Tag Archives: tobacco smoke

New Zealand, Clearly Becoming Smoke-Free

If you want to stop smoking then pack your bag and fly over to New Zealand.

While you are there New Zealand tobacco regulatory agencies will offer you the facts on smoking dangers and by 2017 you may have to leave the country to buy tobacco products.

New Zealand is one of the many countries incorporating smoking bans, and like Canada they are banning smoking in your car.

Under the Influence While Driving

In New Zealand now you could be fined for smoking while driving in your car.

If you are a cigarette smoker you may be asking, “Do they fine people if they are not driving, but just sitting by the side of the road with the car ignition off?”

Or you might even ask, “Is there a smoking airbag that will explode if I am smoking in my car?”

Seriously, it does matter if you smoke while driving. You are polluting the air around you with second hand smoke. Windows up, windows down; it doesn’t matter.

Passengers who are riding with you including young children are also subject to your second hand smoke that could lead to potential harm, like contributing to asthma and other bronchial ailments.

It’s a Matter of Respecting Others


Young children are more at risk for these ailment because their lungs, like the rest of their bodies are still in the development stage.

The casual cigarette puff near a crib where an infant may be sleeping has been known to result in Sudden Death Syndrome. Children’s lungs actually take in more air because they breathe faster. They are unable to turn away from the smoke and of course infants do not know how harmful the smoke from tobacco is or even what it is.

A child who is around an adult smoker might draw closer to the lite cigarette because it is something new and their curious minds want to investigate. They do not know any better.

Adults may not want to smell your second hand smoke either. Many people are polite and will tolerate the fumes when they accompany you walking, driving or riding in a car.

Also, think about it. Many friends will endure second hand smoke before offending you. You might ask how you will feel if in time they suddenly fall victim of an unexplained bronchial infection, cancer, and other ailments that are known to be smoker related.

New Zealand’s Stop Regulations and Initiative

If we take the initiative and see what’s working for the people of New Zealand, (we are not saying they are doing everything right) we might learn something. Their smoking rates are considerably lower than those in other countries, including the US.

Why not concentrate on more aggressive efforts to teach our kids not to smoke. How about becoming a good example by not smoking nor exposing our children to friends who still smoke. These three actions would be a good start.

Paying higher premiums for healthcare services could also be a major game changer to help smokers quit.

New Zealand is on the right track to help smoking statistics drop in their country, which will in turn improve the quality of life for everyone. In fact, on September 5th,  2007, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) in New Zealand called for the removal of tobacco from sale by 2017.

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.

Act Now on Cigarettes, Expert Says

An Australian adviser to the World Health Organisation has warned the ingredients of strawberry jam face tougher regulation than the deadly contents of cigarettes and has urged the Federal Government to act immediately.

A leading international expert on the health impacts of tobacco smoke, Dr Nigel Gray said he was disgusted that carcinogens in cigarettes remained unregulated, despite killing about 15,000 Australians each year.

“Controls apply to almost every marketed product from the amount of rat droppings permitted in wheat, to the amount of fat allowed in sausages and even the amount of mint allowed in nicotine replacement therapy,” Dr Gray said in an editorial published in the Medical Journal of Australia yesterday.

“It seems astonishing that the federal minister for drug and alcohol policy recently rejected claims that a new tobacco product (a ‘heatbar’, which heats but does not burn tobacco) should be subject to regulation and said there were no plans to even investigate the product.”

In June, The Age revealed that tobacco giant Philip Morris had secret plans to launch Australia’s first hand-held electronic smoking device. Dr Gray worked on a recent report by the WHO, which provided an international blueprint to regulate cigarette smoke and recommended the introduction of controls on two of the most dangerous carcinogens.

“The report found these compounds (nitrosamines) can be substantially removed from the cigarette because they occur during the process of curing tobacco,” Dr Gray said.

The US Government is considering the WHO recommendations and has a bill before Congress that would empower its Food and Drug Administration to regulate cigarette emissions.

kangeroo.GIFDr Gray said Australia should do the same.

But federal Minister for the Ageing Christopher Pyne said the Federal Government had banned all tobacco advertising and spent millions of dollars on education.

“For the Government to regulate the contents of cigarettes or to regulate products like the heatbar would undermine the message that all cigarettes are harmful and that quitting is the only option to avoid smoking-related illnesses. This is the approach we will continue to take,” Mr Pyne said.

Cancer Council spokeswoman Anita Tang said a failure to act was an implicit endorsement of cigarettes.

Philip Morris also supported the push for the contents of cigarettes to be regulated, despite opposition from other manufacturers.

Last night, Philip Morris spokeswoman Nerida White said: “We agree that the Australian Government should set in train a process of tobacco regulation, as is being discussed in the bill in the US Congress.”

Ms White said all cigarette manufacturers should be required to disclose the contents of their products.

Source: Cameron Houston, The Age (Australia)

Click to learn more about > carcinogens.

