Menstuff® is actively compiling information, books and resources on the issue of tobacco.

Talk with your kids about tobacco
Talk with your son about DIP
Facts about Smoking
Smoking Gun
Smokers Suck
Smoking Celebs
Celebs Who Say No
Celebs Regret Habit; Hope For The Quitters
The Marlboro Man may be Impotent
15 cigarettes: all it takes to harm genes
Most Smokers Can't Collect Social Security
Asthmatic children see doctor less when parents smoke
Major Conclusions of the Surgeon General’s Report
Trends in tobacco use vary
Smokeless Tobacco
Choosing Health
Non Smoking Celebrities
Powerful influences undermine public health efforts
Helping people enjoy smoke-free lives
Secondhand Smoke
Dangers of Fireplace Smoke
Great American Smoke-Out

E-cigarettes, Teenagers and Oral Health
E-Cigarettes Also Damage Lung Cells
The Pros and Cons of E-Cigarettes
4 Facts You Need to Know About E-Cigarettes


Where to Write
2015 Data from In-School Surveys of 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-Grade Students: Tobacco Text, Figures, & Tables (Scroll down)

Facts about Smoking

Sources: TIME - Numbers; Smoke-Free Washington; Freevibe: Drugs and the Environment; Sunny Side of Truth and the American Cancer Society

First U.S. state to lift legal smoking age to 21 on Jan. 1, 2016

On Friday, Hawaii will become the first U.S. state to raise the legal smoking age to 21.

Once the bill takes effect, if someone under 21 in Hawaii is caught using a tobacco product, it's a $10 fine for the first offense, and $50 every time after that. For store owners caught selling to people under 21, it will cost them at least $500.

Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah all raised the smoking age to 19, but Hawaii is the first to make it 21.

State lawmakers passed the legislation last summer. Many said the decision was motivated by the growing popularity of e-cigarettes among teenagers. E-cigs are also included in this law.

Legislators referenced a University of Hawaii study that found e-cigarette use among Hawaii's teenagers is triple the national average.

The long-term health effects of e-cigs are a bit of a mystery, but some studies say there are some health risks.

Talk with your kids about tobacco

The warning labels on cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and other tobacco products haven’t gotten the point across, Tobacco is bad for your body and bad for your oral health.

The Surgeon Generals Report contains six major conclusions about kids and smoking:


More teenagers have tried Electronic Cigarettes than adults, with statistics showing as many as 10% of high school students having tried the latest trend in smoking compared with only 2.7% of adults.

Many teenagers are smoking E-cigarettes because they feel they are safe or cool. Regardless of how it’s delivered, however, nicotine is still a highly addictive drug that should be avoided by everyone, especially growing teens.

Spit Tobacco Facts

Spit tobacco (a.k.a. smokeless tobacco, dip, snuff, chew, and chewing tobacco) contains ingredients that can cause serious health problems. The amount of nicotine in one dip, or chew, of spit tobacco can deliver up to 5 times the amount found in one cigarette.

The amount of nicotine in one dip, or chew, of spit tobacco can deliver up to 5 times the amount found in one cigarette. For example, a thirty-minute chew gives you the same amount of nicotine as three cigarettes and a two can/week snuff dipper delivers the same nicotine as a 1 1/2 pack-a-day cigarette habit.

Spit tobacco users are 50 times more likely than nonusers to contract cancers of the cheek, gums, and inner surface of the lips.

Exposure to tobacco juice can induce cancers of the esophagus, larynx, stomach, pancreas, and prostate.

Here's some good news!

People working in their communities, kids who warn each other about the dangers of smoking, for example, and programs that make it harder for stores to sell tobacco to kids, are helping to keep kids away from tobacco.

For more information, call toll free any time 1.800.ACS.2345 or visit

"Watch your mouth!"



The Marlboro Man may be Impotent

According to Denver urologist Lawrence Karsh, M.D., smoking is one of the worst things a young man can do to his body. We already know about smoking's link to lung cancer and heart disease. But smoking, over many years' time, can also damage and block the blood vessels inside the penis, resulting in a failure to sustain a normal erection. In most cases, the damage won't be seen until it's too late - - sometimes not for 20 - 30 years or longer. For additional information on impotence, including treatments. And, Resources.

