NOTE: This article has been updated with the court ruling.
The big tobacco companies are in trouble for not properly stating that cigarettes they produce that are labeled as “low tar,” “mild,” or “ultra light” aren’t actually healthier or less addictive than other cigarettes.
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler is considering making these companies, the nation’s largest manufacturers of cigarettes, pay for a campaign designed to correct these statements; a campaign that will properly inform the public about the misleading labels that have been placed on cigarettes for decades.
The tobacco industry has recently argued that Judge Kessler doesn’t have jurisdiction based on a law from 2009 that gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation over the industry, but a federal judge has rejected the argument.
A year later since this post was originally published, Judge Kessler made her final ruling and has ordered that tobacco companies publicly admit through advertisements that their companies have deceived consumers by making false claims regarding the dangers of cigarettes.
Several corrective statements have been ordered to be placed on cigarette labels, including:
- “Smoking is highly addictive”
- “Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco”
- “When you smoke, the nicotine actually changes the brain – that’s why quitting is so hard.”
* image courtesy of Lara604
Yesterday I was standing in my kitchen snacking on some sunflower seeds while watching the Mets vs. Yankees game and I looked out of my sliding glass door and saw some kids hanging out across the street. These kids have been hanging out under the tree for as long as I’ve lived here, about 3 years, so it’s nothing strange but then I noticed something that looked like a cigarette in their hands.
I watched and waited to see what it was and sure enough, they took a drag and blew out smoke. It was a cigarette. 🙁
These kids probably aren’t any older than 15 or 16. I started smoking at around that same age, but it still surprises me when I see someone that young already starting on such an addictive, destructive and completely pointless bad habit.
According to studies, more than 3,900 kids ages 12-19 become regular smokers every day. That’s a huge number! But you know what? Only about 1 in 16 middle school students and 1 in 5 high school students start smoking and the number of kids who start smoking decreases every year.
This is great, because it shows that we’re making great progress in preventing tobacco addiction. What all of us are doing to prevent underage smoking – educating children, being non-smoking role models, and continuously fighting the tobacco companies – works!
Lots of kids are curious to see what a cigarette is like. That’s how I started. In some cases, kids might sneak a smoke, decide that they don’t like it and never smoke again. I hope the kids in my photo make the smart decision.
Quitting smoking is hard. It’s one of the toughest challenges you’ll ever have to face in life. But after facing that challenge, you’ll be a stronger person for it.
A recent study from researchers at Trinity College along with the Research Institute for a Tobacco Free Society shows that former smokers have greater willpower than current smokers. The study compared functional MRI images from current smokers, non-smokers, and former smokers to determine the results.
The results imply that smoking cessation methods work. Cessation therapies and devices help to provide the brain with the cognitive skills to control the impulses and desires of smoking.
And once these skills are learned, they remain. This is great because if you’re able to successfully quit smoking, just think of the challenges you can overcome in the future.
Your willpower to quit smoking not only benefits your health, but also the way you live your life moving forward.
If you want to read more about the study, check it out at Science Daily
* image courtesy of Darcy McCarty
I came across this interesting little survey asking the question “Do people who smoke determine whether you will date them or not?” and I thought I’d post the results so far.
The results don’t really surprise me. The majority of voters say that they would rather not date someone who smoked. It may seem hypocritical of me, but even when I was a smoker, I wouldn’t date a girl who smoked. It’s gross kissing a girl who smokes and it’s not attractive at all.
What do you think? Would the fact that someone you met smoked perhaps sway your decision of dating them?
How much money are you wasting every day by smoking cigarettes? According to this “cost of smoking calculator” from the American Cancer Society, you could save anywhere from $16,000 to $36,000 per 10 years. With cigarettes costing anywhere from $5 to $10 or more per pack, it’s just not worth it.
And when you consider the likelihood of medical expenses further down the road for disease and other conditions caused by smoking, those numbers go way up.
If you quit now, your bank account could be $36k larger in 10 years. You could buy a new car with that money. Or you could continue smoking and end up with lung cancer or some other smoking-related disease.
10 years goes by faster than you might expect. And on your 10 year anniversary of quitting smoking you won’t believe how much better you feel and how fast those ten years flew by. You’ll also be adding many more years to your life which will give you more time to save even more money!
* image courtesy of aresauburn