пятница, 10 декабря 2010 г.

San Francisco KTVU report: how many cigarettes make for safe smoking?

You might say, just one cigarette now and again can't hurt, can it? It can't be all that bad, surely? Or you might say you've been smoking for years and you're still here, so that probably means you are immune, right?

Not necessarily so, says San Francisco's KTVU Channel 2 news. The San Francisco news station came out with a report this lunchtime that says that even a limited amount of social smoking or drawing in someone else's secondhand smoke is enough to block your arteries and cause a heart attack.

San Francisco's KTVU revealed that the above were the findings of the newest surgeon general's report on the habit that San Franciscan's, along with other Americans, just can't seem to kick.

Although many San Francisco residents are under the impression that lung cancer is the biggest fear and that can take decades to develop, the new report says that "tobacco smoke begins poisoning immediately - more than 7,000 chemicals in each puff rapidly spread through the body to cause cellular damage in nearly every organ."

"That one puff on that cigarette could be the one that causes your heart attack," reveals Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, according to San Francisco's KTVU. Benjamin also advises San Francisco residents to stay away from anyone else who is smoking.

That's because around 443,000 Americans die from illnesses every year that are related to smoking.

The good news is that smoking-related illnesses have decreased since the warning was first issued by the Surgeon General in 1964, but the decrease has now leveled off and around 46 million--that's one in five-- Americans still smoke and millions more are exposed to the second-hand smoke.

KTVU San Francisco says that "The government had hoped to drop the smoking rate to 12 percent by this year, a goal not only missed but that's now been put off to 2020."

Some experts are asking why cigarettes have not been banned altogether, since this is now the 30th report the surgeon general has given.

"How many reports more does Congress need to have to say that cigarettes as a class of products ought to be banned?" asked Dr. K. Michael Cummings of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, a nicotine expert, who was one of the people who reviewed the cigarette report.

"One-third of the patients who are in our hospitals are there today because of cigarettes," he says.

That question was not answered in the report. Some San Franciscans have their own opinions on that:

"Maybe the government doesn't want to give up the taxes it collects from the sale of cigarettes. But it's crazy because look at the expense that is paid out in health treatment and then in disability benefits when the person becomes too ill to work," says San Francisco resident Hattie Costello, who gave up smoking.

The conclusion in the report? That there is NO safe level of exposure to the smoke from cigarettes, either as a smoker or as someone who ends up inhaling second-hand smoke.

San Francisco smokers are learning from KTVU that even the very first inhalation can be enough to cause a heart attack in a person who may already have clogged arteries, even if the clogging is slight and the person doesn't know their arteries are clogged, says Dr. Terry Pechacek of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Too often people think the occasional social cigarette is not so dangerous, when in fact this report says yes, it is," he said.

Man burnt for cigarette succumbs to injuries

A 45-year old shopkeeper, who was set on fire by a Class 10 student in Pataudi last Saturday, died on Thursday. According to the police, the shopkeeper, identified as Rajender Kumar, had refused to give cigarettes to the boy on credit. The boy came back with an inflammable material and set him
on fire.

"The boy was caught by other shopkeepers and handed over to the police. Meanwhile, Kumar was first rushed to a private hospital in Gurgaon," a senior police officer said.

"Later, he was shifted to the burns ward at the Safdarjung Hospital, where he died today (Thursday)," the police officer added.

Following his death, the market remained closed and shopkeepers also held a protest near Sadar Bazaar demanding R25 lakh as compensation for the family.

Kumar owned a grocery shop at Heli Mandi in Gurgaon. "On Saturday, the boy had come to purchase cigarettes on credit, but Kumar refused. The two entered into an argument after Kumar insisted on payment," the official said.

The boy left the shop enraged and came back with a can of petrol. He set the shop on fire while Kumar was still inside.

The police registered an FIR against the accused under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The case has now been registered under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC.

Free cigarettes possible motive for Standish man who allegedly gave alcohol to minors

While this small, northeastern Michigan city has a quaint, hometown feel, area residents say underage drinking is going on and parents are to blame.

