Tobacco Ingredients on Display

This year our participants have far exceeded our expectations in creativity for assignments in the Florida Tobacco Prevention on-line course.  They have taken the topics given to them and truly made them their own.  The participants have also been willing to have their work shared with others.  The following essay was for the chemical assignment.  The criteria chosen by this participant was for them to share their perspective on why tobacco has been exempt from displaying ingredients while other items that are for human consumption must show details of what goes into their products.  We also asked what changes should be made and do they see them happing in the near future.  Thank you Tim Bove from St. Lucie School District for your essay.

The question remains as to why tobacco products are not required – in the interest of full disclosure – to reveal their entire ingredient list, as are other products monitored and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There seem to be two components to this answer, neither of which is sufficient in its own right, but, when combined together, provide a compelling explanation for this phenomenon.

First and foremost is the very nature of tobacco products themselves. As it is summarized by one source, this agency “is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety, tobacco products, dietary supplements, prescription and over the-counter pharmaceutical drugs (medications), vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, blood transfusions, medical devices, electromagnetic radiation emitting devices (ERED), cosmetics, animal foods & feed and veterinary products” (Wikipedia, n/d, “Food”). While the agency was originally intended to monitor and provide product control for foodstuffs, drugs, and medical devices and equipment, it has only recently seen fit to expand its purview to other substances, technologies, and procedures that affect health, either directly or indirectly. Its regulation over tobacco products, for example, only dates back to 2009, with the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Wikipedia, n/d, “Food”). As yet, the agency appears unsure as to how to go about regulating these particular products, which are not technically food, drugs, or medical substances. It appears that the FDA has two choices:  It can continue its current campaign to regulate factors surrounding smoking, like advertising, accessibility to minors, and warning labels on packaging; or it can treat tobacco products as inherently dangerous recreational products that are purposely designed to kill their targets, even when used as intended. The first is a more cost-effective and legally-justifiable approach, and it appears that this will be the one taken in the foreseeable future.

The second issue in tobacco labeling is the list of ingredients itself. There is no issue regarding the additives to cigarettes and other tobacco products; a comprehensive list of about 600 ingredients has been submitted to the United States Department of Health and Human Services as early as 1994 (Wikipedia, n/d, “List”). While these ingredients could be displayed on every package of tobacco product sold, the rationale for doing so is unclear.  How would this list benefit the average consumer, who would still remain woefully unaware of the health consequences of even the most dangerous chemicals on the list? After all, this list of ingredients is already available to the public, but it goes largely unused and, when used, is not very well understood. How are tobacco products different than other readily available consumables? It is rare to find warning labels on apples or blueberries, for instance, which regularly make the list of fruits containing the most pesticide residue at point of sale  (blueberries, for example, exhibiting at times more than fifty dangerous pesticides when sold to the public) (Good  Housekeeping, n/d). While it is reasonable to hold tobacco products to the same standards as other consumables, it would be questionable to hold them to a higher standard simply due to their unpopularity among certain activist groups. Finally, the list of ingredients that go into cigarettes is simply unhelpful due to the dissimilarity between this list and the list of substances that come out of tobacco products when they are used: “When burned, they create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are poisonous” (American Lung Association, n/d). It is this list that has the potential to help consumers, but is, once again, both overwhelmingly long and difficult to comprehend.

The simplest way to remedy this situation is two-fold. First, disclosure should be based on what is reasonably expected to happen when the product is used as intended. After all, the warnings on heat producing appliances, for example, are based not on what goes in but on what comes out. Ingredients should be listed, not in the order of quantity (as is commonly done with foodstuffs), but in the order of quality (with the most toxic elements noted upfront). Second, however, is the more obvious solution: Tobacco products should be regulated for what they are, which is a delivery system for dangerous chemicals that endangers the user and those around him or her as well. Quite simply, if we discovered that a manufacturer was producing and selling products containing dangerous chemicals, we would normally fine the manufacturer and immediately recall the products (see, e.g., the recall of Chinese products ranging from toothpaste and pet food to children’s toys and lipstick, all containing lead (Wikipedia, n/d, “2007”)). The only reason that tobacco products are not regulated the same as other dangerous and toxic chemical delivery systems is that they have a much better legal defense team.

