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Youth & Smoking
Smoking is common and a big cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. The Center for Disease Control released data that indicates more teenagers smoke flavored tobacco than ever before. This has become an alarming situation for many because of the negative health implications for these teenagers in the future.
According to the CDC’s data, more than two out of five teenagers that smoke use flavored little cigars or cigarettes. Around 60 percent of these teenagers that smoke said that they had no intention to quit anytime soon, thus raising concern for the health of this generation.
“Historically what we know from other studies is that flavors can mask the harshness and taste of tobacco, particularly for a new person who has not smoked regularly and finds it difficult to handle,” said Dr. Tim McAfee, the director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “Flavors makes it easier to use and more appealing to youth.”
Cigars have become more popular in the recent years. According to the CDC, sales have gone up to 240 percent from 1997 to 2007 and 80 percent of flavored cigars come from those sales.
Studies have shown that kid’s experimentation with tobacco can lead to a habit that perpetuates itself for the rest of their life. The CDC says that 88 percent of adults that smoke had started smoking by the age of 18. However, the overall tobacco use has decreased through time.
“Things were looking and have been looking good in terms of the decline of youth smoking,” said McAfee. “So we are particularly worried about little cigar use not declining.”
The recent data indicates that the overall tobacco use has indeed decreased, but the concern is the increase of flavored tobacco use among teenagers and the health implications that might come up in their future.
In 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act that banned the sale of flavored cigarettes. This law, however, does not ban the sale of flavored cigars. The Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act gives the Food and Drug Administration “the authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products to protect public health,” according to the FDA website.
Little cigars are very similar to cigarettes, for they are alike in shape and size. Like cigarettes, cigars have smoking filters that reduce the tar, smoke and fine particles that are being inhaled while a cigarette is lit. These little cigars are sold individually and they are less costly because of the lower tax rate compared to cigarettes.
“This allows kids to get better cigars for pocket change,” said McAfee. “You can go into a convenience store and buy some variation on little cigars for under a dollar.”
Because the Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act banned the sale of flavored cigarettes, excluding the ones with menthol flavor, flavored cigars serve as a viable option for teenagers. However, boston.com reports that flavored little cigars are banned in Maine, New York City and Providence, R.I.
“When we see candy and fruit flavors in little cigars, we know that’s the tobacco trying to hook kids,” said Erika Sward, assistant vice president of the American Lung Association. “That’s why it’s important for the FDA to move forward to aggressively regulate them.”
On Tuesday, October 22, Senator Edward Markey issued a statement regarding the CDC’s data,
“Today’s study from the CDC showing more than 40 percent of kids in middle and high school who smoke flavored tobacco products highlights that children are still a frequent target of Big Tobacco,” said Markey. “Kids are tricked into thinking that these bubblegum, fruit and candied flavored cigars are sweet treats, when in fact they serve merely as a gateway to tobacco addiction, putting them on a path to serious diseases and premature death. The Obama administration should act quickly to exercise regulatory authority over these products and act to protect our youth from these dangerous marketing ploys,” said Markey.
E-cigarettes are a new trend in people that smoke. They are electronic inhalers of smoke that are sometimes used as substitutes for tobacco smoking. However, some of these e-cigarettes have nicotine while others use flavored vapor. That is why some are unsure of the health repercussions e-cigarettes might bring. A CDC study released in September showed that seven percent of sixth to 12th graders said they had e-cigarettes in 2012, increasing by three percent in one year. According to boston.com, the FDA will soon release guidelines on electronic cigarettes in the upcoming months.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – While the number of teenagers smoking cigarettes has gone down, the number of those who get their nicotine fix from electronic cigarettes is on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
In New York, you have to be 18 years old to buy e-cigarettes – but that isn’t the case everywhere, or online.
"This is definitely a concern for parents, because it doesn't matter where the nicotine comes from because if a kid gets addicted to nicotine they are going to be seeking it out for the rest of their lives,” said Upstate Cancer Center Medical Director Leslie Kohman.
The CDC says 88 percent of adult smokers say they were addicted by the time they turned 18.
Teens are among those who are turning to e-cigarettes to get their fix.
E-cigarettes create a nicotine vapor you can inhale.
The study shows that the number of high-school students who tried e-cigs from 2011 to 2012 nearly doubled.
“I think it's a really dangerous trend because this is a way to get kids to be addicted to nicotine,” Kohman said. “Nicotine is the most addictive substance that we know – it’s more addictive than crack cocaine, and all nicotine comes from tobacco – the e-cigarettes don't have the other components of the smoke. However they have never been proved safe, their manufacturer is not regulated, and they are not controlled in any way.”
E-Cigarettes are not currently approved or regulated by the FDA.
Many are calling for more controls to put in place.
The CDC say that approximately 5 percent of high school students also say they smoke from a hookah at least once a month.
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“Little cigars” that resemble cigarettes and boast flavors like candy apple or chocolate are increasing in popularity among teenagers, many of whom might be deceived into thinking they are safer or less addictive than cigarettes, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Little cigar use is so popular, some forty percent of US middle schoolers say they have tried them, and they are boosting the overall rate of teens who smoke, alarming medical experts and public health officials alike.
Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called the new data “disturbing.”
“Flavored little cigars are basically a deception,” Frieden says. “They’re marketed like cigarettes, they look like cigarettes, but they’re not taxed or regulated like cigarettes. And they’re increasing the number of kids who smoke.”
A little cigar looks almost exactly like a cigarette: It’s the same size and shape, but instead of being wrapped in white paper, it’s wrapped in brown paper that contains some tobacco leaf. Many little cigars have a filter, like a cigarette, according to the American Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit that seeks to prevent teen smoking.
“What makes a cigar a cigar is that it has some tobacco in the paper. Little cigars — there’s just enough tobacco in that paper to make them cigars,” says Erika Sward, assistant vice president for national advocacy at the American Lung Association. “They really are cigarettes in cigar clothing.”
Not that cigars are healthy. Little cigars – and large cigars and cigarillos (a longer, slimmer version of the classic large cigar) – contain the same harmful and addictive compounds as cigarettes. They can cause lung, oral, laryngeal and esophageal cancers and they increase the smoker’s risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The only upside of a cigar is the way they are usually smoked: Cigar smokers tend to take shallower puffs instead of deep inhales. But some research has shown people tend to smoke little cigars just like they’d smoke cigarettes, by inhaling deeply, which can exacerbate the tobacco’s health risks.
But because little cigars are technically not cigarettes, they are taxed far less than cigarettes, making them that much more appealing to teenagers, because “kids are especially price-sensitive,” Sward says. A pack of little cigars can cost less than half as much as a pack of cigarettes, experts say.
Image: Little cigars and cigarettes, via American Legacy Foundation
Flavored little cigar smokers less likely to think about quitting tobacco use
More than two out of every five middle and high school students who smoke report using either flavored little cigars or flavored cigarettes, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. This article, using data from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), is the first to measure how many American youth are using flavored little cigars and flavored cigarettes.
The study also shows that among youth cigar smokers, almost 60 percent of those who smoke flavored little cigars are not thinking about quitting tobacco use, compared with just over 49 percent among all other cigar smokers.
“Flavored or not, cigars cause cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and many other health problems. Flavored little cigars appeal to youth and the use of these tobacco products may lead to disfigurement, disability, and premature death,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. ”We need to take comprehensive steps to reduce all tobacco use for all of our youth.”
The study found that 35.4 percent of current youth cigarette smokers reported using flavored cigarettes, which could include menthol cigarettes or flavored little cigars that students mistook for flavored cigarettes. In 2009, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was enacted and prohibited the use of flavors, except menthol, in cigarettes. However, flavored little cigars are still manufactured and sold with candy and fruit flavorings.
“Little cigars contain the same toxic and cancer-causing ingredients found in cigarettes and are not a safe alternative to cigarettes,” said Tim McAfee, MD, MPH, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “Many flavored little cigars appear virtually indistinguishable from cigarettes with similar sizes, shapes, filters, and packaging.”
In addition to offering a wide variety of flavors that appeal to young people, little cigars are taxed at a lower rate than cigarettes at the state level. Little cigars have become more popular in recent years; sales increased 240 percent from 1997 to 2007, with flavored brands making up almost 80 percent of the market share.
Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. The health consequences of tobacco use include heart disease, multiple types of cancer, pulmonary disease, adverse reproductive effects, and the exacerbation of chronic health conditions.Smoking and exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke kill an estimated 443,000 Americans each year. And for every one death, there are 20 people suffering from a smoking-related disease. In addition to the cost in human life, smoking has been estimated to cost $193 billion annually in direct health care expenses and lost productivity. And 99 percent of all smokers start before they’re 26 years old.
Through the Affordable Care Act, more Americans will qualify to get health care coverage that fits their needs and budget, including important preventive services such as certain services to quit smoking that are covered with no additional costs. Visit Healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY/TDD 1-855-889-4325) to learn more. Open enrollment in the Marketplace began October 1 and ends March 31, 2014. For those enrolled by December 15, 2013, coverage starts as early as January 1, 2014.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
With novel marketing and flavors to appeal to first-time smokers, Big Tobacco seems to be aiming for youth smokers in the developing world
Twenty-two years ago a team of researchers traveled to some 200 U.S. preschools with a game board and a list. That now seminal study, in which 91 percent of the three- and six-year-olds they tested correctly paired mascot Joe Camel with his matching cigarettes, set off a cascade of antismoking legislation aimed at shielding American youth from aggressive tobacco ads. And in 2003 the World Heath Organization followed suit with an international treaty designed to limit the marketing power of tobacco companies in developing countries.
But new findings suggest that tobacco companies have succeeded in moving their campaign overseas regardless of international recommendations. This year a research team in Brazil, China, Russia, Nigeria, Pakistan and India conducted a very similar version of the original Joe Camel study. Among the 2,400 five- and six-year-olds they interviewed, 68 percent could identify at least one tobacco logo.
Experts say the finding is the latest in a series of recent studies to indicate that the same four tobacco companies that U.S. public health advocates kicked out in the 1990s are still targeting the most vulnerable members of society—namely, children, teens and those trying to quit, with a focus on less affluent nations.
Joaquin Barnoya, research assistant professor of public health at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, says tobacco companies have “learned their lesson from high-income countries” that have restricted their sales by imposing taxes and marketing limitations. Barnoya, who studies tobacco sales and antismoking efforts in Guatemala, says tobacco companies there secure customers by directly violating the law or by finding creative ways around it. For example, although they can’t market their products on television or in magazines, tobacco companies use “nontraditional” advertising, such as paying retailers to place their products in the most visible parts of the store (usually either directly behind or in front of the cash register). Companies also use promotional advertising, such as two-for-one product discounts, to hook smokers who may be trying to quit. These strategies send a message to the consumer that smoking is socially acceptable, Barnoya says: “It’s like a store placing the candy at the front where you’re most likely to see it and buy it.”
Children are highly receptive to marketing, says University of Maryland, College Park, public health research professor Dina Borzekowski, who led this year’s study of five- and six-year-olds. Borzekowski found that the children in Brazil, China, Russia, Pakistan, Nigeria and India who could best identify tobacco brands did not necessarily live with a smoker, further suggesting that kids are picking up knowledge about cigarettes in public rather than at home. “You would think this would only happen with children who lived with smokers or had a family member who smoked, but it didn’t,” Borzekowski says.
In 2005 the countries in which Barnoya and Borzekowski conducted their research joined 168 nations in signing onto an international treaty banning aggressive tobacco advertising—the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Despite having agreed to the law in principle, many countries are still failing to execute it. “If you go to these countries, you’ll see signs that say ‘no smoking,’ and right underneath them people are smoking,” Borzekowski says.
Hillel Alpert, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health, says tobacco companies are still targeting youth in the U.S. as well. As recently as 2005 R. J. Reynolds was adding flavors—such as orange-mint, chocolate and vanilla—to its Camel cigarettes to increase their appeal to youth and first-time smokers. But after an outpouring of research linked the candy-flavored products with a rise in youth smoking rates, Reynolds was forced to stop selling them. Even so, Alpert says, U.S. tobacco companies continue to add flavors to small cigars, smokeless and other tobacco products. “The industry has found that marketing an addictive product to youth translates into customers who are addicted for life.”
Reynolds spokesperson Richard Smith says the company’s marketing strategy is directed at adults. “Nothing we do is targeting youth,” he says.
Borzekowski’s team is now studying children’s awareness and understanding of warning labels on cigarette packages. In some European countries, where governments have paired the labels with graphic images, consumer demand for the products has decreased, especially among young people. But tobacco companies are fighting efforts to use similar visuals internationally. "We've gotten rid of the giant billboards. We've gotten rid of Joe Camel. But we've sill got work to do, in the U.S. and globally," Borzekowski says.
As the use of electronic cigarettes grows, colleges are trying to determine whether the products fall under their tobacco-free policies, many of which were adopted before the new form of smoking took off.
The University of Iowa became a smoke-free campus after a 2008 state law prohibited smoking in public places. At the time, e-cigarettes — battery-powered devices not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration that provide doses of nicotine and other additives — were not on the university’s radar. Now, university groups, including the Faculty Senate -- are discussing whether e-cigarettes should be included in the ban.
It’s hard for university groups to come to an agreement, university spokesman Tom Moore said. Some faculty and staff members believe that e-cigarettes are unhealthy and would be a distraction in classrooms; others are wary of adding e-cigarettes to the ban until further research takes place.
