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South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Belly up to the bar, or just watch at Off the Hookah

First, regardless of what you are burning, it is the smoke that kills you. At a high dose... say a house fire... death from smoke inhalation is instantaneous. If is is at a moderate does... say from a campfire, most people have the good sense to walk away. In small doses, like tobacco smoking, you inhale tolerable doses over many years until it destroys your lungs. Congratulations on your skill! Chemically, if you burn a hydrocarbon at a hotter temperature, you destroy more of the chemicals. So, smoldering tobacco burning at a lower, indirect temperature (such as hookah) is actually more dangerous. Couple this with the fact that the water lowers the temperature of the smoke (without filtering out the dangerous chemicals, including tar) allowing the smoker to inhale it more easily, and the risks are multiplied. Hooray! Enjoy that "dessert "!  (Mar 19, 2009 | post #8)

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Florida liberals: Beware the agenda of the do-gooders

I am a Pediatrician involved in the prevention of youth tobacco use, including the predatory marketing practices of the tobacco industry. That is my only agenda. I am not laying anything on President Bush; I am just stating the fact that his administration does not support FDA regulation of tobacco, and plans to veto that legislation if it passed by both houses of congress. There are any number of big money lobbying groups working to prevent FDA regulation of tobacco, including trial lawyers; still, just because a chemical is regulated by the FDA does not make it immune to class action lawsuits... ask the makers of Vioxx. However, FDA regulation would require the tobacco industry to list the ingredients, including the dose of nicotine, on the package. The current legislation would also remove additives, including flavorings, from all tobacco products. Hopefully, that will include the nexy generation nicotine candies currently being test-marketed in Ohio (http://tobaccopro ducts.org/index.ph p/Camel_Sticks, **** Camel_Orbs_and_Cam el_Strips).  (Nov 18, 2008 | post #7)

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Florida liberals: Beware the agenda of the do-gooders

On the contrary, nicotine is highly addictive. However, it is NOT a narcotic.  (Nov 18, 2008 | post #6)

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Florida liberals: Beware the agenda of the do-gooders

Pay attention, Max. The US House of Representatives passed legislation this year to give the FDA authority to regulate tobacco; the bill stalled in the Senate, instead spending too much time bailing out victims of the free-market system. It would not have mattered either way, because President Bush threatened to veto the bill anyway. The good news? Both Sen McCain and Sen Obama were co-sponsors on the Senate bill, so perhaps this will get finished during the next session of Congress. FYI: Nicotine, the addictive chemical in tobacco, is not a narcotic. Narcotics ARE regulated by the FDA. Nicotine is an alkaloid that functions as a stimulant on the human nrevous system. It is a naturally occurring chemical in the Nightshade family of plants that functions as an antiherbivore chemical with particular specificity to insects. That's right, it is an insecticide! Enjoy that next cigarette!  (Nov 16, 2008 | post #3)

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Florida liberals: Beware the agenda of the do-gooders

