Public Opinion | Smoking Pros and Cons Plus Current News & Research
I Wonder How Far Can States and Countries Will Go To Curb Cigarette Smoking Habits? What topics you will read about on this blog:
- Controversial Cat Scans for Smokers
- Reduce Your Lung Cancer Risk by Quit Smoking
- To Be Mothers Who Smoke At Risk for Infant Birth Deformities
- Phillip Morris Sues Australia About Cigarette Packaging
- Obesity versus Smoking
- Ohio State Ban on Smoking in Public Buildings
- More Public No Smoking Signage
- Debate on Government Control Over Personal Choice
- Health Care Costs Due to Smoking
- Is Smoking Stress Reducing?
- Smoking and Home Fire Risks
- Changing Cigarette Packaging
- The Stigma of Non-Smokers Who Get Lung Cancer
Quitting smoking is a much more effective way to cut your risk of dying from lung cancer
AARP NEWS | A National Lung Screening Trial with more than 53,000 people ages 55 to 74 who had smoked at least one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years provides controversial results. Study included heavy smokers who had quit smoking within the last 15 years. Older former smokers who quit more than 15 years ago were not included in the study, because over the years their risk of lung cancer drops considerably.
Controversial Cat Scans CT Scans for Smokers
Participants at 33 sites received either a low-dose CT scan or a chest x-ray for three years and were followed for five. This news report appears very balanced with opinions on both sides.
CAUTION IN MAKING DECISIONS BASED UPON SCANS
A large number of spots on the scans that weren't dangerous can possibly lead to more scans, biopsies and surgery. About a quarter of all the scans found some abnormality but nearly all of them turned out to be benign. The scans also found cancers that surgeons then removed that might not have been harmful. The key is experienced quality physicians and radiologists making sensible conservative decisions. What about alternative approaches to reduce smoking? Not mentioned.
Smoking Mothers-To-Be At Risk
The Guardian | Recent studies show that when mother's smoke their children are at risk of deformities. Now the government wants to test pregnant mom's for Carbon Monoxide levels to determine whether they smoke and provide cessation programs. What!? Can they not simply ASK them if they smoke? And, do they WANT to stop smoking? If they do, then provide classes and programs that teach stress reduction and substitute more beneficial habits. Give nutritional prenatal advice and any other type of support that mother's desire.
It sounds like getting pulled over by the police and a speeding ticket. I don't like this idea!
- U.K. Study | University College London (UCL) researchers found women who light up during gestation likely to give birth to children who have defects including cleft lip/palate or gastroschisis, where parts of the stomach or intestines protrude through the skin.
- Second Hand Smoke During Pregnancy Raises Stillbirth Risk and Birth Defects
Researchers found stillbirth was 23 per cent more common and birth defects were 13 per cent more common among mothers who lived with, or worked with, smokers.
Phillip Morris Sues Australia
The cigarette companies are smoking mad about the new plain packaging proposals in Australia. I will provide more information soon.
Will Australia Lead The World In Cigarette Smoking Reduction?
The Pros and Cons of Smoking
Two Sides to Every Issue
Depending upon whether or not you smoke will most usually determine whether you would vote for a ban to smoking. But, that actually may not be true. Because a person who does not smoke, may want to uphold the rights of the individual who wants to smoke.
The line that may be crossed occurs when someone who does not smoke feels his or her rights have been stepped on, if the second hand smoke will affect the lungs or some other function of the body. Most people agree that there will be damage to the lungs. Perhaps an unpleasant smell, taste and odor in the air that would make drive people out of a restaurant and that is why they used to have designated smoking areas in public places; and more recently banned smokers to outdoor spaces.
This issue has become more heated in recent years as laws have become more stringent. Blogging and complaint websites have seen an increase in activity. Everyone having their say back and forth provides both sides to this argument. I believe it shows the level of involvement, less apathy and more concern for public and individual rights.
At the outset, I would tell my bias that I am not for smoking, nor any smoking products of any kind, including electronic devices that make great claims to be non-addictive and not tar up the lungs. Everyone knows that I believe with heart and soul in natural products, natural living, the motto "do no harm", alternative medicine and am against anything that can cause injury to the body. I am not selling or promoting any products that would hurt any human being, adults or children. I am not promoting substitute electronic products or injections or even chemicals.
