четверг, 29 октября 2009 г.

Cigarettes and Lotto tickets stolen

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Deputies are investigating a break-in at an Ottawa County store.
They say someone forced their way into the Mobile Mart Gas Station on Ottawa Beach Road near Holland and stole cigarettes and Lotto tickets.
This happened early Monday morning.
Deputies are still looking for the suspect. If you have any information call the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.

среда, 28 октября 2009 г.

Just one cigarette harms young arteries

A new study shows that just a few cigarettes a day can harm young arteries. One cigarette was found to increase stiffness in the arteries of 18 to 30 year olds by twenty-five percent.
The findings, presented by Dr. Stella Daskalopoulou at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2009, show how tobacco can harm young adults. Dr. Daskalopoulous says “Our results are significant because they suggest that smoking just a few cigarettes a day impacts the health of the arteries. This was revealed very clearly when these young people were placed under physical stress, such as exercise."
Arterial stiffness can leads to high blood pressure, and eventually can lead to heart attack and stroke. When the heart beats and the artery is stiff, the heart has to work harder, eventually causing the it to become larger and less efficient.
The study tested arterial stiffness of young smokers to non-smokers, using a method called method applanation tonometry. The test is similar to a cardiac stress test, but instead of measuring the heart’s response to stress, it measures the response of the arteries to stress. When stressed, the arteries of smokers became stiffer. Conversely, those who did not smoke showed reduced stiffness in the arteries.
Dr. Daskalopoulou explains, "In effect we were measuring the elasticity of arteries under challenge from tobacco." An interesting finding was that the stiffness of arteries in smokers and non-smokers was the same at rest.
"In effect, this means that even light smoking in otherwise young healthy people can damage the arteries, compromising the ability of their bodies to cope with physical stress, such as climbing a set of stairs or running to catch a bus", says Dr. Daskalopoulou. "It seems that this compromise to respond to physical stress occurs first, before the damage of the arteries becomes evident at rest."
The study reinforces the damage that can occur from tobacco smoke and the impact on youth. Just a few cigarettes a day can harm young arteries. The findings are another reason to find a way to stop smoking. Speak with your doctor for medication help to stop smoking. According to the study, it takes few cigarettes to cause the arteries to become stiff, and the effect on youth is noteworty considering the number of young adults who smoke.

пятница, 23 октября 2009 г.

Students tell tobacco companies to back off

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - The Red Ribbon program focuses on staying healthy and achieving goals.
The schools use games and other activities to show kids how drugs, alcohol, and tobacco can affect those goals.
Wednesday, the kids at Consolidated Elementary in Vigo County wrote letters to tobacco companies to let them know how they feel about their role in getting kids to smoke.
"They're doing a good job of getting kids addicted. And so we want them to stop targeting kids," student Kelsey Farris said.
"These aren't going to be their customers of the future. Not if we can help it, " school counselor Monica Tener-Smith said.
More Red Ribbon activities are planned for the coming weeks.

четверг, 22 октября 2009 г.

Alcohol, cigarettes are much more dangerous than pot

Michael Gimbel is remarkably uninformed about medical marijuana and drugs generally, in spite of his former role as drug czar in Baltimore County.
Alcohol and tobacco are the drugs of death and widespread harm for Americans and very large profits for big American corporations, lawyers, and the prison industry and unions.
There is not a single recorded case of a death due to marijuana overdose, but tens, even hundreds of thousands of Americans die annually due to the legal drugs whose makers profit from so handsomely and then use those profits to keep safer and cheaper alternatives like marijuana off the market. All those profits buy a lot of legislators, drug czars, prisons and power to keep the status quo money machine flowing.
Sure, the present circumstances lead some small operators to game the system with medical marijuana, but it is mostly a benign and harmless chemical compared to what the system makes legal. A large part of the story the media does not tell very well flows out of the abuse of power for economic purposes by those who run the present system.
If Marijuana, alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs were all controlled to the same degree, by similar rules, America and its people would be a vastly healthier, safer and less corrupt country.

пятница, 16 октября 2009 г.

