Category Archives: Tobacco Facts

Scituate Raises to 21 Age for Buying Tobacco

Cigarettes

Health officials in Scituate, Massachusetts, voted a bill to raise to 21 the minimum age to buy cigarettes. The initiative makes part of set of regulations directed on reducing tobacco use among youth by making it illegal to buy tobacco if you are under permitted age.

This week took place the Board of Health meeting, on which members raised the purchase age limit, restricted e-cigarettes use in public places, banned cigar and hookah bars, and restricted the sale of single cheap cigars which have a price lower than $2.50.

Besides this, there were raised fees for tobacco licenses to $200 from $100 a year along with the penalties for violations.  Board Chairman Russell Clark told that the business owners didn’t show their outrage about the law. The new regulation goes into action from May 1, and till then business owners will have enough time to dispose of that product.

Board of Health has been discussing the changes for a long period of time, but had said they probably would not touch to the age limits.  However, in spite of initial plans, the legal age for buying tobacco is going to be increased from 18 to 21. Clark considers this was the right move.

The Board discussed an increase to 19 but finally decided to increase to 21 as it is the age when liquor is permitted to buy and it would be perfectly to have this age for tobacco sales too. In the state of Massachusetts such towns as Sharon, Canton, Needham, Arlington, Ashland, Wellesley, Dedham, Dover already raised the limit to 21. Westwood, Brookline, Sudbury, Belmont, Watertown,  Walpole allow buying tobacco from 19.

Cigarettes and Stress

Cigarettes

People who think that smoking relieves them from stress are mistaken. A new research was made on the subject.

It found that quitting smoking has same effects on the depression and anxiety as antidepressants do. Experts say that effects on quitting are even greater than from using medicines.

The researchers from the universities of Birmingham, Oxford, and King’s College London, examined 26 studies and found that people who quit smoking had a great drop in depression, anxiety and stress.

According to researchers, quitting smoking is connected with reduced anxiety, depression and stress and improved positive mood and quality of life in comparison with continuing to smoke.

In studies participated 44-years-old people who smoked around 20 cigarettes daily and were examined for an average of 6 months. The findings are very useful for doctors who treat mental disorders as they should provide smoking cessation advuce for people suffering from anxiety and depression.

Though a lot of smokers want to quit, many of them continue to smoke because they believe that smoking provides them with mental health benefits.  Regular smokers say smoking cigarettes imroves emotional problems, relieves from depression, anxiety and stress, stabilises mood.

The author of the study Gemma Taylor, the University of Birmingham said that it is  encouraging greatly to show that quitting smoking helps to improve mental health.

Generally, over the last 40 years smoking rates have declined significantly, but among people with mental disorders the situation is the same. The main reason for that is that people do believe that quitting will worsen their mental health.  Researchers claim that this is nothing but a myth.

It was estimated that almost 50% of all cigarettes sold in England annually are smoked by people with mental disorders, therefore latest research is expected to change the situation.

People suffering from menthal disorders do often smoke cigarettes in order to relax when they feel nervous, but they should know that smoking only worsens their condition.

Indiana has Highest Smoking Rates in the USA

Smoking

In the course of fifty years many things may happen. Thus 50 years ago there was no Internet but smoking was cool and more than 40% of Americans smoked.

In January 1964, the American surgeon general  Luther Terry released the first government report saying smoking causes a number of diseases. It was expected that people would refuse from smoking and it would disappear in future.

However, people continue to smoke even if they know the effects of it. Numerous studies do connect smoking to lung disease, heart problems, breast cancer and other health problems,

The surgeon general is expected to release a report at the end of the week with a review of past 50 years and recommendations for the next 50 years.  According to Dr. Stephen J. Jay, a professor of public health and medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, today there are 43 million smokers in the USA.

If  Luther Terry, the author of 1964 report, was alive today he would have been surprised at how many people still smoke. Michael Terry, the son of  Luther Terry, say that his father would be disappointed. Luther Terry died in 1985. When he released his report his son was in high school.

About 19% of American adults smoke and Indiana is in top 10 for the percentage of smokers. More pregnant women in Indiana smoke in comparison with the rest of the country.

Smoking During Pregnancy May Make Daughter Dependent on Nicotine

smoking woman

Researchers say that women’s smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of her daughter becoming hooked on nicotine in adult age.

In the journal Biological Psychiatry recently there were published results of a study that found that females who smoke during their pregnancy are at higher risks of their daughters becoming addicted to smoking later in life.

