Tag Archives: world health organization

When Women and Girls Aren’t Pretty in Pink

This last month WHO, the World Health Organization focused more attention on tobacco ads that target women and girls.

Females represent a large market of potential new smokers, especially woman and young females in developing countries.

Take a look at many of the new Big Tobacco’s aggressive campaigns and ads. You will find them linked to fashion, entertainment, and even sports events. Marketing tactics don’t stop at ad campaigns. The latest package designs and the look and feel of many cigarettes are clearly made for “females only.”

“The industry’s market strategy is having its desired impact,” Douglas Bettcher, director of WHO’s tobacco free initiative, said at a news briefing. “More and more girls are starting to light up. This is a serious red flag.”

World No Tobacco Day Released Youth Smoking Survey

In the countries of Chile, Colombia, and Mexico as well as in Eastern Europe teenage girls who smoke is beginning to outnumber teenage male smokers.

Comparing 151 country’s numbers we find girls that are lighting up is now equaling male youth smokers who once dominated younger users.

Pretty in Pink, NOTThe low and middle income country’s tobacco campaigns often use very seductive ads that associate tobacco use with beauty and liberation. Pink is becoming a trendy, smoking fashion statement.

Pink Cigarettes & Fashion Pink Packaging

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize five million people die every year from tobacco-related health problems caused from smoking or second-hand smoke exposure. Two of the three who die from second hand smoke related deaths are women.

Japan tobacco campaigns include pink packs of cigarettes and one cigarette maker in Egypt markets a cigarette pack that resembles a perfume container.

“The industry has studied what makes women tick in both the developed and developing countries,” said Adepeju Olukoya, of the WHO’s gender, women and health department.

Enticing Flavored Cigarettes

Flavored CigarettesAppealing to the market of emotional eaters, taste is another niche to hook new smokers.

The Black Devil Brand comes in an assortment of flavors and colors. Even the name implies you can do something “naughty” and get away with it.

The pink cigarettes are flavored with “Rose” which is one of the most appealing of fragrances in the world. The black package contains chocolate flavored death sticks, one of the most sought after tastes and foods.

By piggybacking on “Chocolate and Roses” the cigarettes mask the reality that their ingredients and harmful, toxic and can shorten one’s life. Praying on the emotions of young people to get them to pick up their first cigarette is a pretty disgusting tactic. Especially, since younger people are the least likely to contemplate mortality and the pain associated with prolonged health problems.

Most of us know how easy it is to become hooked on tobacco when the cigarettes are laced with ingredients that also stimulate the addictive centers in the brain.

Next we may see prescription drug manufacturers doing the same thing.

Reference:
(Editing by Michael Taylor) http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE64R1Z420100528?type=marketsNews

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

May 31 Celebrate World No Tobacco Day

In 1987 World No Tobacco Day was created by WHO, the World Health Organization.

With a focus on the negative health effects of tobacco smoking, the aim of May 31st is to reduce tobacco deaths each year.

Right now that number stands at about five million yearly. That number is expected to double within the next ten years which is pretty scary.

On this date WHO provides awards to individuals and organizations who have supported the cause of reducing tobacco use in exceptional ways.

We are looking forward to see to whom this year’s awards are given for their outstanding work to bring greater awareness to the world.

Ban on Tobacco Advertising

Just last year, WHO moved to lobby for a ban on tobacco advertising because of the obvious link between ads aimed to get young people to start smoking and ads that attempt to make smoking look attractive, appealing, or whatever motivator they can conjure up to market the poisons they package.

The Great American Smokeout is another world event, which is recognized the Third Thursday in November. Just in time for the holiday season. This is a gift that can keep on giving for it can save a life if a smoker stops in time.

This Years World No Tobacco Day Theme – Tobacco Health Warnings

pic-crushing-ciggysThis year the celebration is centered around warning people around the globe about the dangers of tobacco and cigarette use.

Attention is drawn to the practices that big tobacco companies partake to keep the smoking epidemic growing each year even though every year thousands of lives are lost due to the dangerous effects of smoking.

Some deaths are also due to second hand smoke, and links have been made to smoking during pregnancy and the negative effects it has on the fetus and baby.

Pass the Word – No Smoking!

On May 31st, take the lead and tell everyone you know to pass the word. One voice at a time may make the difference in someone’s life.

Watch this short video to see what the effects in just one year from the accumulation of tar in cigarettes.

 

EU Unsure About Regulating Radioactive Polonium in Tobacco

Traces of polonium present in tobacco recently raised questions at the European Commission, while traces of radioactive and other substances – such as radon, polonium and cadmium – contained in tobacco leaves open questions as to whether they should be regulated at EU level.

