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Childhood cancer survivors who are most likely to develop tumours as adults continue to endanger their health by smoking, research suggests.

A University of Birmingham(England) team found the highest smoking rates among patients whose type of treatment put them at greater risk later in life.

Cancer campaigners have expressed concern that the survivors are exposing themselves to “avoidable” dangers.

The researchers say more education is needed about the risks of smoking.

We are very concerned that people are exposing themselves to a further completely avoidable risk for developing another cancer
Professor Mike Hawkins
Centre for Childhoold Cancer Survivor Studies

The study, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, pinpoints three types of childhood cancer – Hodgkin’s lymphoma, soft tissue sarcomas and Wilms’ tumour – which are known to carry an increased risk of further tumours due to the form of radiotherapy and chemotherapy used to treat them.

The researchers found that smoking was most common among people who had been treated for these cancers when children – nearly a quarter of the 10,000 former cancer sufferers surveyed.

Overall, childhood cancer survivors are around half as likely as the general population to be regular smokers.

Intervention call

Researcher Dr Clare Frobisher, based at Birmingham’s Centre for Childhoold Cancer Survivor Studies, said: “It is worrying that those survivors who are most at risk of developing a new cancer as a result of their treatment, are more likely to be smokers than other childhood cancer survivors.

INCREASED RISK
A study of 16,541 survivors of childhood cancer found they were 6.2 times more likely to develop a second primary tumour than the general population
After 25 years 4.2% of survivors had developed a second primary cancer
The rate of second primary tumours among survivors of Hodgkin’s lymphoma was 9.2 times that of the general population, for Wilms’ tumour it was 6.9 times, and for soft tissue sarcoma it was 4.3 times
Figures from the Centre for Childhood Cancer Survivor Studies

“It is clear that more work needs to be done to make sure they are aware of their increased risk of a second cancer and other related health problems if they smoke.”

The majority of smokers in the study took up smoking before the age of 20.

Dr Frobisher said: “We think intervention programmes should be put in place early, targeting cancer survivors as young as 12.”

Professor Mike Hawkins, director of the Centre for Childhoold Cancer Survivor Studies, said: “We are very concerned that people who have been exposed to radiation and chemotherapy drugs during treatment for cancer as a child are exposing themselves to a further completely avoidable risk for developing another cancer and other smoking-related diseases in later life.”

Elspeth Lee, of the charity Cancer Research UK, said it was crucial that young cancer survivors were given all the necessary information and support to discourage tem for taking up smoking.

Thanks to the development of better treatments for childhood cancer, almost eight in ten children now survive a diagnosis of the disease.

It is estimated that there are more than 26,000 survivors of childhood cancer alive in Britain today.

It is estimated that in the UK around 11 million adults – more than one in five of the population – smoke.

Smoking is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK. It is responsible for nearly nine out of ten cases of lung cancer in the UK. With that being said, The makers of Smoke Away would like to stress that they want you to quit smoking, it does not matter how you do it just quit, whether its with our product or someone else’s.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 44.5 million US adults were current smokers in 2006 (the most recent year for which numbers are available). This is 20.8% of all adults (23.9% of men, 18.0% of women) — more than 1 out of 5 people.

When broken down by race/ethnicity, the numbers were as follows:

Whites 21.9%
African Americans 23.0%
Hispanics 15.2%
American Indians/Alaska Natives 32.4%
Asian Americans 10.4%

The numbers were higher in younger age groups. In 2006, CDC reported almost 24% of those 18 to 44 years old were current smokers, compared to 10.2% in those aged 65 or older.

Nationwide, 22.3% of high school students and 8.1% of middle school students were smoking in 2004. More White and Hispanic students smoked cigarettes.  Can anyone tell me why the highest percentages would among American Indians and native Alaskans?

Listen, as long as you’re sitting there wondering who smokes, why don’t you, if you smoke check out Smoke Away, or if you don’t but have a friend or loved one that smokes, steer them towards Smoke Away? What do you have to lose? Besides that craving to smoke?

The makers of Smoke Away would like to drive the point home visually for those of you out there who just don’t get it. So we start by saying, “What the hell is your problem?” Are you the type of person that reads something like this and says,”Hmmm, that’s not a bad idea!”