References:
– American Lung Association. (n/d). What’s in a cigarette? Retrieved from http://www.lung.org/stopsmoking/about-smoking/facts-figures/whats-in-a-cigarette.html
– Good Housekeeping. (n/d). The new dirty dozen: 22 foods to eat organic. Retrieved from 
http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/healthy/news/g168/dirty-dozen-foods/
– Wikipedia. (n/d). 2007 Chinese export recalls. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Chinese_export_recalls
– Wikipedia. (n/d). Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_and_Drug_Administration
– Wikipedia. (n.d). List of additives in cigarettes. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_additives_in_cigarettes

 

 

 

 

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Less Harmful is Not Harmless

e-cig_002You said you would never smoke, but once electronic cigarettes became popular and you heard they were safe, you gave them a try.  Or maybe you have been a long-time smoker and decide to switch from cigarettes to the new electronic smoking fad because you heard it’s better for your lungs than all the chemicals in smoke from tobacco products.  A new study may have you thinking about this new craze.

E-cigarettes, personal vaporizers, vape pens–whatever you want to call them–have only been on the market for a few years.  Researchers are just now reporting findings from their studies as to whether these devices pose any harm for users.  While many believe they are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, the question is, are they harmless?  The answer to that question is…no.

U.S. researchers conducted a small study and looked at how e-cigarettes affect the lungs. They found the vapor “affects cells in the lungs in the same way as cigarette smoke, even after just one hour.”  In normal lungs, the walls of the alveoli which exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, are made up of protein.  They break down and they re-generate themselves and function correctly in a process known as proteostatis.  In smoker’s lungs, this process doesn’t function in the same way; the alveoli become damaged and don’t re-generate, meaning fewer alveoli to exchange the much-needed oxygen.  That’s why people with emphysema have such a difficult time breathing.

emphysemaThe researchers exposed cells from the lining of the bronchi, the tubes that carry oxygen to the lungs, to e-cigarette vapor from one to six hours.  Even the minimal exposure “disrupted the protein processes in cells ‘significantly’.” The mice that were exposed to e-cigarette vapors also showed the same damage. Researchers are worried that this exposure to e-cigarette vapor could lead to COPD.

There are long-term studies on the health effects of smoking cigarettes, but not on using e-cigarettes.  Even with the reduced harm of e-cigarettes, researchers are concerned that the use could lead to chronic lung conditions.

You can read the entire article HERE

 

 

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Spring Ads in Tobacco Land

We love getting our monthly Trinkets and Trash newsletter to keep up with the advertising from the tobacco industry which is always ready to exploit an event, and the April newsletter is no different.

April brought us April Fool’s Day and some in the tobacco industry decided to prank their customers, sort of.  Skoal pretended that they forgot to send out coupons for the month.  April Fool’s…you had to go to their website to get your coupon.  That prank probably saved Skoal quite a bit of money in mailing costs.  But it could have also cost them because you keep your customers when they get something in their hand they didn’t have to work for, like making a copy of a coupon.  It could be Skoal got pranked on that one.  NJOY offered a 35% discount on vape kits, e-liquids, recharge kits and flavor chambers, but it was only good for April Fool’s Day.  Greensmoke, owned by Altria offered a three-day coupon for $10 off $45 or more in purchases.

