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Did Your State Make the Grade?

New companies employ the same old dirty tricks to promote tobacco.

Tobacco kills 400,000 Americans every year. Another 16 million are living with tobacco-caused diseases. The American Lung Association has released its 15th annual State of Tobacco Control report. View the Federal Government grades here. Find out how your state is doing

PositiveTip: Let your state and national representative know you want them to do more to control cigarettes and other tobacco products.

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Compounding Health Choices

Diet, exercise, smoking and alcohol all affect your health, but especially when combined.

Swiss researchers looked at the health risks of poor diet, irregular exercise, smoking and high alcohol consumption among 16,700 Swiss men and women. Smokers were most likely to die prematurely, but people with all four risk factors were 2.5 times more likely to die. However, people free of all risk factors could increase their life expectancy by up to 10 years.

PositiveTip: Invest in your future by fostering healthy habits now. 

PressRelease  Journal Article

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The Sneaky New Tobacco

Don't believe what you hear. Hookah smoking is just as dangerous as cigarette smoking.

Cigarette smoking in the US has declined by 33% in the last decade, but hookah smoking is on the rise, especially amongst educated young adults and high school seniors. Many believe the ancient communal water pipe tobacco ritual is safe but  hookah smoking is linked to cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease.

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TV Portrayals of Smoking Influences Adults

Reduction of smoking instances on prime time TV associated with less adult smoking.

Kids tend to start smoking more often when they are exposed to tobacco advertising. Tobacco use on television also seems to influence adults. Researchers found as smoking was shown less on prime time TV from 1955 to 2010 (five smoking instances per hour to 0.29 per hour), U.S. adults smoked less. This reduction was half that attributed to raising cigarette taxes over the same period.

PositiveTip: Avoiding exposure to smoking (and other harmful habits) may reduce cravings and encourage positive change.

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Bonus Benefits to Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking can improve mood and reduce risk of other addictive behaviours.

New research has found that smokers who quit may have greater success in addressing mental health or addiction issues. Based on surveys from 35,000 people, researchers found that people who quit smoking were 33% less likely to have mood disorders, 36% less likely to have alcohol problems and 69% less likely have drug problems than those who continue smoking.

Positive Tip: Let the "snowball effect" work for you. Quitting smoking may give you greater success in addressing core health issues.

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Another "Marlboro Man" Dies

Cigarettes bite yet another of their pitchmen.

Eric Lawson, one of the iconic, rugged "Marlboro men" in ads for the Marlboro cigarette brand died of respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  A smoker since 14, he was featured in print ads for the product from 1978 to 1981. Others who pitched the brand have also died from smoking's consequences.

PositiveTip: Refuse to let smoking get a grip on you. Sooner or later it will kill you.

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How Long Till Ex-smokers Return to Ideal Heart Health?

Smokers who quit may be healthy sooner than expected.

Previous estimates predicted smokers must be abstinent for 15+ years to reduce their cardiovascular disease risks to that of non-smokers. However, recent research has found it can happen in closer to 8 years.  Study subjects were 65+ years old and had quit smoking 15 or fewer years ago. The faster health benefits happened for those who had smoked 3 packs/day for less than 10 years or less than 1 pack/day for 30 years.

Positive Tip: Get or provide the support needed to stop smoking. Today.

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Women Have Caught Men in Smoking Deaths

If you never smoked you are twice as likely to live to 80 compared to smokers.

"Most people in the U.S. assume that smoking is on its way out. But the grim reality is that smoking still exerts an enormous toll on the health of Americans," wrote Steven A. Schroeder, MD of UCSFO. Smoking killed about 100 million people in the 20th century, and is predicted to kill about 1 billion in the 21st century. Current data support that women who smoke like men, die like men.

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Early Smoking Shortens Life

Cigarette smoking started in early life significantly increases mortality.

Even though the significant negative health effects of cigarette smoking are well known, smoking rates in young people continue to rise. Analysis of data from the Harvard University Alumni Study found that men who reported smoking at age 18 experienced a 30% increase in all-cause mortality (P<0.001). Deaths from smoking-related cancers increased by 91% in these same men (P<0.001). Quitting smoking lowered risks significantly over those who continued.

PositiveTip: Do all you can to encourage young people to never start smoking.