Jun. 26, 2013

Smoking Hookah bad side effects associated with cigarettes

Many people smoke water pipes — known as hookahs — as an alternative to cigarettes because they believe that it is less dangerous and doesn't have any of the bad side effects associated with cigarettes.  It's a social habit, and many bars are now adopting them as a draw for crowds in a competitive business.
But a new research study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention has shown that hookah smoke may expose users to different toxic chemicals and could result in different types of cancer than cigarette smoke.
"Water-pipe smoking at 'hookah bars' has become popular with young people in the United States, and some believe that it is less harmful than cigarette smoking," said Peyton Jacob III, Ph.D., a University of California, San Francisco research chemist at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. "We report for the first time that toxicant exposures from water-pipe and cigarette smoking differed in pattern, with higher exposure to some toxicants like carbon monoxide and benzene in water-pipe smokers."
Researchers asked 13 healthy adults (eight men and five women) who were experienced in smoking hookah and cigarettes to participate in the experiment. Study participants smoked either four days every day and then at a later time they were told to smoke hookah for the same time period. This was done to compare the effects of the different smoking methods in the same person.
Water pipe smoking exposed participants to half the amount of nicotine as cigarettes. Researchers also found carbon monoxide levels that were 2.5 times higher in people who smoked from a water pipe during a 24-hour period. Carbon monoxide can increase the risk for heart attack, stroke and sudden death in people with heart or lung diseases.
Metabolites of the cancer causing industrial chemical, benzene, was detected at far higher levels in the urine of water pipe smokers.  Benzene exposure is known to cause leukemia in people.
"People want to know if it is a lesser health risk if they switch from cigarettes to smoking a water pipe on a daily basis," said Jacob. "We found that water-pipe smoking is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking, nor is it likely to be an effective harm reduction strategy."

Tobacco health labels won’t convince addicts, association says

The Minister of Health last week announced plans to expand health warning labels on Canadian cigarette packages, a move meant to discourage young adults from starting to smoke, and to encourage long-time smokers to quit cigarettes. But one interest group is skeptical that the expanded labels will actually lower smoking levels.
“There’s some scientific evidence that suggests it will help, but if you read the commentary that people have written in the papers, they’re addicted, so they’re going to continue to smoke,” said Steve Tennant, vice president of the Canadian Convenience Stores Association (CCSA), whose members credit between 40 and 50 per cent of annual sales to tobacco products, with independent downtown Ottawa stores seeing sales as high as 60 per cent.
Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre joined Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq at Tunney’s Pasture Dec. 30 to announce the plan, which includes expanding health warning labels on cigarette packages from 50 per cent to 75 per cent of the cover, and adding real victims’ testimonials about their struggles with smoking-related diseases.
Canadian anti-smoking activist Barb Tarbox, who died of lung cancer in 2003 after a whirlwind tour of the country to show young Canadians what happens if you smoke, will be featured in her dying moments on some of the new labels. Many new labels will be in colour.
The plan will also launch a new anti-smoking campaign on social media sites such as Facebook, and will introduce a nation-wide toll-free quit line.
“We know that having health warning labels on packages is still one of the most effective ways to warn smokers of health hazards. Therefore we will toughen efforts to make them bolder and bigger,” said Aglukkaq.
But Tennant believes these kinds of initiatives do not really make much difference, particularly for long-time smokers. “If you want to buy cigarettes from us, you’re going to buy cigarettes from us,” he said.
Indeed, one Quickie employee in Ottawa South said cigarette sales at his store have actually gone up since convenience stores have had to keep tobacco products hidden from view.
“Whether you can see it or not, you know we sell cigarettes,” Tennant said. “All it does is slow down service, but as for sales it doesn’t really affect them.”
Tennant added that if the Canadian government really wants to tackle smoking in Canada, it needs to focus on a bigger problem: contraband.
“It’s great to govern the legal products, but it’s frustrating to see business eroding around you because of contraband products that don’t have health warning labels, that don’t pay the taxes, that follow none of the guidelines the Feds have put in place,” he said. “What we get frustrated with is that the Ontario government especially and the Feds don’t take action on the amount of contraband flowing into the country, particularly into areas like Ottawa,” which is bookended by contraband hubs in Cornwall and Montreal.
In 2008, contraband cigarette seizures jumped to its highest level ever, hitting nearly 967,000 cartons, compared to only 29,000 cartons in 2001. Much of that contraband circulates around Ontario.
The Canadian Cancer Society and the Heart and Stroke Foundation both sent representatives to the conference to offer support to the government’s initiatives.
“This outstanding package of new measures will increase awareness of tobacco’s health effects and will reduce smoking among both youth and adults,” said Daniel Demers, director of national public issues at the Canadian Cancer Society. “The announcement comes just in time for New Year’s and provides a further impetus for the many Canadians who will make a resolution to quit smoking.”
The new health warning labels will appear on cigarette packages “as soon as possible” Aglukkaq said, but she wouldn’t give any sort of time line.

5 Natural Ways To Quit Smoking Proven To Work

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports approximately 6 million people are killed by tobacco each year, with 600,000 deaths from exposure to second-hand smoke.
There are more than 7,000 chemicals, including over 60 carcinogens that are known to cause cancer in tobacco smoke says the American Cancer Society (ACS). The tobacco leaves used in cigarette production contains radioactive materials that can build up in the lungs overtime and result in a high percentage of radiation in your body which can predispose a smoker to cancer.
To raise global awareness about the about the negative effects of tobacco use, World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), created by WHO in 1987, is observed every year on May 31. This year's theme, "Free Yourself", encourages people to "free" themselves from tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. The cigarette industry spent $23 million every day in advertising and promotions in 2011 says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The amount of state spending on tobacco control is relatively small compared to the revenue states receive in tobacco taxes and legal settlements. This year, states are expected to collect $25.7 billion in tobacco revenue but will only spend 1.8 percent of that amount on smoking prevention and cessation programs.