Following media reports about the dangers of polonium contained in cigarettes, the Commission is studying whether or not the substance should be included in the list of regulated ingredients, a spokesperson for the EU executive told EurActiv.

Radioactive Polonium in CigarettesUp until now the EU has regulated additional substances found in tobacco products such as nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide, but did not take into account the tobacco leaf itself, running counter to World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations.

Asked whether such highly dangerous radioactive and poisonous substance could be regulated at all, the Commission official responded that this was a difficult question to answer.

Tobacco firms knew about the presence of polonium in cigarettes and the dangers it involved, but the results of the research were not published for fear of “waking a sleeping giant”, according to Monique Muggli of Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, quoted in the September edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

Polonium 210 is a highly radioactive substance which has been found to cause lung cancer in 90% of cases. It is this very same substance which poisoned former KGB agent Alexander V. Litvinenko.

Regarding the relationship between polonium 210 and the radioactivity of cigarettes, Muggli said: “The companies wanted to hide from that issue publicly. They continue to minimize the recognition of radioactivity in their products in smoking and health litigation,” quoted in The Independent, a British daily.

So far, the Commission’s tobacco legislation has set limits on nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide yields to be applied in all member states. In line with this, the EU executive is putting pressure on the industry to add more visual warnings about the danger of smoking on cigarette packets themselves.

Source: The EurActiv network

Related Links

EU official documents

Press articles

Statistics Reveal Smoking’s Hidden Death Toll

Smoking causes hundreds of thousands more deaths each year than previously thought, dramatic scientific research has revealed.

A study, led by experts in Glasgow, showed heightened chances of dying from cancers of the colon, rectum and prostate, as well as from lymphatic leukaemia.

These illnesses cause 930,000 deaths worldwide each year, in addition to more than five million smoking-related deaths estimated by the World Health Organisation as being caused by diseases such as lung cancer, which have long been linked to smoking.

Scotland’s health minister and anti-smoking campaigners have welcomed the study as further proof of the need to clamp down on the habit.

About 13,000 Scots a year die of lung cancer and other smoking-related diseases, such heart illnesses. Another 1,600 people die in Scotland each year from the cancers newly linked to the habit.

The Scottish Government last month unveiled controversial new plans to curb smoking, by proposing a ban on cigarettes being displayed in shops. And ministers south of the border have suggested scrapping packs of 10 cigarettes because of their popularity among young smokers.

Bagpipes in GlasgowThe new study, which has been published in the journal Annals of Oncology, was carried out by a team led by experts at Glasgow University and was based on data from 17,363 male civil servants based in London. Information about their health and habits has been collated since the 1960s in an effort to gain information about health trends and find links between lifestyle and illness. The original link between smoking and lung cancer was found through similar analysis of medical data.

The study found:

  • A 43% increase in the chances of dying from cancer of the colon if the person smokes.
  • A 40% higher likelihood of dying from rectal cancer.
  • An increase of 23% in the chances of losing one’s life to prostate cancer.
  • A 53% rise in mortality from lymphatic leukaemia among smokers.

The study concluded: “Cigarette smoking appears to be a risk factor for several malignancies of previously unclear association with tobacco use.”

Dr David Batty, of the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, based at the University of Glasgow, said: “What this study shows is that smoking is linked to more kinds of cancer than previously thought. It’s important to remember that cancer is not a single disease and that the various kinds of cancers are different illnesses so you couldn’t necessarily assume that smoking was linked to them in the same way. What’s unclear is how exactly smoking causes these cancers.”

Health Minister Shona Robison said: “This study appears to demonstrate that smoking is even more carcinogenic than was realised.

It also underlines the importance of Scotland’s smoking ban in public places, which is helping to safeguard the health of thousands of people working in previously smoky environments.”

Sheila Duffy, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health Scotland, said: “This large-scale study adds to the weight of existing research confirming the harmfulness of smoking. It’s vital that smokers receive support and encouragement to quit and as a nation we take steps to ensure future generations avoid getting hooked on this lethal and highly addictive substance.”

Ed Yong, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “The dangers of cigarette smoke go far beyond its well-known link to lung cancer. It’s interesting to see that even after 50 years of research, studies are still revealing new dangers.”

However, one leading medical experts questioned the conclusions.

Fouad Habib, professor of experimental urology at Edinburgh University, and an expert in prostate cancer, said: “This study is bit of a surprise and very much the first of its kind. Until now it’s not been thought that there was any link between smoking and prostate cancer and I would have thought that there are factors which play a much greater role, such as genetics.”