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Or maybe this looks really sexy to you and makes your mouth water at the prospect of puttting another cancer stick in your mouth?

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mmmm.. yummy isn’t it? or perhaps you are the type of person where one of these phrases makes sense to you? What is it going to take to get through to you?

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Ohhhh ok we get it, you don’t think there’s really anything bad in a cigarette other than the nicotine…OK then don’t worry about the butane, the cadmium, the stearic acid, the industrial solvent, the insecticide and the toilet cleaner, the vinegar, the sewer gas, the arsenic, the carbon monoxide, and the rocket fuel that is in each and every cigarette.

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But what are a couple of cigarettes going to do to me? Well lets look at the anatomy of your typical female. Now keep in mind, cigarettes are not choosy, they’ll poison and pounce on anyone who chooses to light up. But lets look shall we?

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Starting from the head on down we have wrinkles, the inability to smell properly, bad breath, yellow teeth, the inability to taste correctly, gum disease,  a persistent hacking cough, a nice persistent back ache, more fat, the inability to go to the bathroom properly, lower chance of  having a child, and slower wound healing. Mmm.. makes you want to run right out and smoke doesn’t it?

Lastly lets look at some quick statistics of just what cigarettes and second hand smoke and its ilk do to people. Choose to pick your poison?

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Listen, we don’t care HOW you quit smoking. In fact, the makers of Smoke Away would love for you to use our product, but more importantly, we want you to quit smoking using ANY product. Just quit. Not for us, for you, your family and your friends. If you want to talk to some people that have stopped smoking using our product, or people that are still in the throws of quitting, or people who have just plain quit, Try the Smoke Away Support site. Good Luck.

Lets first start off by saying the easiest way to quit smoking is to not start, and in order to not start we have to educate. So in order to educate we are going give you the best of the best websites to educate the youth of the world. These sites are as cutting edge as it gets in trying to convince a whole new generation not to smoke:

1) Notobacco.org-This site offers educational videos, K-12 assembly programs, speakers, quit smoking info, anti-tobacco news, and a great anti-smoking links guide for teen smoking prevention.

With that education, hopefully smokers and wannabe’s will realize that tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing more than 440,000 deaths each year and resulting in an annual cost of more than $75 billion in direct medical costs. Nationally, smoking results in more than 5.6 million years of potential life lost each year. Approximately 80% of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18.  So if we can educate and drive the point home of what smoking can do to you then hopefully we can get to them before they make that fatefull decision to light up. Ultimately, why do you think they decide to smoke in the first place? Because they think it’s cool. The cool factor. Well guess what  link #2 is Smoking is not cool!

Every day, nearly 4,000 young people under the age of 18 try their first cigarette
More than 6.4 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents — the decision to smoke cigarettes. Think you need more convincing on why it could not be further from cool to smoke? Why not try one of the most cutting edge websites for not smoking here at #3 Thetruth.

For some hard hitting reality and facts about how “uncool” it is to smoke, check out the website  #4) ydoyouthink This site also has some very interactive elements to it which lead to it being onf of the best out there at convincing you to not start smoking. want to read the real-life stories of three teenagers dealing with quitting smoking? You might be interested in what they have to say about how they quit, what they struggled with, and where they are now. Find that here at #5) Teenquit.

Perhaps as a girl trying to figure it all out, you think that smoking might give you an edge. Find out what tobacco does to a girl’s heart, arteries, lungs, mouth, and throat, not to mention your hair, fingernails, clothes, and skin, here at #6) Girl Power.

Interestingly enough, one of the slickest ways that Big Tobacco grows it’s user base is by slick ads.#7) BADvertising counters the seduction of smoking by doctoring up tobacco ads to make them honest. View the honest ads, send them to your friends and family, and learn how to make your own honest ads. Because Tobacco’s has taken 66,515 kids and turned them into regular smokers in 2008 and 22,172 will die prematurely from their addiction we think that the site #8) Campaign for tobacco free kids make pretty good sense.

Of course the best way to stem the growth beyond being reactive is to be proactive. In that sense why not go after Big Tobacco? Become an activist and help in tryinig to prevent the spread of smoking, cancer and the production of cigarettes. At #9)Big Tobacco Sucks is your resource for becoming involved!  Once you get involved take it on a national level and get others fired up for #10) Kick Butts Day a day for youth to stand out, speak up, and seize control in the fight against tobacco.

