Tag Archives: smoking related cancer

Smoke and Mirrors

Although the new Camel No. 9 cigarette’s manufacturer seeks to entice women with flavor and style, Sandy Hornung, 62, Olathe, said there is nothing glamorous about smoking-related cancer.

“I’m amazed. I saw this young woman smoking today and I just kind of looked at her like, ‘Are you crazy?'” Hornung said.

When diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer at age 37, Hornung said knowing she might die became frightening. Hornung said she started smoking at 18.

American Cancer Society statistics show 90 percent of adult smokers became addicts by age 18.

Photo of camel PackHornung dealt with hair loss and vomiting during chemotherapy and radiation. As far as the Camel No. 9 campaign, Hornung said people need to decide what they want.

“I’m sure seeing that they may think it’s sophisticated to smoke,” Hornung said. “I think it would be nice (if) they wouldn’t allow it. It comes down to the fact that people have to make their own choices.”

Camel No. 9 comes wrapped in sleek black and fuchsia or black and teal packaging. Heavy cardstock ads in women’s magazines such as Glamour and Cosmopolitan feature delicate flowers and boast about No. 9’s “light and luscious” flavors.

R.J. Reynolds spokesman David Howard, Winston-Salem, N.C., said company leaders held focus group sessions in early 2006 with about 2,000 women smokers to discuss the new cigarette.

“We came up with Camel No. 9 in response to female adult smokers who are asking for a product that better reflects their taste and style,” Howard said. “Ninety-five percent marked it as ‘a product for me.'”
Howard said R.J.

Reynolds wants to expand beyond male smokers. “Camel was underdeveloped with women,” Howard said. “We wanted the opportunity to grow the share of the market amongst adult female smokers.” According to R.J. Reynolds data, 19 million out of 20 million women smokers do not smoke Camels.

“They are smoking a competitor’s brand,” Howard said. “We wanted to come up with a concept that would be clearly, responsibly marketed to that audience.”

Company leaders decided the name Camel No. 9 “evokes positive images.”

“We thought it was very classy,” Howard said. “Like ‘dressed to the nines,’ an image that adult smokers identify with.”

Howard said the campaign does not target underage females.

“We have no interest in communicating to anyone but adult smokers,” Howard said.

In a society where one in five women smokes, Camel’s promotion of No. 9 outrages some health experts, including Kansas City American Heart Association Executive Director Nicole Stuke.

“Tobacco use remains the single most preventable cause of death in the United States,” Stuke said. “With more than 178,000 women dying every year from smoking-related diseases, it’s unsettling that the tobacco industry feels the need to recruit more people to consume their harmful products.

Tactics like these underscore the need for Congress to grant the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products in much the same way they regulate other consumer products on the market.”

Camel No. 9 marketing concerns anti-tobacco lobbyists, including Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids Outreach Director Victoria Almquist, Washington.

“I bought a pack to show the women in my office and they kept saying how beautiful it was,” Almquist said. “It really does look like a box for Chanel perfume. It struck me as very clever marketing and I could see how this would be appealing to young women.”

Almquist called the tobacco company’s appeal to young women and children deplorable.

“Our studies show that most advertising done for Camel No. 9 is point of sale, which means that convenience stores are saturated with pictures and displays for Camel No. 9,” Almquist said. “We found out that 75 percent of teens visit a convenience store once a week; adults don’t go into convenience stores as much as kids do. Point of sale marketing really gets to teens.”

Almquist said she got a call from an alarmed parent who looked through a package her daughter received in the mail. The parent thought the package contained skin care product samples but instead contained a Camel No. 9 promotional kit complete with an offer for a free pack of cigarettes.

Besides direct mail, Camel No. 9 promoters have appealed to women by throwing spa nights and ladies nights at dance clubs. Spa nights included manicures, facials and goody bags.

The Federal Trade Commission reported the company has spent almost $50 million to market the cigarette.

“The tobacco industry targeting women is nothing new,” Almquist said. “It started in the ’30s where they had the ‘Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet’ ads in magazines. Those ads were horrifying.”

Almquist said the government exempts tobacco products from basic health regulations that apply to other products, such as food, drugs and dog food.

“We’re working on bills in the House and the Senate to push for regulation,” Almquist said. “Historically, tobacco products are not regulated products. You know your lipstick and dog food and know what it contains. (Tobacco companies) can change their ingredients all the time and don’t have to tell anyone.”

Almquist said people should write their legislators about how tobacco companies target women.

Rebecca Flann, 23, Overland Park, said she believes the new cigarette targets young women such as herself.

“The way it’s packaged, they are obviously trying to get women to think it’s cool and sophisticated,” Flann said.