Health implications of vaping.

Liquid Verification AEMSA was founded by two vaping advocate volunteers, Lou Ritter and Linc Williams, who have no financial ties to the industry and continue to receive no remuneration. It is an all-volunteer organization that represents American manufacturers of e-liquids whether they sell wholesale or retail, online or in brick and mortar stores. Some non-manufacturing participants, such as consumer advocates and subject matter experts may also join by invitation. “We were concerned about the lack of verifiable product content; there are many individual product Websites, but we didn’t see verifiable product content accuracy and ingredient quality disclosure/accuracy—what ingredients are in these products, the environments in which they are made and we wanted to inform the public about some of the scientific and medical research available,” said Ritter, who serves as president of AEMSA. “Not only that, but prior to AEMSA posting our standards, many consumers didn’t even know what questions to ask. The posted AEMSA Standards provide detailed information to any and all interested parties, including consumers and regulators,” Ritter explained. “Every consumable product has some sort of regulatory guidelines for consumer confidence and stewardship; we thought this one should too.” AEMSA considers the e-cigarette to be a “tobacco harm reduction smoking alternative.” Although the organization acknowledges that nicotine is, as Ritter described it, “an ingredient of concern that requires responsible handling,” it does not view the e-cigarette liquid as a tobacco product. “This is a new category of product,” he emphasized. On AEMSA’s Website (www.aemsa.org) is an extensive set of self-regulatory standards that has been developed “to create responsible and sustainable practices and process for the safe manufacturing of ‘e-liquids’ used in electronic cigarettes” and “to provide consumers with higher degrees of confidence that our members’ products are manufactured with professionalism, accuracy and safety.”

Jun. 18, 2013

Proposed Sudbury smoking ban goes 'too far'

A proposed smoking ban that could include outdoor restaurant patios in Greater Sudbury has some bar owners and customers worried.

Staff with the city will soon be asking the public whether smoking should be banned on city property — including outside libraries, arenas and city hall.

Sean St. Jean said he's not a smoker, but doesn't mind if people do have a cigarette while on a patio.

"My personal opinion is ... it’s taking it perhaps a little too far,” he said.
Sudbury restaurant manager Matt St. Pierre said banning smoking on outdoor patios could translate into fewer customers. Sudbury restaurant manager Matt St. Pierre said banning smoking on outdoor patios could translate into fewer customers. (Steve Howard/CBC)

"You can't smoke in restaurants and I can understand and quite agree.

Canada's war on smoking turns 50

Canada was once a smoker’s heaven.

In 1963, smoking was permitted virtually everywhere, including hospitals, schools, airplanes and restaurants. Cigarettes were widely advertised on TV, radio, billboards, newspapers and magazines and associated with happiness, relief and leisure. Taxes were low and cigarettes were cheap. Health warnings on cigarette packages did not exist. Nor did ‘non-smoking’ sections — unless you counted a lone seating area where no ashtray happened to be placed on a table.

Roughly 50 per cent of Canadian adults smoked (61 per cent of men and 38 per cent of women). As of 2011, that number dropped to 17 per cent.

That cultural shift came about largely because of a bombshell statement that Canada's Minister of National Health and Welfare, Judy LaMarsh, dropped in the House of Commons 50 years ago.

On June 17, 1963, Minister LaMarsh rose and declared: "There is scientific evidence that cigarette smoking is a contributory cause of lung cancer and that it may also be associated with chronic bronchitis and coronary heart disease."
'Historical landmark'

In a world where any negative reference to smoking or the cigarette industry was considered taboo,

Smoking banned in Metro Vancouver parks

Anyone stepping out for a walk in a Metro Vancouver regional park will no longer be allowed to light up a smoke while hiking the trails. The new smoking ban for all 33 regional parks and greenways, including Pacific Spirit Park at UBC, Capilano River Regional park and Burnaby Lake Regional Park, went into effect on Jan. 1. Do you support smoking bans in parks? Metro Vancouver Operations Manager Craig Smith says second-hand smoke exposure was a real worry. "The main concern is where people tend to congregate...high activity areas where there are congregations of people, areas such as beaches, playgrounds, campgrounds, picnic areas, picnic shelters, some of the other public facilities we have," said Smith. Most regional parks will provide designated smoking areas close to existing parking lots and for the month of January staff will be informing people about the new by-law and looking for voluntary compliance. After that, violaters can expect fines up to $75. The Metro Vancouver board passed the ban in September. The City of Vancouver banned smoking in all its parks in 2010. B.C. already has laws in place banning smoking in any indoor public areas, at bus stops and next to public doorways and windows. Vancouver also has a bylaw prohibiting smoking on outdoor restaurant patios.

Cancer society urges tougher anti-smoking laws

The Canadian Cancer Society is calling on the B.C. government to tighten its anti-smoking regulations, in an effort to cut the smoking rate from 14 to 9 per cent over the next five years.
The campaign comes on the 50th anniversary of the landmark declaration by Canada's Health Minister Judy LaMarsh that “smoking is a contributory cause of lung cancer”.