Tag Archives: tobacco smoke

Smoking rate at new low for California adults

California’s adult smoking rate has reached an all-time low and smoking rates dropped across all age groups, according to figures released Wednesday by the state’s Department of Public Health.

In 2010, 11.9 percent of adult Californians smoked, down more than a percentage point from 13.1 percent in 2009. “The drop in smoking means that fewer people will see their lives cut short by tobacco,” said Public Health Director Ron Chapman.

Californian women smoking cigarettes

Californian women smoking cigarettes

The greatest decline was among adults ages 25 to 44. Just 13.1 percent of the state’s adults in that demographic smoked in 2010, compared with 15.2 percent in 2009.

Men still smoke at higher rates than women – 14.4 percent of California men smoke compared with 9.4 percent of women – but rates for both declined from 2009, according to the health department data.

Chapman and other public health officials say the numbers show how aggressive the state has been in reducing tobacco use.

Consider that in 1988, the smoking rate among California men was 25.6 percent and among women was 20 percent.

In the years since voters in 1988 established the California Tobacco Control Program and a 25-cents-a-pack tax on cigarettes, the adult smoking rate has been cut by nearly half.

Proceeds from the pack tax funded health and community organizations, education and media campaigns intended to change Californians’ thinking on the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke.

“When we started, smoking was an accepted part of society. The tobacco control program changed the norm,” Chapman said. “Now, people recognize that they’re not only making decisions about their own health, but the health of the people around them.”

In recent years, California businesses and health plans have also increased their efforts to get people to quit smoking. State health officials say the efforts have paid off in lives saved and health care savings.

State health officials estimate 1 million lives and $86 billion in health care costs have been saved through the tobacco control efforts.

Texas May Get Indoor Smoking Ban

Since 2007 Texas lawmakers have been trying to bring into action a statewide indoor ban on smoking. And 2011 year could be the successful year concerning this law.

Lake Dallas Republican State Representative Myra Crownover said that passive smoking became a cause of heart disease death of 49,000 Americans. “Active smoking led to fatal outcome of 400,000. It is terrible.”

indoor smoking ban

indoor smoking ban

Health departments and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission would issue licenses for smoke free environments to restaurants and bars required by Crownover’s bill.

Crownover’s bill relates as well to such things as keeping foodstuff at the right temperature, preserving the outfit in purity, having staff with clean hands. Crownover said “it mustn’t be the situation that you would go into a public place with a clean facility and breathe arsenic, benzene and formaldehyde.”

If the bill passes, Texas will be the first state in the South to decree an indoor ban on smoking that concerns not only bars and restaurants, but work places and other indoor public spaces. But at the same time this does not mean that the state want to be a leader concerning this.

James Gray, the Director of Legislative and Government Affairs for Smoke Free Texas said that 29 states have already passes the smoking ban and now they are smoke-free states. “In Texas, thirty-five communities have already become smoke-free: Dallas, Houston, Austin and others. This shows what will happen.”

James Gray indicates at the research that maintains the notion that banning passive smoke indoors results in public health advantages very quickly.

Gray said that cardiovascular disease can be appeared in a 30 minute exposure to passive smoke, asthma, emphysema, low birth weight babies. “So there is an immediate effect with or as a consequence adverse effect to exposure from passive smoke. And so as soon as public places’ owners prohibit the smoking cigarettes in their buildings, the effect appears.”

During the two years the State Department of Health and Human Services analyzed the question and foretold a smoking ban would save the state’s share of Medicaid costs in the neighborhood of $30 million, in the next two years.

The study conducted by Smoke Free Texas reported that if the overall cost to the Texas economy was taken into account, the two-year savings would exceed $400 million.

This number has a nice ring to senators and representatives struggling to get out of a big budget hole.
“We have strong backing in the House,” declared Gray. “We have 80-plus members who have supported the House bill. It was one of the first bills to come out of committee in the Senate, so if we get something moving on the House side that will really create some urgency on the Senate side and hopefully you’ll see some of that backing really galvanize.”

