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"Constructive Statements" to Finally Run

Smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans every day.

Over ten years ago the major tobacco companies were ordered by U.S. federal court to run "corrective statement" ads on national media on the dangers of smoking. Finally, those are due to begin November 26, 2017! These will include messages such as: "More people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol combined." Sadly, while these corporations seek to be seen as responsible citizens, they are the root cause of the problem. The amount they spend for these ads is miniscule compared to the amount they spend on marketing their deadly products.

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Prenatal Smoking Impacts Offspring in Teen Years

Smoking just 10 cigarettes a day disrupts child's executive functions in high school.

The short-term risks of smoking during pregnancy have long been recognized. Boston researchers found negative impacts last well into the child's future life. When the mother smoked as few as 10 cigarettes per day during pregnancy, the child suffered organizational, attention span, and time management skill deficits--along with a decreased ability to self-manage their behaviors as a teen.

PositiveTip: Encourage every woman smoker you know of child-bearing age to stop smoking before they become pregnant.

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No Safe Level of Cigarette Smoking

Even a single cigarette each day increases mortality risk by 64%.

Many smokers believe very light smoking or not smoking every day may reduce their health risks. In a study of 290,000 middle-age and older smokers, researcher found long-time, low-volume smokers had significantly higher mortality risks compared with those who had never smoked or quit. Those who reported consistently smoking 1-10 cigarettes a day had an 87% greater chance of dying prematurely. These associations were similar for men and women.

PositiveTip: All smokers--even light smokers--can benefit from smoking cessation.

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Absent Parents Influence Alcohol & Tobacco Use

One absent parent early in life results in greater risk for unhealthy behaviors by 11.

A large U.K. study found when there is an absent parent by age 7, the kids risks of smoking and alcohol consumption prior to their teenage years increased by 2.86 and 1.46, respectively. Earlier initiation of these risky behaviors may impact the risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease later in life, as well as dependence issues.

PositiveTip: Children who experience parental absence need support and care from significant others to prevent smoking and alcohol initiation.

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Avoiding Sun May Be as Dangerous as Smoking

Nonsmokers who avoid the sun have a similar risk for death as smokers!

Swedish researchers studied 30,000 women over 20 and found the nonsmokers who stayed out of the sun had a life expectancy similar to smokers with the highest sun exposure. The authors suggest that overexposure should be avoided, but underexposure may be more dangerous than people think. Exercise and lifestyle data were not considered and might have confounded these findings.

PositiveTip: Vitamin D is essential for good health, and appropriate sun exposure is an excellent way of getting it.

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Hookah Use Leads to Cigarette Smoking

Forty percent of regular waterpipe tobacco smokers are at risk for later cigarette use.

A national cohort study found waterpipe tobacco (hookah) smokers were more than twice as likely to try cigarettes than nonsmokers. Yet only 16% of non-waterpipe users showed any susceptibility to cigarette smoking. A majority of the hookah users were men between the ages of 18-21, with only high school diplomas. This study did not determine a cause-and-effect relationship, but one is plausible.

PositiveTip: While often believed to be safer, young and old should be encouraged to stay away from waterpipe smoking.

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"Quit Like a Champion"

Smoking is still the single largest cause of disease and preventable premature death.

The 2015 Great American Smokeout is one week away! The American Cancer Society designates the third Thursday of each November to encourage smokers to go the distance and give up smoking. Ready-to-use graphics for social media, flyers, posters and table tents can be downloaded. If you are curious about the impact of smoking in the movies, check out this resource!

PositiveTip: It is never too late to quit smoking. Get the help you need to stop--or help a smoker you know quit!

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Public Smoking Bans Save Lives

Preliminary results link smoking bans with reduced cardiovascular disease.

Michigan's state-wide ban on indoor smoking may have helped save lives. American College of Cardiology researchers found that cardiovascular disease related hospitalizations reduced by 2% from 65,329 people to 64,002. On top of these 1,327 lives affected, in-hospital deaths related to cardiovascular disease decreased by 0.38%. The study wasn't able to eliminate all potential confounders, but adds to growing evidence for the potential benefits of public smoking bans.

Positive Tip: Support local efforts to eliminate smoking indoors and seek help in quitting if you smoke.

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Second Hand Smoke and Pregnancy

Even if you never smoke, second hand smoke increases risks of miscarriage or stillbirth.

New research looking at 81,000 women confirms the risks of second hand smoke for pregnant women. The study's large size and comprehensive approach helped demonstrate that non-smoking women with the highest level of second hand smoke exposure (10+ years in childhood or 20+ years in adulthood) were at a risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or tubal ectopic pregnancy that approached those who were smokers.

PositiveTip: For the health of yourself and your baby limit your exposure to second hand smoke.

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Age of First Cigarette Alters Risk of Regular Smoking

The younger the first exposure, the higher the risk for regular smoking.

Evidence from the U.S. Youth Behavior Risk Survey 2011 suggests strategies to delay the onset of cigarette smoking in teens is an important step in preventing progression from experimentation to regular use. The earlier a child initiates smoking, the higher risk of regular smoking (1.27 times increased risk for each earlier year) regardless of sex or ethnicity.

PositiveTip: Do all you can to discourage kids from trying even one cigarette!