearly impossible for them to satisfying their urges with tobacco. The next step is to continue testing the product on animals to confirm its efficacy before they move on to humans. 

Last year, one Raymond Wong visited me at my centre where I teach English and asked me to help him write his story and share it with others. This is what he told me:

“I am in my mid-30s. As a smoker, I used to smoke as many as one big packet of cigarettes a day.

“One day, my only son, who is six years old, came home from kindergarten crying and begging me to stop smoking.

“He told me that his teacher told his class that smoking was bad for health and too much of it could kill a person. I was very perplexed as to why they learned such things in the kindy.

“My son hugged me tightly and refused to let go unless I promised to quit smoking. To pacify him, I nodded.

“After that, every time I needed a smoke, I had to hide from him.

“About two months later when I was on leave, I decided to fetch my son from school and meet the teacher. What she told me was very touching indeed!

“Her father, a chain smoker, died young from lung cancer. One of her students, a young boy, liked to put his pencil in his mouth and pretended that he was smoking.

“He would imitate his father. The other children would laugh and some followed him.

“That boy’s father was a smoker. The father did not realise that he was influencing his young son to be a smoker.

“So she told her pupils about the evils of smoking and what happened to her father.

“That evening, after a good meal, I went to the backyard and had my smoke. I did not see my son walking into the kitchen.

“When he saw me, he yelled and jumped so hard that he vomited all his food.

“I could see that he was terrified that I might just collapse and die with the cigarette in my mouth!


“It was then that I decided to give up smoking for my son’s sake. I hugged him and begged for forgiveness as I had lied to him.

“Of course it took some time for him to believe me. It is more than six months now and I have not picked up a cigarette.”

I was very moved by Raymond’s story because my late father who doted on his children died of lung cancer. We were quite young then.

My brothers and I still shed tears when we talk about him and his sacrifices in bringing us up. I am sad that I cannot lavish some luxuries on him now that I am working and have some savings.

When smokers take a few minutes from their work station for a "puff break", they are actually burning a hole in their employers' pockets.

Other related routines, coupled with the actual act of smoking, can slice off more than three weeks of the company's time per employee in a year, says an expert.

According to quit smoking guru Julian Leicester, besides having to fork out higher medical insurance premiums, employers have to deal with lower productivity due to the frequent smoking breaks.

"Besides the time it takes to finish a cigarette, travelling time, such as waiting for the lift and walking to the smoking room or outside the office block, must also be taken into account," Leicester told the Star online.

Citing a productivity case study involving a multinational IT firm in Malaysia, Leicester said the company, on average, lost 22.1 days per smoker per year.

"That is one full work month and more than the minimum annual leave mandated by law, which is only 14 days," he said.

The calculations were based on the assumption that the smoker spends five minutes to get to the smoking area and another five to finish his cigarette.

"The participants in the case study smoked, on average, 13.2 cigarettes each per day. If you multiply that by 10 minutes, that gives you 2.2 hours per day or 22.1 days per year not including weekends, public holidays and annual leave," said Leicester, author and trainer of The Science To Quit Smoking.

He suggested that the ideal solution to this problem would be to have a smoke-free office rather than "smoke outside the office" rule.

"Companies must stop funding smoking at their workplace," he added.

Participants in the study were sent for an anti-smoking workshop and 40 percent quit smoking entirely while 33 percent reduced the number of cigarettes by half or more. (ANI)

It's been two years since Wisconsin banned smoking in public places including restaurants and bars.

When the state decided to go smoke-free, Adam Weissenberger, owner of Sloopy's Alma Mater, decided to build an outdoor patio so smokers had a place to go.

"It is pretty popular, except when it's hot like it was this week" Weissenberger said.

Weissenberger estimates about a quarter of his customer's smoke and says Sloopy's has not been impacted by the ban.

"I think, if anything, its kept business at the same level, maybe a little better."

According to a report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin restaurant and tavern industry showed growth in sales of 1 to two percent since going smoke-free. However it's hard to link the change in business directly to the smoke free law.

"I do see more families coming in," Weissenberger said. "And I have two or three areas they can come outside and smoke, the smokers, if they want to. So, I mean the families come in, people are eating more food."

Mike Brown is the president of the La Crosse Tavern League and owns the Logan Bar. He's a non-smoker but believes his customers should have the option of smoking, and business owners should not be told how to run their establishments.

"We felt the smokers wanted a place to go," Brown said. "You have to be a legal age to be in here and they smoke a legal product."

The Logan Bar has sustained business, but Brown says not all taverns have been as lucky.


"The first year was the most difficult; most of them have come back," Brown said. "Customers have adjusted to going outside to smoke and stuff. Some places haven't recovered yet. The places that serve food seem to do a little better."

But whether or not customers agree with the law, both Brown and Weissenberger say everyone does a good job obeying it.

Cigarette smoke reduces the production of a Fallopian tube gene, which helps explain the link between smoking and ectopic pregnancy, Scottish researchers say.

Drs. Andrew Horne and Colin Duncan of the Medical Research Council Centre for Reproductive Health in Edinburgh, Scotland, said ectopic pregnancy -- when the embryo implants in the Fallopian tube -- is the most common cause of maternal death in early pregnancy.


Ectopic pregnancy occurs in up to 2 percent of all pregnancies.There is no way to prevent the condition, which must be treated by abdominal surgery or, if the ectopic is small and stable, by injection of a drug called methotrexate.

Horne and colleagues exposed cells from the Fallopian tube to a breakdown product of nicotine -- cotinine. They then showed that cotinine had a negative effect on genes known to be associated with cell death, or apoptosis, and in particular with a particular gene.

In a further study the researchers showed that the gene's reduced production in the Fallopian tube of women who were smokers.

"The research is exciting because it provides new scientific evidence to help understand why women who smoke are more likely to have ectopic pregnancies," Horne said. "It appears that smoking reduces the production of genes, which are involved in the control of cell death and promote an environment in the Fallopian tube which is attractive to the developing embryo."

The findings were presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Istanbul, Turkey.