How ironic that Mr. Smith of the Palm Beach County BizPac chooses this week to make this argument... the very week in which the rate of tobacco use for adults fell below 20% for the first time ever. Does Mr. Smith believe that this happened on its own? No. In fact, the smoking rate has fallen to this new low because of a combination of education on the harmful effects of tobacco, and state-by-state increases in the excise tax. Many studies have been published that show the true effects of increasing the excise tax on cigarettes. Initially, there is an increase in tax revenues. This occurs because it is difficult for tobacco addicts to immediately change their behavior. However, as time goes on, they do change their behavior. They purchase cheaper products, cross state lines, order online, or better still, QUIT SMOKING. The long-term effects of these behavior change is a net reduction in tax revenues. More importantly the high cost of cigarettes, driven in part by high excise taxes, changes the behavior of teenagers; as the price goes up, fewer teenagers start this deadly drug addiction. Is that a bad thing, Mr. Smith? The bottom line? If states are actually interested in increasing tax revenues, they would look at tax increases other than cigarette excise taxes. I only wish Mr. Smith, and others like them, would explain their agenda when they write their articles. Mr. Smith represents an organization of local businesses... businesses such as convenience stores that make a substantial profit from tobacco sales. For example, here is information from the NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) website: http://www.nacsonl ine.com/nacs/gover nment/Tobacco/Page s/default.aspx "Sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products comprised 34.4 percent of the in-store sales at convenience stores in 2006. While controversial, tobacco is a legal product and one that is important to the economic viability of the convenience store industry. The anti-tobacco industry is well organized and well funded. Additionally, avenues for evasion of state and local excise taxes have arisen through mail orders. The NACS government relations team is focused upon protecting this important category for the industry." And, from the BizPac website (http://bizpacpbc. com/index.html) "BIZPAC... Representing the interests of the business and professional community with elected officials." In other words, as excise taxes go up, sales in stores go down. That is really what groups like BizPac and NACS are concerned about... the 34.4% of in-store sales generated by tobacco. So, they lobby against excise taxes by using the fear of "black markets" and "increased crime rates" to protect their sales... sales that include a large percentage of the youth market who should not even have access to tobacco products in the first place. Do not fall for the rhetoric. Higher excise taxes limit youth tobacco initition and use, and actually promote tobacco cessation among some adults. Higher excise taxes do NOT translate into higher overall tax revenues for the state government. The current excise tax on cigarettes in Florida is 34 cents, ranking Florida 46 out of the 50 states. There has not been a cigarette tax increase in Florida in twenty years. We are long overdue for a change in this policy in Florida.  (Nov 16, 2008 | post #2)

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Funky Buddha Lounge is smokin' good time

"Funky Buddha Lounge is smokin' good time"... almost as funky as lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and throat cancer! Think twice before you treat yourself to that "exotic" and "flavored tobacco.  (Nov 7, 2008 | post #1)

Estero, FL

Pleasure Island cigar bar -- OrlandoSentinel.com

Except that the Walt Disney Company wants to have it both ways. They enjoyed a wave of free press when they announced that they were going to go smoke-free in their resorts. When they made the announcment, they said they were going "smoke-free " not "almost smoke-free with high profile exceptions." Of course, they would not have gotten nearly as much press if they had been 100% honest.  (May 21, 2008 | post #40)

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Tobacco could kill 1 billion in 21st century, governments...

You are correct. Kids do a lot of stupid things, like eat too much sugar, ride skateboards, shave their heads, get nose-rings, dye their hair purple, drive too fast, and smoke. With the exception of tobacco and nicotine, none of those other things are physiologically addictive, and all are easily reversible. Also, with the exception of "too much sugar" in breakfast cereals and candy, none of those other things are marketed directly to children. You yourself admit to making a poor decision, then struggling with the addiction for years. I am sorry that you don't see the connection between advertising and movie images and your desire to look as cool as the people in those media images, but that connection clearly exists. The "Big Bad" tobacco sompanies didn't force you start smoking; they just made it look like you and your young friends wouldn't be the life of the party without it. If that isn't designed to suck in vulnerable teenagers, then you have no understanding of adolescence. Good marketing is often described as a method of convincing someone to buy a product that they don't want or need. It is frequently insidious and subliminal, which is why it works so well. So, I will repeat my earlier assertion that tobacco should remain legal for use among adults; however, it should be regulated by the FDA (at least with the same gusto that dog food is regulated), all marketing of tobacco should be banned, and we should have the same zero tolerance for tobacco sales to minors as we have for alcohol sales.  (Feb 12, 2008 | post #27)

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Tobacco could kill 1 billion in 21st century, governments...

