Monday, February 28, 2011

Big Tobacco Company Whistleblower, Montana

tobacco company

One of the whistleblowers responsible for bringing down the major tobacco companies in the 90s is hitting five Montana cities in five days. Dr. Victor DeNoble worked for the largest tobacco supplier in the United States. DeNoble was allowed to break his sworn silence to the tobacco companies in 1994 telling congress the companies were lying about how lethal their products actually are.

“The seven executives, for the first time in history went on national television and swore in front of the world that nicotine’s not a drug and not addictive. They literally lied,” says DeNoble.

DeNoble speaks with 350,000 students annually. For the next week, he’s telling five Montana cities how research shows smokeless tobacco and smoked tobacco create heart disease, cancers, jaw and bone recession, black teeth, and other health ailments.

“If you took all the drugs together and added them up and the disease and the death from every other drug, all car accidents, AIDs, murders, they don’t even come to half the number of people that are going to die in this country from using tobacco products,” explains DeNoble.

Some Montana legislators currently want to lessen funds for educating Montanans on the harms of tobacco. DeNoble says Montana shows a 40% decline in people beginning to smoke. To cut funds now, he says, would reverse that progress.

“If you stop the funding, it will stay low for a while, and then like every other disease, it will creep back up. Three or four years from now, you’re having to redo all the tobacco control programs, and not only are you now having to treat people, now you’re doing prevention again,” comments DeNoble on what he says would happen if Montana lessens funding.

Tobacco companies continue to pay out an estimated $500-700 billion for damages caused by their products.

DeNoble speaks again in Kalispell on Monday, and then speaks in Butte, Helena, Billings, and Bozeman over the next five days.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tobacco Free Zone

tobacco free
The University of Montana Western campus in Dillon will go tobacco free on Aug. 1, following a trend that is sweeping across the country.

Chancellor Dick Storey recently approved a measure that will bar cigarette smoking, chewing tobacco and any other tobacco products throughout the campus. He said it is following rules put in place at other Montana colleges.

"We're the last of the UM campuses to do this," he said.

The change came after more than two years of study by two campus groups. The chancellor's committee formed last fall made the recommendation after reviewing numerous studies that documented the health risks of tobacco, said Lynn Weltzien, a committee member and director of campus counseling.

She said the primary goal of the policy is to protect the health of everyone on the Western campus.

"We want people to be able to come to this as a workplace or taking classes without feeling they are put at risk," she said. "The data shows that whether you're indoors, outdoors, breathing the smoke directly or it's third hand later on ... this is what's making people sick."

The policy bars any use of tobacco on campus. However, Storey said the sidewalk on Atlantic Street along the west side of campus is off campus and not part of the ban.

Western's policy is also less restrictive than a ban recently imposed at Montana Tech in that it doesn't bar people from smoking inside their vehicles on campus.

"It just didn't seem right to tell people what to do in their private vehicle," Storey said.

People on campus can have tobacco on their possession as long as it's not used. The measure takes effect Aug. 1.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cigar Smoking Is Allowed

cigar smoking

A sleeve of pearl-white smoke rolls from Theresa Strachila’s mouth as the bartender brings over a jug of ice water. In the dim light, a group of students sinks into leather couches and wingback chairs, lit cigars between their fingers. Tiny stacks of tapped ash fill the oversized ashtrays like ruins. Outside, car lights cut across the plate-glass windows fronting Boston’s North Street.

“There’s a mystique about the club,” says Strachila. “I get emails all the time saying, ‘I don’t know if you’re an exclusive club, but can I please join?’ Or, ‘I don’t smoke cigars very well, but here are my qualifications.’ I’m like, no, please come, there aren’t any applications.”

BU’s Cigar Aficionado Society is one of the school’s 400 or so student clubs, and at 10 years old, among its longest running. And despite the tradition-bound and ancient activity of smoking, the group is seen as one of the University’s quirkiest. At the semiannual Student Activities Expo, it’s the table that gets the most double takes, and school tour guides are known to single it out to prospective students.

On a recent Friday evening at Churchill’s Lounge, near Faneuil Hall, cigars are slipped from cellophane wrappers, clipped, and lit, a constellation of orange suns glowing through mist. The conversation is as thick as the cheap smokes, swirling around such topics as the origin of brandy, the disparity in quality of BU dorms, the University’s printing quota, and concerns over finding work. In a box on the table, club president Strachila (below) fingers out a San Cristobal, a boutique cigar handcrafted in Nicaragua by José “Pepin” Garcia, and hands the stick to a visitor. She’s also brought a box of Ashton Aged Maduros, a medium-bodied smoke with Dominican-grown leaf.

“I enjoy the flavor and the taste,” she says. “I like that smoking a cigar is a communal event. A good cigar takes an hour to smoke. You enjoy it, you enjoy the company of people around you. It’s not like a cigarette, where you go outside for 10 minutes. You’re able to develop conversations more.”

Strachila’s love of cigars was born during a summer-abroad trip to Nicaragua in high school, which included a visit to a village where cigars were hand-rolled. Cigar smokers often talk about the intimate connection between smoker and maker that spans geography and culture. As a BU freshman, Strachila knew she wanted to join the club, but admits she was intimidated.

“I dragged two friends with me, and we came to a meeting and really enjoyed it,” she recalls. “I liked the social nature. It was an eclectic group of people with different opinions. It’s a good way to meet people you don’t live with.”

Today, Strachila estimates that there are 10 or so regulars, with 45 people on the mailing list. Members hail from all over the University, from the College of Arts & Sciences to the School of Management. Students from other local colleges drop by, too, she says. The club always gathers at Churchill’s, one of only a handful of cigar bars still left in the city (the Boston Health Commission has ordered them all shut by 2018 and banned the opening of new ones). The group also puts on formal events at the lounge and organizes trips to Suffolk Downs, with stops at local tobacconists. Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore has been known to show up for a stogie.

“The cigar club is one of the last social things you can do at a university where you can just meet people without any real goal to accomplish at the end of the night,” says club treasurer Dan Loperfido, a philosophy major. “We’re not raising money, we’re not putting this on a résumé.”

The club attracts more males than females, something members would like to change. Of the 10 students smokers who showed up this evening, 4 were women. “My first meeting, I was the only girl,” Strachila says. “It’s associated with men. It’s seen as not feminine to smoke a cigar.”

“I come every week,” she says, rolling a San Cristobal between her fingers and shooting out smoke rings. “I like the people. It’s kind of like a cult, but a welcoming cult. Anyone who wants to join, can.”

The club traditionally does “monologues” at some point during the evening, where group members introduce themselves, talk about something on their mind, and describe aspects of the cigar they’re smoking. Another feature of the outfit is that the leadership earns the opportunity to work the bar at Churchill’s. Both Loperfido and Strachila make extra cash doing it a couple of nights a week. It works out for both parties, since the students already know about cigars and are familiar with Churchill’s policies and the selection in its humidor.

No one is more pleased about the growth of the Cigar Aficionado Society than Drinnan Thornton, a bartender at Churchill’s. It’s his baby. He started the club when he was a freshman. Like Loperfido, he was a philosophy major, a course of study that seems to fit well with puffing on a stogie. “Smoking a cigar lends itself very well to just thinking and ruminating about the world, without a doubt,” he says.

Thornton started the club after looking for something to do in the city over Thanksgiving break his first year at BU. He and a friend ended up at L. J. Peretti Company’s Cigar Shop near Boston Common and bought a couple of cheap smokes on a lark. Thornton fell in love. Next semester, he and some friends launched the group, and were eventually welcomed by Churchill’s, which doesn’t impose a cutting fee. He points out that contrary to popular perception, cigars are not prohibitively expensive. “You can still get a premium hand-rolled cigar for $5, and you can take an hour and enjoy your life.”

“The club is good for college students,”adds Thornton, who is also a residence hall director at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. “You’re in such an insular community. A lot of students don’t leave campus all week, and this can get them out and into the city, even though it’s a 20-minute train ride. In fact, that should be part of the allure. It makes it feel like more of an occasion: I’m going to go have a cigar, not just step outside.”

Thornton is the first to admit that smoking cigars is not a healthy pursuit, but neither is wolfing down burgers and pizza or pounding Four Loko, he says. The cigar club at least offers students a socially safe environment.

“You don’t have to get shit-faced to socialize in college,” he says. “You come here, you learn how to interact, to be kind and respectful, and to have good conversation. Now that’s a skill you can use later in life. Trying to figure out how to get a girl drunk at a frat party so you can make out with her—well, that’s just not going to be applicable down the road. No one smokes a cigar and then decides to get naked and run through traffic. And when was the last time you saw two cigars smokers say, ‘Ef you, let’s brawl!’”

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cigarettes Taxes Rises Again In State Massachusetts

cigarettes taxes
An anti-smoking coalition called Tobacco Free Massachusetts has made increasing the excise tax by $1.25 per pack one of its top legislative priorities in 2011.

State voters repealed the 6.25 percent sales tax on alcohol in a November ballot question. Now, health care advocates are pushing for a 50 percent hike in the excise tax on discount cigarettes.

An anti-smoking coalition called Tobacco Free Massachusetts has made increasing the excise tax on cigarettes by $1.25 per pack one of its top legislative priorities this year, and 28 lawmakers have signed on.

