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Dangers of Smoking Label

The FDA’s 9 New Cigarette Health Warnings

September 22, 2012 marks a monumental change in the appearance of cigarette packaging in the United States.

At this time, new warning labels must appear on all cigarette packs. Each warning targets a specific danger of smoking with a graphic color image that communicates the intent of the warning. There were 9 significant warnings decided upon out of the initial 36 proposed in November 2010 when the label revamping ruling selection began. Part of the process included a time of evaluating public comments.

On September 22, 2012 big tobacco manufacturers will no longer be able to distribute cigarettes in the United States unless their package designs display the one of the 9 warning labels.

Graphic Incentives to Quit Smoking

New FDA Cigarette Package Warning LabelThe final selection of 9 FDA cigarette warning labels hope to target youth smokers making them more aware to empower them to never start smoking. The labels also increase awareness of the some of the health risks and diseases related to smoking by providing a graphic incentive to appeal to smokers to get them to quit.

Since research suggests that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol and that the frequency of smoking is often what prevents people from quitting, a strong intent behind these graphic labels is that perhaps each time someone picks up a pack, the image could put them over the edge into the say no or quit category.

The 9 cigarette label warnings cover these concerns:

  1. Cigarettes are addictive.
  2. Tobacco smoke can harm your children.
  3. Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease.
  4. Cigarettes cause cancer.
  5. Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease.
  6. Smoking during pregnancy can harm your baby.
  7. Smoking can kill you.
  8. Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers.
  9. Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.

Along with each of the warnings are corresponding smoking facts that give smokers a lot to think about.

Not Soon Enough for Many

We can’t help but think how many lives would have been different had smokers truly been informed of the dangers of inhaling tobacco smoke before they picked up their habit or exposed others to the toxic fumes. I think only those with a death wish would have started smoking or exposed their loved ones.

Just recently, we received this heartbreaking letter from a caregiver taking care of a parent who developed serious health problems brought on from smoking and died a horrible death. Should we all have the choice of a better quality of life?

Smoking Killed my Mom: 4 Years As A Caregiver

FDA Warning LabelThere are no words to express fully express our condolences to the author of this letter. For their privacy we are not including their name, but the content is published in its unedited form:

Thank you so much for taking the time to express your condolences. I am devastated by the loss of my mother, and I am not handling her death well at all. The fact that it was so senseless makes it that much harder to bear. The fact that she suffered so needlessly…

She had gangrene in her little toe. That’s how it all started. She needed surgery to unblock her right carotid artery. It was discovered that her circulation was completely blocked from her right hip to her foot. The surgeons unblocked the arteries and put stents in. Her toe even healed, but she wouldn’t quit smoking. When she started showing signs of the same problem, I made her quit. We got into huge arguments, but it was already too late. They ended up amputating the entire front of her right foot.

Every day, I had to change her bandage at least twice. I had to flush this gaping, horrific wound, put antibiotic cream over it, then re-wrap it in clean gauze. Every night, I had to listen to her beg me for more pain medication that I could not give her. After three months of hell, the doctors amputated her right leg below the knee. This wound healed, but her independence had been seriously compromised forever. Her ability to breathe was rapidly deteriorating as well.

StethoscopeNear the end of March 2010, she said she needed to go to the hospital because she couldn’t breathe. Five minutes more, and they would have had to intubate her. They put her on steroids to help reduce the inflammation in her seriously damaged lungs. A few days later, they did a bronchoscopy and suctioned a bunch of crap out of her lungs. She was sent to a nursing home to recoup. The steroids raised her blood sugar and made insulin necessary. They also caused her to gain a significant amount of weight, which further hindered her ability to breathe.

Right before she was due to come home, the nursing home sent her to the ER. When my best friend and I arrived, she wasn’t in any distress. Mom really wasn’t sure why they had sent her at all. Unfortunately, sitting on the gurney for so long caused a massive cramp in her hip. She went into respiratory distress and deteriorated rapidly. She wound up staying in the hospital for a week. That’s when her doctor called and told me that there was no way I would be able to handle her care on my own anymore. He ordered her to be placed in a nursing home. You don’t even want to know the hell that the two of us went through with that place. She had pneumonia in December of 2010. When she had sufficiently recovered, they had to amputate her left leg below the knee as well.