“There are many more questions than answers at this stage,” Moore said, adding the university does not have a timeline for making a decision.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said e-cigarettes prompt "great concern" because not much is understood about their long-term effects. A CDC study found the percentage of American middle and high school students who use e-cigarettes more than doubled from 2011 to 2012. More than 1.78 million such students had tried e-cigarettes.
If Iowa decides to forbid e-cigarettes, it would join a growing number of college campuses that have enacted similar bans. Because e-cigarettes are becoming well-known, colleges that have recently created tobacco use policies are more likely to include e-cigarettes, said Clifford Douglas, director at the University of Michigan Tobacco Research Network. Of the 1,178 campuses that enacted smoke-free policies as of July 2013, 793 are tobacco-free, according to the Americans for NonSmokers’ Rights Foundation. Many of the tobacco-free policies explicitly bar e-cigarettes.
Ohio State University set a “major precedent” in banning e-cigarettes as part of its tobacco-free policy, which launches in January 2014, Douglas said. The Ohio State policy prohibits all tobacco products, including cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos, hookah-smoked products, pipes, oral tobacco and nasal tobacco, as well as any product “intended to mimic tobacco products, contain tobacco flavoring or deliver nicotine other than for the purpose of cessation,” according to the policy.
More colleges and universities are moving toward smoke-free, or even tobacco-free, environments. Only three colleges in Maine were tobacco-free at the beginning of 2013, said Sarah Mayberry, program director at the Maine Tobacco-Free College Network. By the fall, 10 of the 34 institutions of higher education in Maine had adopted tobacco-free policies, Mayberry said.
The organization advises colleges to ban e-cigarettes because they send a mixed message about smoking on campus.
E-cigarettes, which have been marketed as cessation devices, are “clearly less hazardous” than regular cigarettes, Douglas said. But those who use e-cigarettes to curb their smoking are probably not doing as much good for their bodies as they may believe, he said.
Some colleges and universities, including the University of Michigan, have responded to concerns about e-cigarettes without fully banning them. The University of Michigan’s smoke-free policy took effect before e-cigarettes became popular and the university recently banned e-cigarettes in its health complex, Douglas said. The devices are still permitted on other parts of campus, he said.
Still, others are waiting for more conclusive research on e-cigarettes before deciding whether to ban the product. When Northeastern University formulated its smoke-free policy, it decided not to ban e-cigarettes, said Terry Fulmer, dean of the Bouve College of Health Sciences and chair of the university’s smoke-free committee. Evidence does not yet show that e-cigarette use is harmful to the general public like secondhand smoke from regular cigarettes, she said, and the university wanted to focus on smoking as a public health issue. The policy went into effect this August and could evolve in the future, she said.
Administrators at Pima Community College in Arizona have submitted a revamped smoking policy to the college's board that would restrict smoking, e-cigarette use and tobacco use to designated on-campus areas so nonsmokers could avoid secondhand smoke, said the college's spokesman, C.J. Karamargin. The current policy does not mention tobacco use or e-cigarettes.
The industry group for e-cigarettes, perhaps not surprisingly, argues that there is no reason to ban them. Smoke-free or tobacco-free policies are often adopted because “it’s the thing to do” and are loosely enforced, said Gregory Conley, legislative director at the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association. Without research on the risks of e-cigarette use to bystanders, campuswide bans makes little sense, he said.
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/10/14/colleges-consider-whether-e-cigarettes-are-covered-bans-smoking#ixzz2hi246C24
Inside Higher Ed
A new study from the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows the wide reach of global tobacco marketing. The study, led by Dina Borzekowski, EdD, a public health professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and an adjunct professor at the Bloomberg School, shows that the majority of very young children from certain low- and middle-income countries are familiar with cigarette brands—close to 68 percent of the 5- and 6 year olds were able to identify at least one cigarette logo. This study’s findings suggest that more effective measures are needed to restrict tobacco marketing. The article, titled “International Reach of Tobacco Marketing among Young Children” published in the October issue of Pediatrics.
Previous research has shown that exposure to, interest in, and positive attitudes about pro-tobacco marketing and media messages are positively associated with youth liking smoking, early initiation, and increased use. Most of these studies, however, have worked with older children from the United States and other high-income countries.
This new study occurred in Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Russia. Researchers worked one-on-one with 5- and 6 year olds. The children played a game where they had to match logos with pictures of products, including eight logos for cigarette brands.
While two-thirds of the overall sample could identify at least one brand, the highest awareness was in China. There, 85.9 percent could identify at least one cigarette brand and, on average, the Chinese children could identify 3.8 brands. Overall, children who lived in households with a tobacco user were more likely to be able to identify at least one brand, but this was not consistent across countries studied. According to Borzekowski, “One interesting finding was that in China, India and Nigeria, living with a tobacco user was not significantly associated with awareness, suggesting that children were learning about tobacco brands outside of the household through environmental and media messages.” Borzekowski added that she is extremely proud of how this study was conducted. “Great efforts were made to work well with in-country researcher teams. The study used culturally sensitive and developmentally appropriate methods,” she said.
Joanna Cohen, PhD, co-author of the study and director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, remarked, “Evidence-based strategies exist to reduce the ability of tobacco companies to market their products to children, such as implementing and enforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. Putting large picture warnings on the front and back of cigarette packs and requiring plain and standardized packaging, as Australia has done, also helps to reduce the attractiveness of cigarette packs among young children.” This study was supported by a grant from the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Institute for Global Tobacco Control (IGTC) has as its mission to prevent death and disease from tobacco products by generating evidence to support effective tobacco control interventions. Operating within the three-pillar framework of knowledge generation, synthesis and translation, evaluation and surveillance, and capacity building, IGTC’s goal is to reduce tobacco use globally.
'Urgent and compelling need' to ban flavoured tobacco products: Canadian Cancer Society
More than half of high school students surveyed in Canada who used tobacco said they tried candy-flavoured products, say health groups calling for a ban on all such products.
Overall in Canada, 52 per cent (169,300) of students in Grades 9 to 12 who reported using tobacco during the 30 days before the survey was taken had used flavoured tobacco products, according to the Youth Smoking Survey released Monday by a coalition of health groups.
About 32 per cent (75,200) of students who smoked in the last 30 days reported using menthol cigarettes, indicates the survey, with its findings extrapolated from the sample of more than 50,000 students.
Tobacco products come in favours including watermelon, chocolate and strawberry. They are packaged in enticing colours aimed at children and carry no health warnings, said Donna Pasiechnik of the Canadian Cancer Society.
"A lot of people are shocked that these products are on the market," Pasiechnik said in interview with CBC Radio's The Morning Edition in Saskatchewan. "They look like Halloween candy or lip gloss."
"The key thing is for provincial governments and the federal government to ban all flavoured tobacco products," said Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society in Ottawa.
Ban avoided by increase product size
A ban on flavoured tobacco products is urgently needed because the market among younger people is no longer just for cigarettes, Cunningham said.
For example, while the survey suggests that 14 per cent of high school students (237,100 students) in the survey had smoked in the previous 30 days, 20 per cent (327,000 students) had used one type of tobacco product.
The federal Tobacco Act prohibits flavours, except menthol, in cigarettes, cigarillos (little cigars) and wraps for loose tobacco. But cigarillos are defined as cigars weighing 1.4 grams or less, or having a cigarette filter.
The tobacco industry avoided a 2009 ban on flavours in small filtered cigars by simply increasing the size of products, which in turn exempted the industry from the ban, according to the Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco.
Governments in Alberta and Quebec have said they will take action on banning flavoured tobacco products, Cunningham said.
Health Canada said its inspectors issue warnings, seize products or refer cases for prosecution when they have reasonable grounds to believe the act has been contravened.
"In January 2012, Health Canada’s tobacco inspectors seized 28 million units of flavoured little cigars that were not compliant with the Act," a spokesman said in an email.
The Youth Smoking Survey by Health Canada and the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact at the University of Waterloo in Ontario is conducted every two years. The most recent survey results are from the survey done between October 2010 and June 2011, with 50,949 students participating across Canada.
E-cigarettes called 'illusion' of safe substitute
In other tobacco-related news Monday, an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal calls for e-cigarettes to be regulated as drug-delivery devices.
Selling non-nicotine e-cigarettes is legal in Canada and electronic cigarettes containing nicotine are sneaked in from the U.S., says Matthew Stanbrook, a deputy editor at the journal.
"We must not be so easily lured by the illusion of a safe substitute for cigarettes that we yield precious ground in the war against tobacco," Stanbrook concluded.
Arguments in favour of e-cigarettes are based on the assumption that their availability will lead to quitting use of tobacco, he said. But it's also possible that e-cigarettes supplement tobacco use where smoking is no longer allowed, perpetuating smoking among people who would otherwise be motivated to continue trying to quit.
"Concerns are amplified further by the emergency of tobacco companies as major players in the e-cigarette industry without any accompanying slowdown in the tobacco production or marketing, which suggests that the tobacco industry sees a future where e-cigarattes accompany and perpetuate, rather than supplant, tobacco use."
On Tuesday, European lawmakers voted in favour of limits on advertising electronic cigarettes, bigger warnings on cigarette packs and a ban on menthol as of 2022, among other flavourings.
TORONTO - A leading Canadian medical journal is raising concerns that electronic cigarettes could hook a new generation into nicotine addiction.
With fruit-flavoured products and movie star endorsements, e-cigarettes could lure youth who wouldn't otherwise smoke into a nicotine habit, an editorial in this week's issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests.
The editorial was written by Dr. Matthew Stanbrook, a Toronto-based respirologist and an editor at the journal.
He said it may be tempting for society to embrace e-cigarettes based on the assumption that they help some people to quit smoking. But he warned that some people use e-cigarettes to get a nicotine hit where they are not allowed to smoke and continue to smoke regular cigarettes as well.
"It isn't as obviously a good thing as those trying to sell these are trying to make it appear to be," Stanbrook said in an interview.
"You would think: 'Well, here's a cigarette that doesn't have all the bad stuff. How could that be bad?' But you have to think beyond an e-cigarette versus a regular cigarette and think about how this is going to change the behaviour of smokers. And that's the concern."
Electronic cigarettes are small cigarette-shaped canisters that are used to simulate the sensation of smoking. Batteries in the canisters heat up fluid-filled cartridges that then give off a vapour, which from a distance resembles smoke.
Some of the cartridges are filled with flavoured liquids, for example cherry or menthol. Others contain nicotine, though those are not meant to be sold in Canada.
Under Canadian law, it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes with nicotine. Still, vials of nicotine for e-cigarettes can be purchased in the U.S. or ordered over the Internet. Canadian border authorities will seize shipments of nicotine vials for e-cigarettes — when they spot them.
One of Stanbrook's major concerns is that increasing use of e-cigarettes could undermine the tool he credits most for having driven down smoking rates in Canada — the restrictions on smoking in workplaces, in restaurants and bars and many other public settings. These policies have made it harder for smokers to smoke, and have turned public perception against the habit.
"It was to make it more and more inconvenient to continue their addiction so that they were finally motivated to quit, as the overwhelming majority of smokers want to do anyway but can't," said Stanbrook, who practises at Toronto Western Hospital.
"So anything that reverses that most effective tool we've ever invented is of concern."
Stanbrook acknowledged that e-cigarettes probably do help some people quit smoking. But he worries that — unlike nicotine patches or gum — the devices have a cool quotient that could appeal to youth and spur them to start consuming nicotine.
"The gum isn't cool for youth to use in clubs. No one's going to make that sexy. No one's going to make sticking a nicotine patch on sexy and trendy. But here's something that looks to a casual observer exactly like smoking, can be made trendy, can be expanded to people who never smoked. That's where the concern comes in."
The editorial comes as the Canadian Cancer Society calls on federal and provincial governments to ban all flavoured tobacco products.
Data from the national Youth Smoking Survey, released Monday, showed that more than half of high school students in Canada who used tobacco products in the previous 30 days reported having used flavoured tobacco products.
While the federal Tobacco Act bars the use of flavours — except menthol — in cigarettes, cigarillos and blunt wraps (flavoured rolling papers), there are ways around the ban, the society said in a release.
For instance, the act defines cigarillos as weighing 1.4 grams or less. Some tobacco companies have produced flavoured cigarillos that weigh more than 1.4 g, thereby sidestepping the regulation. As well, there is no prohibition on flavouring tobacco used in water pipes or adding flavours to smokeless tobacco — products like snuff, chewing tobacco and snus.
The Youth Smoking Survey found that among high school students, 14 per cent had smoked cigarettes in the previous 30 days, 20 per cent had used a tobacco product in the previous 30 days and 10 per cent had used a flavoured tobacco product (including menthol cigarettes) in the previous 30 days.
"Swift action is needed to protect youth from these products. It is essential that governments introduce new legislation without delay," said Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst for the Canadian Cancer Society.
By Gary A. Giovino, PhD, MS
I have studied the consequences, patterns, determinants and control of tobacco use for more than 30 years. Menthol cigarettes are of great interest to me, in part because I started smoking with menthol cigarettes and because one of my first scientific publications (with colleagues at Roswell Park) showed that menthol cigarettes were most commonly used by African American smokers and that cigarette advertisements in African American magazines were more likely to be for menthol cigarettes. It is clear that menthol cigarettes are at least as dangerous as non-mentholated varieties (see study). So I am glad I quit using them when I quit smoking in 1979.
Recently, my colleagues and I published an updated assessment of the state of menthol cigarette smoking in the United States. Here I will share some excerpts from a story about the publication that is on our website. The paper itself was published online in the international journal, Tobacco Control.
