• Sunday 13 May 10.03pm Perry

    Listening to – Bush – Come Down

    Emotions – Reflective

    Days until smoke down – 8

    ‘Dates change, seasons change, people don’t change’ (Jack in 16 Blocks). Just finished watching the DVD and of course Jack (Bruce Willis) changes but you knew that anyway.

    As I got online today the following article appeared on my AOL home page. Signs are everywhere.

    Smoking: Busting the Myths.

    We all know that smoking is bad for you – but sometimes it’s easier to believe the various half-truths and myths that surround smoking than to accept that it’s time to give up.

    Here we debunk some of those myths once and for all. Bring on the nicotine patches!

    Smoking makes you sexy httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6Ti2nExlUk

    In fact, male smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to suffer impotence. Around 120,000 men in their thirties and forties are impotent in the UK as a result of smoking.

    The habit will also make your skin wrinkled and can leave you looking 10 to 20 years older than you really are, according to the Government’s Chief Medical Officer.

    Smoking calms you down

    It actually makes you more anxious – because when you aren’t having a cigarette, you end up suffering nicotine withdrawal symptoms, which make you crave another. Rather than being pleasurable in itself, it’s a way of easing your withdrawal – a bit like hair of the dog, really.

    Your health barely suffers if you smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes a day

    Sadly not true. Research shows that if you smoke one to four cigarettes a day, you’re three times more likely than a non-smoker to die from lung cancer or heart disease.

    What’s more, there is some evidence that the number of years you smoke affects your cancer risk more than the amount you smoke each day.

    Smoking ‘low-tar’ brands will protect my health

    Low-tar cigarettes are just as harmful as regular brands, because people inhale them much more deeply to satisfy their nicotine cravings. Nor are you safe if you avoid inhaling, because you’ll still be at risk of cancers of the mouth, throat and food pipe (oesophagus), which can be very disfiguring.

    My gran smoked 80 a day and died in her sleep at 94, so it can’t be that bad…

    We all have different genes and surroundings, which make some people more vulnerable to the damage done by smoking. But smoking dramatically increases your chance of dying early and getting cancer, heart disease or another smoking-related illness.

    Smoking helps you keep your weight down

    This is true, in that the habit reduces your appetite and makes your body waste energy. But you can avoid weight gain if you start to take more exercise (easier when you don’t smoke) and/or cut your intake of alcohol and high-calorie foods.

    There’s no point in stopping now – the damage is done

    In fact, your body starts to recover within minutes of you quitting. Within three days, breathing will be easier and you’ll have more energy; and within a few weeks, exercise will be less of a struggle.

    After ten years, your risk of lung cancer is about half that of a smoker, while your risk of a heart attack is the same as non-smokers’.

    The only thing that can help you give up for good is willpower

    Yes, willpower is vital, but there’s strong evidence that using nicotine replacement products such as gum and patches can roughly double your chances of success, because they take the edge off the cravings you will feel in your first few days.

    You can get NRT on prescription from your GP and there are also prescription drugs that your GP can give you to dramatically boost your chances of success.

    It’s better to cut down gradually than to stop suddenly

    The problem with cutting down is that you may never actually quit altogether. However, recent research shows that people who can’t face going cold turkey can give up by gradually cutting back on fags while starting to use nicotine replacement therapy to fill some of their nicotine gap – then, eventually, coming off NRT.

    The NHS is too poor to help me quitcigarette1

    In fact, the NHS runs free stop smoking groups all over the country – and you can join one by getting a referral from your GP.

    For expert advice on quitting, call Quitline 0800 00 22 00, or the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 169 0169.

    Other good sources of support and information are the British Heart Foundation and Action on Smoking and Health.

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  • Amongst Brazilian tobacco farmers, suicide rates are seven times higher then the average suicide rate reported for the rest of the country. These deaths coincide with the seeding and harvesting of tobacco plants. Many of the suicides were suffering from acute neurological imbalances. Organophosphate pesticides can result in psychological depression. Tobacco farmers use this pestercide. Any connection?