greenEveryone seems to want you to celebrate spring by using more nicotine products.  Greensmoke had a spring-themed ad advertising their new green battery with ageneralsnus heart made out of tobacco leaves.   I’m sure some will want to go “green” and use this, but we are sure this isn’t what they mean by going green.  Did we get the word “green” in there enough times?  While Greensmoke is pushing their new battery, General Snus is promoting the “pure ingredients” in their products.  You have to go to their website to see the list, but from the picture, it looks like the makings of a margarita with the lime and salt.  The two cans shown are for mint and “white,” whatever that is.  Do they offer a scratch and sniff area on the can so you can get an idea of what’s inside?  If you are all about buying USA products, Vuse is pushing their “designed and assembled in the USA product.”  It does not say the parts were made here, just designed and assembled.  If the “made in the USA” doesn’t grab you, they had a special trial offer for only $1.  Totally affordable for everyone, including youth.

The latest Grizzly ad is almost insulting men as they present the “Pro Tips” Challenge. Share a tip and be entered to win weekly prizes.  This ad asks “What’s the best way to fix a leaky pipe?” Calling someone who knows what they are doing probably isn’t the sort of tip they are looking for.  Seems like they are scraping the bottom of the barrel for contest ideas.  Red Seal is giving you 25% more in the can so you can spend more time fishing and less time running to the store.  They also have a discussion group on their website.

On a brighter note, New Orleans’ smokefree ordinance went into effect on April 22nd. And six days later Marlboro was ready with a sweepstake to win a trip to the Big Easy.  Does that surprise you?  One of the pictures in the ad shows someone holding a cigarette, which if you read above, is no longer allowed inside.  If you “want the real deal,” perhaps you need to leave the cigs at home since smoking will be restricted.

You know about all the health problems when you use tobacco, but one of the latest articles about a study conducted in the U.S. states that vapor from electronic cigarettes”disrupts cells in the same way as tobacco smoke.”  It appears the safest cigarette, smokeless, or electronic product is the one you don’t use.

Click HERE to read more about the April 2015 tobacco ads.

 

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Living in the Real World

It is always interesting to hear the perspectives of college students on smoking bans for their school. While some applaud their college or university for taking a stand on smoking and tobacco use on campus, others seem to be against any type of regulation that takes away a personal freedom.  At one such institution of higher education the administration recently received legislation from their student government to “permanently ban smoking on campus.”   If approved and implemented the proposal would not only ban the use of tobacco, but would ban the “sales of all tobacco products on campus.”

The reason for the ban is that students feel that smoking “no longer has a place on campus,” and one student who wrote the article for the school paper has an issue with this, sort of.  He admits “cigarettes and chewing tobacco are horrendous for the human body,” cause cancer and the campus would be healthier without them.  He says use of these products doesn’t make sense, while at the same time admitting he does use the products. He believes that the ban only serves as a buffer between “the young adult” phase the students are in now and “the real world,” and will “further misinform students to the real world.”

Mr. Student, a smoking ban on your campus will reflect the “real world,” but your state is very pro-tobacco so this measure may seem harsh.  As of January 2014, “28 states have enacted statewide bans on smoking in all enclosed places, including all bars and restaurants. Many hotels and motels ban smoking, as do many hospitals.  In the “real world” many employers may not hire a smoker and if they do, you can expect to pay higher health insurance costs out of your own pocket.   And if you want to find that special person to share your life with, you may have a more difficult time as 58% of respondents on Match.com said “they absolutely would not consider dating a smoker.”

You complain that putting a smoking ban in place will no longer teach you “how to healthily operate in a world filled with dangerous, unhealthy things” because these things have been removed.  I bet if you think back to your younger days, you will remember your parents also removed the “dangerous, unhealthy things” like cleaning products and yard chemicals out of your reach to keep you healthy and safe until such time that you could be taught that these things were dangerous unless handled correctly and used in the manner they were intended.

diagramSo, Mr. Student, go back and read what you wrote: tobacco is horrendous to the human body.  It harms nearly every organ of the body.   It contains 599 ingredients and more than 7,000 chemicals when burned, with at least 69 known to cause cancer.  Most of those chemicals you would never, ever consider consuming.  And if nearly 70% of adult cigarette smokers want to quit smoking, what does that tell you about cigarettes?

you are lucky to live in a time where an abundance of information on the dangers of tobacco can be found and that the tobacco companies can no longer refute.  You are still young and quitting will be easier for you now then if you wait because, let’s face it, you will only make yourself sicker the longer you smoke.  1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Click HERE for the entire article.

