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Many Cigarettes

Another Reason to Quit

The American Heart Association states that “smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in the United States.” Are you a smoker? Is someone you love a smoker? It’s a highly addictive habit that can be difficult to break, but it is not impossible.

Reasons Why You Should Quit Smoking

A smoking habit doubles the chance of a heart attack and increases the chance of stroke. Quitting smoking can mean a decrease in risk of developing certain cancers, such as lung, mouth, throat or bladder.

Smoking destroys the body with each puff of harmful chemicals, including tar. Every cigarette smoked damages the lungs. The cilia, or the small hairs on the lungs, are destroyed and become unable to protect and remove harmful particles and toxins. Over time, with each cigarette, the lungs become more and more polluted and discoloured from tar.

Quitting smoking can save your life.

A Demonstration of What 30 Packs of Cigarettes Does to your Body

If you are a smoker who is struggling to quit, or if you know a smoker and want to help them quit, take a look at this video. The visual analogy is startling. Keep in mind this is what 30 packs of cigarettes leaves behind. Can you imagine what a ten year, or twenty year smoking habit leaves behind in the body?

Tobacco Companies Target Young Female Smokers: Hot Pink Ladies-Only

We don’t see much of the Marlboro Man anymore, but what about the “Virginia Slims” woman? Everybody knows what happened to him – or them, two of whom died from lung cancer.

She, however, was never quite as iconic. But that doesn’t mean the tobacco companies don’t have a soft spot for women, especially the young ones, according to a new report released Wednesday.

Issued by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the report alleges tobacco companies are trying to cultivate a generation of new users with fruity flavored cigarettes and marketing campaigns that target young people, including young women and girls.

In particular, the report takes issue with a recent R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company campaign that it says is clearly designed to attract girls with hot pink product packaging, ladies-only nights at clubs and cutesy party giveaway bags containing cigarettes, berry-flavored lip gloss and cell phone “bling.”

David Howard, spokesman for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, said the Camel No. 9 marketing campaign is not about reaching young people. There are 20 million adult women smokers, Howard said, and 19 million of them smoke some brand other than Camel. Health organizations involved with the report, however, insist the ads cross the line against marketing tobacco products to youth. The report was released in collaboration with the American Lung Association, American Cancer Society and American Heart Association.

“It seems pretty clear that the ads were designed to appeal to young girls and 20-somethings,” said Ellen Vargyus, counsel for the American Legacy Foundation, an anti-smoking organization. “From [tobacco companies’] point of view, it’s sound marketing to do that. We know that 80 percent of smokers start before they’re 18.”

“In the days when tobacco companies were not so careful about what they said they used to call teens ‘replacement smokers,’” Vargyus said.

According to the American Heart Association, more than 178,000 women die from smoking-related diseases in a year. While death from uterine and stomach cancer has decreased in the last 70 years, lung cancer has surged among women, with an increase in incidence of almost 400 percent in the last 20 years.

The Camel No. 9 campaign caused quite a stir last fall. A group of 40 U.S. House members sent letters to 11 magazines calling on them to stop carrying the ads. The magazines, and their parent companies after them, either did not respond or refused.

Courtesy of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.If the goal of the ads was to get cigarettes in the hands of young women and girls, tobacco companies chose the right style and place, said Rosemarie Conforti, a professor of media literacy and education at Southern Connecticut State University.

“In the age of age aspiration, there are many teen girls who are reading these magazines because they want to be older,” Conforti said. “Magazines, and they know this, are absolutely the manual on how to be a young woman.”

Conforti said the fashion layout especially is the kind of guide girls love. It tells you how to be sophisticated and fashion-forward in three simple steps, she said, and it shows you the lifestyle that goes along with it through the cigarette ad on the right.

“Obviously, the fourth implied step is: ‘And smoke,’” Conforti said.

As these kinds of ads define what it means to be a woman, Conforti said, they also establish a benchmark against which girls and women measure themselves, having a cumulative impact that is more about long-term effects on lifestyle and less about one particular product.

R.J. Reynolds has said it will not advertise in print magazines in 2008. The Camel No. 9 campaign, however, continues online and through other promotional materials that are given away at bar parties.

“The innocence mixed with the sophistication – the roses and the pink mixed with the black — it’s the two sides that every girl wants to be,” Conforti said. “Sweet and sexy, sweet and sexy, that’s what women hear over and over again. You can either be an angel or a whore, and we don’t have a lot of choices for what’s right down the middle.”

Source: Kahrin Deines, Medill Reports/Chicago

States Ranked On Anti-Tobacco Campaign Spending For Kids

In a new report outlining the use of tobacco state by state New Hampshire has received a failing grade.

It was released jointly by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and American Lung Association.

The report, entitled “A Broken Promise to Our Children” ranked states on their cost associated with programs aimed at protecting kids from the dangers of tobacco, and ranked the state of New Hampshire a disappointing 41st.

The state spends 1.3 million dollars per year on anti-tobacco programs for kids, which is only 12% of the recommended spending amount.

Other states did not fair much better on the national ranking report.

North Carolina came in a disappointing 28th in anti-tobacco spending, offering a yearly allotment of just over 17 million dollars.

Massachusetts came in at number 33, only spending 12.8 million dollars per year on anti-tobacco campaigns aimed at kids.

“Massachusetts has made a modest improvement in protecting kids from tobacco, but budget cuts have reduced the effectiveness of what was once one of the nation’s best tobacco prevention programs,” said William V. Corr, executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, in a statement.

Maine , Delaware and Colorado rounded out the top 3 states when it came to spending for anti-tobacco campaigns for kids.