My hubpages talks about the TWO SIDES of the story because even though I stand on the side of not being a user; there are people who stand on the side of FREEDOM of choice. Take care of your health, your children and your future.
Smoking products have been used by people around the globe for thousands of years, which in modern times has been adulterated with hundreds of chemicals but we still call by the same name. They have been used for rituals, to seal agreements, for trade, for pleasure and relaxation. Yet, in today's society, most people will find long-term negative health effects, unless the state of relaxation from hypersensitivity and anxiety makes it work like a drug.
Obesity versus Smoking
A University of Michigan study counters the addiction of smoking to the rising rates in obesity as one reason that the recent reduction in smoking trends actually hinders health. In a way, that just trades one evil habit for another, with poor results as an outcome. And, I would venture to guess if the person had been smoking for some time, which weakened the respiratory system and other organs, then the person puts on the weight, that could be the tipping point to tragedy.
Hot Topic at TOPIX
With over seventy-four Thousand comments on this controversial issue on the TOPIX website people are having their say. The introductory blurb states:
"Ohio voters have approved a ban on smoking in virtually all public buildings. Voters approved the sweeping ban while rejecting a competing measure that would have exempted bars and restaurants, the Cleveland. . ."
Taking Away The Rights Of People In Public Places
Looking at both sides of this issue, we see Freedom Fighters wanting to be able to continue this practice in public places, such as restaurant, office, pub, work-place, university, etc.
These Freedom Fighters feel it is their right to do this leisure activity if it only harms their person and no one else. That is their prerogative and will accept the consequences. These people feel an injustice that they could be controlled and removed of their ability to participate in this activity where and when they want to light up and take a puff. They are also very fearful that this is just the beginning of how the government will step in to control all aspects of their lives.
What is the Government's Responsibility?
The government agencies, with the duty to safe-guard the people, must have felt a need to create a secure place for those who do not partake in this activity who either don't like to inhale or are health conscious and know [as stated on the package] this activity is dangerous to your health and may cause many illnesses.
Are you on the side of stricter laws and banning?
The people who side with the government decision and the Ohio State's new ruling believe this is just for the safety and health of the majority of people. Not just to set an example to the children, but to have definite action.
Banning Effects More Than Personal Freedoms and Individual Health
Creating this rule will help "clean the air." Both in the environment where people eat, work and meet and also in the physiological bodies of those who would be exposed and inhale the toxic fumes.
What choices do smokers have when the activity is outlawed and banned?
Both sides have a point to make. I suppose there remains the option for those who partake in this activity to meet in each others homes and backyards.
The No -- Signs
Every Action Has A Reaction
What results can be expected when there is a ban?
Due to the new law we may see a reduction in this habit and an increase in another industry. All the public buildings will need signage. You can view the variety of signs that people will see every where they go. What a boon for the sign industry.
Will it make a difference? Will people pay attention?
I'm wondering whether these signs will be ignored just as the Warning Labels on the item package boxes themselves. Humans have a tendency to take notice of something that is new in their environment or when something is out of place. I would hypothesize that people will "see" these signs as they are newly posted. They may grumble about them or praise the situation. And after a number of months to years, I believe these signs will be virtually invisible as they fade into the common environment.
Hope In Our Children
Hopefully, the children will take note and ask their parents what the signs mean and why the government had to take this regulatory action? They can understand a STOP sign or Traffic Light to keep traffic flowing and allow people to safely cross the streets. How will parents choose to explain the need for logical responsible adults having government taking control of their personal lives? Will they give an analogy about the seat belt laws? Will this initiate some good discussion around the theme of "responsibility" and "freedom?"
Ohio voters passed Issue 5 on Nov. 7, 2006, creating Ohio’s indoor -- ban under a new chapter of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) effective Dec. 7, 2006. This new law requires “public places” and “places of employment” prohibit this habit as of that date. These businesses and organizations must also post signs that contain the telephone number 1-866-559-OHIO (6446) for reporting violations; and remove ash trays and other receptacles.
Wikipedia has a varied selection of Warning Signs
A personal story: It's true, when mothers take up this habit their infants have low birth weight and the child is born addicted to nicotine throughout their lives and finds this habit exhilerating and relaxing making it difficult to quit.