The Saturday before she died (she died the week of Easter Sunday), I went to pick up her laundry as usual. She was sleeping, but very restless. She cried out in pain and sat straight up in bed. I asked her if she was okay. She said yes. I asked her why she hadn’t eaten any of her dinner yet (her tray was untouched, unusual for her). She picked up her fork and started pushing the food around. “I’ve been eating” she said. I went to fill her pitcher with fresh ice water. I came back and she was sound asleep again.

I asked the two aides in the room how long she had been like this. They shrugged and said, “She’s been making those funny noises all day.” I explained to them that only once in a while was normal and that they should be a ‘tad more concerned’ (I was being very sarcastic, of course). I went out into the hall to speak with the nurse, who informed me that Mom had been complaining of pain in her right hip, so they gave her (insert name of a narcotic pain pill here). I shook my head ‘no’, and told the nurse that the only pain reliever her doctor had ever approved was regular-strength Tylenol. Narcotic pain pills suppress the breathing too much in people with COPD. She said that’s what the doctor had ordered. Turns out it wasn’t her doctor, but the doctor on call.

Symbol for No SmokingTuesday morning at 6:30 a.m., the phone rings. Mom’s eyes were open, but she was non-responsive. By the time my brother and I reached the hospital she was already gone. To have to see her laying on that gurney just about killed me. I honest to god don’t think I’m going to get through this. I am beyond furious that these companies can literally get away with murder. Nobody you love should have to die the way my mother did. I did everything in my power to make her well. I failed. I don’t think I can live with that, especially since I’m about to lose our house and everything my family ever owned. I am terrified out of my wits. Sorry this is so long…I just needed to talk. There’s so much that I left out of this…so much more. Never have I known a hell like what we had to go through. It just isn’t right.

It is our hopes that you will pass on this article on to others who are enticed to smoke, or your loved ones who do. Sometimes a wake up call like this true story can make a huge difference.

Trial Tech Smokes Out Big Tobacco

Senior counsel Sharon Eubanks, a 22-year veteran attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, quit her job on the cusp of the most significant legal victory of her career.

She left in December 2005, just eight months before a judge would decide the huge tobacco case she had devoted six years to prosecuting.

She was not the only lawyer to leave a Justice post abruptly, citing interference from politicians in the Bush administration.

Echoes of Eubanks’ allegations reverberated in this the scandal involving accusations that Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and his top deputies fired nine U.S. attorneys for failing to follow the administration’s political line.

Gonzales has apologized for the manner in which the attorneys were fired, but insists that “nothing improper occurred,” according to CNN.

Big Tobacco ImageEubanks’ decision to leave such a high-profile case could not have been easy. She led the largest civil racketeering and conspiracy case in U.S. history: United States of America v. Philip Morris Inc. et al. (Civil No. 99-CV-02496).

The massive litigation included three years of discovery and trial preparations. Both parties processed millions of documents and generated thousands of exhibits, including complex animations.

The government pursued six tobacco companies, alleging a 50-year conspiracy to addict smokers and lie about the dangers of cigarettes. The Justice Department filed the lawsuit on Sept. 22, 1999, accusing the companies of violating sections of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Defendants denied they concealed any information they had a duty to reveal.

Eubanks’ team pursued the defendants vigorously — until a White House directive demanded that she change course, forcing her team to abruptly reduce its financial demand from $130 billion to $10 billion, she says. This, and other micromanagement from above, caused her to seek refuge in retirement, Eubanks explains.

After she left, co-counsel Stephen Brody, then deputy director, took the helm. About 15 additional litigators presented oral arguments in court, and a total of 35 Justice Department attorneys supported the case, Brody recalls.

Defendants included:

  • Philip Morris, Inc.
  • Liggett Group Inc.
  • R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.
  • Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.
  • Lorillard Tobacco Co. Inc.
  • American Tobacco Co.

