Tag Archives: smoking and children

One of the Best Anti Smoking Ads Ever Created

Usually anti-smoking commercials do not cause a smoker to actually stop and think deeply enough about their habit.

View the impact in a Thailand anti-smoking commercial that presents the viewer (and young smokers viewed in the ad) with a double standard: Caring more for others than one would care for themselves.

Being approached by a child who wants to light up a cigarette is an action that is hard to support. The words in the note the children hand the smokers after their attempt to get a light is quite revealing.

Seems the smokers are shockingly reminded that they care more for others than they do for themselves.

Don’t Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke it

Matt Apuzzo, of the Associated Press reported on a tax loophole that many Big Tobacco manufactures quickly jumped on to reduce their tax base.

By cleverly changing product marketing they are effectively dodging taxes that would have gone to support the cost of children’s health insurance.

It didn’t take long for many makers of tobacco products to catch on. They switched gears immediately to take advantage of the different tax rates between cigarette tobacco and loose pipe tobacco.

Roll-your-own brands of loose tobacco like Criss Cross and Farmers Gold were quickly pulled from the shelves of the tobacco shops. In their place new types of pipe tobacco bearing the same labels almost instantaneously appeared.

We all know those who roll their own cigarettes will purchase the “new varieties” of pipe tobacco to beat the rising costs of smoking cigarettes.

What is most worrisome about this move is pipe tobacco is not banned from adding flavors like tobacco companies did to cigarettes.

Now that new types of flavored pipe tobaccos are finding their way on the shelves, this could ignite a whole new movement for hooking young smokers.

The new varieties of packaged pipe tobacco are also manufactured with a finer cut, suitable for rolling in flavors such as black cherry, vanilla, and who knows what else.

Popeye and his PipeThis move did not go unnoticed; The Obama administration is looking into tightening their definitions so hopefully the funding for children’s health care remains effective. This costly loophole may be causing as much as $32 million dollars of lost tax revenue each month because pipe tobacco sales are rising as roll-your-own sales are drastically being reduced.

The tobacco company tax dodging strategy has our wheels turning at CiggyFree.com. Next, we may see tobacco companies reinventing Popeye as their spokesperson. The new product campaigns may just offer disposable pipes that go along with disposable lighters combined with packets of flavored tobacco aimed at enticing young smokers. Would it surprise us? No!

Credit: Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press & Popeye Cartoons

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

Progress Has Been Made in Cutting Nicotine Risks, but Exposure Remains Problem for Nonsmokers

Nearly half of America’s non smokers are sucking in fumes from tobacco products.

And that’s the good news!

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control showed that 46 percent of nonsmokers had signs of nicotine in their bodies during blood tests conducted between 1999 and 2004.

That is down significantly from 84 percent when similar tests were conducted in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

But CDC researchers emphasize that this is no reason for celebration – not with statistics showing that exposure to secondhand smoke increases nonsmoking adults’ risk of lung cancer by at least 20 percent and their odds of heart disease by at least 25 percent.

“It’s still too high,” research Cynthia Marano told The Associated Press. “There is no safe level of exposure.”

Moreover, there was little change regarding the exposure of children ages 4 to 11 to secondhand smoke. That percentage stands at 60 percent, and CDC officials note this greatly increases children’s chances of respiratory illnesses and ear problems. In babies, the possibility of sudden infant death syndrome also increases.

Officials attributed the overall decline in the exposure rate of nonsmokers to the growing number of laws banning smoking workplaces, bars, restaurants and other public settings.

The CDC study’s findings justify the public indoor smoking legislation that will go into effect in September in Pennsylvania, virtually nullifying the argument that these bans usurp proprietors’ and individuals’ rights. Indoor smoking creates a public health issue for others and contributes to rising health care and insurance costs for everyone.

It’s good to see at least some progress being made, but to paraphrase that old cigarette commercial, “we’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go.”

Source: The Patriot News

Toddlers Most Affected by Second Hand Smoke

Second hand smoke in the home appears to induce markers for heart disease as early as the toddler years.

Researchers reported this news at the American Heart Association 48th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention in March.

It has long been known that many forms of cardiovascular disease in adults are initiated and progress silently during childhood. Now researchers have found a young child’s response to smoke may not just affect the respiratory system, but the cardiovascular system as well.