Currently, the state collects $2.51 in excise tax on every pack of cigarettes sold here. The proposed increase would bring the tax to $3.76 per pack.

During the last two-year legislative session, Gov. Deval Patrick approved a $1.51 hike in the excise tax on cheap cigarettes, bringing it to $2.51.

Tobacco Free Massachusetts says another big boost in the tax would generate $90 million in new revenues for the state.

The group held a briefing for lawmakers last week at the State House, but since the House and Senate were not in session, only staffers attended.

The event included speakers from public health organizations from around the state, and included remarks from Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach.

Auerbach, chairman of the state’s policy-setting Public Health Council, told The Patriot Ledger that while the council hasn’t developed its own legislative agenda yet, he would be willing to look at the proposal.

He also acknowledged that any new or higher taxes would be a hard sell this year.

“I think it’s a tough environment to consider taxation,” he said. “We’ve clearly heard that from legislators. But we’ll look over all the proposals.”

Gov. Deval Patrick has repeatedly said that his budget plan due Wednesday will not include new taxes. Asked if he would be open to the higher cigarette tax, Patrick spokeswoman Heather Johnson said, “The governor has been clear that he will not propose any new taxes this year.”

Asked if that applies to the second half of the two-year legislative session, Johnson said, “My prior comment stands.”

But the anti-tobacco coalition does have allies in the Legislature; 28 lawmakers have signed on to the bill as co-sponsors. None are from the South Shore.

A spokesman for Senate President Therese Murray said she hadn’t heard about the bill yet.

The Patrick administration failed in its attempt last session to impose the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax on candy, snacks, soda and other items considered unhealthy.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cigarettes Would Be Banned In Scotland

cigarettes ban

The proposed legislation follows the ban on smoking in public places and will force cigarettes "under the counter".

They are normally displayed on shelves at points of sale in corner shops, general stores and supermarkets, but could disappear from view in less than two years.

The SNP administration is also proposing to ban the sale of packs of 10.

Retailers may also have to be licensed to sell tobacco and shops that flout the laws could face cautions and fines.

The proposals form part of a three-year, £9-million drive to discourage young people from smoking and to "denormalise" the habit.

The moves come two years after Scotland became the first part of the UK to ban smoking in public places, and six months after the legal age for buying cigarettes was raised to 18. Pro-smoking groups said the plans would not reduce smoking rates in younger age groups.

Labour plans moves at Westminster for England and Wales, as well as tougher controls on cigarette vending machines. Shona Robison, the public health minister minister, told MSPs on Wednesday that although tobacco advertising was banned in 2002, there were concerns that shop displays were hindering efforts to curb smoking.

"Giving cigarettes pride of place in shops sits uncomfortably with our ambition to create a climate in which everything possible is done to dissuade people, particularly children and young people, from smoking," she said.

"The protection of children and young people from tobacco must be paramount and there are instances, and this is one, when the benefits to the public health of the nation must take precedence.

"In a nutshell, we want to do everything we can to denormalise smoking within society."

The minister said she recognised concern in the retail sector about banning displays, but said they were being used as a promotional tool.

Dr Richard Simpson, for Labour, welcomed the move and said there were worrying signs of a gender gap among young smokers, with 12 per cent of boys smoking at 15 and 18 per cent of girls. The NHS public health director said the action plan was the right package of "tough but sensible" measures to tackle smoking addiction.

Ash Scotland, the anti-smoking campaign, said promotional displays in shops were one of the last bastions of tobacco marketing.

But the proposals, to be introduced in 2009-10, were attacked by the smokers' rights group Forest which said they amounted to a "crude attempt to bully adult smokers into quitting".

A spokesman added: "We will soon be living in a country where pornographic magazines will be on display in shops and not cigarettes."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tobacco Verdict In Florida

philip morris usa
A Broward County jury today rejected requests by plaintiffs to award millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages against Philip Morris USA (PM USA) and instead awarded $86,000 in damages against the company (Hatziyannakis). Today’s decision came in the first Engle case of 2011 for PM USA following six consecutive defense verdicts in 2010.

The decision came in a trial of a so-called Engle progeny case following a 2006 Florida Supreme Court decision that decertified a class action but allowed former class action members to file individual lawsuits and rely on general findings from the first class action.

“Although the jury refused to give plaintiffs the award requested, the fact that plaintiffs obtained any award is the direct result of improper rulings that meant that the plaintiff did not have to prove his case,” said Murray Garnick, Altria Client Services senior vice president and associate general counsel, speaking on behalf of PM USA. “We will seek further review of this verdict because the court – in clear violation of Florida law and due process – allowed this plaintiff to rely on general findings by a prior jury that are unconnected to the facts in this case.”

“While we plan to seek further review of this decision, we do note that the jury allocated the majority of the responsibility to the plaintiff and also did not award punitive damages,” Garnick added.

Because the jury allocated 68% of the fault to the plaintiff, PM USA’s share of the compensatory damages is anticipated to be around $86,000. The jury found that there was no basis for punitive damages.

This decision came in Hatziyannakis v. Philip Morris USA.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cigarettes Ban Doesn't Works

smoking ban
That's according to a new report from the British and American-based think tank the Democracy Institute, which claims to unpick the arguments used to justify such bans.

It comes as the UK Government prepares to review the smoking ban for England - the review is due next year, three years after its introduction.

The report, called Are Public Smoking Bans Necessary, rejects claims of the hard evidence supporting the view that bans benefit health.

For example, it points to several reports that conflict assessments that health is damaged by exposure to secondhand smoke.

This includes the Economic Affairs Committee of the UK House of Lords, which concluded that the risks are "uncertain and unlikely to be large", based on testimonies from experts including Oxford epidemiologist Sir Richard Peto.

And it contradicts studies that say bans reduce rates of smoking overall. The Heath Survey for England, produced by the National Centre for Social Research and other agencies, found smoking actually grew among male smokers in the first year of the ban, from 23% to 24%.

The report also says ventilation can be a benefit, pointing to a study of smoking and non-smoking pubs in Canada.

The report says: "We conclude that none of the reasons offered in defense of public smoking bans provides unequivocal support for such bans."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Passive Smoking

passive smoking

Passive smoking is the inhalation of smoke, called secondhand smoke (SHS) or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), from tobacco products used by others. It occurs when tobacco smoke permeates any environment, causing its inhalation by people within that environment. Scientific evidence shows that exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke causes disease, disability, and death.

Passive smoking has played a central role in the debate over the harms and regulation of tobacco products. Since the early 1970s, the tobacco industry has been concerned about passive smoking as a serious threat to its business interests; harm to bystanders was perceived as a motivator for stricter regulation of tobacco products. Despite the awareness of results "strongly suggestive" of harms from secondhand smoke as early as the 1980s, the tobacco industry coordinated a scientific controversy with the aim of forestalling regulation of their products.:1242 Currently, the health risks of secondhand smoke are a matter of scientific consensus, and these risks have been one of the major motivations for smoking bans in workplaces and indoor public places, including restaurants, bars and night clubs.

Secondhand smoke causes many of the same diseases as direct smoking, including cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases. These diseases include:

* Cancer:
o General: overall increased risk; reviewing the evidence accumulated on a worldwide basis, the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded in 2004 that "Involuntary smoking (exposure to secondhand or 'environmental' tobacco smoke) is carcinogenic to humans."
o Lung cancer: the effect of passive smoking on lung cancer has been extensively studied. A series of studies from the USA from 1986–2003, the UK in 1998, Australia in 1997 and internationally in 2004 have consistently shown a significant increase in relative risk among those exposed to passive smoke.
o Breast cancer: The California Environmental Protection Agency concluded in 2005 that passive smoking increases the risk of breast cancer in younger, primarily premenopausal women by 70% and the US Surgeon General has concluded that the evidence is "suggestive," but still insufficient to assert such a causal relationship. In contrast, the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded in 2004 that there was "no support for a causal relation between involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke and breast cancer in never-smokers."
o Renal cell carcinoma (RCC): A recent study shows an increased RCC risk among never smokers with combined home/work exposure to passive smoking.
o Passive smoking does not appear to be associated with pancreatic cancer.
o Brain tumor: The risk in children increases significantly with higher amount of passive smoking, even if the mother doesn't smoke, thus not restricting risk to prenatal exposure during pregnancy.
* Ear, nose, and throat: risk of ear infections.
o Secondhand smoke exposure is associated with hearing loss in non-smoking adults.
* Circulatory system: risk of heart disease, reduced heart rate variability, higher heart rate.
o Epidemiological studies have shown that both active and passive cigarette smoking increase the risk of atherosclerosis.
* Lung problems:
o Risk of asthma.
* Cognitive impairment and dementia: Exposure to secondhand smoke may increase the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia in adults 50 and over.
* During pregnancy:
o Low birth weight, part B, ch. 3.
o Premature birth, part B, ch. 3 (Note that evidence of the causal link is only described as "suggestive" by the US Surgeon General in his 2006 report.)
o Recent studies comparing women exposed to Environmental Tobacco Smoke and non-exposed women, demonstrate that women exposed while pregnant have higher risks of delivering a child with congenital abnormalities, longer lengths, smaller head circumferences, and low birth weight.
* General:
o Worsening of asthma, allergies, and other conditions.
* Risk to children:]
o Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In his 2006 report, the US Surgeon General concludes: "The evidence is sufficient to infer a causal relationship between exposure to secondhand smoke and sudden infant death syndrome."
o Asthma
o Lung infections
o More severe illness with bronchiolitis, and worse outcome
o Increased risk of developing tuberculosis if exposed to a carrier
o Allergies
o Crohn's disease.
o Learning difficulties, developmental delays, and neurobehavioral effects. Animal models suggest a role for nicotine and carbon monoxide in neurocognitive problems.
o An increase in tooth decay (as well as related salivary biomarkers) has been associated with passive smoking in children.
o Increased risk of middle ear infections.
* Skin Disorder
o Childhood exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke is associated with an increased risk of the development of adult-onset Atopic dermatitis.
* Overall increased risk of death in both adults, where it is estimated to kill 53,000 nonsmokers per year, making it the 3rd leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and in children. Another research financed by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare and Bloomberg Philanthropies found that passive smoking causes about 603,000 death a year, which represents 1% of the world's death.