The defense team of about 300 attorneys included Thomas Frederick of Chicago-based Winston & Strawn as Philip Morris’ lead counsel.

Key defense players included:

  • Winston & Strawn partners Dan Webb and Kevin Narko
  • Theodore Wells Jr., of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

The Trial

The bench trial began on Sept. 21, 2004, before Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. To expedite the process, Kessler had created a pretrial timeline. She set a July 2003 deadline to perform discovery; trial preparations could continue until September 2004. Without strict structure, Kessler feared the case, in which the American public had an important interest, would drag on indefinitely, she says in her timeline outline.

The trial lasted 29 weeks, and involved 85 live witnesses as well as prior testimony from 162 witnesses. During the trial, more than 14,000 exhibits were presented.

Animation was a critical component of Justice’s presentation. For the five months leading up to trial, Eubanks, Brody, and several of their expert witnesses worked to create exhibits on smoking, basic respiration and other matters with Denver-based trial exhibits company Z-Axis, led by CEO Alan Triebitz.

Perhaps the most compelling of the animations was the depiction of a smoker. In cartoon fashion, a transparent body inhales a cigarette. Through the exhibit, Kessler witnessed the effects (as asserted by the prosecution) of smoking on the body, Triebitz explains.

Expert witness Dr. Jonathan Samet, an epidemiologist from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, narrated the animations. Within nine seconds of inhalation, the pleasurable stimulation of nicotine reaches the brain, he explained in his testimony. As he spoke, the animation showed how the chemicals in cigarettes interact with nerves. On the way to the brain, the smoke deposits tar and carbon monoxide in the lungs and into the bloodstream, he continued, while the exhibit depicted his narrative.

Other interactive exhibits emphasized statistics and research, Eubanks says. More Americans have died from smoking than every U.S. war combined, testified biostatistician Dr. Timothy Wyant, senior adviser, The Brattle Group Inc.

An animated chart moved and changed as Wyant explained lung cancer rates. As he spoke of current addiction rates among children, an animated line predicting how many of them would die, and when, slowly inclined. Though the exhibit was simple, the presentation emphasized the reality behind dry-sounding statistics, Eubanks says.

Defense attorney Dan Webb says the courtroom technology helped keep a 116-day trial fresh and interesting. “Very little time was spent during the course of [trial] where a witness wasn’t being examined about an exhibit or demonstrative, being confronted with prior testimony, or being asked to pay attention to a diagram or easel as the examining attorney wrote on it.”

Justice and tobacco companies shared most of the courtroom equipment and split the cost, explains Jamey Johnson, senior managing director, FTI Consulting Inc., who oversaw the trial technology for the defense. The total shared equipment cost for the duration of trial was approximately $70,000, according to another trial participant who asked not to be named.

The litigation services division of CACI International Inc. managed the Justice Department’s courtroom technology. Both teams projected exhibits through an Epson America Inc. 8300 LCD Projector XGA suspended eight feet in the air and equipped with a longthrow lens to project images on the 7.5-foot by 10-foot screen located 54 feet away in the empty jury box. Eight 19-inch Dell Inc. flat-panel monitors were installed in the courtroom to display exhibits up close — five at counsel tables, one for the judge, two for the clerks and one for the court reporter.

Two Tyco Electronics Corp. IntelliTouch 17-inch XGA touch screens — at the witness stand and the podium — helped the two teams do real-time document annotations. The litigators also could write comments and notes on a Mimio digital whiteboard.

The prosecution used inData Corp.‘s TrialDirector to present exhibits, documents and testimony. The defense displayed its visuals through FTI’s proprietary trial presentation software, TrialMax.

The Result

The trial ended on June 12, 2005. The long and detailed case resulted in a long and detailed ruling: Kessler returned her 1,700-page decision on Aug. 17, 2006, finding in favor of the Justice Department.