 

 

 

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What Are You Inhaling?

Eating cherry candy and consuming cherry-flavored drinks may be good, but using cherriesinhalation products like electronic cigarettes with cherry and other flavor chemicals, not so good, according to a new paper from Portland State University.

While the e-cigarette industry says they use “food-grade chemicals,” these chemicals “haven’t been proven safe for inhalation.”  In fact, according to The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers, the safety of the flavors only applies to food.

In the study 30 different e-cigarette refill bottles with flavors such as “tobacco, menthol, vanilla, cherry, coffee, chocolate, grape, apple, cotton candy and bubble gum” were analyzed.  The flavor chemicals ranged from more than 1% of the liquid volume in 13 of the products to higher than 3% in two of the liquids. That’s why the products taste so good. Flavor chemicals, such as vanillin (a synthetic form of vanilla) and benzaldehyde, which are known to cause respiratory irritation, were found to be high in the analyzed samples.  When the authors estimated consumption rates (about 5ml per day), they discovered the amount of flavoring in the e-liquid  “put users at an exposure of twice the recommended occupational limits.”

This study used only a small sample size, but the authors conclude that “the results are likely what a broad survey would have revealed.”

At the moment, users don’t know what is in the liquid they are vaping.  One of the authors of the flavor study feels the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “should limit levels of flavor chemicals and require ingredient identification.”

According to the latest information out in Reuters, “use of e-cigarettes among middle- and high school students tripled between 2013 and 2014.”  High school use jumped from 4.5% in 2013 to 13.4% in 2014.  More high school students use electronic cigarettes now than traditional cigarettes with that number falling from 12.7% to 9.2% for traditional cigarettes.  Scarely numbers, especially since the products are too new on the market for long-term health studies.

Just because vape shops tell you the products are safe, doesn’t mean they are.  Didn’t the tobacco companies tell us cigarettes were safe too?

 

Click HERE and HERE for the articles on these topic.

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What’s Going on in April

Need ideas for your latest blog?  Just check the monthly observances to find some great ideas for tobacco-themed interest stories.

smoking_in_carsFor example, did you know April is Car Care Month?  Winter is releasing its final claws on most of the U.S. and it’s time to open those car windows and freshen up the inside.  If you are a smoker and trying to quit, now is a great time to vacuum out the dirt and shampoo the carpeting and upholstery to rid the car of that stale smoke smell.   Ditch any lighters or extra packs of cigarettes, cigars or smokeless tobacco and replace them with gums, mints, and breath spray.  If you aren’t a smoker, here’s some information you need to know: smoking in your car decreases its value, even if a passenger smokes.  If you hang that cigarette out the window, the fumes still come inside.  Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals and more than 50 of them are known to cause cancer.  And those chemicals and that smell lingers long after you quit smoking and could cause stains in the carpet and ceiling of the car.

Speaking of cars, April is also Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  Although the focus of drivingdistracted driving is the use of your cell phone or hands-free device while driving, lighting up a cigarette or picking up a lighted cigarette off the car seat or floor can also be just as distracting, especially for teen drivers.  And how about that can of smokeless tobacco that ends up rolling around on the floor?  Or the little pieces of tobacco all over your seat? Or that wad of spit that doesn’t make it out the window.  Talk about a distraction!