Most Smokers Can't Collect Social Security

The most preventable cause of death in the United States is smoking.

If you think "Smoking makes a man," it's more apt to make a dead man.

If you smoke, now is the right time to quit.

Secondhand Smoke

Are you a nonsmoker who is shy about defending yourself against inconsiderate smokers?  Or are you a smoker who doesn't realize the distress you inflict on nonsmokers?  Here is some information about the effects of tobacco smoke on nonsmokers.

Facts about Nonsmokers

More than 30 million Americans have kicked the cigarette habit. Millions more are trying. Among adults, only one in three still smokes. In the population as a whole, it's one in four. Nonsmokers are a clear majority They are also no longer a silent majority. They mind if you smoke. And they're speaking up. They see tobacco smoke as a pollutant that defiles their air. And an increasing body of research gives them ammunition to defend themselves. It shows that secondhand smoke can have harmful effects on nonsmokers.

Open Burning

Tobacco smoke is a very complex mixture. There are thousands of chemical compounds in burning tobacco. Some of the most hazardous compounds are tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, cadmium, nitrogen dioxide, ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and hydrogen sulfide. And dozens of others. Any one alone can assault the body and case trouble. Together, they make smoking the menace it is. Even when a smoker inhales, researchers have calculated that two-thirds of the smoke from the burning cigarette goes into the environment. The percentage of pollution from cigar and pipe smoke is even higher. Cigarette smoke makes a significant, measurable contribution to the level of indoor air pollution.

Sidestream Smoke

Every time anyone lights a cigarette or cigar or pipe, tobacco smoke enters the atmosphere from two sources. Most important for nonsmokers, there is sidestream smoke, which goes directly into the air from the burning end. Then, there is mainstream smoke, which the smoker pulls through the mouthpiece when they inhale or puff. Nonsmokers are also exposed to mainstream smoke after the smoker exhales. A cigarette smoker inhales - and exhales - mainstream smoke eight or nine time with each cigarette for a total of about 24 seconds. But the cigarette burns for 12 minutes and pollutes the air continuously with sidestream smoke. Smokers can keep cigars and pipes burning for a much longer time. The pollution lingers long after. Sidestream smoke - the smoke from the burning end - had higher concentrations of noxious compounds than the mainstream smoke inhaled by the smoker. Some studies show there is twice as much tar and nicotine in sidestream smoke compared to mainstream. And three times as much of a compound called benzo(a)pyrene, which is suspected as a cancer-causing agent. Almost three times as much carbon monoxide, which robs the blood of oxygen. And 73 times as much ammonia. Before the nonsmoker inhales secondhand smoke, however, some of the high concentrations of hazardous substances are diluted in the ambient air. The smoker, on the other hand, inhales both firsthand and secondhand smoke. Nearly 85 percent of the smoke in a room results from sidestream smoke.

Assaults in the Air

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas created by incomplete combustion. Car exhaust puts it in the air. So does tobacco smoke. When you inhale carbon monoxide, the gas bumps oxygen molecules out of your red blood cells and forms a new compound called carboxyhemoglobin. As the amount of this compound increases in your blood, the body becomes starved for oxygen. The Federal Air Quality Standards for the outside air limit carbon monoxide concerntrations to an average of 9 ppm. Several studies show that in rooms where smokers are present, levels of carbon monoxide can rise about those permitted for the outside air. When nonsmokers leave a smoky environment, it takes hours for the carbon monoxide to leave the body. After three or hour hours, carbon monoxide is still in the bloodstream. Elevated levels of other harmful agents - nitrogen dioxide, nicotine and respirable particulates, aldehydes, and nitrosamines - have been measured in smoky rooms. Nitrosamines have been identified as cancer-causing substances.