The results showed that:
• Among cigarette smokers, menthol cigarette use was more common among 12-17 year olds (56.7 percent) and 18-25 year olds (45 percent) than among older persons (range 30.5 percent to 34.7 percent)
• In multivariable models, menthol use was associated with being younger, female, and of non-white race or ethnicity.
• Among all adolescents, the percent who smoked non-menthol cigarettes decreased from 2004-10, while menthol smoking rates remained constant.
• Among all young adults, the percent who smoked non-menthol cigarettes also declined, while menthol smoking rates increased.
• The use of Camel menthol and Marlboro menthol increased among adolescent and young adult smokers, particularly non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics, during the study period.
The study results should inform the FDA regarding the potential public health impact of a menthol ban. Of note is the rise in menthol cigarette use among young whites and Hispanics of brands like Camel and Marlboro that haven’t traditionally been strong in the menthol segment. The industry has probably found a way to formulate and market those varieties in appealing ways. Newports continue to be the most common brand used by African Americans.
The findings on youth are consistent with other research showing that mentholated cigarettes are a ‘starter product’ for kids, in part because menthol makes it easier to inhale for beginners. Simply stated, menthol sweetens the poison, making it easier to smoke.
As an 11 year old (in the early 1960s), one of my older friends said he didn't think that menthol cigarette smoking was that dangerous because he was told that they were good for you if you got a cold. It turns out that Kool was advertising that way for a long time but was stopped from doing so by the Federal Trade Commission around 1955.
Many people still think that menthol cigarettes are safer, most likely because they are easier to smoke. My colleague Lynn Kozlowski has observed that light cigarettes are also easier to smoke. For that reason, many people also believe that light cigarettes are less dangerous because of what he calls “the irrefutable testimony of the senses.” The same is true about menthol. Let’s not allow young people to be fooled any more by how the tobacco companies can sweeten the poison. Menthols have slowed progress in reducing tobacco use. Furthermore, the tobacco industry seems to be turning to increasing use of flavorings in smokeless tobacco and cigars as well. More “sweetening.” Same poisons. Hopefully the FDA will get it right.
Dr. Gary A. Giovino is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, School of Public Health and Health Professions at the University at Buffalo, SUNY.
An advertisement for Blu electronic cigarettes shows a glitzed-up, scantily clad Jenny McCarthy seated in a club, smoking—or "vaping"—a sleek black tube with a blue glow at the tip. "Blu satisfies me," she says, as the camera pans out to show her chatting with an attractive male suitor who is also holding an e-cigarette. "I get to have a Blu without the guilt, because it's only vapor, not tobacco."
Blu is owned by Lorillard, maker of Newport and other tobacco cigarettes. Lorillard was one of nine recipients of a letter sent Thursday from 12 Democratic senators and representatives asking a series of questions about the marketing techniques of the e-cigarette companies. The letter raised concerns that e-cigarette companies are marketing their products to children and teens. Lorillard did not respond to a request for comment fromNational Journal Daily.
E-cigarettes—which resemble cigarettes but use battery power to vaporize a nicotine-derived solution that the user inhales—are not subject to the same regulations as traditional cigarettes, and their marketing is not limited by the restrictions placed on tobacco cigarettes in recent decades. E-cigarette companies can legally sell to minors, run television and radio ads, and distribute free samples.
"The marketing of e-cigarettes is re-glamorizing smoking and associating young, attractive celebrities with smoking," Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids President Matthew Myers told National Journal Daily. "Their participation in the last 12 to 24 months has used the exact same images and tactics that made [traditional] cigarettes so appealing to generations of Americans."
E-cigarettes are available in a variety of different flavors, including cherry and cookies-and-cream milkshake, and they may be purchased online and in mall kiosks. Critics cite these marketing techniques, along with the use of celebrities such as McCarthy, as evidence of targeted advertising toward young people.
"[The ads] are virtual duplicates of the Virginia Slims woman from 40 years ago," Myers said. "That imagery has been banned precisely because of its powerful impact on kids."
The issue of this targeted advertising has received attention following a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released this month that showed dramatic increases in the use of e-cigarettes among middle- and high-school students. The percentage of young people who have used e-cigarettes doubled in both groups from 2011 to 2012, jumping from 1.4 percent to 2.7 percent among middle-school students, and 4.7 percent to 10 percent among high-school students.
While e-cigarettes are often presented as the less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes, lawmakers worry that e-cigarettes could become a gateway to nicotine addiction and increased use of conventional tobacco products. "It would be a terrible public health outcome if children and young adults who do not smoke thought it was safe to begin using e-cigarettes because they do not believe that they pose a risk to their health," Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and an author of the letter, wrote in an e-mail to National Journal Daily.
What has most worried some critics, however, is CDC's finding that 80.5 percent of high-school students who use e-cigarettes also currently smoke conventional cigarettes. "This is a fly in the ointment of people saying e-cigarettes are good for harm reduction," said Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine at the University of California (San Francisco) and director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. According to Glantz, so-called dual users generally smoke fewer traditional cigarettes each day, but smoking tobacco means they are still suffering the full cardio risk. E-cigarettes still contain some carcinogens—albeit less than tobacco—and deter quitting, Glantz says.
These findings increase concern that the advertising of e-cigarettes to young people will increase use of more-harmful tobacco products, and the marketing efforts are only growing.
According to the Kantar Media unit of WPP, the Blu e-cigarette brand spent $12.4 million on ads in major media for the first quarter of the year, compared with $992,000 in the same period a year ago, The New York Times reported. Annual sales of all e-cigarettes are expected to reach $1.7 billion by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration does not oversee the industry. The FDA's Center for Tobacco Products has the authority to regulate only certain categories of "tobacco products." The FDA "intends to propose a regulation that would extend the agency's 'tobacco product' authorities—which currently only apply to cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco—to other categories," an FDA spokesperson said.
The FDA can regulate e-cigarettes only if the manufacturers make a therapeutic claim—including use as a cessation device. According to the agency, none are currently approved for therapeutic purposes.
"Many of the most overt claims as a cessation device were made in earlier years, but they've gotten more sophisticated in recent years for fear of the FDA bringing regulatory action," Myers said. Companies now target adults by making the less direct health claim that they are the safer alternative to cigarettes.
Lawmakers hope the letter and their calls for hearings will bring oversight not only to marketing of e-cigarettes, but to the industry more broadly. "Marketing e-cigarettes to children is problematic," Waxman wrote in the e-mail. "But FDA also needs to undertake a broad assessment of e-cigarettes, the risks they pose, and the regulation of these products that is necessary to protect the public's health."
If the FDA were to institute broader regulations—something that has been discussed for a while now—then a simple claim that e-cigarettes are safer than cigarettes would require FDA approval.
This article appears in the Sep. 30, 2013, edition of National Journal Daily as E-Cigarette Ads Spark Lawmakers’ Concern for Youths.
Considering all we know about cigarettes and their scary health effects, why would anyone start smoking them? While it's impossible to pinpoint a single reason for why any one person begins, a new study identifies three risk factors for taking up the habit.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal School of Public Health, suggests that for people between the ages of 18 and 24, the three biggest risk factors for starting smoking are being impulsive, using alcohol regularly, and getting poor grades in school.
The research, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, is based on data from 1,293 teens from the greater Montreal area who were part of the Nicotine Dependence in Teens study that started in 1999. The teens were followed up in 22 "cycles," from when they were at an average age of 12.7 to when they were at an average age of 24.
By cycle 22, 75 percent of the teens had tried smoking. Forty-four percent of the teens started smoking before entering high school, 43 percent started during high school, and 14 percent started sometime in the six years post-high school.
Not all those who tried cigarettes continued to smoke, but researchers found that impulsivity, poor grades and regular alcohol use were the three risk factors associated with those who began smoking after high school -- or when they were between ages 18 and 24.
Study researcher Jennifer O'Loughlin, a professor at the university, speculated in a statement that one potential reason impulsivity may play a role in smoking in young adulthood is because "parents of impulsive children exercise tighter control when they are living with them at home to protect their children from adopting behaviors that can lead to smoking, and this protection may diminish over time."
Alcohol consumption could also be linked with starting smoking because alcohol "reduces inhibitions and self-control," she added in the statement.
O'Loughlin noted that the findings suggest smoking prevention programs shouldn't just target teens, but young adults also. "The predictors of initiation in young adults may provide direction for relevant preventive interventions," she and co-authors wrote in the study.
This article originally appeared here.
E-Cigarette Marketers Have an Eye on Teens
By RANDYE HODER
I was standing outside our neighborhood ice cream shop one recent evening when I noticed a plume of smoke rise above a gaggle of teenagers waiting in line ahead of me.
“Wow,” I thought, “that takes some serious chutzpah.” These kids were smoking in public without the fear of getting caught.
A few minutes later, I realized that it wasn’t actually smoke coming out of their mouths; it was vapor, being inhaled and exhaled from battery-operated electronic cigarettes.
E-cigs are devices that vaporize an addictive nicotine-laced liquid solution into an aerosol mist that simulates the act of tobacco smoking. Also known as “personal vaporizers” and “electronic nicotine delivery systems,” e-cigs are sold in trendy shops and are increasingly turning up in bars, clubs, workplaces and other spots where traditional tobacco cigarettes have long been outlawed.
As a mother, I find this terribly distressing.
I’ve spent years telling my children that smoking can kill you. And thanks to decades of sensible public health policies — including laws banning cigarette advertising and smoking in public places — as well as brutally graphic antismoking marketing campaigns, my 15- and 21-year-old kids have grown up in a culture in which puffing on cigarettes is stigmatized. Last year, cigarette smoking among teens fell to a record low.
Now, it seems, all that progress is about to vaporize. “Smoking,” at least in the form of vaping, is becoming cool again. This week, the Centers for Disease Control reported that 1.8 million middle- and high-school students said they had tried e-cigarettes in 2012 — double the number from the previous year.
I understand, of course, that there is a spectrum of what is bad for you — and most experts seem to agree that the health risks from conventional smoking are far worse than those from vaping. But being better for you is not the same as being good for you. And there is plenty that we don’t know about e-cigs. While the Food and Drug Administration is still studying the issue, a 2009 F.D.A. analysis of e-cigarettes found that they contained carcinogens and toxic chemicals, including an ingredient used in antifreeze. And health officials are concerned that for many young people, e-cigs will become a gateway to smoking regular cigarettes.
Meanwhile, companies vying for a stake in the fast-growing e-cigarette business are clearly updating the playbook once used successfully by the tobacco industry to hook a new generation of tech-savvy young people. Countless celebrities — like Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Moss and Robert Pattinson — have been photographed vaping. Other stars have “lit up” on television shows like “Saturday Night Live.”
There are sports sponsorships, celebrity pitchmen and free samples handed out like candy at underground parties. In fact, with e-cig flavors like cola, chocolate, lemonade and cherry crush, they are being pushed like candy — and unquestionably aimed at kids.
Here in California, the state with the toughest antismoking laws in the country, vapor shops are popping up faster than Starbucks. On Melrose Avenue, a hipster destination within blocks of my house in Los Angeles, several new outlets have opened within the past few months. And although California has passed a law saying that retailers can’t sell e-cigs to minors, these places are full of young faces.
In most other states, the faces are surely even younger. Why? Only 11 states currently place any restriction on who can buy e-cigarettes — a shameful lack of regulation as compared with the laws governing tobacco products. Federal law prohibits the sale of tobacco to people under the age of 18, while four states have raised that to 19; New York City is considering increasing it to 21. Should e-cigs really be treated differently?
Makers of electronic cigarettes are trying to legitimize the product by saying that they are providing current smokers a healthier alternative — not trying to attract young people to become first-time users. But you just have to stand in line at the corner ice cream parlor to recognize that these companies are just blowing smoke.
Randye Hoder is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer.
This article originally appeared here:
Kids' Use Of Electronic Cigarettes Doubles
By ROB STEIN
The percentage of middle and high school students who have tried electronic cigarettes more than doubled in a year, federal health officials reported Thursday.
The percentage of students in grades 6 through 12 who had ever used e-cigarettes increased from 3.3 percent in 2011 to 6.8 percent in 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Those who reported currently using the devices increased from 1.1 percent to 2.1 percent.
Based on the numbers, the CDC estimates that 1.78 million middle and high school students nationwide have tried e-cigarettes.
"The increased use of e-cigarettes by teens is deeply troubling," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement.
E-cigarettes look like traditional cigarettes, but they don't burn tobacco. Instead, the battery-powered devices use water vapor to carry nicotine into a person's lungs and bloodstream. So the e-cigarettes don't produce tar or carbon monoxide.
The companies that make the devices say they are safer than regular cigarettes and can help smokers stop using them. But some health officials say that remains unclear.
"We don't yet understand the long-term effects of these novel tobacco products," Mitchell Zeller, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products, said in a statement.
Public health officials also worry e-cigarettes could lead teenagers to use tobacco products. In the new survey, three-quarters of students said they also smoked conventional cigarettes.
"Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. Many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventional cigarettes," Frieden said in the news release.
E-cigarette makers say they don't market to kids. But, like little cigars and cigarillos that are popular with young people, e-cigarettes come in flavors like cherry, strawberry, vanilla and cookies and cream.
Altria, which recently entered the e-cigarette market, issued a statement in response to the CDC report. "We do not want kids to use e-cigarettes or any other tobacco product," the statement said, adding that the company supports legislation that establishes minimum age limits for the purchase of e-cigarettes.