After trying Camel No. 9, Flann said she considered the taste lighter than other cigarettes but did not want to buy them.

“I don’t really care about the way it looks that much. A cigarette is a cigarette,” Flann, a smoker, said.

Gino Hernandez, employee at the 125th Street and Quivira Road Phillips 66, said Camel No. 9 sales have roller-coastered.

“They started off really good,” Hernandez said. “We sold about six or seven cartons a week during the first month, but it’s died down.”

Hernandez said a “mainly younger crowd” purchases the cigarettes.

Decloud Studio employee Dayna Schroeder said the cigarette tastes good.

“I like the Turkish tobacco flavor,” Schroeder said. “It’s a lighter taste than Marlboro Lights.”

Schroeder said she would not purchase cigarettes based on looks, but she understands how the packaging appeals to young women.

“I can see how some women may be affected by it,” Schroeder said. “(The packaging) will catch your eye. I’m always drawn to Camel because of the images and I’ve tried the different flavors.”

Tobacco products and women make an unhealthy combination, University of Kansas Medical Center physician Charles Porter said.

“Smoking takes a toll on the entire reproductive process,” Porter said. “There’s an amazing array of bad things that happen to your body when you smoke.

“Smoking reduces placental blood flow and directly damages the infant’s lungs.”

Porter said studies show the death rate for infants becomes three or four times higher when women smoke during and after pregnancy.

He said exposing an infant to secondhand smoke “doubles the risk that the baby will die.”

Hornung said she wished people knew how smoking affects their health.

“I would want them to know that it can happen to them,” Hornung said. “It causes circulation problems and various kinds of cancers. I think the best advice is to never start smoking. It is very addictive behavior.”

Cancer is one of several smoking-related diseases.

“For women, the cancer most associated with smoking is cervical,” Porter said. “Men and women both can get lung and bladder cancer as well as leukemia from smoking.”

Porter said smoking facts contrast with beautiful women featured in advertisements.

“Studies have also shown that premature wrinkles on the face and all over the body can be caused by smoking,” Porter said. “When people smoke, the aging process is accelerated. People can look 20 years older than they are because of it.”

Although cancer-free now, Hornung said cancer changed her life completely and she credits her family, friends and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for her survival.

Almquist said the debate about marketing a disease-causing product will exist as long as the tobacco industry exists.

“Women should be outraged by this. Everyone should be,” Almquist said.

Source: Holly Kramer, Shawnee/Lenexa Sun

Get Fit and Kick the Habit

Make the most of the national smoking ban on Monday by swapping cigarettes for exercise, says Philip Carling of the Sports Council for Wales

THE ban on smoking will revolutionize the very face of Wales’ public indoor spaces, transforming them into healthier, smoke-free zones as the last cigarettes are stubbed out in nightclubs, restaurants, and pub ash-trays from Angelsey to Monmouthshire.

Smokers can take the ban more personally by making a pledge to integrate 30 minutes physical activity five times a week into their lifestyle, even if they are not intending to stub out the habit for good. It’s all part of Health Challenge Wales.

The message that ‘smoking is bad for you’ is so old now that people have stopped giving it their full attention. Instead I would urge adults to consider that physical activity has profound benefits and can only enhance your well being, regardless of whether you smoke.

Woman on Treadmill PictureThe pub smoking ban offers a perfect opportunity for smokers to adopt a healthier more active lifestyle. If, like many smokers throughout Wales, you’re dreading its onset, now is the time to start putting the benefits of physical activity into practice. It has been proven that exercise is one of the best ways to help smokers kick the habit, and by stopping you are benefiting the health of the nation.

Research shows that smoking kills around 114,000 people in the UK each year owing to smoking related cancers, cardiovascular and lung disease, or high blood pressure leading to heart attacks and stroke. Exercise reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, lowers the chance of lung cancer, boosts circulation and helps maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Exercise is a vital tool in your successful quitting kit, and you don’t have to spend money buying it from the supermarket shelf. Aside from improving physical ability and appearance, physical activity provides fun, focus and fitness which are more likely to help you stub out the habit for good, not just for two weeks.

What exercise can do for you

1. Naturally increases metabolism
According to the National Centre for Health Statistics, nicotine artificially raises your metabolic rate (the amount of calories you burn within a 24-hour period) by 20%. So when you quit, your metabolism returns to what it really should be.

Getting firmer, stronger muscles by doing regular physical activity like cycling and walking is a much healthier way of increasing your metabolic rate.

2. Controls weight gain
One of the scariest things about quitting smoking is the fear of gaining weight. A slower metabolism after quitting, combined with an improvement in taste and smell, a tendency to substitute food for cigarettes and emotional eating to relieve the stress of quitting can all result in weight gain of anywhere between 5-10lbs for the average smoker.