Meanwhile, smokers’ groups insisted the research should not be used to push through tougher anti-smoking rules.

Neil Rafferty, spokesman for the smokers’ lobby group the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco, said: “We are not suggesting the smoking is anything other than bad for you. People enjoy it, but they know that it’s not good for them and they take the choice. No doubt the anti-smoking lobby will want to use this to erode our freedoms still further. At the end of the day, we are adults. Let us get on with our lives.”

Source: Murdo MacLeod, News.scotsman.com

Smoking Reversible?

Risk of death from tobacco related diseases or various forms of cancer declines dramatically five years after kicking the habit.

Women who quit smoking reduce their risk of dying from heart disease and tobacco-related cancers.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed data on 105,000 women over 24 years, taken from the Nurses’ Health Study, a long-term survey that began at Harvard in 1976.

Stacey Kenfield is lead author of the new report. She says the data show harm from smoking can be reversed over time to the level of a non-smoker. “For coronary heart disease for example, your risk declines to a non-smokers’ risk within 20 years. For all causes it declines at 20 years. For lung cancer it is after 30 years.”

Kenfield says scientists observed almost immediate benefits when the women kicked the habit. “We saw a 47 percent reduction in risk for coronary heart disease within the first five years [of quitting] and a 21 percent reduction in lung cancer death within the first five years.” Kenfield says the data also indicate that smoking is more dangerous the younger a woman is when she starts. “If you start before you are 17, you have a 21-fold higher risk than a non-smoker. But if you start after the age of 26 you only have a 9-fold higher risk of dying from lung cancer.”

Picture of Girl SmokingBased on that evidence, Kenfield recommends high schools offer more programs to help students quit. “If you would like to see the whole potential benefit from your cigarette cessation, you really need to quit as soon as possible.”

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The World Health Organization attributed 5 million deaths to smoking in 2000. That number is expected to climb to 10 million tobacco-related deaths by 2030. Kenfield’s study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Source: Voice of America News

Tobacco May Kill 1 Billion in This Century, WHO Says

Tobacco use will kill 1 billion people in this century.

This is a 10-fold increase over the past 100 years, unless governments in poor nations raise taxes on consumption and mandate health warnings, the World Health Organization said.

No country fully implements these most important tobacco – control measures, according to a 330-page report released today by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Geneva-based UN agency.

Bloomberg, who helped fund the study, joined WHO Director-General Margaret Chan at a news conference in New York to discuss the findings. “This is a unique point in public health history as the forces of political will, policies and funding are aligned to create the momentum needed to dramatically reduce tobacco use and save millions of lives by the middle of this century,” Chan said in a foreword to the report.

The WHO said the tobacco “epidemic causes the deaths of 5.4 million people a year due to lung cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. That figure might rise to 8 million per year by 2030, including 80 percent in countries whose rapidly growing economies offer their citizens the hope of a better life,” the report said.

American States

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, said states are falling short on U.S. recommendations to boost insurance coverage of proven anti-smoking treatments that fight nicotine addiction.

The Atlanta-based U.S. government agency said eight states’ Medicaid programs, which serve the poor, fail to reimburse for any tobacco-dependence programs, and only Oregon covered them all. About 35 percent of Medicaid patients are smokers, it said.

Tobacco is the “single most preventable cause of death” in the world, the WHO said. Yet governments in low-and middle- income countries that collect $66.5 billion in taxes from the sale of tobacco products spend only $14 million on anti-smoking measures, and 95 percent of the world’s population is unprotected by the type of anti-smoking laws Bloomberg has pushed in New York.

Commitment Sought

“Now for the first time ever we have reliable data, a system of analysis and clear standards to promote accountability,” Bloomberg said of the report, which examines tobacco use in 179 countries.  “What we are still missing is a strong commitment from government leaders, but we believe this report will empower more leaders to act.”

Bloomberg, 65, the billionaire founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, announced in 2006 he intended to donate $125 million to worldwide smoking-cessation efforts.

Bloomberg’s Health Department has made fighting tobacco use its top priority, enforcing age limits on smoking, distributing free nicotine patches and chewing gum though the city’s 311 telephone information number and producing television ads featuring a former smoker who lost his voice to throat cancer at age 39.

The Health Department reported in January that teenage cigarette use has been cut by half — to one in six teenagers — since Bloomberg became New York City’s mayor in 2002. That year, he persuaded the state legislature to ban smoking in indoor workplaces including bars and restaurants. He also fought for and won a cigarette tax increase of $1.50 that lifted the average price to about $7 per pack.