If you really want to fight the urge to smoke, then use these sites. If you want to help others quit smoking, then this is the site for you. If you want to assist in the fight to bring down big tobacco and help the world be free, then this is the site for you. With these links, keep them, bookmark them and keep going back. Listen, Smoke Away knows that you want to quit, we also know you want your loved one or your child to quit or to even not start. With that being said, it’s all about education. Spread the word!~ and share this post!

Perhaps these warning shots that are now coming across the bow of every smoker will hit home. In an effort to stem the growth of smoking globally, governments are now slapping warning labels on the packs of all cigarettes. Check them out:

In early 2006 a new initiative was introduced in Australia, with graphic images depicting the effects of smoking  cigarettes to be displayed on cigarette packets.  Warnings must cover 30% of the front and 90% of the back of the box. The 10% of the back not occupied by a warning is used by the message “Sale to underage persons prohibited”.

For cigarette packets, warnings include: Smoking causes peripheral vascular disease Smoking causes emphysema Smoking causes mouth and throat cancer Smoking clogs your arteries Don’t let children breath your smoke Smoking – A leading cause of death Quitting will improve your health Smoking harms unborn babies Smoking causes blindness Smoking causes lung cancer Smoking causes heart disease Smoking doubles your risk of stroke Smoking is addictive Tobacco smoke is toxic

With each warning is an accompanying graphic, and detailed information on the back of the packet. In addition, cigar and loose tobacco packets show other, slightly altered warnings. These warnings target the misconception that alternative, non-cigarette tobacco products are less harmful.

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In Germany, the message is more of the same but less graphical, with the following messages printed on the labels and packs: Smoking is lethal, Smoking severely harms you and the people around you, Smokers die sooner, Smoking leads to clogging of arteries and causes heart attacks and strokes, Smoking while pregnant harms your child, Protect children – don’t let them breathe your tobacco smoke! Your doctor or pharmacist can help you to give up smoking. Smoking is very quickly addictive: Don’t start in the first place, Giving up smoking reduces the risk of fatal heart and lung diseases. Smoking can lead to a slow and painful death. Smoking can lead to blood circulation disorders and causes impotence. Smoking makes your skin age. Smoking can damage spermatozoa and decreases your fertility. Smoke contains benzene, nitrosamine, formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide. Talk about driving the point home! We can’t think of anything more effective in the fight to stop smoking world wide, then the cold hard facts about what smoking can do to you! Here is Germanys label:

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The Canadian Tobacco Act requires warnings to be printed on all tobacco products sold in Canada.

Each warning is printed along with a short explanation and is accompanied by a picture illustrating that particular warning, for example:

WARNING
CIGARETTES CAUSE LUNG CANCER
85% of lung cancers are caused by smoking.
80% of lung cancer victims die within three years.

Accompanied by a picture of a human lung detailing cancerous growths.

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In France, the warnings are similar to Germany with: Smokers die prematurely, Smoking clogs arteries and causes heart attacks and strokes, Smoking causes fatal lung cancer, Smoking during pregnancy harms your child’s health, Help yourself quit smoking: call 0 825 309 310.

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In Hong Kong, thery are even more adamant in their usage of warnings.

Packaging must indicate the amount of nicotine and tar is present in cigarette boxes in addition to graphics depicting different health problems caused by smoking in the size and ratio as prescribed by law. The warnings are to be published in both official languages, Traditional Chinese and English.

Warning begins with the phrase ‘HKSAR GOVERNMENT WARNING’ and then one of the following in all caps.

  • Smoking causes lung cancer
  • Smoking kills
  • Smoking harms your family
  • Smoking causes Peripheral Vascular Diseases
  • Smoking may cause impotence
  • Smoking can accelerate aging of skin

In addition, any print advertisement must give minimum 20% coverage of the following warnings: HKSAR GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING

  • January -February SMOKING KILLS
  • March- April SMOKING CAUSES CANCER
  • May- June SMOKING CAUSES HEART DISEASE
  • July- August SMOKING CAUSES LUNG CANCER
  • September- October SMOKING CAUSES RESPIRATORY DISEASES
  • November – December SMOKING HARMS YOUR CHILDREN

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In Italy, the message is more of the same but with some variance in the delivery. Smoking kills / Smoking may kill, Smoking heavily damages you and whoever is near you, Smokers die early, Smoking clogs arteries and causes heart diseases and strokes, Smoking causes fatal lung cancer, Smoking during pregnancy injures the baby, Protect the kids, don’t smoke in their presence, Your doctor or your pharmacist may help you quit smoking, Specialists in the medical profession may help you quit smoking, Smoking is highly addictive, don’t start, Quitting smoking reduces the risk of deadly cardiovascular and lung diseases, Smoking causes oral cancer.