“This is the first study that looks at the response of a young child’s cardiovascular system to secondhand smoke,” said Judith Groner, MD, lead author of the study, pediatrician and ambulatory care physician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Research Institute in Columbus, OH.The study included 128 children, 2 to 5 years old and adolescents between the ages of 9 and 14. Researchers found that the younger children absorbed six times more nicotine than the older children from the same levels of parental smoking. That exposure resulted in a dramatic increase of markers of inflammation and vascular injury signaling damage to the endothelium, the inner lining of the vessel walls.

Hair samples of the younger children had average nicotine levels of 12.68 nanograms per milligram of hair compared to adolescent group, which had 2.57 nanograms per milligram of hair. Toddlers had significantly higher levels of the inflammatory marker soluble intracellular adhesion molecules (ICAM).

“Toddlers in the homes of smokers not only had higher levels of nicotine, but also had higher levels of markers for cardiovascular disease in the blood,” said John Bauer, PhD, senior author of the study and director of the Center for Cardiovascular Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “The dose of smoke is greater in toddlers than adolescents who are able to move in and out of the home. Toddlers are like a fish in a fishbowl. They are exposed at a higher dose. And it appears that toddlers also are more susceptible to the cardiovascular effects of smoke.”

Toddlers and a Fish BowlMost of the children in the study had varying levels of secondhand smoke exposure, measured by the number of adult smokers a child was exposed to in 24 hours. Researchers took hair samples to determine nicotine levels in the body and drew blood to determine endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) levels by flow cytometry. Endothelial progenitor cells replenish the endothelium and serve as a biological marker for vascular function.

Researchers also measured known inflammatory markers, such as ICAM, in the blood. “When we analyzed our data by looking at the relationships between the number of smokers in the home and the EPC levels, we found that in toddlers, there was an inverse relationship between secondhand smoke exposure and EPC prevalence,” Dr. Groner said. “In other words, the more smokers the toddler was exposed to, the fewer EPC cells were circulating in his bloodstream. This relationship was not present among the adolescents.”

The vascular endothelium (the inner lining of arteries and blood vessels) plays a key role in promoting cardiovascular health by maintaining the tone and circulation of the arteries. ICAM is a specific marker of endothelial cell stress, which contributes to artery clogging and atherosclerosis, raising the risk of heart disease.

“The combustion of the cigarettes appears to be causing endothelial damage which is reflected in the increase in soluble ICAM in exposed children,” Dr. Groner stated. “Toddlers who are in the vicinity of smokers in the home have a higher dose of tobacco chemicals. They live at home and can’t escape. Young children also breathe faster, taking more smoke into their respiratory system.”

Past studies found that the levels of EPC are lower in adult smokers. EPCs have not been studied previously in non-smokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke.

This study indicates that cardiovascular effects of tobacco exposure in children are very similar to that of adults in the affect on the vascular wall, Dr. Groner said.

She noted the study is a “snapshot in time” and doesn’t give a long-term picture of the effects of secondhand smoke on the developing cardiovascular system of children.

“The results are intriguing, but further study is needed,” she said. “We’re not sure what happens to kids if they stay in a smoking environment or if they have multiple risk factors such as being overweight or having high blood pressure. Until then, parents and others should not smoke in homes with children, and should be especially attentive to this issue around toddlers.”

Other study authors were: Hong Huang, MD, PhD; Lisa Nicholson, PhD; Danielle Frock; Catherine Schroeder; and Jennifer Kuck, ACSM.

The Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI) funded the study.

Source: Advance

Seven Reasons to Stop Smoking

Do you smoke?

Thinking of quitting?

Discovery Health lists seven reasons why you should quit smoking right now.

Don’t wait another minute, read this list now, and really think about these seven reasons.

If not just for yourself, think of how you are effecting your loved ones.

They might just persuade you ditch the smokes before it’s too late…

seven.jpg1. You smell pretty bad
Bad breath and body odor, sallow skin, smelly clothes, yellow teeth – what’s not to love? Maybe it is time stub it out.

2. Food doesn’t taste as good
Smoking can permanently harm your sense of smell, which in turns affects your tasting experience. This can be reversible, but you do run the risk of permanent damage to this sensory experience.

3. More time in hospital
The carcinogens released when you light up gives you a better chance to develop cancer of the mouth, lung and throat, and your basic flu easily turns into bronchitis or pneumonia. You are more likely to spend some quality time with healthcare professionals than a non-smoker.

4. Your body ages faster
Want to look nine years older than you actually are? Then have a cigarette, don’t exercise too much and just for good measure add a bit of weight to your frame. The good news is that it is reversible. If you stop smoking, do some mild exercise and lose the weight, you can look and also feel younger than your actual age.