Kessler levied heavy sanctions against the companies to prevent future corruption, she said. Among the sanctions, Kessler:

  • placed restrictions on their advertisement language and demanded they publish corrective statements in major newspapers and the three leading television networks admitting the harmful effects of smoking
  • ordered the disbandment of the scientific research divisions of the companies, which she determined had been set up to disseminate false science about smoking
  • required that the tobacco companies maintain a Web-based depository of internal documents uncovered during discovery (for this case and past litigation) until 2021 — and make it available to the public

However, while Kessler’s strongly worded decision against the tobacco companies was a moral victory for Justice, it was also a victory for the defense, because the judge denied monetary compensation.

In her opinion, Kessler explained the technicality that prevented her from awarding damages. A previous court opinion held that RICO cases could only apply forward-looking remedies — such as the above measures — to prevent future wrongdoing. They could not, however, penalize companies for money earned during the period of corruption.

Though disappointed, Eubanks understands why Kessler denied damages. “The judge felt that her hands were tied by precedent of the appellate court, and she explained her frustrations in her opinion quite eloquently,” Eubanks says.

Although appeals and post-trial motions are pending, published news reports estimate the total cost of litigation at more than $100 million for each side.

The dismissal of monetary penalties did not diminish Eubanks’ criticisms of the Bush administration that led to her resignation. In the wake of the Justice Department prosecutors’ firings, and subsequent hearings over Gonzales’ actions, Eubanks has become more publicly vocal about the events leading up to her departure.

“Given the lack of support from those above me at Justice, I felt I could no longer be effective as an advocate,” Eubanks says. “It was the right decision at the time, and I don’t regret it.”

Today, Eubanks, 51, lives just outside Washington, D.C., in McLean, Va. Of course, she’s working on a book about her experience at the Department of Justice.

Resources

More information about the case, United States of America v. Philip Morris Incorporated et al. can be found at: www.tobacco-on-trial.com

For additional information about the parties and the technology discussed in the article, visit: U.S. Department of Justice www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/tobacco2

Source: Claire Duffett – Law Technology News

Barb Tarbox: A Life Cut Short by Tobacco

In September 2002 Barb Tarbox was diagnosed with incurable lung (stage IV) and brain cancer at the age of 41.

She smoked two packs of cigarettes a day since the tender age of 11.

She smoked for 30 years, totaling a 60 pack-year smoking history.

She died May 18, 2003 after speaking to more than 50,000 students about the dangers of smoking.

barb_screen.gifView a fifteen minute video to get a full story.

We must warn you however, this video contains strong emotional material regarding Barb Tarbox’s experience with terminal lung cancer caused by smoking.

This is a very sad video and may her life and story offer the power to help others quit smoking by realizing what they are doing to themselves by being willing to be manipulated into smoking by big tobacco.

What’s in a Cigarette?

There are different risks with different forms of smoking, and cigarette smoking is associated with the greatest risks.

The most recognized are:

lung cancer

mouth cancer

chronic lung disease

But why is smoking so popular if smoking cigaretteare the leading cause of cancer?

Watch this video to learn how cigarettes are actually a drug delivery device and why they are so lethal.

You will learn that only about 1/2 of a cigarette is really tobacco, the rest is chemical add ons designed to manipulate you into becoming addicted and nicotine manipulation add ons to mellow the harshness.

The chemicals in cigarettes contain carcinogens that fill the body with toxins and lead to disease.

The Cigarette Century by Allan M. Brandt

In contrast to the symbol of death and disease it is today, from the early 1900s to the 1960s the cigarette was a cultural icon of sophistication, glamour and sexual allure – a highly prized commodity for one out of two Americans.

Many advertising campaigns from the 1930s through the 1950s extolled the healthy virtues of cigarettes to entice the young and old alike to join the crowd.

Old Camels AdFull-color magazine ads depicted kindly doctors clad in white coats proudly lighting up or puffing away, with slogans like “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.”

There were even little pink gum candy cigarettes sold to children in carton packs so they could mimic their parent’s addictive behavior.

Allan M. Brandt, a medical historian at Harvard, insists that recognizing the dangers of cigarettes resulted from an intellectual process that took the better part of the 20th century.