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In Latvia, here is their label.

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The Netherlands.

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Portugal

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South Korea, with a bit of a twist on the message: Smoking causes lung cancer and other dieseases and it is especially dangerous for teenagers and pregnant women and It is illegal to sell cigarettes to people under 19! It hurts your children’s health. Smoking damages your health. Once you start smoking, it is very difficult to quit.

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In the United Kingdom, the message is quite clear. One of the following general warnings must be displayed, covering at least 30% of the surface of the pack:

  • Smoking kills
  • Smoking seriously harms you and others around you

Additionally, one of the following additional warnings must be displayed, covering at least 40% of the surface of the pack:

  • Smokers die younger
  • Smoking clogs the arteries and causes heart attacks and strokes
  • Smoking causes fatal lung cancer
  • Smoking when pregnant harms your baby
  • Protect children: don’t make them breathe your smoke
  • Your doctor or your pharmacist can help you stop smoking
  • Smoking is highly addictive, don’t start
  • Stopping smoking reduces the risk of fatal heart and lung diseases
  • Smoking can cause a slow and painful death
  • Get help to stop smoking: telephone/postal address/internet address/consult your doctor/pharmacist
  • Smoking may reduce the blood flow and cause impotence
  • Smoking causes ageing of the skin
  • Smoking can damage the sperm and decreases fertility
  • Smoke contains benzene, nitrosamines, formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide.

The first written warnings on packets in Britain appeared in 2003, and shocking warning pictures are set to appear on British packets in 2008 alongside the written messages, revealed Alan Johnson, Secretary of Health in August 2007.

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In conclusion, the makers of Smoke Away certainly applaud the efforts of other countries, but it is not enough. Developing nations are smoking more and more and something needs to be done to provide some type of free resource to help these people quit. There are certainly many avenues and channels to acquire cigarettes, but how many exist to help people quit smoking?

For more information on how to quit smoking or to talk to people who have quit smoking with or without the help of Smoke Away, log onto the Smoke Away support site to talk with people just like you!

Secondhand smoke, also known as ETS or environmental tobacco smoke, is a complex mixture of gases and particles that includes smoke from the burning cigarette, cigar, or pipe tip (sidestream smoke) and exhaled mainstream smoke. According to the CDC:

  • Secondhand smoke contains at least 250 chemicals known to be toxic, including more than 50 that can cause cancer.
  • Secondhand smoke exposure causes heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults.
  • Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their heart disease risk by 25–30% and their lung cancer risk by 20–30%.
  • Breathing secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects on the cardiovascular system that can increase the risk of heart attack. People who already have heart disease are at especially high risk.
  • Secondhand smoke exposure causes respiratory symptoms in children and slows their lung growth.
  • Secondhand smoke causes sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS),
  • Secondhand smoke causes acute respiratory infections
  • Secondhand smoke causes ear problems
  • It also causes more frequent and severe asthma attacks in children.
  • There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure. Even brief exposure can be dangerous.
  • More than 126 million nonsmoking Americans continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke in homes, vehicles, workplaces, and public places.
  • Most exposure to tobacco smoke occurs in homes and workplaces.
  • Almost 60% of U.S. children aged 3–11 years—or almost 22 million children—are exposed to secondhand smoke.
  • About 25% of children aged 3–11 years live with at least one smoker, compared to only about 7% of nonsmoking adults.
  • The California Environmental Protection Agency estimates that secondhand smoke exposure causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 22,700–69,600 heart disease deaths annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States.
  • Each year in the United States, secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for 150,000–300,000 new cases of bronchitis and pneumonia in children aged less than 18 months. This results in 7,500–15,000 hospitalizations, annually.