The more I know about the harmful effects of Sickerettes the more resolved I am to not only Protect my Quit but to encourage others to find their way out of Nicotine Addiction! Granted, if you don't think you want to quit, these articles are easily ignored. But if that voice inside you that is screaming to be FREE could speak it will soak up info like a spunge! Perhaps, one or more of these articles will fortify your resolve to live LIFE abundantly - Addiction FREE!

My name is Thomas and 841 Days ago, I made the DECISION to Become FREE! I have Stage II COPD/Emphysema and if I can help even one person to avoid this insidious, chronic, incurable,  smoking-related illness, then I will LIVE and Die Happy! 


 The day you quit smoking is an extraordinary personal event that you are likely to remember and cherish! But the true meaning of your quit is the day to day process - the decision you make today, the decision you'll make tomorrow, each events that are the continuation of the process which is a new way of living! Living Life ADDICTION FREE! That's what this is all about! You are choosing to live life abundantly, believeing in yourself, seeing that you deserve to be Happy and Healthy! You are making a life affirming decision that you know will affect not just yourself but will send a clear and unmistakeable message to your loved ones - I care enough not only about you but about myself to care for myself, knowing that caring for myself is primary to caring for you, the people I love! Self esteem! Self worth! Integrity! This is Abundant Living! This is what it means to be the person that my Creator intends for me to be! My name is Thomas and what you see is what you get - a fella who values his own life enough to decide to be ADDICTION FREE! I want to be honest with you but more importantly I will be honest with myself! That's impossible under the smoke cloud! Know thyself! To thyself be TRUE! Make each event of Today a part of the larger process of valuing yourself because yes, YOU ARE WORTH IT!


El paisaje del Valle de México, fue recurrente en toda la obra de Velasco (Tomada de

Celebrating Jose Maria Velasco! El Popocatepetl is smoking but I'm still Smoke FREE!!!! 

Today over one billion people around the world are smokers—a fact that transcends race, spans the spectrum of age and social status, and that penetrates all corners of culture.

No matter how much it is romanticized on television or through media (for good or for bad), the truth falls out in the statistics: tobacco kills 20 times more people than murder does; cigarettes contain almost 5,000 different chemicals, some of which come out of vehicle exhaust pipes; 1 in every 5 pregnant women smokes. It is an undoubted fact that smoking is bad for your health, but what does that really mean? And why is smoking still the leading cause of preventable death in the United States?

Opinions are divided about how to approach the issue, especially in America. Smoker’s rights advocates continue to pursue “equality,” and very recently a group of these advocates sued New York State in hopes of removing no-smoking signs at public parks.

Conversely, a wave of anti-smoking sentiment is trending among collegiate leaders: as of January 1st, 2013, the University of Mississippi’s Oxford campus is set to become smoke-free—that is, smoking will be prohibited every hour, every day, anywhere on campus. Florida International University has enacted a campus tobacco ban. And Stanford University’s Medical School. And Taylor University. And over 750 other universities in the U.S.  In Iowa, smoking is completely banned in all public places.


Governments and universities often justify these bans by citing a wealth of research on second-hand smoke, which kills 50,000 people every year by exacerbating or triggering lung cancer and heart disease. The inherent addictive characteristics of nicotine, fused with cunning business tactics, are often blamed for the perpetuation and proliferation of smoking worldwide. Philip Morris generates more revenue than McDonald’s and Nike, and while smoking lobbyists work behind out of sight, advertisements flood the media and help mold impressionable youth—like the 1,000 people under the age of 18 who start smoking every day.

A quarter of all high school students smoke, 80% of which will continue into adulthood, and half of which will die more than a decade earlier than their peers. The facts are very real, and this infographic explores why—if you’re a smoker—you might want to consider nursing your lungs back to where they were meant to be.

Nursing Your Lungs

DAYTONA BEACH -- Big tobacco once filled NASCAR's coffers and supplied much of its marketing muscle.

Now, it's officially banned in the grandstands of one of the sport's most important and iconic tracks.

Daytona International Speedway is putting its smoke-free grandstands rule to the test during this week's races. For the first time, smokers are prohibited from lighting up in seating areas. Instead, they must puff away in nearby designated smoking areas.

So far, tobacco users are taking the new rule in stride, and nonsmoking fans are relieved they won't have to choke on secondhand smoke through an entire three-plus hour race, said Joie Chitwood III, president of Daytona International Speedway.

"I expect everyone is going to follow the rules," Chitwood said. "We were lagging behind in this area. It's the year 2012."


The Speedway asked smokers to voluntarily refrain from lighting up in the stands during Speedweeks in February. Now, the ban is mandatory, and fans can report violators via the Speedway's text-messaging service.

First-time offenders will be warned and told to extinguish their smokes. If they don't, they could be asked to leave, Chitwood said.

That won't be a problem for Dawn Fletcher, a Winter Park woman who is among the many fans adapting to the rule. In the past, she smoked in the stands, but she said she will comply with the ban.

"I don't smoke in my house," she said. "I go outside, so it won't bother me. I'll just go without."

Other fans smoking at the track Friday said they understand why the Speedway would want to prohibit them from lighting up in crowded stands.

With the change, the Speedway became the last professional sporting venue in the state to ban smoking in seating areas, according to track officials. The prohibition marks a change in the sport's approach to tobacco. From 1971 until 2003, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. sponsored NASCAR's top line of races and dubbed the series the Winston Cup. Cigarettes were handed out like Halloween candy during events, and driver Dick Trickle was even once filmed smoking in his car during a caution lap.


Anti-tobacco groups applauded Chitwood for his decision to bar smoking in the grandstands. John W. Walsh, president and co-founder of the COPD Foundation, will present an award to track officials during pre-race ceremonies before today's Coke Zero 400. Walsh's group seeks to raise awareness about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung condition often caused by smoking.

Two years ago, the COPD Foundation started sponsoring the February Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. While the COPD Foundation would like to see smoking banned in all public areas at the track, Walsh said the Speedway's restriction was a step in the right direction.

"It's an incredibly courageous thing to do," he said.

