If cigarettes were as deadly as you say they are...

If cigarettes were as deadly as you say they are...

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Oct 2000, 20:27 #1

Joel's Reinforcement Library
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"If Cigarettes Were as Deadly as You
Claim They Are, The Government
Would Not Sell Them!"


Whenever I do my first day slide presentation, members of the audience often openly express this sentiment. We explain how smoking causes heart disease, cancers, circulatory conditions, emphysema and many other deleterious conditions. We go on further to claim that cigarette smoking is the number one most preventable cause of death in the United States, causing an excess of 434,000 premature deaths yearly. This is more deaths than those caused by all accidents, infectious diseases including AIDS, murders, suicides, diabetes, atherosclerosis, kidney disease and liver disease combined. More Americans will die this year from cigarette smoking than all the Americans killed in 24 years of battle deaths from World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Viet Nam War, combined!

These statistics are staggering. Many smokers assume that if cigarettes were this dangerous they would not be allowed legally on the market. Chemicals like cyclamates, red dyes and other carcinogens are pulled off the shelf. Cigarettes are sold, so they must be safer. People thus suspect that my figures must be greatly exaggerated.

In response to this skepticism, let me explain that these figures originate with the United States Surgeon General's Reports. Since 1964, these reports have been produced annually by the government's office of Health and Human Services. The reports review all studies and available information, not only from America but from all over the world. The general consensus for over 20 years of accumulated data is that cigarettes are killers.

Some people assume that the government is exaggerating how deadly cigarettes are. This is not very likely. If the government was going to mislead the public on the dangers of smoking, it would be denying the dangers, not exaggerating them.

The United States Government has had a strong vested interest in tobacco production and dissemination. In 1984 tax revenues generated from tobacco products exceeded 6 billion dollars annually. The government owned close to one billion dollars of surplus tobacco. Even with this strong vested interest, the report that year claimed that over 300,000 Americans died prematurely from cigarette smoking that previous year.

Before 1964, the U.S. Government did not issue much information about the dangers of smoking. Other developed countries without vested interests were warning their citizens of the inherent dangers of cigarettes. Today, the evidence is so conclusive that the government recognizes its obligation to report the facts. The United States government, medical associations, and the general world-wide medical community all agree that cigarettes are lethal.

Consider this information when confronted with what some ads call the smoking controversy. The only controversy is with the tobacco industries. They claim their product is harmless and offers great advantages to their customers who smoke it. This "harmless" product is everything but harmless. It is addictive. It is expensive. It is deadly. Consider all this and remember- NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!



© Joel Spitzer 1984, 2000
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Feb 2001, 21:38 #2

For Hal:

The statistics in the original article here have altered slightly. With the drop in the number of smokers we have also seen a drop in the smoking related deaths. The latest estimates are showing that approximately 418,000 Americans die annually from smoking induced deaths. Comparing this to the vietnam war deaths loses a little something in getting the overall magnitude of the problem. The original post here was saying that more people died from smoking in one year than all "American Battle Deaths" in the 20th century wars.

But if you now look at all Americans killed in the major 20th century conflicts, including all battle deaths, accidental deaths, diseases developed while in battle, etc., more Americans die from cigarettes in every one and a half years than all these deaths combined. The implications are again staggering. For decades now the surgeon general has classified tobacco smoking as the most preventable cause of death in the United States. It is the only legal product that if used as intended by its manufacturer will kill you. It has been called slow motion suicide. However you look at it or what ever cute catch phrases we give it the bottom line is cigarettes were killing you in the past. If you ever give them the opportunity they will likely finish off their goal. They will continue to take plenty of people around you but you can avert a similar fate if you stay focused on the fact that to save your life you must never take another puff!

Joel
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Hal(Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

07 Feb 2001, 03:51 #3

Thanks Joel. Those statistics are staggering. I heard on TV that 25% of adults over 18 in the U.S. are smokers. That made me think that is a pretty good voting block that the politicians do not want to antagonize, in addition to the tax revenue that would be lost if cigarettes were regulated. Reached 70 days today smober.

Thank you again for your hard work, wisdom, and support

Hal
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Joanne Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

03 Apr 2001, 23:47 #4

The truth really hurts! Image
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

05 Jun 2001, 19:02 #5

Image I really like this new feature of easily being able to go back a month at a time. It helps to be able to periodically bring up strings that have not circulated in a while.
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Ryan(Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

05 Jun 2001, 19:57 #6

Very interesting!
Thanks for the Stats Joel
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Joanne Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

04 Aug 2001, 09:38 #7

Great facts Joel! With about 400,000 Americans alone dying a year from smoking - I like to ask smokers if they would fly an airline that reported a loss of 400,000 passengers due to crashes in one year...would they likely fly that airline with chances like that? Sounds unrealistic but pretty scary.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Jan 2002, 21:56 #8

I did a program last night that had two young people sentenced to come to it by the courts for getting caught smoking, one 14 and one 17. The 14 year old who said she didn't really smoke also said that if cigarettes were as bad as I said they were the government wouldn't sell them. In the longshot that she actually comes to look at the site, I thought I had better get this one up here for her.