"About 90 percent of all smokers begin smoking as teenagers," said Tim McAfee, director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "We must keep our youth from experimenting or using any tobacco products. These dramatic increases suggest that developing strategies to prevent marketing, sales and use of e-cigarettes among youth is critical."
The new data come from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, which surveyed youths in grades 6 through 12 across the country about their use of cigarettes — both electronic and tobacco-filled.
Among middle-schoolers, those who reported ever using e-cigarettes increased from 1.4 percent to 2.7 percent while those reporting currently using the devices rose from 0.6 percent to 1.1 percent. Among high-schoolers, those who reported ever using e-cigarettes went from 4.7 percent to 10 percent, while those currently using the devices jumped from 1.5 percent to 2.8 percent.
E-cigarettes aren't subject to the same restrictions that apply to tobacco cigarettes. There are no extra taxes or restrictions on advertising or selling cigarettes individually. There's also no age limit. Minors are free to buy e-cigarettes in stores and online.
"These findings reinforce why the FDA intends to expand its authority over all tobacco products and establish a comprehensive and appropriate regulatory framework to reduce disease and death from tobacco use," Zeller said.
(Reuters Health) - Most young people in the U.S. who use newer smokeless tobacco products are smoking cigarettes too, according to new research.
"These findings are troubling, but not surprising, as tobacco companies spend huge sums to market smokeless tobacco in ways that entice kids to start and encourage dual use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco," Vince Willmore, vice president of communications at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization, told Reuters Health in an email.
"From 1998 to 2011, total marketing expenditures for smokeless tobacco increased by 210 percent - from $145.5 million to $451.7 million a year, according to the Federal Trade Commission," he added.
Swedish-style "snus," introduced to the U.S. in 2006, and dissolvable tobacco products, introduced in 2008, are arguably less harmful than conventional chewing tobacco because they contain fewer nitrosamines, and have been promoted as safer alternatives.
But public health experts have been concerned that these products could serve as a "gateway drug" to use of conventional smokeless tobacco and to cigarette smoking.
To better understand the prevalence of smokeless tobacco use among young people, Dr. Gregory Connolly of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and his colleagues looked at data from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey, which included nearly 19,000 sixth- to 12th-graders from across the country.
Overall, the researchers found, 5.6 percent of young people reported using any type of smokeless tobacco. Five percent used chewing tobacco, snuff or dip, just under two percent used snus and 0.3 percent used dissolvable products.
Among young people who were current smokeless tobacco users, about 72 percent reported smoking cigarettes too, while almost 81 percent of young people who used only snus or dissolvables were also smoking cigarettes.
Just 40 percent of smokeless tobacco users said they had plans to quit using tobacco, according to findings published in Pediatrics.
"We found higher current use than we expected. It's just not experimentation, it looks like it's taken hold among adolescents," Connolly told Reuters Health.
"The most distressing finding was that this is not resulting in children or in young adolescents switching from smoking to these new products that may or may not be safer when used alone. They're using both in very high numbers."
Little information had been available on trends in the use of novel smokeless tobacco products, so studies like this one are important, Dr. Neal Benowitz, who has studied the health effects of smokeless tobacco at the University of California, San Francisco, told Reuters Health.
"To me the fact that 72 percent of users concurrently smoke cigarettes is a serious issue," he said. "These would be safer alternatives only if people used them exclusively, and as soon as you're talking about dual use you virtually negate any reduction of harm."
Benowitz, who was not involved in the current research, noted that studies have shown use of smokeless tobacco among U.S. youth can indeed be a gateway to cigarette smoking.
"The most disturbing finding is that a huge percentage of youth smokeless tobacco users also smoke cigarettes," Willmore said.
"This indicates that smokeless tobacco compounds the problem of overall tobacco use in the United States, rather than helping to solve it as some tobacco companies claim."
RJ Reynolds, which makes Camel Snus and dissolvable tobacco products including Camel Orbs, Sticks and Strips, did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
"The tobacco industry is facing the 21st century with a whole new strategy, and that is to bring in new products that they claim to be safer," Connolly told Reuters Health.
He pointed out that under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, passed in 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is charged with regulating tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco.
"When we look at this data I think it is very disturbing to realize that the law has not kept them out, and at least in this data set they're gaining traction among young people," Connolly said.
SOURCE: bit.ly/13INoAt Pediatrics, online August 5, 2013.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth are two to three times more likely to take up smoking as their straight peers. Although their reasons for smoking may be similar, LGBT youth are also dealing with other issues. Here are few reasons why LGBT youth smoke and some strategies to break the cycle:
Stress is a big reason why people smoke. People who are LGBT might have to deal with extra stress (like discrimination, the stress of coming out, unsupportive relatives and friends, depression, loneliness, or being buLllied because of sexual orientation) on top of regular daily drama. Many LGBTs use smoking as a way to deal with this extra stress. But smoking is just a temporary solution. Smoking cannot erase these problems, and it will bring on more issues related to smoking (like unwanted health problems).
Tip: Instead of focusing on your problems, figure out how to be a part of the solution. Channel stress into positive activities that help the LGBT Community. The Gay-Straight Alliance Network has local and national events you can get involved with. If you need a LGBT quit smoking community, try the National LBGT Tobacco Control Network to get started.
Your teen years are a time to figure out who you are and who you want to be. It’s also a time when you may struggle with your sexual orientation and identity. It’s normal for young people to try out different identities, like smoking. Maybe you think cigarettes make you seem more grown up or confident, or maybe you just like the way you look smoking. Maybe you think you’re making a statement by smoking. There are plenty of ways to express yourself that don’t cause the permanent damage that smoking will to your body.
Tip: Choose activities that make a statement about what’s most important to you and your values. For example, if it’s important for you to show confidence, try doing it through your clothes or posture. Self-expression can also mean opening up to friends through your blog, artwork, or music.
Many teens (LGBT and straight) smoke as a way to socialize and be accepted by friends. This may be especially true if you spend a lot of time hanging out in places where smoking is common, like bars or clubs. But smoking is a superficial way to fit in. Dig deeper; you have much more to offer.
Tips: Re-introduce yourself to friends you think you only have smoking in common with. If you find you have little in common besides smoking, it’s probably time to join a group with people who truly share similar interests. Check out your school for new activities, or try organizations like the Trevor Project .
Marketing to LGBT
The LGBT community has been targeted by tobacco companies through sponsored events, ads, bar promotions, and giveaways. This could be one reason why smoking is often a part of the LGBT identity.
Tip: Don’t let the tobacco companies mislead you. Take action and join a positive movement, not a negative one (like smoking). Check out the It Gets Better Project and empower yourself and the LGBT community.
If you or someone you know would like more information on youth LGBT resources, visithttp://www.cdc.gov/lgbthealth/youth-resources.htm.
It remains illegal to market tobacco products to teenagers, but some health experts argue it hasn’t stopped some companies from finding a way around the law.
Tobacco companies are now targeting teens with cheap nicotine products in colorful packaging, according to Melanie Dickens, tobacco prevention and control coordinator for the Lauderdale County Health Department.
Dickens said teens are more susceptible to the new flavored tobacco products such as nicotine sticks and orbs.
However data collected by the Alabama Department of Public Health shows that the number of high schools students who smoke has significantly decreased. Nearly 19 percent of high school students in Alabama smoked in 2010, compared to 30.2 percent in 2000.
Nicotine sticks look like toothpicks, but they are pure nicotine. Dickens said teenagers can easily have them in their mouths without attracting attention from their parents or their teachers. She added nicotine orbs are small dissolvable tablets of nicotine that come in different flavors, which “look like little Tic-Tacs.”
Dickens said parents don’t always know if their children are using tobacco because the new nicotine products don’t create the smoke or smell of cigarettes and cigars.
“A lot of times if the kids are not using cigarettes . . . mom and dad might not be aware,” she said.
Dickens said teens often don’t realize how much nicotine they’re using. One Black and Mild cigar has the same amount of nicotine as 10 cigarettes, and one pinch of smokeless tobacco has the same amount of nicotine as three or four cigarettes. Both products are popular with teens, she said.
“They feel invincible; that’s why they don’t want to quit,” she said. “It’s an addiction and a habit.”
Talking to children early on about the dangers of tobacco use is the best way to keep them from becoming smokers, according to Valerie Thigpen, prevention specialist for the Lauderdale County schools district.
“If you wait until they’re in the sixth grade, they’ve already been exposed,” she said.
Thigpen said children need to be taught the risks associated with tobacco and how to say no to peer pressure.
“I am a major believer in if you can prevent someone from starting, it’s a whole lot easier than getting someone to stop once they’ve started,” Thigpen said.
There are lots of reasons teens smoke or use smokeless tobacco, Dickens said. Peer pressure, boredom and marketing all play a role. Thigpen said teens often smoke because their parents do.
University of North Alabama student Jestin Coats said he only smokes when he’s stressed after a long day. He said he rarely smokes, maybe once every nine months, and he has no trouble stopping once he’s started.
Coats said he had his first cigarette when he was 19 and his parents didn’t know. “I don’t want them to.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say other factors that contribute to tobacco use in teens are low socioeconomic status, lack of parental support or involvement, low self-image or self-esteem, low levels of academic achievement and exposure to tobacco advertising.
Religious participation, racial/ethnic pride and higher academic achievement or aspirations are factors that have been found to protect teens from tobacco use.
“Tobacco is a huge issue with a lot of our high school students,” Thigpen said. “They tell me, ‘I just like it. I like the way it makes me feel. It calms me down.’ The kids seem to live by ‘if it feels good, do it,’ because if it brings them pleasure they can’t get enough of it.”
Officials with the disease control center say tobacco use in teens is associated with high-risk sexual behavior, use of alcohol and use of marijuana and other drugs.
“Tobacco is still truly the gateway drug,” Thigpen said.
“We’re not saying that everyone who uses tobacco is going to use bigger things,” Dickens said, adding it’s a risky behavior that leads to other risky behaviors.
Katelyn Cosby, 22, a resident of Rogersville, said she started smoking when she was 14 or 15.
“My mom was not happy,” Cosby said. “She used to steal my cigarettes out of my purse and put ‘how to quit smoking’ pamphlets in my purse. I usually just gave them back to her.”
Cosby said she started smoking because many of her friends were smoking. She quit smoking while she was pregnant with her children, but she said she hasn’t made the effort to quit permanently because it’s too much of a habit.
“It’s weird to try not to (smoke),” she said.
Dickens said 6.3 million children who are alive today will eventually die of tobacco related illnesses if the current rates of tobacco use do not change.
“(Not using tobacco) is the one thing you can do to reduce your risk of cancer,” said Amy Fields, a spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society. “People who quit at any age, whether they’re young or old, they’re going to live longer.”
Fields said as many as one-third of cancer deaths could be prevented if people avoided tobacco products. Lung cancer is the cancer most commonly associated with smoking, but using tobacco products increase a person’s risk of developing all types of cancer.
“Kids have no idea the damage they do to themselves (by smoking),” Thigpen said.
Dickens said teens should try to break their smoking habits as soon as possible because the longer a person smokes, the harder it is to quit.
For information on how to quit, Dickens suggested calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or talking to a health care provider.
Fields said her advice to parents whose children smoke is to do everything possible to help their children kick the habit immediately.
Tobacco ads really do persuade teens to take up smoking, with every 10 sightings boosting the risk by almost 40 percent, reveals research published in the online only journal BMJ Open.
The researchers base their findings on over 1300 ten to 15 year old non-smokers whose exposure to tobacco advertising and subsequent behaviour were monitored over a period of 2.5 years.
In 2008, the children, who were pupils at 21 public schools in three different regions of Germany, were asked how often they had seen particular ads. These included images for six of the most popular cigarette brands in Germany and eight other products, such as chocolate, clothes, mobile phones, and cars.
In 2011, 30 months later, they were asked the same question, as well as how many cigarettes they had smoked to date, and whether they smoked regularly.
One in three (406) admitted to having tried smoking during the 30 month period, with one in 10 (138) saying that they had smoked within the preceding month.
One in 20 (66) kids said they had smoked more than 100 cigarettes, and were therefore classified as "established" smokers, while a similar proportion (58) said they now smoked every day. A third of the daily smokers were aged 14 or younger; one in four was 16 or older.
Exposure to cigarettes ads was much lower than that for the other non-tobacco products, but an ad for one particular cigarette brand was seen by almost half the kids at least once, and more than 10 times by 13% of the sample.
When a range of well known influences for taking up smoking was factored in, smoking among peers proved the strongest influence, followed closely by exposure to tobacco ads.
The greater the exposure to tobacco ads, the greater was the likelihood that the teen would take up smoking, the analysis showed.
Teens who saw the most tobacco ads (11 to 55) were around twice as likely to become established smokers and daily smokers as those who saw the least (0 to 2.5).
And for each additional 10 sightings of a tobacco ad, a teen was 38% more likely to become an established smoker, and 30% more likely to smoke every day compared with sightings for non-tobacco product ads.
After taking account of other influential factors, the overall risk of becoming an established smoker was between 3% and 7.3% greater, while that of taking up daily smoking was between 3% and 6.4% greater, depending on how many ads the teen had seen.
The authors acknowledge that a large proportion of the original 2300 students involved dropped out, and confirm that as with any observational study, there is always the chance that some as yet unmeasured factor could explain the results.
