Link: Copy link
'One puff' link to future smokingBBC News - May 24, 2006
Children who try just one cigarette are twice as likely to take up smoking as those who have never tried it, a study funded by Cancer Research UK suggests.
Last week the U.S. CDC announced that U.S. youth smoking rates actually showed a slight increase this past year. Although many want to attribute the amazing decline of Canadian youth smoking rates to host of influences, a major difference between the two nations is that there is no U.S. youth cigarette pack addiction warning label. As Joel points out in this piece, U.S. youth are still not getting the truth!
CANADA Teen smoking rates plunge to single digits, lowest level ever: StatsCan Tue Jun 13, 07:59 AM EST
By Helen Branswell
OTTAWA (CP) - Neither Andrea Bever, 17, nor Rebecca Chapman, 16 - two typical Toronto teens - has ever owned a pack of cigarettes. Sure, they have smoked the odd one. But neither has acquired a taste for the demon weed - and they plan to keep things that way.
"It just didn't seem like something that was worth it - it seemed pretty pointless," says Bever of her decision, fuelled by concern over smoking's health consequences.
It would appear Chapman and Bever are part of a surging trend - teenagers side-stepping the mistakes of previous generations and turning their backs on tobacco.
New figures released Tuesday by Statistics Canada show only eight per cent of teens report they smoked in 2005, down from 10 per cent in 2003 and 14 per cent in 2000-01.
"This is the first time that it's been in single digits, but there has been a steady decline since the 1980s," Statistics Canada analyst Jason Gilmore said Tuesday.
The data were contained in the Canadian Community Health Survey, a major poll aimed at assessing the health of Canadians. The survey is conducted every two years.
It is based on the responses of about 130,000 Canadians aged 12 and over from every province and territory in the country. First Nations people living on reserves and members of the RCMP and the Armed Forces are not included in the survey.
The 2005 survey showed that 82 per cent of teens aged 12-17 reported they had never smoked cigarettes, up from 73 per cent in 2000-01.
The figures on teen smoking have been changing fast. An Ontario survey that is conducted every two years pegged the rate of teenagers in that province who smoked at 28 per cent in 1999, just six years before the latest Canadian Community Health Survey was conducted.
Social marketing consultant Francois Lagarde calls the sea-change in attitudes towards smoking in Canada "a huge success" built on decades of interventions, public policies and the growing science around the health risks of tobacco.
"As someone said, 40 years ago a father would give a smoke to a teenager to say 'Now you're a man.' This is the last thing a father would think today," says Lagarde, who also teaches social marketing at the University of Montreal.
"But that was happening one or two generations ago. It's pretty amazing."
The sharp declines in teen smoking bode well for the future health of today's teenagers, suggesting as adults they may be at much lower risk than previous generations of developing a myriad of smoking-related diseases, including lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Like Bever, many teens cite health consequences as a major reason why they are forsaking smoking, says Edward Adlaf, director of the Ontario Student Drug Use Survey.
Data from the Ontario survey show "quite strongly . . . that we have more and more students who perceive great risk in smoking," says Adlaf, a research scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, which runs the Ontario survey.
"So there's been a hardening of negative attitudes and beliefs about smoking."
Rob Cunningham, a senior policy analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society, credits a basket of public policy measures that have turned smoking from a mainstream habit to almost a fringe activity. Things like high taxes on cigarettes. Large and graphic health warnings on cigarette packs. Restrictions on where people can smoke and curbs on tobacco advertising.
"It is a success story. We've seen very substantial declines in smoking by adults and by kids," Cunningham says.
"But we have to fight every inch of the way. And we have an enormous amount of work that remains to be done."
The message is clearly getting through to kids like Chapman and Bever.
"Well a) it's not good for you. It's horrible on your health. And then b) it's not something I want to like keep doing and then have to go to the trouble of trying to quit," Chapman says matter-of-factly.
"And obviously my parents wouldn't be happy."
Bever, who has a blinding smile, has her own list of smoking turn-offs.
"It's mainly the cancer thing. And the bad breath as well. Yellow teeth - no one wants that."
Chapman concurs: "Girls don't really like kissing boys who've just been smoking. It's not really a turn on."
After decades of trying, it would appear that something may have taken the "cool" out of teen smoking.
"Certainly that may well be," Adlaf admits.