Smoke at the Workplace

A study of nonsmokers exposed to tobacco smoke at work for many years showed a dysfunction in the small airways of the lungs of the nonsmokers. This dysfunction is a biological response due to irritation. The nonsmoker is clearly affected in a physiological sense. A recent study showed that 50 percent of nonsmoking employees reported difficulty working near a smoker. Another 36 percent said they were forced to move away often from their desks or work stations because of secondhand smoke. An increasing number of state and local laws now restrict smoking at the workplace. The central concept of these laws is this principle: the preferences of nonsmokers and smokers will be addressed and accommodated, whenever possible. However, when these preferences conflict, the rights and preferences of the nonsmokers will prevail. More and more private companies also are adopting policies that restrict smoking and protect the nonsmoker at work.

Effects on Children

Babies and young children breathe more rapidly than adults. Because of this higher breathing rate, they inhale more air - and more pollution - in comparison to their total body weight. Some studies show youngsters inhale two to three times as much of a pollutant per unit of body weight compared to adults. And this assault happens when young lungs are growing and developing. A number of studies show that in their first year, babies of parents who smoke at home have a much higher incidence of lung disease, specifically bronchitis and pneumonia, than babies with nonsmoking parents. A study of the lung function of children aged five to nine showed an adverse reaction in the small airways of children who ad smoking parents, compared with those whose parents were nonsmokers. Smoking by the mother appears to have the most impact on the lung function of the child. The American Lung Association is encouraging smoke-free families so that children can have the best chance to grow up healthy. Parents who smoke at home can aggravate symptoms in some children with asthma and even trigger asthma episodes. Millions of people, adults as well as children, are sensitive to tobacco smoke and suffer smoke-caused asthma episodes. Parents should limit their smoking to separate rooms away from these children or, better yet, should quit smoking altogether. Even among non asthmatic children, a team of researchers found that respiratory illnesses happen twice as often to young children whose parents smoked at home compared to those with nonsmoking parents. In a study of 441 nonsmokers divided into two groups - those with a history of allergies and those without - 70 percent of both groups suffered from eye irritations caused by smoke. Even among the non allergic groups, 30 percent developed headaches and nasal discomfort, while 25 percent experienced cough.

Second hand Smoke and Lung Cancer

Some studies have found an increased risk of lung cancer in nonsmoking wives married to men who smoke. Although the studies are too few as yet to conclude a definite association, between secondhand smoke and lung cancer, the findings have raised concern. Since there are cancer-causing agents in cigarette smoke, it is not unreasonable to expect that inhaling these agents firsthand or secondhand could cause disease. Exposure to tobacco smoke may be similar to exposure to radiation: there are no safe levels.

Tobacco Smells

Contamination and odors are immediately created by such elements in tobacco smoke as ammonia and pyridine. Pyridine is a strong irritant that is produced when nicotine burns. The presence of a minute amount in the air produces distinctly unpleasant odors. The contamination is so intense that when someone smokes in an air-conditioned environment, the air-conditioning demands can jump as much as 600 percent to control odor. Another intriguing finding from air-conditioning research is that the human body attracts tobacco smoke. Burning tobacco smoke creates a high electrical potential, whereas the water-filled human body has a low one. The smoke in a room gravitates and clings to people in much the same way as iron filings are drawn to a magnet. And the odors linger on. Chemicals in tobacco smoke called aldehydes and ketones supply the penetrating smell, while the tars hold them to your skin and your clothes. But the smoker is not sensitive to the smell because of the destructive effects of smoke on the inner lining of his or her nose.

A Smoke-Free Society

In the mid-80's, the Surgeon General had proposed that America become a smoke-free society by the year 2000. We didn't make it. A Gallup survey, conducted for the American Lung Association in the 1980s, revealed that the majority of both smokers and nonsmokers believe smoking is hazardous to the health of nonsmokers. Translating these beliefs into social action is the challenge.

The Right to Breathe Clean Air

Nonsmokers have the right to breathe clean air, free from harmful and irritating tobacco smoke. This right supersedes the right to smoke when the two conflict.