Most Smoking Fines in Ohio Are Going Unpaid

From May 2007 till April 2011, 2,353 fines were levied by state and local health departments. These fines comprise $2.2 million and were taken from those who have violated the smoking ban. But the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Attorney General’s office have managed to gather only a third of that, a Dayton Daily News analysis of state data found.

The percentage of fines has reduced each year. It was 81 % in 2007 and 26 % in 2010.

no smoking fine

no smoking fine

Consequently, some bar owners have decided not to keep within the law.

It was reported that the majority of bar owners observe the smoking ban by means of not allowing smoking cigarettes indoors. And according to them it is the best way to keep the law effective. But it is easy to find such establishments – they usually violate the ban openly.

Local health officials do not agree with the state’s enforcement efforts because 90 % of the fines collected are directed to investigations. As on April 30, $1.5 million in fines were unpaid.

“I think for an enforcement program to be effective, there has to be a hammer,” said Jim Gross, Montgomery County Health Commissioner. “And it’s pretty clear right now this program does not have an effective penalty system to change that behavior.”

Gross said that the county public health department has levied 158 fines totaling $220,000, but has received only $15,800 in collections from the state. Meanwhile, Gross said, the health district has to use Human Services Levy money to cover the $30,000 a year it costs to investigate complaints.

While Gross and other observers agree that the vast majority of establishments are complying, they admit that some continue to flout the law. When the state starts aggressively collecting those fines, they say, you’ll see the holdouts change their behavior.

Gross said that it is frustrating for many of the local health departments, including ours, to put the time and effort into it and then not be able to bring the enforcement process to a conclusion.

Indeed, violators of the smoking ban are easy to find.

Jacobs who spoke on condition that his bar would not be identified said that approximately 80 percent of the people in the bar smoke. “Some people do not smoke, but they still come in because they like the atmosphere.”

State records demonstrate that the bar has got seven complaints since 2007, although the last one was almost a year ago. It was fined $100 in February 2009.

Jacobs said the bar used to charge customers a quarter for each Altoids mint can offer as an ashtray but quit after collecting $900 in quarters. The tins are now offered free.

How To Blow Smoke Rings

Learning how to blow smoke rings is quite easy. Blowing smoke rings just requires a little bit of subtle tongue action. You can do this with a cigarette, a pipe or any other tobacco smoking device by following the steps below.

To blow smoke rings, you will need:

Your tongue

Cigarette, cigar or pipe

Man is blowing smoke rings

Man is blowing smoke rings

Take a puff of smoke into your mouth. The bigger the puff the better. Do not inhale the smoke. Inhaling will make it impossible to blow smoke rings, although some people inhale just slightly and it works just fine. Instead, try to keep the smoke near the back of the mouth. You may cough a couple times at first, but you’ll perfect this with practice.

Form an “O” shape with your lips. Make sure that the opening is as large as possible. Point your tongue downward while you’re making this shape so that it is as vertical as possible.

Push out the smoke with your tongue. Use quick tongue movements to accomplish this without exhaling. You should feel like the middle area of your tongue is pushing out the smoke. If it doesn’t work the first time, keep experimenting with subtle adjustments of the tongue.

Some people say that packing your pack of cigarettes before unsealing it helps you blow better smoke rings. Others say that stronger cigarettes produce better smoke rings. You will still get some good ones from light cigarettes, however.

The most important factor is proper technique. The more you practice blowing smoke rings, the better they will look. Keep practicing.

Women Twice As Likely To Quit Smoking than Men, UK

The recent study revealed that approximately 400,000 women in comparison with 200,000 men tried to stop smoking on the UK’s largest quit smoking awareness campaign this year. At the campaign smokers were asked “Is it your time to quit smoking?”.

Besides, almost 2 million (20%) adult people decided to make a step to smoking cessation this Day. During that day future nonsmokers planned their quit journey – they read information how to stop smoking, smoked less cigarettes than in a usual day, participated in a No Smoking Day event or see the dedicated website for those who wants to quit smoking.

