Tag Archives: youth tobacco use

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.

Broken Cigarette and Young Woman

Retailers Selling Tobacco Products to Underage Users Receive Warning Letter

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approximately 20% of high school students smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products.

The FDA also reports that 80% of adults who smoke started before they were 18 years old.

As part of the FDAs strategy of protecting the health of youth, compliance checks amongst tobacco retailers are done to determine whether or not vendors are cooperating in the enforcement of tobacco control laws.

Violating Tobacco Laws

Broken Cigarette and Young WomanIn June 2009, President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. This legislation gives the FDA the authority to ensure smoking laws are enforced by undergoing compliance investigations of retailers. The purpose of this act is to ensure minors are protected from the health-crippling effects of smoking and tobacco use.

If retailers are found to be selling tobacco products, including cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, to underage users, the FDA issues a warning letter as part of the violation of tobacco control laws. If a retailer is found to be breaking the law, they may be required to pay a civil financial penalty.

To learn more, please click > FDA’s Warning Letters

Tobacco Control Compliance Investigations

Approximately 30,000 compliance checks have been completed across the country. The FDA has issued over 1,200 warning letters to establishments found violating restrictions of the sale and distribution of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The compliance investigations include verifying whether or not the retailer:

  • confirms the customer’s age by asking for photo identification;
  • properly labels and advertises according to law smokeless tobacco products;
  • has for sale single cigarettes;
  • has in place a ban on cigarette products flavored like fruit or candy; and
  • is using vending machines or self-serving cigarette dispensers that have been banned from use.

For more information on the FDAs retailer inspections, please click > Inspection of Retailers

Teen Smokers Often Find Depression Follows Taking up Smoking

A commonly admitted reason teenagers have began smoking is that they are seeking a boost for their mood.

Canadian researchers surveyed teen smokers to determine how smoking actually affected their moods.

What they discovered was that smoking can actually depress and not enhance the teens’ mental state of being.

Teenage Smoking and Moods: The Study

The teens were divided into three groups. In one group were the teens who had never smoked. The other two were for teen smokers who smoked for self medicating reasons, and for teens smokers who smoked but not for self medicating reasons.

Using a scale, the participants were asked to rate the occurrence of several moods and depression symptoms, including lethargy, sleep disruption, feelings of sadness or depression, feelings of hopelessness, feeling nervous or tense, and bouts of worry.

Symptoms of Depression

The researchers found that the teen smokers were much more likely to experience depressed moods that the teens who were non-smokers. Furthermore, the teens who reportedly started smoking as a method to increase their moods experienced more frequent depressive symptoms than the teen smokers who did not using smoking as a form of self medication.

Beyond Physical Harm: Emotional Consequences of Smoking

The physical health consequences of smoking are widely known: coughing, difficulty breathing, decreased immunity, increased chance of lung disease or lung issues, increased heart problems or occurrence of heart attack—even increased chance of death as a culmination of these symptoms.

What this study allows us to see are the effects of smoking on emotional health and well being, too. While symptoms of depression do not necessarily lead to the disease depression, they certainly put people at a higher risk. The teenage years can be trying for most adolescents, whether or not smoking is an addiction that is picked up.

Reference: Smoking Seems to Backfire on Teens Hoping for a Lift: http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=642605

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

Way to Go California – 1 800 No Butts at Your Service

California’s Example Provides Encouragement that Smokers Can Stop

Today in the LA Times, it was reported that the use of cigarettes in California is steadily declining.

Smoking statistics for adults have dropped since California passed a twenty-five cent tax on each pack of cigarettes.

Cigarette Taxes Encourage Quitting Smoking

The decline of adult smokers in California is at forty-one percent since the new tax, reported by data from the Department of Public Health.

pic-cigarette-notThis is great news and offers hope that the newly-passed government cigarette tax may just stop many smokers in their tracks.

Eric Bailey, from the LA Times states, “Anti-smoking advocates are celebrating this week’s 20th anniversary of California’s groundbreaking tobacco-control effort by releasing new data showing that cigarette use is continuing its steep decline in the Golden State.”

Last year only thirteen percent of California adults were addicted to cigarettes, which is a ten percent decrease since 1988. Another encouraging bit of data is the decline in youth smokers, which is currently a little over fourteen percent and one of the lowest percentages in the entire nation.

Way to go California!