"Not for all. There will still be some experimentation. I think the real key is in ensuring adolescents don't become regular smokers."
That's because the teen years have typically been the time when people are most vulnerable to the marketing allure of smoking - a vulnerability the tobacco industry deliberately exploited in its drive to safeguard profits by hooking replacements for older smokers who quit or die, industry documents that were made public in the late 1990s showed.
"Hook 'em young, hook 'em for life," is the industry's approach to children, former Big Tobacco executive Dr. Jeffrey Wigand - an industry whistleblower whose case was documented in the movie The Insider - testified in public hearings on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control at the World Health Organization.
The cancer society's Cunningham agrees.
"Very few people begin smoking as adults. The overwhelming majority of smokers begin as teenagers and preteens," he says.
But getting numbers below the current eight per cent may be challenging. Lagarde notes that smoking does appeal to a core - albeit shrinking - of rebellious teens.
"Social norms is not a one-size-fits-all thing," he says.
"Among teenagers there's always a significant number of anti-conformists. And we all went through this at one point in our lives. So we have to realize that if everybody else thinks it's not a good idea, that's enough for a number of them to think that it is."
Top five health regions in Canada with the highest percentage of smokers, according to the Canadian Community Health Survey released Tuesday by Statistics Canada:
Mamawetan-Keewatin-Athabasca (northern Saskatchewan): 35.3
Burntwood-Churchill (northern Manitoba): 35.3
Prince Albert Parkland (Saskatchewan): 31.5
Northern Lights (northern Albera): 30.3
Porcupine (northern Ontario): 30.2
National average: 21.7
Top five health regions in Canada with the lowest percentage of smokers, according to the Canadian Community Health Survey released Tuesday by Statistics Canada:
Richmond (B.C.): 12.6
Fraser North (B.C.): 14.4
North Shore-Coast Garibaldi (B.C.): 15.2
Assiniboine (Manitoba): 15.7
South Vancouver Island (B.C.): 15.9
National average: 21.7
Percentage of the non-smoking population aged 12 and over who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke in public places, as reported in the Canadian Community Health Survey released Tuesday by Statistics Canada:
Newfoundland and Labrador: 10.1
Nova Scotia: 9.2
New Brunswick: 6.8
British Columbia: 10.5
Percentage of the population aged 12 and over who are smokers, as reported in the Canadian Community Health Survey released Tuesday by Statistics Canada:
Newfoundland and Labrador: 23.1
Nova Scotia: 22.6
New Brunswick: 22.5
British Columbia: 17.8
Online story source link:
Copyright © 2006 Yahoo! Canada Co. All Rights Reserved.
Just One Dose Of Nicotine Affects Brain Structure And Function - Kids Can Become Addicted Within 2 Days Of First Inhaling From A Cigarette05 July 2007
A new study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine shows that 10 percent of youth who become hooked on cigarettes are addicted within two days of first inhaling from a cigarette, and 25 percent are addicted within a month. The study found that adolescents who smoke even just a few cigarettes per month suffer withdrawal symptoms when deprived of nicotine, a startling finding that is contrary to long-held beliefs that only people with established smoking habits of at least five cigarettes per day experience such symptoms.
The study monitored 1,246 sixth-grade students in six Massachusetts communities over four years. Students were interviewed frequently about smoking and symptoms of addiction, such as difficulty quitting, strong urges to smoke, or nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, restlessness, irritability, and trouble concentrating. Of those who were hooked, half were already addicted by the time they were smoking seven cigarettes per month. As amazing as it may seem, some youth find they are unable to quit smoking after just a few cigarettes. This confirms an earlier study by the same researchers.
Recent research has revealed that the nicotine from one cigarette is enough to saturate the nicotine receptors in the human brain. "Laboratory experiments confirm that nicotine alters the structure and function of the brain within a day of the very first dose. In humans, nicotine-induced alterations in the brain can trigger addiction with the first cigarette," commented Joseph R. DiFranza, MD, professor of family medicine & community health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and leader of the UMMS research team. "Nobody expects to get addicted from smoking one cigarette." Many smokers struggle for a lifetime trying to overcome nicotine addiction. The National Institutes of Health estimates that as many as 6.4 million children who are living today will die prematurely as adults because they began to smoke cigarettes during adolescence.