World No Tobacco Day

World No Tobacco Day

Amit Aggarwal, Chief Executive of the No Smoking Day charity congratulated all those people who managed to stop smoking on No Smoking Day. By the way, the event as No Smoking Day is celebrated on March, 9. Quitting smoking is the most important thing a person can do for his or her health.

Amit Aggarwal said that this year women who wanted to quit smoking were two times as many than men. It was maybe because women are engaged in health campaigns more than men; however men can do it too.

No Smoking Day propagated the idea that if people did not manage to quit smoking, they would try stopping next day in order to protect their health and money. A person can quit smoking any day and No Smoking Day can be the basis step. There are a lot of services which help quitting smoking.

A lot of events passed throughout the UK on March, 9. Many health professionals took part at this even to give recommendations for those people who wanted to quit smoking.

The survey was conducted by GfK NOP. 4081 adult people participated in the survey. Observation work was carried out in 12 days – from March, 10 till March, 22, 2011.

No Smoking Day is a UK wide charity. It is held every year as the health campaign helping smoking people who want to stop this habit. No Smoking Day celebrates its 28th year. The main goal of this event is to encourage as many smoking people as possible to help them remove the tobacco dependence and take care of their health.

The study demonstrates that a person is four times as likely to succeed with help of National Health System services in smoking cessation.

According to the data 9 million people in the UK are smokers, but only 63% want to quit smoking.

There are a lot of websites which are dedicated for those who want to quit smoking. These sources have information on how to stop smoking and stories from successful quitters.

Smokers Have Thinner Cortex, Study Says

Scientists from Germany have established that smokers have thinner cerebral cortex. The longer a person smokes, the thinner it becomes.

German scientists from the medical centers “Charite-Universitatsmedizin” and “Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstaltv” in Berlin found another adverse effect of regular smoking on human health. Over the years, the cortex at the permanent smokers becomes thinner.

smoking man

smoking man

However, scientists can not say for sure whether this reduction is due directly to smoking, or the process had taken place before a human being became addicted to cigarettes. Supplementary investigations are required to clarify this issue.

Researchers have used magnetic resonance imaging scanner to measure brain at 22 people who are smokers with the experience. The control group consisted of 21 people who have never touched a cigarette. These studies were published in the Biological Psychiatry journal.

It was found that smokers have the special area much thinner in the cerebral cortex (part of the brain that is involved in the decision making process, as well as impulse control). Thickness at nonsmokers was greater. The process of reducing the thickness of the cerebral cortex was directly dependent on the number of cigarettes smoked by people daily. In addition, the thickness was also depended on how long people use cigarettes.

Scientists will also have to answer the question whether the inverse process is possible – whether the cortex is able to recover losses, if the person quits smoking. This requires new research.

It was also found that former smokers have greater willpower than non-smokers.

Scientists have studied the brains of former and current smokers in order to understand how to quit smoking.

The study was conducted by experts from Dublin Trinity College.

Scientists exposed participants of the study to the magnetic resonance imaging scanner while they (former, current smokers and never smoking people) carried out assignments for assessment of cognitive skills, presumably important for smoking cessation.

Scientists have found that current smokers, compared to never smoking people, demonstrated reduced functioning in the prefrontal lobes, associated with the control of behavior. In addition, current smokers showed increased activity in subcortical areas such as the nucleus accumbens, responsible for promoting predisposition to nicotine challenge. However, ex-smokers did not show such activity in the brain, but it was found the increased activity in the frontal lobes – areas that are involved in behavioral control.

The most amazing thing is that ex-smokers, compared with never smoking people, had substantially higher activity in a given area.

This means that the brain regions, that are responsible for the willpower, have higher activity at those who quitted smoking.

The results of the study underline the value of methods of getting rid of the bad habit.

High court should affirm smoking ban

Smoking kills, and so does secondhand smoke.

Ohio voters in 2006, whether out of concern for health risks or disgusted by cigarette smoke encroaching on dinner, passed an indoor smoking ban in workplaces, including bars and restaurants, intended to spare employees from the risk of breathing in secondhand smoke.

