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Tobacco & Marijuana

WHO seeks clampdown on tobacco ads targeting women

Gender: Female • • Tobacco & MarijuanaMay 28 10

The World Health Organisation called on Friday for more action against tobacco advertising that targets women and girls, especially in developing countries.

Females represent the biggest potential growth market for tobacco products and are being subjected to aggressive campaigns linked to fashion, sports events and entertainment, the United Nations agency said.

“The industry’s market strategy is having its desired impact,” Douglas Bettcher, director of WHO’s tobacco free initiative, said at a news briefing. “More and more girls are starting to light up. This is a serious red flag.”

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China scientists find use for cigarette butts

Public Health • • Tobacco & MarijuanaMay 14 10

Chemical extracts from cigarette butts—so toxic they kill fish—can be used to protect steel pipes from rusting, a study in China has found.

In a paper published in the American Chemical Society’s bi-weekly journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, the scientists in China said they identified nine chemicals after immersing cigarette butts in water.

They applied the extracts to N80, a type of steel used in oil pipes, and found that they protected the steel from rusting.

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Waterpipes are popular, especially with young men

Children's Health • • Tobacco & MarijuanaMay 11 10

Waterpipe smoking may be gaining in popularity, particularly among young men with some time and money to burn, a study of Canadian college-age adults suggests.

Waterpipes, or hookahs, have long been used for smoking tobacco in the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Asia, and “hookah lounges” have been increasingly popping up in the U.S. and other Western countries in recent years. Studies suggest they are particularly popular with college students.

In the new study, reported in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that among 871 Montreal residents between the ages of 18 and 24, 23 percent said they had used a waterpipe in the past year.

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Australia seeks plain packaging for tobacco products

Public Health • • Tobacco & MarijuanaApr 28 10

Australia will force tobacco companies to adopt plain packaging, removing all colour and branding logos within two years, in a world-first move aimed at reducing smoking-related deaths, government sources said.

Laws to be in force by January 2012 will prohibit tobacco companies from using any tobacco industry images and promotional text, as recommended by the World Health Organisation, the centre-left government will announce later on Wednesday.

The government believed the move, expected to be confirmed by Health Minister Nicola Roxon, would reduce the attractiveness of tobacco packaging and its potential to mislead particularly young people.

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U.S. FDA panel weighs menthol cigarette effects

Tobacco & MarijuanaMar 31 10

A U.S. advisory panel began weighing the effects of menthol flavoring in cigarettes on Tuesday as part of the government’s new powers over the tobacco industry.

Smoked by about 19 million Americans, minty menthol cigarettes are under attack from health advocates who say the taste can be more enticing and possibly addicting than regular cigarettes.

At the start of a two-day public meeting, a committee of outside experts that advises the Food and Drug Administration began hearing evidence of menthol’s impact on smokers’ use and health. The panel is due to issue a report by March 2011.

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Smoking, Obesity’s Toll on Life Span

Obesity • • Tobacco & MarijuanaMar 24 10

Smoking, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and obesity—four preventable risk factors—are robbing years from the lives of Americans.

The new findings—almost five years from men, and just over four years from women—suggest that disparities in these risk factors help explain why some ethnic and socioeconomic groups have lower life expectancies.

“Our results demonstrate that a small number of risk factors for chronic disease account for a noticeable part of the disparities in life expectancy in the U.S., with the largest contributions from smoking and high blood pressure,” say the researchers, led by Majid Ezzati, PhD, an associate professor of International Health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. The findings appear in the journal PLoS Medicine.

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New Technique Reduces Tobacco Smoke Damage to Lungs in Mice

Tobacco & MarijuanaMar 18 10

Researchers in Australia have demonstrated that blocking a certain protein can reduce or prevent cigarette smoke-induced lung inflammation in mice. Inflammation underlies the disease process of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and many other smoking-related ailments.

The findings have been published online ahead of print publication in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Cigarette smoking causes lung inflammation, which can lead to oxidative stress, emphysema, small airway fibrosis, mucus hypersecretion and progressive airflow limitation. Since the inflammatory reaction to cigarette smoke responds poorly to current anti-inflammatory treatments, there is intense research to identify more effective therapies for cigarette smoke-induce lung damage.

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Obama in great health but struggles with smoking

Tobacco & MarijuanaMar 01 10

U.S. President Barack Obama still struggles with a smoking habit but is in overall excellent health, his doctors said in a report after Obama underwent a routine medical exam on Sunday.

Obama, 48, visited the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland for his first checkup since taking office just over a year ago.

A team of doctors led by navy captain Dr. Jeff Kuhlman found Obama to be “fit for duty” and said he was likely to remain so for the rest of his presidency.

