Tag Archives: dangers of secondhand smoke

Video Demonstrates How Smoking Destroys Your Lungs

Lung cancer accounts for approximately one third of cancer deaths in the American population.

Over $10 billion is spent annually on the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.

The majority of people with this disease are smokers, but former smokers and people exposed to secondhand smoke are still at risk.

What Smoking Does to Your Lungs

Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke causes the invasion of over 4,000 chemicals into the lungs through the mouth and nose. These chemicals are deposited as tar in the lungs, sticking to the cilia. The function of the “hair-like” cilia is to keep the airways and lungs clean. When covered with tar, the cilia dies off. Germs and dirt do not get cleaned out and there is an accumulation of mucous. “Smoker’s Cough” is attributed to dead cilia. When dirty mucous clogs the airways and blocks the inhalation and exhalation of breath, a person’s reaction is to cough.

Long Term Effects of Smoking on the Lungs

Smoking destroys the body in many ways. A few of the long term consequences to the lungs caused by smoking and continued exposure to secondhand smoke includes:

  • emphysema
  • cancer
  • bronchitis
  • asthma
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

To see the difference in functioning between healthy lungs and tumor-covered lungs, watch the following video:

Camel Brand Dissolvable Tobacco Products

Dissolvable Tobacco Products Especially Appealing to Kids

The consumer demand for cigarettes has been decreasing, and Big Tobacco companies are looking to fill these sales gaps with cigarette alternative products. This includes cigars, chew, snuff, and nicotine replacements.

As the dangers of second-hand smoke becomes more prevalent, most areas have in place smoking bans in public places.

Big Tobacco companies are seeking out new products to keep addicted smokers dependent on their habit. Wikipedia defines the newest nicotine delivery devices as dissolvable tobacco products.

Nicotine Alternatives

Dissolvable tobacco products carry a significant risk of nicotine addiction and even poisoning if consumed by kids or teens. Additionally, these products have similar cancer and heart disease risks as traditional tobacco products.

Flavored—to make them taste “less harsh”—as well as dissolvable, these products are made from “finely milled tobacco” and are ingested similar to breath mints.

FDA Concerns

Camel Brand Dissolvable Tobacco ProductsThe FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has expressed its concern with these products to Big Tobacco companies R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Star Scientific Inc. Because the packaging is brightly colored, appearing like a candy product, and small enough to be easily concealed, the CTP questions the appeal of these products to kids and teens.

The CTP has asked both companies to provide research and marketing documentation on the perception people aged 26 years and younger have towards these products, the age of new users, and information on product misuse.

Tasty Nicotine?

Star Scientific Inc. manufactures the dissolvable tobacco products Ariva and Stonewall. These products, similar in appearance to breath mints, come in wintergreen, coffee, and tobacco flavors. A Star Scientific spokesperson points out that these products provide adult users a tobacco alternative, but are not made to be attractive for non-users.

R.J. Reynolds Inc. produces Camel Orbs (tablets), Camel Strips, and Camel Sticks (toothpick style), all available in mint flavor. A spokesperson for the company stated that not only are their products strictly market to and designed for adults, but they carry the same warnings and age restrictions as other tobacco products.

Camel Orbs are currently being test marketed in Columbus, Ohio, Portland, Oregon, and Indianapolis, Ind.

To learn more: Dissolvable Tobacco Products

Reference: http://www.cigarettesflavours.com/smoking-campaign/fda-dissolvable-tobacco-appeals-to-kids/

Nicotine in Cigarettes Contribute to Cluster Headaches and Migraines

Many people are plagued with chronic headaches and migraines and are mystified by what causes them. One probable cause could be second-hand smoke and, if you are a smoker, the act itself.

A visit to WebMD.com Migraines and Headaches health center explains how the nicotine contained in tobacco, when inhaled, will stimulate the blood vessels in the brain, causing them to constrict or narrow.

Smoking a cigarette will also cause the stimulated nerves in the back of the throat to magnify the problem.

Nicotine Hurts Your Head

Studies have also shown that cluster headaches—or headaches that keep returning for a period of time, such as two or three times a day for a week or even months—caused by second-hand smoke exposure were fully relieved once the migraine sufferer was no longer exposed to smoke.

Smokers suffering from cluster headaches have also found their headaches were reduced by 50% when they reduced smoking from a pack a day to half a pack, or by 50%. Doesn’t it make sense that quitting entirely could take care of the problem?

