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Big Tobacco Continues to Survive

The tobacco industry continues to thrive in spite of being a major cause of death.

Despite the predictions of the demise of the tobacco industry, it continues thriving, increasing sales and profitability. In 2016, the five global leaders (excluding China) shipped 2.7 trillion cigarettes, more than 300 for every man, woman, and child in the world. Investors in those companies earned $19 billion in dividends. Sadly, tobacco stocks are a staple of the stock market.

PositiveTip: The only way to curb this death inducing activity is to stop consuming the product!

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From the Plant to the Puff

There are 93 known and potentially harmful chemicals in cigarettes.

You may not be a smoker, but you know that cigarettes can kill you. It actually kills half of all who start and never quit! The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has created some videos and interactive tools to help you learn more about the potentially harmful chemicals in cigarettes from the plant to the product to the smoke.

PositiveTip: If you have children or grandchildren take some time to show them these videos and information. It could help them never start smoking.

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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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Global Smoking Deaths Rising

Eighty percent of current smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.

Smoking is responsible for about 6 million deaths per year globally at an estimated associated cost of $1 trillion. An international report projects that by 2030, smoking-related deaths will rise to over 8 million a year! While smoking in the U.S. has fallen to a record low of 15.!% of adults, it has been countered by rising numbers of smokers concentrated among the poor and other vulnerable groups. Just five tobacco companies account for 85% of global cigarette production.

PositiveTip: Fully support all reasonable efforts to control tobacco use!

 

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UN Calls for Plain Packaging of Tobacco Products

Tobacco kills almost 6 million people every year.

On May 31, World No Tobacco Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all governments around the globe to require plain packaging of tobacco products in order to save lives. Restricting or prohibiting  the use of logos, colors and brand images save for brand and product name displayed in a standard color and font would save lives by reducing demand for tobacco products. It would also help families retain more of their income.

PositiveTip: Tobacco use is still one of the largest causes of preventable non-communicable disease. 

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No Decline in Tobacco Use Among U.S. Teens

Tobacco continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S.

There has been no decline in overall tobacco use among middle and high school students in the U.S. since 2011. The use of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco and pipe tobacco has declined--while the use of nontraditional products such as e-cigarettes and hookah pipes continues to rise. E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among teens today. Sadly these products remain unregulated.

PositiveTip: No form of tobacco use is safe. Nicotine is an addictive drug that may cause permanent harm to brain development.

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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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Will Big Tobacco be Victorious in the U.K.?

U.K. tobacco 'plain packaging' laws challenged by manufacturers.

Big Tobacco, representing companies like Phillip Morris, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, and Japan Tobacco have filed suit against the U.K.'s "plain packaging" laws which are due to take effect in May 2016. They claim the law seizes their property without compensation. Tobacco kills over 100,000 people each year in the U.K. This law aims to discourage children from smoking and to help smokers quit.

PositiveTip: Remember, it is best to never start smoking, and if you do smoke, now is the best time to quit!

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Kuddos to the FDA!

The FDA does not approve products, only clears them for marketing.

The U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has banned the marketing of four R J Reynolds cigarette brands because they do not meet specific safety and composition requirements. The FDA found they have changed so much over the last few years they do not resemble the original products--with higher levels of formaldehyde, menthol, sweeteners, and unclear tobacco blends. No tobacco product is "safe" even if approved for marketing.

PositiveTip: Don't start smoking, stop if you started, and help others quit. It's still good advice.

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A Quarter of High School Students Use Tobacco

Half of all high school tobacco users used more than one product.

Analysis of the 2013 National Youth Tobacco Survey reveals that almost half of U.S. high school students have tried tobacco and almost 25% currently use it.  More high school boys than girls were current smokers, but was similar in middle school. Electronic cigarettes were tried at least once by 12% of high schoolers, and 3% of middle schoolers.

PositiveTip: Parents should rigorously monitor the forms of tobacco use by their youth--especially emerging products like e-cigarettes.