Role of Taxes

Smoking Pink LipstickThe WHO said raising taxes was the most effective way to reduce tobacco use, noting that a 70 percent increase would prevent a quarter of all tobacco-related deaths.

The report cites a 2001 study titled “Critical Issues in Global Health,” by epidemiologists Richard Peto and A. D. Lopez, edited by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, as support for the assertion that population and smoking trends during the next several decades might lead to as many as 1 billion lives lost to smoking.

China, the world’s largest producer and consumer of tobacco, was highlighted by the UN agency. Almost 60 percent of men smoke cigarettes in China, compared with 21 percent in the U.S. At the same time, the report cited a survey that said most urban residents of China support a ban on tobacco advertising, higher tobacco taxes and smoke-free public places.

David Howard, a spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., which reported $8.5 billion in U.S. sales of brands such as Camel, Kool and Pall Mall cigarettes, said his company has expressed “the very clear opinion that smoking causes serious diseases.”

The company, owned by Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Reynolds American Inc., continues its sales efforts, Howard said, because “there are about 45 million adults who are aware of the risks and have made the conscious decision to use tobacco products, and it’s a legal product.”

Source: By Henry Goldman and Bill Varner, Bloomberg [02-07-08]

Tobacco Deaths a Third World Plague

Facts tell us tobacco deaths on the rise and increasing in many countries.

Judith Longstaff Mackay, a senior policy adviser to the World Health Organisation, said cigarette markets were shrinking in advanced economies, but growing in developing states.

Tobacco-related deaths are expected to double to 10 million a year by 2030, with most fatalities in developing countries, says a senior World Lung Foundation (WLF) official.

“There’s about three million TB [tuberculosis] deaths a year, and five million deaths a year from tobacco,” said Mackay. “By 2030, that will be closer to 10 million, they’ll be doubling…and the major burden is on developing countries.”

Staring Contest by Cyril Van Der HaegenSmoking is a major cause of cancer of the lung, throat and bladder. Despite proof of the health risks, Mackay said more people were lighting up worldwide, with 1.64 billion smokers expected by 2030, from 1.3 billion today.

The American Cancer Society labels China a “ticking time bomb” with about 320 million smokers.

According to the 2006 edition of The Tobacco Atlas, published by the society, the four countries with the highest number of male smokers (who are the majority of the world’s smokers) were China, Yemen, Djibouti and Cambodia.

New Zealand Herald

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.

Smoking Kills Millions Of People Around The World

Not Succeeding is a failure only if you do not try to quit smoking again.

Results from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that currently there are 1.3 billion smokers in the world.

The same data show that every 8 seconds somewhere in the world one person dies from the consequences of smoking. Smoking is the leading cause of premature deaths in the world.

Experts calculated that the number of deaths caused by smoking will increase by 10 million annually until 2020.

In Croatia, every third person is a smoker, of which 33.8% are men and 21.7% are women.

Smoking is often considered just a habit, but it is actually a much more serious problem.

Smoking is an addiction on three levels – psychological, emotional and physical.

The World Health Organization prepared an International Classification of Diseases which includes smoking addiction as a mental organic disorder.

How Does Nicotine Lead to Addiction?

Smoking ImagesNicotine has psychoactive effects.

It links to nicotine receptors in the brain, and in this way it increases the release of neurotransmitters, especially dopamine which gives a sense of pleasure. That’s why the majority of smokers feels satisfaction when smoking.

What are the Consequences of Smoking?

One of the most fatal results of smoking is lung carcinoma, of which one person dies every 30 seconds.

Around 90% in men and 80% in women of lung cancers are caused by smoking.

Smokers have 22 times greater possibilities of getting lung cancer that non-smokers.

More than 600,000 people die of cardiovascular illnesses that appear as a consequence of smoking every year.  Apart from that, smoking can damage sperm and skew DNA which can cause abortions or congenital deformations of the smokers’ descendants.

Also, sterility happens more often to smokers that non-smokers, because it reduces the number of sperm and the blood flow into the penis.

Making the Decision to Quit Smoking

The benefits of quitting smoking are huge and they are immediately visible. However, those who ask for expert advise have the best opportunity to stop smoking. Those who stop on their own, rarely manage to succeed in their intention, because it is an addiction that hits people emotionally, physically and psychologically.

Not Succeeding is a failure only if you do not try to quit smoking again – doctors say. That is why it is necessary not to give up. Seek support and beat the statistics before it’s to late.

Source: Antonija Zbiljski