But they conclude that the data from their study support the content-specific association between tobacco advertising and smoking behaviour and, therefore, the total ban on tobacco advertising advocated by the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
"Data from this study support this measure, because only exposure to tobacco advertisements predicted smoking initiation, which cannot be attributed to a general receptiveness to marketing," they write.
BISBEE — Teens from Douglas have joined youth from across the state this month in the global fight to end tobacco use. As members of the statewide anti-tobacco youth coalition — STAND (Students Taking a New Direction) — they are working to shed light on the dangers of tobacco use.
To mark World No Tobacco Day on May 31, the students have been collecting written pledges from community members to refrain from any use of tobacco. The have also provided peer-to-peer mentoring to help friends stop tobacco use.
The Cochise County Youth Health Coalition students have set up a “No Tobacco Pledge” display wall in the Cochise County Douglas Service Center. In addition, the students have worked year-round to increase awareness about tobacco use in their local communities, they have encouraged others to reject deceptive messages, and urge local leaders to protect kids from being recruited as a new generation of smokers.
In Douglas, the teens will conclude their May initiative with a special surprise for local community members who come out to their World No Tobacco Day event at 4:30 p.m. May 31, at 1012 N. G Avenue (in front of the Cochise County Douglas Service Center). The theme of this year’s World No Tobacco Day, a global initiative led by the World Health Organization (WHO), is, “Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.”
“What better way to support this year’s focus on banning tobacco promotion than for us to be out here promoting our own anti-tobacco message,” said Ashley Duarte, 17. “Plus, we will have a fun surprise for everyone. So come out, make a pledge and join us.”
According to WHO, tobacco kills nearly six million people worldwide each year, of which more than 600,000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. In the United States alone, more than 500,000 people die from tobacco use annually, which is more than 1,400 each day, and 50,000 die from the effects of secondhand smoke.
STAND is a coalition of students ages 13 to18 who work to not only raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use, but urge elected officials at all levels of government to treat cigarettes as hazardous materials — including creating regulations for storage, transport, sale and disposal.
About World No Tobacco Day
Led internationally by the World Health Organization, World No Tobacco Day is a global call-to-action against the tobacco industry with the aim of protecting present and future generations not only from these devastating health consequences, but also against the social, environmental and economic scourges of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke. The first World No Tobacco Day was held in 1987. In Arizona, it is supported by the Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of Tobacco & Chronic Disease.
Cochise Health and Social Services promotes health and quality of life for all Cochise County residents through education, service and leadership. For more information on county health services, please visit our website at: http://cochise.az.gov/health
Arizona Tobacco Statistics at a Glance
• 17.4 percent of Arizona high school students smoke
• 6,000 Arizona kids under 18 become new daily smokers each year
• 227,000 Arizona kids are exposed to second-hand smoke at home
• 10.4 percent of male high school students use smokeless or spit tobacco
• 19.2 percent of adults smoke
(Sources: U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids)
“They got lips? We want them.” – RJ Reynolds Sales Representative
Tobacco companies develop carefully calculated media campaigns to recruit new youth smokers. Internal industry documents show that the tobacco companies have perceived kids as young as 13 years of age as a key market, studied the smoking habits of kids, and developed products and marketing campaigns aimed directly at them.
Specific Marketing Tactics
Point-of-Sale (POS) – Advertising displays where tobacco products are sold.
“‘Eye Level is Buy Level’ because items placed at eye level are more likely to be purchased that those on higher or lower shelves.” —British American Tobacco (BAT), undated
POS cigarette advertising increases the likelihood that youth will initiate smoking.
POS exposes all shoppers, regardless of age and smoking status, to pro-smoking messages and imagery.
“We use sports as an avenue for advertising our products...
We can go into an area where we’re marketing an event, measure the sales during the event and measure sales after the event, and see an increase in sales.”
—Wayne Robertson, RJ Reynolds, 1983
Sports sponsorship creates false perceptions about athletic excellence and smoking, especially among youth.
Brand-Stretching – Using tobacco brand names, logos, or visual brand identities on non-tobacco products, activities, or events.
“Opportunities should be explored by all companies so as to find non-tobacco products and other services which can be used to communicate the brand or house name, together with their essential visual identities…to ensure that cigarette lines can be effectively publicized when all direct forms of communication are denied.” —BAT, 1979
Non-tobacco products, such as clothing or toys, affixed with tobacco brand names promote the tobacco product and increase brand recognition, allowing tobacco companies to circumvent traditional tobacco marketing bans.
Industry Sponsored Youth Prevention Programs
“Our objective is to communicate that the tobacco industry is not interested in having young people smoke and to position the industry as a ‘concerned corporate citizen’ in an effort to ward off further attacks by the anti-tobacco movement.”
Industry-sponsored youth prevention programs are created to improve the tobacco industry’s public image and discourage further tobacco control legislation.
These programs are ineffective at best and, at worst, encourage youth to smoke.
A Comprehensive Ban on Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship is Necessary to Reduce Tobacco Use among Youth
Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship entice young people to use tobacco, encourage smokers to smoke more, and decrease smokers’ motivation to quit.
Bans must address traditional and new covert forms of marketing in order to be effective.
Only a comprehensive and enforced ban on advertising, promotions and sponsorships reduces tobacco use, especially among youth.
Countries must adhere to Article 13 of the FCTC and adopt comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
Secondhand Smoke (SHS) Facts
Secondhand smoke is a mixture of gases and fine particles that includes—
- Smoke from a burning cigarette, cigar, or pipe tip,1
- Smoke that has been exhaled or breathed out by the person or people smoking, and1
- More than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer.2
Most exposure to secondhand smoke occurs in homes and workplaces. Secondhand smoke exposure also continues to occur in public places such as restaurants, bars, and casinos and in private vehicles.3
Health Effects: Children
In children, secondhand smoke causes the following:3
- Ear infections
- More frequent and severe asthma attacks
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g., coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath)
- Respiratory infections (i.e., bronchitis, pneumonia)
- A greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
In children aged 18 months or younger, secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for—
- an estimated 150,000–300,000 new cases of bronchitis and pneumonia annually, and
- approximately 7,500–15,000 hospitalizations annually in the United States.4
Health Effects: Adults
In adults who have never smoked, secondhand smoke can cause heart disease and/or lung cancer.3
- For nonsmokers, breathing secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects on the cardiovascular system that can increase the risk for heart attack. People who already have heart disease are at especially high risk.3,5
- Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their heart disease risk by 25–30%.3
- Secondhand smoke exposure causes an estimated 46,000 heart disease deaths annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States.6
- Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their lung cancer risk by 20–30%.3
- Secondhand smoke exposure causes an estimated 3,400 lung cancer deaths annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States.6
Estimates of Secondhand Smoke Exposure
When a nonsmoker breathes in secondhand smoke, the body begins to metabolize or break down the nicotine that was in the smoke. During this process, a nicotine byproduct called cotinine is created. Exposure to nicotine and secondhand smoke can be measured by testing saliva, urine, or blood for the presence of cotinine.3
Secondhand Smoke Exposure Has Decreased in Recent Years
- Measurements of cotinine have shown how exposure to secondhand smoke has steadily decreased in the United States over time.3,7
- During 1988–1991, approximately 87.9% of nonsmokers had measurable levels of cotinine.
- During 1999–2000, approximately 52.5% of nonsmokers had measurable levels of cotinine.
- During 2007–2008, approximately 40.1% of nonsmokers had measurable levels of cotinine.
- The decrease in exposure to secondhand smoke over the last 20 years is due to the growing number of laws that ban smoking in workplaces and public places, the increase in the number of households with smoke-free home rules, and the decreases in adult and youth smoking rates.8,9
Many in the United States Continue to be Exposed to Secondhand Smoke7
- An estimated 88 million nonsmokers in the United States were exposed to secondhand smoke in 2007–2008.
- Children are at particular risk for exposure to secondhand smoke: 53.6% of young children (aged 3–11 years) were exposed to secondhand smoke in 2007–2008.
- While only 5.4% of adult nonsmokers in the United States lived with someone who smoked inside their home, 18.2% of children (aged 3–11 years) lived with someone who smoked inside their home in 2007–2008.
Disparities in Secondhand Smoke Exposure
Racial and Ethnic Groups
- Although declines in cotinine levels have occurred in all racial and ethnic groups, cotinine levels have consistently been found to be higher in non-Hispanic black Americans than in non-Hispanic white Americans and Mexican Americans.7,8,9 In 2007–2008:
- 55.9% of non-Hispanic blacks were exposed to secondhand smoke.
- 40.1% of non-Hispanic whites were exposed to secondhand smoke.
- 28.5% of Mexican Americans were exposed to secondhand smoke.
- Secondhand smoke exposure tends to be high for persons with low incomes: 60.5% of persons living below the poverty level in the United States were exposed to secondhand smoke in 2007–2008.7
- Occupational disparities in secondhand smoke exposure decreased over the past two decades, but substantial differences in exposure among workers remain. African-American male workers, construction workers, and blue collar workers and service workers are among some of the groups who continue to experience particularly high levels of secondhand smoke exposure relative to other workers.10
For Further Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Office on Smoking and Health
Media Inquiries: Contact CDC's Office on Smoking and Health press line at 770-488-5493.
Not Your Grandfather's Cigar
A New Generation of Cheap and Sweet Cigars Threatens a New Generation of Kids
Report Released March 13, 2013
While cigarette smoking has been declining in the United States, cigar sales have more than doubled since 2000, driven by an explosion of cheap, sweet small cigars that entice kids, according to a report released by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free kids.
National surveys show high school students are twice as likely as adults – 13.1 percent compared to 6.6 percent – to report smoking cigars in the past month, and young adults (ages 18-24) smoke cigars at even higher rates (15.9 percent).
Tobacco companies have manipulated their products to evade regulations and higher taxes aimed at reducing smoking, especially among kids.
Under a landmark 2009 law, the Food and Drug Administration banned candy and fruit-flavored cigarettes. However, because the FDA does not currently regulate cigars, tobacco companies continue to market similarly flavored cigars. Some companies have modified their flavored cigarettes to meet the legal definition of cigars (e.g., by adding tobacco to the wrapper) and continued to market them with sweet flavors.
When another 2009 federal law significantly increased taxes on cigarettes and small cigars, but taxed larger cigars at lower rates, some manufacturers added weight to their products to qualify for the lower tax rate. According to a recent Bloomberg News report, one manufacturer has increased the weight of its cigars by adding a clay material used in kitty litter.
The report calls for closing these regulatory and tax loopholes:
The FDA, which currently regulates cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco, should extend its jurisdiction to all tobacco products, including cigars, as allowed by law.
Congress and the states should equalize taxes on all tobacco products at the same rate as cigarettes to eliminate incentives for tax evasion.
Congress should reject pending legislation that would totally exempt some cigars from regulation.
Key Findings of the Report
While cigarettes sales have been declining in the U.S., cigar sales have increased significantly. Between 2000 and 2012, cigar sales in the U.S. more than doubled – from six billion to more than 13 billion cigars a year. During the same period, cigarette sales declined by 33.8 percent.
The surge in cigar sales has been driven by a dramatic increase in the number and types of smaller cigar products, many of which are flavored, priced and packaged to appeal to young people. Cigars today are no longer just the “big stogies” smoked by older men. Instead, the cigar market consists of products that vary widely in sizes, shapes, flavors and prices, making them appealing to a broader audience, including kids.
High school students and young adults smoke cigars at twice the rates of all adults. According to the national 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 13.1 percent of all high school students and 17.8 percent of high school boys smoked cigars in the past month. In contrast, the most recent national survey of adult cigar use (for 2009-2010) showed that 6.6 percent of all adults smoked cigars in the past month. Young adults (ages 18-24) have the highest cigar smoking rate at 15.9 percent.
In at least six states – Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin – youth cigar smoking now equals or surpasses cigarette smoking.
Flavored cigars are the most popular among youth. The most popular cigar brands among youth – including top three brands Black & Mild, Swisher Sweets and White Owl – come in a wide variety of flavors. Flavors include peach, strawberry, chocolate, grape, blueberry, wild apple, pineapple and watermelon. Some cigars also have flavor-oriented names, such as “Da Bomb Blueberry” and “Banana Split,” with obvious appeal to kids.
Cigar smoking harms health. According to the National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Surgeon General, cigar smoking causes cancer, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Cigar smoke contains the same toxins as cigarette smoke, and many new cigar products are more easily smoked and inhaled just like cigarettes.
New Legacy and Seventeen Magazine Survey Reveals Surprising Results
Washington, D.C. – Nearly one-in-ten teen girls in the United States are current smokers, but a majority of them want to quit, according to a new survey conducted by Legacy and Seventeen magazine. Researchers from Legacy – best known for the truth® youth smoking prevention campaign – surveyed teen girls on their behavior, attitudes and opinions about quitting smoking and found that 70 percent who smoke want to quit. According to the data, almost 60 percent have tried to quit, but less than half were successful. The results of the survey were highlighted in the November issue of Seventeenmagazine.
“The smoking epidemic is a teen epidemic,” said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, President and CEO of Legacy. “With November marking Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the Great American Smoke Out taking place November 15, these findings provide a timely opportunity for teens to get the resources they need to make the most important decision of their young lives: to quit smoking,” she added.
Data was collected by Research Now and included 570 13-17 year old girls, 9 percent of whom were current smokers. Among those surveyed, most who tried to quit found it was more difficult than they expected (52.6 percent); less than half (40 percent) were successful in their attempts.
