Tag Archives | tobacco

Kids as Young as 12 Working in America’s Tobacco Fields

Tobacco field by John Buie via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

Tobacco field by John Buie via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

via Politico Magazine:

The Obama administration has made curbing nicotine use by kids a public health priority, with efforts including mass media campaigns to reduce teen smoking and a proposed ban on selling e-cigarettes to minors. But when it comes to the serious health risks run by thousands of children who work each summer on tobacco farms in the United States, the administration has been conspicuously silent.

Lax federal labor laws allow kids as young as 12 to work in tobacco fields, despite mounting evidence that they can contract acute nicotine poisoning from handling tobacco leaves. Even some tobacco growers and companies take the position that U.S. laws and regulations aren’t strong enough. But the Obama administration has said little and done even less. That needs to change.

A Human Rights Watch report released in May documented the dangers to children working on American tobacco farms based on a year’s research and interviews with 141 child tobacco workers, ages 7 to 17, in the country’s four largest tobacco-producing states: North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.

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CVS Drugstore Chain to Stop Selling Tobacco Products

PIC: Calmon1

PIC: Calmon1

CVS Caremark, the second largest drugstore chain in the United States, has announced that it will stop selling tobacco products in their stores. What do you think, Disinfonauts? The chain cheerfully sells suitcases of beer, cheap, fatty snacks and prescription narcotics – is this an empty gesture? Apparently the Smoker-In-Chief approves…

Via the BBC:

The announcement drew swift praise from President Barack Obama, who said the move would save lives.

The 7,600 CVS shops in the US will have tobacco products off the shelves by 1 October, CEO Larry Merlo said.

The move will cost the company about $2bn (£1.22bn) in annual revenue but is “the right thing to do”, he said.

“Tobacco products have no place in a setting where healthcare is delivered,” Mr Merlo said in a videotaped statement posted on the publicly traded company’s website.

“When we asked ourselves where we expect to be in the future as a healthcare company, it became clear that removing tobacco products from our stores is the right thing to do.”

Mr Merlo said CVS Caremark, which employs 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners, would be the first national pharmacy chain to take this action.

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Canadians Can Grow Tobacco for Personal Use; We Should Be Able to Do the Same with Cannabis

via chycho
cannabis flag

Knowing full well the devastating consequences of America’s War on Drugs, the very same day that Washington State and Colorado legalized the recreational use of Cannabis, the Harper Government introduced “tough new mandatory minimum sentences for marijuana” – a change in the law that even the judiciary is resisting.

The government followed-up this prohibitionist agenda by “changing medical marijuana rules in Canada” so that patients would no longer be able to grow their own medicine, attacking the most vulnerable in our society by turning a health policy into a crime policy.

We won’t go into the details of how Canadians feel about this government, suffice it to say that even before the senate scandal blew up in Harper’s face, a poll from the summer of 2013 showed that 70% of Canadians surveyed wanted the Conservatives gone.

The question we should be asking ourselves as Harper hands out licenses to corporations to grow medical marijuana while prohibiting individual Canadians from growing their own supply, is that; Canadians 18 years of age or older can grow up to 15 kg of tobacco for personal use, so why shouldn’t we be able to do the same with cannabis?

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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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Smoking Damages Your Genes Within Minutes Of Lighting Up

smokingEven the tobacco companies have had to concede that in the long-term smoking is disastrous for human bodies. Probably few people would have guessed just how fast the damage occurs, however. AFP reports on a new study that should give cause to even those who think just an occasional puff will do no harm:

Those first few puffs on a cigarette can within minutes cause genetic damage linked to cancer, US scientists said in a study released Saturday.

In fact, researchers said the “effect is so fast that it’s equivalent to injecting the substance directly into the bloodstream,” in findings described as a “stark warning” to those who smoke.

The study is the first on humans to track how substances in tobacco cause DNA damage, and appears in the peer-reviewed journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, issued by the American Chemical Society.

Using 12 volunteer smokers, scientists tracked pollutants called PAHs, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, that are carried in tobacco smoke and can also be found in coal-burning plants and in charred barbecue food.

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Why Are More Americans Smoking?

Surprising news from the Centers for Disease Control, reported in U.S. News & World Report:

After decades of progress, the number of Americans who smoke hasn’t budged over the last five years and actually rose slightly from 2007 to 2008, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Over the longer term, smoking rates have declined. From 1998 to 2008, the percentage of smokers in the United States dropped from 24.1 to 20.6 percent.

However, the report notes that “during the past five years, rates have shown virtually no change,” and in fact the percentage of Americans who smoke has begun to creep up again, rising from 19.8 percent in 2007 to 20.6 percent in 2008.

Many experts blame the turnaround on recent cutbacks in funding for state tobacco-control programs, which had proven successful.

“Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., and we know what to do,” said Dr.

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