The Right to Speak Out

Nonsmokers have the right to express - firmly but politely - their adverse reactions to tobacco smoke. They have the right to voice their objections when smokers light up. Nonsmokers have the right to act through legislative channels, social pressures or any other legitimate means - as individuals, or in groups - to prevent or discourage smokers from polluting the atmosphere and to seek the restriction of smoking in public places.

Take Care of Your Lungs. They're Only Human.

Primary Source: American Lung Association

Major Conclusions of the Surgeon General’s Report

Trends in tobacco use vary

African Americans

American Indians and Alaska Natives

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Mexican Americans and Latinos:

Choosing Health

Powerful influences undermine public health efforts

Helping people enjoy smoke-free lives

E-cigarettes, Teenagers and Oral Health

More teenagers have tried Electronic Cigarettes than adults, with statistics showing as many as 10% of high school students having tried the latest trend in smoking compared with only 2.7% of adults. E-cig use has exploded in the past few years, and many people claim to have stopped smoking traditional cigarettes because of them. While many users also believe e-cigarettes to be safer than regular cigarettes, no definitive studies have proven that they are a safe alternative.

When looking at e-cigarettes and oral health, especially in relation to teenagers, it’s important to remember that an e-cigarette is still primarily a nicotine delivery device and there’s little debate as to the effects of nicotine on the body.

The truth is, no one is completely sure about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes which can make them a particular concern for adolescents. Many teenagers are smoking e-cigarettes because they feel they are safe or cool. Regardless of how it’s delivered, however, nicotine is still a highly addictive drug that should be avoided by everyone, especially growing teens. With few laws banning their use among young people, it’s important to educate your children about the potential hazards of this growing trend.

Dangers of Fireplace Smoke

Even where the air is fresh and clean, indoor air quality can present serious health risks . In particular, according to the Sierra Club, "Wood smoke is the 'other' secondhand smoke. It is hard to get away from because neighborhood smoke seeps indoors even if you don't burn...All smoke is harmful to the respiratory system. Delicate tissues that are infected, irritated and scarred can cause long-term health consequences...The biggest danger is particulate matter so small that thirty particles fit on a red blood cell. Unlike a soft tobacco tar, the wood smoke particles can be solid, chemical-coated pieces of wood. Once inside the lung these wooden "cinders' swell up in the moist atmosphere and can cause even more damage than a softer smoke." 

Most people are aware that outdoor air pollution can damage their health but may not know that indoor air pollution can all have significant effects. EPA studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor air levels of many pollutants may be two to five times, and occasionally, more than 100 times, higher than outdoor levels. These levels of indoor air pollutants are of particular concern because it is estimated that most people spend as much as 9-% of their time indoors.

Over the past several decades, our exposure to indoor air pollutants is believed to have increased due to a variety of factors, including the construction of more tightly sealed buildings, reduced ventilation rates to save energy, the use of synthetic building materials and furnishings, and the use of chemically formulated personal care products, pesticides and household cleaners.

In recent years, comparative risk studies performed by EPA and its Science Advisory Board (SAB) have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health. EPA, in close cooperation with other Federal agencies and the private sector, is actively involved in a concerted effort to better understand indoor air pollution and to reduce people's exposure to air pollutants in offices, homes, schools and other indoor environments where people live, work and play.

Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air quality problems in homes. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the home. High temperature and humidity levels can also increase concentrations of some pollutants.

There are many sources of indoor air pollution in any home. These include combustion sources such as oil, gas, kerosene, coal, wood and tobacco products; building materials and furnishings as diverse as deteriorated, asbestos-containing insulation, wet or damp carpet, and cabinetry or furniture made of certain pressed wood products; products for household cleaning and maintenance, personal care, or hobbies; central heating and cooling systems and humidification devices; and outdoor sources such as radon, pesticides and outdoor air pollution.

The relative importance of any single source depends on how much of a given pollutant it emits and how hazardous those emissions are. In some cases, factors such as how old the source is and whether it is properly maintained are significant. For example, an improperly adjusted gas stove can emit significantly more carbon monoxide than one that is properly adjusted.

