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Posts Tagged ‘smoking’

Anyone else think the new PM of Britain looks familiar? That tousled mop of reddish-blonde hair, the arrogant swagger and pouty mouth of a blowfish. Indeed, Boris Johnson, the newly elected British Prime Minister, is following in the footsteps of our own Mr T in trying to take his people backward, maybe in a Tardis?

Today, while we are watching and hoping for a miracle that will never come as Mueller addresses Congress, Theresa May will resign to the Queen. In a last ditch effort to redeem her Brexit/Exit, the ex-PM has passed a health document into her last days at Downing Street. She wants to reduce the number of years her fellow country people spend in poor health – namely:

‘The government is pledging to end smoking in England by 2030 as part of a range of measures to tackle the causes of preventable ill health.”

You might wonder who’s still smoking, but walk into any public building and you must hold your breath to navigate the sidewalk through cigarette smoke. We can ban smoking in restaurants, and try to tax it away, but it seems that 14% of adults still smoke in England…. and in America it’s 15%, or about 40 million people!

And that’s not taking into account the upswing in underage, teenage smoking – not the old fashioned, combustible type of cigarettes mind you.

Teens are using e-cigarettes at record levels: “America’s teens report a dramatic increase in their use of vaping devices in just a single year, with 37.3 percent of 12th graders reporting “any vaping” in the past 12 months, compared to just 27.8 percent in 2017. ” https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2018/12/teens-using-vaping-devices-in-record-numbers

A 10% jump in just one year, I wonder if 2019 will follow suit? Commonly called Juuling, after the brand name “Juul” that sells their vaping device as an upscale alternative to tobacco, vaping contains the same amount or more of nicotine along with some carcinogens wrapped up in a pretty, pen-like, battery charged package. I know because my sister’s nurse told us all about it. And now nearly 40% of our kids are trying them out, thinking they are vaping a “flavor” and not necessarily knowing they are becoming addicted to nicotine.

My whole family smoked cigarettes. In fact I’m pretty sure I NEVER smoked one cigarette because I always felt it was impossible to breathe in their vicinity. I hated the smell, the dirty ashtrays, the feeling of superiority my older siblings coveted as they puffed away. I would sit alone in the front of an airplane back when airlines allowed smokers to sit in the back; way back there, where my sister Kay and brother Mike were having fun. “Smokin and jokin.”

Vaping is not without its drawbacks – a man has had the battery explode in his face. It has caused “wet lung” and countless other maladies along with addiction to nicotine. According to the doctors in my family, it will most certainly be banned in the near future because of its marketing to children with flavors like fruit medley and cool mint.

The threat of COPD, cancer and emphysema are hazy outcomes when you’re a teen. You want to look cool, I guess that’s the top priority. Huffing on a flash drive doesn’t look very cool to me though.

And second-hand vaping is real y’all! “…vaping worsened indoor air quality, specifically by increasing the concentration of nicotine, particulate matter, PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and aluminum — compounds that have been linked to lung and cardiovascular disease and cancer among other health effects.” https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/e-cigs-and-second-hand-vaping/

At one point while I was in NYC, I was surrounded by 3 vapers. They were adults who either thought this was a more acceptable way to smoke, or maybe they thought they were saving money? I just couldn’t wait to breath some clean, fresh, hot, city air.

The race is on. Will England be the first to win the prize of eradicating this public health enemy? Or will we look across the pond next year with a newly elected progressive president ready to tackle climate change and give us universal healthcare? Banning weapons of war along with e-ciggies?

The ball is in your court Mr Mueller! This is what the L’il Pumpkin thinks of smoking.

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