Epidemiological studies show that non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk for many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.

In 1992, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a review of available evidence on the relationship between secondhand smoke and heart disease, and estimated that passive smoking was responsible for 35,000 to 40,000 deaths per year in the United States in the early 1980s. The absolute risk increase of heart disease due to ETS was 2.2%, while the attributable risk percent was 23%.

Research using more exact measures of secondhand smoke exposure suggests that risks to nonsmokers may be even greater than this estimate. A British study reported that exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of heart disease among non-smokers by as much as 60%, similar to light smoking. Evidence also shows that inhaled sidestream smoke, the main component of secondhand smoke, is about four times more toxic than mainstream smoke, a fact that known to the tobacco industry since the 1980s, which kept its findings secret. Some scientists believe that the risk of passive smoking, in particular the risk of developing coronary heart diseases, may have been substantially underestimated.

A minority of epidemiologists find it hard to understand how environmental tobacco smoke, which is far more dilute than actively inhaled smoke, could have an effect that is such a large fraction of the added risk of coronary heart disease among active smokers. One proposed explanation is that secondhand smoke is not simply a diluted version of "mainstream" smoke, but has a different composition with more toxic substances per gram of total particulate matter. Passive smoking appears to be capable of precipitating the acute manifestations of cardio-vascular diseases (atherothrombosis) and may also have a negative impact on the outcome of patients who suffer acute coronary syndromes.

In 2004, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) reviewed all significant published evidence related to tobacco smoking and cancer. It concluded:

These meta-analyses show that there is a statistically significant and consistent association between lung cancer risk in spouses of smokers and exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke from the spouse who smokes. The excess risk is of the order of 20% for women and 30% for men and remains after controlling for some potential sources of bias and confounding.

Subsequent meta-analyses have confirmed these findings, and additional studies have found that high overall exposure to passive smoke even among people with non-smoking partners is associated with greater risks than partner smoking and is widespread in non-smokers.

The National Asthma Council of Australia cites studies showing that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is probably the most important indoor pollutant, especially around young children:

* Smoking by either parent, particularly by the mother, increases the risk of asthma in children.
* The outlook for early childhood asthma is less favourable in smoking households.
* Children with asthma who are exposed to smoking in the home generally have more severe disease.
* Many adults with asthma identify ETS as a trigger for their symptoms.
* Doctor-diagnosed asthma is more common among non-smoking adults exposed to ETS than those not exposed. Among people with asthma, higher ETS exposure is associated with a greater risk of severe attacks.

In France, passive smoking has been estimated to cause between 3,000 and 5,000 premature deaths per year, with the larger figure cited by Prime minister Dominique de Villepin during his announcement of a nationwide smoking ban: "That makes more than 13 deaths a day. It is an unacceptable reality in our country in terms of public health."

There is good observational evidence that smoke-free legislation reduces the number of hospital admissions for heart disease. In 2009 two studies in the United States confirmed the effectiveness of public smoking bans in preventing heart attacks. The first study, done at the University of California, San Francisco and funded by the National Cancer Institute, found a 15 percent decline in heart-attack hospitalizations in the first year after smoke-free legislation was passed, and 36 percent after three years. The second study, done at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, showed similar results. Overall, women, nonsmokers, and people under age 60 had the most heart attack risk reduction. Many of those benefiting were hospitality and entertainment industry workers.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization concluded in 2004 that there was sufficient evidence that secondhand smoke caused cancer in humans. Most experts believe that moderate, occasional exposure to secondhand smoke presents a small but measurable cancer risk to nonsmokers. The overall risk depends on the effective dose received over time. The risk level is higher if non-smokers spend many hours in an environment where cigarette smoke is widespread, such as a business where many employees or patrons are smoking throughout the day, or a residential care facility where residents smoke freely. The US Surgeon General, in his 2006 report, estimated that living or working in a place where smoking is permitted increases the non-smokers' risk of developing heart disease by 25–30% and lung cancer by 20–30%.

Environmental Tobacco Smoke can be evaluated either by directly measuring tobacco smoke pollutants found in the air or by using biomarkers, an indirect measure of exposure. As of 2005, Nicotine, cotinine, thiocyanates, and proteins are the most specific biological markers of tobacco smoke exposure.

* Cotinine
o Cotinine, the metabolite of Nicotine, is the preferred biomarker of Environmental Tobacco Smoke exposure. Typically, Cotinine is measured in the blood, saliva, and urine. Hair analysis has recently become a new, noninvasive measurement technique. Cotinine accumulates in hair during hair growth, which results in a measure of long-term, cumulative exposure to tobacco smoke.
o Urinary cotinine levels have been a reliable biomarker of tobacco exposure and have been used as a reference in many epidemiological studies. However, cotinine levels found in the urine only reflect exposure over the preceding 48 hours. Cotinine levels of the skin, such as the hair and nails, reflect tobacco exposure over the previous three months and are a more reliable biomarker.
o Cotinine is a much more reliable biomarker of Environmental Tobacco Smoke than surveys. Certain groups of people are reluctant to disclose their smoking status and exposure to tobacco smoke, especially pregnant women and parents of young children. This is due to their smoking being socially unacceptable. Also, recall of tobacco smoke exposure may be difficult. Cotinine measurements are therefore more reliable biomarkers.

In 2007, the Addictive Behaviors Journal found a positive correlation between secondhand tobacco smoke exposure and concentrations of nicotine and/or biomarkers of nicotine in the body. A significant amount of biological levels of nicotine from secondhand smoke exposure were equivalent to nicotine levels from active smoking and levels that are associated with behavior changes due to nicotine consumption.

A 2004 study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization concluded that nonsmokers are exposed to the same carcinogens as active smokers. Sidestream smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including 69 known carcinogens. Of special concern are polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines, and aromatic amines, such as 4-Aminobiphenyl, all known to be highly carcinogenic. Mainstream smoke, sidestream smoke, and secondhand smoke contain largely the same components, however the concentration varies depending on type of smoke. Several well-established carcinogens have been shown by the tobacco companies' own research to be present at higher concentrations in sidestream smoke than in mainstream smoke.

Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) has been shown to produce more particulate-matter (PM) pollution than an idling low-emission diesel engine. In an experiment conducted by the Italian National Cancer Institute, three cigarettes were left smoldering, one after the other, in a 60 m³ garage with a limited air exchange. The cigarettes produced PM pollution exceeding outdoor limits, as well as PM concentrations up to 10-fold that of the idling engine.

Tobacco smoke exposure has immediate and substantial effects on blood and blood vessels in a way that increases the risk of a heart attack, particularly in people already at risk. Exposure to tobacco smoke for 30 minutes significantly reduces coronary flow velocity reserve in healthy nonsmokers.

Pulmonary emphysema can be induced in rats through acute exposure to sidestream tobacco smoke (30 cigarettes per day) over a period of 45 days. Degranulation of mast cells contributing to lung damage has also been observed.

The term "third-hand smoke" was recently coined to identify the residual tobacco smoke contamination that remains after the cigarette is extinguished and secondhand smoke has cleared from the air. Preliminary research suggests that byproducts of thirdhand smoke may pose a health risk, though the magnitude of risk, if any, remains unknown.

In 2008, there were more than 161,000 deaths attributed to lung cancer in the United States. Of these deaths, an estimated 10% to 15% were caused by factors other than first-hand smoking; equivalent to 16,000 to 24,000 deaths annually. Slightly more than half of the lung cancer deaths caused by factors other than first-hand smoking were found in nonsmokers. Lung cancer in nonsmokers may well be considered one of the most common cancer mortalities in the United States. Clinical epidemiology of lung cancer has linked the primary factors closely tied to lung cancer in nonsmokers as exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, carcinogens including radon, and other indoor air pollutants.

Recent major surveys conducted by the U.S. National Cancer Institute and Centers for Disease Control have found widespread public belief that secondhand smoke is harmful. In both 1992 and 2000 surveys, more than 80% of respondents agreed with the statement that secondhand smoke was harmful. A 2001 study found that 95% of adults agreed that secondhand smoke was harmful to children, and 96% considered tobacco-industry claims that secondhand smoke was not harmful to be untruthful.