The survey also found that many of the teens who reported smoking identified themselves as social smokers, or someone who had merely tried smoking.
“The term ’social smoking’ becomes problematic for many young smokers. We know that even one cigarette can do damage to your body and light smokers may still face adverse health effects,” Healton said. “Additionally, the nicotine in cigarettes can change the way our brains work – especially the developing brains of young teens. In our efforts to stem the tobacco epidemic, we must not only focus on prevention and providing teens with information on WHY they should not try that first cigarette; we have to devote energy to showing them HOW to stop smoking one of the most addictive substances available to them.”
"At Seventeen, we want to empower girls with real information to make the smartest choices in their health—and their lives," says Ann Shoket, Seventeen's Editor-In-Chief. "It's crucial that we give girls the right reasons to stop smoking, and the tools to actually make it happen."
Research shows that there are many reasons why teens start to smoke, including peer pressure, rebelliousness, impact of media, parental smoking and more. Many of those surveyed said they started smoking because their friends were smoking and because they were curious. A small number of teen girls reported they smoked to control their weight.
Legacy helps people live longer, healthier lives by building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Legacy’s proven-effective and nationally recognized public education programs include truth®, the national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy’s life-saving programs, visit www.LegacyForHealth.org.
Follow us on Twitter @legacyforhealth and Facebookwww.Facebook.com/Legacy.
Seventeen (www.seventeen.com) is the best-selling monthly teen magazine, reaching more than 13 million readers every month. In each issue, Seventeenreports on the latest in fashion, beauty, health and entertainment, as well as information and advice on the complex real-life issues that young women face every day. Readers can interact with the brand on the digital front, with theSeventeen Ultimate Fashion Flipbook iphone app as well as with the monthly edition of the magazine on the iPad. In addition to its U.S. flagship, Seventeenpublishes 13 editions around the world. Seventeen is published by Hearst Magazines, one of the nation's largest diversified communications companies. With its acquisition of Lagardère SCA's 100 titles in 14 countries outside of France, Hearst Magazines now publishes more than 300 editions around the world, including 20 U.S. titles. Hearst Magazines is a leading publisher of monthly magazines in the U.S. in terms of total circulation and reaches 82 million adults (Spring 2012 MRI). Follow Seventeen on Twitter, Tumblr andFacebook.
Contact: Julia Cartwright, 202-454-5596; email@example.com
Winning the fight against teen smoking
Written By : Danny McGoldrick on September 6, 2012
The United States has made enormous progress in the fight against tobacco use, the nation’s number one cause of preventable death.
But the battle is far from over. Tobacco use still kills 443,000 Americans and costs us nearly $100 billion in health care bills annually. More than 3.6 million American kids and 45 million adults still smoke, and almost 4,000 kids try their first cigarette each day.
Our challenge today is to avoid complacency and commit to finishing the fight against tobacco. Policy makers, parents and schools all have critical roles to play.
There’s no question that we know how to win this fight.
We’ve cut adult smoking by more than half since the 1960s, to less than 20 percent. Among high school students, the smoking rate has fallen from a high of 36.4 percent in 1997 to 18.1 percent in 2011.
Our progress has come from using proven strategies: higher tobacco taxes, well-funded tobacco prevention and quit-smoking programs, laws requiring smoke-free work and public places, and effective regulation of tobacco products and marketing.
We cannot let up in our efforts, because the tobacco industry continues to go after our kids. Tobacco companies spend $10.5 billion a year – nearly $29 million each day – to market their deadly and addictive products in the U.S., and they aggressively fight measures to reduce tobacco use.
To counter declines in smoking, the industry has introduced a smorgasbord of new cigar and smokeless tobacco products, many with sweet flavors, cheap prices and colorful packages that lure kids. Cheap cigars come in kid-friendly flavors such as chocolate, strawberry, grape and banana. New smokeless tobacco products look like candy, don’t require spitting and are easy for kids to hide. There may be more ways for kids to get addicted to nicotine today than ever before.
Parents and Educators Are Role Models
Parents and educators are in powerful positions to prevent kids from using tobacco. Actions parents can take include:
- Set a good example. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, try to quit. Children of smokers are dramatically more likely to become smokers themselves. Free help in quitting is available at 1-800-QUIT NOW.
- Whether or not you smoke, make sure your home and cars are smoke-free, that you and others don’t smoke in front of your kids and avoid places that allow smoking. These actions send a clear message that smoking is harmful and undesirable.
- Set clear and consistent rules on not using tobacco. Tell your kids not to use tobacco and enforce consequences if they do.
- Make sure your kids have the facts about smoking, and emphasize both long-term and immediate health effects. Most teens wrongly believe that smoking will not affect their health until they reach middle age. But smoking can have immediate effects on health, including persistent coughs, respiratory problems and decreased physical performance. Also emphasize the effects of smoking on physical appearance to counter cigarette ads that portray smoking as sexy and attractive.
- Educate your kids about the role of the tobacco industry. Make sure both you and your children understand the tobacco industry’s role in marketing a product that addicts and kills. Help your children understand that they are a target of the tobacco companies and teach them to critically evaluate the marketing messages disseminated by the industry. Communicate the message that most people DO NOT smoke.
Schools can help prevent and reduce youth tobacco use with strong tobacco-free policies and education programs:
- Forbid all tobacco use by students, staff and visitors on all school grounds and at all school-sponsored events. School tobacco-free policies, consistently communicated and enforced, help reduce smoking and other tobacco use among students.
- Provide comprehensive tobacco prevention education. Use evidence-based programs that address not only the short- and long-term health harms of tobacco use, but also issues such as peer pressure and tobacco marketing. School-based programs are most effective when they are supplemented by strong tobacco-free policies and are part of a comprehensive local or state tobacco prevention program. It is important to reinforce messages discouraging tobacco use throughout the community, not just in schools.
Visit our website for more information on what parents and schools can do to help kids stay tobacco-free.
Policy Makers Must Lead
Parents, educators and others concerned about tobacco use should also urge elected officials to step up implementation of proven tobacco prevention policies.
To their credit, President Obama and his administration have made it a priority to reinvigorate the fight against tobacco use. In 2009, the President signed the landmark law giving the Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products, which curbed tobacco marketing and sales to kids and banned terms such as “light” and “low-tar” that falsely imply a safer cigarette.
The health care reform law expanded coverage for quit-smoking treatments and provided dedicated funding for disease prevention initiatives, including those to reduce tobacco use. A large 2009 increase in the federal tobacco tax significantly reduced cigarette sales. This year, the CDC launched an unprecedented advertising campaign to discourage smoking.
Unfortunately, many states have moved backwards. In the past four years, states slashed budgets for already-underfunded tobacco prevention and quit-smoking programs by 36 percent. They collect more than $25 billion a year from the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but spend less than two percent of it to combat tobacco use. The states’ progress has also slowed in enacting tobacco tax increases and smoke-free air laws. The states must do better.
Our progress has driven tobacco out of sight and out of mind for many Americans. But it remains a serious public health problem that claims too many lives, addicts too many children and devastates too many families. It’s time for all of us – including elected officials, parents and schools – to commit to winning this fight once and for all.
Danny McGoldrick is the Vice President for Research at Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
This article originally appears on Disruptive Women in Health Care. Please click here for the original article.
Eight Tips for Talking with Youth about Tobacco
The FDA has published the following article
August 20, 2012
Parenting is one of the most gratifying jobs out there. But it is also one of the toughest, especially when it comes to having discussions about important issues like tobacco use.
Consider this: Each day in the United States, more than 3,800 youth under age 18 smoke their first cigarette and more than 1,000 youth under age 18 become daily cigarette smokers.1 Young people are sensitive to nicotine. The younger they are when they begin using tobacco, the more likely they are to become addicted to nicotine, and the more heavily addicted they will become.2
As a parent, you play an important and influential role in the effort to prevent youth from using tobacco. Some studies suggest peers, family, and parental influences are risk factors for youth smoking initiation.3
So make time to talk to your kids about the threat of using tobacco today. With your guidance, maybe they won't start. The following tips can help you get the conversation started.
- Share the Facts.
Knowledge is power – give youth the facts about tobacco so that they can make good choices.View our infographic on the facts about teens and tobacco.
- Talk Early and Often.
Tobacco use can start as early as middle school—today, more than 600,000 middle school students smoke cigarettes4—so it’s never too early to begin the conversation about tobacco’s dangers. Make your child understand that you want them to stay safe and expect them to avoid using tobacco.
- Use Everyday Opportunities to Talk and Listen.
There are plenty of other opportunities every day to bring up the topic of tobacco use and its risks. The next time you see someone smoking in public, take a moment to discuss how it harms the body. Tell them, “Tobacco is highly addictive and toxic to your body. It can harm your lungs, heart, brain and other body parts.”
- Be Honest, Direct, and Open.
Create an environment where both you and your children can talk openly about tobacco use. If friends or relatives have died from tobacco-related illnesses, explain to your kids how tobacco caused their death. Make sure they fully understand the risks of tobacco use. One way to help them learn is through play, like in this cause-and-effect activity showing the potential risks of cigarette smoking.
- Make it a Two-Way Conversation.
Talk with, not at, your child. Listen carefully and actively to what your child says and encourage them to ask questions and share their feelings and concerns.
- Set a Good Example.
Children of parents who smoke are more likely to smoke in the future.5 If you smoke, don’t use tobacco in your children’s presence and don't leave it where they can easily get it. Please consider trying to quit smoking today.
- Set Clear Rules.
Children should be given clear and consistent rules on not using tobacco as they grow up. Learn more about setting rules from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- Help Your Child Learn to Say "No."
Adolescents and young adults are uniquely vulnerable to social and environmental influences to use tobacco.6 As a parent, you can help your children learn to overcome these influences. Help them create a plan for how to say "no."
Now you have our best tips for starting the conversation about tobacco with your child. Share your own tips with us and other parents.
1 - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-41, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 11-4658. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2011.
2 - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking. Page 7. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health, 2004.
3 - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People: A Report of the Surgeon General [PDF], Page 110. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health, 2012
4 - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: Fact SheetAtlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of Smoking and Health, 2012
5 - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People: A Report of the Surgeon General [PDF], Page 97. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health, 2012
6 - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People: A Report of the Surgeon General [PDF], Page 460. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health, 2012
Protecting Your Children From Tobacco Use
Smokeless tobacco marketing towards tweens
Examples of smokeless tobacco products that are being geared toward teenagers.
Smokeless tobacco is making a comeback.
Impact of Tobacco — Don’t Be Fooled
Celebrities, movies, popular culture, and the tobacco industry try to make smoking look desirable and glamorous, but what aren’t they telling you? This video, created by Crystal Blair, was the third runner up winner in the 18-25 age category of the Surgeon General’s Video Contest: Tobacco — I’m Not Buying It.
Smokers Don’t Understand
What would it be like to get lung cancer when you're not even a smoker? The negative effects of secondhand smoke are examined in this video, created by Jack Carpenter. It was the second runner up winner in the 18-25 age category of the Surgeon General's Video Contest: Tobacco — I’m Not Buying It.
Not Quite So Different
Two women, different on the surface, discover that they may both suffer from similar health problems in the future, because they are both smokers. This video, created by William Bowman, was the first runner up winner in the 18-25 age category of the Surgeon General’s Video Contest: Tobacco — I’m Not Buying It.
You Don’t Smoke Cigarettes, Cigarettes Smoke You
People think they smoke cigarettes, but with all the negative health consequences, such as heart disease and asthma, could it be said that cigarettes are smoking us? This video, created by Ayyaz Amjad, was the grand prize winner in the 18-25 age category of the Surgeon General's Video Contest: Tobacco — I’m Not Buying It.
Duplin TRU Team
What if you woke up one day and your best friend was gone? What if you could never see them again? The negative effects of smoking are the subject of this video by the Duplin TRU Team from North Carolina, who challenge young adults to be the end to the cycle. This video, created by the Duplin TRU team, was the third runner up winner in the 13-17 age category of the Surgeon General's Video Contest: Tobacco — I’m Not Buying It.
It’s Just Not Worth It
Cigarette smoking has reached an all-time high at Michael Margiotti's school in Moorestown, New Jersey. With students already suffering from shortness of breath and other effects, he details what else they can expect in the future and says: it’s just not worth it. This video was the second runner up winner in the 13-17 age category of the Surgeon General's Video Contest: Tobacco — I’m Not Buying It.
We Deserve a Chance to Live Out Our Dreams!
Kids learn about life by watching their parents. What if kids grew up in a smoke-free world? That's the premise of this video by Taylor Blackwell from Jupiter, Florida. This video was the first runner up winner in the 13-17 age category of the Surgeon General's Video Contest: Tobacco — I’m Not Buying It.
Tobacco I'm Not Buying It Rap
The Manatee Youth for Christ SOZO team, from Bradenton, Florida, rap about the dangers of tobacco, its effect on youth, and why they're not buying it. This video, created by Dantreal Waiters, was the grand prize winner in the 13-17 age category of the Surgeon General’s Video Contest: Tobacco — I'm Not Buying It.
On March 8, 2012, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin announced the Surgeon General's Video Contest: Tobacco — I'm Not Buying It, and challenged youth and young adults to speak up about preventing tobacco use. She started the conversation with her own video, entitled "Destiny."
Smoking Rates Stall In King County, While One In Four 12th Graders Uses Tobacco
May 31st is World No Tobacco Day
Reductions in adult smoking have stalled, according to a new Data Watch Report, “Tobacco use in King County,” and now an estimated 155,000 King County adults are cigarette smokers and an additional 26,000 use smokeless tobacco.