    The Brazilian Ministry of Health made changes to the pesticide labelling. The new labels for highly dangerous chemicals now resemble those of less toxic products. These changes took place after the agrochemical industry applied pressure on the government. However, most farmers are illiterate and protective clothing and storage facilities are expensive. Chemicals are often stored in a house or dwelling exposing children, pregnant women and the elderly to pesticide poisoning.

    The tobacco industry have investigated and patented many technologies that reduce substances in cigarette smoke that cause cancer, heart disease and emphysema. These include ‘Eclipse’, ‘Premier’ – FDA regulated devise could be used to smoke crack, and ‘Accord’ – a specially constructed cigarette and lighter. Most of these devices have been withdrawn or never implemented.

    Using advanced biotechnology, tobacco crops have now been engineered and grown to contain higher levels of nicotine. These crops fit the legal definition of a drug. In 1968 Dr David Owen tried to introduce nicotine to the Medicines Act (Pharmaceutical regulations) and proposed that tobacco as such a substance the act should control cigarettes. However the plans were dropped after ministerial reshuffles within the UK government.

    This consequently sees cigarettes being exempt from regulations that apply to pharmaceutical nicotine products. There by, tobacco products have a nicotine maintenance monopoly for nicotine addiction.

    Death Rates

    The death rate to cigarette related diseases in the UK is 120,000 p.a. That is a town the size of Norwich or Chester. In the past 40 years over 5 million people have died from smoking related diseases. That is 12 times more than in World War II.

    Smoking related deaths are 6 times higher in the UK than road accidents, murder/manslaughter, poisoning, suicide, overdoses and HIV put together.

    To put it into context, cocaine is an illegal class ‘A’ drug and is attributed to 140 deaths in the UK per year. Meanwhile the use of mobile telephones while driving was made illegal in the UK in 2004, 20 deaths in the last 5 years are linked to this practise. You have to ask yourself why can anyone from sixteen year old legally buy cigarettes?

    China now has the largest death rate from smoking of any country overtaking the USA. A third of all men will die if current habits persist.

     1 million smoking related deaths in China in 2000

    2 million smoking related deaths in China forecast by 2025

    3 million smoking related deaths in China forecast by 2050 (8000 per day)

    Cigarette consumption in China has risen from 100 billion cigarettes in the early 50’s to over 1,800 billion today.

    Find more information about smoking in China here.

     

     Worldwide deaths from smoking –

    4 million in 2000 – 50/50 between developed and developing countries.

    10 million by 2030 – 70% in developing countries.

     

    As litigation and laws surrounding the tobacco industry tighten up in USA and the EU the tobacco industry are shifting production and sales to the new markets of Russia, Poland, Cuba, Mexico, Egypt, India, South America and South Africa. There are little or no laws governing the sale of tobacco in these countries. Pressure on these governments to legislate against tobacco consumption now could save millions of deaths in the future.

    If worldwide consumption of cigarettes decreased by half by 2020 25 million premature deaths in the first quarter of the century and 150 million in the second quarter of the century would be avoided.

    People who stop smoking live longer, contribute to society for longer, experience improved health, lower the demand on the NHS, reduce the cost to employers in days lost to smoking related illnesses, have more money to spend and create more jobs.

    Cigarettes are exempt from most forms of consumer protection because products were already in the market before consumer laws were developed. The extent of harm to consumers by cigarettes cannot reach safety standard requirements as imposed on other products.

    Image if you will if you just invented a cigarette and took it onto the popular television show ‘Dragon Den’ How would you present it to the Dragons and what sort of reaction would you think you would get? Watch Dragons Den – Duncan Bannatyne in this Quit video.