Thanks for the name-calling. It always adds so much to the intelligent debate. For your information, the medications used in our treatment program are anticholinergic medications, which block the nicotinic cholinergic receptors of the autonomic nervous system. These medications have been used in smoking cessation programs for two decades... about as long a nicotine replacement therapy. Our program, including a year of counseling, costs about as much as it costs to smoke one pack of cigarettes a day for four months. If you are so worried about the cost of quitting, how about analyzing the cost of smoking! If you start at age 15 and smoke for 50 years, you will have spent about $73,000 dollars. Do you have the same disdain for the tobacco industry raking in billions of dollars by preying on "weakminded people with terrible addictions"? Or do you reserve all of that venom for those of us in the medical community who are trying to do some good and help those same people?  (Feb 11, 2008 | post #24)

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Tobacco could kill 1 billion in 21st century, governments...

That logic is way too simplistic. The problem is that over one million children between the ages of 12 and 17 start smoking every year. This occurs because they are not capable of making a fully informed decision, and they choose tobacco without understanding all of the consequences. The warning labels currently on tobacco products are meaningless to this group. Most of those teenagers grow up and are unable to overcome their addiction; they know it is harming them, and they are simply unable to stop. Many of them become defensive (defending their so-called "free choice") or simply deny that they are addicted. That is a problem for them to confront. Where we can make a difference is to insure that we don't lose any more children to this horrible drug addiction. The best approach is to attack the real villains: the tobacco industry. Tobacco should and will be legal; however, the sale of this drug should be severly limited, and the advertising and marketing of tobacco should be severly curtailed or banned outright.  (Feb 11, 2008 | post #21)

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Tobacco could kill 1 billion in 21st century, governments...

The fact that you define the process of educating people to make a better informed decision as "snake oil" speaks volumes. The actual "snake oil" that is being peddled is tobacco, and the sooner our citizens (especially teenagers) realize it, the better off we will be.  (Feb 11, 2008 | post #20)

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Tobacco could kill 1 billion in 21st century, governments...

This story points out that the major tobacco companies are now preying on less-educated people in other countries as they lose their market share in the United States. This makes DEATH one of our major exports! It also explains the need for tobacco companies, like Altria, to split off their overseas operations in order to protect their profits from ongoing litigation in the United States (see http://www.sun-sen tinel.com/business /sfl-flzaltria0131 sbjan31,0,4863648. story for more details). It is time for the FDA to step in and regulate an industry that clearly will not regulate itself, instead choosing to promote a lifetime of addiction followed by unnecessary illness and premature death. No other product in this country gets the same free pass.  (Feb 8, 2008 | post #4)

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Altria set to spin off overseas tobacco

"Altria Group Inc. said Wednesday it would spin off its international tobacco business on March 28, freeing it to pursue cigarette sales more aggressively outside the United States by separating it from its American counterpart." Great! Now the world's largest drug pusher can sell its unregulated, deadly product to under-educated people in third world countries without the fear of repercussions.  (Jan 31, 2008 | post #1)

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Friday is Florida's deadline for smokers to sue Big Tobac...

No one has ever overdosed from a carrot, one of the natural sources of Vitamin A. Everyone who tries to justify the systematic addiction of a population by tobacco by making such poor comparisons misses the point: tobacco is the only product that causes so much disease and death from its PRIMARY use. There is no "normal" or "safe" use of tobacco.  (Jan 21, 2008 | post #108)

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Friday is Florida's deadline for smokers to sue Big Tobac...

Make that toxic at levels not much higher than the RDA.  (Jan 21, 2008 | post #107)

Q & A with Barry Hummel Jr MD

Headline:

www.quitdoc.com

Hometown:

Parkland, Florida

I Belong To:

American Academy of Pediatrics

When I'm Not on Topix:

...I am speaking to school groups about tobacco prevention.

Read My Forum Posts Because:

I want to protect your children from tobacco.

On My Mind:

Trying to prevent the next generation of young people from being killed by tobacco.

Blog / Website / Homepage:

www.quitdoc.com, www.smokescreeners.org