A 2007 Gallup poll found that 56% of respondents felt that secondhand smoke was "very harmful", a number that has held relatively steady since 1997. Another 29% believe that secondhand smoke is "somewhat harmful"; 10% answered "not too harmful", while 5% said "not at all harmful".

As part of its attempt to prevent or delay tighter regulation of smoking, the tobacco industry funded a number of scientific studies and, where the results cast doubt on the risks associated with passive smoking, sought wide publicity for those results. The industry also funded libertarian and conservative think tanks, such as the Cato Institute in the United States and the Institute of Public Affairs in Australia which criticised both scientific research on passive smoking and policy proposals to restrict smoking. These industry-wide coordinated activities constitute one of the earliest expressions of corporate denialism. Today, not all criticism comes from the tobacco industry or its front groups: building up on the desinformation spread by the tobacco industry, a tobacco denialism movement has emerged, sharing many characteristics of other forms of denialism, such as HIV-AIDS denialism.

A 2003 study by Enstrom and Kabat, published in the British Medical Journal, argued that the harms of passive smoking had been overstated. Their analysis reported no statistically significant relationship between passive smoking and lung cancer, though the accompanying editorial noted that "they may overemphasise the negative nature of their findings."This paper was widely promoted by the tobacco industry as evidence that the harms of passive smoking were unproven. The American Cancer Society (ACS), whose database Enstrom and Kabat used to compile their data, criticized the paper as "neither reliable nor independent", stating that scientists at the ACS had repeatedly pointed out serious flaws in Enstrom and Kabat's methodology prior to publication. Notably, the study had failed to identify a comparison group of "unexposed" persons.

Enstrom's ties to the tobacco industry also drew scrutiny; in a 1997 letter to Philip Morris, Enstrom requested a "substantial research commitment... in order for me to effectively compete against the large mountain of epidemiologic data and opinions that already exist regarding the health effects of ETS and active smoking." In a US racketeering lawsuit against tobacco companies, the Enstrom and Kabat paper was cited by the US District Court as "a prime example of how nine tobacco companies engaged in criminal racketeering and fraud to hide the dangers of tobacco smoke." The Court found that the study had been funded and managed by the Center for Indoor Air Research, a tobacco industry front group tasked with "offsetting" damaging studies on passive smoking, as well as by Phillip Morris who stated that Ernstrom's work was "clearly litigation-oriented." Enstrom has defended the accuracy of his study against what he terms "illegitimate criticism by those who have attempted to suppress and discredit it."

A 1998 report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) on environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) found "weak evidence of a dose-response relationship between risk of lung cancer and exposure to spousal and workplace ETS."

In March 1998, before the study was published, reports appeared in the media alleging that the IARC and the World Health Organization (WHO) were suppressing information. The reports, appearing in the British Sunday Telegraph and The Economist, among other sources, alleged that the WHO withheld from publication of its own report that supposedly failed to prove an association between passive smoking and a number of other diseases (lung cancer in particular).

In response, the WHO issued a press release stating that the results of the study had been "completely misrepresented" in the popular press and were in fact very much in line with similar studies demonstrating the harms of passive smoking.The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in October of the same year. An accompanying editorial summarized:

When all the evidence, including the important new data reported in this issue of the Journal, is assessed, the inescapable scientific conclusion is that ETS is a low-level lung carcinogen.

With the release of formerly classified tobacco industry documents through the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, it was found that the controversy over the WHO's alleged suppression of data had been engineered by Philip Morris, British American Tobacco, and other tobacco companies in an effort to discredit scientific findings which would harm their business interests. A WHO inquiry, conducted after the release of the tobacco-industry documents, found that this controversy was generated by the tobacco industry as part of its larger campaign to cut the WHO's budget, distort the results of scientific studies on passive smoking, and discredit the WHO as an institution. This campaign was carried out using a network of ostensibly independent front organizations and international and scientific experts with hidden financial ties to the industry.

The passive smoking issue poses a serious economic threat to the tobacco industry. It has broadened the definition of smoking beyond a personal habit to something with a social impact. In a confidential 1978 report, the tobacco industry described increasing public concerns about passive smoking as "the most dangerous development to the viability of the tobacco industry that has yet occurred." In United States of America v. Philip Morris et al., the District Court for the District of Columbia found that the tobacco industry "... recognized from the mid-1970s forward that the health effects of passive smoking posed a profound threat to industry viability and cigarette profits," and that the industry responded with "efforts to undermine and discredit the scientific consensus that ETS causes disease."

Accordingly, the tobacco industry have developed several strategies to minimize its impact on their business:

* The industry has sought to position the passive smoking debate as essentially concerned with civil liberties and smokers' rights rather than with health, by funding groups such as FOREST.
* Funding bias in research; in all reviews of the effects of passive smoking on health published between 1980 and 1995, the only factor associated with concluding that passive smoking is not harmful was whether an author was affiliated with the tobacco industry. However, not all studies that failed to find evidence of harm were by industry-affiliated authors.
* Delaying and discrediting legitimate research (see for an example of how the industry attempted to discredit Hirayama's landmark study, and for an example of how it attempted to delay and discredit a major Australian report on passive smoking)
* Promoting "good epidemiology" and attacking so-called junk science (a term popularised by industry lobbyist Steven Milloy): attacking the methodology behind research showing health risks as flawed and attempting to promote sound science . Ong & Glantz (2001) cite an internal Phillip Morris memo giving evidence of this as company policy
* Creation of outlets for favorable research. In 1989, the tobacco industry established the International Society of the Built Environment, which published the peer-reviewed journal Indoor and Built Environment. This journal did not require conflict-of-interest disclosures from its authors. With documents made available through the Master Settlement, it was found that the executive board of the society and the editorial board of the journal were dominated by paid tobacco-industry consultants. The journal published a large amount of material on passive smoking, much of which was "industry-positive".

Citing the tobacco industry's production of biased research and efforts to undermine scientific findings, the 2006 U.S. Surgeon General's report concluded that the industry had "attempted to sustain controversy even as the scientific community reached consensus... industry documents indicate that the tobacco industry has engaged in widespread activities... that have gone beyond the bounds of accepted scientific practice." The U.S. District Court, in U.S.A. v. Philip Morris et al., found that "...despite their internal acknowledgment of the hazards of secondhand smoke, Defendants have fraudulently denied that ETS causes disease."[

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Smoking Culture

smoking culture

Smoking is a practice in which a substance, most commonly tobacco or cannabis, is burned and the smoke is tasted or inhaled. This is primarily practised as a route of administration for recreational drug use, as combustion releases the active substances in drugs such as nicotine and makes them available for absorption through the lungs. It can also be done as a part of rituals, to induce trances and spiritual enlightenment.

The most common method of smoking today is through cigarettes, primarily industrially manufactured but also hand-rolled from loose tobacco and rolling paper. Other smoking implements include pipes, cigars, bidis, hookahs, vaporizers and bongs. It has been suggested that smoking-related disease kills one half of all long term smokers but these diseases may also be contracted by non-smokers. A 2007 report states that about 4.9 million people worldwide each year die as a result of smoking.

Smoking is one of the most common forms of recreational drug use. Tobacco smoking is today by far the most popular form of smoking and is practiced by over one billion people in the majority of all human societies. Less common drugs for smoking include cannabis and opium. Some of the substances are classified as hard narcotics, like heroin, but the use of these is very limited as they are often not commercially available.

The history of smoking can be dated to as early as 5000 BC, and has been recorded in many different cultures across the world. Early smoking evolved in association with religious ceremonies; as offerings to deities, in cleansing rituals or to allow shamans and priests to alter their minds for purposes of divination or spiritual enlightenment. After the European exploration and conquest of the Americas, the practice of smoking tobacco quickly spread to the rest of the world. In regions like India and Subsaharan Africa, it merged with existing practices of smoking (mostly of cannabis). In Europe, it introduced a new type of social activity and a form of drug intake which previously had been unknown.

Perception surrounding smoking has varied over time and from one place to another; holy and sinful, sophisticated and vulgar, a panacea and deadly health hazard. Only relatively recently, and primarily in industrialized Western countries, has smoking come to be viewed in a decidedly negative light. Today medical studies have proven that smoking tobacco is among the leading causes of many diseases such as lung cancer, heart attacks, COPD, erectile dysfunction and can also lead to birth defects. The inherent health hazards of smoking have caused many countries to institute high taxes on tobacco products and anti-smoking campaigns are launched every year in an attempt to curb tobacco smoking.

The history of smoking dates back to as early as 5000 BC in shamanistic rituals. Many ancient civilizations, such as the Babylonians, Indians and Chinese, burnt incense as a part of religious rituals, as did the Israelites and the later Catholic and Orthodox Christian churches. Smoking in the Americas probably had its origins in the incense-burning ceremonies of shamans but was later adopted for pleasure, or as a social tool. The smoking of tobacco, as well as various hallucinogenic drugs was used to achieve trances and to come into contact with the spirit world.