“To reduce smoking rates we need a comprehensive approach. We need to prevent people from smoking, help smokers quit, and limit second-hand smoke,” said King County Councilmember Joe McDermott who chairs the Board of Health. “In recent years, it has been a struggle to implement such a comprehensive approach as local governments have seen drastic cuts in funding.”
Tobacco remains the leading preventable cause of death nationally, and in King County it accounts for 1 in 5 deaths and $343 million annually in health care expenses and lost wages.
“Tobacco continues to steal the health of too many of our residents, and this report reminds us that we have more work to do, especially among our most vulnerable populations,” said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County.
Though King County has an overall smoking rate that is among the lowest in the country, the county has the most extreme smoking inequities of the 15 largest metropolitan counties in the United States. According to the new “Tobacco use in King County” Data Watch Report:
- After a nearly 50% decline from 1996 to 2007, smoking rates among adults flattened in the most recent 5 year period of 2007-2011. About 10% of King County adults smoke, plus an additional 2% use smokeless tobacco products.
- More than 15,000 students (including 1 in 4 12th graders) used cigarettes or other tobacco products in the past month.
- Adult smoking rates are highest among African-Americans, low-income residents and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) groups.
For youth, the highest smoking rates are among American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander and Latino youth. Youth also use alternative tobacco products such as chewing tobacco, snuff, dip, cigars, cigarillos and little cigars – many of which are flavored to taste like fruit, candy, or alcohol. In all, 50 percent of female and 67 percent of male tobacco users reported using multiple tobacco types.
”This report shows the effects of decades of tobacco industry marketing to people of color and vulnerable populations. The Healthy King County Coalition has been making policy and system changes that will support healthy behaviors for years to come, but without statewide tobacco funding, our future efforts are seriously compromised,” said Shelley Cooper-Ashford, Director of the Center for MultiCultural Health and co-chair of the Healthy King County Coalition.
During the last two years as part of Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW), a one-time federal stimulus-fund initiative, King County partners including schools, organizations and local governments have made community improvements to make healthy living easier. Examples of the changes include:
- 13 cities in King County now have tobacco or smoke-free parks, and many more are currently considering such policies
- Over 13,000 affordable housing units are now smoke-free
- Five school districts implemented alternative to suspension protocols for students found violating tobacco-free school policies
- 128 Pridefest vendors and non-profit organizations adopted internal tobacco prevention policies
- Four hospitals and 105 mental health and substance abuse treatment sites have tobacco-free policies and provide tobacco cessation support
- 4 Korean churches in south King County implemented tobacco-free policies.
To learn more, visit:Tobacco Prevention ProgramLet’s Do This to create smoke-free placesPreventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General
Source: King County Public Health.
Parents Play Crucial Role in Keeping Youth from Smoking
May 23, 2012 By
By Ginny Zombek
Parents play a significant role in their child’s attitudes and actions when it comes to beginning to smoke cigarettes or use chew tobacco products.
Each day, more than 3,000 youth between 12 and 17 years old smoke their first cigarette and, of those 3,000, an estimated 850 become daily cigarette smokers. Youth are sensitive to nicotine and can feel dependent earlier than adults. Because of nicotine addiction, about three out of four teen smokers end up smoking into adulthood, even if they intend to quit after a few years.
Recently, a few Madison County residents recounted their personal tales of tobacco struggles to us describing how they began smoking at very young ages, never intending to become lifetime smokers. They now categorize themselves as addicted to tobacco, having tried unsuccessfully many times to stop smoking. They do not want their children and grandchildren to face the same struggles in their lives.
But how does a parent keep it from happening?
Studies have shown that what parents say, how they act and the values they communicate through their words and deeds have enormous influence on children. Perhaps one or more of the strategies below can help your child, niece, nephew or grandchildren avoid wanting to smoke or chew tobacco products:
* Maintain a smoke-free home. A smoke-free home makes children less likely to smoke, even if their parents smoke. By not allowing anyone to smoke in the home, parents not only make smoking less convenient for their kids, but also make a powerful statement that they believe smoking is undesirable.
* If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit. When parents quit smoking, their children become less likely to start smoking and more likely to quit if they already smoke.
* If you do smoke, share your struggles to quit with your children. Showing your children how hard it can be to quit smoking can help them understand smoking is not all fun and games. Continuing to quit, despite the difficulties, also sends a strong anti-smoking message. To access the NYS Smokers Quitline, dial 1-866-NY-QUITS or visit health.ny.gov/prevention/tobacco_control/quitline.htm. Keep your tobacco products and lighters out of sight and reach.
* Tell your kids that you don’t want them to smoke and will be disappointed if they do.
* Emphasize the immediate health effects; such as persistent coughs, respiratory problems, greater susceptibility to illness and decreased physical performance.
* Emphasize the effects of smoking on physical appearance: yellow teeth, bad breath, smelly clothes and early facial lines are not pretty.
Parents can also help to keep their children from smoking by following basic good-parenting practices: know who your child’s friends are; engage your child in extra-curricular activities; set and enforce realistic rules, talk to them and – above all – pay attention to them.
Parents can reduce the risk their children will smoke and lessen the chances that they will become involved in other risky behaviors, such as alcohol and other drug use.
Ginny Zombek is a public health educator with Madison County Department of Health.
Second Hand Smoke Does Hurts Kids
Tobacco smoke exposure during childhood can cause respiratory problems later in life
Kids may not appear to develop conditions from second hand smoke when they’re being exposed to it in childhood. But, they can still experience respiratory problems later in life.
A new study finds that kids that are around second hand smoke can develop respiratory problems later in life.
Further research is needed to determine whether prenatal smoking exposure is a factor.
Don’t smoke around kids!
Dr. Juliana Pugmire MPH., DrPH., University of Arizona research specialist and lead author of this study, wants to know about the real long-term effects of second hand smoke on children’s respiratory systems.
The Tucson Epidemiological Study of Airway Obstructive Disease (TESAOD) is a large longitudinal study that began collecting data in 1972 from 3,805 individuals from 1,655 homes in and around Tucson. Each person in the study completed a survey every 2 years until 1996. Dr. Pugmire’s team used the information from 371 people in the study that began participating in the study before the age of 15.
Dr. Pugmire states: “This study shows that exposure to parental smoking increase the risk of persistence of respiratory symptoms from childhood into adulthood independent of personal smoking. Persistent respiratory illness in childhood and young adulthood could indicate an increased risk of chronic respiratory illness and lung function deficits in later life.”
Researchers categorized the data as: asthma, wheeze, cough, and chronic cough (cough that continues for three months in a row or more).
Each person reported whether they did now or had in the past experienced any of these symptoms as well as whether or not their parent was a smoker.
52.3 percent of the 371 children had been exposed to second hand smoke in the home before the age of 15. Researchers did factor in whether or not the child grew up to become a smoker themselves.
Dr. Pugmire says of their findings: “Persistent wheezing from childhood into adult life has been shown to be associated with lung function deficits. Chronic bronchitis (defined as chronic cough and phlegm) is a significant risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) development later in life."
"Therefore, the persistence of symptoms like chronic cough and wheeze into young adulthood may indicate a susceptibility to lung function deficits and chronic respiratory illness with age.”
The study, “Respiratory Health Effects Of Childhood Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke In Children Followed to Adulthood”, was presented at the 2012 American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Francisco.
This study was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), no conflicts of interest were found.
The Centers for Disease Control lists tobacco use as the single most important preventable risk to human health, and one out of every five people in the United States are addicted to cigarettes, or about 61 million people. Smoking and tobacco use has been proven to cause heart disease, strokes, emphysema, chronic obstructive lung disease, and cancer of the lungs, bladder, throat, mouth, and pancreas.
Quitting smoking is extremely difficult for most smokers. Some studies have compared the difficulty of quitting smoking as similar to that of quitting heroin or cocaine. Some people can just go 'cold turkey' and quit immediately. Many more have attributed their success in quitting by using nicotine replacement products, such as gums, lozenges, or patches, which allow the person to gradually wean themselves off nicotine while avoiding the toxic byproducts of smoking and helping them resist the urge to smoke. However, recent research has shown that these products may offer help with temporarily quitting, but eventually over 90% of the smokers relapse within six months.
SWAT - Students Take on the Tobacco Companies
Published Wednesday, May 23, 2012 12:00 pm
BRADENTON -- Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) want to know; If Tobacco is an adult decision, why are they marketing it to kids? They say that cherry Skoal is for someone that likes the taste of candy. When a product shortens the life of those who use it, the manufacturer is always looking for new customers to replace the dead ones. The kids from SWAT aren't buying it.
SWAT club members, Rachael Strebel and Ashton Mulvany played a video at the Manatee County Commissioner meeting Tuesday. Joined by club members, Elea Smith, Alex Fink and Joseph Harris, they starred in a video production (see below), exposing the tobacco industry's attempt at luring kids into consuming their products.
Jessica May, from Manatee County Substance Abuse Coalition (MCSAC), escorted the SWAT club to the BOCC chambers where they met the commissioners and Florida House Representative Jim Boyd, (R-Bradenton). Boyd invited SWAT and their video to Tallahassee, so they could convince legislators into supporting a bill that would establish statewide rules preventing tobacco companies from targeting kids.
Megan Jourdan, from the Manatee Health Department and Julie Arranibar, from the Manatee County Board of Education, both chaperoned the group. But it was obvious that these youths were very mature and wise beyond their years. So much, that there is little doubt Tallahassee will learn something from their visit, something state legislatures should have acted on years ago.
SWAT is Florida's statewide youth organization working to mobilize, educate and equip Florida youth to revolt against and de-glamorize Big Tobacco. They are a united movement of empowered youth working towards a tobacco free future.
SWAT wants to know -- How Dumb Do They Think We Are?
Children exposed to passive smoking at risk of long-term lung problems
- Researchers found a strong link between childhood exposure to second-hand smoke and chronic cough in adulthood
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke may experience the damaging effects well into adulthood, say scientists.
Researchers found even non-smokers who were exposed to passive smoking when they were young had a higher risk of developing chornic chest infections.
The team from the University of Arizona analysed results from a 24-year study that assessed the prevalence rates and risk factors of respiratory and other chronic diseases.
Smoking increases a child's risk of developing chronic bronchitis as adults
Participants were asked to complete questionnaires that were issued every two years from 1972 until 1996. The researchers found that 52.3 per cent of the children had been exposed to tobacco smoke between birth and 15 years old.
After adjusting for sex, age, years of follow-up and personal smoking status, the researchers found that this exposure was significantly associated with several persistent respiratory symptoms.
Study author Dr Juliana Pugmire, said: 'We examined asthma as well as other respiratory symptoms and found that exposure to parental smoking had the strongest association with cough and chronic cough that persisted into adult life.
'Exposure to parental smoking also had effects, although weaker, on persistent wheezing and asthma in adulthood.'
While researchers have warned of the potential health risks of second-hand smoke for 30 years, there have been few studies into the long-term effects on children.
'Earlier studies established a link between parental smoking and childhood respiratory illness, but in this study, we sought to demonstrate whether these effects persisted into adulthood,' she said.
Dr Pugmire said that wheezing and a chronic cough were early risk factors of far more serious lung conditions.
'Persistent wheezing from childhood into adult life has been shown to be associated with lung function deficits.
'Chronic bronchitis (defined as chronic cough and phlegm) is a significant risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) development later in life.
'Therefore, the persistence of symptoms like chronic cough and wheeze into young adulthood may indicate a susceptibility to lung function deficits and chronic respiratory illness with age,' she said.
Further research will be needed to examine whether smokers who were exposed to second-hand smoke as children have a greater risk of dying in middle-age than smokers who were not exposed, she added.
The study will be presented at the ATS 2012 International Conference in San Francisco.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2147460/Children-exposed-passive-smoking-risk-long-term-lung-problems.html#ixzz1vi5FmTnX
NATIVE AMERICAN TEENS LEARN TRADITIONAL WAYS TO BECOME POLICY CHANGE ADVOCATES
Youth-produced videos highlighting the commercial tobacco effects are on YouTube
(Minneapolis) -- When the Native American youth of Mashkiki Ogichidaag (Medicine Warriors) get together each week, there’s a lot of work to be done. The 10 program participants are focused on developing a media campaign to persuade Twin Cities Native American worksites to adopt commercial tobacco-free policies. From writing scripts to editing video to making presentations, the youth have discovered much – about themselves, their cultural values and traditional strengths – in their quest to educate the local Indian community about the effects and dangers of commercial tobacco use.
Participants like 13-year old Brian Arthur, an Ojibwe from White Earth reservation, are learning first-hand about the difference between traditional tobacco use and commercial tobacco misuse. Early in the program, he participated with the Medicine Warriors and Ain Dah Yung Center’s Teen Tobacco Prevention youth in intergenerational tobacco discussions as part of the Inter-Tribal Elder Services’ Circle of Tobacco Wisdom.
In March, Native elders accompanied Brian and 20 more Native American youth, to Big Lake, Minn., where they harvested Red Willow tree bark, an essential element in traditional tobacco use. This harvesting day trip helped connect the youth to the land and their traditions to ensure the continuance of the Native way of life. “They don’t teach you this in school and the Medicine Warrior program educates me,” Brian said.
From there, the Medicine Warriors learned how to make “kinnikinnick” from the Red Willow bark. Kinnikinnick (Algonquin for “that which is mixed”) is generally used for pipe ceremonies and strictly for spiritual, cultural and ritual purposes.