The researchers used data from a long-term and large project that started in 1959. The author of the research Dr. Laura Stroud told there were used the records of hormone levels and smoking status of 1,086 females. Then researchers examoned their kids (437 boys and 649 girls) and found that girl’s exposure to high prenatal cortisol and maternal smoking resulted in increased nicotine rates in adult age. However, there was found no connection between boy’s exposure to high prenatal testosterone and smoking in adult age.

These findings show  the particular vulnerability of girls to long-term negative effects of maternal stress and mother’s smoking during pregnancy. However, researchers cannot say exactly what are the causes for that, but they suggest that possibly the main causes are sex differences in stress hormone regulation in the placenta and adaptation to prenatal environmental exposures.

Besides this, nicotine and cortisol may affect differently developing brains of boys and girls. If girls of smoking women are more likely to become dependent to  nicotine, then it becomes a dangerous cycle of intergenerational transmission of nicotine addiction.

It is a well-known fact that smoking during pregnancy has negative effects on the health of an unborn child, which may result in premature birth, cleft lip, low birth weight, and even sudden infant death syndrome.

How Has Smoking In the USA Changed Since 1964

Smoking

Fifty years ago on January 11, the surgeon general released a report which showed a link between smoking and disease, which changed totally the attitude towards tobacco.

Social pressures against smoking resulted in regulation by government, thus smoking now is banned in bars and restaurants in a number od American states.

Since the release of report people changed their attitude towards smoking and today in the USA smoking rate has dropped by half. Experts say that almost 8 million lives were saved.

Surgeon General Boris D. Lushniak said that on January 11 we celebrated 50 years from the first surgeon general’s report on smoking effects on human’s health. It was Luther Terry who made it. It played a big role in understanding the importance of making a research and today people are familiar enough about the effects of tobacco use on human body.

Since 1964 the label “Surgeon General’s Warning” on tobacco products forever connects people with the Surgeon General. It was estimated that 50 years of struggle against smoking resulted in 50% drop in America’s smoking rate.

The Journal of the American Medical Association released the next important data about smoking:
- About 23%of adult males and about 18% of adult females smoke.
- About 60% of American kids aged 4 – 11 are exposed to secondhand smoke at home.
- 90% of lung cancer in males is connected to smoking and 80% of lung cancer in females is caused by cigarettes.
-  On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.
-  The greatest number of smokers are between the ages of 25 and 44.
-  Since 1965, more than 45% of smokers have quit.

American Heart Association estimated that most smokers began to smoke in their teenage. Regretably, young people don’t quite realize the dangers of smoking.

Quit Smoking in 2014

smoking

Quitting smoking is a most popular New Year’s Resolution. Everyone knows that smoking is harmful to the body so every year more and more smokers promise to and successfully quit the habit.

Secondhand smoke can cause allergic reactions and asthma in some people and stop healthy development of lungs in kids.

Therefore, smokers should not smoke in the presence of kids and people with health problems.

Also scientists talk about thirdhand smoke. What is it? It is what tobacco smoke leaves on surfaces, upholstery and a variety of porous materials. We may feel   thirdhand smoke in the car when someone smoked, in someone’s house or from someone’s clothes.

Like secondhand smoke, thirdhand smoke is connected to allergic reactions, asthmatic symptoms and other physical responses not only in people but also in pets.

Many years the Florida Department of Health has worked to reduce tobacco exposure rates in the state. Now they are concentrated on reduction of tobacco exposure on multi-unit housing, where air containing secondhand and thirdhand smoke can involuntarily be shared by neighbors via ventilation systems, cracks in walls and so on.

Apartments where lived a man who smoked indoors usually have a strong tobacco odor and nicotine discoloration on floors, walls and window which demands great cleaning or replacement before a new man can move in and feel himself comfortable there.

Apartment communities having policies that restrict tobacco use in indoor spaces, are become popular. Such policies do greatly improve air quality and keep maintenance costs down and besides this they reduce the risk of fire.

Tobacco Use Among Teens in West Virginia Declined

smoking

Experts say that tobacco use among young people in West Virginia is declining, Recently West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Division of Tobacco Prevention revealed data that demonstrates the percentage of high school students who said they have never used any kind of tobacco productshas raised from 20.6% in 2000 to 46.1% in 2013.

Over the same period of ten years, there was a 107% increase in the number of high school students who never have tried to smoke cigarettes.

Dr. Letitia Tierney, State Health Officer and Commission for the Bureau for Public Health says that this data shows that anti-smoking programs and other initiatives by the Bureau of Public Health  which help to inform young people about the effects of nicotine are working.