Substances such as Cannabis, clarified butter (ghee), fish offal, dried snake skins and various pastes molded around incense sticks dates back at least 2000 years. Fumigation (dhupa) and fire offerings (homa) are prescribed in the Ayurveda for medical purposes, and have been practiced for at least 3,000 years while smoking, dhumrapana (literally "drinking smoke"), has been practiced for at least 2,000 years. Before modern times these substances have been consumed through pipes, with stems of various lengths or chillums.

Cannabis smoking was common in the Middle East before the arrival of tobacco, and was early on a common social activity that centered around the type of water pipe called a hookah. Smoking, especially after the introduction of tobacco, was an essential component of Muslim society and culture and became integrated with important traditions such as weddings, funerals and was expressed in architecture, clothing, literature and poetry.

Cannabis smoking was introduced to Sub-Saharan Africa through Ethiopia and the east African coast by either Indian or Arab traders in the 13th century or earlier and spread on the same trade routes as those that carried coffee, which originated in the highlands of Ethiopia. It was smoked in calabash water pipes with terra cotta smoking bowls, apparently an Ethiopian invention which was later conveyed to eastern, southern and central Africa.

At the time of the arrivals of Reports from the first European explorers and conquistadors to reach the Americas tell of rituals where native priests smoked themselves into such high degrees of intoxication that it is unlikely that the rituals were limited to just tobacco.

n 1612, six years after the settlement of Jamestown, John Rolfe was credited as the first settler to successfully raise tobacco as a cash crop. The demand quickly grew as tobacco, referred to as "golden weed", reviving the Virginia join stock company from its failed gold expeditions. In order to meet demands from the old world, tobacco was grown in succession, quickly depleting the land. This became a motivator to settle west into the unknown continent, and likewise an expansion of tobacco production. Indentured servitude became the primary labor force up until Bacon's Rebellion, from which the focus turned to slavery. This trend abated following the American revolution as slavery became regarded as unprofitable. However the practice was revived in 1794 with the invention of the cotton gin.

A Frenchman named Jean Nicot (from whose name the word nicotine is derived) introduced tobacco to France in 1560. From France tobacco spread to England. The first report of a smoking Englishman is of a sailor in Bristol in 1556, seen "emitting smoke from his nostrils". Like tea, coffee and opium, tobacco was just one of many intoxicants that was originally used as a form of medicine. Tobacco was introduced around 1600 by French merchants in what today is modern-day Gambia and Senegal. At the same time caravans from Morocco brought tobacco to the areas around Timbuktu and the Portuguese brought the commodity (and the plant) to southern Africa, establishing the popularity of tobacco throughout all of Africa by the 1650s.

Soon after its introduction to the Old World, tobacco came under frequent criticism from state and religious leaders. Murad IV, sultan of the Ottoman Empire 1623-40 was among the first to attempt a smoking ban by claiming it was a threat to public moral and health. The Chinese emperor Chongzhen issued an edict banning smoking two years before his death and the overthrow of the Ming dynasty. Later, the Manchu of the Qing dynasty, who were originally a tribe of nomadic horse warriors, would proclaim smoking "a more heinous crime than that even of neglecting archery". In Edo period Japan, some of the earliest tobacco plantations were scorned by the shogunate as being a threat to the military economy by letting valuable farmland go to waste for the use of a recreational drug instead of being used to plant food crops.

Religious leaders have often been prominent among those who considered smoking immoral or outright blasphemous. In 1634 the Patriarch of Moscow forbade the sale of tobacco and sentenced men and women who flouted the ban to have their nostrils slit and their backs whipped until skin came off their backs. The Western church leader Urban VII likewise condemned smoking in a papal bull of 1590. Despite many concerted efforts, restrictions and bans were almost universally ignored. When James I of England, a staunch anti-smoker and the author of a A Counterblaste to Tobacco, tried to curb the new trend by enforcing a whopping 4000% tax increase on tobacco in 1604, it proved a failure, as London had some 7,000 tobacco sellers by the early 17th century. Later, scrupulous rulers would realise the futility of smoking bans and instead turned tobacco trade and cultivation into lucrative government monopolies.

By the mid-17th century every major civilization had been introduced to tobacco smoking and in many cases had already assimilated it into the native culture, despite the attempts of many rulers to stamp the practice out with harsh penalties or fines. Tobacco, both product and plant, followed the major trade routes to major ports and markets, and then on into the hinterlands. The English language term smoking was coined in the late 18th century, before then the practice was referred to as drinking smoke.

Tobacco and cannabis were used in Sub-Saharan Africa, much like elsewhere in the world, to confirm social relations, but also created entirely new ones. In what is today Congo, a society called Bena Diemba ("People of Cannabis") was organized in the late 19th century in Lubuko ("The Land of Friendship"). The Bena Diemba were collectivist pacifists that rejected alcohol and herbal medicines in favor of cannabis.

The growth remained stable until the American Civil War in 1860s, from which the primary labor force transition from slavery to share cropping. This compounded with a change in demand, lead to the industrialization of tobacco production with the cigarette. James Bonsack, a craftsman, in 1881 produce a machine to speed the production in cigarettes.

In the 19th century the practice of smoking opium became common. Previously it had only been eaten, and then primarily for its medical properties. A massive increase in opium smoking in China was more or less directly instigated by the British trade deficit with Qing dynasty China. As a way to amend this problem, the British began exporting large amounts of opium grown in the Indian colonies. The social problems and the large net loss of currency led to several Chinese attempts to stop the imports which eventually culminated in the Opium Wars.

Opium smoking later spread with Chinese immigrants and spawned many infamous opium dens in China towns around South and Southeast Asia and Europe. In the latter half of the 19th century, opium smoking became popular in the artistic community in Europe, especially Paris; artists' neighborhoods such as Montparnasse and Montmartre became virtual "opium capitals". While opium dens that catered primarily to emigrant Chinese continued to exist in China Towns around the world, the trend among the European artists largely abated after the outbreak of World War I. The consumption of Opium abated in China during the Cultural revolution in the 1960s and 1970s.

With the modernization of cigarette production compounded with the increased life expectancies during the 1920s, adverse health effects began to become more prevalent. In Germany, anti-smoking groups, often associated with anti-liquor groups, first published advocacy against the consumption of tobacco in the journal Der Tabakgegner (The Tobacco Opponent) in 1912 and 1932. In 1929, Fritz Lickint of Dresden, Germany, published a paper containing formal statistical evidence of a lung cancer–tobacco link. During the Great depression Adolf Hitler condemned his earlier smoking habit as a waste of money, and later with stronger assertions. This movement was further strengthened with Nazi reproductive policy as women who smoked were viewed as unsuitable to be wives and mothers in a German family.

The movement in Nazi Germany did reach across enemy lines during the Second World War, as anti-smoking groups quickly lost popular support. By the end of the Second World War, American cigarette manufactures quickly reentered the German black market. Illegal smuggling of tobacco became prevalent, and leaders of the Nazi anti-smoking campaign were assassinated. As part of the Marshall Plan, the United States shipped free tobacco to Germany; with 24,000 tons in 1948 and 69,000 tons in 1949. Per capita yearly cigarette consumption in post-war Germany steadily rose from 460 in 1950 to 1,523 in 1963. By the end of the 20th century, anti-smoking campaigns in Germany were unable to exceed the effectiveness of the Nazi-era climax in the years 1939–41 and German tobacco health research was described by Robert N. Proctor as "muted".

Richard Doll in 1950 published research in the British Medical Journal showing a close link between smoking and lung cancer. Four years later, in 1954 the British Doctors Study, a study of some 40 thousand doctors over 20 years, confirmed the suggestion, based on which the government issued advice that smoking and lung cancer rates were related. In 1964 the United States Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health likewise began suggesting the relationship between smoking and cancer, which confirmed its suggestions 20 years later in the 1980s.

As scientific evidence mounted in the 1980s, tobacco companies claimed contributory negligence as the adverse health effects were previously unknown or lacked substantial credibility. Health authorities sided with these claims up until 1998, from which they reversed their position. The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, originally between the four largest US tobacco companies and the Attorneys General of 46 states, restricted certain types of tobacco advertisement and required payments for health compensation; which later amounted to the largest civil settlement in United States history.

From 1965 to 2006, rates of smoking in the United States have declined from 42% to 20.8%. A significant majority of those who quit were professional, affluent men. Despite this decrease in the prevalence of consumption, the average number of cigarettes consumed per person per day increased from 22 in 1954 to 30 in 1978. This paradoxical event suggests that those who quit smoked less, while those who continued to smoke moved to smoke more light cigarettes. This trend has been paralleled by many industrialized nations as rates have either leveled-off or declined. In the developing world, however, tobacco consumption continues to rise at 3.4% in 2002. In Africa, smoking is in most areas considered to be modern, and many of the strong adverse opinions that prevail in the West receive much less attention. Today Russia leads as the top consumer of tobacco followed by Indonesia, Laos, Ukraine, Belarus, Greece, Jordan, and China. The World Health Organization has begun a program known as the Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) in order to reduce rates of consumption in the developing world.