According to a recent report from the U.S. Surgeon General, any exposure to tobacco smoke, whether direct or secondhand, can cause immediate cell damage to your body.

Even so, many establishments flout the indoor smoking ban, preferring instead to take their chances with a possible fine.

The Supreme Court of Ohio is the highest court in the U.S. state of Ohio, with final authority over interpretations of Ohio law and the Ohio Constitution.

The Supreme Court of Ohio is the highest court in the U.S. state of Ohio, with final authority over interpretations of Ohio law and the Ohio Constitution.

Now, one bar owner’s challenge has made its way to the Ohio Supreme Court, and Gov. John Kasich’s two-year budget removes all funding for enforcement — what little there is — by 2013.

The case in question headed to the high court involves Zeno’s Victorian Village in Columbus, which has racked up thousands in fines levied by the Ohio Department of Health. The bar claims enforcement of the ban unreasonably tramples on property rights, and that it is discriminatory because individual smokers have not been cited, according to Cox News Service.

Zeno’s is represented by the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, whose executive director said, “Local taverns are not public property, and owners of these properties have a right to decide how their indoor air is used, just as potential patrons have a right to freely enter or exit.”

We agree patrons can choose to eat or drink somewhere else. Polls show the ban has greater support among Ohioans now than when it took effect in 2007, and that since then smoking rates across the state have declined slightly.

We don’t have a problem with citing smokers found to be in violation of the ban. However, the place of business, whether it be a bowling alley, restaurant, lodge or bar, sets the rules. It is responsible for posting anti-smoking signs and to not hand out matches and ash trays — in some cases plastic cups of water — to its patrons.

But it’s a stretch to argue that property rights extend to the air we breathe. It is not a business’ right to knowingly permit an easily preventable health risk to its employees or patrons, otherwise food service workers would not be required to wash their hands. The government has long regulated such establishments as it relates to public health and sanitation. The risk of secondhand smoke should be no different.

An overturning of the indoor smoking ban in Ohio would be a costly mistake in terms of public health and future medical costs. But, we share in the optimism of the American Cancer Society of Ohio, whose spokeswoman Marianne Farmer told Cox News Service that her organization is pleased the case has reached the state’s highest court. They, and we, too, expect a ruling upholding the law.

And with an affirmation of the ban, we urge Kasich to adequately fund Ohio’s Quit Line to help smokers kick the habit as well as enforcement efforts to ensure businesses obey the law to protect workers across the state.

Tobacco Industry Continues to Flourish its Business

The war against smoking will never end because tobacco companies continue to manufacture new products for to attract more tobacco users.

tobacco plantation

The tobacco industry spent a lot of money because of anti-smoking legislations. For example billion-dollars were spent on lawsuits, advertising bans, warning labels, and many others.

This is the main cause why tobacco industries continue to invent more creative smokeless tobacco products which are new ways to addict much more users.

The tobacco industries recently began a new campaign for to tempting new clients, many of them young smokers and of course to keep those who became tobacco addicted.

However, Tobacco Company is still one of the most powerful industries in the world. For example it spends $12.8 billion yearly for to market its tobacco products and approximately $200 million was spent only in Minnesota.

Unfortunately the results of the Tobacco Industry new method of increasing their income has deadly consequences: 634,000 Minnesotans still continue to smoke and the state wastes 5,500 lives and $2 billion in health care costs yearly because of tobacco-related diseases.

So, smoking still remains a difficult habit to kick. Statistics show that in Minnesota, 17 percent of the whole population still continues to smoke. But the statistics for young smokers are very troubling: 28.4 percent of those smokers between the ages of 18 to 24 are tobacco users and smokeless tobacco-use rates among youth are also very high because approximately 85,000 middle and high school students in the state use them.

The tobacco industry new products which are designed especially for young smokers are: little cigars, snus, sticks, orbs and strips.