The data revealed today suggests that improvements that were made over the last 10 years are very effective and this is worth celebrating.

Data shows that 18.6% of high school students in West Virginia are smokes while in 2000 there were 38.5% of smokers.

Tierney says it is a great success and attributes it to teenagers that take part in Raze, West Virginia’s tobacco prevention movement. Generally, there are almost 4,000 young people who joined the program with 150 crews in the entire state.

Tierney also says it is a great progress and it is important to keep in mind that nicotine causes addiction. Young people must be informed about the effects of tobacco use before they become addicted.

59% of American Indians in Minnesota Smoke

smoker

Latest data shows that a lifestyle practice among American Indians in Minnesota caused a public health crisis which means they consume a lot of cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff, pipes.

In the Tribal Tobacco Use Project Survey started in 2009 and in it participated 3,000 American Indians aged 18 and older from 7 reservations in Minnesota and in urban Indian communities in Hennepin, Duluth and Ramsey counties.

There was found that 22% of American Indian adults have never been regular smokers in comparison with 57% of all adults in the state. 59% of American Indian adults are smokers compared to 16% of all Minnesota adults. The figure is different from several surveys made in past putting use in the 40% range.

62% of American Indians who smoke want to quit and 48% tried to quit smoking in the past year.  22% of American Indian adults have never been regular smokers, compared to 57% of all adults in the state.

In general, cigarette smoking is more than two times higher in every age group among American Indian adult people than Minnesota adults.  The prevalense of smoking-related diseases is higher among American Indians than the Minnesota population. For example, the diabetes rate are 3 times higher and the heart disease rate is 1.5 times higher.

Jean Forster, the chief of science part of the study, has a PhD and works for the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota said that there is no question as to this gap. It is great, it is a public health crisis.

The 59% usage rate is much higher than anything reported before, but she and others say that data obtained from the research reflect a different survey approach.

Quitting Smoking Leads Workers to Higher Wages

smoking

Researchers say that health improvement is not the only benefit of quitting smoking, because recently they found that your wages become higher.

The latest study of American researchers showed that non-smokers are not as wealthy as their colleagues who gave up the habit.

In the research there was used data about tobacco consumption of the US Census Bureau’s population surveys between 1992 and 2011.

The results of the research were published in August by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, they showed that smokers get 80% of what non-smokers make. People who had gave up smoking are paid 5% more than people who have never smoked cigarettes.

The idea that smokers who have left the nicotine habit are paid better has caused a disagreement among people who say that there are many other factors contributing to differences in salary. The attempt to quit smoking is not an easy one and it may take several years. Those who have smoked cigarettes in past and then quit are older than those who smoke at present. It means that former smokers frequently occupy higher posts and respectively get higher wages compared to smokers.

However, there are other reasons why former smokers earn more money. Quitting smoking gives  confidence to the man and makes him determined person,

Research economist Melinda Pitts, who conducted the research, said it takes a special individual to quit his smoking habit and there is a higher compensation for quitting the habit than for not starting it. You may probably ask if namely these qualities inherent in special people influenced the amount of wages. Here experts are sceptical.

Peter Hajek, professor of clinical psychology at the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London replies that this is a kind of misinterpreting a correlation. People who quit successfully smoking are often people with better socio-economic resources in comparison with people who cannot quit smoking.

Price Effects on Quitting Smoking Motivation

quit smoking

Rising cost of cigarettes in the USA is associated with increases in quitiing smoking. However, little is known about this connection at the level of individual smokers.

The major aim of the study on this issue was to put on a behavioural economic approach to the relationship between the price of cigarettes and the likelihood of quitting smoking.

Who participated in the study?

The total number of participants was 1074 who were above 18 years old and smoked more than 5 cigarettes a day. They filled with personal details special survey estimations which included probability of making a quitting smoking attempt depending on cigarette prices, nicotine dependence and demographics.

What are the results of the study?

The study showed that with prices increase the likelihood of making an attempt to quit smoking resulted an regular increase, with the form of the relationship being similar to an inverted demand curve.  The greatest effect size increases in motivation to make an attempt to quit smoking were in the form of ‘left-digit effects,’

Big differences were also noted among the left-digit effects, suggesting the most important effects were for price changes that were most market relevant. The acuteness of nicotine dependence was connected with price sensitivity, but not for all participants.

What are the conclusions of the study?

The obrained data revela that there exists a connection between cigarette prices and attempts od smoker to get rid of smoking.

Moreover, the study reveals the importance of left-digit price transitions in this relationship, suggesting policymakers should consider relative price positions in the context of tax changes