He described this fascinating story in his new book, “The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall and Deadly Persistence of the Product that Defined America
(Basic Books).

Excerpted from an essay by Howard Markel, M.D.

The Harmful Effects of Smoking on Different Parts of the Body

Cigarette smoking is always unsafe.

Men who smoke 20 cigarette per day take twice as many days off work each year than nonsmokers.

Of men now age 35, the proportion that will die before reaching retiring age is 40% for heavy smokers, but only 18% for non-smokers.

Smoking causes more than 400, 000 deaths a year in America all alone. Below in this article we will tell you the parts of the body affected by smoking.

Women are at an additional risk, as their unborn babies can be damaged by smoking. Smoking also increases the risk of cervical cancer.

Picture of Smoker

Mouth and throat: Tobacco smoke can cause gum disease and tooth decay. The teeth become yellow or black.

Esophagus: The tars in smoke can trigger cancer.

Brain: Headaches are common. Lack of oxygen and narrowing of blood-vessels can lead to strokes.

Bronchi: Smoke contains hydrogen cyanide and other chemicals, which attack the lining of the bronchi, inflaming them and increasing susceptibility to bronchitis.

Lungs: People who inhale smoke are ten times more likely to get lung cancer than non-smokers. Mucus secretion is increased, causing chronic catarrh and smoker’s cough.

Circulation: Nicotine raises blood-pressure. Carbon monoxide leads to development of cholesterol deposits in artery walls, causing heart attacks and strokes. Loss of circulation in limbs can cause amputation.

Heart: Nicotine in cigarette smoke makes the heart beat faster and so it works hard. Blood clot more easily, increasing the risk of heart attack. Carbon monoxide robs the blood of oxygen, again increasing the risk of heart attack.

Intestine: Smoking can cause diarrhea and ulcers also.

Stomach: Increased acid secretion can lead to ulcers.

Bladder: Excreted carcinogens can cause cancer.

Source: Health Section, Khalsa News Network

Smoking Effects on Your Body

There are over 60 known cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke.

While nicotine itself isn’t thought to be carcinogenic, the highly addictive drug is toxic and potentially lethal in large doses

Apart from its use in tobacco products, nicotine is a scheduled poison under the Therapeutic Goods Act.

Along with nicotine, smokers also inhale about 4,000 other chemicals. Many of these compounds are chemically active and trigger profound and damaging changes in the body.

Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, causing many diseases and reducing health in general.

Picture of Lungs

Tobacco smoke contains dangerous chemicals. The most damaging compounds in tobacco smoke include:

Tar: This is the collective term for all the various particles suspended in tobacco smoke. The particles contain chemicals including several cancer-causing substances. Tar is sticky and brown and stains teeth, fingernails and lung tissue. Tar contains the carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene that is known to trigger tumor development (cancer).

Carbon monoxide: This odorless gas is fatal in large doses because it takes the place of oxygen in the blood. Each red blood cell contains a complicated protein called haemoglobin; oxygen molecules are transported around the body by binding to, or hanging onto, this protein.

However, carbon monoxide has a greater affinity than oxygen for binding to haemoglobin. This means that the heart of a smoker has to work much harder to get enough oxygen to the brain, heart, muscles and other organs.

Hydrogen cyanide: The lungs contain tiny hairs (cilia) that help to clean the lungs by moving foreign substances out. Hydrogen cyanide stops this lung clearance system from working properly, which means the poisonous chemicals in tobacco smoke can build up inside the lungs.

Other chemicals in smoke that damage the lungs include hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides, organic acids, phenols and oxidizing agents.

Free radicals: These highly reactive chemicals can damage the heart muscles and blood vessels. They react with cholesterol, leading to the build up of fatty material on artery walls. Their actions lead to heart disease, stroke and blood vessel disease.

Metals: Tobacco smoke contains dangerous metals including arsenic, cadmium and lead. Several of these metals are carcinogenic.

Radioactive compounds: Tobacco smoke contains radioactive compounds, which are known to be carcinogenic.