That’s why it is needed for a new legislation which will not allow them to be sold on the shops near candy and gum, which will prohibit even the sale of e-cigarettes to all minors and adolescents. Moreover, the new law should invent a new way to gather taxes and fees on all smoking products, which would raise of course the state economy and would reduce the smokers’ rate, concluded anti-smoking researchers from Minnesota.
So, only the new legislation is a commonsense solution to a prevent health problem that continues to drive up healthcare costs and take incalculable lives every day.

A New Smoking Restriction in San Francisco

Anti-tobacco scientists proposed a new smoking ban in San Francisco which was accepted by health professionals interested about the dangers of secondhand smoke. However they got a negative answer from local bar and nightclub owners who fear that the new restriction would drive away their clients.

New smoking legislation

The new legislation would interdict smokers from lighting up in front of shops, restaurants and office buildings or puffing away at a pavement cafe or in designated smoking places. Movie theater lines, sporting events, farmers’ markets and public areas of apartment complexes would be forbidden too.

In general smoking bans went into effect in San Francisco more than a decade ago and at the time were some of the severe anti-smoking laws in the United States.

But since then, the city has fallen behind in attacking the secondhand smoke effects, which can cause asthma, heart ailments and other problems, health officials warn.

Dr. Mitch Katz, who heads the San Francisco Department of Public Health said: “We are not against smokers. But the action we most need to do is to protect people from the injury of secondhand smoke, and this law is a big step in that direction.”

Examiner Eric Mar, chief sponsor of the legislation, already has made several amendments to tamp down some resistance from property owners and business operators.

For example, Don Alan, who owns the Hemlock Tavern on Polk Street, fears being obliged to shut down a smoking patio. He argued that it was established for the security and opportunity of our patrons and to reduce noise and mess in our neighborhood. He and other business owners asserted that losing the smoking patio would damage business, which is the last thing they want to see in this weak economy.

Suki Wen, who works at a coffee shop in Chinatown, explained that the intended prohibition couldn’t come soon enough.

She declared: “When I’m working, I can smell the smoke from outside. We can’t get away from it.”
Scientists concluded that restaurant owners still have concerns that banning smoking at outdoor tables would hurt business, but the hope of protecting their employees from secondhand smoke won out.

Cigarette Smokers Rise

Cigarette use started to increase since James Bonsack created the first cigarette rolling machine in 1881. There has also been a rise in the ravaging effects of smoking. According to several studies all forms of tobacco are addictive and deadly, however smokers number rise every year.

cigarette rolling machine

Scientific finding also affirms that smokers face a very high risk of death from many cancers, respiratory diseases, stroke and many other fatal infections. In general tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals in the form of particles and gases.

According to researchers, if the current smoking continues to rise, six million people worldwide will be dying from tobacco related diseases yearly by the year 2010. That is means that China will lead the death chart, because about 350 million of China’s populations smoke. In general, for every three cigarettes light worldwide, one is smoked in China.

The fight against smoking started especially when researchers found its harmful effects.

For example many countries around the world have enacted legislations to decrease deaths arising from smoking. Unfortunately many developing countries, especially those in Africa, are yet to take any meaningful methods to protect their citizens against this deadly trend.

Statistics show that nearly 90% of Africans do not have any protection against second-hand smoking, a phenomenon many countries in the world are vigorously fighting.

Scientists found that not only smoking is harmful but also its smoke, second-hand smoking or passive smoking which simply means inhaling other people’s tobacco smoke.

Research has shown that in countries where there are enforceable ban on smoking in public places, cancers and other heart infections have significantly decreased.

A recent research led by Dr. James Lightwood of the University of California found that heart attack rates through Europe and North America dropped by 36% three years after the anti-smoking laws were implemented.

Another study conducted in the United Kingdom found that heart attack rates in that country decreased by 10% a year after the ban on smoking in public places in 2007.

But unfortunately in Ghana, all persons, especially children, are exposed to tobacco smoke because there are no laws prohibiting people from smoking anywhere they choose. There people smoke in drinking spots, restaurants, hotels, lorry stations, in vehicles and sometimes at work places.

In general smokers from Ghana think it is their constitutional right to smoke and where they choose to do that is no one’s business provided the substance is not illegal.