Some sources, such as building materials, furnishings, and household products like air fresheners, release pollutants more or less continuously. Other sources, related to activities carried out in the home, release pollutants intermittently. These including smoking, the use of unvented or malfunctioning stoves, furnaces, or space heaters, the use of solvents in cleaning and hobby activities, the use of paint strippers in redecorating activities, and the use of cleaning products and pesticides in housekeeping. High pollutant concentrations can remain in the air for long periods after some of these activities.

If too little outdoor air enters a home, pollutants can accumulate to levels that can pose health and comfort problems. Unless they are built with special mechanical means of ventilation, homes that are designed and constructed to minimize the amount of outdoor air that can "leak" into and out of the home may have higher pollutant levels than other homes. However, because some weather conditions are drastically reduce the amount of outdoor air that enters a home, pollutants can build up even in homes that are normally considered "leaky".

Look for more information? The EPA has a number of helpful publications on indoor air quality, available by writing Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP), PO Box 42419, Cincinnati, OH 42419. You can also fax your request to them at 513.489.8695 or


New study on female smokers

Take a stroll down College Row or relax on the steps of Olin, and you might be surprised by the number of women you see smoking. While studies have shown that the number of women smokers trying to quit has increased over the past few years, the number of current women smokers in the nation has not, which is one reason Visiting Psychology Professor Jennifer Rose has dedicated the better part of twenty years to investigating the smoking habits of women.

Last Wednesday Rose presented her findings on the different categories of women smokers and the most effective means of helping them to quit. Rose identified three categories of women smokers: “Happy Working Women,” “Careless College Students,” and “Hooked and Unhappy.” Female smokers on campus fall into her “Careless College Students” category. According to Rose, the women in this category do not like to be told that their habit is an addiction, as they are at a state in their lives when their future health is not so important.

One smoker, Francesca Geiger ’07, supported Rose's claim, saying that most students are aware of the risks.

“You think you're resilient,” Geiger said. “It's not something you don't know; it's just something you don't want to think about right now.”

Geiger began smoking in high school, a time in her life when she was very active in basketball and other sports.

“Although it did give me a bit of a cough and definitely slowed me down on court, I made up for it in other ways,” she said. “Because I am so tall and big, I made up for my slowness by scoring a basket once I got down court. I guess you could say I used my body as an excuse.”

Professor Rose also discussed young women's anger at being told that they have an addiction.

Erin Moore ’07 suggested that, for some women, smoking involved rejecting the norms and expectations of society.

“I think that a lot of women smoke because smoking for women is about rejecting what it means to be feminine,” Moore said. “Femininity is associated with purity, cleanliness, and lack of toxins, and a woman who smokes is the exact opposite.”

A freshman smoker admitted that she would quit smoking if any serious health problems occurred, but she otherwise was not planning on quitting anytime soon. She admits that she probably should cut down on her smoking habits, but cites the social aspects of smoking as one of her main incentives not to quit.

“Especially as a freshman, it helps in social situations,” she said. “It's weird enough being alone at a party, but if you have a cigarette, it's less awkward. It also gives you a reason to leave really bad or boring parties because you have to go outside to smoke.”

Megan Lollie ’07 agreed that smoking is an important social aspect of the campus.

“When I'm here, it's a big part of my life,” Lollie said. “It's all around you, so you are constantly presented with smoking, which I don't think is something that happens as much in the real world.”

Geiger expressed similar feelings, stating that she was also fully aware of the dangers.

“It's not something you don't know,” she said. “I mean, hello, I have the pack in front of me and I can just as easily read the little surgeon general's warning on the back to learn about all the bad things that cigarettes can do to me…It's a risk I'm willing to take now.”

Moore further expressed the difficulties of defending herself in such situations.

“When someone tells you that you are addicted, it's very frustrating trying to convince them that you're not,” she said. “You are getting involved in objective discourse that automatically guarantees that if you smoke, you're addicted.”

It is also interesting to note the dichotomy between the quitting dates that senior and freshman smokers set for themselves. While the freshman claimed that she would like to quit soon, preferably after this semester, the seniors have not set such permanent dates.

