Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Facts Behind Plain Packaging


Because it makes cigarette packs less attractive to our children.

Every year, another 340,000 children in the UK are tempted to try smoking. And research has shown that they are more likely to be attracted by designed tobacco packs, than by plain packs.

With regulation in place to restrict television, radio and other advertising, packaging is becoming more and more important to the tobacco industry to help sell their products.

Shiny holograms, pretty pastel colors and wrappers are just some of the eye-catching pack designs available, and there is building evidence to suggest that these packs can attract and mislead children.

Source: Plain Packs Protect

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Psychology Behind Smoking

Of course, we all know that people smoke because they're addicted to the nicotine found in cigarettes. If fully so, then treating the withdrawal symptoms caused by smoking cessation should logically be 100% foolproof in helping smokers beat their addiction, right?

Well, it's not that simple.

There are also some not-so-subtle habits that many smokers acquire which seemingly can't be solely treated with just step-down nicotine replacement. These lifelong learned behaviors may require psychological intervention.

The sad part is that, because of their lifelong denial, it's often very difficult to win an argument with those smokers when trying to convince them otherwise.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Anti-Smoking Ads That Won't Work

I just finished watching this clever anti-smoking video, and I've come to an important self- realization about Smoking Blows. This film's creators are right about my efforts. No matter how frightening, witty, clever, humorous, or thought-provoking an entry that I post on this blog, it's very unlikely to convince anyone to quit smoking, or to convince anyone to never begin smoking.

What helped finally convince me that I was wasting my time here was that I couldn't find any follow-up what-so-ever to this video's municipal anti-smoking event posted on the internet - nothing about what happened at the event, nothing about how many people attended, nothing about it's rate of success or failure, or any plans to continue the fight. Even the link advertising the event is dead. It was like this event never existed, or never really mattered.

Smokers know the risks and costs associated with their addiction, but until each individual smoker makes that conscious decision to stop smoking, nothing anyone says to them will ever convince them to quit. Replacement smokers will always be found because, for whatever excuse, apathetic parents will continue to stand by and allow their children to start smoking and become nicotine addicts. There's nothing I can do to change it.

Source: Red Duck Pictures

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Don't Be A "Drag" Queen

There was a time not so long ago when there was a tremendous amount of hate and violence being perpetrated against the homosexual community in the United States. I personally can remember reading stories in the news, or seeing it on TV, when the local police departments constantly raided gay clubs, beat their patrons mercilessly, arrested them, and then sent them to jail. Being gay meant a life full of constant persecution.

But, the LGBT community eventually became united, used their collective brains, and fought back hard against that hate, ignorance, and constant persecution. And just like many other minority groups who've been persecuted throughout American history, they've deservedly won the same rights given to all other Americans in this great country.

However, I think they're still being seriously persecuted - but by the tobacco industry.

According to The DC Center -
Members of the LGBT community smoke at a far greater rate than that of the general population, although estimates vary widely. In one 2004 California Study, lesbian women were 70% more likely to smoke than other women, and gay men were more than 50% more likely to smoke than other men. More recent research suggests this number may be even higher. The LGBT National Tobacco Control Network estimates that the LGBT community is 50% to 200% more likely than others to be addicted to tobacco.
These are serious statistics that need to be addressed promptly. I'd like to see the LGBT use the same sort of tenacity they used to win their constitutional rights, but used to fight back against the tyranny of nicotine addiction.

March 26-30, 2012 is National LGBT Health Awareness Week. So for that week, I'm calling on the LGBT community to band together and address one of their greatest threats, one that kills more LGBT members than any physical violence ever did - smoking.

Come out against smoking and stop being considered the tobacco industry's "drag" queen. There's nothing feminine, appealing, or humorous about being exploited and dying young.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Realities Of Smoking

The other day I was watching a documentary about the 1990s genocide in Rwanda, a time when approximately 500,000 - 1 million people were killed while America and the rest of the world stood by and didn't intervene. It was truly a sad, tragic and shocking event in history, and one that could have been easily prevented by intervention.

As soon as the genocide began, the media quickly swooped in, reporting on the whole story, laying blame, and showing innumerable pictures and videos of the dead victims strewn throughout the countryside. This genocide fostered tremendous outrage at our leaders for years afterwards because we had the ability to stop the murders of so many innocent men, women, and children, but did nothing about it instead.

So then, why isn't the same amount of public outrage expressed when 400,000 - 500,000 Americans are killed each year by smoking? This is by far a higher number of deaths, just as shocking, just as horrible, and just as easily preventable as the Rwanda genocide.