"While smoking one cigarette will keep withdrawal symptoms away for less than an hour in long-time smokers, novice smokers find that one cigarette suppresses withdrawal for weeks at a time," explained Dr. DiFranza. "One dose of nicotine affects brain function long after the nicotine is gone from the body. The important lesson here is that youth have all the same symptoms of nicotine addiction as adults do, even though they may be smoking only a few cigarettes per month."
Symptoms of nicotine addiction can appear when youth are smoking as little as one cigarette per month. At first, one cigarette will relieve the craving produced by nicotine withdrawal for weeks, but as tolerance to nicotine builds, the smoker finds that he or she must smoke ever more frequently to cope with withdrawal.
According to DiFranza, the addiction-related changes in the brain caused by nicotine are permanent and remain years after a smoker has quit. This explains why one cigarette can trigger an immediate relapse in an ex-smoker. It also explains why an ex-smoker who relapses after many years of abstinence cannot keep the craving away by smoking one cigarette per month. Unlike the newly addicted novice smoker, a newly relapsed smoker must smoke several cigarettes each day to cope with the craving.
The study was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and appears in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. According to the National Institutes of Health, smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, accounting for approximately 440,000 deaths annually.
DiFranza worked on this study with UMMS colleagues Judith K. Ockene, PhD, Judith A. Savageau, MPH, Kenneth Fletcher, PhD, Lori Pbert, PhD, Jennifer Hazelton, BA, Karen Friedman, BA, Gretchen Dussault, BA, and Connie Wood, MSW; Jennifer O'Loughlin, PhD, of McGill University; Ann D. McNeill, PhD, of St. George's Hospital Medical School at the University of London; and Robert J. Wellman of both UMMS and Fitchburg State College.
Source: Alison Duffy
University of Massachusetts Medical School Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medical ... wsid=75953 - view or write opinions
Link to PubMed Abstract
The nicotine addiction trap:
Over 90% of teenagers who smoke 3-4 cigarettes are trapped into a career of regular smoking which typically lasts for some 30-40 years.
Russell, MA, British Journal of Addiction
February 1990, Issue 85(2): Pages 293-300
a 40-year sentence for four cigarettesBritish Journal of Addiction, Feb., 1990, Issue 85(2): Pages 293-300.ICRF Health Behaviour Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London, United Kingdom.
It is generally recognized that smoking causes more preventable illness than any other form of drug addiction. Despite this, and unlike the case with other addictions, few services are provided to help people to give it up. Yet nicotine is highly addictive. Its role in the recruitment process, the development of dependence and as a block to smoking cessation are discussed within the context of the typical smoking career.
Over 90% of teenagers who smoke 3-4 cigarettes are trapped into a career of regular smoking which typically lasts for some 30-40 years. Only 35% of regular smokers succeed in stopping permanently before the age of 60, although the large majority want to stop and try to stop. The pharmacological effects of nicotine and other factors that determine dependence on smoking, together with the attitudinal and cognitive factors that determine motivation to stop smoking, are considered within the framework of a decision-making model which reflects the cycles of change in smoking status at different stages of the smoking career. It is argued that, in future intervention strategies, the newly developed treatment approaches should be included to complement traditional motivational approaches based on educational and restrictive measures.
PMID: 2180512 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Prior to the Internet, the death of a young smoker in their thirties or forties was likely a local news event, if covered at all. But increasingly, young and middle-aged terminally ill smokers, and their surviving families, are realizing the value of their ordeals to worldwide youth smoking prevention efforts and in helping motivate smokers to quit smoking. They are sharing, online, how the richness of life can be snuffed horribly short by not arresting chemical dependency upon smoking nicotine while still time.
A tour guide with a passion for history, a Camel smoker since age 14, Noni Glykos was married at age 30 and gave birth to her only child, a son, at 32. Two months later she was told she had lung cancer, that it had already spread to her brain, and that she only had a few months to live. One month later Noni bravely stood before friends and loved ones at her final birthday party to say goodbye.
Today visitors to WhyQuit watch a video clip of Noni's farewell speech and get a sense of her life through pictures and words. They see her wedding smile, sense her joy at her final Christmas, view her on her death bed and visit her grave. They attend her son's first birthday party and then it hits them, his mom has been dead for six months.