Smoking is a Headache

If you find headaches of any form a problem and all physical factors have been examined and ruled out, then toxicity in your body could be the leading cause.

If you are a cigarette smoker and are brave enough to smoke, then you should be brave enough to see the effects of a cluster headache. The following video will give you another reason to stop smoking now.

reference: http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/guide/triggers-smoking

Neurodevelopment of Infants Born to Mothers Who Smoke

Research statistics gathered by a study lead by Professor George Wehby of the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health have revealed startling evidence about the neurodevelopment of babies of mothers that smoke during pregnancy, and these facts are much worse than expected.

The study’s female participants were from health clinics in the countries of Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. It included assessing 1,600 children.

Smoking Jeopardizes Infants’ Healthy Development

Trained physicians performed cognitive tests along with assessing the children’s basic neurological function and communication skills in their surveys.

They found a disturbing fact: that mothers of unborn children continue smoking during pregnancy are subjecting their babies to as much as a 40 percentage point increase in the probability of being at risk of developmental problems by the ages of three and twenty-four months.

Part of the reason for this high percentile is double-fold. Many of the mothers sampled were from a poor socioeconomic status. Mothers who are poor have been found to smoke in greater quantity and have less access to proper prenatal care.

The study also included additional controls that many other research studies did not, which refined the study’s accuracy. The full details of the study are available in: George L. Wehby, Kaitlin Prater, Ann Marie McCarthy, Eduardo E. Castilla, Jeffrey C. Murray, “The Impact of Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy on Early Child Neurodevelopment.” Journal of Human Capital 5:2 (Summer 2011).

FDA Warnings for Mothers Who Smoke

In 2005, 12 percent of pregnant women in the US still smoked while pregnant, thinking of foremost of themselves over their babies’ healthy development. An unborn baby is not protected from the dangerous chemicals a mother’s body absorbs from cigarette smoking.

The FDA’s new cigarette package labels include a warning on the dangers of second hand smoke to unborn children as one of their 9 new label designs in hopes to lower this statistic.

Reference: Kevin Stacey, kstacey@press.uchicago.edu
University of Chicago Press Journals, 773-834-0386

The Effects of Smoking on Your Health, Wallet & Family

The Surgeon General notes smoking-related deaths to be the most preventable cause of death in the United States.

One in four Americans smoke cigarettes, and each year, over 400,000 people die from smoking-related diseases.

The habit of smoking also leads to tremendous financial and interpersonal relationship strains.

What Smoking Does to Your Health

Each puff of cigarette draws over 4,000 chemicals into the lungs and through the body. Continuous exposure to smoke and these chemicals leads to cellular changes in the body’s tissue, eventually causing cancers such as throat and lung cancer.

Smokers’ hearts beat an extra 20 to 25 times per minutes, increasing the risk of heart attack. There is also a 15% higher chance of a smoker having a deadly stroke or heart attack than a non-smoker.

Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, a lethal substance that decreases oxygen levels in the skin, brain, and other organs. The results are a reduced ability to comprehend, an increase in wrinkly-greyed skin, and a significant reduction in energy.

Smoking increase the body’s mucous production, which then increases the chances of bacteria and viruses to multiply. This leads to a smoker experiencing more colds, flus, and cases of bronchitis than non-smokers. Additionally, smoking affects the white blood cells’ functions, leaving smokers with a harder time fighting illness.

What Smoking Does to Your Wallet

All smokers are fully aware of the price of cigarettes when they purchase each pack. But if the price of each pack of cigarettes purchased over a span of 15 years for a smoker with a half-pack a day habit, the sum would total over $16,000.

In addition to the daily cost of this addiction, smokers pay more for health insurance due to the increased health consequences.

What Smoking Does to Your Family

Smoking has dire effects on family members: spouses of smokers are 20% more likely to contract lung disease due to the presence of second hand smoke. The exposure to second hand smoke also causes illness and death in children.

Families also endure extreme emotional trauma when a loved one becomes ill or dies because of smoking-related diseases.

The Real Cost of Smoking

Cigarette Smoke Exposure Not Safe in Any Amount

Have you seen the recent new headline: Surgeon General Issues Latest Warning: Tobacco Smoke Exposure Not Safe in Any Amount?