In the early 1980s, organized international drug trafficking grew. However, compounded with overproduction and tighter legal enforcement for the illegal product, drug dealers decided to convert the powder to "crack" - a solid, smoke-able form of cocaine, that could be sold in smaller quantities, to more people. This trend abated in the 1990s as increased police action coupled with a robust economy deterred many potential candidates to forfeit or fail to take up the habit.

Recent years shows an increase in the consumption of vaporized heroin, methamphetamine and Phencyclidine (PCP). Along with a smaller number of psychedelic drugs such as DMT, 5-Meo-DMT, and Salvia divinorum

The most popular type of substance that is smoked is tobacco. There are many different tobacco cultivars which are made into a wide variety of mixtures and brands. Tobacco is often sold flavored, often with various fruit aromas, something which is especially popular for use with water pipes, such as hookahs. The second most common substance that is smoked is cannabis, made from the flowers or leaves of Cannabis sativa. The substance is considered illegal in most countries in the world and in those countries that tolerate public consumption, it is usually only pseudo-legal. Despite this, a considerable percentage of the adult population in many countries have tried it with smaller minorities doing it on a regular basis. Since cannabis is illegal or only tolerated in most jurisdictions, there is no industrial mass-production of cigarettes, meaning that the most common form of smoking is with hand-rolled cigarettes (often called joints) or with pipes. Water pipes are also fairly common, and when used for cannabis are called bongs.

A few other recreational drugs are smoked by smaller minorities. Most of these substances are controlled, and some are considerably more intoxicating than either tobacco or cannabis. These include crack cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and PCP. A small number of psychedelic drugs are also smoked, including DMT, 5-Meo-DMT, and Salvia divinorum.
An elaborately decorated pipe.

Even the most primitive form of smoking requires tools of some sort to perform. This has resulted in a staggering variety of smoking tools and paraphernalia from all over the world. Whether tobacco, cannabis, opium or herbs, some form of receptacle is required along with a source of fire to light the mixture. The most common today is by far the cigarette, consisting of a tightly rolled tube of paper, which is usually manufactured industrially or rolled from loose tobacco, rolling papers which can include a filter. Other popular smoking tools are various pipes and cigars. A less common but increasingly popular form is through vaporizers, which operate using hot air convection by heating and delivering the substance without combustion; thereby decreasing health risks to the lungs.

Other than the actual smoking equipment, many other items are associated with smoking; cigarette cases, cigar boxes, lighters, matchboxes, cigarette holders, cigar holders, ashtrays, pipe cleaners, tobacco cutters, match stands, pipe tampers, cigarette companions and so on. Many of these have become valuable collector items and particularly ornate and antique items can fetch high prices at the finest auction houses.

An allegedly healthier alternative to smoking appeared in 2004 with the introduction of electronic cigarettes. These battery-operated, cigarette-like devices produce an aerosol intended to mimic the smoke from burning tobacco, delivering nicotine to the user without many of the other harmful substances released in tobacco smoke. Claims that electronic cigarettes are overall less harmful to use than real cigarettes are, however, disputed, as is their legal status in many countries.

Tobacco-related diseases are some of the biggest killers in the world today and are cited as one of the biggest causes of premature death in industrialized countries. In the United States about 500,000 deaths per year are attributed to smoking-related diseases and a recent study estimated that as much as 1/3 of China's male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking. Male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life, respectively. At least half of all lifelong smokers die earlier as a result of smoking.The risk of dying from lung cancer before age 85 is 22.1% for a male smoker and 11.9% for a female current smoker, in the absence of competing causes of death. The corresponding estimates for lifelong nonsmokers are a 1.1% probability of dying from lung cancer before age 85 for a man of European descent, and a 0.8% probability for a woman. Smoking one cigarette a day results in a risk of heart disease that is halfway between that of a smoker and a non-smoker. The non-linear dose response relationship is explained by smoking's effect on platelet aggregation.

Among the diseases that can be caused by smoking are vascular stenosis, lung cancer, heart attacks and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Many governments are trying to deter people from smoking with anti-smoking campaigns in mass media stressing the harmful long-term effects of smoking. Passive smoking, or secondhand smoking, which affects people in the immediate vicinity of smokers, is a major reason for the enforcement of smoking bans. This is a law enforced to stop individuals smoking in indoor public places, such as bars, pubs and restaurants. The idea behind this is to discourage smoking by making it more inconvenient, and to stop harmful smoke being present in enclosed public spaces. A common concern among legislators is to discourage smoking among minors and many states have passed laws against selling tobacco products to underage customers. Many developing countries have not adopted anti-smoking policies, leading some to call for anti-smoking campaigns and further education to explain the negative effects of ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke) in developing countries.[citation needed]

Despite the many bans, European countries still hold 18 of the top 20 spots, and according to the ERC, a market research company, the heaviest smokers are from Greece, averaging 3,000 cigarettes per person in 2007. Rates of smoking have leveled off or declined in the developed world but continue to rise in developing countries. Smoking rates in the United States have dropped by half from 1965 to 2006, falling from 42% to 20.8% in adults.

The effects of addiction on society vary considerably between different substances that can be smoked and the indirect social problems that they cause, in great part because of the differences in legislation and the enforcement of narcotics legislation around the world. Though nicotine is a highly addictive drug, its effects on cognition are not as intense or noticeable as other drugs such as, cocaine, amphetamines or any of the opiates (including heroin and morphine).[citation needed]

Smoking is a risk factor in Alzheimer's Disease. While smoking more than 15 cigarettes per day has been shown to worsen the symptoms of Crohn's Disease, smoking has been shown to actually lower the prevalence of ulcerative colitis.

Inhaling the vaporized gas form of substances into the lungs is a quick and very effective way of delivering drugs into the bloodstream (as the gas diffuses directly into the pulmonary vein, then into the heart and from there to the brain) and affects the user within less than a second of the first inhalation. The lungs consist of several million tiny bulbs called alveoli that altogether have an area of over 70 m² (about the area of a tennis court). This can be used to administer useful medical as well as recreational drugs such as aerosols, consisting of tiny droplets of a medication, or as gas produced by burning plant material with a psychoactive substance or pure forms of the substance itself. Not all drugs can be smoked, for example the sulphate derivative that is most commonly inhaled through the nose, though purer free base forms of substances can, but often require considerable skill in administering the drug properly. The method is also somewhat inefficient since not all of the smoke will be inhaled. The inhaled substances trigger chemical reactions in nerve endings in the brain due to being similar to naturally occurring substances such as endorphins and dopamines, which are associated with sensations of pleasure. The result is what is usually referred to as a "high" that ranges between the mild stimulus caused by nicotine to the intense euphoria caused by heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines.

Inhaling smoke into the lungs, no matter the substance, has adverse effects on one's health. The incomplete combustion produced by burning plant material, like tobacco or cannabis, produces carbon monoxide, which impairs the ability of blood to carry oxygen when inhaled into the lungs. There are several other toxic compounds in tobacco that constitute serious health hazards to long-term smokers from a whole range of causes; vascular abnormalities such as stenosis, lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes, impotence, low birth weight of infants born by smoking mothers. 8% of long-term smokers develop the characteristic set of facial changes known to doctors as smoker's face.

Most tobacco smokers begin during adolescence or early adulthood. Smoking has elements of risk-taking and rebellion, which often appeal to young people. The presence of high-status models and peers may also encourage smoking. Because teenagers are influenced more by their peers than by adults, attempts by parents, schools, and health professionals at preventing people from trying cigarettes are often unsuccessful.

Smokers often report that cigarettes help relieve feelings of stress. However, the stress levels of adult smokers are slightly higher than those of nonsmokers, adolescent smokers report increasing levels of stress as they develop regular patterns of smoking, and smoking cessation leads to reduced stress. Far from acting as an aid for mood control, nicotine dependency seems to exacerbate stress. This is confirmed in the daily mood patterns described by smokers, with normal moods during smoking and worsening moods between cigarettes. Thus, the apparent relaxant effect of smoking only reflects the reversal of the tension and irritability that develop during nicotine depletion. Dependent smokers need nicotine to remain feeling normal.

Psychologists such as Hans Eysenck have developed a personality profile for the typical smoker. Extraversion is the trait that is most associated with smoking, and smokers tend to be sociable, impulsive, risk taking, and excitement-seeking individuals. Although personality and social factors may make people likely to smoke, the actual habit is a function of operant conditioning. During the early stages, smoking provides pleasurable sensations (because of its action on the dopamine system) and thus serves as a source of positive reinforcement. After an individual has smoked for many years, the avoidance of withdrawal symptoms and negative reinforcement become the key motivations. Although smoking tobacco has long been seen as a universally addictive trait, it has been proven statistically that people take a varying amount of time to become dependent on the drug nicotine. In fact, the graph showing percentage of the "population showing addictive behaviour" vs "amount of nicotine taken" levels off before reaching 100% of the population, showing that a proportion of people never become dependent on nicotine at all.

However, because people who smoke are engaging in an activity that has negative effects on health, they tend to rationalize their behavior. In other words, they develop convincing, if not necessarily logical, reasons why smoking is acceptable for them to do. For example, a smoker could justify his or her behavior by concluding that everyone dies and so cigarettes do not actually change anything. Or a person could believe that smoking relieves stress or has other benefits that justify its risks. Smokers who need a cigarette first thing in the morning will often quote the positive effects, but will not accept that they awake feeling below normal levels of happiness (lower levels of dopamine) and merely smoke to return themselves to a "normal" level of happiness ("normal" level of dopamine).