Smokers shouldn't see more changes in the near future, though. Chitwood said he thinks the track has struck a good balance between keeping seating areas smoke free while still giving smokers a place to light up. He doesn't anticipate any further restrictions.

A hookah is a popular device used to inhale tobacco products, but some fear the water pipe can cause health issues.

Using a water pipe to inhale and puff tobacco is considered trendy, but researchers say using a hookah can lead to serious health issues. "From what we have done, the main danger associated with water pipe smoking, it's not very far from those associated with cigarettes," said Dr. Wasim Maziak of Florida International University.

Dr. Maziak spent years studying the dangers of hookahs. In his research, Maziak discovered that levels of carbon monoxide inhaled during an hour-long hookah session can equal that of smoking 100 cigarettes.

Maziak thinks hookahs are more toxic than cigarettes but are just as addictive. "Not only does it contain nicotine," he said, "we have done clinical studies where we have shown that if you abstain from hookah smoking for a while, then you will experience the same withdrawals or cravings that you would see with cigarettes."

According to Maziak, hookah use has become increasingly popular among high school and college students; hookah bars and lounges have popped up in and near college towns and offer nearly every flavor of tobacco on the market.

FIU student Bianca Englar said she tried smoking from a hookah for the first time while in high school. "Everyone else did it, so of course I tried it," she said.

Englar was not a fan of the hookah, however, and said she probably will not try it again. "It wasn't anything special. To me, I didn't really like it," said Englar. "It made me honestly really light-headed, really hot, kinda like smoking a cigarette."


Maziak said with prolonged use, hookah smokers may develop an addiction to nicotine. "A lot of people think it's a safer alternative to cigarettes, but at the same time, it will hook people to nicotine, and it will lead to cigarette smoking and will expose the smokers to a lot of the same kind of toxins that are in cigarette smoke," said Maziak.

Dr. Maziak calls the rampant use of the hookah "a global epidemic" and is hoping new policies will be implemented to raise awareness.


“Moist lips are thrilling lips! Keep them soft, alluring.” So proclaimed a 1936 ad for a novelty cigarette, designed for women. At the time, almost all cigarettes were unfiltered. Companies sometimes added special mouthpieces — called beauty tips, often made of cork — for women. After all, what seductress would want to be seen picking tobacco flecks off her tongue? In the early 1950s, when scientific reports showed just how dangerous smoking could be, tobacco companies scrambled to add mouthpieces to most cigarettes, hiring labs at Dow and DuPont to design them. In 1952, the Kent Micronite came equipped with a filter that sucked particles out of the smoke — “Here’s proof you can see. . . . Kent gives greater protection than any other cigarette,” the ad read. But the Micronite contained asbestos fibers that were far more dangerous than tobacco smoke. Philip Morris promised that an antifreeze chemical (diethylene glycol) in the mouthpiece would take “the FEAR out of smoking.” And DuPont scientists tried to trap harmful particles with new fabrics, including Dacron, the same polyester that allowed for wrinkle-free pantsuits.image

n the 1950s, an RJ Reynolds chemist named Claude Teague developed a filter that turned from white to brown, providing, he felt, comfort to smokers who assumed they were seeing dangerous particles kept from their lungs.


But synthetic fibers in cigarette mouthpieces created new problems. In the 1960s, Philip Morris scientists noticed that mouthpieces shed tiny fibers that could be inhaled into the lungs. The industry called it “fallout.”

Even when filters weren’t toxic, scientists realized that any material that effectively trapped particles also weakened the cigarette’s kick. Today most manufacturers use a method called ventilation to dilute the smoke: the paper wrapper, perforated from end to end by a constellation of tiny holes, pulls in fresh air. But studies have shown that smokers now drag harder to compensate. “It’s like saying you’re going to have the same bowl of ice cream, but you’re going to eat with a very small spoon,” says Bradford Harris, a Stanford graduate student who reviewed industry documents discussing filter problems.

Even now filters don’t make cigarettes safe, though many still come wrapped in paper printed to look like cork — a throwback to that carefree era of inhaling, when the big worry was smeared lipstick.



Robert N. Proctor, a professor of the history of science at Stanford, has served as an expert witness against the tobacco industry. Here he talks about the promises made for filters.

Were filters used to obscure the dangers of cigarettes? Oh, yes. Filters are the deadliest fraud in the history of human civilization. They are put on cigarettes to save on the cost of tobacco and to fool people. They don’t filter at all. In the U.S., 400,000 people a year die from cigarettes — and those cigarettes almost all have filters.

What were some of the most unusual cigarette filters ever designed? There was one with Parmesan cheese in it. Also, Romano.

Why on earth would they put Italian cheeses into filters?Who knows? Philip Morris had this one project where they would wet the cigarettes and let fungal spores grow, hoping the resulting filaments would have some filtering effect.

Karyn Johnson is a 38-year-old woman with a thick Massachusetts accent, a cramped office and a big job. In a city of 31,265 smokers, it’s up to her to get them to quit.

Johnson works for the Worcester Department of Public Health, a working-class city one hour west of Boston. Her task is daunting: With a population of 181,000, its smoking rate is 47 percent higher than the rest of the state.

And yet through her efforts, the city’s teen smoking rate dropped year after year. Then so did her budget. In 1998, the department had about $350,000 to spend on tobacco cessation efforts. Today, Johnson has $135,000.


She is not alone. The recession has battered public health; across the country, local and state health departments have shed 52,200 jobs since 2009.

Despite resources from the stimulus and the Affordable Care Act aiming to bolster the public health workforce, it has about 20 percent fewer workers than it did four years ago. Forty-one percent of local health departments expect to make even more cuts this year, according to the National Association of County and City Health Officials. Johnson, who has worked for the public health department for six years, says these cuts could not come at a worse time. After years of steady declines in teenage tobacco use, new data have shown hints of a backslide.

Back in the early 2000s, five full-time staff members worked on smoking cessation in Worcester. Just last year, there was money enough to go around to all 600 tobacco sellers in the area, to make sure they were complying with city regulations and not selling to teens.

This year, Johnson had the budget to visit 300 stores. The rest, she says, “just didn’t get checked.”