Home Fire Safety
New Package Design in the U.K.
Going Federal: Who Has Control?
Times are changing with the changing of the guard.
President Obama and the new government agencies in power feel that stricter controls must be set into place. I'm sure the "smokey" discussion rooms are fuming with ideas and controversy. How much control should government take on these issues?
Reduce Cost by Preventing Disease
With Health Care being top on the list, one way to reduce hospital and medical costs is to PREVENT acute and chronic illness. It has been determined, and every body knows, that this habit effects asthmatics and the respiratory system and causes emphysema, lung disease and cancer. Cause and effect. Simple.
Society, Stress and Anxiety
Smoking can calm nerves and reduce anxiety for those who love practicing this habit. What say you? How can we weigh the argument? Are there other ways to relieve anxiety before going to a social event, performing in public, or taking a test? Will people end up becoming obese from over-eating instead of lighting up? When does government leave off and people take control?
Enjoyment in partaking of this habit.
Many people love to light up after sex, in the morning, with coffee, after a good meal, while relaxing on a walk, etc. all take place in the privacy of the home. I don't think this law takes those pleasures away, except if people are in a public place.
Related Home fires
I remember reading somewhere about the number of fires started from people who light up in bed. Houses have been destroyed along with lives of entire families due to these events. Government would definitely be stepping over the line if they decided to ban every one from this practice, even in the privacy of one's home. However, with the new laws in place we may see a reduction of this habit in a new generation and possibly those already addicted. A side effect would be a reduction in home fires.
Studies, World Trends and Bans
Don't think that this ban applies just to the United States or her individual states as one by one they vote in more regulation. Other countries are either ahead of us or will follow soon.
As people throw caution to the wind and continue their habit for so many understandable reasons, psychologists find ways to intercept the addictive thinking patterns.
- Adults in Mexico were asked to bid in an auction on two packs
- One pack had a text warning and the other had text plus graphic imagery
- The pack with the graphic image had a mean attributed value which was 17% lower ($3.21 pesos) than the pack with the text-only warning, and this difference remained statistically significant within subgroups defined by sociodemographics, amount of this acitivity, number of quit attempts, and levels of perceived risks.
Stepping Up Awareness Messages
We know how every day things in our environment do not affect us. The text messages were not making a difference in our actions, so they implemented gross images of diseased lungs to make an impact. Do you think this will make a difference, even for a short while? Take a look at the pictures English smokers will face when the new product design is completely in place by the end of 2009.
I think young children are very concerned about their health today and it may delay or keep them from starting this practice. Does any parent really want their child to start?
It's Not Safe
When We Cannot Connect The Dots
On the side of people who still do not connect smoking with disease such as cancer, more they bring more statistics to the table. What about being ostracized when a person is diagnosed with lung cancer and they have not ever smoked?
NPR: Those Who Do Not Have This Habit Get Lung Cancer Stigma
Did you catch this story? June 2009 NPR show informs listeners that thousands of non-habituated persons are diagnosed with lung cancer, a majority are women. I feel this program needed to ask more questions than the simple statement. I understand it was bringing to public awareness this fact, but we need to ask how can this happen?
Science News: Why Do Some Lifelong Persons Who Never Partook in this Acitivity Get Lung Cancer? Studies show the majority of lung cancers are related to this habit and approximately 16,000 to 24,000 lung cancer deaths each year are due to other factors.
- secondhand smoke
- radiation therapy
- combustion products
- other carcinogens
How to reduce potential illness?
To bring some light on the subject. Here is a positive action we can take to lower risk. Science News: Good Diet and Gardening Linked To Lower Lung Cancer Risk
Subliminal Mind Tapes
Since the creation of television marketing and I'm sure before, advertising agents have used the power of subliminal messages to get people to purchase products, watch more television, change habits and implant some type of propaganda.
What if we could use these subliminal messages to change our smoking habits and quit? Many people praise the use of these types of relaxation tapes and messages when used properly.
Create your own inner tapes, which may help people who truly want to quit smoking, with sincere determination but just need special assistance to achieve their goal.
About the Author
Debby Bruck, CHOM founded Homeopathy World Community social network. Debby believes that homeopathy is the wave of the future that provides hope and healing to those who have tried every other approach. Visit her blog or follow Debby on Twitter.
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