Overall, the report found that as many as 30 states and the District of Columbia are spending less than half the CDC’s minimum amount recommended to be spent on anti-tobacco campaigns.

Source: Dogflu.ca

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

Mother’s Who Smoke Subject Babies to Higher Systolic Blood Pressure

There was a study that took place in the Netherlands.

This study was of 456 infants.

It showed that, by age 2 months, babies born to mothers who smoked had higher systolic blood pressures as compared to those whose mothers didn’t smoke.

Those babies of non-smokers weren’t exposed to smoke during pregnancy.

Picture of Baby Our findings indicate maternal smoking during pregnancy has a direct substantial impact on systolic blood pressure in early infancy.

This is yet another reason for women not to smoke during pregnancy, said Caroline C. Geerts, lead author of the study and a doctoral student at Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care at the University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands.

“This association appears to occur in utero and doesn’t appear to be due to the postnatal environment of the infant.”

Learn more about > Maternal Smoking

~American Heart Assoc. Journal Report 7/30/2007

Beware Corporate Wolves In Consumer Watchdog Clothing

The so-called Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) is at it again.

This time, it’s not the American Medical Association or Mothers Against Drunk Driving they’re after. Instead, it’s the Physicians’ Committee For Responsible Medicine (PCRM).

The PCRM is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, proper nutrition, and healthy lifestyles.

So why is something calling itself the Center For Consumer Freedom attacking the Physicians Committee and urging Congress not to promote healthier diets?

It’s because the PCRM is affiliated with the Cancer Project, which recently made a formal request asking Congress to earmark funds for nutrition and healthy lifestyle education.

You might think the Physicians Committee and the Cancer Project have little to do with limiting consumer freedom, and you’d be right. In fact, you might think that promoting nutritional education is just the thing needed to support greater consumer freedom. Odd, that the Center for Consumer Freedom should be against it.

Their real motives become clear when you look behind the scenes. Simply put, the Center For Consumer Freedom is a front group for the restaurant, junk-food, alcohol and tobacco industries, and they regularly run elaborate media campaigns opposing the efforts of scientists, doctors, health advocates, and animal and environmental groups, because these groups all threaten the bottom lines of the CCF’s corporate sponsors. The CCF says “consumer freedom,” but they mean “freedom to choose from our sponsors’ products.”

The deceptively named Center for Consumer Freedom was founded as the Guest Choice Network with a grant from Big Tobacco. They’ve changed their name, but they’ve never strayed far from their roots. Consumer freedom — or consumer health — is not nearly as important to them as the bottom lines of their corporate sponsors.

According to SourceWatch, a project of the Center for Media & Democracy:

Picture of Gayle DeanAnyone who criticizes tobacco, alcohol, fatty foods or soda pop is likely to come under attack from CCF. Its enemies list has included such diverse groups and individuals as…the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons; the American Medical Association; the Arthritis Foundation; the Consumer Federation of America;…the Harvard School of Public Health; the Marin Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems; the National Association of High School Principals; the National Safety Council . . . Ralph Nader’s group, Public Citizen; and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

David Martosko of the CCF mocks the Physicians Committee by saying “Tofu is not a cancer cure. Saying otherwise is irresponsible”. Now let’s compare. Visit the Physicians’ Committee website and look around for a statement that tofu cures cancer. You won’t find it. Now, take a look at the CCF website, where you’ll find article after article dismissing reputable scientific evidence that demonstrates the dangers of high fat diets, trans-fats, sugar, processed food, meat-consumption, high mercury levels in fish, and on and on — all laced with attacks upon advocates of healthy and responsible lifestyles. Who’s being irresponsible now?

Mr. Martosko knows which side his bread is buttered on, so I doubt he really wants Congress to “seek out the advice of the American Cancer Society or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services…” –as he claims — because here’s what the American Cancer Society has to say at their website:

“Tobacco use, physical inactivity, obesity, and poor nutrition are major preventable causes of cancer and other diseases in the US. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2006, more than 170,000 cancer deaths will be caused by tobacco use alone. In addition, scientists estimate that approximately one-third (188, 277) of the 564, 830 cancer deaths expected to occur in 2006 will be related to poor nutrition, physical inactivity, overweight, and obesity.”

This means that about two-thirds of all cancer deaths are due to lifestyle choices and can therefore be prevented. The American Heart Association agrees that heart disease is “mostly preventable.” The American Diabetic Association publishes similar estimates and analysis. Doctors, scientists, and the major American medical associations all support and encourage prevention as a better means to a healthier life, and the Cancer Project is right on target requesting funds to promote disease prevention. Only lobbying groups like the CCF and its corporate clients would like us to believe otherwise.

The constant barrage of disinformation put out by the CCF flies in the face of both science and common sense. But that should come as no surprise, since their goal never was to promote consumer health — or freedom — but to increase the profit-margins of their meat, dairy, alcohol, soda-pop and junk-food sponsors.

Judge for yourself. Visit both websites and see which group is interested in consumer health and which is only interested in consumer dollars.

And for a further clue, check out these two photos. Guess which one is the 54-year-old physician, who heads the PCRM, and who recommends a low-fat, plant-based diet, and which is the 30-something defender of meat-eating, high sugar and high-fat diets, and all that promotes food-industry bottom lines. I know which one I’d take dietary advice from!

By Gayle Dean – Original Publication Date: April 8, 2007 – Reproduced at Ciggyfree with the permission of Gayle Dean.

 Gayle Dean is a freelance writer, outdoorswoman, and cruciverbalist. Her work has been widely published and has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, L.A. Times, Simon & Schuster books, River Runner magazine, Men’s News Daily, Universal Press, and Dell Puzzle Magazines. We sincerely appreciate permission from the author to republish this article at Ciggyfree.