“What’s really frustrating is that we do so much work, updating our policies and making them stronger,” Johnson says, “and then can’t really enforce our policies.”

In a way, Worcester is in the middle of a national experiment in public health spending. It will show what happens when public health infrastructure shrinks just as America’s health problems are getting bigger.

“The big picture is that tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States,” said Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “But there was a combination of fiscal crises, and states choose to do other things than tobacco cessation.”

Teachers and firefighters regularly are cast by politicians as the face of local government; their roles are familiar. Public health officials, by contrast, tend to be behind the scenes, the ones running anti-tobacco ads, inspecting restaurants for compliance with health regulations and monitoring populations for disease outbreaks. It’s their job to make public environments healthier.

When public health departments do their best job, the results are elusive. They cannot tally up disease outbreaks prevented the way firefighters can count fires extinguished. And that can make vying for funds from recession-squeezed budgets a tough battle.


“We don’t have blue lights, red lights, flashing around the city,” said Derek Brindisi, Worcester’s public health director. “We’re all behind the scenes, so we can become less of a priority.”

Big gains, eroded

Of all the work American public health departments have done in the past century, smoking cessation is easily their proudest success. A concerted policy effort from local, state and federal agencies dramatically reduced American smoking rates over the course of decades.

Interventions were set in motion in the mid-1960s after the surgeon general first warned of nicotine’s harmful effects. The federal government added warning labels to cigarette packages, followed by a ban on television ads for tobacco in 1969. Arizona, four years later, became the first state to ban smoking in many outdoor places. Nearly 3,500 cities have followed suit.

Public health departments successfully pushed for high cigarette taxes and the average, inflation-adjusted price for a pack of cigarettes increased from $1.80 to $4.15 between 1955 and 2008. They saw results: The American smoking rate fell by half between 1955 and 2008, from 43 percent to 20 percent.


Study after study has found that public health work to combat smoking — providing assistance with quitting, restrictions on public smoking and advertising on the harmful effects of nicotine — is especially effective in reducing youth smoking rates. For public health workers, that’s a key demographic: More than 80 percent of adult smokers begin by age 18.

Recent economic downturns have hit smoking cessation budgets, and public health spending in general, hard. Among state health agencies, 89 percent scaled back the services they offer between 2008 and 2010. During that same time, national spending on smoking cessation dropped by 20 percent, mirroring similar cuts made during the recession in the early 2000s.

Funding for tobacco cessation is falling even as the data suggest the problem is as persistent as ever. While cigarette use among teens has declined, on average, by 2 percent a year, use of other tobacco products, such as cigars and smokeless tobacco, has increased.



“Following a sharp decline in use since the late 1990s, the prevalence of current smokeless tobacco use began to rise sharply in 2003 and has continued to rise since,” the Obama administration concluded in the most recent surgeon general’s report, issued in March.

If the declines in youth tobacco use during the 1990s had continued, the Centers for Disease Control estimates, 3 million fewer teens would be smokers.

“The 20th century was the cigarette century,” said Gregory Connolly,who directs Harvard’s Center for Global Tobacco Control. “What’s frightening about the 21st century is it’s the tobacco century. Companies have a total tobacco approach. We may see lower cigarette consumption offset by the use of other forms of tobacco.”

‘Such an uphill battle’

In 1998, Massachusetts had one of the country’s biggest tobacco cessation budgets, spending $39 million in state and federal dollars — second only to California. Massachusetts has some of the most stringent restrictions on smoking in public places.


Cuts made during the past two recessions, in the early and then the late 2000s, have changed that. By 2010, combined state and federal spending on smoking cessation in Massachusetts had fallen to $6.8 million, about 17 percent of the 1998 budget. Massachusetts now ranks 35th in its spending. Overall public health spending has dropped, since 2006, by 14 percent.

In Worcester, that means no more nicotine patch handouts; Worcester’s last was in 2008. There are fewer checks to make sure tobacco retailers are complying with regulations, and less resources to push back if they aren’t.

Lately, Johnson has seen a wave of non-cigarette products coming to market. She collects the ones she finds in a red plastic bag in her office. Some are in brightly colored tins that look like they might contain mints. Others are small cigars, called cigarillos, that have fruity flavors and sell for 59 cents. These products tend to be taxed at 5 to 10 percent of the rate for cigarettes.

“There’s a lot of people trying to do good policy work, but it seems like every time we get a handle on the products out there, it changes,” Johnson said. “We ban blunt wraps, and describe them as ‘brown paper’ in the city ordinance, and all of a sudden there are green blunt wraps.”


As in the rest of the nation, use of these products among the young has been on the rise in Massachusetts, from 13 percent of teens in 2002 to 17.6 percent in 2009.

In Worcester, 21 percent of teens use some kind of tobacco product, cigarette or otherwise. With the adult and youth smoking rates nearly identical, the number is unlikely to bend downward.

“It’s definitely alarming, because we’re putting all this energy into protecting youth from cigarettes and they’re just using different products,” Johnson said. “We’re trying to bend the adult smoking rate down from 22 percent but youth are at 21 percent. This is just such an uphill battle.”


Trying new approaches

With Massachusetts’ spending on tobacco cessation down, it’s looked to other ways to tackle the issue. “Our policies continue to create an environment where the norm is not smoking,” Massachusetts Public Health Department director John Auerbach said. “The combination of good state policy and federal money, with the health-care reform impact, it’s made it easier for us to continue this downward trend.”

Federal funds have patched some budget holes: The state has kept its tobacco quit line open with hundreds of thousands of dollars from the health reform law’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, a $15 billion federal commitment to preventive health care.

The quit line is among a handful in the country that is “proactive,” meaning that quit-line workers will, after being flagged by a doctor, reach out to a smoker.

Local hospitals have begun to ban smoking on their campuses. In 2010, Massachusetts became the first state to require Medicaid to cover a wide range of smoking cessation products. It has shown immediate returns: Each dollar invested in that program has returned $3.12 in savings from reductions in cardiovascular-related hospital admissions, according an analysis by George Washington University.


The state does still, however, run into obstacles. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) proposed a $1.7 million increase in tobacco cessation spending this year. It would have included $500,000 for local teen smoking prevention.