Need to take a look at your finances?  April is also Financial Literacy Month.  And what does tobacco have to do with finances?  Most tobacco users know what it costs them for their tobacco, be it cigarettes, cigars, smokeless or electronic cigarettes, but they fail to take into account tobacco’s true cost.  Many businesses no longer hire tobacco users because of higher health insurance costs.  And if they do hire you, expect to pay more out of your pocket for those higher costs.  In fact “a 30-year old smoker can expect to pay between 16 and 41% higher insurance premiums than non-smokers do.” Even if you use electronic cigarettes, a urine sample will show nicotine (or cotinine), and you will be saddled with higher premiums.  If you are a smoker and smoke in your car, you will get less for your trade in. Cigarette smoke is nearly impossible to remove from car interiors.  A smoker will also pay more for home insurance, and will get less money when it comes time to sell, even if you smoke outside.  The smoke that lingers on you comes into the house with you.  Then there are all those medical costs and dental bills.  What exactly is that $6 pack of cigarettes really costing you?

petsDuring April and National Pet Month it’s time to think about what your smoking is doing to your pet.  If smoking is harming your body, imagine what it is doing to a pet that can’t escape your smoking.  The smoke that clings to your skin and clothes also clings to your pet’s fur and they ingest those chemicals as they groom themselves.  Dogs can develop lung and nasal cancer and cats can develop malignant lymphoma.  Even if you smoke outside, those toxins follow you in and increase their discomfort.

And before you pick up another cigarette because you think it relieves your stress, there is something you should know…it’s Stress Awareness Month.  Did you know “stress levels of adult smokers are slightly higher than those of non-smokers,” because “nicotine dependency seems to exacerbate stress.”  If you are a smoker, or use tobacco and are dependent on nicotine, the best way to de-stress is to quit smoking.  kite

Now, you may want to tell us to go fly a kite, and we’re okay with that because it’s National Kite Month.  What a wonderful way to get outside, de-stress and breathe in some fresh, smoke-free air and have some fun with family and friends while you fly your kite and think of all the money you will save when you give up tobacco.

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What the Tobacco Industry Is Up to This Month

Trinkets and Trash “monitors tobacco industry marketing in magazines, direct mail, e-mail, websites, and other channels” so you know what Big Tobacco is up to.  It’s more than just information about cigarettes and smokeless tobacco; it’s all forms of nicotine delivery products, including electronic cigarettes and liquid nicotine products produced by the leading tobacco companies.  Here is the latest from their March surveillance.

NJOYBack in 2009 NJOY discontinued flavors saying “they wanted to dissuade underage people from using their product,” but they are doing an about-face since sales fell off.   In 2014 they came up with 10 new flavors and a “Vape Mixology Recipe Book” on how you can mix your own custom, “designer” flavors.  So much for dissuading underage users.  The recipe book can be found in convenience stores starting in March.  Not to be outdone, blu is offering you a chance to save green.  No, not the planet, but some cash.  You can get “12 blu menthol disposables for only 1200 reward points.”  They also have their own promotion: “Spring is a time for growth and renewal,” and their flavors have grown by two adult beverage flavors.

While the electronic cigarette market is gaining momentum, California is fighting back by launching their own campaign about e-cigarette dangers called “Wake Up.”  Click HERE if you want to see one of these great videos.

Grizzly smokeless tobacco is trying to make users feel good about using their product by donating “$250,000 to wildlife conservation on behalf of great outdoor-loving members like you.”  But don’t get too caught up in that feel-good feeling – that amount is just a tiny spit in the bucket for them, so to speak.  According to Wikipedia, in “December 2014, Grizzly was cited as the flagship brand of Reynolds Americans with a 31.1% market share in snuff brands.  This company makes a lot of money off the health of its users.

Camel_WhiteThere will soon be new Camel cigarettes on the market in 21 western states that are already strong Camel geographies.  Camel White will offer a mellow and a menthol flavor with a “two-piece filter” system.