The combination of eating more calories while burning less means that regular physical activity is crucial. Aerobic exercise like walking, cycling, swimming or dancing for 30 minutes a day at a low-intensity will burn anything between 100-300 calories depending on the intensity and duration of your exercise.

Smokers who philosophize that smoking keeps them slim may also need to consider that nicotine causes body fat to be distributed to the upper body and abdominal area or in an “apple” shape – which is linked with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and early death.

3. Suppresses appetite
Stub out cigarettes and you can guarantee human nature will have you automatically reaching for the biscuit tin instead. Just like your regular rugby match, kicking a habit is always a game of substitution. But exercise is a natural way to temporarily suppress appetite because it regulates sugar levels in your blood. This in turn reduces the cravings for sweets and junk foods which we might bring onto the pitch to replace cigarettes.

4. Offers relief from nicotine cravings
Take a 10-minute brisk walk every time the nicotine cravings come calling, and fitness levels will soon be soaring. Physical activity can help take the ‘edge’ off nicotine cravings by bringing temporary relief until they pass.

Exercise improves blood circulation, so just a ten-minute walk can produce chemical endorphins in the brain which create a sense of well-being – the same ‘buzz’ smokers get from filling their lungs with smoke.

Regular physical activity is also a cheaper and more maintainable way of curbing the cravings for those who don’t want to use nicotine replacement therapy.

5. Curbs boredom
Boredom is one of the biggest barriers to quitting smoking. You can predict the routine now – arrive home after a hard day; slump into the sofa; stick the telly on and already your mind is wandering towards the ash tray as you gradually lose the fight to keep your hands occupied.

A cycle through the park or to the shops where there are things to look at, an exercise class where there are people to meet, or just a mind-challenging mountain-stroll at the weekend will help keep your mind away from the cigarettes. Don’t let boredom beat you down. Physical activity and sport can be a hobby, offering a fresh focus to get your teeth stuck into – without wasting your time whiling the hours away in frustration.

6. Relieves anxiety and stress
If you have ever tried to quit or know someone who is in the process, you’ll know that grouchiness, anxiety and depression are lurking nearby like an unwanted guest. Exercise is a proven mood lifter and anxiety reliever so you can banish any late-night desires to creep out the back door and light-up after a tough day.

Mood swings are a common temporary side effect of kicking any habit, but they can be used to fuel your physical goals. Vent your frustration at kick-boxing, whack out your woes with a tennis ball, or release tension with a gentle session of yoga or pilates.

7. Fuels a revitalising sleep
People who exercise regularly have fewer episodes of sleeplessness – a common side-effect of quitting. The temptation to light up is probably at its strongest after a heavy day when we are tired, so a more sufficient sleep may help stop the hands from reaching for the cigarettes simply because the body needs a boost.

Moderate exercise lasting 20-30 minutes five times a week promotes a more revitalising sleep because it is a physical stressor to the body. The brain compensates for physical stress by increasing deep sleep and so we sleep more soundly.

8. Promotes a buzzing social life
Lots of smokers argue that their social life will be affected if they quit. Getting involved in sport and physical activity is one of the most enjoyable ways to socialise – whether going for walks with the family, taking the kids for a kick-about or giving Grandma some company to the shops. Join a club, try out a gym class – talk to the regulars at your local swimming pool. The friends you make through sport and physical activity might just be your friends for life.

More importantly, swapping bad breath, sallow skin and yellow teeth for a healthier body image is crucial to fostering confidence and a positive mental attitude. Physical activity burns fat and boosts circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the skin so that it is firmer and better nourished – good news since smoking can leave the skin up to 40% thinner. People who are physically fit not only look good, but feel good too.

9. Cuts huffing and puffing
Physical activity strengthens your heart and lungs while improving circulation so there is to be no more humiliating huffing and puffing as you climb the stairs behind your colleagues.

Lots of people mistakenly think exercise will make them tired, but – at the appropriate intensity and duration for your current fitness level – it will actually invigorate you and make you more energetic.

10. Slows lung decline
Studies suggest that smokers who exercise are at a 35% lower risk of developing lung cancer than those who don’t exercise. But, not surprisingly, smokers often complain of breathing difficulty and muscle fatigue during exercise and hence avoid it at all costs. Physical activity does not improve lung function but will slow its decline by strengthening the limb muscles and respiratory system. It enables more oxygen to practice getting to the vital muscles, thus gradually improving endurance and reducing breathlessness.

Philip Carling is chairman of the Sports Council for Wales.

Source: This article© owned by or licensed to Western Mail & Echo Limited 2007
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