Community members reacted Thursday to reports of a recent drinking party involving a dozen 11- and 12-year-olds.

“If that’s true, you have to blame the parents. That’s just terrible,” said Standish resident Eileen Gilbert.

Standish police Chief Mark Christian said more than a dozen 11- and 12-year-olds were given minor-in-possession citations Dec. 3 in a neighborhood on River Street. A 43-year-old Standish man is expected to be charged with providing the alcohol.

As of Thursday, police had not identified the adult they believe involved in the incident. But they said the man confessed to buying the alcohol.

The Times attempted to contact the man at his home, based on a tip from one of his relatives. A woman at the home, Jo-Lin Heriter, identified herself as the man’s girlfriend.

She said he was taken to jail Tuesday for an unrelated probation violation but said he is “innocent until proven guilty.”

She added that he told her he had purchased the alcohol in exchange for a free pack of cigarettes.

People such as 81-year-old Phyllis Elliott of Pinconning feel the children’s parents share the blame.

“My question is, what are the parents thinking?” said Elliott, who visits Standish frequently to shop and see friends.

“I had seven children and, at that age, I knew where they were at all times. I would never let them out for parties if I didn’t know what was going on,” she said.

One resident in the River Street area who declined to give his name said he frequently sees groups of middle school-aged kids running around the neighborhood.

“(Kids) run all over the place. Sometimes they’re loud and I have to tell them to knock it off,” said the neighbor.

Gilbert though, who lives a block away on Main Street, said the neighborhood is pretty quiet.

Arenac County Undersheriff Don McIntyre hopes a serious penalty is in store for the person who provided the alcohol.

“This is the youngest group of kids that I’ve heard (involved with underage drinking) since I’ve been here,” said McIntyre. “I would hope a judge sees the seriousness of this.

“Eleven and 12 years old is a significantly low age. You normally would see this with high school-aged kids, not middle school.”

Standish Police Chief Mark Christian said he chased down more than a dozen 11- and 12-year-olds Friday and was brought into a house where several bottles of alcohol were found. Christian said the children told him that they pooled their money and gave it to the man who then purchased the alcohol for them.

Christian said the man could face charges of selling and furnishing alcohol to minors — a misdemeanor that could bring more than $1,000 in fines and up to 60 days in jail.

Today, in a text message to the Times, Christian said no further information is available at this time and he expects to know more next week.

Underage drinking isn’t new to Arenac County, said McIntyre.

“But kids are getting smarter by staying off the roads, staying in small groups and drinking alcohol in obscure locations,” said McIntyre. “They’re definitely getting more creative in that aspect.”

Alcohol consumption by children or adults younger than 21 is always a concern for the sheriff’s office, said McIntyre, but with 11- and 12-year-olds, it’s a greater concern.

“Eleven- and 12-year-olds don’t have the ability of logical reasoning as an 18-year-old would have. Just as an 18-year-old wouldn’t have that logical reasoning that a 30-year-old would have,” said McIntyre. “It’s a dangerous decision.”

Just One Cigarette Starts Damaging The Body

The damage cigarettes do to the body isn’t limited to the one smoking, and it’s not just heavy smokers who are at risk for health effects. Even light smokers, or those occasionally exposed to cigarette smoke via second-hand smoke, are at risk for damage, including heart attacks and asthma. According to US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, there is no safe level of tobacco smoke exposure.

“You don’t have to be a heavy smoker or a long-time smoker to get a smoking-related disease or have a heart attack or asthma attack that is triggered by tobacco smoke,” said the report. “Low levels of smoke exposure, including exposures to secondhand tobacco smoke, lead to a rapid and sharp increase in dysfunction and inflammation of the lining of the blood vessels, which are implicated in heart attacks and stroke.”

There’s nothing I am more allergic to than cigarette smoke. I’ve never smoked a single cigarette, and I loathe going into environments where people have been chain smoking. Nobody was happier than I was when my city passed a smoking ban; you do what you want to with your lungs, but I want to be able to breathe and not suffer because you want to smoke, thank you.