No If’s or Butt’s About It

For those smokers who are wanting to quit, try calling the 1 800 No Butts quit smoking help line. Calls are currently up twenty-five percent since last year. This is another example that people are seriously considering the health hazards of smoking and the cost of their cigarette habits.

Our hats go off to 1 800 No Butts. Kimberly Belshe, Secretary of California’s Health and Human Services Agency, reported the estimates of lives saved through this program the last twenty years is as high as one million and over eighty-six billion dollars in health care expenses.

Credit for this article goes to the LA Times
For more information contact eric.bailey @ latimes.com

Watch a Short Video From California’s 1-800-No-Butts

 

Mississippi is 27th for Anti-Tobacco Money

Once among the nation’s leaders for anti-smoking campaigns for youth and teens, Mississippi now ranks 27th among states that spend money on tobacco prevention, a new report says.

The report released Wednesday also found that tobacco companies spend $183 million a year on marketing in Mississippi, almost 23 times the state funding for tobacco prevention.

State Health Officer Dr. Ed Thompson said there’s been some decline in youth tobacco use rates in the state, but there’s a “great deal of competition from the tobacco industry so that’s an uphill battle.”

Overall, states this year have increased total funding for tobacco prevention programs by 20 percent to $717 million, the report said.

Maine, Delaware and Colorado were the only three states that funded tobacco prevention programs at minimum levels recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the report said.

Issued by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society, the report called for the implementation of tobacco control measures. Those included prevention programs, higher tobacco taxes and smoke-free workplace laws.

Mississippi ranked last in the nation in 2006, but moved up after Gov. Haley Barbour approved $8 million for a state-funded tobacco prevention program within the Department of Health during this year’s legislative session.

The bottom ranking resulted from the court-ordered termination of $20 million in annual funding for the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, a private, nonprofit headed by former Mississippi attorney general Mike Moore.

The Partnership’s money had come from the state’s settlement with the tobacco industry in the 1990s. Barbour successfully sued to cut off the Partnership’s money, saying only the Legislature has the authority to decide how that money should be spent.

William V. Corr, executive director of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a statement that Mississippi “has a long way to go in re-establishing an effective program.”

MississippiIt’s been 10 years since a landmark multistate settlement with the tobacco industry. Moore filed the first such lawsuit against the cigarette makers, forcing them to cover medical costs of people who became sick from their products. The nationwide settlement came soon after, but states weren’t required to create tobacco prevention programs.

With Moore at its helm, the Partnership set a standard for anti-tobacco programming, using catchy advertisements, churches, community coalitions, and school nurses to warn teens about the dangers of smoking. Mississippi’s teen smoking rate was 22.4 percent in 2004, and fell to 18.7 percent by 2006.

Thompson said the new state-funded program is still being developed and Moore is chairman of its advisory council.

“Certainly use of media is going to be one of the elements that they’ll consider and place into the mix,” said Thompson.

As far as increasing funding for tobacco prevention, lawmakers are reluctant to make any promises. Mississippi’s economic forecast shows slow growth, and lawmakers have predicted budget cuts for next year.

“Increasing funding for tobacco prevention is a very worthwhile project and it merits consideration,” said Senate Public Health Committee Chairman Alan Nunnelee. “But it’s far too early to make any commitments about what will or won’t be funded.”

Source: AP

Taking Play Seriously: Low-Level Smoking Among College Students

Cigarettes have been socially engineered to become potent symbols.

Therefore, they need to be understood as cultural products invested with cognitive and emotional salience as well as nicotine delivery devices engineered to create a population of dependent users.

In this paper, we look at the symbolism of cigarettes, but unlike many researchers examining this topic, we attend as much to what tobacco users do with cigarettes as to what smoking means to them cognitively.

Based on interviews with low-level smokers conducted on two college campuses, we suggest that students use tobacco in order to accomplish interactional goals and to structure social time and space that would otherwise be ambiguously defined.

By conceptualizing this structuring activity as play, we gain valuable insights into early stages and trajectories of tobacco use among college students.

Our conceptualization of smoking as play is not meant to trivialize low-level tobacco use. Much the opposite, we caution that the contexts in which low-level smoking takes place and the utility functions of such smoking must be taken seriously by researchers in light of current increases in tobacco use among college students.

Dog Pointing the Way What that? Nicotine delivery devices!

From: Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry
An International Journal of Comparative Cross-Cultural Research

Women’s Magazines Should ‘Drop’ Camel No. 9 Cigarette Ads

It is a “big disappointment” that R J Reynolds has “found an ally” in some women’s magazines, which have “sold out the well-being of their readers” by publishing Camel No. 9 cigarette advertisements, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) writes in a Washington Post opinion piece.