Smoking, primarily of tobacco, is an activity that is practiced by some 1.1 billion people, and up to 1/3 of the adult population. The image of the smoker can vary considerably, but is very often associated, especially in fiction, with individuality and aloofness. Even so, smoking of both tobacco and cannabis can be a social activity which serves as a reinforcement of social structures and is part of the cultural rituals of many and diverse social and ethnic groups. Many smokers begin smoking in social settings and the offering and sharing of a cigarette is often an important rite of initiation or simply a good excuse to start a conversation with strangers in many settings; in bars, night clubs, at work or on the street. Lighting a cigarette is often seen as an effective way of avoiding the appearance of idleness or mere loitering. For adolescents, it can function as a first step out of childhood or as an act of rebellion against the adult world. Also, smoking can be seen as a sort of camaraderie. It has been shown that even opening a packet of cigarettes, or offering a cigarette to other people, can increase the level of dopamine (the "happy feeling") in the brain, and it is doubtless that people who smoke form relationships with fellow smokers, in a way that only proliferates the habit, particularly in countries where smoking inside public places has been made illegal. Other than recreational drug use, it can be used to construct identity and a development of self-image by associating it with personal experiences connected with smoking. The rise of the modern anti-smoking movement in the late 19th century did more than create awareness of the hazards of smoking; it provoked reactions of smokers against what was, and often still is, perceived as an assault on personal freedom and has created an identity among smokers as rebels or outcasts, apart from non-smokers:

"There is a new Marlboro land, not of lonesome cowboys, but of social-spirited urbanites, united against the perceived strictures of public health."

The importance of tobacco to soldiers was early on recognized as something that could not be ignored by commanders. By the 17th century allowances of tobacco were a standard part of the naval rations of many nations and by World War I cigarette manufacturers and governments collaborated in securing tobacco and cigarette allowances to soldiers in the field. It was asserted that regular use of tobacco while under duress would not only calm the soldiers, but allow them to withstand greater hardship. Until the mid-20th century, the majority of the adult population in many Western nations were smokers and the claims of anti-smoking activists were met with much skepticism, if not outright contempt. Today the movement has considerably more weight and evidence of its claims, but a considerable proportion of the population remains steadfast smokers.

Smoking has been accepted into culture, in various art forms, and has developed many distinct, and often conflicting or mutually exclusive, meanings depending on time, place and the practitioners of smoking. Pipe smoking, until recently one of the most common forms of smoking, is today often associated with solemn contemplation, old age and is often considered quaint and archaic. Cigarette smoking, which did not begin to become widespread until the late 19th century, has more associations of modernity and the faster pace of the industrialized world. Cigars have been, and still are, associated with masculinity, power and is an iconic image associated with the stereotypical capitalist. Smoking in public has for a long time been something reserved for men and when done by women has been associated with promiscuity. In Japan during the Edo period, prostitutes and their clients would often approach one another under the guise of offering a smoke and the same was true for 19th century Europe.

The earliest depictions of smoking can be found on Classical Mayan pottery from around the 9th century. The art was primarily religious in nature and depicted deities or rulers smoking early forms of cigarettes.Soon after smoking was introduced outside of the Americas it began appearing in painting in Europe and Asia. The painters of the Dutch Golden Age were among the first to paint portraits of people smoking and still lifes of pipes and tobacco. For southern European painters of the 17th century, a pipe was much too modern to include in the preferred motifs inspired by mythology from Greek and Roman antiquity. At first smoking was considered lowly and was associated with peasants. Many early paintings were of scenes set in taverns or brothels. Later, as the Dutch Republic rose to considerable power and wealth, smoking became more common amongst the affluent and portraits of elegant gentlemen tastefully raising a pipe appeared. Smoking represented pleasure, transience and the briefness of earthly life as it, quite literally, went up in smoke. Smoking was also associated with representations of both the sense of smell and that of taste.

In the 18th century smoking became far more sparse in painting as the elegant practice of taking snuff became popular. Smoking a pipe was again relegated to portraits of lowly commoners and country folk and the refined sniffing of shredded tobacco followed by sneezing was rare in art. When smoking appeared it was often in the exotic portraits influenced by Orientalism. Many proponents of post-colonial theory controversially believe this portrayal was a means of projecting an image of European superiority over its colonies and a perception of the male dominance of a feminized Orient. They believe the theme of the exotic and alien "Other" escalated in the 19th century, fueled by the rise in popularity of ethnology during the Enlightenment.

In the 19th century smoking was common as a symbol of simple pleasures; the pipe smoking "noble savage", solemn contemplation by Classical Roman ruins, scenes of an artists becoming one with nature while slowly toking a pipe. The newly empowered middle class also found a new dimension of smoking as a harmless pleasure enjoyed in smoking saloons and libraries. Smoking a cigarette or a cigar would also become associated with the bohemian, someone who shunned the conservative middle class values and displayed his contempts for conservatism. But this was a pleasure that was to be confined to a male world; women smokers were associated with prostitution and was not considered an activity in which proper ladies should involve themselves. It was not until the turn of the century that smoking women would appear in paintings and photos, giving a chic and charming impression. Impressionists like Vincent van Gogh, who was a pipe smoker himself, would also begin to associate smoking with gloom and fin-du-siècle fatalism.

While the symbolism of the cigarette, pipe and cigar respectively were consolidated in the late 19th century, it was not until the 20th century that artists began to use it fully; a pipe would stand for thoughtfulness and calm; the cigarette symbolized modernity, strength and youth, but also nervous anxiety; the cigar was a sign of authority, wealth and power. The decades following World War II, during the apex of smoking when the practice had still not come under fire by the growing anti-smoking movement, a cigarette casually tucked between the lips represented the young rebel, epitomized in actors like Marlon Brando and James Dean or mainstays of advertising like the Marlboro Man. It was not until the 1970s when the negative aspects of smoking began to appear; the unhealthy lower-class loser, reeking of cigarette smoke and lack of motivation and drive, especially in art inspired or commissioned by anti-smoking campaigns.

Ever since the era of silent films, smoking has had a major part in film symbolism. In the hard boiled film noir crime thrillers, cigarette smoke often frames characters and is frequently used to add an aura of mystique or even nihilism. One of the forerunners of this symbolism can be seen in Fritz Lang's Weimar era Dr Mabuse, der Spieler, 1922 (Dr Mabuse, the Gambler), where men mesmerized by card playing smoke cigarettes while gambling.

Female smokers in film were also early on associated with a type of sensuous and seductive sexuality, most notably personified by German film star Marlene Dietrich. Similarly, actors like Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn have been closely identified with their smoker persona, and some of their most famous portraits and roles have involved them being haloed by a mist of cigarette smoke. Hepburn often enhanced the glamour with a cigarette holder, most notably in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's. Smoking could also be used as a means to subvert censorship, as two cigarettes burning unattended in an ashtray was often used to 'suggest' sexual activity.

Since World War II, smoking has gradually become less frequent on screen as the obvious health hazards of smoking have become more widely known. With the anti-smoking movement gaining greater respect and influence, conscious attempts not to show smoking on screen are now undertaken in order to avoid encouraging smoking or giving it positive associations, particularly for family films. Smoking on screen is more common today among characters who are portrayed as anti-social or even criminal.[

Just as in other types of fiction, smoking has had an important place in literature and smokers are often portrayed as characters with great individuality, or outright eccentrics, something typically personified in one of the most iconic smoking literary figures of all, Sherlock Holmes. Other than being a frequent part of short stories and novels, smoking has spawned endless eulogies, praising its qualities and affirming the author's identity as a devoted smoker. Especially during the late 19th century and early 20th century, a panoply of books with titles like Tobacco: Its History and associations (1876), Cigarettes in Fact and Fancy (1906) and Pipe and Pouch: The Smokers Own Book of Poetry (1905) were written in the UK and the US. The titles were written by men for other men and contained general tidbits and poetic musings about the love for tobacco and all things related to it, and frequently praised the refined bachelor's life. The Fragrant Weed: Some of the Good Things Which Have been Said or Sung about Tobacco, published in 1907, contained, among many others, the following lines from the poem A Bachelor's Views by Tom Hall that were typical of the attitude in many of the books:

"So let us drink
To her, – but think
Of him who has to keep her;
And sans a wife
Let's spend our life
In bachelordom, – it's cheaper. ”

—Eugene Umberger"

These works were all published in an era before the cigarette had become the dominant form of tobacco consumption and pipes, cigars and chewing tobacco were still commonplace. Many of the books were published in novel packaging that would attract the learned smoking gentleman. Pipe and Pouch came in a leather bag resembling a tobacco pouch and Cigarettes in Fact and Fancy (1901) came bound in leather, packaged in an imitation cardboard cigar box. By the late 1920s, the publication of this type of literature largely abated and was only sporadically revived in the later 20th century.

here have been few examples of tobacco in music in early modern times, though there are occasional signs of influence in pieces such as Johann Sebastian Bach's Edifying Thoughts of a Tobacco-Smoker. However, from the early 20th century and onwards smoking has been closely associated with popular music. Jazz was from early on closely intertwined with the smoking that was practiced in the venues where it was played, such as bars, dance halls, jazz clubs and even brothels. The rise of jazz coincided with the expansion of the modern tobacco industry, and in the United States also contributed to the spread of cannabis. The latter went under names like "tea", "muggles" and "reefer" in the jazz community and was so influential in the 1920s and 30s that it found its way into songs composed at the time such as Louis Armstrong's Muggles Larry Adler's Smoking Reefers and Don Redman's Chant of The Weed. The popularity of marijuana among jazz musicians remained high until the 1940s and 50s, when it was partially replaced by the use of heroin.