“I think if I were to quit, then it would have to be at a time in my life when I want to make a big change, like getting a drastic haircut,” Moore said. “It really would be a break with something I'm very accustomed to, and I'm not yet ready for that.”

“I don't see any reason to stop smoking now,” Lollie said. “I have sort of told myself not to smoke while I'm pregnant, so I guess I'll quit when I have kids, because I don't want to put their health into danger.”

Geiger admitted that she feels that smoking is just a “college thing.”

“My parents and I have been talking, and I feel like once I'm out of college, I'll probably make a greater effort to stop smoking,” she said.

As for now, most of the girls have confirmed that they plan to continue smoking until they feel that it is time to give it up. This complacent attitude seems to match Rose's categorization of the “Careless College Students.” These women, while somewhat concerned with their own well- being, seem to lack both the time and the incentive to worry, as of now, about long-term health.

The State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation (STATE) System

An electronic data warehouse containing up-to-date and historical state-level data on tobacco use prevention and control.

The STATE System was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Editor's Note: Oregon is one of six states that doesn't report data.

Smoking Linked to Stillbirths, Study Says
Could a case be brought against a woman for manslaughter if she chooses to continue to smoke after pregnancy which results in a stillborn child?

Saudi Arabia Sues Tobacco Industry for Billions in Health Costs

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is seeking more than $2.7 billion in payments from the tobacco industry to cover the expense of treating tobacco-related illnesses.

Ga. Supreme Court Says Tobacco Settlement Bars Lawsuits

The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that the 1998 nationwide tobacco settlements precludes individual state residents from suing the tobacco industry for punitive damages related to tobacco use.

Ala. Senate Says Voters Should Decide Smoking Ban
The Alabama Senate has approved a bill that would put a proposed constitutional amendment banning indoor smoking on the state's ballot this fall.

Proposed Bar Smoking Ban Holds Up Colo. Legislation
Colorado lawmakers agree that smoking should be banned in many indoor spaces, but are split over whether the bars should be subject to the ban.

Prisoner Seeks Damages for Secondhand Smoke Exposure
A prisoner at Menard Correctional Center in Chester, Ill., is suing prison employees, demanding $12 million for being subjected to secondhand tobacco smoke.

Quitting Seems Easier for Older Female Smokers
Researchers don't know why, but evidence suggests that older women have an easier time quitting smoking than younger people or men in the same age group.

Smoking Gun

Ready to quit smoking for the New Year -- again? This simple strategy can triple your chances of success.

Mothers Who Smoke May Put Their Babies at Risk for Pyloric Stenosis

Over the last 10 years in Denmark, smoking rates among pregnant women as well as the incidence of pyloric stenosis among infants declined, so Danish researchers investigated whether a mom's smoking habits might be a factor in her child's risk of developing pyloric stenosis in infancy.

Study Links Cancer Rates, Prevention

Many states with the highest lung cancer rates are squandering tobacco settlement money intended for disease prevention on unrelated programs, according to a study of health and fiscal data released by a national anti-cancer group.

Kids Getting Hooked

Every year over 500,0000 kids get hooked on tobacco. 1 in 3 of them will die prematurely. The tobacco industry is spending a record $26 million DAILY to market their deadly products. Protect our Kids from Big Tobacco. Send a Free Letter. Click Here:

Smoking Can Hurt Male Fertility

Men who smoke and are trying to become fathers may want to become quitters. A new study shows smoking can damage the sperm of men who are trying to conceive.

Researchers found infertile men who smoked show signs of significant oxidative damage in their semen. Oxidative damage is known to harm fertility and is caused by increased stress on normal body processes.

The findings appear in the September issue of Fertility and Sterility.

"Given the known potential adverse effects of [oxidative stress] on fertility, physicians should advise infertile men who smoke cigarettes to quit," writes study researcher Saleh A. Ramadan, MD, with colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio. "This argument against smoking is true for anyone wishing to conceive but is particularly important for individuals experiencing fertility problems."

Although cigarette smoking already has been shown to hurt female fertility, researchers say the impact on male fertility remains a controversial issue because studies have produced contradictory results.