The Massachusetts’ legislature rejected the extra funding. A dollar tax increase on tobacco products also was left on the cutting-room floor.

Johnson has joined forces with 18 smaller cities near Worcester. Collectively, their budget is the same as Worcester’s in 1998. They meet regularly, develop policies together and pool resources for store compliance checks.

In May, Johnson got some good news: Her budget would grow in 2013, enough to once again cover an annual check of every tobacco seller.

It feels like a small victory for a department that touches every life, but often completely out of view.

“I have this idea of coming up with a video of what cities used to be like in the 1900s just to show what a big impact public health departments have had,” Brindisi said. “Sometimes, I feel like we should just get a helicopter so people know we’re here.”

One of the most effective quit tools in my quit tool box is this Know Your Enemy Series of Articles. It works to keep my EYES WIDE OPEN to the truth about Tobacco and Nicotine Addiction. Here's some really great articles I found this morning....

(CBS News) Teenagers aged 13 to 17 are more likely to start smoking cigarettes or weed on an average day in June and July than any other month in the year, according to study results released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).


An average of 5,000 youth start smoking cigarettes each day for the first time during the two summer months, compared to about 3,000 to 4,000 a day during the rest of the year. About 4,500 teens used marijuana for the first time each day in June and July. Average levels range from 3,000 to 4,000 kids a day the rest of the year.

Report: Frequent marijuana smoking up 80 percent among teens 
Study: Teens brains' may predispose them to drug abuse, impulsive behavior 
Will home drug tests help kids say no to pot on 4/20?

"More free time and less adult supervision can make the summertime an exciting time for many young people, but it can also increase the likelihood of exposure to the dangers of substance abuse," SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde said in the press release. "That is why it is critically important to take every opportunity we can throughout the year to talk to our young people about the real risks of substance abuse and effective measures for avoiding it, so they will be informed and capable of making the right decisions on their own."



First alcohol use also increased to more than 11,000 adolescents a day in June and July - with similar levels in December. The number is even sometimes twice as much as the 5,000 to 8,000 teens who start drinking on any average day in the year.


Deni Carise, chief clinical officer at Phoenix House, an addiction research and policy expert, said to HealthPop that the statistics should serve as a warning for parents, especially since so many teens are out of school during the summer months, Carise said that while it can't be said that smoking leads to drug use, her work has shown that people who abuse drugs have also tried tobacco at one point. There is research to support and deny that marijuana is a gateway drug, but the fact that drinking and smoking on their own can be a destructive behavior is what is most important.


"Alcohol in and of itself is a problem, and there's no doubt that marijuana is a drug can that change how a brain functions," she explained. "We know that the brain isn't developed until 25 years of age, so when someone takes mind altering drugs while the frontal lobe of the brain is developing you don't know what it's doing to that development."


There's no denying that once a teen starts experimenting with drugs, they may be open to trying other things. Carise has seen an increase in teens who, within six months of the first time they start abusing abusing prescription opiates (like oxycotin), start using heroin


Carise suggested that four steps need to be taken in order to stop teens from developing a life of drug abuse. First, parents need to be cognizant that their children have more free time and increase activities during the summer months, as well as have more discussions about the harmful effects of drugs. They should also take care to hide prescription medications. Community programs thatkeep kids busy and offer alternative activities can also help.


Carise also believes that if anti-drug media campaigns and awareness were increased in June and July, they would have a better effect. She said that the campaigns should be targeted toward the teen who had never tried drugs before.


Finally, Carise said that law enforcement should increase their efforts to crack down on underage tobacco and alcohol sales. Many young people pick up jobs at local grocery stores or corner stores, and she pointed out that they may be more likely to sell these products to their peers.


"A certain percentage of people who try drugs are going to get addicted," she said. "The more people who try drugs, the more people get addicted."

While secondhand smoke exposure has been eliminated in most in public spaces, children are still at risk for developing serious health problems when their parents smoke in the home.

With a $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Temple University public health professors Stephen Lepore and Bradley Collins are leading an innovative program throughout Philadelphia beginning this fall that will tackle the issue in pediatrician's offices and follow up with intensive counseling by behavioral health counselors to help parents quit smoking.

Secondhand smoke exposure in children causes ear infections, more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath, respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and increases risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It’s also been associated with increased risk of cancers, cardiovascular disease, and behavior problems.


Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke because they haven’t fully developed physically, have higher breathing rates than adults, and have little control over their indoor environments. Collins and Lepore’s program targets medically-underserved communities.

“Children in these communities have the highest risk of suffering from second hand smoke-related diseases and health problems. Their parents often experience significant stressors in their lives and encounter many challenges accessing resources to help them quit,” said Collins, an associate professor in public health and pediatrics and director of Temple’s Health Behavior Research Clinic.

This summer, Collins and Lepore are working with the three major primary pediatric care systems in Philadelphia for the study: Temple Pediatric Care, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

The goal is to boost providers’ adherence to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ practice guidelines for addressing children’s tobacco exposure by including prompts in the electronic medical systems that will remind providers to ask and advise parents about child’s exposure to tobacco. These systems will also automatically fax provider referrals to the smoking cessation counseling program.


“This approach has not been tested before, and could become a national model for reducing children’s exposure to parental tobacco smoke in the home,” said Lepore, a professor of public health and the public health PhD program director. “The pediatrician can refer parents to free counseling services. We want this to become routine, like getting any other vital sign, such as blood pressure, checked.”

About 500 people will be enrolled in the randomized, controlled study. All participants will receive information on smoking and exposure during their clinic visit. Then, a random portion of the group will receive a 12-week smoking cessation program comprising a home visit, telephone counseling and assistance in finding nearby free services.

The counseling will address participants’ addiction and let them know about pharmacological options such as the patch and gum, said Lepore.

“Research has shown that advice from a healthcare provider can increase smokers’ motivation to quit, but alone is not enough to promote long-term smoking cessation,” said Collins. “Our multi-level intervention integrates intensive behavioral counseling with provider advice and follow-up -- an approach that should improve quit rates in this high risk population.”

