Tag Archives: smoking

Smoking Related Fires: Unattended Smoking Materials Attribute to Natural Disasters, Civilian Deaths, and Injury Each Year

Smoking does not just cause health problems.

There are other cigarette dangers that go beyond the the obvious. They are a known fire hazard as well.

Fires caused by cigarette smoking are disastrous because an unattended cigarette can destroy an unknown number of lives directly and indirectly … and in an instant.

Statistics on Fires Related to Cigarette Smoking

Smoking accounts for more than 23,000 residential fires in a year nationwide. That’s why some insurance companies offer to reduce premiums if all the residents in the house do not smoke.

Insurance breaks for households where the occupants don’t smoke is probably one of the major reasons why smoking is no longer allowed inside or on the grounds of most work places hotels, restaurants, and pubs.

Unattended Cigarettes Cause Natural DisastersFACT: Smoking materials (i.e., cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.) are the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States. Roughly one of every four fire deaths in 2007 was attributed to smoking materials.

In 2007, there were an estimated 140,700 smoking-material fires in the United States. These fires caused 720 civilian deaths and 1,580 civilian injuries.

More fatal smoking-material fires start in bedrooms than in living rooms, family rooms and dens.

Older adults are at the highest risk of death or injury from smoking-material fires even though they are less likely to smoke than younger adults.

The most common items first ignited in home smoking-material fire deaths were upholstered furniture, mattresses and bedding.

Worldwide the loss of material goods and real estate is in the billions of dollars.

Who Do Fires Caused by Cigarette Smoking Hurt the Most?

Young children are the most vulnerable because their inquisitiveness and thirst for knowledge make them easy targets for experimentation with things they do not quite understand.

Toddlers crawl from pillar to post putting things in their mouths like lighters, cigarettes (new and used) and pipes. They are only imitating what they see their adult mentors do on a daily basis.

And while your impression is that the toddler will not be able to light that cigarette — smoke that pipe — or knock over that ashtray — while you are out of the room, major fire disasters can erupt. For example: You are in the kitchen cooking dinner while you think little Johnny is in his bed taking nap and…

Injury to Adults and Seniors

Adults to seniors, although on the opposite end of the spectrum of young children, fair no better because they can get careless and nod off to sleep, dropping that lit cigarette on a mattress, sofa, or carpet.  Smoke inhalation is such a powerful thing that it can keep you asleep longer and deeper than that well known brand of sleeping pill.

The Other Loss

We must also mention those who are left grieving for their lost loved one. We must also mention the family that survived the fire is left behind to grieve for the loved ones they lost. They’re still trying to understand how something so small as a cigarette could have caused so much damage.

And then there is the neighbor, tired after a 10 hour work day.  She arrives home while on the way thinking about a nice hot bath and a good night’s sleep to learn that she is suddenly homeless. The cigarette smoker next door may have caused a fire that consumed everything she owned other than the clothes on her back and the shoes on her feet.

Consider the Risk, Consider the Disaster

Cigarettes are the number one cause of house fire fatalities. And we haven’t even mentioned outdoor fires causes by careless smokers.

Fires caused by cigarettes result in around eight-hundred plus deaths each year. These fires usually occur when a smoker falls asleep without extinguishing a cigarette.

House fires from unattended cigarettes generally occurs at night, when the whole family is asleep, which can make it difficult for everyone to evacuate in time.

If you or another family member has a tobacco habit, make sure that no one ever smokes in bed.

As of March 2010, all 50 US states passed legislation and achieved their goal in getting cigarette manufacturers to produce only cigarettes that adhere to an established safety performance standard.

If you do smoke think about others. Stay alert and only smoke outside away from non smokers (and dispose of the butts properly). It is better for your family’s health and this one action will reduce the risk of a house fire.

Or better yet, don’t smoke at all and relieve everyone around you from an unnecessary potential disaster.

Smoking Ups Colon Cancer Risk

Italian researchers recently reported that smoking cigarettes ups the the risk of getting colorectal cancer by 18 percent and the risk of malignancy by about 25 percent.

This study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (December 17, 2008).

Smoking cigarettes does a lot of damage to your body.

Organs that have direct contact with carcinogens from smoking are more likely to become affected by cancer. These organs include: lungs, throat, larynx, oropharynx, and the upper digestive tract. Organs that have indirect exposure to carcinogen from smoking include: pancreas, bladder, cervix, kidneys, rectum and colon. These organs also have an increased chance of becoming affected by cancer.

smelly ciggy“Smoking is significantly associated with colorectal cancer incidence and mortality,” said the study’s lead author, Edoardo Botteri, a biostatistician in the division of epidemiology and biostatistics at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy.

Read more about it at HealthDay News

Smokers Use Cigarettes to Cope with Stress

Smokers are poorly equipped to deal with distress without resorting to cigarettes because of their implicit belief that smoking helps them to deal with difficult feelings, a conference for psychologists was told yesterday.