In this study, researchers compared semen samples from 52 infertile men -- 20 smokers and 32 nonsmokers -- with samples from 13 healthy, nonsmoking men. They found "dramatically" more oxidative stress levels in the smokers.

No significant differences in standard sperm variables, such as sperm count or activity, or DNA damage were found between the infertile smokers and nonsmokers, but researchers say the fact that both groups were infertile may have obscured some levels of DNA damage.

But men who smoked also had 48% more infection-fighting white blood cells in their semen than nonsmokers or healthy donors, which may also cause problems with fertility.
Source: Jennifer Warner,

Anti-Smoking Groups Call For Movie Ratings To Factor In Tobacco

Citing a new study that examines the ties between Hollywood and cigarette makers, health advocates are calling for the film industry to incorporate tobacco as a factor in determining movie ratings.

Smokers Disillusioned And Over-Optimistic About Quitting

Most smokers are disenchanted with smoking and would not smoke if they had their time again, according to a letter in this week's BMJ. It also shows that smokers' expectations of how soon they will quit greatly exceed rates of quitting observed in recent history.
Source: British Medical Journal,

Smoke Gets In Your Mind

Lung cancer, hypertension, heart disease, birth defects - we're all too familiar with the perils of smoking. But add to that list a frightening new concern. Mental illness. According to some controversial new findings, if smoking doesn't kill you, it may, quite literally, drive you to despair.
Source: New Scientist,

Heart Association Recommends Screenings

The American Heart Association has updated its guidelines for preventing heart attacks and strokes, listing secondhand smoke as a risk factor for the first time and recommending that people get screened for risk factors beginning at age 20.

Smokes Deadlier Than Labels Suggest

Smokers may be inhaling up to five times the amount of nicotine and seven times the amount of tar than is claimed on cigarette packaging, according to a health ministry study.

Global Alliance Between European Commission And WHO To Fight Against Communicable Diseases, Tobacco And Other Health Threats

The European Commission and the World Health Organisation (WHO) held a series of high-level consultations in Brussels to take forward their global alliance in tackling tobacco and other health threats.

Cigarette Maker Removes "Light" From Packaging

Star Scientific Inc. is the first U.S. tobacco company to announce plans to stop identifying its cigarettes as "light" or "ultralight," which critics say mislead smokers into believing the cigarettes are safer.

Pregnant Women Smokers Bear Low Birth Weight Babies

Smoking among pregnant women declined for most age groups, down to 12.2 percent in 2000. That rate has fallen steadily since 1989. The report found 12 percent of babies born to smokers had low birth weights, compared with just 7 percent of babies born to nonsmokers.


American Health & Fitness magazine ran this full page ad in their 10-11/01 issue: left showing 5 standing, lite cigarettes and reading "Stop smoking now". Top right cigarettes are almost burned to the filters and copy reads "or suffer the". Center bottom ash off one cigarette, one cigarette has fallen and copy reads "consequences..."

Baby sitters may expose infants to second-hand smoke

While some mothers who puff on cigarettes attempt to protect their infants from the smoke, researchers believe they may be ignoring other sources of second-hand smoke--such as baby sitters or relatives in the home.

Cigarette addiction can start early

Scientists have confirmed a suspicion held by some smokers but never proven: It could take just a few cigarettes to become addicted.

Some 12- and 13-year-olds showed evidence of addiction within days of their first cigarette, according to research reported this week in the British Medical Association journal Tobacco Control.

"There's been a suspicion that many people become addicted very quickly, but this is really the first hard evidence that we've had that this occurs," said Dr. Richard Hurt, director of the Nicotine Dependency Unit at the Mayo Clinic.

Experts have tried for years to determine how long people have to smoke before becoming addicted, and "the best answer to date had been 1-2 years," said Hurt, who was not involved in the study.

He said the findings will help scientists better understand the biology of nicotine addiction and lend more plausibility to the idea that some people may be more genetically susceptible to it than others.

