Archive for the 'Smoking' Category

Candy Cigarettes: Simple Fun or Simply Dangerous?

Raise your hand if you rode the bus to elementary school. Me pick me! So, yes I rode the bus. I remember standing miserable in the cold and rain. I remember how one bus driver hated kids and was constantly threatening to, “Turn this bus around.? I remember the fights between growing boys. And I remember the smoking.

316897_cigarettes.jpg'' /hspace= The smoking! Yup smoking… In the fifth or sixth grade the “cool? boys started bringing candy cigarettes to the bus stop.

It seemed innocent enough; however, to morning commuters we probably looked anything but. A bunch of kids aged six through twelve standing around in a circle while bubble gum smoke swirled around our heads. Finally a parent commuter drove by and ended our smoking fun.

Good thing too because a recent study featured in the July issue of the journal Preventive Medicine reports that kids who ‘light up’ candy cigarettes are more likely to light up the real thing when they’re older.

Dr. Jonathan Klein, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester, and lead researcher on the candy cigarettes and his team studied around 26,000 adults and found that 12% of adults who had never had a candy cigarette when they were young report adult smoking habits while 22% of adults who did have candy cigarettes as a youngster report adult smoking. Also the study showed that there was a correlation with the amounts of candy cigarettes people chewed down as a kid. As kids chew more their rates of adult smoking increase.

But why?
Klein says, “It allows the marketing that goes into tobacco advertising to operate on children long before they have access to cigarettes… these candy products promote smoking as a socially acceptable activity.”

Danny McGoldrick, research director for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, brings up another point to consider. McGoldrick compares candy cigarettes with a kids learning curve. For instance first comes candy cigarettes, than with the cigarette companies coming out with flavored smokes, why not move on to that, and than on to the full blown real thing. It makes sense. I’ve heard many a teenagers state that cherry flavored or licorice flavored cigarettes must be safe because they don’t taste bad.

But are candy cigarettes even around anymore?
Well, I thought about that too. Personally, I thought that they’d been outlawed long ago. But they haven’t. They’re just a bit more underground. Now, with kids being so internet savvy, all it takes is a few clicks of a mouse and you can find oodles of chewy smokes on the web. I just did a few minutes ago. It was simple. Your kids will find them too.

So, make candy cigarettes just as off limits in your home as the real thing. But obviously that won’t stop the bus stop kid smoking parties. The best defense is to talk to your kids early about the dangers of tobacco and then practice what you preach.

To learn more about how to talk to your kids about tobacco visit Kids Health.

Posted in Uncategorized, Parenting, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Smoking | 2 Comments »

Cancer-Causing Chemicals from Tobacco Smoke Found in Baby Urine

Scientists have detected cancer-causing chemicals associated with tobacco smoke in the urine of infants whose parents smoke.

The finding, detailed in the May issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, supports the idea that persistent exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke in childhood can contribute to the development of cancer later in life, said study team member Stephen Hecht of the Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota.

“The take home message is, ‘Don’t smoke around your kids,’” Hecht said.

The researchers collected urine from 144 infants, aged 3 months to 12 months, who lived in homes where at least one parent was a smoker. Urine from nearly half of the infants contained detectable levels of NNAL, a chemical byproduct produced in the human body when it processes NNK, a cancer-causing chemical, or carcinogen, found only in tobacco.

Full story at LiveScience

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