Statistics highlight how one in five Americans are first-hand smokers. Whether these smokers have one cigarette a week, or an entire pack a day, the poisonous effects of cigarette smoke does not discriminate.

There are millions of others who are exposed to second-hand smoke, whether regularly or irregularly. These people are also at equal risk to the poisonous effects of tobacco smoke.

The Surgeon General stresses that no amount of cigarette smoke is safe for anyone.

Surgeon General’s Warning

For over 45 years the Surgeon General has been issuing strong warnings about the consequences of smoking and tobacco exposure. In the latest release, the Surgeon General warns against any and all exposure to tobacco smoke: whether a smoker or a second-hand bystander, no level of smoke is considered safe.

Social smokers often consider their habit “safer” because their exposure is limited to a cigarette here and there. Not so, claims the Surgeon General. Cigarette smoke immediately travels from the cigarette, into the lungs, and into the blood stream.

The toxins then attack the blood vessels, causing them to narrow, and even encourages clotting of the blood. This increases the person’s chance of heart attack or stroke.

Immediate Effects of Cigarette Smoke

There are numerous deadly effects of smoking on the body. Specific immediate effects pointed out by the Surgeon General include:

  • The blood pumped through the body carries the toxins from the tobacco to every organ, thus affecting every organ’s functioning.
  • The tobacco smoke’s toxins affect the body’s DNA, leading to different types of cancers.
  • The functions of the lungs are affected by the tobacco smoke’s poisons, leading to COPD.

While smoking for longer periods of time will increase the negative effects of smoking, no cigarette—not even one, and not even second-hand smoke—is a safe amount to be exposed to.

The Only Solution: Prevention

No matter how long a person has been smoking, quitting is the best thing that can be done to stop the poisoning and toxic effects of cigarettes on the body. Quitting at any stage gives your health a boost.

Reference: “Surgeon General: One Cigarette is One Too Many” by Lauran Neergaard
[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/09/surgeon-general-1-cigaret_n_794250.html\

Smoking Bans – Smokers Not Hire Ready

Employers are using smoking vs. non-smoking as one of the criteria to hire employees.

Whether a person smokes or not could be a deciding factor even before you have been E-Verified.

For smokers looking for gainful employment, their addiction makes the possibilities even harder than they may realize.

Fair Debate for Smokers and Non-Smokers

Smokers are willing and able to work in smoke-free environments and can put up with it in order to work.

Once that craving hits though, they will sneak outside on breaks to have a few puffs of nicotine until quitting time. The working smoker’s perception is they have the best of both worlds – a smoke-free environment on the inside of the workplace and a chance to smoke on the outside during working hours.

The non-smokers want to work in smoke-free environments. A smoking policy inside an employees place of employment will provide an environment free of second hand smoke … except:

What if the employee who smokes reeks of cigarettes

What if the second hand smoke finds its way through open windows, doors, and hallways from around the building.

What if smokers begin smoking in bathrooms, or stairwells?

Then an environment is not truly smoke free and for employees a non smoking is really non-existent.

The Win/Win/Lose

Hospitals and other smoke-free conscious employers are pulling out the stops for justifying their no smoking policies.

With the current healthcare reform policy, employers are justifying the testing of potential employees.  Nicotine tests similar to random drug testing are qualified and being administered.

If non-smokers are hired it is less likely the employee will be hospitalized for ailments related to lung cancer. Insurance cost savings is the rationale for these tests because they can save on costly medical expenses in the future.

Medical costs will be considerably less because symptoms related to asthma, bronchial infections, and allergies will not exist.  Families will be healthier and have less cause to visit the doctor or fill a prescription.  Insurance premiums will not have to cover as many catastrophic illnesses related to smoking and second hand smoke.

If a ban on hiring smokers is embraced by businesses in all 50 states, a long road of tough economic times will be facing those that smoke if they refuse to quit.  Smokers will feel defeated not because they lack the skills to perform their jobs but lack the skills to quit smoking to gain and keep their jobs.  Being a smoker will have a stigma that has obvious and detrimental consequences.

Quit While You Can

These bans are the sign of the times and smokers need to prepare to move with them.  If you are currently unemployed, be aware that your smoking addiction is a possible criterion as to whether you land the next job.

Still working and smoking? Higher insurance rates especially for smokers and other unnecessary risk takers are certain to be the norm. Cessation Programs may have some provisions that give you a timeline to quit before your insurance rates and premiums are dramatically increased.