NIH to Fund New Research Study Regarding Exposure to Cigarette Smoke

Smoking Research Studies Exposure to Cigarette Smoke

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania recently received a $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a new study focusing on the chemical changes that occur when the body is exposed to cigarette smoke.

SmokePrevious research has shown that chemical changes in the body can occur after exposure to cigarette smoke and that smoking and exposure to cigarette smoke is the environmental exposure responsible for causing more deaths than any other toxins.

The chemical elements found in cigarette smoke can cause certain types of cancer and have been associated with cardiovascular, pulmonary and pancreatic diseases.

Smokers, non-smokers and even individuals who are in regular contact with secondhand smoke will be screened for the presence of distinctive lipid and DNA biological indicators or chemicals and through additional discovery potential protein indicators in their blood, urine and breath.

These indicators, also known as biomarkers or biochemicals, will be utilized to determine the susceptibility of individuals to tobacco-related lung and cardiovascular problems after exposure to cigarette smoke. The results will hopefully provide reliable data for use in subsequent studies.

“Only one in ten smokers get lung cancer, but the five-year survival rate after diagnosis is only 15 percent,” says Trevor M. Penning, PhD, Director of The Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET). “The question is, how can we intervene earlier to identify people most at risk. We aim to look at the interaction of genetic susceptibility to lung cancer and biomarkers of exposure to cigarette smoke. At the end of the day, if we study genetics and exposure together, we’ll hopefully have a very strong statement to say who is most at risk.”

Source: Brenda Fulmer, Claris Law
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Tobacco Smoke Effects Moves From the Lungs to the Kidneys

“Some of the carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals) in tobacco smoke are absorbed from the lungs and get into the blood.

From the blood, they are filtered by the kidneys and concentrated in the urine.” ~~ Dr Visal A Khan

Smoking is systemic, and the chemicals in tobacco do not stop effecting your body until after quitting smoking your immune system has a chance to restore your health.

“A cigarette is a euphemism for a cleverly crafted product that delivers just the right amount of nicotine to keep its user addicted for life before killing the person.”
~WHO

Smoking Link to Cot Death Underestimated by Majority 0f Parents

Seventy per cent of parents are not aware of the extent of the cot death risk posed by smoking in the home.

A poll(1), conducted for the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) during the first two weeks of the ban on smoking in enclosed public places, found that 70 percent of parents of young children (aged 0-3) either significantly underestimated or did not know how much more likely cot death was if a baby is exposed to tobacco smoke for one hour every day.

A baby who regularly spends one hour a day in a smoky environment is twice as likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – or cot death – as a baby who lives in a smoke-free home.(2)

Forty-seven per cent of parents polled, however, thought that there was either no risk or a much lower risk than is in fact the case, while 23 percent couldn’t estimate the risk from the options given.

The poll also found that a greater proportion of families on lower incomes than higher incomes (76 percent as opposed to 56 percent) were unaware of the extent of the risk. A greater proportion of parents in the North of England (75 percent) and the Midlands (74 percent) than parents in the South (65 percent) and in London (60 percent) were unaware of the extent of the risk.

FSID-funded cot death researcher Professor Peter Fleming of Bristol University says:

“We all know about the danger that secondhand smoke poses to the public and yet we expose children to cigarette smoke in the home. Parents need to be aware of the threat that smoke poses to their children and protect them by enforcing their own smoke-free zones at home.”

Joyce Epstein, FSID’s director, says: “Even if parents do smoke, they can have a really positive effect on reducing the risk of cot death by making their home a smoke-free zone and always going outside to smoke. And smokers should never share a bed with their baby, even if they don’t smoke in bed.”

Nearly every day in the UK a family suffers the tragedy of a cot death. It remains the leading cause of death for babies over one month old, but about 30 per cent of these deaths could be avoided if parents didn’t smoke around their children. As the smoking ban comes into force, there is the risk that people will smoke more at home, exposing more infants to secondhand cigarette smoke and increasing the risk of cot death.

Photo of Child in CribSmoking in pregnancy is also dangerous. A woman who smokes 1-9 cigarettes a day during pregnancy is more than 4 times as likely to have a baby die as a cot death than a woman who didn’t smoke at all during pregnancy.

Women who did smoke when they were pregnant should try not to expose their babies to smoke after birth as this can help reduce the risk of cot death.

(1) The research was conducted via a face-to-face omnibus from 28 June-13 July 2007 by Ipsos MORI’s Global Omnibus Services division. A nationally representative sample of 449 parents of children aged 0-3 in Great Britain were interviewed (with the data subsequently weighted to the known profile of this population). 37% of households had one or more smoker. 47% of respondents underestimated the cot death risk if a baby spent one hour every day in a room where people smoked, including 6% who thought there would be no effect on the chances of cot death, 17% who thought the chances would increase by one-tenth, and 24% who thought the chances would increase by half. 23% didn’t know how the chances would be affected. 30% accurately stated that the chance of a cot death would double.