Nigel Vahey of NUI Maynooth said research had found that a key psychological component of tobacco-dependence involved the implicit belief that smoking was an effective way of regulating unpalatable feelings.

“In other words, to the degree that smokers implicitly believe that smoking can enhance their enjoyment and reduce their stress levels, then they are more likely to engage in smoking as a means of controlling and coping with fluctuating feelings throughout the day,” he said.

Smoking was used as a way to avoid dealing with painful thoughts and emotions but this was unproductive as it did not make those feelings go away permanently.

Young Smoker“Such people who smoke to regulate their feelings, whether consciously or unconsciously, become very poorly equipped to cope with distress of any sort without recourse to smoking,” Mr Vahey said. This made quitting even more difficult. “Smokers must not only cope with biological cravings for nicotine, but must also learn to cope with distressing feelings in more productive ways.” He said treatment that dealt with this issue was more successful long term than nicotine replacement therapy or other medications.

Mr Vahey was speaking at the Psychological Society of Ireland’s annual conference which ended yesterday in Tullow, Co Carlow. Earlier, the conference heard a call for proper training for juries in cyber-crime cases.

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times, LISON HEALY

Obama Forever Hooked on Nicotine?

Could our new president of the United States become a poster child for smoking cessation and the millions of Americans trying to quit?

Now that President Obama is in the White House the eye is one him to see if he will follow through with his promise to the first lady and deal with his nicotine addiction and quit smoking.

In a recent interview, he confessed he hasn’t smoked since he has been in office on the White House grounds. This leaves us to red between the lines and assume that he has had a cigarette elsewhere.

Picture of President Obama

With all the stress that a president is under and with his grounded demeanor, is Obama like many others addicted to cigarettes who suffer from the illusion that smoking soothes the effects of stress? This is indeed one of the most known excuses for nicotine dependency.

Read all about Obama’s smoking habit in The Oregonian

Pick Up a Free Quit Smoking Meter

Ciggyfree Favorite Quit Smoking Meters!

A helpful stop smoking aid can be found at a variety of locations.

Quit Smoking meters help you gauge your habit and provide encouragement to face the facts.

The list is a combination of tools for PC’s and Macs.

Check them out:

Let us know your experience working with the meters and which your find the most helpful.

ClockWith new smoking taxes coming, the cost of smoking is sure to increase so the smoking cost calculator can be handy to estimate what your habit will cost in the days to come.

We hope this tool provides greater motivation to quit smoking now! Also the QuitMeter provides great motivation because you can actually determine how much you are saving!

Smoking May Trigger Depression in Women

Smoking is widely known to damage the body but new Australian research suggests the addictive habit could be taking a toll on the mind too.

A study of more than a thousand women has found that females who smoke are more likely to develop major depression.

Heavy smokers – those who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day – have almost double the risk of developing diagnosable depression than non smokers.

It has long been known that people with depression are more likely to smoke, but this longterm study is one of the first to suggest the habit may be triggering mental illness.

University of Melbourne researchers tracked healthy women for more than a decade, giving them a psychiatric assessment at the end.

“It was at this point we were able to determine if depression had developed and investigate whether or not smoking pre-dated the onset of depression,” said study leader Professor Julie Pasco.

Another study of 671 healthy women revealed 15 per cent of smokers went on to develop depression, compared to 6.5 per cent of non smokers.

“This shows us that non smokers were at lower risk for developing major depressive disorder, suggesting that smoking may play a role in the development of the disease in women,” Prof Pasco said. The findings gave grounds for greater efforts to encourage smokers to quit, she said.Anne Jones, chief executive of anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health, said the results were proof the effects of smoking extended beyond physical ills like cancer and heart disease.

“This is a very serious finding and yet another good reason to renew efforts to get Australians to give it up.

Smoking and Depression“We’ve got a blow-out in mental illness in Australia and here we’ve got a cause of mental illness that is being sold in every petrol station and corner store in the country,” Ms Jones said.

Australia’s smoking statistics are dropping but women are quitting at a slower rate than men.

“Mass media campaigns have not been effective at getting the message through to women that quitting is the best thing they can do for their health,” Ms Jones said.

Source: The Age

Since 1878 Reports Confirmed Smoking Was a Health Hazard

1878: Eighty-six years before the U.S. surgeon general issues a report confirming the dangers of smoking tobacco, a letter from English physician Charles R. Drysdale condemning its use appears in The Times of London.

Drysdale, the senior physician to the Metropolitan Free Hospital in London, had already published a book on this subject titled Tobacco and the Diseases It Produces, when he wrote the letter that described smoking as “the most evident of all the retrograde influences of our time.”