An important part of your life may be your career.  Do not let smoking be the thing that ends it.

References:

  1. WHO POLICY ON NON-RECRUITMENT OF SMOKERS OR OTHER TOBACCO USERS
  2. Smokers Not Hired

Research Discovers Tobacco in Cigarettes Contain Live Bacteria Strains and Human Pathogens

Scientific American just published an article by Brett Isreal with a stiff warning that users of tobacco products are also inhaling live bacteria into their lungs when they smoke tobacco.

The amount of carcinogenic substances and chemicals in cigarettes has been the bulk of the research studies, along with the effects of nicotine addition, until now.

This new research study at University of Maryland points to “hundreds of different strains of bacteria” being introduced to the body with cigarette use. The facts found in this research study begin to explain why smokers contract so many infections and chronic diseases.

The live bacteria, which they are inhaling also contains human pathogens. This is a very serious discovery and researches are trying to deal with the public health implications and additional risks from the second-hand smoke.

Almost every organ in the human body system is harmed by smoking cigarettes. The evidence points to high risks for catching colds, influenza, asthma, bacterial pneumonia, and even interstitial lung disease.

Cancer research facilities are finding the news of this study exciting because it spurs on new research opportunities on the bacterial diversity of tobacco. This is critical research to help scientist understand the dangers for everyone who is exposed, whether they are the smoker or a passerby who experiences the smoke indirectly.

pic-bacteriasThe discovery of bacteria contamination in tobacco leaves prior to harvesting caused concern over what happens when the tobacco is harvested and made into tobacco products and cigarettes. The answer that was found is that the harvested tobacco was also contaminated and was a breading ground for various bacterial strains.

The health implications of smoking that was once thought to just be related to ingesting heavy metals, carcinogenic chemicals, and dealing with the negative effects of nicotine has just added another contributor.

The concern of smoking bugs by inhaling them deep into the lungs is a pretty gruesome picture. I thought parasites were bad.

Stay tuned for new health alerts once this study circulates providing the public is made aware.

Excuse me honey, while I go outside to inhale some bugs in that tasty cigarette!

Credit: Brett Israel and Environmental Health News & Scientific American

Lighting Up While Driving Can Be Costly

This week’s tobacco news was filled with history making reports about congress signing off on regulation of tobacco by the FDA.

Many opinions are floating around. Some are in favor of it, while others are against the bill. Then there are those who like the idea but have concerns over the vast loopholes in the legislation.

Another story this week caught our attention. It is not as newsworthy, but on the other hand this story illustrates how the danger of second-hand smoke is making an impact.

In Toronto, Canada a recent law went into effect that regulates driving while under the influence of Tobacco. In the US, Louisiana and Arizona have similar laws, and many states are considering similar rules.

Driver Fined For “Lighting Up” in Car with Kids

The Star.com – June 11, 2009

smoking-while-drivingA women from Vaughan, Toronto, Canada was driving while smoking with three children in the car, all were under the age of eleven. She was stopped and cited under a recent law that took effect the first of the year.

The report did not say what she was fined, but offenders can be fined up to $250 for smoking in vehicles with children under the age of sixteen present.

There have been a handful of other charges, but it seems people are catching on to the effects of second-hand smoke and the dangers to children. Kids are really vulnerable because they absorb more toxins than adults. Their respiratory rates and metabolisms are higher due to their air intake to body weight ratio.

The Ontario Medical Association provided statistics on smoking in cars that is beyond alarming. The concentration from second-hand smoke in a vehicle can be up to twenty-seven percent higher than that of a smoker’s living environment, and up to twenty times higher that the smoke that floated in smoky bars prior to public smoking bans.

Raveena Aulakh, The Star Staff reporter

Formaldehyde is in Secondhand Smoke

Formaldehyde is known as a human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

It is also known as a human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Formaldehyde in sidestream cigarette smoke is evident in concentrations of up to three times above occupational limits, which readily accounts for eye and nasal irritation.

Formaldehyde is also found in embalming fluids used to preserve bodies and lab specimens. That frog in the jar at school is floating in formaldehyde.

formaldehyde.gifThe tobacco industry uses formaldehyde in order to preserve tobacco moisture. isn’t that a yummy thought to imagine what you are preserving when you inhale tobacco smoke that is floating around the room.

The dangers of secondhand smoke has been proven.

Here are two resources for you: