Where There's Smoke There're Cigarettes
With this puff I enslave myself to a lifetime of addiction.
“You may now light the cigarette. I now pronounce you a full-fledged smoker.”
From my journal Saturday June 4 1994, written while underway between Nabouwalu Bay and Suva:
In USA Today Wednesday 8 November 2000 in an article entitled "Nicotine Seems to Snuff a Section of Brain" I read the following:
by Rosie Waterhouse
Additives in cigarettes may make some brands far more addictive than others, according to research. For the first time, scientists have measured the amount of super-addictive "freebase" nicotine cigarettes deliver to the smoker. Like crack cocaine, freebase nicotine vaporises and passes rapidly through the lungs into the bloodstream. Because it reaches the brain so quickly it is thought to be more addictive than normal nicotine. The research, by a team at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, could lead to ways of rating the addictiveness of different brands.
Scientists compared 11 brands available in America. They found that some contained 10 to 20 times higher percentages of freebase nicotine than experts had previously believed. Brands were compared with a laboratory "reference" cigarette containing 1% freebase nicotine. They varied greatly, ranging from 1% or 2% to 36% for a specialty US brand called American Spirit. Marlboro contained up to 9.6% freebase nicotine. Other well known brands included Camel (2.7%), Winston (5% to 6.2%) and Gauloises Blondes (5.7% to 7.5%).
Professor James Pankow, who led the study, reported in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, said: "During smoking, only the freebase form can volatise from a particle into the air in the respiratory tract. Since scientists have shown that a drug becomes more addictive when it is delivered to the brain more rapidly, freebase nicotine levels in cigarette smoke thus are at the heart of the controversy regarding the tobacco industry's use of additives like ammonia and urea, as well as blending choices in cigarette design."
A 1997 study led by Prof Pankow linked ammonia additives with increased freebase nicotine levels in cigarettes. He found that on its own, nicotine would not be very potent in the body but ammonia strips away protons from surrounding molecules including nicotine, making it more rapidly absorbed. The 1997 research confirmed assertions made by the American Food and Drug Administration that widespread use of ammonia compounds in cigarettes manufacturing was evidence that the industry manipulated the delivery of nicotine in tobacco products.
Professor Jack Henningfield, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, said: "It appears likely that ingredients used in modern cigarette manufacture, such as ammonia and urea, account for this addiction-enhancing effect."
Professor Pankow said that in the United States there were no formal tobacco industry or Food and Drug Administration guidelines on appropriate levels of freebase nicotine in cigarettes. But the message from the industry was that cigarettes contained only small percentages of freebase nicotine. Only additives on a permitted list from the Department of Health are allowed in cigarettes made in Britain. A spokesman for the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association in the UK said: "Cigarettes manufactured here do abide by the permitted list and may be quite different from those in America."
A spokesman for Phillip Morris, the maker of Marlboro, said: "Ammonia is a compound naturally present in tobacco leaf. Quite simply, there is no safe cigarette. No one cigarette is any more or less harmful or addictive than another. All cigarettes and their smoke are harmful and addictive. It is entirely inappropriate to start communicating to consumers that there are distinctions in terms of harm or addictiveness between various brands of cigarettes. If consumers are concerned about the harm or addictiveness of smoking they should quit."
Three men who featured as the most famous character in tobacco advertising - the horse-riding Marlboro Man - have died from smoking-related illnesses: David Millar Jr in 1987 from emphysema, Wayne McLaren in 1992 after lung cancer spread to his brain, and David McLean in 1995 from lung cancer.
Source: telegraph.co.uk 28 July 2003
More Nicotine in Cigarettes than 6 Years Ago: Level has Risen about 10% Regardless of Brand, Says Report
Boston - The level of nicotine found in US cigarettes has risen about 10% in the past 6 years, making it harder to quit and easier to get hooked, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Massachusetts Department of Health. The study shows a steady climb in the amount of nicotine delivered to the lungs of smokers regardless of brand, with overall nicotine yields increasing by about 10%.
Massachusetts is one of 3 US states to require tobacco companies to submit information about nicotine and the only state with data going back to 1998. Public Health Commissioner Paul Cote Jr called the findings "significant" and said the report was the first new release on nicotine yield in more than 6 years nationally. The study found the 3 most popular cigarette brands with young smokers - Marlboro, Newport and Camel - delivered significantly more nicotine than they did years ago. Nicotine in Kool, a popular menthol brand, rose 20%. More than 2/3 of black smokers use menthol brands.
Calls to Philip Morris USA, the United States' largest cigarette maker and manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes, and RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, manufacturer of Kool and Camel cigarettes, were not immediately returned Tuesday.
The study tried to measure nicotine levels based on the way smokers actually use cigarettes, health officials said, in part by partially covering ventilation holes as they smoke and taking longer puffs. Traditional testing methods which do not take real-life smoking habits into account, typically report lower nicotine contents, officials said. Of the 179 cigarette brands tested in 2004 for the report, 93%% fell into the highest range for nicotine. In 1998, 84% of 116 brands tested fell into the highest range.