Reynolds in February launched the brand, which several public health organizations and women’s groups say are targeted at young women.

The company — in an effort to increase its market share among female smokers, who made up about 30% of Camel buyers — packaged the cigarettes in a “hot-pink fuchsia” and a “minty-green teal package” and advertised the brand with the slogan, “Light and Luscious.”

An ad campaign for the brand says the cigarettes are now “available in stiletto,” a longer, thinner cigarette.

Reynolds, which is working with the agencies Agent 16 and Gyro Worldwide, has placed ads in magazines — including Cosmopolitan, Flaunt, Glamour, Vogue, and W — and is distributing coupons and give-away packs at nightclubs (Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy Report

According to Capps, she and 40 other members of Congress wrote letters in June and August expressing their disappointment that 11 women’s magazines were running ads for Camel No. 9 cigarettes. Seven of the 11 magazines have responded, but “none has committed to dropping the ads,” Capps said.

Camel Lipstick Ad“No amount of pretty pink packaging can obscure the fact that lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer among American women,” Capps writes. She concludes that the magazines need to “drop these ads” because the “health of readers, America’s young women and girls, should be more important than the revenue derived from abetting the tobacco industry” (Washington Post)

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Read more about this topic atThe Washington Post

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.

Cigarillos: Big Tobacco’s Candy Coated Chicanery

Sales of cigarillos in candy flavours like raspberry and mint chocolate are up 300% in Canada.

Anti-smoking groups fear their popularity could fuel a kid-friendly smoking revival and increase youth smoking.

Cigarillos are cigarette-sized, filtered cigars that come in a variety of enticing flavours and – perhaps most dangerously – can be bought as singles at any corner store where they’re often right next to the candy display. And, according to an ongoing study by the Quebec health ministry, kids are eating them up.

Cool With the Kids

Smoking’s been on the decline among young people – down around 50% – for a decade. But cigarillos are bucking that trend. According to a 2004 survey of Quebec teens, 18% said they’d tried cigars or cigarillos, up from 13% in 2000.

Chances are you’ve seen cigarillo packaging – small plastic tubes that look a lot like those old horoscope rolls – littering sidewalks and storm drains. Though it’s illegal to sell single cigarettes, cigarillos – because they’re classed as cigars – are exempt.

Picture of Candy CigarettesCynics say the tobacco industry is taking advantage of this loophole to get kids hooked on smoking. Big Tobacco denies. “Regardless of their intent, they are still attracting underage children to their product,” Rob Cunningham, a senior policy analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society told the Toronto Sun. “There’s no doubt that the tobacco industry on the whole is a declining market. And all new smokers begin in their teens or pre-teens.”

Now public health officials are finally taking notice. Quebec’s health minister Philippe Couillard recently announced his department is looking into banning single cigarillos, citing their wide appeal to teens. “These little, coloured, plastic-tipped cigars, fruit or vanilla-scented, are intended for the youth market.

They can easily buy them for about a dollar each. This worries us enormously,” Louis Gauvin, spokesman for the Quebec Coalition for Tobacco Control told the French-language newspaper La Presse. His organization lodged a formal complaint with the ministry in October, prompting the current study.

“If the law prevented their individual sale and they were sold in packs of 20,” added Mr Gauvin, “a young person might think twice because they’d have to spend over $30 for a pack.”

Swinging Singles

Another issue with cigarillo singles is that, unlike cigarette packs, which feature frightening warnings that take nearly 50% of the packaging, cigarillo tubes only have enough room for tiny text warnings. The main warnings are on the shipping packaging, which the consumer never sees.

A study from the March issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that Canada’s graphic labels of decaying teeth and cancerous lungs do work to deter people from smoking.

Add to this the fact that cigar smokers tend to underestimate the carcinogenicity of cigars. In fact, cigarillos pose similar hazards to cigarettes; they’re lighter on some chemicals, but heavier on others.

The single cigarillo could also ensnare current smokers who are trying to quit. In smoking cessation, the greatest predictor of a relapse is a lapse. For a quitter, the single cigarillo may feel like less of a slip than buying a pack of 25 smokes, offering a ‘guilt-free’ chance to nurse the cravings – especially if it’s flavoured to taste like a fine single malt scotch.

Source: John Stobo, National Review of Medicine, April 30, 2007|Volume 4, No. 8.