Marlboro invites people to check out their website and “track down the bar team.”  Use your cell to check in on the Marlboro.com site Marlboro_mentholwhile at the bar.  They give you a screenshot to present to the team members and you receive a gift  “(i.e., a $5 cash gift card and two buy one get one free coupons for Marlboro).”  Can the cash gift card only be used to purchase their product?  Marlboro also has a contest to win a trip to the Marlboro Ranch in Montana.   Marlboro sends you a secret word which you have to text back to enter the sweepstakes.  The ad (right) is part of their March 2015 email to users.  It’s a great shot of the valley behind you, but if Marlboro makes the night, you are missing out on the great view behind you by smoking!

Finally, Black and Mild has their own sweepstakes for you to win “thousands of prizes” in their “Rich Days and Smooth Nights” contest.  Of course, they encourage you to play once a day, and other than showing you a lighter, a small speaker, a helicopter, a concert and a cityscape, they don’t tell you the prizes.

One thing all the tobacco companies have in common is that in order to access their websites you must be 21, even though the legal smoking age is 18 in most areas in the U.S. Right now there is a debate brewing in the U.S. to raise the legal age for tobacco from 18 to 21.  This change would mean fewer premature deaths from tobacco, essentially saving a “quarter-million” lives.  If you have to be 21 to sign up and enter tobacco company contests, doesn’t it make sense to make it 21 to use the product as well?

Click HERE for the March edition of Trinkets and Trash.

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Tobacco Companies Are Addicted To Underage Smoking

Participants are required to submit assignments throughout the Florida Statewide Tobacco Prevention online course, and this year we have been fortunate to have some outstanding submissions.  Tracy N. from Broward County recently submitted her assignment for Media and Marketing, and we would love to share it with you.

Tobacco Companies Are Addicted To Underage Smoking

There are many ways to describe a child. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of childrenthe Child defines child as “a human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier. Research has proven that children go through stages of social development and are not able to make serious decisions before the age of 18. Generally, children have fewer rights than adults and a lower maturity level. Tobacco companies have done their research and use these facts to lure children into the tobacco market.

It is a proven fact that the tobacco industry spends approximately $34 million dollars a day to advertise their product. Tobacco is one of the most heavily marketed products. To purchase tobacco products you have to be an adult (at least 18 years of age), however, tobacco advertising is not solely directed toward the adult consumer. Why you ask? Because of the addictive ingredients in tobacco, tobacco marketing targets youth who are immature and impressionable. Tobacco companies have learned that luring children to use tobacco products at an early age most likely guarantees a long term adult consumer.

Tobacco companies place ads in store locations that are more tobacco_adsprone to be seen by children. For example, the next time you walk into a convenient store, notice the eye level of tobacco advertisements on the entry doors. The average adult male is 5 feet 9 inches and the average adult female is 5 feet 4 inches. Why then would tobacco companies place advertisements at or below three feet? According to Tobacco Company Marketing there are many more marketing efforts directly aimed to reach kids.

To begin with, many companies have internal documents revealed in lawsuits that show tobacco companies have targeted children as young as 13 with the hope that this age group will develop unbreakable habits and become future consumers. Excerpts of quotes by some of the large tobacco companies report the following: Phillip Morris – “Todays teenager is tomorrow’s potential regular customer…” RJ Reynolds – “Evidence is now available to indicate that the 14-18 year old group is an increasing segment of the smoking population.” and Lorillard Tobacco – “The base of our business is the high school student.”

Secondly, tobacco companies advertise near schools and playgrounds. The advertisements are large and highly visible from outside the store. It has been reported that tobacco companies use themes and messages that resonate with youth. Smoking advertisements often suggest popularity, attractiveness and risk taking.  All are behaviors that target children ages 13-17. A 2002 survey in a California community found that stores where adolescents shop have three times more cigarette advertisements compared to other stores in the community.

Lastly, a Sun-Sentinel article reported fruit flavored tobaccoWhere does it end products for sale behind the counter at convenience stores are used to target kids. It is clearly arguable that candy flavors and candy-like packaging is meant to attract children not adults. Children connect candy with enjoyable flavors and something they get as a reward. Tobacco companies create flavors that children will like, hoping they will become addicted at an earlier age. By the time they reach the age of adulthood, the addiction will be more important than the flavor.