Effects of Smoking Tobacco on Body Systems

Smoking and the Respiratory system

The effects of tobacco smoke on the respiratory system include:

  • Irritation of the trachea (windpipe) and larynx (voice box).
  • Reduced lung function and breathlessness due to swelling and narrowing of the lung airways and excess mucus in the lung passages.
  • Impairment of the lungs’ clearance system, leading to the build up of poisonous substances, which results in lung irritation and damage.
  • Increased risk of lung infection and symptoms such as coughing and wheezing.
  • Permanent damage to the air sacs of the lungs.

Smoking Effects on the Circulatory system

The effects of tobacco smoke on the circulatory system include:

  • Raised blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Constriction (tightening) of blood vessels in the skin, resulting in a drop in skin temperature.
  • Less oxygen carried by the blood.
  • Stickier blood, which is more prone to clotting.
  • Damage to the lining of the arteries, which is thought to be a contributing factor to atherosclerosis (the build-up of fatty deposits on the artery walls).
  • Reduced blood flow to extremities like fingers and toes.
  • Increased risk of stroke and heart attack due to blockages of the blood supply.

Cigarettes Effect on the Immune System

The effects of tobacco smoke on the immune system include:

  • The immune system doesn’t work as well and is supressed.
  • The immune system can not keep up with attempting to detox your system while tending other priorities
  • The person is more prone to infections.
  • It takes longer to get over an illness.

Smoking and the Musculoskeletal System

The effects of tobacco smoke on the musculoskeletal system include:

  • Tightening of certain muscles.
  • Reduced bone density.

Other Effects of Smoking on the Body

Other effects of tobacco smoke on the body include:

  • Irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
  • Increased risk of painful ulcers along the digestive tract.
  • Reduced ability to smell and taste.
  • Premature wrinkling of the skin.
  • Higher risk of blindness.
  • Gum disease.

Effects of Tobacco on Men Smokers

The specific effects of tobacco smoke on the male body include:

  • Lower sperm count.
  • Higher percentage of deformed sperm.
  • Reduced sperm mobility.
  • Changed levels of male sex hormones.
  • Impotence, which may be due to the effects of smoking on blood flow and damage to the blood vessels of the penis.

Smoking Effects on Women’s Body

The specific effects of tobacco smoke on the female body include:

  • Reduced fertility.
  • Menstrual cycle irregularities or absence of menstruation.
  • Menopause reached one or two years earlier.
  • Increased risk of cancer of the cervix.
  • Greatly increased risk of stroke and heart attack if the smoker is aged over 35 years and taking the oral contraceptive pill.

Smoking Effects on the Fetus

The effects of maternal smoking on an unborn baby include:

  • Increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.
  • Low birth weight, which may have a lasting effect of the growth and development of children. Low birth weight is associated with an increased risk for early puberty, and in adulthood is an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
  • Increased risk of cleft palate and cleft lip.
  • Paternal smoking can also harm the fetus if the non-smoking mother is exposed to passive smoking.
  • If the mother continues to smoke during her baby’s first year of life, the child has an increased risk of ear infections, respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, croup and bronchitis, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and meningococcal disease.

Diseases Caused by Long Term Smoking

A lifetime smoker is at high risk of developing a range of potentially lethal diseases, including:

  • Cancer of the lung, mouth, nose, voice box, lip, tongue, nasal sinus, oesophagus, throat, pancreas, bone marrow (myeloid leukaemia), kidney, cervix, ureter, liver, bladder and stomach.
  • Lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
  • Coronary artery disease, heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
  • Ulcers of the digestive system.
  • Osteoporosis and hip fracture.
  • Poor blood circulation in feet and hands, which can lead to pain, and in severe cases gangrene and amputation.

Source: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

Smokers Risk Damage to All Major Body Organs

Health Consequences of Smoking, Surgeon General’s Report

Smokers risk damage to almost all major organs in their bodies, according to the latest report by the surgeon general

The list of diseases caused by tobacco now includes cancers of the kidneys, stomach, cervix, and pancreas as well as leukemia, cataracts, pneumonia, and gum disease.

