You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘smoking related illness’ tag.

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.

20 reasons to quit smoking American Cancer Society big tobacco cancer cdc cigarette labels cigarettes cigarette smoking famous people who smoked and died because of it how to quit smoking how to stop smoking preventing children from smoking preventing smoking in chidlren quit meters. quitting smoking aides quit smoking quit smoking action plan quit smoking guidelines quit smoking initiatives quit smoking sites quit smoking tips quit smoking videos quit smoking websites quitting smoking quitting smoking reasons Qutting Smoking qutting smoking for new years qutting smoking news Reasons to quit smoking second hand smoke smoke away smokeaway smokeaway support smoke away support smokers quiz smoking smoking and chidlren Smoking and Children smoking and teens smoking cessation smoking cessation steps smoking cessation videos smoking effects smoking in the workplace Smoking News smoking quiz smoking related illness Smoking Statistics steps to quit smoking Stopping smoking stopping smoking for the new year stop smoking stop smoking aides stop smoking assistance stop smoking for kids stop smoking for new years stop smoking help stop smoking in 2008 stop smoking links stop smoking meters stop smoking news stop smoking products stop smoking programs stop smoking quiz stop smoking resources stop smoking support Stop Smoking Tips stop smoking tools Stop Smoking Videos the american cancer society the reasons why people smoke tips to quit smoking Ways to quit smoking ways to quit smoking in the new year women and smoking

Flickr Photos

Smokeaway Deadman Walking

smoke-away-can-help

smoke-away-death-and-taxes

smoke away stopsmoking tools

More Photos