Many of us will assume it's because of the vast sums of money the tobacco industry uses to buy the power and influence needed to cover it up. History has proven time and time again that corrupt people would sell their grandmother's soul for a few pieces of silver. That's a given.

But, I also think it's because there hasn't been the same amount of in-depth effort being used to report the graphic extent of the tragedy of smoking. It's difficult to "visually" report the vast number of dead victims of tobacco abuse. Seeing the hundreds of thousands of dead bodies lying around the countryside during the Rwanda genocide had an effect on people to "do something" to help stop the killing, and to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

But, in American, we hide the victims of tobacco abuse. They die slowly, spending their last days on Earth in private - in their homes, in hospitals, or in other facilities - hidden away from public view. We may read or hear about the vast number of smoking deaths, but without seeing those smokers dead or dying in front of us, it doesn't have the same impact.

So, I'm reposting this disturbingly graphic video PSA because it clearly defines the consequences of long-term smoking and the realities behind a nicotine addiction.

Smoking-induced emphysema is truly a gruesome and horrible way to die, especially when it can be so easily prevented. This video makes an impact on me. Hopefully, it'll make an impact on others to change their attitudes toward our well-hidden, and continuing, smoking-induced genocide.

Source: NYC Health: Tobacco Control

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Choose Your Poison

Smokers can't choose what they'll get. Choose wisely - choose to quit smoking.

Source: NSW Health and Tobacco Control

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Redefining Cool

In an effort to educate and engage young filmmakers about the issue of smoking in movies, Legacy has teamed up with a nonprofit production company called ReelAid and a nonprofits film promoter, producer, and marketing company called Spitfire Agency, to work with them on a short video focused on social responsibility in filmmaking.

Voiced by actress and activist Daryl Hannah, this short film, Redefining Cool, aims to help students in the nation’s leading film schools to better understand the complex issues and repercussions around using cigarettes as props in film.

Source: Facebook: Redefining Cool

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kicking The Habit

It's hard to fight temptation alone. Call for some help if you really want to kick it.

Source: TobaccoFreeCA

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Is This Considered Sexy?

I don't know of any man in his right mind that wants to see a chick-flick. If you really love someone, don't enable their addiction, help them quit smoking.

Monday, February 6, 2012

How To Hook A Fish

Does anyone else see the unfortunate irony in this old tobacco ad?

It makes sense that the tobacco companies would be considered experts on how to "hook", reel in, and land the big one, and for celebrating their catch amongst themselves afterward. I'm sure that tobacco executives are still laughing about this one. Back in those days many smokers fell for the bait and swallowed Big Tobacco's lies - hook, line, and sinker.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

How To Say "No"

How many smokers have you talked to who said they began smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products while in their 20s and 30s? That's right - none. Adults know better.

The overwhelming amount of adult smokers became nicotine addicts while still in their teen years, before their minds were fully developed, and before they were both intellectually and legally capable of making the choice to smoke. So, it's easy to understand why keeping our kids from using tobacco products is so important.

I believe that the main reason our children start smoking is because the most important thing to them at their age is their friends.

Teens want to be liked, want to "fit in" and will do almost anything to be accepted. What their friends think of them is paramount to any other issue in their lives, and they will often succumb to the negative peer pressure of being offered tobacco products by people whom they think are their friends.

Caving-in to this peer pressure is often the result of not being educated on the processes involved in saying "no", and not having practiced them in advance. These processes aren't something usually taught in schools today, and many parents haven't educated their kids about the subtle nuances of saying "no" to friends either. Most teens don't really want to start smoking, but they just aren't skilled in the persuasive art of using that word "no".

Somebody has to teach them this skill. Getting them to listen?.. well, that's another story.

So, I thought I would present this video from back in the day when learning about manners, politeness, and civics were all part of the daily curriculum in school.

Although this video is over 60-years old and seems to be made in Whiteyville, USA, it does provide the basics of how to tell someone "no", but tactfully, so our children are less likely to start smoking, lose their smoking "friends", or upset those people whose approval they so desperately seek.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Smoking And Skin Cancer

Most people are aware that the ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes the greatest risk for developing skin cancer. Less widely known however, is that tobacco use can triple your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, especially in women.

Exactly how tobacco smoke leads to skin cancer remains unclear. It's possible that one or more of the 4,000 chemicals found in cigarette smoke may act as a skin carcinogen (cancer-causing agent), either by direct contact with smoke (which may damage the DNA in skin cells) or by being absorbed by the lungs into the bloodstream.

Regardless, skin cancer spreads quickly and can cause permanent disfigurement. This is one more good reason for people to stop smoking or never to start. But, don't just take my word for it.

See for yourself -

SMOKERS ARE JOKERS / Cancer Face from Alex Fischer on Vimeo.