If not for yourself, think about what you are doing to others whenever you or a loved one lights up. Where is the respect for others and their quality of life? As soon as you realize what you are doing to your body as well as others around you, you will finally come to the realization that it is time to quit smoking! Let Smoke Away help. If not us then perhaps to people in the Smoke Away Support group who have quit with not only Smoke Away but other products and methods. Talk to them. But do something, today.

 

This just in. If you think by allowing people to smoke is good for your business, you’re sorely mistaken! Studies of restaurants and bars in Boston, New York City, San Francisco and Washington D.C. all show business up since they banned smoking. Chicago went smoke free the beginning of this year.

In the United States, 23 states have already banned smoking in restaurants and bars. A number of other states, including Michigan, are considering it. While many bar and restaurant owners say a smoking ban would hurt business, that appears to not be the case at all.

So you think there’s nothing wrong with a little second hand smoke?

According to a case report by a Michigan State University physician, published in the February edition of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine,  a woman arrived at a bar in Michigan for her shift as a waitress and, according to co-workers, seemed happy and healthy. About 15 or 20 minutes later she collapsed and within a few minutes died.

“This is the first reported acute asthma death associated with work-related ETS,” said Kenneth Rosenman, an MSU professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. “Recent studies of air quality and asthma among bar and restaurant workers before and after smoking bans support this association.”

In 2006, the surgeon general’s report concluded that ETS causes coronary heart disease, lung cancer and premature death. But at that time there was little hard evidence linking ETS to the exacerbation of asthma in adults. ETS for the uninitiated is shorthand for environmental tobacco smoke or “second hand smoke”.

Here is the most comprehensive list of what smoking does to you. The makers of Smoke Away ask you, what more do you need to know in order for you to quit smoking? How about 70 reasons not to smoke!

Cigarette Smoking causes:

  • Stained teeth, fingers, and hair
  • Increased frequency of colds, particularly chest colds and bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Neuralgia
  • Gastrointestinal difficulties, constipation, diarrhea, and colitis
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Convulsions
  • Leukoflakia (smoker’s patch)
  • Insomnia
  • Heart murmur
  • Buerger’s disease (inflammation of blood vessel linings)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Arthritis
  • Smoker’s hack
  • Nervousness
  • Wrinkles and premature aging
  • Tension
  • Gastric, duodenal, and peptic ulcers
  • Lung cancer
  • Cancer of the lip, tongue, pharynx, larynx, and bladder
  • Emphysema
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Artherosclerosis & arteriosclerosis (thickening and loss of
    elasticity of the blood vessels with lessened blood flow)
  • Inflammation of the sinus passages
  • Tobacco angina (nicotine angina pectoris)
  • Pneumonia
  • Influenza
  • Pulmonary tuberculosis
  • Tobacco amblyopia
  • Impared hearing
  • Decreased sexual activity
  • Mental depression
  • Blood flow to the extremities is decreased (cold hands and feet).
  • Nicotine affects the nerve-muscle junctions, causing tremors and shaking.
  • Nicotine causes narrowing and constriction of the arteries, adding to the heart’s load.
  • Nicotine, through its ability to stimulate, causes excitement and anxiety.
  • Nicotine, an insecticide, makes the blood more viscous and decreases the available oxygen. 
  • Nicotine adversely affects the breathing, sweating, intestinal, and heart actions of our autonomic nervous system.
  • Two to four cigarettes in a row increase blood fats 200 to 400%. The average smoker (30 cigerettes per day) has 4 to 6 times the chance of having heart disease if he’s in the 45-54 year age group.
  • If the mother smoked during pregnancy, her baby will average 6 ounces less and its pulse will be 30% faster than a non-smoker’s baby, and there’ll be withdrawal symptoms in the baby after birth.
  • Premature birth has been related to smoking by the mother.
  • There is a direct link between parents’ smoking and children’s respiratory disease.
  • Smoking causes widespread permanent destruction of the tiny air sacs (alveoli) and narrowing of small blood vessels in the lungs, decreasing the oxygen supply, requiring a higher blood pressure, thus causing extensive circulatory problems and premature heart attacks.
  • Smokers have difficulty running and exercising.
  • The cilia are tiny, delicate, hairlike coverings on the thin membrane of the surface of the lungs and trachea. This delicate lung-cleaning mechanism, in a cigarette smoker, at first paralyzes, then deteriorates, and is eventually made inoperative, through the complete destruction of the cilia. The smoker then must resort to coughing as a lung-cleaning method. This isn’t efficient, and more than a cupful of tars will have accumulated in his lungs by the time of his premature death.
  • Air pollution (auto exhausts, industry wastes, etc.) increases the lung cancer rate of the smoker, but not of the non-smoker. Apparently, the lung-cleaning cilia are alive and working for the non-smoker.
  • The time to recover from any specific ill, whether caused by smoking or not, is much longer for the smoker. Often, a non-smoker will survive a sickness from which he would have died had he smoked.
  • The non-smoker has no need to spend money to buy cigarettes, matches, lighters, holders, ashtrays, or to spend a dime a mile for that special trip to the store.
  • By dying earlier, the smoker will lose many tens of thousands of dollars in social security and other benefits which will naturally end up in the pockets of the non-smoker. The cigarette tax is more money from the smoker to the non-smoker.
  • The smoker is sick more often, explaining why he misses an average of 7½ work days per year, usually with a loss of pay, while the non-smoker will miss only 4½ days.
  • The overall bad health of the smoker results, on average, in a decrease of 8.3 years in his life expectancy, or about 12 to 14 minutes per cigarette.
  • The smoker’s body requires more sleep every night. This extra sleep must come from his spare time. Besides needing more sleep, smokers don’t sleep as well.
  • Smoking destroys vitamins, particularly vitamin C and the B’s.
  • Smoking has induced cancer in dogs.
  • Insurance rates can and will be higher for smokers.
  • Some 100,000 doctors stop smoking every year.
  • Foods will taste much better to non-smokers.
  • Smoking causes smelly breath; smelly house; smelly clothes; messy rugs and furniture, often burned; cigarettes lying around for kids to smoke (and matches to light);
  • Smoking is a bad influence on kids; you’re held in low esteem by your kids and your friends (even your smoking friends);
  • The inside of your home and auto windows need cleaning more often; death or property loss due to smoking in bed.  
  • Smokers get into more auto accidents due to being less alert, having slower reflexes, and also due to fussing around while driving (lighting up, etc.).
  • A non-smoker would have to put on an additional 150 pounds in order to increase his mortality rate to that of an average smoker.
  • The fact that the tobacco industry provides work, that wouldn’t exist without it, is a myth. The money now wasted on tobacco, if diverted elsewhere, would create a wealth of new job openings in industries producing goods and services more useful to the society than cigarettes.
  • Smoking makes a person irritable and argumentative, partially due to a subconscious knowledge of all of the above facts.
  • Smoking has been related to brain damage and premature senility.
  • A smoker needs much more food and sleep since nicotine makes his body work harder and less efficiently and his heart beat faster, thus using more fuel and energy. This, together with the fact that a smoker loses much of his appetite and his taste for food, explains why smokers have less trouble keeping their weight down.
  • When one quits smoking, it’s IMPERATIVE that the intake of food is drastically reduced in order to keep the body weight normal.
  • Having to eat less is of course an additional saving of time and money.

You now have read over 70 facts ans reasons why smoking is a) not good for you and b) can seriously shorten your life expectancy. What MORE do you need to know in order for you to quit smoking? Smoke Away knows that you want to quit, or you would not be reading this. If you don’t want to use our product that is fine, but at least TRY something! You, your family and your friends, will be better off because ot it. For more info, talk to the users of the Smoke Away support group, they might be able to shed some light!

Just when you think you’re getting through to people a report comes along like this. Just when you start to see bars, restaurants, and public places banning cigarette smoking, a story such as this, with as attention grabbing of a headline as you will ever see, appears.

I wish I could say that it must be a mistake but apparently not.  According to the World Health Organization, One billion people may die of tobacco-related illness this century, almost all of them in developing countries. Thats 1 BILLION!  A billion people in developing countries will DIE.

There is not a more sobering statistic to me than when I read about a case where something is so totally preventable and yet people continuously and consciously make the wrong choice. Because of what? Boredom, a quest to be cool, poverty? Regardless of the circumstances, it’s obvious that not a lot of thought or care is going into the decision making process.