Other participants who are part of the attention control group will receive nutrition counseling to improve their family’s health. The approach will allow researchers to determine the effectiveness of the quit smoking counseling program.


All participants will be assessed before the program, at the end of three months of intervention and at a 12-month follow up. Researchers will find out if the parents receiving smoking counseling have higher quit rates and children with lower urine cotinine, a biomarker of exposure to tobacco smoke, than parents in the control.

Even after the 5-year study is complete, the program will be sustainable in the clinics, and many ongoing counseling programs in the community are free, said Lepore.

“Once parents fully realize they have the ability to reduce harm to their child by eliminating secondhand smoke exposure, they’ll have greater motivation to modify their smoking,” Collins said. “The ultimate goal of the program is to get parents to quit and stay quit. The counseling will help parents build skills to manage their urges to smoke and to establish a smoke-free lifestyle.”

Lepore and Collins’ project is just one of many Temple Public Health projects addressing cancer prevention, control, and survivorship. Lepore also researches online support groups for breast cancer survivors and prostate cancer screening in black men. Collins is working with colleagues, such as Freda Patterson, assistant professor of public health, on research that promotes physical activity to help people quit smoking.


Other cancer control researchers in Public Health include Tom Gordon, a professor of public health, and Sarah Bass, an associate professor of public health and director of the undergraduate program in public health, who have studied how to improve low colorectal cancer screening rates among African Americans. Jennifer Ibrahim, an associate professor in public health and associate director of Public Health Law Research program, examines the impact of tobacco policy.

Collins and Lepore’s collaborators on their NIH grant include: Beth Moughan, MD and David Fleece, MD, Temple Pediatric Care; Daniel Taylor, DO, FAAP, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children; Tyra Bryant-Stephens, MD, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; and Jonathan Winickoff, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital.

An electronic cigarette was to blame for a terror alert that closed the M6 toll road for more than four hours yesterday.


Bomb disposal experts and counter-terrorism officers were scrambled to the motorway near Lichfield after a passenger on the Megabus service from Preston to London reported seeing vapour coming from a man's bag at around 8am.


The 48 passengers, including at least one young boy, were led from the coach and walked about 300 yards to a cordoned-off area on a closed carriageway. Witnesses described how they came off the coach "one by one holding their arms up" to prove they were not armed. They were then surrounded by officers and searched.




Initial reports suggested that a passenger had been spotted pouring liquid into a bag, which was giving off fumes. Officers trained for chemical, biological and nuclear attacks were sent to the site and decontamination units were set up as part of the pre-prepared response to a major incident.


The closure caused long tailbacks and delays, with both carriageways closed for more than four hours. Nick Jones, who was stopped on the motorway for more than an hour and a half, said that police warned him to stay in his car, keep his windows closed and not to use air conditioning. "I was beginning to feel a little uneasy," he told the BBC. "I was beginning to look around for an escape route."




Police later confirmed there was no terror threat. "The information received concerned a report of vapour escaping from a bag which on investigation turned out to be a health improvement aid for smokers," said a Staffordshire Police spokeswoman.


"We can now confirm that, whilst this was a genuine security alert, the significant concerns reported to us were unfounded."


The operation was mounted amid heightened concerns of a terrorist attack in the run-up to the Olympics and Paralympics.


Armed Response Unit: Marksmen arrive in an Audi A6. Inside, a locker holds firearms – from Heckler & Koch pistols to Tasers. Propped against a marked vehicle is a bullet-proof shield.


Decontamination tent: Part of the Incident Response Unit, this shower tent is used to clear contaminants. Each one can process 150 people an hour and each unit carries two facilities.


Incident Response Units: Designed for chemical, biological or nuclear attacks, these trucks carry yellow crates, unloaded with a forklift, containing decontamination equipment.




Passenger pen:


Standard protocol meant that passengers had to walk slowly and individually from the bus while surrounded by armed officers, then sit in rows in a taped-off square.


Royal Logistic Corps Bomb Disposal truck: These carry remote-controlled robots used to probe suspicious packages. The "Bomb Disposal" signs can be taken off so as not to cause alarm.


Major incident response: The phone call from the coach driver led to at least two police forces, two fire brigades and a military unit being involved – an estimated 200 personnel.


AN orang-utan is being sent to rehab for smoking after getting hooked on butts visitors have been throwing into her cage for years.

Tori the orang-utan started smoking 10 years ago after imitating the behaviour of visitors puffing away at Taru Jurug zoo in Solo, Java, the Jakarta Globe reported.

Now, when a craving strikes, she holds two fingers to her mouth and becomes irritated when she cannot get her fix.

Her partner Didik disapproves of the habit and stamps out the cigarettes whenever possible. But the zoo has been forced to the extra step of moving the pair away from human smokers.

Spokesman for the Borneo-based Center for Orang-utan Protection, Hardi Baktiantoro, said the orang-utans would be moved to a small island in the middle of a lake where the large trees and rope swings would help distract her and break her addiction.

"Orang-utans and humans have 97 per cent similarity, so Tori imitated human behaviour," Mr Baktiantoro said.

"It is very common in Indonesian zoos for people to throw cigarettes or food [at animals] even though there are signs to not feed or give cigarettes.

It happens all the time. [In Tori's case], people will throw cigarettes in, watch her smoke, start laughing and take pictures."

The orang-utan’s parents were also smokers and many more of the apes in the zoo are hooked, Mr Baktiantoro said.

Time-lapse photography has shown that embryos of smoking women develop more slowly.

French academics in an IVF clinic took regular pictures of an egg from the moment it was fertilised until it was ready to be implanted into the mother.

At all stages of development, embryos from smokers were consistently a couple of hours behind, a study showed.

The lead researcher, from Nantes University Hospital, said: "You want a baby, quit smoking".

Smoking is known to reduce the chances of having a child. It is why some hospitals in the UK ask couples to give up smoking before they are given fertility treatment.

As eggs fertilised through IVF initially develop in the laboratory before being implanted, it gave doctors a unique opportunity to film the embryos as they divide into more and more cells.

