Friday, December 4, 2015

Who is Still Using Tobacco in California?

 Data presented by annual UCLA health survey shows that the number of smokers in California has significantly dropped by almost one million in the past decade. However, tobacco use is still prevalent in several parts of California state. Thus smoking is prevalent in northern parts of the state.

According to the California Health Interview Survey, in 2014, nearly 11% of adults and young people smoked cigarettes. This rate has dropped from 15% in 2003. Figures show that today in California there are totally 3.4 million smokers. 

The state is fighting with tobacco use for years. There were implemented various measures which toghether helped to lower the smoking rates. For example, the California Department of Public Health launched impressive ads that pinpoint effects of smoking in a very bright way.

Besides this, California imposed restrictions on public places where smokers can light up. Earlier this year, there was proposed to increase legal smoking age to 21. The initiative was approved by the State Senate and  waits an approval from the Assembly.

Well, over three million smokers in California. Who are still smoking in conditions when the state actively fights with tobacco use?

A new survey gives the answer. Most smokers are with a low income and have a college degree. For example, nearly 8% of California residents in households with annual revenues of $100,000 or more were tobacco users in 2011 - 2014, compared to 18% of residents in households with revenues of $30,000 or less.

In this period nearly 7% of Californian people with a bachelor's or graduate degree were smokers, compared to 19% of those having just high school diploma.  Besides this, people from rural areas tend to smoke more than those in urban areas. Most Californians buy cigarettes online.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hallucinogenic Mushrooms May be Used for Quitting

Do you think that the best way to give up smoking for good is to turn to electronic cigarettes? Do not hurry to make this conclusion, because e-cigarettes are considered not helpful in quitting. There may appear other unusual ways to get rid of the habit. The results of the latest research will definately surprise you!

Have you ever heard about hallucinogenic mushrooms? Oh, sure. These mushrooms are considered psychedellic as they do contain psilocin and psilocybin, substances classified as psychedellic. These kind of mushrooms may cause a real euphoria in a user, that is why they are also called magic.

Let us turn to the main subject of the article. A group of researchers from John Hopkins university found that use of magic mushrooms are more effective in quitting smoking than other traditional and popular methods such as pills.

In the research participated heavy smokers who normally used over twenty cigs a day. In the course of the research they had to consume mushrooms, listen to theur favorite music, relax and concentrate on ‘inner experience’.  The obtained results showed that magic mushrooms had an 80% success rate compared to 35% rate for  varenicline, a popular cessation medication. Incredible.

Today researchers make many studies  and experiment with different hallucinogens not only with the aim to find a good way for quitting but to treat diseases. For example, they investigate LSD and MDMA use for treatment of a number of diseases. One of the studies tries to find out if MDMA is able to prolong lives of terminal patients with just few months to live. Other studies were focused on treating post-traumatic stress disorder.  This is quite noble aim for hallucinogens investigations, don't you think?

Scientists will continue their research in this field and we will wait for their final word :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Playing Tetris Reduces Cravings for Food, Coffee, Cigarettes

You want to quit, but it turns to be a hard thing as cravings always appear. This is a normal thing occuring in each smoker who wants to get rid of the habit. Cravings for cigarettes appear because smoker's body is addicted to nicotine and therefore craves for this substance.

Modern science tries to find ways to fight cravings so that a smokers could successfully stop the habit for good. Thus a new study comes with facinating results!

It was found that such a popular game as Tetris can be a great tool against nicotine addiction. In the course of the study scientists discovered that playing Tetris just three minites at a time helps to weaken cravings not only for cigarettes but also for alcohol, food and even such activities as sex and sleeping.

The main peculiarity of the research was that it was made not in a lab, but outside it, and it helped to monitor smokers in their ordinary everyday lives. Scientists were interested in their cravings and how they fluctuated in comparison to playing Tetris.

Tetris is one of oldest video games. It was released in 1989 and in short time became popular. It is still popular these days - in 2009 there were sold more than 35 million copies.

As you probably know, playing this game demands quick-thinking and patience to place tens of little coloured blocks on top of each other in a small screen.

The study was made by scientists from Plymouth University and Queensland University of Technology, Australia, who found that playing Tetris for several minutes affected smoker's desires for food, coffee, alcohol and cigarettes. The study lasted one week and during this period scientists discovered benefits of playing this game.

The results of the study show that playing Tetris helps to manage cravings! There was noted a reduction of cravings from 70% to 56%. Scientists suggest that Tetris effect occurs because during cravings a man imagines the object of his craving, and here the game helps to occupy the brain with a mental activity which reduces the craving.

These may be good news for those wanting to quit, because if Tetris proves its effectiveness in further studies then it will become a cheap cessation tool available to everyone.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Keep Your Kids Away from E-cigarettes!

 Adults always want to protect their kids from anything that is bad for a healthy and mental development: movies and video games with violence, drugs, alcohol and smoking. Past years governments made their significant contribution to growing a healthy nation by introduction of laws which keep away kids from tobacco. However, less is done about e-cigarettes and tobacco companies began to use this loophole by actively promoting these products.

Today more and more people consider that Big Tobacco targets kids and teens with e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are accepted by health care experts as a new form of attracting youth to ensure addicted smokers for years.

Bad news is that latest data shows that the number of young people using e-cigarettes is higher than the number of those using regular cigarettes, and these numbers are growing.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s own Center for Tobacco Products and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) presented a report which reveals that in the past year the use of e-cigarettes has tripled among teens.

