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More negative news about smoking

March 17, 2014 - Steve Murch
One of the things I do to relax before coming to the office is reading at either Mich-e-ke-wis or Starlite. It gets me away from distractions for a while and lets me prepare for the day. During the same time, many high school students are down there during their lunch break. One thing anyone would notice is how many of them smoke.

Let's just put aside for a moment that many of them probably aren't of age to legally smoke, or that they probably didn't buy them legally. Instead, let's look at some straightforward information.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention slightly more than 18 percent of Americans smoke cigarettes. That's approximately 42.1 million people ages 18 and over in the U.S. who smoke cigarettes. That doesn't include people who might smoke cigars or pipes but not cigarettes.

The CDC report states that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. — 480,000 deaths, or one in five deaths, every year.

A new study by UCLA, which appears in the March 3 online edition of the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, and highlighted by UCLA Newsroom shows that young adult smokers “may experience changes in the structures of their brains due to cigarette smoking, dependence and craving.” This is the time when their brains are still developing, so they are putting their brains at risk, making them addicted to cigarettes for the rest of their lives.

"Although we are not certain whether the findings represent the effects of smoking or a genetic risk factor for nicotine dependence, the results may reflect the initial effects of cigarette smoking on the brain," senior author Edythe London, a professor of psychiatry and of molecular and medical pharmacology at UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and David Geffen School of Medicine, told UCLA Newsroom. "This work may also contribute to the understanding of why smoking during this developmental stage has such a profound impact on lifelong smoking behavior."

I know several people who smoke and struggle with quitting. They try and try, only to fall back into the habit. I do know some people who have successfully quit, but those who have are fewer than those haven't.

I've never smoked, so I don't know the power of cigarette smoking and the hold it can have on you. Tobacco companies don't mind that people develop a dependency on smoking, that's their livelihood and keeping people smoking is important to the bottom line. Don't let them tell you otherwise.

I just find it crazy that with all the information we have out there about the effects of smoking, that we can't deter or minimize smoking. All you have to do is look at the health numbers and that should tell you enough that smoking isn't a healthy lifestyle.

We all make our own choices, but all those choices affect everyone else, too.


Article Comments



Mar-18-14 9:03 AM

Smoking is a mask and a displacement behavior too. Sea gulls use displacement as a sometimes adaptive behavior to avoid fighting. Smoking may take 40 years to kill you while driving may take four seconds. All smokers and non-smokers die, death is not "preventable", but the non- smokers live better.

Sometimes we make choices but how many Americans 'choose' to speak english.


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