These illnesses are in addition to diseases previously known to be caused by smoking: bladder, esophageal, laryngeal, lung, oral, and throat cancers, chronic lung diseases, coronary heart and cardiovascular diseases, and sudden infant death syndrome.

Smoking also reduces overall health, contributing to conditions such as hip fractures, complications from diabetes, increased wound infections following surgery, and various reproductive problems.

Smoking cigarettes with lower machine-measured yields of tar and nicotine does not help.

Body Picture“There is no safe cigarette, whether it is called light, ultra-light, or any other name,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona commented. “The science is clear: the only way to avoid the health hazards of smoking is to quit completely or to never start smoking” (Health and Human Services, Press Release).

Statistics of Smoking Related Deaths

By current estimates, tobacco use causes 440,000 deaths per year and costs about $157 billion in health-related losses. An estimated 46,000 adults smoked in 2001. On average, men who smoke cut their lives short by 13.2 years, and female smokers lose 14.5 years. “Since the 1964 surgeon general’s report, more than 12 million people have died from smoking-related illness,” Dr. Carmona said.

“These include 4.1 million deaths from cancer, 5.5 million deaths from cardiovascular diseases, 2.1 million deaths from respiratory diseases, and 94,000 perinatal deaths. We’ve known for decades that smoking is bad for your health, but this [latest] report shows that it’s even worse than we knew. The toxins from cigarette smoke go everywhere the blood flows.”

Quitting smoking has immediate as well as long-term benefits, according to the surgeon general’s report. The heart rate drops towards normal and circulation improves. The risk of having a heart attack or stroke or of developing lung cancer diminishes. Even seniors who quit after many years can experience positive effects. A smoker who gives up the habit at the age of 65 reduces his or her risk of dying from a tobacco-related disease by half.

Learning More About Tobacco Use

The surgeon general’s report was based on a review of 1,600 articles. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made these available to the public online on a searchable database (Health Consequence of Smoking, CDC Database).

For online tips and advice about how to quit smoking, see Tobacco Information and Prevention, and the American Cancer Society Guide to Quitting Smoking.

The American Cancer Society Guide provides a smoking cessation plan, explains how to deal with withdrawal and cravings, and lists useful anti-tobacco groups.

(Health Consequences of Smoking, Surgeon General’s Report).

Source: http://www.braytonlaw.com/news/mednews/091004_tobacco_surgeong.htm, a web site sponsored by the law firm of Brayton Purcell for educational purposes.

Smoking Addiction and the Human Choice

The past week I have seen two fatal accidents along the route 9 corridor heading towards Brattleboro, Vermont. Both could have been avoided if the drivers had not made bad decisions.

The first accident involved a left turn and the second accident involved a right turn. What did both drivers have in common?

They both risked their lives and the lives of others by making a turn in front of speeding traffic. They both probably thought that they could beat the odds of dying, and they both failed miserably.

Picture of CatViewing the aftermath of crushed metal horrifically flattened upon impact, is a painful and disturbing sight to see. The vehicles that had hosted life just moments before, now laid to rest as a testament that the stupidity of human choice can indeed kill you.

ASH (Action on Smoking & Health) states that “smoking has more than 50 ways of making life a misery through illness and more than 20 ways of killing you.” Imagine all you have to do is make the choice to smoke and you can have a smorgasbord of options to simply die for.

What’s on the menu today: lung cancer, kidney cancer, or maybe a dash of Ischemic heart disease? Come on how about it.

Or better yet, you can pick from a grab bag of assorted illnesses! How about acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis in twenty years, peripheral vascular disease in thirty years, or pneumonia next winter?

Rest assured that smoking is a very disturbing addiction. Though the act of smoking does not veer to the left or to the right, it does remain steady. Day after day, year after year the smoker lights cigarettes laced with radioactive ingredients and garnished with pesticides. Logically speaking self preservation alone should dictate absconding to higher ground. Perhaps smoking is a form of self-harming disease?