Smokers Sound Off On Tobacco Ban At Andrews Hospital

ANDREWS - Another West Texas hospital is putting the brakes on tobacco. They're banning all smoking and dipping anywhere on the property. The Permian Regional Medical Center (PRMC) in Andrews is the next to go Tobacco Free. They said it's part of a state and nationwide trend. However, some smokers said the trend is forcing them to kick the habit.
"It's everywhere. It's not just the hospitals. It's everywhere," Katherine Morgan, an Andrews Hospital employee and smoker, said. "There's a lot of people that don't even want to come around you if they see you with a cigarette."
It's not unusual to find Katherine Morgan and Tracy Herron taking regular smoke breaks at the Permian Regional Medical Center in Andrews. However, they may give up cigarettes entirely after hosptial officials announced everything inside and out will be smoke free.
"When we do want to have a cigarette, where are we going to have to go to smoke it?" Morgan asked. "So, to me, out of all of it, I feel like we're more or less being pushed to quit. I mean, where are you going to go to smoke?"
The Andrews hospital is one of many facilities throughout West Texas following the state and even nationwide trend. Even in Odessa, the debate continues over whether to ban tobacco in city parks.
"It's not just the hospital pushing it, it's everywhere," Morgan explained. "You can't smoke in a restaurant, you have to be so many feet from any facility to have a cigarette, they're raising the taxes, you can't afford them. There is a combination of things that's actually pushing us to quit. They're trying to make smokers quit."
Hospital officials told NewsWest 9, the idea is to promote healthier lifestyles and to set the example.
"We will be providing medications as well as counseling services," Tasa Watts, Director of Marketing and Public Relations with PRMC, said. "If they would like to quit. We are not making anyone quit. It's a choice. If you want to quit, we will provide the help to quit. If you don't want to quit, you just can't smoke on campus. You can go elsewhere to smoke."
For other PRMC employees, like Tracy Herron, kicking the habit will be a challenge. However, she said the ban may be the little push she needs to make her life healthier.
Hospital officials in Andrews said their ban will go into effect in January. They said they already have several dozen employees signed up to get help to kick the habit. Hospitals in Midland and Odessa have already made the switch to tobacco-free campuses.

вторник, 13 октября 2009 г.

No buts! Syrian president bans smoking in public

DAMASCUS, Syria — Syria's president on Monday issued a decree banning smoking in public places, joining an anti-smoking trend already under way in other Arab countries.
The ban also includes a rare restriction in the Arab world: limiting places where Syrians can indulge in the hubbly bubbly — water pipes known locally as argileh.
President Bashar Assad's decree, which will to into effect in six months, bans smoking in restaurants, cafes, cinemas, theaters, schools, official functions and on public transport. Offenders will be fined 2,000 Syrian pounds — about $45.
Syria had taken steps before to try to restrict smoking, including a 1996 decree issued by Assad's late father, Hafez, that banned smoking in government institutions, hospitals and at the airport.
But the ban was often flouted and not strictly enforced. The younger Assad recently issued a law that banned the sale of tobacco to those under the age of 18.
Monday's decree is a much more sweeping measure reflecting Syria's desire to join other Arab countries struggling to control smoking with bans and anti-smoking campaigns.
Such laws are not easily enforced in the tobacco-loving Arab world, where people light up in offices, universities, taxis and even hospitals and where smoking has long been a social imperative and a rite of passage for young men. Packs can cost as little as 50 cents.
The decree issued by Assad, a British-trained eye doctor, also bans the favorite Mideast pastime — smoking water pipes — except in well-ventilated and designated areas. Also outlawed are tobacco advertising and the sale and import of sweets and toys modeled after tobacco products.
Health Minister Rida Saeed said authorities were working on campaigns that explain to the public "the health hazards of smoking and the environmental, economic and social vices of smoking."
Egypt, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates — and most recently Iraq — have imposed similar restrictions on smoking, but the bans vary in scope and enforcement.
Emirates authorities have banned smoking in public places and indoors, including water pipe smoking in certain places such as restaurants in residential neighborhoods.
Last year, Egypt, one of the top 15 smoking countries in the world, launched a campaign of visual warnings about tobacco's dangers, including a requirement that cigarette labels carry images of the effects of smoking.
Iraq's government in August unveiled sweeping curbs on smoking after parliament ratified the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which requires governments to fight smoking.
Turkey banned indoor smoking earlier this year, leading a man to shoot a restaurant owner to death after being asked to put out his cigarette.

пятница, 9 октября 2009 г.

Police ID man wanted in connection to cigarettes theft

Investigators have identified a man they say broke into three local convenience stores Monday to steal cigarettes.
Earl Alex Harris, Jr., 43, is wanted on three counts of burglary, according to Richmond County Sheriff’s Investigator Aaron Hannsz. He lives with his father at 4564 Pineview Lane in Hephzibah and is believed to frequent known drug areas downtown, Investigator Hannsz said. The robberies occurred at McTeer Food and Fuel on 4150 Windsor Spring Road, McTeer Shell Station at 1237 Gordon Highway and Wally’s on 4250 Windsor Spring Road, according to a sheriff’s report.
In each case, Mr. Harris is accused of smashing the glass door or window at the stores and robbed the business of Newport cigarettes.

среда, 7 октября 2009 г.

State could raise cigarette taxes by $1 a pack to pay for MAP grants

SPRINGFIELD -- The idea of raising Illinois cigarette taxes by a $1 a pack could come up again as early as next week as a way to pay for the state's biggest scholarship program.
Raising taxes by $1 was debated this spring as a way to generate more money for health care for low-income people.
Now, Gov. Pat Quinn wants to use money from a cigarette tax hike to pay for the state's Monetary Award Program. It's the biggest need-based scholarship program in Illinois, but the state's financial problems have left money for spring semester grants in limbo.
Though the Illinois Senate approved of raising cigarette taxes earlier this year, there weren't enough votes in the House to follow suit. Lawmakers returning to Springfield next week could try again.
The Senate sponsor of the tax plan said spending more on health care will draw in federal money. Then, state money could be shifted to pay for MAP grants.
"I don't think we're too far apart in our goals," said state Sen. Jeff Schoenberg, D-Evanston.
The tax hike faces opposition, though.
Republicans are pushing a plan to allow some people and businesses who are behind in paying their income and sales taxes to pay up without penalty in an effort to generate millions to pay for MAP.
State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, said Republicans on board the tax amnesty plan want to see it approved before cigarette taxes are even considered.
Plus, he said, the effectiveness of a tax increase on cigarettes might be overestimated.
"More people will stop smoking," Brady said.
That's good for health reasons, he said, but not if the state is banking on getting more money.
Steve Brown, spokesman for Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, said the Republican plan won't work.
Giving people who are behind on their taxes a break could actually cost the state money, he said.
"This is money the state would already get, and with penalties," Brown said. "There's a reluctance to give a break for deadbeats.The annual fall session of the General Assembly starts next week.

