Tag Archives: smoking
In 2010 21.4 percent of high school students admitted that they had smoked marijuana during the last month, whereas 19.2 percent students said they had smoked cigarettes during the same period of time, showed the annual “Monitoring the Future” report conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This year numbers mark the first time that marijuana exceeded cigarettes in the corresponding age group since 1981.
Some public health groups have already started to hails the results of the survey stating it is a significant victory for the campaigns intended for reducing cigarette smoking among adolescents. However, the federal agency which tracks illegal drug consumption stated it was driven by the growth in teenage marijuana usage noting that it is widespread and would be continued, with even eighth-grade students admitting softer attitudes related to the risks of consuming pot.
Richard Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy at The Obama administration blamed certain medical marijuana ordinances such as California’s Proposition 19 for contributing to the assumption that marijuana is less dangerous for adolescents than tobacco.
“Saying that marijuana is ‘smoked medicine’ is totally wrong,” Kerlikowske declared during a news conference in Washington when revealing the results of the survey. He said that adolescents have got the “wrong message” from the discussions.
In the survey, the percentage of twelve-grade students who reported daily usage of pot constituted 6.1 percent – the highest proportion since the 1980s – and the proportion of 8th- and 10th-grade students consuming marijuana each day also grew, to 1% and 3%, correspondingly. While the younger seniors progress toward graduation, rate of marijuana-smokers will keep growing, scientists said.
Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Drug Abuse Institute, admitted the increase in daily marijuana consumption is especially alarming, since frequent pot smoking has been demonstrated to be more detrimental to learning skills and memory than infrequent consumption – particularly in adolescents, whose brains are developing. Regular marijuana users are also more likely to become addicted to marijuana and other drugs, Dr. Volkow added.
Attitudes toward the Ecstasy as well became softer among high school seniors and usage climbed. Scientists said the growth is the vivid example “generational forgetting,” when a decline in usage is followed by a growth among teenagers who were not targeted by anti-drug campaigns.
In addition to growing trend of marijuana smoking, researchers also found out that 8 percent of high school seniors reported abusing the prescription painkiller medication Vicodin in 2010. Illegal usage of another painkiller OxyContin was not changed held among 10th-graders. 12th grade students admitted using medications prescribed for attention deficit disorder, as around 6.5 percent admitted using them, and nearly the same number consumed amphetamines.
A research that examined the repeated effect of good habits on mortality in Asian women discovered that husbands who smoke at home are shortening their wives’ lives.
Also researches found out that Chinese women with various healthy habits usually live longer than their compatriot peers with less healthy lifestyles.
Researches headed by Sarah Nechuta of Vanderbilt University in the United States used data from the Shanghai Women’s Health Study that collected information on more than 71000 non-smoking and non-drinking Chinese women aged 40-70 years between 1996 and 2000, and developed a healthy lifestyle score.
The healthy lifestyle score was based on five factors related to mortality, weight, waist-to-hip ratio, exposure to second-hand smoke, whether the woman were engaged in sports activities and also fruit and vegetable consumption.
The more healthy habits a woman had, the higher her score was, thus having no or few healthy habits gave her a low score.
The women who participated at the study were examined for around nine years, during which 2,860 of them died, 1,351 of cancer and 775 of cardiovascular disease.
Those women who died were more likely than survivors to be underweight, overweight or obese, they had higher waist-to-hip ratios, were not engaged in sort activities and ate less fruit and vegetables than survivors, according to the study.
“Probably the good news is that the majority of these factors can be improved by one’s motivation in order to eradicate unhealthy behaviors once and for all. For example, it would not be so difficult for women in China or elsewhere in Asia to raise the energy expenditure by engaging in some sport activities and eat more fruit and vegetables,” stated Wei Zheng, a co-author of the study and director of the epidemiology center at Vanderbilt.
Also the women who died were more likely than survivors to have had a husband who smoked, and that was a key player in al this situation.
Women in China and various Asian countries are exposed to tobacco smoke in a greater degree, because there is a high smoking prevalence among Asian men.
Changes in exposure to spousal smoking may start with raised awareness by both women and their husbands about the harmful health effects of smoking.
Making husbands to stop smoking for their wives will also require changes in the social environment and possible bans on smoking at home.
The majority of study combinations of established lifestyle factors and mortality were led in the US and Western Europe, where women’s lifestyles differ drastically from those of their Chinese counterparts, according to the study.
Researches on the health habits of Western women and longevity included those women who smoked and drank alcohol, something that many Asian women don’t do.