After Noni's story was shared at WhyQuit her family received more than 2,000 e-mails. Most relate to "quitting this nasty addiction that each year takes away so many," writes her brother John. "It is really hard to handle all the love and the emotions that you are sending through the messages but I save them so my children, and most of all Noni's son, will read them when they grow up."
A two-pack-a-day Marlboro smoker, Bryan Lee Curtis starting smoking cigarettes at age 13. Those reading his story view a haunting image of what small cell lung cancer can do to a human body in just 63 days. Having just turned 34, a photograph shows his grieving wife Bobbie clinging to their two-year-old son as Brian lies on his death bed with a photo on his lap taken two months earlier. The earlier picture is of a healthy looking Bryan holding his son Bryan Jr.
Periodic e-mails from Bryan's widow keep visitors updated. "It's almost been 2 years now," Bobbie wrote. "We sit and watch home movies of us. His son is missing him too. Christmas was the worst. He had to go outside and show his dad what he got for Christmas. That really tore me up."
Through her own words and story visitors get to know 44-year-old Kim Genovy, a smoker since age 12. They also read her messageboard postings to struggling quitters at Freedom from Tobacco, WhyQuit's 5,000 member online quitting forum. Kim's words transport readers from getting hooked to her grave.
She shares pictures of a healing scar on her back where doctors ripped out her cancer-riddled left lung, her scalp scar from where they removed a tumor from her brain, and a chemotherapy hairdo that brought chuckles to an otherwise horrific experience.
Following a second brain surgery to remove new tumors, Kim's sister Kelly arrives with news of her passing. But not before Kim left a critical message for smokers.
"Hard to believe it's been 2 years already," Kim writes. "I don't even think of smoking anymore, definitely a thing of the past. My health is too important at this time and the next step is up in the air. Chemo, radiation, surgery or oxygen therapy, maybe all of them. I have 2 brain tumors and a tumor on the adrenal gland. All of these tumors originally spread from the lung cancer I had. Believe me everyone, withdrawal was and is so much easier than this 2-year cancer battle I have been fighting. The craves disappeared, the cancer hasn't."
WhyQuit visitors meet Debra Scott, a 38-year-old mother of two daughters, one age eleven. Debra has been diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer. A pack-a-day smoker who started at 11 or 12, through periodic diary entries Debra provides a first-hand account of the living nightmare of knowing you are dying, watching your health and abilities gradually decline, losing your job, watching the medical bills mount, and worry about leaving a young child motherless.
On March 17, 2008 Debra wrote, "I am so tired and I ache and I'm sick all the time. Right now I'm struggling so hard. I'm depressed, bad." "I just can't handle anything." "I try to come off like I'm so strong, I can handle this and just deal but I can't do it. I can't do any of it. I just want to lock myself in my room and sleep or cry whichever comes first." It isn't a pretty picture Debra paints but one smokers would be wise to ponder while still time.
Visitors are also introduced to notable smoking victims such as playwright Lorraine Hansberry, who wrote "Raisin in the Sun" and died of lung cancer at age 34, and actress Carrie Hamilton, daughter of Carol Burnett, lost to lung cancer at 38.
The most recent notable recognized at WhyQuit is popular Toronto radio DJ Chris "Punch" Andrews who died of lung cancer on March 30, 2008 at age 43. Visitors watch a YouTube memorial video clip which shares Punch's life and journey. During the video Punch tells viewers, "I see now the kids that were me. They're smoking because they think it's cool. It's nothing. There's nothing good about it. It's the one thing in this world that there is nothing good about it. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you smoke, quit. It's that simple."
Created on July 15, 1999, although WhyQuit presents young tobacco victim stories in an obvious attempt to motivate smokers to consider quitting, it's bigger mission is in transforming motivation into successful nicotine cessation.
An all-volunteer forum that sells nothing and actually declines donations, visitors soon discover that WhyQuit is home to the Internet's largest collection of original quitting materials that include nearly 200 articles, 64 video quitting lessons by Joel Spitzer -- who is probably America's premier quit smoking counselor -- is home to Joel's free electronic stop smoking book entitled "Never Take Another Puff," to quitting tip guides, and 350,000 support group messages indexed on 22 subject matter message boards.
While millions of words at WhyQuit, they all boil down to one rather simple rule. It's what WhyQuit terms the "Law of Addiction" ... no nicotine today, never take another puff, dip or chew!
