Australia is ahead of the curve about cigarettes. They now require ¾ of the front of all cigarette packages to have graphic health warnings. The other ¼ is plain-brown with the name brand appearing in a standard size and font without any logos.
Some researchers conducted a survey during this transition time. Without boring you with the details, they found respondents who smoked cigarettes in plain-brown packaging indicated their smoking satisfaction was less than it was a year earlier. They also thought about quitting more often and rated quitting as a higher priority than previously. Now 73% say they plan to quit, and 90% say they regret having ever started.
Researchers concluded that flashy brand markings, (think Marlboro, Camels, and green Menthol stripes), enhance the sensory experience of smoking as well as the psychological mindset.
Also in cigarette news, the FDA is exploring the effect of menthol as an additive to tobacco. Apparently there’s mounting evidence that menthol, while not necessarily increasing illness, decreases the cell’s response to nicotine in parts of the brain, upping the urge to take in more.
I was surprised to read that almost 75% of African American smokers and 30% of Latino smokers smoke menthol flavored cigarettes. Partially the preference is because these populations are heavily marketed to, but research is also exploring whether different body physiologies of different populations make some groups more vulnerable to the combination of menthol and nicotine.
And finally, data suggests that e-cigarettes might not be such a good idea. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this latest invention, e-cigarettes are battery-operated products which look cigarettes and can contain varying amounts of nicotine, or none at all. According to a Time Magazine article “They turn the nicotine or other chemicals into a vapor that users inhale, sparing them exposure to the smoke created by burning tobacco, which can release carcinogens into the lungs.“
According to a survey, the number of teens who are using e-cigarettes doubled between 2011 and 2012 from 3.3% to 6.8%. The increase equals approximately 1.78 middle and high school children. Because 90% of all regular smokers started as teens, the fear is that they are setting themselves up for a life of nicotine addiction. Why? The same survey found that 76.3 of the teens admitted to also smoking regular cigarettes as well!
And now I’ve just read a study that indicates e-cigarettes are as effective as a nicotine patch in helping people quit smoking. It seems like the jury is still out about this product of the modern age. What’s the moral of all this? Smoking, a multi-billion dollar a year industry, both in production of cigarettes and later in terms of health-care costs, is not a very good way to be hip and deal with your emotions. Read Attitude Reconstruction to find healthy alternatives as well as to learn how to overcome any habit, whether it is an addiction or a bad attitude.