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELtfKpYCGB8

    Although there have been moves to restrict advertising cigarette brands, introducing health warnings and lowering tar rates in cigarettes, nicotine regulations serve the tobacco industry over public health. Tobacco companies make voluntary concessions rather than legislate. This gives an air of perceived respectability to the industry, although agreements are difficult to monitor, controls are easily evaded and there are no penalties for violations. Health warnings also work in favor of manufacturers in litigation defense cases.

    Tobacco companies make a big noise of how most of their litigation cases are overthrown at appeal. The tobacco companies are at a distinct advantage over individuals, companies or evens States, because of their huge cash reserves they can tie the courts up for decades.

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  • Here’s is an interesting pop quiz you can do to test your knowledge on smoking and the tobacco industry.

    Scroll down to the end for the answers.

    Q1. Marlboro cigarettes global annual sales exceed…

    A. $15 Billion                                                 B. $5 Million

    C. $ 10Million                                                 D. $10 Billion

     

    Q2. How many cigarette related deaths are there in the UK per year?

    A. 12,000                                                        B. 20,000

    C. 100,000                                                      D. 120,000

     

    Q3. How many compounds or additives are there in a cigarette?

    A. 600                                                             B. 160

    C. 60                                                               D. 600

     

    Q4. When a cigarette is burnt, how many toxic and/or chemical compounds are made?

    A. 1000                                                           B. 2000

    C. 4000                                                           D. 10,000

     

    Q5. Which country is the largest importer of American style tobacco?

    A. UK                                                             B. USA

    B. Brazil                                                         D. China

     

    Q6. How many cigarette filters are estimated to be found as litter in the westernised world?

    A. 4.5 Thousand                                             B. 4.5 Million

    C. 4.5 Billion                                                   D. 4.5 Trillion 

     

    Q7. Predicted deaths from smoking for the year 2030 are…

    A. 4 Million                                                     B. 6 Million

    C. 8 Million                                                     D. 10 Million

     

    Q8. Brazilian tobacco farmers have a higher than average suicide rate from the rest of the country. Is the rate…

    A. 3 x Higher                                                  B. 5 x Higher

    B. 7 x Higher                                                  D. 10 x Higher 

     

    Q9. The first country in the world to ban the sale of tobacco and smoking in public places is…

    A. Australia                                                     B. Bhutan

    C. Ireland                                                       D. Canada

     

    Q10. Bidis are…

    A. Old people                                                 B. A healthy cigarette

    C. An unfiltered cigarette                                 D. A sweet 

     

    Q11. Philip Morris’s Youth Smoking Prevention Program advertisement on MTV Europe was called…

    A. You don’t have to smoke to be cool          B. Don’t do it!

    C. Cool it… a smoke?                                   D. I’m cool, I just can’t help it.

     

    Q12. Since the ban on tobacco advertising in the UK in 2003 how many new brands have Philip Morris launched?

    A. 0                                                                 B. 1

    C. 2                                                                 D. 3 

    your basic cigarette message

    Answers

    Q1 (A) Philip Morris manufactures, markets, sells and distributes in more than 160 countries.

    Q2 (D) 120,000 deaths a year is equivalent to the population of a town the size of Norwich or Chester.

    Q3 (A) Arsenic (Rat Poison), Formaldehyde (Body Preservative), Acetone (Nail Polish Remover), Hexamine ( BBQ Lighter), Cadmium ( Rechargeable Batteries), Lead (Petrol Fumes) Methanol (Rocket Fuel) and Ammonia (Household Cleaner) are all found in cigarettes.

    Q4 (C) The additives used in the manufacture of cigarettes are government approved for food. However, they were not tested by burning them. It is the burning of the substances that changes their properties. Many of these chemicals are carcinogenic. i.e. cause cancer.

    Q5 (B) Tobacco companies now grow and manufacture cigarettes in developing countries where overheads are less, markets are larger and anti tobacco legislation is almost non-existent.

