• 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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  • Sunday 24 April 2005 Perry

    Took the last flight back from Barcelona to Luton. Traveling with the French actress Angelique. Hanging around Duty Free while she checked out the smellies I was naturally drawn towards the shelves of tobacco. Prices are so low 20 – 30 Euros for an outer. The trade price in the UK is between 35 – 45 pounds like for like.

    No wonder smuggling is such big business. The tobacco companies can’t fail to lose though because if someone doesn’t buy their products in the UK hey they buy them somewhere else. The government loses on their tax revenue but still have to fund the NHS for people with smoking related diseases.

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