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Obama administration files appeal in tobacco case

Tobacco & MarijuanaFeb 22 10

The Obama administration asked the Supreme Court on Friday to consider allowing the federal government to force tobacco companies to fund smoking cessation and public education programs, which could cost the industry billions of dollars.

The administration’s filed the appeal after a federal judge and an appeals court rejected the government’s attempt to impose such remedies on the industry as redress for violations under U.S. racketeering laws.

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U.S., Altria appeal tobacco ruling to high court

Public Health • • Tobacco & MarijuanaFeb 22 10

The government and the nation’s biggest cigarette maker separately asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to review a racketeering verdict against major cigarette makers that was upheld by an appeals court last year.

Altria Group Inc’s Philip Morris USA unit wants to overturn the verdict, while the government argues the appeals court wrongly denied the disgorgement of billions of dollars in ill-gotten gains by the tobacco industry.

In May, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed a trial judge’s verdict against the cigarette makers, finding they violated federal anti-racketeering laws by conspiring to lie about the dangers of smoking.

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Some Tips to Quit Smoking

Tobacco & MarijuanaJan 27 10

It is such a foul habit. It smells, burns holes in your clothes and furniture. Today’s cigarettes are stronger and more dangerous than the fifty’s and sixties. There are more chemicals in them than ever before. How can you stop? I know people who have smoked all their lives from their teens up to their sixties. How did they stop?

Smoking used to be “cool.” Especially for women. They had long beautiful cigarette holders they would put the cigarette in and there you go. They would hold out their arm and put up the little finger and they were considered lovely. Not so today. I haven’t seen a holder around in years.

Let’s stop smoking now you say. How easy it is for someone who has never smoked or who has quit smoking. Get real. It’s just not that easy. Once you start it’s extremely hard to stop. The longer you have smoked the harder it is to quit. Stop pouring money into these manufactures of cigarettes. Stop believing their ads. Enough is enough.

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Three Tips to Quit Smoking For Good

Tobacco & MarijuanaJan 27 10

Many people take the new year as a chance to quit smoking for good. Here are three ways and tips to help you quit smoking for good so that you never have to think about spending an exorbitant amount of money each year ruin your health again.

Quit With a Friend - Quitting with a friend is a good way to quit smoking for good because you have a mutual support system and someone you can lean on whenever one of you slips. Quitting with a friend simultaneously drastically increases your chances of quitting for good for the both of you because of the cooperative motivational factors.

Make it Official - Telling your friends and loved ones that you want to quit smoking for good earns you their support, but just as importantly holds you accountable for actually quitting. Tell them the specific date that you would like to quit and cut back as you approach that day until you smoke your last one. Your loved ones will certainly be very supportive and thank you for what you’re doing.

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Smoking Addiction – 4 of its Worst Results

Tobacco & MarijuanaJan 26 10

If you cannot seem to stop yourself from smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, then you may be suffering from smoking addiction. The serious outcome of smoking originated from the day you started the vice and will continue till you decide to quit.  The worst results of smoking are cancer and heart attack.  Aside from the two mentioned, there are still some dangers involved from smoking which will be discussed below.

Worst Results of Smoking

There isn’t just one worst result of smoking. In fact, there are several results you need to remember. These effects may just help you quit smoking entirely.

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U.S. makes progress in tobacco control, group says

Public Health • • Tobacco & MarijuanaJan 12 10

The U.S. government took major steps toward curbing tobacco use in 2009 but still needs to do more to fight tobacco-related illnesses that kill hundreds of thousands of Americans every year, the American Lung Association said on Tuesday.

The federal government earned a grade of “A” for giving the Food and Drug Administration power to regulate tobacco, including how companies market, manufacture and sell tobacco products, the advocacy group said in its annual report card on tobacco control.

The American Lung Association was a long-time advocate of granting FDA authority over tobacco. U.S. President Barack Obama signed the FDA tobacco legislation into law in June.

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Increased nicotine levels detected in those who light-up earlier

Tobacco & MarijuanaDec 03 09

People who smoke their first cigarette within minutes after waking up have much higher levels of cotinine, a by-product of nicotine when processed by the body, than those who wait to smoke, regardless of the number of cigarettes smoked.

“Since cotinine levels appear to reflect the risk of lung cancer, our results suggest that smokers who smoke immediately after waking may be especially at risk for lung cancer,” said researcher Joshua E. Muscat, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor of public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine. “These people may require a more intensive intervention than other smokers to help them quit smoking on a sustained or permanent basis.”

Results of this study are published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, as part of a special tobacco focus in the December issue.

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