    Q6 (D) Cigarette filters are not biodegradable as cellulose acetate; a form of plastic, is one of the components that make up the butt and never breaks down.

    Q7 (D) 70% of these deaths will be in developing countries.

    Q8 (B) A link was found between organophosphate pesticides and skyrocketing suicides which coincided with the seeding and harvesting of tobacco crops in Venancio Aires.

    Q9 (B) The Himalayan kingdom of 900,000 people banned tobacco use in early 2005 as part of its continuing tobacco-free initiative programme.

    Q10 (C) Imported from India, these cigarettes contain tobacco but are wrapped in nonporous leaves and sold in a variety of flavours such as strawberry, mango and vanilla. Bidis are referred to as cigarettes with training wheels by health authorities.

    Q11 (A) This initiative is dwarfed by corporate sponsorship, marketing and point of sale activity at rock concerts, formula 1 and sporting events.

    Q12 (C) Basic and Marlboro Blend 28 have both been successfully launched in the dark market post advertising ban.

     

     Have you got what it takes to be a tobacco executive?

    >> Take this cool interactive quiz  at www.thetruth.com Now <<

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  • The major tobacco industry players are…

    Philip Morris Ltd. Owned by Altria Inc.

    Brands include – Marlboro, Raffles, Basic and Philip Morris.

    1) The company manufactures, markets sells/distributes in more than 160 countries.

    2) Produces 7 of the top 20 best selling global cigarette brands.

    3) Collectively accounts for 18% of the global cigarette market.

    4) Marlboro is one of only 2 brands with global sales exceeding $15bn per annum

    The Marlboro Man advertising campaign by the Leo Burnett Agency is widely acknowledged as one of the all time most successful advertising campaigns. Ads  depicted nothing much to do with cigarettes (i.e. paper rolled around dried leaves), but propelled the brand to the forefront of premium cigarettes market. 

    British American Tobacco / Rothmans

    Brands include – Lucky Strike, Dunhill, Rothmans and Royals

    1) The company operates in more than 150 countries.

     Reynolds American Inc.

    Brand include – Winston Salem

    Gallaher

    Brands include – Benson & Hedges, Silk Cut, Berkeley, Sovereign, Dorchester and Mayfair.

    Imperial Tobacco

    Brands include – Embassy, Regal, Superkings, Lambert & Butler and Richmond.

    Tobacco companies such as BAT and Philip Morris both run Youth Smoking prevention programs as part of their corporate social agenda. The ‘you don’t have to smoke to be cool’ advert was shown on MTV Europe, minimum age notices are placed in points of purchase and the brand logo is not sold on caps and t-shirt.

    Smoke Free Kids

    However these initiatives are dwarfed by corporate sponsorship, marketing and point of sale activity of rock concerts, Formula 1 and other motor sports. These events are attended predominately by young people whose perception of rock stars or the motor racing champion is one of cool and glamorous, who lives an inspirational lifestyle all young people can only dream off.

    The reality of driving for most people is one of congestion, frustration and pollution. Cars have always been sold on an image of open roads, hassle free driving and freedom to travel. These associations have always been the Marlboro Mans identity. Sponsoring motor-sport has taken the campaign yet another step forward from the days of the cowboy.

    Rock ‘n’ Roll stars have always been aligned with rebellion, free wheeling, on the edge and everything the previous generation despises. Again these are all qualities young people identify with and want to be a part off. These qualities are coincidentally the same as the Marlboro Man myth.

    The reality the original Marlboro Men, Wayne McLaren, is that he succumbed to lung cancer and died at the age of 51. McLaren’s brother provided a voiceover over a withered image of Wayne in a hospital bed prior to his death asking the question ‘Lying there with all those tubes in you, how independent can you really be?