понедельник, 5 октября 2009 г.

Whatever the flavor, it's bad

It's hard to argue with the Food and Drug Administration's decision to ban the sale of flavored cigarettes. To be honest, I always thought cigarettes came in regular and menthol, not chocolate and strawberry.
The legislation passed earlier this year giving the FDA authority over tobacco products authorized it to ban flavored cigarettes, while protecting the kind I got hooked on.
The justification for the ban is that the cigarette companies have been using kiddie flavors, as they've used cartoon characters, to appeal to teenagers. The tobacco industry faces unique challenges - given that so many of its best customers die - which makes recruiting new smokers an economic necessity. And studies have found that 17-year-olds are at least three times more likely to puff on fun-flavored cigarettes than are those over 25.
It sounds like a major step until you read the fine print: The biggest tobacco companies don't even make these cigarettes; the folks who did had pretty much stopped after Congress acted; and the ban doesn't touch menthol, the most popular flavor.
So will banning flavored cigarettes, which made up some 1 percent of the market, stop teens from opening the door to addiction?
I wouldn't bet on it.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in this country. Nearly half a million people die every year from smoking-related illnesses. About 50,000 of those are people whose only exposure to smoke was secondhand.
None of that seems to mean a lot to teens and young adults, especially girls, who start smoking to be cool or lose weight or find something to do with their hands when they're nervous.
I started at 15 and quit at 33. I tremble every time I have a chest X-ray. I lost my best friend to lung cancer, and she didn't smoke. The woman I am closest to is being treated for lung cancer. She didn't smoke.
When I was 15, I didn't worry about getting emphysema or cancer or heart disease. Yet I begged my father to stop smoking; his cough terrified me. He half-tried a few times and stopped smoking in the house, but he never really quit. By the time I started, he'd given up trying. He died at 53.
And that was not, I should add, enough to get me to quit for 10 more years.
Mortality isn't much fun to contemplate. Luckily for them, most young people don't. Even when you lose someone you love to cigarettes, you can convince yourself that it has nothing to do with you. From the perspective of a 20-year-old, 53 looks very far away. Until it isn't.
In a recent speech, President Obama sought to enlist young people in the fight for health-care reform, relying on a University of Michigan study that found that about 40 percent of Americans would lose health-insurance coverage in the next 10 years.
The Joe Wilson wannabe I debated on TV that day kept attacking Obama for using a bad study as a scare tactic. As far as I could tell, the study was fine. The real problem was it wasn't a very good scare tactic: The young - among those most likely to lose insurance when they age off their parents' plan - don't get scared about their health. If they did, you wouldn't need to ban chocolate cigarettes, because no one would be buying them.

четверг, 1 октября 2009 г.

Huge rise in admissions caused by smoking

Smoking-related hospital admissions in people over 35 have risen by more than a fifth in the past decade, show the latest figures from The Health and Social Care Information Centre.
In the year 1997/8 there were fewer than 1.2 million admissions in England for smoking-attributable diseases in this age group, but in 2007/8 there were more than 1.4 million admissions for the same diseases – a rise of 22 per cent. The figures, published in Statistics on Smoking, England, 2009, equate to more than 4000 admissions per day. They exclude private patients in private hospitals, but include both NHS and private patients in NHS hospitals.
Circulatory diseases were responsible for the greatest overall number of smoking-related admissions, at almost 687,000; cancers came second, at almost 323,000. In men, 35 per cent of admissions for kidney cancer were estimated to be caused by smoking, compared with 9 per cent in women.
Of all 8.8 million admissions in 2007/8, about 440,900 – five per cent – were for smoking-related illness. However, more than 80 per cent of all admissions for cancer of the trachea, lung, bronchus or larynx were attributable to smoking, and 86 per cent of those for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
About 83,900 people died as a result of smoking – 18 per cent of all deaths in England for adults aged 35 or over. Smoking was estimated to be responsible for 23 per cent of deaths in men over 35, and 14 per cent of women.
The total expenditure on NHS Stop Smoking services in England in 2008/9 excluding drug treatments was almost £74 million – £219 per quitter – an increase of 26 per cent since 2007/8. The net ingredient cost of all stop-smoking prescription items – nicotine replacement therapy, varenicline (Champix) and bupropion (Zyban) – fell slightly from £61.5 million in 2007/8 to £57.5 million in 2008/9 but was a large increase on the £15.5 million these items cost in 2000/1.