Human embryo at 8-cell stage

Smoker's embryos took 62 hours to reach the eight-cell stage, compared to 58 hours in non-smokers

Slow start

Researchers watched 868 embryos develop - 139 from smokers.

   Continue reading the main story  

Start Quote


It allows scientists to watch in real time how embryos develop without disturbing them”

   Dr Allan Pacey University of Sheffield

In the clinic the embryos of non-smokers reached the five-cell stage after 49 hours. In the smokers it took 50 hours. The eight-cell stage took 62 hours in smokers' embryos, while non-smokers' embryos reached that point after 58 hours.

Senior embryologist and lead researcher, Dr Thomas Freour, told the BBC: "Embryos from smoking women, they behave slower, there is a delay in their development.

"On average it is about two hours, it is significant and nobody knew that before."

This study cannot say what impact the slower development has, or if this affected the chances of having a child.

Dr Freour speculated that "if they go slower, maybe something is starting to go wrong and they wouldn't implant."


His advice was simple: "You should quit smoking, it couldn't be easier. What else can I say? You want a baby, quit smoking."

Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology at the University of Sheffield, said it was an "interesting" study which pioneered the use of new technology.

"It uses a fancy piece of equipment called an embryoscope which allows scientists to watch in real time how embryos develop without disturbing them.

"It's early days for this machine but we need trials like this to test its potential, we know our current methods of embryo selection are based on what looks good down the microscope to a trained eye."

The findings were presented at the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) meeting in Turkey.

The American Medical Association, the largest group of physicians in the country, took aim at cigar-smoking among youth at its annual meeting last month.

In a press release, it noted "Cigars are being marketed to youth in a range of attractive flavors like candy, alcohol, fruit and chocolate. Cigar smoking is the second most common form of tobacco use among youth, and each day almost 3,000 children under 18 years old try cigar smoking for the first time."

In reaction, the AMA passed policy to block legislation that would exempt flavored cigars from Food and Drug Administration oversight.

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With the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act behind us, we will need to focus on its implementation and how our health care dollars are best used. The act promises to renew efforts to promote lifestyle and behavioral change and wellness programs like smoking cessation. When it comes to health care and smoking, however, we are facing a crossroads and need to carefully consider the best way to move forward.

The public health campaign against tobacco products reduced smoking rates by one-half over the 40 years between 1965 and 2004, from 42.4 percent of Americans over 18 years old to 20.9 percent. Since then, however, the smoking rate has held steady nationwide, at about 19 percent, proving more stubborn and resistant to decrease.

Under the pressure of stalled progress, the smoking cessation community is splintering into different and not always harmonious camps. These four approaches are: standard public health, harm reduction, cold turkey and clinical, and they have competing visions for how best to spend scarce public health dollars allocated to encourage and help smokers quit.

The current standard public health approach to help smokers is to provide free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) through telephone call centers or "quitlines." However, recent studies have highlighted the limits of giving out nicotine patches and gum as a stand-alone approach, even when it includes minimal telephone counseling. NRT does what it does well: easing the physical symptoms of quitting when they are present. However, it was never designed to be a complete cure-all or to bear the entire burden of quitting, especially for hard-core smokers. Clearly, many smokers who struggle to quit need more than NRT alone, but what?

"Harm reductionists" assert that people who can't quit on their own, or with presumed "ineffective" methods such as NRT, should be encouraged to switch to less risky tobacco products like smokeless tobacco (ST) or other smokeless products such as e-cigarettes. Unlike NRT, these products are not subject to safety or quality control standards, which puts health care clinicians ("first do no harm") who might want to recommend them in an ethical bind.

The tobacco industry has been busy buying up smokeless tobacco and e-cigarette distributors and is finding a new lease on life by joining with the harm reduction camp. Unfortunately, smokeless tobacco products were found in a longitudinal U.S. study to not, in fact, promote smoking cessation. Instead, recent research shows, ST can serve as a "gateway" to smoking for many more people, especially young people, rather than serve as a withdrawal or "harm reduction" mechanism for cigarettes!

Harm reduction presents the taxpayer with an approach that is self-funded by smokers who also bear all the risks. It is outside the purview of the public health and health care delivery system and squarely in the private sector. The bad news is it will likely create many "dual users" who are cigarette smokers who also use ST.


The cold turkey camp, in contrast, is committed to freedom from all forms of nicotine, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and NRT. It believes that NRT has been oversold and can even have a harmful effect on smokers by convincing them that it is the patches and gum that are primarily responsible for their ability to quit, and not their own efforts and acts of self-agency. The cold turkey camp maintains, correctly, that most smokers quit on their own, without any medical or clinical help. Since the 45 million who smoke in the U.S. are now outnumbered by former smokers, there is reason for their optimism.

But clearly all smokers are not alike: Some quit on their own relatively easily and others struggle for years, further harming their health. Some say quitting was the hardest thing they have ever done, and others despair of quitting altogether.

Despite the struggles that hard-core smokers face, cold turkey advocates believe that scarce public health funding should be redirected away from clinical efforts for individual smokers. Instead, they maintain, funding should continue to be aimed at large-scale, counter-marketing efforts and other forms of motivational public health messaging such as graphic pack warnings and smoke-free public places to encourage more self-quitting. These strategies, which have always been part of a successful public health approach, create a demand for smoking cessation services, which economically hard-pressed health care systems are in no position to fulfill. Without designated funding for clinical services, some of those who are still smoking will be left struggling to quit on their own.


The last camp is composed of health care clinicians who want to help smokers with smoking-caused medical and dental problems quit. For clinicians, smoking dependence often presents as a significant problem which it makes no clinical sense to ignore.

As a smoking cessation treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be far more effective than just offering NRT by itself or paired with brief structured or motivational interventions. However, struggling smokers are not routinely offered expert clinical services even in designated cancer centers, where patients who continue to smoke double their chance of having a second tumor.

From the viewpoint of the clinical camp, it especially makes sense to target medically- and psychiatrically-ill smokers, who are already high users of health care services. The effect is comparable to deploying extra police power in a high crime zone, which is likely to provide much greater returns in terms of public safety than keeping a smaller, more even police presence across all neighborhoods.