5. Smoking harms your children
Smoking during pregnancy can lower your child’s IQ and lead to low birth weight, still births, miscarriages, birth defects such as cleft lip and sudden infant death syndrome (cot death). Cigarette smoke contains an estimated 4000 chemicals, with nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide thought to be the most dangerous to the fetus.

6. You have to exercise harder
Your lungs aren’t operating at full volume due to the tar and increased levels of carbon monoxide in your lungs. This poisonous gas is quickly absorbed into the blood, reducing its capacity to carry oxygen. As a result, the smoker has to exert more physical effort to attain a given task than does a non-smoker. The heart in particular must work harder, particularly during rigorous exercise. Increased levels of carbon monoxide in the blood can impair vision, perception of time, and co-ordination.

7. You can pass risks onto your kids
Like father like son… Most children of smokers will take up the habit as well or suffer the consequences of second-hand smoke.

Kids Learn to Smoke From Mom

Children with mothers who smoke cigarettes are more likely to be regular marijuana users by early adulthood, a new study suggests.

Part of the link seems to be explained by the fact that children of smokers were more likely to have been rebellious and aggressive as teenagers, the Australian researchers note.

Past studies have found that children of smokers are more likely than their peers to take up the habit themselves; less is known about whether parents’ smoking and drinking habits are related to their children’s marijuana use.

Mom Pregnant and SmokingHowever, many people who use the drug first try it as a teenager, the authors note, and family environment is an important influence on teenagers’ behavior.

Lifestyle Habits Studied

To study the question, Dr Mohammad Reza Hayatbakhsh of the University of Queensland in Brisbane and associates used data from a project that began following a group of pregnant women in Brisbane between 1981 and 1983.

The women had completed questionnaires on their health and lifestyle habits – including smoking and drinking – while they were pregnant, and at several other points as their children grew up.

The researcher then evaluated nearly 3200 of these women’s offspring who were 21 years old, and had been followed since birth. The findings are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

In general, the study found that children who were exposed to their mothers’ smoking as teenagers were twice as likely as their peers to be frequent marijuana users at age 21.

Children of Smokers also Smoke

The children of smokers were also more likely to start smoking cigarettes by age 14.

Further analysis found a relationship between maternal drinking and child marijuana, but further analysis indicated this relationship was not statistically significant.

Early smoking has been linked to a higher likelihood of marijuana use, explained lead study author Hayatbakhsh told Reuters Health.

A “simple message” from these results is that young people’s substance abuse is often a “consequence of the learning process.”

“Children who are exposed to parents’ smoking cigarettes may learn this behaviour.”

“In other words,” Hayatbakhsh said, “parents…who continue to smoke cigarettes during the development of the child not only put themselves at risk of health problems, but also may play as a role model for the children who live with them.”

– (Amy Norton/Reuters Health)

SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, September 1, 2007.

Dangers of Secondhand Smoke Around Children

Myth: Children aren’t affected by secondhand smoke.

It’s okay to smoke in the presence of your kids so long as you don’t blow the smoke in their face and open a window.

The same goes for smoking around your pregnant partner, or a pregnant friend.

Have you ever heard this rationalization for smoking around expecting mothers, infants, and small children?

If you have here are some eye opening facts!

Truth About Smoking Around Children

child.jpgExposing a child to secondhand smoke is a form of child abuse.

Although secondhand smoke is dangerous to everyone who comes in contact with it, fetuses, infants, and children are at greatest risk.

This is because secondhand smoke can damage developing organs, such as lungs and brain.

Please think twice before smoking in the presence of an expecting mother, or around children.

Cigarettes are Carcinogenic Cocktails

“Cigarettes are carcinogenic cocktails, containing unknown amounts of harmful and addictive substances.

Tobacco is a deadly product, period.

Congress should give the FDA the authority to regulate it — and the power to protect our kids.”

The Charlotte Observer, 08/26/2007

Deadly Cigarette Cocktail There is a lot of controversy over how to regulate Big Tobacco and outlaw all the addictive chemicals that they add to cigarettes.

Not only is smoking bad for the smoker, but we often forget about the health risks of those exposed to secondhand smoke.

Also research has shown that children whose parents smoke are more susceptible to addiction along with all the health risks they are subjected to. Subjecting children to second-hand smoke could be classified as a form of abuse if you really think about it.

It is not much different than making your child consume a little poison each day.