    Cigarette girls are used extensively to reinforce the brand in bars clubs, high profile events, parties, film premiers, fashion shows, concerts, festivals and restaurants. Although giving away free product to customers is no longer prohibited selling them at a great reduction isn’t. There is also the perceived association of beautiful models and cigarettes, the image of glamour is aspirational and being at all the right places. It sends out a message that if you smoke you can be ‘hot like me’. Again associating cigarettes to sexy, young and glamorous women enforces the image the brands try to portray. It is the wrong message to send out when about one fifth of 15 year olds are regular smokers, with the number of girls lighting up outnumbering boys. Most of the girls I knew who promoted cigarettes in bars don’t actually smoke.

    The image of smoking in the all media is still perceived as cool. From 50’s stars such as James Dean (Rebel Without a Cause), to Michael Caine (Get Carter) right through to today’s blockbusters starring Brad Pitt (Fight Club) and John Travolta (Swordfish). These stars are immortalized in film images that are so strong the picture could be still endorsing cigarettes as a ‘cool thing’ 50 or 100 years from now in cinemas and in your home on DVD.

    Bogey smoking

        Smoking celebrities

    John Wayne Marlboro Man

    Dirk Bogart           Celebrities           John Wayne

    Throughout the 90’s the TV and film franchise ‘The X Files’ contained a character played by the non-smoking actor – William B Davis called ‘Cancer Man.’ The Fox TV publicity department were more PC and referred to the character as ‘Cigarette Smoking Man.’

    For film directors today to reinforce the image of smoking as a cool character trait is morally irresponsible, lazy and shows a great lack of imagination.

     Smoking Pete Docherty

    Kate Moss smokes

    Jonny vegas Smokes

    jodie Marsh smoking

    Certain celebrities revel in their ability to smoke cigarettes like it’s a badge of honor. The problem is in these days when celebrity is celebrated and impressionable young people readily buy into it, promoting smoking is not only irresponsible but stupid. Not all the blame can be laid at the door of this or that celerity. The media should be more careful of what photographs and images they choose to reproduce.

    Brad Pitt smokes the-first-wives-club smoking

    indy-car- sponsored by Marlboro

    holy-smokes Madonna

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  • Killing your customers is not generally considered a good business practise, but tobacco companies seem to excel in this field. 

    Associated health problems attributed to the smoking of cigarettes prior to the 1930’s were unknown. ‘Doctor Recommended’ and ‘Good for Digestion’ advertisements were common in the 1920’s. Then in 1932 a paper published by the American Journal of Cancer made the connection between cigarettes and cancer. 

    Many more papers were subsequently released, solidifying the health issues from cigarettes. By 1957 the Surgeon General (USA) became involved with the issues and by 1964 he had filed an official report connecting cigarettes to cancer.

    In the early 70’s a Smoking Act was passed by the US Congress, TV bans and warning labels were brought into effect. Within the space of four decades the image of cigarettes had changed. Smokers (the minority) still believe it’s their right to smoke, not the non-smokers (the majority) right to breathe clean air. On 1st July 2001 smoking will be banned in all public places in the UK following successful bans already in place in Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

    Way back in 1973 warning labels were introduced and the first ban on smoking in a public place was introduced in Arizona. California, New York State and Ireland followed suit years later. Other countries throughout the European Union are now lining up to back a ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces

    In 1984 warning labels were changed on the packet of cigarettes. Meanwhile in Canada, Brazil, Singapore and Thailand packs already contained graphic coloured images with additional health warnings. Ireland and Belgium have indicated that they will introduce some of the 42 images approved by the EU in the near future. 

                                                       Leo Bennett      Leo Burnett     

                 marlboro the original cigarette

                             ’Original’ Marlboro                       

    Philip Morris used the Leo Burnett Company in 1955 to develop a ‘minor cigarette brand with a predominately feminine image and turned it in to a big seller by using close-up photos of ruggedly handsome men’, The ‘Marlboro Man’ arguably the most successful marketing campaign ever, took the idea of smoking and linked it with the image of rebellion, freedom and personal choice. Thus, any attacks made on smokers or smoking becomes an issue of losing that freedom or the government interfering in the personal choices of the people. This changed somewhat in 1993 when passive smoking or second hand smoke was recognised as a cause of cancer. The issues of freedom to smoke and personal choice changed to one of injuring others.