An advantage of the clinical approach is its targeted investment of health care dollars and its humane treatment of addicted smokers as individuals in need of expert outside help. The bad news is it requires an upfront investment. An investment in quitting smoking, however, has been shown to be a gift that keeps giving. For example, recent research has found quitting leads to greater levels of being physically active, greater levels of daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, and to reverse cognitive decline in middle age male smokers.

Quitting smoking, even later in life, is associated with greater independence, a longer active life span, less disability and fewer doctor's visits. Despite all the differences people may have about how to get there, one thing is clear: Quitting smoking produces a good return on investment indeed.

I have got to quit. A guy at work who I'd say is around 55 has COPD. There are a few different illnesses that fall under that category. The way he described it, it sounds like emphysema. But he still smokes. He told me to quit before I ended up like him. 

I'm 39 and I've smoked since I was 16. I've smoked 1.5 packs a day for a long time now. I have a bit of a cough here and there and sometimes I get a little phlegm. I can also tell that my lung capacity is not what it used to be. 

A lot of people who have a mental illness smoke. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the medication. Maybe tobacco helps ease symptoms. Maybe it's a bit of both. Anyway... 

I have got to quit.

  Even brief exposure to tobacco smoke causes immediate harm to the body, damaging cells and inflaming tissue in ways that can lead to serious illness and death, according to the U.S. Surgeon General's new report on tobacco, the first such report in four years.

While the report, out today, focuses on the medical effects of smoke on the body, it also sheds light on why cigarettes are so addictive: They are designed to deliver nicotine more quickly and more efficiently than cigarettes did decades ago.


Every exposure to tobacco, from occasional smoking or secondhand smoke, can damage DNA in ways that lead to cancer.

"Tobacco smoke damages almost every organ in your body," says Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. In someone with underlying heart disease, she says, "One cigarette can cause a heart attack."


About 40 million Americans smoke — 20% of adults and older teens. Tobacco kills more than 443,000 a year, says the 700-page report, written with contributions from 64 experts.

Cigarette smoking costs the country more than $193 billion a year in health care costs and lost productivity.

Recent changes in the design and ingredients in cigarettes have made them more likely to hook first-time users and keep older smokers coming back, Benjamin says. Changes include:

•Ammonia added to tobacco, which converts nicotine into a form that gets to the brain faster.

•Filter holes that allow people to inhale smoke more deeply into the lungs.


•Sugar and "moisture enhancers" to reduce the burning sensation of smoking, making it more pleasant, especially for new cigarette users.

"This is the first report that demonstrates that the industry has consciously redesigned tobacco products in ways that make them even more attractive to young people," says Matthew Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Good Morning!

My name is Thomas and I have 839 Days of FREEDOM! You can read my story in the Blog Beating the Odds:

Today I want to share my Know Your Enemy Series. These are contemporary news articles that help me (and I hope you) to fortify my Quit Resolve and Know my Enemy for what it is. If you find something useful and want to read more just click on my picture and read the dozens of news articles embedded in my Blogs!

Have a Great Smoke FREE Day!

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! 



Have you ever wondered what might make a difference in having a successful Quit Journey? Perhaps you've already attempted several times to quit and time after time relapsed without even understanding WHY! Here's something that I credit with my SUCCESS in Quitting for LIFE! I hope you will consider the POWER of this suggestion and add this very effective quit smoking tool to your tool box! You deserve to LIVE Smoke FREE! 




The Power of Affirmation

Affirmations are positive statements that describe a desired situation, and which are repeated many times, in order to impress the subconscious mind and trigger it into positive action. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the affirmation, they must be repeated with attention, conviction, interest, and desire.

Imagine that you are swimming with your Friends in a swimming pool. They swim fifteen rounds, something you have never done before, and as you want to win their respect, you want to show them that you can make it, too. You start swimming, and at the same time, keep repeating in your mind, "I can do it, I can do it...". You keep thinking and believing that you are going to complete the fifteen rounds. What are you actually doing? You are repeating positive affirmations. 

Most people repeat in their minds negative words and statements concerning the situations and events in their lives, and consequently, create undesirable situations. Words and statements work both ways, to build or to destroy. It's the way we use them that determines whether they are going to bring good or harmful results.

Often, people repeat negative statements in their minds, without even being aware of what they are doing. Do you keep thinking and telling yourself that you cannot do something, you are too lazy, lack inner strength, or that you are going to fail? Your subconscious mind accepts as true what you keep saying, and eventually attracts corresponding events and situations into your life, irrespective whether they are good or bad for you, so why not choose only positive statements?

Affirmations program the mind in the same way that commands and scripts program a computer. The repeated words help you to focus your mind on your aim, and automatically build corresponding mental images in the conscious mind, which affect the subconscious mind, in a similar manner to creative visualization.  The conscious mind, the mind you think with, starts this process, and then the subconscious mind takes charge. By using this process consciously and intently, you can affect your subconscious mind, and thereby transform your habits, behavior, mental attitude, and reactions, and even reshape your external life!

Sometimes, results appear quickly, but often more time is required. Depending on your goal, sometimes, you might attain immediate results, and at other times, it might take days, weeks, months, or more. Getting results depends on several factors, such as the time, focus, faith, and feelings you invest in repeating your affirmations, on the strength of your desire, and on how BIG or small is your goal. 

It is important to understand that repeating positive affirmations for a few minutes, and then thinking negatively the rest of the day, neutralizes the effects of the positive words. You have to refuse to think negative thoughts, if you wish to attain positive results. Make yourself a timeout signal with your hand ( perhaps crossing your thumb onto your palm.) This simple gesture will put the breaks on the negative thought. Then, immediately and fervently say the contradictory affirmation. At first, it takes practice to even notice that negative voice, then to practice the counter action, but soon there becomes fewer and fewer incidents of negative messages and more and more habitual repeat affirmations in your stream of consciousness. 

The power of affirmation can help you to transform your life. By stating what you want to be true in your life, you mentally and emotionally see and feel it as true, irrespective of your current circumstances, and thereby attract it into your life.

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