Another form of modern popular music that has been closely associated with cannabis smoking is reggae, a style of music that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and early 60s. Cannabis, or ganja, is believed to have been introduced to Jamaica in the mid-19th century by Indian immigrant labor and was primarily associated with Indian workers until it was appropriated by the Rastafari movement in the middle of the 20th century. The Rastafari considered cannabis smoking to be a way to come closer to God, or Jah, an association that was greatly popularized by reggae icons such as Bob Marley and Peter Tosh in the 1960s and 70s.

Estimates claim that smokers cost the U.S. economy $97.6 billion a year in lost productivity, and that an additional $96.7 billion is spent on public and private health care combined. This is over 1% of the gross domestic product. A male smoker in the United States that smokes more than one pack a day can expect an average increase of $19,000 just in medical expenses over the course of his lifetime. A U.S. female smoker that also smokes more than a pack a day can expect an average of $25,800 additional healthcare costs over her lifetime. These costs must be offset against the extra tax revenue that smoking provides.

Friday, February 18, 2011

More Cigarettes

more cigarettes

More Cigarettes is a brand of cigarette which was originally marketed to both men and women and then changed it's primary focus to women consumers. It typically has with a dark brown (rather than the traditional white) wrapper and is typically 120mm in length. The More brand does, however produce shorter versions with the typical white wrapper and white or cork filters.

The brand was introduced nationally by RJ Reynolds in June 1975. It was initially tested in Oklahoma City in 1974. 'More' was the first successful 120 mm cigarette. It is sold in both the full flavor and menthol flavors. It is currently considered a niche brand by RJR, still sold, but not promoted by advertising. It is sold globally under license to various other tobacco companies under the title of More International. The brand was expanded to include 'light' styles in the form of both brown and white 120 m. and a beige 100 mm. These styles have since been discontinued.

Beginning in late 2007, the Canadian market saw the addition of More cigarettes in three additional flavours: Liqueur D' Orange, Dark Rum and Whisky.

The brand is currently a product of J.T. International, in the EU.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

U.S. Cigarettes Contains More Cancer Causing Chemicals


American cigarettes could pack a more toxic punch than foreign brands, say researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In one of the first studies of its kind, researchers compared the levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines — a main carcinogenic component of tobacco — in cigarette butts and in smokers from several countries.

The result: "All cigarettes are not the same, and cigarettes across countries do not deliver the same amount of carcinogens to people," said Dr. Jim Pirkle, deputy director for science at the CDC's National Center for Environmental Health's Division of Laboratory Sciences.

In fact, the amount of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) in U.S. brands is about triple that of brands from Australia, Canada or the United Kingdom, he said.

Pirkle was not involved in the study, which was led by researcher David Ashley from the same office at the CDC. The study authors stressed that even though TNSA levels may vary brand to brand, all cigarettes are unsafe.

Still, the new findings should help the FDA as it fulfills its new responsibilities overseeing tobacco products, Pirkle said. "This is a major effort for them and they need to understand the different levels of carcinogens that people are exposed to, as they vary by different cigarette brands," he said.

Cigarette tobacco varies both by manufacturer and where the product is made. For example, American brands use the so-called "American blend" tobacco, which contains higher levels of TSNAs than cigarettes from Australia, Canada or the U.K., according to the researchers.

In those other countries, cigarettes are made from "bright" tobacco, which is lighter in color and flue-cured. This process makes cigarettes with lower levels of TSNA, the team explained.

U.S. brands tested in the study included Marlboro, Newport, Newport Light, Camel Light and Marlboro Menthol. The researchers tested TSNA levels in 126 smokers from Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States. These smokers smoked a variety of popular brands, Ashley's team noted.

By measuring chemicals in cigarettes butts after a day of smoking, the researchers were able to determine how much TSNA smokers were exposed to. In addition, they also used urine samples to find out how much of the TSNA was broken down in the body.

They found a correlation between the amount of TSNA that entered a smoker's body and how much is broken down in the urine. "We will be able to use this biomarker in the urine to help us understand how much of the carcinogen exposure you are getting in your mouth and lungs," Pirkle said.

Danny McGoldrick, vice president for research at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said the study "shows why the authority to issue product standards, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration now has, is critically important."

If the FDA determines that reducing the levels of TSNAs would be a public health benefit, then it could mandate a change in all tobacco products on the market, McGoldrick added.

"There are two things in the paper that are disturbing to me," said Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer for the American Lung Association. "First, it seems as if U.S. smokers get more exposure to this deadly carcinogen than smokers in other countries. Second, there is the oblique suggestion that it might be worthwhile to try to reduce the levels of this carcinogen in tobacco smoke. This smacks of suggesting we make cigarettes 'safer.' However, there are dozens of carcinogens in cigarette smoke. There is no reason to believe that reducing one will make smoking safer. The only way to prevent cancer from smoking is to prevent smoking. Even hinting about making cigarettes safer is playing into the hands of the tobacco industry's campaign to promote 'harm reduction,' a thinly veiled attempt to keep up the sales of this deadly and totally unnecessary product."

David Sutton, a spokesman for tobacco giant Philip Morris USA, said the finding was not surprising.

"Previous studies have shown global differences in TSNA levels due to variations in tobacco blending and curing practices around the world," Sutton said in a statement.

Dunhill Cigarettes

dunhill cigarettes

Dunhill cigarettes are a luxury brand of cigarettes made by the British American Tobacco company. They are usually priced above the average for cigarettes in the region where they are sold. They are exported mostly throughout Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, South Africa, South Korea, Argentina, Indonesia (manufactured by Bentoel Group), New Zealand and Australia but can also be found on the Internet and in duty-free and smoke shops in the United States and Canada.

Dunhill Light cigarettes are packaged in a predominantly white packet, with a bevelled edged square of red in the centre. Dunhill has decided to phase out this pack and have introduced marketing information that the blue box described below is the same cigarette although carbon monoxide levels and nicotine levels are altered.

Dunhill International cigarettes come in a red packet and are one of the most expensive and luxurious cigarette brands available; they and the Dunhill King size beveled packs (which come in Full flavor, light and menthol light) are available only in the United States through specialty tobacconist shops.

Dunhill (minus the "International") are a more expensive version produced by BAT, and are sold in European (including Russian), Asian-Pacific, and Canadian markets.

Dunhill cigarettes were notably favored by legendary gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson, artist Robbie D and also English rock musician John Lennon.

Dunhill International cigarettes American distribution is owned and operated by Reynolds American, who are most notably famous for their Camel brand.

Dunhill Brands:
* Dunhill Filter (Tar 10 mg, Nicotine 0.7 mg)
* Dunhill Filter "Journey of Taste", 100 year blends #15 'Art Nouveau', #33 'Art Deco' & #85 (Tar 10 mg, Nicotine 0.7 mg)
* Dunhill Filter Malta (Tar 7 mg, Nicotine 0.7 mg, Carbon Monoxide 7 mg)
* Dunhill Filter replacement packaged Blue, Malta (Tar 7 mg, Nicotine 0.6 mg, Carbon Monoxide 8 mg
* Dunhill Fine Cut Tobacco cut 46 times per inch, Australia packaged White, Blue and Black.
* Dunhill United Kingdom - King Size (Tar 10 mg, Nicotine 0.9 mg)
* Dunhill Canada - King Size (Tar 15 mg, Nicotine 1.4 mg)
* Dunhill Special Reserve Canada - King Size (Tar 12 mg, Nicotine 1.3 mg)
* Dunhill Portugal - King Size (Tar 10 mg, Nicotine 0.8 mg, Carbon Monoxide 10 mg)
* Dunhill Malaysia (20 mg Tar, 1.5 mg Nicotine)
* Dunhill Lights (Tar 4 mg, Nicotine 0.4 mg)
* Dunhill Lights Korea (6 mg Tar, 0.6 mg Nicotine)
* Dunhill Lights South Africa (9 mg Tar, 0.8 mg Nicotine)
* Dunhill Ultra (Tar 3 mg, Nicotine 0.3 mg)
* Dunhill Infinite (Tar 1 mg, Nicotine 0.1 mg)
* Dunhill Essence (A new line of 'slim' cigarettes using 100% tobacco lamina)
* Dunhill Top Leaf (Produced with only the top leaves of the tobacco plant)
* Dunhill Menthol (a mentholated cigarette)
* Dunhill 1 mg Korea (Tar 1.0 mg, Nicotine 0.10 mg)
* Dunhill Blonde Blend nanocut Brazil (7 mg Tar, 0.7 mg Nicotine)