Drysdale had been on an anti-smoking crusade since at least 1864, the year he published a study documenting the effects on young men of consuming ¾ ounce of tobacco daily. That study reported cases of jaundice, and at least one subject having “most distressing palpitations of the heart.”

Drysdale’s book pinpointed nicotine as the dangerous agent and reported its ill effects on the lungs, circulation system, even the skin.

Havana-cut tobacco contained roughly 2 percent nicotine, while Virginia tobacco was a more toxic 7 percent, Drysdale pointed out. (Tobacco was a product of the New World and had to be imported to Europe.)

He also warned against exposure to second-hand smoke: “Women who wait in public bar-rooms and smoking-saloons, though not themselves smoking, cannot avoid the poisoning caused by inhaling smoke continually. Surely gallantry, if not common honesty, should suggest the practical inference from this fact.”

The prolific Drysdale wrote on a variety of other related subjects as well, including medicine as a profession for women and issues related to population control.

Despite Drysdale’s warnings, and despite the establishment of numerous anti-smoking movements, little was done to curb smoking anywhere in the world.

Though physicians and scientists understood there were numerous health hazards associated with the practice, the number of smokers increased dramatically in the first half of the 20th century. Thank you, Madison Avenue. Thank you, Hollywood.

The turning point probably came in 1957, when then-Surgeon General Leroy Burney reported a causal link between smoking and lung cancer. It was left to Burney’s successor, Luther Terry, to lower the boom.

Under Terry’s direction, a special committee produced Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General.

This 1964 bombshell — so volatile that it was released on a Saturday to minimize the effect on the stock market — began a massive change in people’s attitudes toward smoking.

And to think it only took 86 years.

Small Changes Can Help Prevent Cancer

Making small changes could make a big difference in preventing cancer.

Avoid preventable risk factors by incorporating these guidelines into of your lifestyle.

Three choices can make a vast difference in increasing your odds for staying healthy and keeping yourself in check.

Don’t Smoke Tobacco

Smoking damages nearly every organ in the human body, is linked to at least 15 different cancers, accounts for about 30 percent of all cancer deaths and costs billions of dollars each year, according to the American Cancer Society.

In the United States, cigarette smoking is responsible for about 90 percent of all cases of lung cancer — the leading cause of cancer death. Smoking cigars and pipes or chewing tobacco isn’t safe either.

“The importance of not smoking cannot be over emphasized in the prevention of cancer,” says Dr. Thomas Johnson, oncologist with Sacred Heart Medical Oncology Group. “Quitting is imperative for anyone who uses tobacco. Even people who have used tobacco for many years reduce their risk of cancer by quitting, as compared to people who continue to use tobacco.”

Toss Cigarettes Away“The predisposition for lung cancer does run in families,” Johnson says. “Smokers with relatives who have contracted lung cancer are at extremely high risk for developing cancer themselves, due to their genetic makeup.

You will often see multiple cases of lung cancer in a family that has a history of COPD, emphysema or lung cancer — those family members are predisposed to cancer and should not smoke.

Tobacco use alone increases their risk of cancer by 10 to 20 percent.”

Eat Healthy Foods and Get Regular Exercise

Fully one-third of cancer deaths are linked to poor diet, physical inactivity and carrying excess weight.

The American Cancer Society recommends that you limit foods high in fat, eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day and limit alcohol, if you drink it at all. Include moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking) for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week to help achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

“Being overweight increases cancer risk by causing the body to produce and circulate more of the hormones estrogen and insulin, which can stimulate cancer growth,” said Dr. Dee McLeod, oncologist with Sacred Heart Medical Oncology Group. “Studies suggest that people whose diet is high in fat have an increased risk of cancers of the colon, uterus and prostate. Lack of physical activity and being overweight are risk factors for cancers of the breast, colon, esophagus, kidney and uterus.”

Avoid Harmful Sun Exposure

Most skin cancer occurs on exposed parts of your body, including your face, hands, forearms and ears. When going out in the sun keep these tips in mind: Avoid peak hours of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., stay in the shade, cover exposed skin with clothes and hats and use sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.Get immunized

Certain cancers are associated with viral infections that can be prevented with immunizations. Talk to your doctor about immunization against Hepatitis B and the Human Papilloma Virus.

Get Health Screenings

“For many types of cancer, by the time that there are symptoms, the cancer is too far advanced to achieve a cure,” McLeod says. “Cancer screenings identify those at high-risk for cancer, and to be most useful, must detect cancers before symptoms would cause a person to seek care. Early detection is so often a key factor in successful treatment.”

Screenings should include tests to detect cancers of your skin, mouth, colon and rectum. If you’re a man, it should also include your prostate and testes. If you’re a woman, add cervix and breast cancer screening to your list. Visit www.cancer.org to find the American Cancer Society Guidelines for Early Detection of Cancer.

For more information on cancer prevention and treatment, visit The SacredHeart Cancer Center.