Tag Archives: smoking

New Jersey Ranks 51 in Protecting Kids from Smoking

Smoker

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has placed New Jersey at the end in the rating of American states which work to protect kids from smoking and tobacco use. It means that New Jersey shows very bad results in protecting kids from smoking and experts do recommend state authorities to reconsider using funds from the 1998 Tobacco Settlement to reestablish the state’s comprehensive Tobacco Control Program, which was removed in 2009.

According to Jill M.Williams, who is professor of psychiatry and chief of addiction psychiatry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, though New Jersey receives funds from the Tobacco Settlement and gains tobacco-generated revenue of more than $947 million in Fiscal Year 2014, it spends nothing to support tobacco prevention and treatment programs.

Data from other states showed that prevention and treatment programs help to save money on healthcare expenses related to smoking such as lung cancer and heart attacks.

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids representatives say that in New Jersey each year healthcare costs related to smoking are $317 billion, $967 million of which is covered by the state Medicaid program. To note that Medicaid program offers primary health insurance for people with mental diseases in the USA.
In New Jersey there exist great health differences. It was found that highest smoking rates are registered among poor people and those with menthal disorders. Authorities ignore the need to provide most vulnerable groups with smoking cessation programs and this  leads to a number of diseases in them and increase of healthcare costs.

In March 2014 the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry published an article where was highlighted the need for collaborative efforts in treating tobacco addiction. In order to improve education and access to quit smoking programs mental health services should work in collaboration with government-sponsored tobacco control programs.

Will Smoking be Totally Eliminated from Our Lives?

Cigarette Butts

50 years ago the American surgeon general, Luther Terry, released the first report that directly connected cigarette smoking to lung cancer and other health disorders.

The report influenced greatly people’s attitude towards smoking, changing it from an acceptable, to inacceptable in the public. According to Kathleen Sebelius, who is secretary of Health and Human Services, since 1964 report success in tobacco control has greatly reduced smoking rate in the general public.

Due to implementation of laws banning smoking, people now may comfortably eat in restaurants without coughing and sneezing, walk in parks without inhaling tobacco smoke, fly in airplanes, walk around malls breathing fresh air.

At the beginning of 2014, current American surgeon general has released a new report on smoking effects called “Health consequences of smoking – 50 years of progress.” A number of studies do suggest that tobacco use continues to be a main cause of a number of diseases in this country. According to the report, total economic impact from tobacco abuse will be $299 billion each year.

Experts are worried by statistics numbers. However, many people take too easy all that information and continue to smoke and modern smokers prefer to buy cigarettes online. Today almost 19% of population in the USA enjoy smoking. Do they know that they harm not only their own health but also of people around? Latest studies demonstrated that secondhand smoke is as hazardous as proper smoking.

When a patient undergoes a treatment, doctors normally recommend him to change health habits, but few of them recommend to totally quit smoking. However, refusal from smoking helps the body to fight a disorder.

In different countries there is a different attitude towards smoking. Take Singapore, that is a very clean country. Smoking in public places is banned here and if you light up in the street, then you will be subjected to a fine or even arrested.

This is a good example to follow, and we have a lot to do in order to eliminate smoking from our lives.

New Smoking Regulations in Northampton

Smoking

The Northampton Board of Health want to implement new smoking regulations. From June 2014 smoking will be prohibited in city parks, playgrounds, and within 25 feet of city buildings.

The ban includes tobacco, e-cigarettes and marijuana (even for medical purposes).   Since 2010 the Board of Health updated for the first time their regulations.

Glenn Colby of Northampton said that individuals who enjoy a smoke out of restaurants, workplace, and even out of their own homes, to be forbidden from that.

At Pulaski park, cigarette butts may be seen right near children’s playground. The Health Department aims to reduce people’s exposure to secondhand smoke.

Secondhand smoke is proved to be as bad as smoking. Besides this, cigarette butts on the ground are bad for the environment.  The Board of Health  will inform people about the new regulations by posting special no smoking signs. Those who will violate the new law will be subjected to a $100 fine.

Merridith O’Leary, the city’s Public Health Director, said that if there is a complaint of issue, people will know to call there at the Health Departments.

The new law bans sale of tobacco at stores that have a pharmacy, which may affect  businesses in city of Northampton.  Also each individual who buys tobacco is carded, regardless of how old they look.

Anti-Smoking Activists Against Smoking in Movies

The Great Gatsby Smoking

Recently the anti-tobacco youth group Reality Check gave awards to such Hollywood starts as Woody Allen, Leonardo Dicaprio and Johnny Depp, people who promote smoking in movies.

They were called “Shame” by activists.

The organization includes a local chapter from Schenectady, Albany and Rensselaer counties. It analyzed for many years how Hollywood encourages people to smoke.

Reality Check’s International Week of Action gives her annual “Shame” and “Fame” awards one week before official 86th Academy Awards on March 2.

The Shame Award winners are:
1.  Actor Johnny Depp, for permitting the famous animated character he voiced in the cartoon “Rango” to smoke cigarettes.
2. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, for smoking in the movie “The Great Gatsby.”
3. Film director Woody Allen, for exposuring youth to tobacco smoke in his movies.