WhyQuit Link: http://www.whyquit.com/pr/043008.html
| Written by Erica in message #8 : |
|This is a very interesting topic. I am 22 now and I started smoking when I was 14 years old, a freshman in high school. |
Now this was not a situation where I took as cigarette as an experiment thinking it'd be just that once or only once in a while. I had the full, deliberate intention of becoming a full-fledged smoker. I started smoking with the full intention of becoming addicted to cigarettes.
Want to hear something really disturbing? I was thrilled to the bone the first time I had a physical cigarette craving. (We called them "nic-fits".) I remember: I was sitting in class, and I felt a peculiar tickle in my throat and an indescribably subtle sort of clamping feeling in my brain. What's that feeling? Suddenly I realized that smoking a cigarette would make that feeling go away. Hooray! I was a real smoker! I was addicted!
It just absolutely turns my stomach to write about this now. I hadn't thought about that moment in years; maybe not since it happened. Why did I think in this way? What kind of incredibly screwed-up moral landscape must I have had to not only deliberately become a drug addict but to feel genuinely happy when they addiction really started taking hold?
It's a good question and I think that to understand the answer it's important to think back to our teenaged years. Experiences vary widely; however, most people's adolescence is characterized by sullenness, recalcitrance, rapidly shifting self-images, and an intense desire to win favor with one's peers and most pertinently to thwart adult authority figures. I do not think that there is anything inherently bad about this state of mind--sure it's tough and in the end very self-defeating, but it's a necessary step in the blossoming into sentience (sp?) for most people.
I say that the desire to flout authority is "most pertinent" for a reason: I think that this is responsible for a lot of kids starting smoking. I know it was a major, major factor in my personal decision.
I was a very sullen, depressed teen girl, cursed with a prohibitively large vocabulary and very few social skills. I was angry. I felt cheated. By whom, and out of what? Who knows. But I had the vague yet firmly held conviction that my parents and especially the teachers and administrators at my school were deeply responsible for this dissatisfaction. This is not totally unreasonable; the faculty at my school were in fact largely ignorant and reprehensibly tyrannical and seemed to enjoy making things difficult for teens. So what could I do? The opposite of whatever they wanted me to do, that's what!!!! "Don't drink. Don't smoke. Don't do drugs." You can bet that I did all of these things as much as I could. There were other reasons--it was fun, it gave me sort of a common ground with a lot of my peers--but I remember vividly feeling that the best part of it all was being a "bad kid".
It's important to understand the dynamics of this sort of thing, particularly if you're going to try and talk to teenagers about substance use and abuse. Most health educators make the tremendous mistake of trying to convince kids that it's "not cool" to do these things. "It's not cool. It won't make you popular. It won't make you feel good." This is a disastrous tack to take. What these people need to understand is that in the eyes of many if not most teens, whatever they endorse, in almost any category, will be immediately branded as dorky and undesirable. That's just how it works. Besides, telling people that these things will not make them feel good is a bald-faced lie. They most certainly will, at first. I loved smoking when I was young. So having told one obvious lie, everything else that the educator has said also becomes suspect--including legitimate information about how awful these things are.
So the upshot of this long-winded diatribe is that I think that if one wants to make a difference with teens, and actually convince a large number of them that they should not start smoking cigarettes, one must do so with straight unadulterated information. No opinions about what is or is not cool or fun. No "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts". Just: smoking makes you die. Horribly and painfully. And in the meantime it makes you a pathetic addict with an incredibly low quality of life. Pictures like the ones on whyquit.com. I am certain that this is the approach that Joel takes when he talks to high-schoolers and that it is infinitely more successful than the transparent propaganda that I was offered in high school.
I don't blame anyone for guiding me towards the decision to smoke. That was a decision that I and I alone made. Yet I feel that I might not have felt this perverse desire to start had not the adults around me been so incredibly clueless about how to educate teens in such a way that they will actually listen.
Teenagers aren't stupid but they are naive and misguided. It's a shame that so many of them turn to smoking as a way to express all the bitterness and fresh young cynicism that they feel during this confusing and painful time of emotional and social upheaval. I hope greatly that this trend is dealt with; I was foresighted enough to quit but a lot of those kids who started smoking when I did are still smoking and will smoke until it kills them. Thoughtfulness and a little strategic psychology on the part of educators goes a long, long way. Like I said I'll bet Joel does a great job with these teens.