Tag Archives | Cigarettes

Pot-Smoking Teenagers Do Better In School Than Cigarette Smokers

drug_teensAre you telling me that drugs don’t ruin your life? Canada’s CTV News reports:

Students who only smoke marijuana do better at school than classmates who smoke just tobacco, says a new study, which tracked substance use among teens over 30 years.

Researchers from the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health analyzed data from a survey administered to nearly 39,000 Ontario students between 1981 and 2011. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health asked students in Grades 7, 9 and 11 about their tobacco and marijuana use, and their academic performance.

The study found that marijuana-only users did better at school than their counterparts who smoked only cigarettes or who smoked both cigarettes and marijuana. Marijuana users don’t outperform non-users, Chaiton says.

“Social norms have changed and the population of people who use marijuana are more like the general population.”

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Teens Prefer Smoking Marijuana To Cigarettes

Some encouraging news regarding the state of today’s teenagers.  CBS News says:

A government survey shows more teens are now smoking pot than cigarettes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that 23 percent of high school students said they recently smoked marijuana, while 18 percent said they had puffed cigarettes.

For decades, the number of teens who smoke has been on the decline. Marijuana use has fluctuated, and recently rose. At times, pot and cigarette smoking were about the same level, but last year marked the first time marijuana use was clearly greater. A Michigan expert said teens today apparently see marijuana as less dangerous than cigarettes.

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Iceland Considers Making Cigarettes Prescription-Only

Photo: Hendrike (CC)

Photo: Hendrike (CC)

Cigarettes seem like the last thing a doctor would prescribe, but Iceland may be moving to outlaw the sale of cigarettes in stores and only allowing pharmacists to dispense them. The proposal was written in hopes of reducing the amount of smokers and emphasizing the health concerns rather than the marketing tactics. Those with a prescription for cigarettes will be considered addicts getting the chemicals their bodies have become accustomed to. The Guardian reports:

Iceland is considering banning the sale of cigarettes and making them a prescription-only product.

The parliament in Reykjavik is to debate a proposal that would outlaw the sale of cigarettes in normal shops. Only pharmacies would be allowed to dispense them – initially to those aged 20 and up, and eventually only to those with a valid medical certificate.

The radical initiative is part of a 10-year plan that also aims to ban smoking in all public places, including pavements and parks, and in cars where children are present.

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Hey Smokers, You’re Killing The Fish

Photo: Sillyputtyenemies

Photo: Sillyputtyenemies (CC)

It turns out that fish are also helpless victims of smokers. No joke, as reported by Jeffrey Kluger for TIME:

For smokers, the world has always been one big ashtray, with cigarettes flicked away pretty much anywhere. That’s especially true now, since smokers are increasingly forbidden to light up in restaurants, office buildings and even new no-smoking condos. In the great river of litter human beings create each year, so tiny a thing as a cigarette butt hardly seems to amount to much. But with the world’s smokers burning through a breathtaking 5.6 trillion cigarettes per year — 4.5 trillion of which are simply tossed away outside after they’re smoked — little things add up fast. That, as it turns out, can be especially dangerous for one type of nonhuman critter: fish.

About a third of all of the trash found on U.S. shorelines consists of cigarette butts.

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Smokers Believe ‘Silver’, ‘Gold’ and ‘Slim’ Cigarettes Are Less Harmful

CigaretteScienceDaily reports:

Despite current prohibitions on the words ‘light’ and ‘mild’, smokers in Western countries continue falsely to believe that some cigarette brands may be less harmful than others. In fact, all conventional brands of cigarette present the same level of risk to smokers, including ‘mild’ and ‘low-tar’ brands.A study published in the journal Addiction polled over 8000 smokers from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the USA. Approximately one-fifth of those smokers incorrectly believed that “some cigarette brands could be less harmful than others.” False beliefs were highest among US smokers.

Current research shows that smokers base their perceptions of risk on pack colour, believing that ‘silver’, ‘gold’ and ‘white’ brands are less harmful to smoke than ‘black’ or ‘red’ brands. The reason for those beliefs may lie in the history of cigarette branding. Cigarettes used to carry labels like ‘light’, ‘mild’, and ‘low tar’, and in some places they still do.