The Fame Award winners are:
1. Stanton A. Glanz & Jono Polansky of the Smoke Free Movies Network, for protecting children and teenagers from tobacco imagery in films.
2. Walt Disney Studios, for providing family entertainment with a assurance to protecting kids and teens from tobacco imagery.
3.  National Association of Attorneys General & The New York State Attorney General’s Office for their work to protect youth from tobacco imagery in movies.

The Motion Picture Association of American told it will not modify its rating system to attribute an R rating when smoking is showed in a movie.

Latest Surgeon General’s Report wrote that young people who see in movies smoking scenes are more likely to smoke in their adult age. Kids and teens who are exposured to smoking on TV are about twice as likely to start smoking as those who get the least exposure.

The anti-smoking young activists consider that movies with smoking scenes should be R rated.

FDA Launching Anti-Smoking Campaign Aimed at Youth

Anti-Smoking Campaign

The FDA launches ads with people having wrinkles and yellow teeth in order to show teenagers the effects of long-term smoking. The $115 million anti-smoking campaign is called “The Real Cost” and its main goal is to prevent teenagers from smoking and encourage them to quit.

The campaign starts on February 11 and will last one year. During the campaign will be shown ads in more than 200 markets throughout the USA. Also ads will be shown on MTV, magazines for teens and even social media.

Mitch Zeller, the director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, told that children are our future, therefore it is important to educate them now about the effects of smoking. Statistics and numbers will not reach them, therefore FDA used visual tools which will reach them easily.

Zeller, who analyzed the anti-tobacco campaign called “Truth”, said that the new campaign is a “compelling, provocative and somewhat graphic way” of attracting the attention of more than 10 million young people that are open to cigarettes.

It was estimated that around 90% of adult people started to smoke by age 18 and more than 700 children under 18 become regular smokers every day.

The FDA intends to reduce by 300,000 number of young smokers within three years. “While most teens understand the serious health risks associated with tobacco use, they often don’t believe the long-term consequences will ever apply to them,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. The new anti-smoking campaign is focused on things that matter to teenagers, for example, appearence and the desire to be independent.

In two of TV ads teeangers enter a store to buy cigarettes and when salesman says that cigarettes will cost more than they have, the teens give a piece of their skin or a tooth to pay for their cigarettes.

In future the FDA wants to target young adults aged 18 – 24 and people who influence teenagers, including family members, parents and peers.

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.

Smoking Restrictions in U.S. States

smoking

Indiana
Is a tobacco-free state, however, there may be made some exceptions for use of tobacco products outdoors near student residence halls.  and conference centers.

Nebraska
Use of tobacco products is prohibited indoors and within 10 feet of building entrances.

Pennsylvania
Smoking  is prohibited indoors and near buildings outdoors including Beaver Stadium.

Illinois
Becomes smoke-free from January 1, 2014. no smoking permitted inside or outdoors on campus, including private vehicles.

Iowa
Smoke-free state by law.

Michigan
Tobacco-free state.

Ohio
Tobacco-free from January 1, 2012, except for Native American ceremonies, theatrical productions, some campus retail locations, Nationwide Arena and designated outdoor zones at the Schottenstein Center.

Michigan
Smoking  is prohibited indoors but is permitted in designated private residences or hotel rooms including near building entrances. Sale of tobacco products is prohibited on university grounds.

Minnesota
Smoking  is prohibited indoors and within 25 feet of building entrances but is allowed at theater performances, Native American ceremonies, research studies and private vehicles.

Wisconsin
Smoking  is prohibited indoors and within 25 feet of building entrances, but is permitted in designated areas. University apartment and hotel rooms can be designated smoking areas.

SAMC to Go Smoke-Free

smoking

From 2014 Southeast Alabama Medical Center will go smoke-free.  It would not be easy for people addicted to nicotine but it is important to meke this step and provide necessary help for people wanting to quit.

A big number of hospitals in Alabama have already adopted similar smoke-free and tobacco-free policies. As to SAMC, it began to fight against smoking back in 2007  when the hospital started to restrict smoking by its workers on its campus. In 2009, the hospital stopped hiring people who smoke cigarettes.

The new smoke-free policy extends to patients and visitors and it touches all forms of smoking including e-cigarettes. Besides this, the policy extends to SAMC’s  properties, such as the Neurospine Center, the Southeast Pain Management and Living Well Fitness, and SAMC’s properties in Enterprise, Elba, Troy, Eufaula. The smoking will be prohibited on parking lots and cars parked on any SAMC property.

This year there was opened Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine as a tobacco-free facility. At the moment on SAMC campus there are only 2 designated outdoor smoking zones which will be eliminared on December 30. Already there are placed no-smoking signs. The new smoke-free policy will be applied by SAMC workers and will be implemented in a quite polite and non-confrontational way.

Smoking is addictive and therefore quitting is hard. Being 100% smoke-free is a natural step in performing the mission to take care of people’s health. This is an obvious and important step. Patients will get nicotine supplements that will help them to fight withdrawal symptoms, These days smoking rates are very high in the USA.

It is a quite natural thing that a health care facility takes care about its patients and prohibits smoking on its campus.

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.