In conclusion, it has been proven that ninety percent of all regular smokers began smoking at or before the age of 18. If kids stopped smoking, the tobacco companies would lose their major market and sales would plummet. It’s no wonder tobacco companies are addicted to underage smoking.

 

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American Diabetes Association ALERT! Day

Alert_dayIf you have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, it means your body does not use insulin properly.  Your doctor may treat the condition with oral medications and insulin and discuss lifestyle changes, such as changes to your diet and exercise level.  You may also need to monitor your glucose levels by checking your blood several times a day. If you are a smoker or use smokeless tobacco products, it’s time to ditch your habit for your health, because using these products will make it difficult for getting your blood glucose numbers under control.

American cigarettes use two types of tobacco.  One type of tobacco, Virginia tobacco, is high in sugars, while the cured Burley leaf tobacco loses a significant portion of its sugar through the curing process.  Adding sugar to the tobacco once it reaches the factory enhances the flavor and the smoke of the cigarette.  One example, Virginia Slims by Philip Morris USA, lists the ingredients for this product and sugar is the third ingredient in every style of this cigarette.  The same can be said for Marlboro and Parliament cigarettes.  Here is Philip Morris’ entire list so you can see for yourself the amount of sugar in their cigarette tobacco.

A 2002 Conference on Smokeless Tobacco in Sweden, provided product information on various forms of smokeless tobacco, many of which are sold in the U.S.   Most of these tobaccos are flavored and sweetened with licorice, but their sugar contents are high.  One type of tobacco, loose leaf chew, was shown to have an average sugar content of approximately 35%.  Moist plug was shown to have about 24%.

One doctor stated the range of sugar for “pouch tobacco tested was between 24% and 65% and for plug tobaccos 13% to 50%.”  In addition to the sugar causing problems with your blood glucose levels, since this form of tobacco is held in the mouth against teeth and gums, it can cause cavities, tooth loss, receding gums, and mouth sores.

Take a moment to take the Diabetes Risk Test by clicking the blue highlighted words.  If you noticed changes to your health or score 5 or higher on the test, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss what you can do to get back on the healthy track of life.

Click HERE for the ALERT! Day Fact Sheet for more information.

 

 

 

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Kick Butts Day 2015

kick_butts_dayTobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  But while there have been great strides in the fight against tobacco, sadly “every day, more than 3,000 kids under 18 try smoking for the first time and 700 kids become new regular, daily smokers.”  After all, someone has to replace the more than 480,000 people die every year from using this product.  For 20 years students have been kicking butts and making a statement to Big Tobacco that they will not be their target.  While March 18, 2015 has been designated as the official Kick Butts Day, every day is a good day to fight against tobacco.

Kick Butts Day started in 1996 and since then over 20,000 events have been organized by teachers, youth and health advocates across the U.S. “to educate their schools and communities, and to advocate for policies to prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke.”

Kick_butts_buttonIn the U.S. 480,000 people die every year from tobacco related illness, and the tobacco industry has to seek “replacement smokers” to fill their spots.  The tobacco industry knows that about 90% of adult smokers started by the time they were 18.  They spend vast amounts of money, about $8.8 billion every year, or $1 million every hour, to market their products by using the following strategies: promoting and discounting products in stores; eye-catching ads in magazines with large youth readerships; marketing flavored tobacco products such as cigars, smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes; and re-glamorizing tobacco use through e-cigarettes.

Stand up to tobacco and tell them that you are #NotAReplacment, and send a message to this billion dollar industry that you can’t be bought.  Take action today and click on the link above to send your message to Big Tobacco.

Click HERE to read more about Kick Butts Day and how you can take action.
Click HERE to read more about how tobacco seeks out teen replacements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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