“In our group, we made a simple blend of kinnikinnick using the four sacred medicines: Cedar, Sage, Sweetgrass and the Red Willow bark, which is considered tobacco,” explained Medicine Warrior Youth Worker Julia Littlewolf. “We’ll use this kinnikinnick as an offering in our presentations, as gifts and to share as we continue educating the community about traditional tobacco.”
The Medicine Warriors have produced four videos, which they use in their community presentations. Also available on YouTube, the first public service video applies humor to focus on the effects of second-hand smoke; a second video captures the Medicine Warrior youth group conducting a cigarette butt clean-up; the third, “What Would You Rather Be Doing?,” highlights the activities that discourage youth from smoking; and the fourth, “What Our Community Has to Say…,” features a collection of interviews about commercial tobacco abuse.
So far, five Minneapolis worksites – including the Division of Indian Work, which sponsors the Medicine Warriors – have adopted new policies banning the use of commercial tobacco use on their property. All Nations Indian Church, Native American Community Clinic, Migizi Communications and Indigenous People’s Task Force have also revised their policies.
Now, the Medicine Warriors are in the second phase of the project, producing a new round of anti-commercial tobacco smoking videos. The teens understand that progress is incremental. But with the program goal of building capacity in Native American youth as traditional tobacco use and policy change advocates and protectors of Native medicines for future generations, they are making great strides.
As Arden Two Bears, a 13-year old Ojibwe from Leech Lake reservation, said, “By doing these kinds of things, it makes me want to go out and talk to people about how smoking and second hand smoke can hurt you in the future.”
Mashkiki Ogichidaag videos can be seen on YouTube or ordered on DVD from the Division of Indian Work, 612-279-6355 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mashkiki Ogichidaag is a program of the Division of Indian Work, and funded by the American Indian Community Tobacco Initiative from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Tobacco Prevention and Control.
Attention all 2012 Little League baseball and softball players! Oral Health America's (OHA) NSTEP® program (National Spit Tobacco Education Program) is teaming with Little League International to launch its eleventh annual slogan contest where players have a chance to win a trip to the Little League World Series! To enter, Little Leaguers ages 8-14 create a ten-word phrase that describes why spit tobacco is dangerous and deadly.
Why is important to educate teens on the topic of tobacco? Because according to the Tobacco Reality Unfiltered group (TRU), the number of teens who wish they would have never started smoking is 70 percent. Plus, once they have started it is very hard to quit.
What makes tobacco so addictive and so hard for teens to quit smoking? Nicotine. Nicotine, which is found in tobacco, is more addictive than heroin or cocaine. In fact, nicotine reaches the brain in 7 seconds.
Another reason teens smoke is peer pressure, stress, to look “cool” or because their parents smoke. Our goal is to show teens how not only addictive tobacco use can be, but also how very harmful it is to your body. Each year, smoking kills more people than AIDS, alcohol abuse, car wrecks, suicides, illegal drugs and fires combined. And, because of the harmful effects of smoking, seven minutes of your life is lost per cigarette!
Take a look at the facts, and you will better understand just how harmful cigarettes are to your body. The chemicals in tobacco harm many parts of the body, including skin, mouth, teeth, throat, lungs, heart, stomach, bladder, colon, brain, fingers, and blood vessels.
In addition, cancer may develop in the brain, lungs (in fact, 87 percent of this type of cancer is attributable to smoking), mouth, bladder, and pancreas. Other diseases that may develop due to tobacco use include hardening of the arteries, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, coronary heart disease, gum disease, and premature aging of the skin.
You may be surprised to learn that cigarette smoke has over 4,000 chemicals in it, and 60 of those are known to cause cancer.
We believe adolescents need and deserve to learn the truth about tobacco and its harmful effects, so we are spreading the word through the TRU Youth Advisory Council (Tobacco Reality Unfiltered), a movement by teens, for teens in North Carolina, with the goal of becoming the first tobacco free generation.
We hope this important message is being heard, and our continued efforts will educate kids and encourage them to stay away from tobacco and other dangerous substances.
If you are a teen, do your part by going to the website www.realityunfiltered.com and taking the pledge to be TRU! While so many diseases and sicknesses are not preventable, cancer caused by smoking is. Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death each year. An estimated 434,000 people die from cigarette smoking annually. Don’t be a statistic — don’t start smoking, and if you smoke, stop now! While this message is targeted to teens, it applies to everyone, regardless of age. So remember to “spread the word, not the second-hand smoke.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The authors, members of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) at Highland School of Technology are speaking to youth clubs about the dangers of tobacco use. Today they share their message with readers
Read more: http://www.gastongazette.com/articles/tobacco-69869-teens-nicotine.html#ixzz1sLbLuKhW
The tobacco industry spends over a million dollars an hour on marketing that hooks kids!
Smoking among American youth is a “pediatric epidemic” that isn’t occurring by accident: It’s directly caused by tobacco industry marketing and promotion that entices teenagers to start smoking and encourages their progression to becoming regular smokers.
The new U.S. Surgeon General’s report released today by Surgeon General Regina Benjamin says the evidence “consistently and coherently” points to the intentional marketing of tobacco products to youth as a cause of young peoples’ tobacco use.
“Youth smoking is not an accident. It doesn’t just happen,” Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh said at a Washington news conference.
To read more, please, click here.
Two new campaigns aim to shield youth from tobacco displays. In Albany, New York a campaign began educating New Yorkers about the dangers of exposing youth to in-store tobacco displays.
The print, radio and online blitz is sponsored by The Community Partnerships for a Tobacco Free New York, which calls for gas stations, convenience stores and supermarkets to cover or move tobacco to an area concealed to shoppers.
“Research shows that kids who shop at stores with tobacco marketing two or more times a week are 64% more likely to start smoking than their peers who don’t,” campaign materials state.
In Madison, New York, The Madison County Board of Health is developing a proposed ban on tobacco displays that would require retailers open to minors to keep tobacco products hidden from view.
The print, radio and online blitz is sponsored by The Community Partnerships for a Tobacco Free New York, which calls for gas stations, convenience stores and supermarkets to cover or move tobacco to an area concealed to shoppers.
“Research shows that kids who shop at stores with tobacco marketing two or more times a week are 64% more likely to start smoking than their peers who don’t,” campaign materials state.
To read more about the Albany program click here.
To read more about the Madison program click here.
Nearly one in four high school seniors is a cigarette smoker according to a mammoth 920-page report released by the U.S. Surgeon General on Thursday, March 8. American Indian adolescents (12-17) and young adults (18-25) top the lists of all race/ethnicities in rates of cigarette smoking.
According to the report, “For both age groups, American Indian/Alaskan Native males (14.3% adolescents, 50.0% young adults) and females (16.3% adolescents, 46.1% young adults) had the highest prevalence of cigarette smoking.”
Graph by Scott McKie B.P./One Feather; Source: U.S. Surgeon General's Report
Read the full article here.
From the Surgeon General's press release:
Surgeon General releases new report on youth smoking
More than 3.6 million kids smoke cigarettes
The fight against youth tobacco use was accelerated today by Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, with the release of the Surgeon General’s Report, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults. This report details the scope, health consequences and influences that lead to youth tobacco use and proven strategies that prevent its use.
To help communicate the report findings and steps every American can take to join the fight against youth tobacco use, the surgeon general also unveiled a guide with practical information on addressing tobacco use in young people, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: We Can Make the Next Generation Tobacco-Free. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health will launch the Surgeon General’s Video Challenge to engage youth and young adults in developing original videos that feature one or more of the report’s findings. More information can be found at www.Challenge.gov.
Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable and premature death, killing more than 1,200 Americans every day. For every tobacco-related death two new young people under the age of 26 become regular smokers. Nearly 90 percent of these replacement smokers try their first cigarette by age 18. Approximately 3 out of 4 high school smokers continue to smoke well into adulthood.
“Targeted marketing encourages more young people to take up this deadly addiction every day,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “This administration is committed to doing everything we can to prevent our children from using tobacco.”
This administration has taken historic steps to protect children from the dangers of tobacco use including the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (TCA) which gives the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco products to prevent use by minors. TCA prevents tobacco use through activities such as age and identification verification at retailers, restrictions on the sale of single cigarettes and a ban on certain candy and fruit-flavored cigarettes. Other activities include support for state quitlines and implementation of web and mobile based interventions aimed to reach young people.
The surgeon general’s report provides further scientific evidence on the addictive nature of nicotine. The younger individuals are when they start using tobacco, the more likely they are to become addicted and the more heavily addicted they will become.
“The addictive power of nicotine makes tobacco use much more than a passing phase for most teens. We now know smoking causes immediate physical damage, some of which is permanent,” said Dr. Benjamin. “Today, more than 600,000 middle school students and 3 million high school students smoke. We don’t want our children to start something now that they won’t be able to change later in life.”
While the long-term health effects of tobacco use are well known, this report concludes that smoking early in life has substantial health risks that begin immediately in young smokers. These include serious early cardiovascular damage and a reduction of lung functionality. This lung damage is permanent, causes shortness of breath immediately and increases the risk of pulmonary diseases later in life.
Expenditures for marketing and promotion of tobacco products exceed $1 million an hour – over $27 million a day – in the United States alone. Targeted messages and images that portray smoking as an acceptable, appealing activity for young people are widespread, and advertising for tobacco products is prominent in retail stores and online.
“We can and must continue to do more to accelerate the decline in youth tobacco use,” said Dr. Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health at HHS, “Until we end the tobacco epidemic, more young people will become addicted, more people will die, and more families will be devastated by the suffering and loss of loved ones.”
Copies of the full Report, executive summary, and the easy-to-read guide may be downloaded at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov. To order printed copies of these documents go to http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco and click on the Publications Catalog link under Tools & Resources. For access to quitting resources visit www.smokefree.gov.
Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults—
A Report of the Surgeon General
- More than 600,000 middle school students smoke cigarettes.
- More than 3 million high school students smoke cigarettes.
- Nearly a million and a half kids under age 18 will try their first cigarette this year.
- Smoking kills more than 1,200 Americans every day. And every tobacco-related death is replaced by two new smokers under the age of 25.
- The younger kids are when they try tobacco, the more likely they are to get addicted.
- 3 out of 4 teens who smoke will continue smoking into adulthood – even if they intend to quit in a few years.
- More than a million dollars an hour is spent to market tobacco products in this country.
- Successful tobacco prevention programs more than pay for themselves in lives and health care dollars saved; the most effective ones are funded at or near CDC-recommended levels.
A Fact Sheet is available for download as a pdf here.
A Consumer Friendly Booklet is available for download as a pdf here. This easy-to-read, 20-page booklet presents the major content of the report in plain language and is designed to help parents, teachers, policy makers, health care professionals, and other concerned adults understand the importance of the report and how they can take a stand to protect young people from the devastating effects of tobacco use.
In conjunction with the 2012 Surgeon General's report, CDC's Office on Smoking and Health has launched a video contest called “Tobacco—I’m Not Buying It.” This contest invites youth ages 13-17 and young adults ages 18-25 to submit original videos that feature one or more of the key findings from the report.
Submissions will be reviewed for eligibility and then judged on the best use and depiction of key messages, recommendations contained in the report, and other criteria listed in the rules. CDC will award a $1,000 grand prize and three $500 runner-up prizes for each of the following categories (English and Spanish language submissions in both age-based groups) for a total of $10,000 in prizes.
Please share the Surgeon General’s Spotlight Facebook tab on CDC Tobacco Free with your communities and visit Challenge.gov for a complete list of contest rules. The video submission deadline is April 20, 2012.
The following is taken from the CDC's Tobacco Use and the Health of Young People Fact Sheet.
Tobacco Use by Young People
- Each day in the United States, approximately 4,000 adolescents aged 12-17 try their first cigarette.
- Each year cigarette smoking accounts for approximately 1 of every 5 deaths, or about 438,000 people. Cigarette smoking results in 5.5 million years of potential life lost in the United States annually.
- Although the percentage of high school students who smoke has declined in recent years, rates remain high: 19% of high school students report current cigarette use (smoked cigarettes on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey).
- Forty-six percent of high school students have ever tried cigarette smoking, even one or two puffs.
- Eleven percent of high school students have smoked a whole cigarette before age 13.
- Nearly 9% of high school students (15% of male and 2% of female students) used smokeless tobacco (e.g., chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip), on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey. Adolescents who use smokeless tobacco are more likely than nonusers to become cigarette smokers.
- Fourteen percent of high school students smoked cigars, cigarillos, or little cigars on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey.
The full fact sheet can be found here.
Researchers, from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the CDC, reported, in the March edition of Pediatrics, that second-hand smoke exposure among middle and high school students in the USA has dropped over the last ten years.
To read more click here.
Experts fear candy-like products could put children at risk for nicotine addiction, poisoning.
To read more click here...
A Tobacco Survey Study of American Indian youth in California
The University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine has recently completed a survey of 1000 Native youth in California regarding clutural tobacco use. They reached urban, rural, and reservation youth to take the survey.
They have made available to us both a informative brochure, and the final report of the survey data.
To download the brochure click here.
To download the final report click here.
A new study in Tobacco Control confirms that raising the price of tobacco will effectively reduce youth consumption. Read more here...
The FDA have posted helpful links to help with Youth Tobacco Prevention.
To read more click here.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse have published an excellent article on the Facts about Teens, Tobacco, and Addiction.
To read more click here.