Also, John had put together a really good piece with plenty of documentation addressing this very issue in the link at Whyquit.com called "Is the Risk of death exaggerated." Again, just in case she comes by I thought it would be good to have this information available to her, and anyone else who ever questions for a second that the effort to stay smoke free is a real effort in saving your health and your life. To make this effort end in success simply entails always remembering to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

18 Feb 2002, 20:25 #9

Image It seems from the parade I started yesterday that many members find themselves listening to the excuses of others as to why they cannot or don't want to quit smoking. I figured I'd bring up a few articles so you can dispel such myths--if not to the smoker at least for yourself. The only reason these people "can't" quit yet is that they are still refusing to accept the the fact that to stay smoke free that they must never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Oct 2002, 01:46 #10

Image For Linda

Also, the below two articles need to be attached here now. We are not dealing with an American epidemic--we are dealing with a world-wide pandemic!
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From: Joel. Sent: 10/12/2002 6:49 AM
October 11, 2002

WHO Raises Smoking Death Toll, Urges Tobacco Treaty By Richard Waddington
GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization on Friday urged countries to reach a global deal on curbing tobacco use, warning that hundreds of thousands more were dying each year from smoking than previously thought.

The United Nations agency said it had revised its annual death toll for smoking-related diseases to 4.9 million people from 4.2 million in part because of better research into cardiovascular disease in developing countries.

"This means our estimate for 10 million deaths a year by 2030 is also probably an underestimate," said Derek Yach, head of non-communicable diseases at WHO.

Based on current trends, tobacco could soon become the leading cause of premature death worldwide, killing more than HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality, car accidents, homicide and suicide combined, health activists say.

The WHO's 192 member states gather in Geneva on Tuesday for 10 days of further negotiations on a treaty--the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)--to wean the world off smoking.

Some states already have strict laws, including limits on age and where people can smoke as well as restrictions on the activities of tobacco companies, but many developing countries have virtually no legislation.

The proposed pact, the first global attempt to kick the habit, has been under discussion for four years and is supposed to be agreed by the next WHO annual meeting set for May 2003.

"This is a critical moment for the negotiations. The technical work is now complete. The time has come for all countries to show their determination about curbing the tobacco epidemic," said WHO Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland.

States will have before them a draft text, drawn up by chief negotiator ambassador Luiz Felipe de Seixas Correa of Brazil, that seeks to tackle the key issues of advertising, promotion and sales, and cigarette smuggling.

The plan calls for states to draw up laws and regulations for "preventing and reducing tobacco consumption, nicotine addiction and exposure to tobacco smoke," including passive smoking.

On compensation for smokers suffering illness, an issue highlighted by last week's record US award of $28 billion in damages for a 64-year-old with lung cancer, it asks countries to share information and research results.

The text also urges the gradual elimination of advertising and the suppression of terms such as "mild" or "low tar," which the WHO considers to be misleading because they give the impression that these cigarettes are less dangerous.

But the draft has been attacked by activists for not being tough enough on advertising and marketing through which the big tobacco companies entice young people into smoking.

They accuse the United States, Japan and Germany, in particular, which are home to large tobacco concerns, of working against outright bans on publicity.

WHO officials say that stopping the young starting is the best way to cut the smoking death rate. But in some developing countries more than 60% of 13-15 year olds use tobacco.



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From: Joel. Sent: 10/16/2002 12:03 PM
From the World Health Organization's Website

WHO Atlas maps Global Tobacco epidemic

15 October 2002|GENEVA -- Tobacco kills 560 people every hour or 13,400 people per day or 4.9 million people per annum. This death and disease toll spares no nations and no people. WHO's new Tobacco Atlas presents a visual view of this galloping worldwide epidemic. The Atlas provides detailed data from countries on the differences and similarities of the global tobacco control struggle. The comparative data shows that action - or inaction - of one country can affect the work of another.

"The Tobacco Atlas highlights, in an educational and creative fashion, diverse features of this important global epidemic," said Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General, World Health Organization " Its simple presentation of complex epidemiological and statistical information allows everybody to understand the facts and use them effectively."

The Atlas is being promoted as a tool for policy makers as they seek to formulate national and international regulations on tobacco control. Tobacco consumption is increasing all over the world and will kill 8.4 million people a year by year 2020 if drastic control measures are not put into effect. One in two of today's young smokers will die from tobacco-related causes. The developing countries will bear the brunt of the death toll, accounting for over 70 percent of the projected deaths.

The Tobacco Atlas, produced in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, USA, provides a unique statistical profile of the epidemic. Visual presentations, such as colour maps and graphics, make thousands of statistics spring to life on a variety of tobacco issues. Among the presentations are similarities and differences between countries, the conduct of the tobacco companies, gender differences in tobacco consumption, investments by tobacco industry, the costs of tobacco use and illicit trade and litigation.

"Action taken today will determine the reality of tomorrow. The Atlas is a valuable resource in fighting the tobacco epidemic," said Dr Judith Mackay, author of the Atlas and Senior Policy Advisor to the Tobacco Free Initiative of the World Health Organization. The co author of the Atlas is Dr Michael Eriksen, former Director of the US Office on Smoking and Health and current consultant at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Tobacco Atlas comes at a time when WHO's Member States meet in Geneva for the fifth round of negotiations on the proposed Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The Convention is scheduled to be ready by May 2003.

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