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Graham Hancock: The War on Your Consciousness

Mandelbrot Islands of Consciousness. Image: David R. Ingham (CC)

Mandelbrot Islands of Consciousness. Image: David R. Ingham (CC)

Site editor’s note: This article was originally published as part of the Russ Kick-edited Disinformation anthology, You Are STILL Being Lied To. Hancock’s latest book is a novel dealing with some of the issues presented below titled ENTANGLED: The Eater of Souls.

We are told that the “War on Drugs” is being waged, on our behalf, by our governments and their armed bureaucracies and police forces, to save us from ourselves. “Potential for abuse and harm” are supposed to be the criteria by which the use of drugs is suppressed—the greater a drug’s potential for abuse and harm, the greater and more vigorous the degree of suppression, and the more draconian the penalties applied against its users.

In line with this scheme drugs are typically ranked into a hierarchy: Schedules I, II, and III in the US, Classes A, B, and C in the UK, and so on and so forth all around the world.… Read the rest

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U.S. Cigarette Brands Tops In Cancer Causing Chemicals

CigaretteBy Miriam Falco for CNN:

Smokers of U.S. brand cigarettes may get more bang for their buck in the worst way according to a small study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers found U.S. made cigarettes contain more cancer-causing chemicals than some cigarettes brands made elsewhere around the world.

“Not all cigarettes are made alike” says Dr. Jim Pirkle, deputy director for science at the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health. He says this is the first study to show that “U.S. cigarettes have more of the major carcinogen [TSNAs] than foreign made cigarettes.” TSNAs are “tobacco-specific nitrosamines,” the major cancer-causing substance in tobacco.

126 smokers in five cities – Waterloo, Ontario; Melbourne, Victoria (Australia); London, England, Buffalo, New York, and Minneapolis, Minnesota – were recruited for this study.

They were between the ages of 18 and 55 and smoked at least 10 cigarettes a day for the past year and had been brand loyal for at least three months.

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Cigarettes Contain Radioactive Polonium

This is an article from 2006 that I found while trying to research the actual ingredients in cigarettes. Robert N. Proctor writes in the New York Times:
Nuclear Pack

When the former KGB agent Alexander V. Litvinenko was found to have been poisoned by radioactive polonium 210, there was one group that must have been particularly horrified: the tobacco industry.

The industry has been aware at least since the 1960s that cigarettes contain significant levels of polonium. Exactly how it gets into tobacco is not entirely understood, but uranium “daughter products” naturally present in soils seem to be selectively absorbed by the tobacco plant, where they decay into radioactive polonium.

High-phosphate fertilizers may worsen the problem, since uranium tends to associate with phosphates. In 1975, Philip Morris scientists wondered whether the secret to tobacco growers’ longevity in the Caucasus might be that farmers there avoided phosphate fertilizers.

How much polonium is in tobacco? In 1968, the American Tobacco Company began a secret research effort to find out. Using precision analytic techniques, the researchers found that smokers inhale an average of about .04 picocuries of polonium 210 per cigarette. The company also found, no doubt to its dismay, that the filters being considered to help trap the isotope were not terribly effective. (Disclosure: I’ve served as a witness in litigation against the tobacco industry.)

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Cigarettes May Contain Pigs Blood

Pigs Smoking?The Daily Telegraph reports:

Cigarettes may contain traces of pig’s blood, an Australian academic says with a warning that religious groups could find its undisclosed presence “very offensive”.

University of Sydney Professor Simon Chapman points to recent Dutch research which identified 185 different industrial uses of a pig — including the use of its hemoglobin in cigarette filters.

Prof Chapman said the research offered an insight into the otherwise secretive world of cigarette manufacture, and it was likely to raise concerns for devout Muslims and Jews. Religious texts at the core of both of these faiths specifically ban the consumption of pork.

“I think that there would be some particularly devout groups who would find the idea that there were pig products in cigarettes to be very offensive,” Prof Chapman said.

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