(2) The UK’s largest ever cot death study (Fleming, P et al (2000), Sudden Unexpected Deaths in Infancy – the CESDI/SUDI Studies, The Stationery Office, London) found that the more hours babies were exposed to tobacco smoke each day the greater the risk of cot death. Babies who were exposed to 1-2 hours of smoke a day, were 2.43 times more likely to die than those who had no exposure to tobacco smoke. The risk was 3.84 times greater if the baby was exposed for 3-5 hours a day, rising to 5.89 times the risk for 6-8 hours of daily exposure and to 8.3 times the risk after 8 hours or more of regular tobacco smoke exposure. The risk of death also rose with the number of smokers in the household. A family with one smoker had nearly 5 times the risk of a cot death of a non-smoking household, while there was 11 times the risk if two people smoked and 16 times the risk if three or more people smoked.

About FSID

The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths is the UK’s leading baby charity working to prevent sudden infant deaths and promote infant health.

FSID funds research (nearly £10 million to date); supports bereaved families; promotes baby care advice; and works to improve investigations when a baby dies.

The UK’s cot death rate has fallen by 75% since the campaign to reduce the risk of cot death was launched in 1991, and we estimate that 25,000 babies’ lives have been saved. Cot death is still the biggest killer of babies over one month old in the UK today, claiming around 300 infants’ lives every year – that’s more than road traffic accidents, leukemia, and meningitis put together.

http://www.sids.org.uk
(SIDS)

Source: Medical News Today

Protect Others From Second-Hand Smoke

29 MAY 2007 | GENEVA — The World Health Organization (WHO) signaled the urgent need for countries to make all indoor public places and workplaces 100% smoke-free with the release of its new policy recommendations on protection from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke in advance of World No Tobacco Day (31 May), which focuses this year on this theme.

“The evidence is clear, there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke,” said the WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “Many countries have already taken action. I urge all countries that have not yet done so to take this immediate and important step to protect the health of all by passing laws requiring all indoor workplaces and public places to be 100% smoke-free.”

There are about 4000 known chemicals in tobacco smoke; more than 50 of them are known to cause cancer. Exposure to second-hand smoke causes heart disease and many serious respiratory and cardiovascular diseases that can lead to premature death in adults. It also causes diseases and worsens existing conditions, such as asthma, in children.

The new WHO policy recommendations are based on the evidence of three recent major reports, which all reached the same conclusion: Monograph 83 Tobacco Smoke and Involuntary Smoking by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the United States Surgeon General’s Report on The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke and the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Proposed Identification of Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a Toxic Air Contaminant.

Exposure to second-hand smoke occurs anywhere smoking is permitted: homes, workplaces and other public places. An estimated 200 000 workers die each year due to exposure to smoke at work. WHO estimates that around 700 million children, or almost half of the world’s children, breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke, particularly at home.

The Global Youth Tobacco Survey, developed by WHO and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), interviewed students between 13 and 15 years old in 132 countries between 1999 and 2005. The results of the survey show that 43.9% of the students are exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke at home, while 55.8% are exposed to smoke in public places. Support for smoking bans in public places is global, with 76.1% of the students surveyed in favour.

The costs of second-hand smoke are not limited to the burden of disease. Exposure also imposes economic costs on individuals, businesses and society as a whole.

These include primarily direct and indirect medical costs, but also productivity losses. In addition, workplaces where smoking is permitted incur higher renovation and cleaning costs, and increased risk of fire, and may experience higher insurance premiums.

Later this year, countries participating in the second Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are expected to discuss guidelines for protection against exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. The second Conference of the Parties, starts on June 30 in Bangkok, Thailand.

“This topic should matter to everyone, because everyone benefits from smoke-free places,” said Dr Douglas Bettcher, Acting Director of the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative. “With this year’s theme, we hope that everyone, especially policy makers and employers, will be inspired to claim, create and enjoy spaces that are 100% free from tobacco smoke.

By doing so, we keep the bodies inside those spaces smoke-free too, and greatly increase our effectiveness in preventing serious diseases and saving lives in future generations.”

Organizations, institutions and communities around the world celebrate World No Tobacco Day with different activities, for example marches, educational meetings and smoking cessation workshops, to raise awareness of the lethal health consequences of tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke.

The day is also used to mark the beginning of extended media and advocacy campaigns or to introduce lasting policy changes, such as making public and workplaces 100% smoke-free.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death globally, causing more than five million deaths a year. Tobacco use continues to expand most rapidly in the developing world, where currently half of tobacco-related deaths occur. By 2030, if current trends continue, 8 out of every 10 tobacco-related deaths will be in the developing world.

For further information, please contact:

Marta Seoane
Communications Officer
Tobacco Free Initiative, WHO
Tel.: +41 22 791 2489
Mobile: +41 79 475 5551
E-mail: seoanem@who.int

Joel Schaefer
Communications Officer
Tobacco Free Initiative, WHO
Mobile: +41 79 516 4756
E-mail: schaeferj@who.int