"The really important implication of this study is that we have to warn kids that you can't just fool around with cigarettes or experiment with cigarettes for a few weeks and then give it up," said Dr. Joseph DiFranza, who lead the research at the University of Massachusetts. "If you fool around with cigarettes for a few weeks, you may be addicted for life."

The study, conducted in 1998, followed 681 12- to 13-year-olds in central Massachusetts for a year and tracked their smoking habits.

The researchers did not label any of them addicted because the standard definition of nicotine dependence assumes addiction cannot happen without prolonged heavy smoking. The scientists simply recorded symptoms that indicate addiction.

These include cravings, needing more to get the same buzz, withdrawal symptoms when not smoking, feeling addicted to tobacco and loss of control over the number of cigarettes smoked or the duration of smoking.

Ninety-five of the youths said they had started smoking occasionally - at least one cigarette a month - during the study. The scientists found that 60, or 63 percent, had one or more symptoms of addiction.

A quarter of those with symptoms got them within two weeks of starting to smoke and several said their symptoms began within a few days.

Sixty-two percent said they had their first symptom before they began smoking every day, or that the symptoms made them start smoking daily.

The researchers found that the symptoms began soon after the teens started smoking.

Even though some people who have never smoked on a daily basis can find it hard to quit, the assumption that smokers only become addicted after smoking a lot of cigarettes over a long period of time came from observations that some people can smoke five cigarettes a day for many years and not become addicted, the study noted.

However, it has never been proven that daily smoking is necessary for addiction to begin, the study added.

The scientists suggested there may be three types of smokers: Those who become addicted very quickly, those who get hooked gradually after more regular smoking and those who can smoke lightly or pick up and drop the habit without becoming addicted.

It is also possible that adolescents could be more sensitive to nicotine and that addiction may take longer in people who start smoking at a later age, they added.

Nicotine addiction can hit within days

Addiction to nicotine may start within a few days of starting to smoke and after just a few cigarettes, researchers reported on Tuesday, contradicting belief that nicotine addiction is a gradual process.

"The first symptoms of nicotine dependence can appear within days to weeks of the onset of occasional use, often before the onset of daily smoking," the researchers from the University of Massachusetts and Harvard Medical School said in the journal Tobacco Control.

This research goes against a "popular model for the development of nicotine dependence (which) holds that youths progress from the first cigarette through a period of occasional use and on to sustained and increasingly heavier daily use, resulting ultimately in dependence," the researchers added.

The study of about 700 teenagers aged between 12 and 13 from seven schools in central Massachusetts in 1998 showed that 95 students could be described as monthly smokers--they smoked at least one cigarette a month.

Of these 95 monthly smokers one in five reported nicotine dependency symptoms within four weeks of starting to smoke and 16 developed symptoms within two weeks, one of the researchers, Joseph DiFranza, told Reuters.

In total 60 out of 95 monthly smokers said they had experienced one or more symptoms of nicotine dependence.

Thirty-seven of the 60 who had experienced symptoms of nicotine dependency said they had felt their first feelings of dependency even before they started smoking daily or began smoking daily only upon starting to feel dependent.

The researchers said experiments on mice showed the number of nicotine receptors in the brain increased rapidly after just the second dose of nicotine, providing a mechanism for the quick development of dependence.

The researchers further postulated that three groups of individuals distinguishable by their dependence on nicotine may exist. The groups could be described as rapid onset, slower onset and resistant to nicotine addiction, they added.

Smoking has been linked to several diseases including lung cancer and asthma. Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer in the world and is extremely deadly. The American Cancer Society predicts 164,000 Americans will be diagnosed with the cancer this year and 156,000 will die of it.

Where to Write

Both complete and summary versions of Tobacco Use Among U.S. Racial/Ethnic Groups—African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics: A Report of the Surgeon General are available. For more information about the report or to order a free executive summary, either call 770/488-5705 (press 2) or call 1-800-CDC-1311 for a faxed version of the executive summary. Access the Office on Smoking and Health at for additional information, or write: (1) Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, NE (Mail Stop K-50), Atlanta, GA 30341-3717 or (2) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health.


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