                Smoking Marlboro Man

          Marlboro Man circa 1955     

    Smoking Marlboro Cowboy

          Marlboro cowboy circa 1956     

    Smoking Marlboro Cowboy 1973

    Smoking Marlboro Country

    Marlboro Country circa 1973

       Ronald Reagan in Cigarette Ad

     marlboro smoking cowboy

    marlboro rodeo

    Marlboro menthol cigarette ad

    The tobacco companies answered by employing marketing strategies for a healthier cigarette, this started in 1952 with the introduction of filters. 1.3% of cigarette sales had filters in this year but by 1956 over 25% had filters. Now almost all cigarettes sold are filtered. The next step in the elusive search for the healthy cigarette occurred in the 70’s with the introduction of the ‘Tar Wars’. Arguable the most famous brand created was ‘Marlboro Lights.’ The words Light and Medium were outlawed in 2002 in the UK. Cigarette tar and nicotine yields are measured by machines that smoke but bear little relation to the way humans smoke cigarettes. However it is widely perceived that a Light alternative is safer but there is no evidence to support this.

    The continuation of marketing ‘Marlboro Man’ and ‘Marlboro Country’ saw the emphasis shift from the product to one were a cigarette or pack of cigarettes had completely disappeared from the advertisements and now the focus was on satisfaction and taste. The whole appeal of the product is one of rebellion and freedom. Marlboro ads no longer sell a product but sell an image.

    As the Western worlds taste for cigarettes diminishes with the knowledge of cancer and the new legislation against tobacco smoking in public places and raising the age to buy from 16 to 18, the tobacco companies shift their emphasis to new and emerging markets in developing countries. Not unlike other corporations who set up sweat shops in Free Trade Zones throughout the developing world, the tobacco companies are also taking advantage of cheap labour and land and take with them a whole new set of health, environmental and social problems. Although cigarette sales in the western world have diminished the tobacco companies report bigger profits year on year, but at what cost to public health and the environment?

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  • So here I am, Saturday night and I’m still working at my PC. I met Katie last night and discussed Smoke Swap in Cargo. Ok, my friends Scrimshire were headliners but I can’t think of a more apt place than a smoky venue to discuss a tobacco related film. Cargo isn’t unlike any other bar in the amount of passive smoke circulating around the venue. I left about 3am stinking of the pungent odour and my cloths on my bedroom floor aren’t going to clean themselves today.

    I went to a preview screening of Taking Liberties at Amnesty International this week. An amazing film on so many levels made me laugh and genuinely scared me. The horror of this is it is real life and the laws the government have been eroding or passing in the last decade are truly shocking. If there is one thing that the government has got right and that is smoking ban in public places. No-one in their right mind can’t say this is a bad thing. Bring on the ban.

    Words of support… 

    Looking forward to meeting up Monday. Be careful with the fags though…. I’ve been trying to quit for fifteen years. It’s not fun.
    Neil Boorman – Author of Bonfire of the Brands 11/05/07

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt289JNcvsY

    I can’t believe you’ll start smoking!!!!!!! Now don’t you freaking start bumming fags of me, a’right!?!?!?

    Davide Scaleghe – Producer Current TV 11/05/07

    Cheers bredwin. I hope you die of lung cancer. X

    Sam Cox 12/05/07

    Right, I’m of to watch The Insider starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe based on the true story about Jeffery Wigand who blew the whistle on big tobacco in the USA. Just remember, it only takes one individual to change the world. I think there is a message in there for our Prime Minister! 

    Jeffery Wigand the Insider

    Jeffery Wigand

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wwJp8VDGzE

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