Tobacco adverts are prohibited throughout the European Union, however the number of cigarette ads in social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook is growing. According to health experts tobacco companies also increasingly use summer youth music festivals to promote their products and turn younger adults and teenagers into smoking.
Many music festivals held across the United Kingdom signed sponsorship deals with tobacco companies and agreements to install stands with their tobacco products. Lovebox festival, one of the biggest open-air events in the UK was partially sponsored by Rizla tobacco-rolling paper, a division of Imperial Tobacco which is not covered by the tobacco advertisement ban. According to Imperial Tobacco communications manager, sponsoring festivals is a legal activity, so the company believes they can use such events for promoting their products.
Another major music festival held last summer in Suffolk featured stands with Marlboro cigarettes. The organizers of the event signed partnership deal with Philip Morris International, so only Marlboro cigarettes were sold in the festival, with sales carried out by attractive girls wearing “Marlboro-featured” dresses and skirts. In addition, this year’s edition will feature similar partnership deal, this time with Imperial Tobacco.
The UK division of Japan Tobacco International also used music festivals for promoting its key brands Benson and Hedges, Camel and Silk Cut. These brands were selling at five large and brightly-illuminated stands and featured gift boxes with two cartons of cigarettes, a lighter and glow stick.
Action on Smoking and Health President Deborah Arnott criticized tobacco giants, saying that the tobacco companies are eager to attract new smokers, because their current audience either give up smoking or die prematurely.
She said that smokers tend to start their habit in their adolescence, so tobacco industry made a clever choice by starting sponsoring youth-oriented festivals. Whereas the majority of existing forms of advertising tobacco products are banned in the UK, tobacco companies found a loophole permitting them to promote their products among teenagers, added ASH president.
The recent nationwide survey completed by ASH demonstrated that 60% of adults who have children want laws banning tobacco ads during music festivals. So, the organization is planning to encourage the parliament to amend current tobacco-advertisement restrictions.
In addition to festivals, tobacco companies also use social networks to promote their products in cyberspace. According o a research by Sidney University scientists, the employees of major tobacco companies are creating fan groups of certain cigarette brands, and joining smokers’ communities registered in Facebook and promoting their products there.
In the meantime, according to several sources, tobacco companies operating in the UK have agreed to initiate legal proceeding to overturn the ban on which was approved by previous UK government.
In order to find an efficient strategy to permit currently-opened smoking lounges to keep operating in Long Beach, but prevent new venues from opening their doors to local visitors. However, it appears to be that it is more simply said than done for the Long Beach legislators.
Long Beach Finance Committee comprising three members introduced a first draft of new ordinance for smoking bars, which the City Council voted to approve back in February. That decision was landmark for the city, which had been one of the first U.S. localities to implement ban on smoking in public places.
The members of the Committee voted 2-1, to pass the regulation for a final vote in the full council, although they adopted several modifications to the initial bill, concerning the strategies to prevent new places from opening. Committeewoman Rae Gabelich was the lone opponent of the regulation.
According to the members of the council, they do not have any legal grounds to limit the number of hookah and cigar lounges; however, they could do it by launching zoning restrictions.
Yet, several people said that restricting the number of such lounges would be regarded as discrimination, so it has been impossible to implement such regulation.
But Councilwoman Gabelich responded that the banning such lounges altogether is the alternative to the restriction of their number. This proposal was supported by local anti-smoking organizations.
There are four hookah bars, eight cigar clubs and 27 smoke shops across Long Beach, in conformity with the reports. Committee members have been concerned that permitting smoking venues to operate in the city would give smoke shops the loophole to legally permit smoking if they would apply for a license to be considered a smoking lounge as well.
Council member Gary DeLong recommended adopting the bill which would cover applying and certification procedures, inspections, air conditioning and ventilation rules. In addition, according to the recommended regulations, the adolescents aged less than 18 are prohibited to enter the lounges and sales of food and drinks are banned.
But, the bill also contained several amendments, among which was providing the business licensing office with the authority to give licenses, in contrast to current licenses given by Health Department; separate ventilation requirement, and other provisions.
The councilman also introduced a provision to allow food and beverage sales in those venues, if it has been possible, however, city attorney responded that it would violate the state laws, since if permitting smoking lounges to serve food and dinner they should be considered common restaurants.
Other members of the council proposed to extend moratorium on giving new licenses for opening smoking lounges and closing the existing lounges, but such initiatives were rejected.
Local health advocates said they are highly against any regulation permitting smoking lounges, as they damage public health, but in the current difficult economic times it is more important for local authorities to save businesses and provide more workplaces.