Smokers who choose "light" brands hoping to reduce their nicotine intake are out of luck, according to the report that found for all brands tested in 1998 and 2004, there was no significant difference in the total nicotine content between "full flavour," "medium," "light," or "ultra-light" cigarettes. The finding means that health care providers trying to help smokers quit may have to adjust the strength of nicotine replacement therapies like nicotine patches and gums, according to Department of Public Health Associate Commissioner Sally Fogerty.
Source: msnbc.msn.com 29 August 2006 © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Quitting Smoking "Like Killing Best Friend"
Sydney - Giving up smoking is as difficult as killing a best friend for some Australian smokers, according to new research. The emotional bond between smokers and their cigarettes was "more complex and more deeply personal" than many people realised, research has found.
The study, by Sydney University social researcher Stacy Carter, is based on summaries of previously unpublished reports and material from smokers in focus groups. It indicated that many smokers regarded their cigarettes as "a close friend" that helped them connect socially and assisted the flow of a regular day. Ms Carter said the bond between smokers and cigarettes could become a big barrier to quitting. "For many smokers, cigarettes are an old and trusted companion. Quitting is like finding the strength to kill your best friend."
Study director Simon Chapman, of Sydney University's public health and community medicine department, said the results had important implications for health programmes and ways to help smokers quit. "Stacy's research clearly shows that understanding the deep personal nature of the relationship between a smoker and their cigarettes is a prerequisite for being able to help them quit." - AAP
Source: The Dominion Friday 29 December 2000
New York - Men and women smoke for different reasons and have different strategies for quitting, according to a survey of current cigarette smokers who have tried to quit.
"It's been said that men and women are from different planets, and that's certainly true when it comes to smoking," Amy Niles, executive director of the National Women's Health Resource Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey, said in a press release. The telephone survey of 1,002 adult smokers, sponsored by the National Women's Health Resource Center, was conducted between July and August by Yankelovich Partners.
Women often reported continuing to smoke due to emotional reasons — such as stress, anxiety, anger, or depression — and they reported that they started smoking again after quitting for similar reasons. Women were also more likely to try to quit smoking due to personal or family health, while men were more likely to quit to have "an improved sex life." Twice as many women as men cited weight gain or concern about weight gain as a reason they failed to quit smoking. Women were also twice as likely as men to say that they smoke to lose or maintain their weight.
About 58% of women said that they had consulted a doctor to help them quit smoking, compared with 45% of men. Most men said that they would quit "cold turkey" on their next try.
Men and women were similar in some ways, the survey found: ¾ of men and women have tried to quit more than once, and only one in five was successful for at least a year. "This low success rate clearly demonstrates the power of nicotine addiction," Dr Linda H Ferry, of Loma Linda University in California, said in the press release. "It's critical for smokers to enlist the support of their physicians, who can set up a treatment plan tailored to a smoker's individual needs."
Source: Reuters Health Wednesday 24 November 1999
Women "More Dependent on Cigarettes than Men"
by Nicole Martin
Women are more emotionally dependent on cigarettes than men and less motivated to stop smoking, according to a report published today. Although fewer women smoke than men, almost half of female smokers said they could not cope without cigarettes compared with a third of men. Findings from the Sex and Smoking report showed that men were more determined to quit than women. Nearly half of the male smokers wanted to give up to improve their health compared with 39% of female smokers. Almost two thirds of women would find it difficult to go a day without cigarettes, which are the main source of pleasure for 44% of female smokers compared with 38% of men, according to the study, published for the No Smoking Day campaign on March 10.
The percentage of smokers in the UK, currently 29% of men and 28% of women, is beginning to rise after falling consecutively for 20 years. The report, which polled some 2,500 people, concluded that men and women smoked for different reasons. "Family pressures and worries about stress and weight gain are at the forefront of women's minds," said Robert West, professor of psychology at St George's Hospital in south London, who wrote the report. "Men seem more self-motivated, quitting for their health and more personal reasons."
Clive Bates, director of Action on Smoking and Health, who contributed to the report, said it showed that advice on giving up needed to be tailored to the sexes. "Smoking is a more complex phenomenon than just 'I enjoy smoking, therefore I smoke'. There is a physical addiction, a behavioural addiction and it seems there's also an emotional compulsion to smoke," he said. "If you want to give up, you have to tackle each of these aspects."
Source: telegraph.co.uk Issue 1382 Monday 8 March 1999
Are Cigarettes Sublime?
Two Men Kissing in a Paris Cafe
Source: a really interesting little book called (I'll bet you can guess) Cigarettes Are Sublime by Richard Kline, a professor of French in Cornell's Department of Romance Studies. I found the picture touching. What does this have to do with cigarettes? If you look closely, each of the men holds one.
Richard Kalvar / Magnum Photos | Man talking to sleeping friend, Paris, 1974
When I found this photo immediately above online, I was delighted. I felt I had found a couple of old buddies. I note they're both smoking in this photo as well. Perhaps it is even the same cigarette as the one in the first photo?
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