What we know about drug abuse evolves over time. This is true for smoking and tobacco addiction, too. We know much more now than we did 100, 40, or even 10 years ago. As we learn more about tobacco, smoking, and health, we continue to do more to prevent illness and death caused by tobacco.
Did you know there was a time when people didn't know that smoking cigarettes could be deadly? A long time ago, doctors even recommended that people smoke to cure other illnesses-check out the old advertisement below:
Looks pretty silly now. Today, no doctor who has gone to medical school would recommend smoking to their patients. Just the opposite: doctors, nurses, and teens like you are telling people not to smoke. Why? Because smoking "causes lung cancer heart disease, emphysema, and may complicate pregnancy"—and it says so right on the box! Every cigarette carton in the United States is required to warn against the health effects of smoking.
Different warnings appear on different cigarette packaging. While traveling in Europe recently, one of our bloggers snapped a picture of some cigarette cartons, each with its own saying. One of them said: "Smokers die younger." That's what you call truth in advertising. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, smoking causes more deaths each year than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined! Check out more info for youth on CDC's website.
Here at NIDA, we know and understand what smoking looked like then and now. But, what gets us excited is applying what we've learned about tobacco and nicotine to help improve people's lives in the future. So, stay tuned to the Sara Bellum Blog—you never know what we, or one of your classmates, might discover.
As the 1-year anniversary of the signing of the Tobacco Control Act approaches, new rules that let the Government regulate tobacco products are going into effect. Starting on June 22, cigarette packs may no longer use labels that say "light," "low" and "mild." This is because research shows that “light” cigarettes are no safer than regular ones. Also, tobacco companies will no longer be allowed to sponsor cultural and sporting events, distribute logo clothing, give away free samples or sell cigarettes in packages of less than 20—what’s known as "kiddy packs."
Another new law will prohibit the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 18, and vending machine sales of tobacco products will be banned except in adults-only places. We did an earlier blog about the ban on candy and fruit-flavored tobacco products, but these new laws will go even further.
This is great news for the public health and for teens, since tobacco products still account for 20 percent of all deaths in the United States each year, and tobacco companies keep trying to recruit new smokers. Every day 1,000 children become addicted to tobacco, and almost 4,000 try their first cigarette, according to John R. Seffrin, CEO of the American Cancer Society, who says the tobacco industry spends $34 million every day to try and hook new young smokers.
So, show the tobacco companies you can think for yourself. Smoking is very addictive, so the best advice is (yeah, you’ve heard it before): Don’t start!
You probably know that smoking is NOT cool—and that it’s really dangerous, too. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and kills nearly a half a million people each year. The chemicals found in cigarette smoke have been linked to serious long-term side effects, including cancer, emphysema, heart disease, and even death. People who smoke may become infertile, and pregnant women who smoke are more at risk for stillbirths, having babies with low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it will require prominent cigarette health warnings on all cigarette packaging and advertisements in the United States. Check out the new warning labels here: http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/Labeling/CigaretteWarningLabels/default.htm.
But cigarette smoking doesn’t just affect the smoker—“secondhand” smoke also affects families and friends and many thousands of others. Secondhand smoke is exactly what it sounds like: nonsmokers inhale the smoke that “firsthand” smokers exhale from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that each year, secondhand smoke causes as many as 3,400 lung cancer-related deaths in the United States.
So, if you want a longer, healthier life, better to indulge in activities like sports, yoga, running, and spending time with friends and family.