It’s almost the athlete’s mentality. When an athlete is at the peak of their physical form, when they are at their very best, they have a feeling of invincibility. As if they can never be beaten, can never fail, and that they can conquer all. People have this same feeling when they smoke. They feel nothing but the smokers high and the addiction, but have utterly no clue as to what is going on inside their bodies. In fact they won’t until it is too late as this latest statistic bears out.

To this end WHO has decided to roll out an unprecedented  global campaign to fight the spread of smoking and limit the reach that it currently has.

The effort provides the first comprehensive look at tobacco use, as well as smoking control and taxation policies, in 179 countries. It also lays out six strategies to reduce tobacco use, many used by rich countries in recent decades, although far from fully deployed even there.

Tobacco use is a risk factor for six of the world’s eight leading causes of death and causes about one in every 10 deaths of adults now. That toll is expected to rise steeply as tobacco companies target new customers, particularly women, in low-income countries, WHO officials said.

My question to the tobacco companies would be, how could you, with a clear conscience, target women in low income countries? How in the hell is that a strategy? Do these people sit in their board rooms and decide that this is a viable path to profitability?

“What we’re saying is that we don’t want to let that happen,” said Douglas Bettcher, director of the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative. “We want to see the operating environment of the tobacco companies become as difficult as possible in the near future.”

While WHO cannot force countries to make stringent tobacco control a priority, it hopes to convince them such efforts are cheap, proven, and especially beneficial to their poorest citizens.

“In many countries, money spent by the poor on cigarettes is taken away from what they could spend on health and education,” said Patrick Petit, a WHO economist who helped produce the 329-page report accompanying the initiative’s launch in New York.

Margaret Chan, WHO’s director-general, said the compilation of data is itself a powerful tool for change. “I truly believe that what gets measured gets done,” she said.

WHO is using marketing techniques reminiscent of the tobacco companies’. It has branded the campaign MPOWER — each letter represents one of six strategies — and is eschewing scare tactics in favor of the theme “fresh and alive.” Press materials came with a box that looks like a pack of cigarettes and contains a pad and pens describing the elements of the campaign.

The six strategies are: 1) Monitoring tobacco use and control policy 2)Protecting people by enforcing “smoke-free” laws 3)Offering smokers nicotine replacement and counseling programs 4)Warning on cigarette packs about smoking’s hazards 5)Enforcing bans on tobacco advertising and promotion and 6)Raising the price of tobacco through taxes.

Numerous studies have shown that raising the price of cigarettes is by far the most powerful strategy. For every 10 percent increase in price, cigarette consumption drops about 4 percent overall and about 8 percent in young people.

While some cities, states and provinces employ the strategies in a coordinated fashion, no countries do so, the WHO report said. Uruguay employs the most of any nation — three: graphic pack warnings, a ban on smoking in public buildings and free smoking-cessation help. The United States employs two, at least to a degree: national monitoring and a national ban on many forms of tobacco advertising.

Only 5 percent of the global population is protected by laws to curb smoking; only 5 percent live in countries that completely ban tobacco advertising and event sponsorship; and only 6 percent live in places where cigarette packs carry pictorial warnings of smoking’s hazards. (In Brazil, some packs feature a man with a tracheotomy, a breathing hole created in the front of the neck after treatment for throat cancer).

The report sketches a picture of huge diversity between countries and regions in current tobacco use.

In Greece, 59% of men smoke cigarettes every day; in Sweden, 15% do. 38% of Serbian women smoke, but only 1% of women in Kyrgyzstan do. In Indonesia, 65% of men are smokers, but only 4% of women.

Nearly 2/3 of the world’s smokers live in 10 countries, with China accounting for nearly 30%. About 100 million Chinese men now under 30 will die from tobacco use unless they quit, the report said.

In India, which is second to China in the number of smokers, tobacco control is complicated by the fact there are two types of cigarettes that are priced and taxed differently.

In 2006, Indians smoked about 106 billion conventional cigarettes and 1 trillion “biris.” The latter are loosely packed combinations of tobacco and flavorings such as chocolate or clove, wrapped in a leaf of the tendu tree.

Biris are made in thousands of small factories and home workshops and cost about 10 cents for a pack of 25. They are taxed at a lower rate than normal cigarettes, ostensibly to protect the poor, who are their main consumers.

WHO’s campaign was put together with financial help from a philanthropy run by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman. He is giving $125 million over two years for global tobacco control and helped pay for the country-by-country survey that provided baseline data for the campaign.

In New York, he created one of the most comprehensive anti-smoking programs in the country. His advocacy of higher tobacco taxes has pushed the average price of a pack of cigarettes there to $6.20, and he is seeking another 50-cent increase.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in June that the percentage of adult New Yorkers who smoke fell from 22 to 18 from 2002 to 2006, with the steepest drop in people 18 to 24 years old.

The campaign organizers held two news conferences in New York yesterday, one at the United Nations, WHO’s parent organization. U.N. headquarters is about the only place in the city where a smoking ban is not enforced, because the U.N. campus is autonomous territory. The Vienna Cafe there is packed with smokers all day long. It used to have signs saying “Smoking Discouraged,” but they haven’t been in evidence recently.

Clearly things need to be done quickly. Who needs to worry about global warming this century when a billion people will be gone? The makers of Smoke Away want you to quit, we don’t care what method you use, though we would love for you to use our product. The bottom line, just quit for the sake of you and your family and friends.

Tobacco companies have marketed their products with well thought out campaigns utilizing all of the media, including print media, the movies, television and musicians. The images of Hollywood stars and musicians smoking have had an influence on people’s decisions to start smoking. People, and especially young people, see these images, and imagine how cool they would look if they smoked. They think it is sexy to smoke. They it is cool? There is absolutely zero “cool” factor to smoking. Here’s a quick question to any teens or college aged readers out there:  How does it taste to “make-out” with someone who smokes? Do you enjoy it in the least bit?

Smoking is not sexy

There are other reasons people start smoking, but more often than not, it is because of the image that is created in their minds through the use of movies and media that prtray smoking as a “prop” that makes the scene and the actor more Believable!!!  Could they be any further from the facts or truth?  

What is cool about smoking? Nothing!

In some parts of the world smoking is viewed as a “rite of passage”. Seeing third world youngsters smoking, some of them 10 years and younger, is not unusual. But my question to you and them, what education is going on to teach and explain to them the hazards and dangers of smoking? None. So they smoke.

Smoking has zero appeal

Most people get started smoking with their first cigarettes given to them by older friends or family members.  Or they sneak it from someone else or they get someone to buy them their first pack of squares. It’s obvious who the new smokers are, because they are trying like hell to look cool. Little do they know what is in store for them if they do not stop. How depressing is it to see Santa smoking? Such was the mentality many years ago!

Santa smoking

Part of the reason they smoke is to be a part of the crowd that they admire or people they aspire to emulate. Many times their peers encourage them to start, and even show them how it is done, even how to do things such as blowing smoke rings, etc. Because they are not part of a particular clique, they use smoking as a crutch to support them and give them an identity.

Lets blow nicotine in each others face!

It is about image more than anything else as most people would agree that the first cigarette is certainly not pleasant. If food tasted that bad most of us would never eat again. It becomes a challenge to overcome the coughing, burning throat, the choking, the burning of the eyes. If something is seen to be cool or fashionable then there will be many people who will do it simply to be accepted by their peers.

Winston Does not taste good!

The majority of people find that smoking tastes bad and makes them feel bad until they become accustomed to the taste then those feelings disappear. By that time they have started to become addicted to the tobacco and nicotine and a new problem presents itself.

Tennis and Smoking, I don’t think so!

Statistics show that the majority of people who smoke wish they had never started, if only they could wind back the clock they would certainly never have started. They fool themselves into thinking that they can quit any time they want. After a few tries at quitting they buy into the notions that quitting is too hard, they do not have the will power, smoking is really not as bad as people say. They begin to justify their habit with comments like;

  • I really enjoy smoking,
  • It relaxes me,
  • It keeps me thin.
  • I can quit any time I want.

After a very short time the addictive nature of tobacco and nicotine start to control the smoking habit, which makes so many people continue to smoke long after they realize the many ways it is affecting their health. Knowing that they are shortening their life is generally not enough incentive to quit.

Camels

As we ease into 2008, why not let Smoke Away allow you to try and quit smoking. Basically we want you to quit, no mattter which way you go. Just make sure that you make 2007 the last time you even think about smoking.

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