Though I write about smoking and I consider that smoker's rights must be respected, I do not welcome smoking among kids and teens. It is okay when a teen tries one cigarette, but it is bad when he smokes regularly. It does not matter what he chooses to smoke — cigarettes, e-cigarettes, hookah — all is bad for him! I totally support governments in protecting kids from smoking!

Reasons why kids use e-cigirettes are evident — it is trendy and tasty as they have sweet flavours and are considered safe.

Last year FDA proposed to regulate those products just like tobacco. To my opinion, this would be fair. However, the regulation was not formulated yet and tobacco companies make use of the situation and actively promote e-cigarettes, hookahs, and attract kids to smoking. Tobacco companies have no ban on e-cigarettes advertising and they advertise directly to kids. For example, they sponsor events for young people, place their ads to media mostly used by kids and especially advertise on web.

By these actions tobacco companies want to encourage a new generation to use tobacco and CDC report shows that this tactics is working.

I do consider that while FDA is thinking over its final decision on e-cigarettes regulation, it is up to you, dear parents, to protect your kids from these products! E-cigarettes are addictive and even more dangerous than tobacco because they contain an unknown amount of tozix substances.

Friday, June 26, 2015

What is Hookah and How to Use it?

 Shisha, hubble-bubble, goza, narghile are all names for hookah. This device for smoking was invented back in the 15th century in India and rapidly became popular in the Middel East. Over the past decade using hookah became a fashionable thing in the USA, especially among young people.

Newest study by Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reveals that hookah use increased almost two times among high school students in 2013 - 2014, from 5.2% to 9.4%, or from nearly 700,000 to 1.3 million students. Young people choose to use hookah because it is modern, cool, trendy, safe and tasty.

It was estimated that totally 100 million people smoke hookah today! Why it is so popular these days? Well, people say it is safer that cigarettes.

The hookah looks itself very exotic and this attracts people to try it. Modern hookahs look differently. Expensive devices are decorated with precious gems while cheap devices are simple.

At the top of device is found a bowl for making smoking mixtures from tobacco, molasses, honey, fruit pulp and different flavorings (peach, mint, cola, etc). Smokers are free to make different mixtures and experiment with flavours. Generally, experts say that in the mixture 5-10% are crushed tobacco leaves.

How to use hookah?

After placing in bowl all ingredients, smokers put a perforated aluminum foil above it, then put a cube of burning charcoal on top. Smoke is produced from tobacco through the foil. The smoke goes via body of the water pipe and gathers above the water in a bulb at the bottom of hookah.

To inhale the smoke it is necessary to use mouthpiece attached to bulb. Thus smoke goes through the water and then riches smoker's lungs. Some say that water bulb acts like a filter and does not allow toxic substanes go into the lungs. Water dissolves nicotine, but not all niconine found in tobacco is being dissolved and only part of it, therefore a session of smoking hookah equals using two-three cigarettes.

These days  water-pipe tobacco is not regulated by FDA and there are rumours that the situation may be changed in the nearest future. Most probably, the regulation would touch the legal age to use hookah.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Cigarette Prices in the USA 2015

Last year I wrote the article Cigarette Prices in the USA  which in short time became extremely popular. Due to the fact that it is 2015, I decided to write a new article using the latest information about the cigarette prices.

Well, just like in 2014, this year New York remains the US state with highest cigarettes prices due to $4.35 tax per pack. Then go Massachusetts with $3.51 per pack, Rhode Island with $3.50, Connecticut  with $3.40.

Cigarette Taxes in the USA 2015. CLICK TO ENLARGE

 At the end of list are found Georgia with $0.37, Louisiana with $0.36, Virginia with $0.30, and the state  Missouri has lowest cigarette tax of 0.17 cents per package. These are state taxes and if we take into considerstion also local taxes on cigarettes, we would understand why cigarette prices are high and why they vary.

Did you know that cigarettes in the USA were not taxed before 1920? However, by 1969 all American states imposed taxes on cigarettes! Though today those taxes are considered extremely high, states continue to increase their rates. It is awaful, yeah? But most smokers do not care a bit about American cigarette prices as they discovered that better way to save money is to buy cigarettes from the web.

You may ask where do those money from cigarette taxes go? Well, those money are directed to fund different social programs and systems, for example, schools.

Generally, the 2015 picture of cigarette taxes has seen not much change compared to 2014. 

I made a table which shows which is average price for cigarettes in US states. Take a look at it.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Premium Cigarettes: Parker & Simpson

 Meet, Parker & Simpson, an amazing cigarettes brand of premium class by Imperial Tobacco. The tobacco company is famous for production of such premium brand as Davidoff and now promotes an absolutely new brand to conquer new segments of market. In comparison with Davidoff, Parker & Simpson are much affordable when it comes to price.

Parker & Simpson comes in two varieties: Parker&Simpson White (pack of creamy color) and Parker&Simpson Black (pack of black color).

When you you look at these packs, it becomes clear that the brand is for people who love elegancy and refinement. Both creamy and black packages have a big logo made of brands initials placed in center of the pack. On the cap are placed two lions and the title of the brand. The gold color on the pack makes reference to refinement, wealth and splendor.

Let us turn to cigarettes themselves. White paper is used in both varieties and both have gold lions on each stick. These are king size cigarettes with 83mm length and 9mm diameter. Imperial tobacco follows smokers demands and uses innovative tecnoligies to make smoking safer. Thus in Parker&Simpson is used a recessed charcoal filter which allows to prevent the tongue from touching the filter face. Besides this, filters have a perforation line which prevents tobacco smoke entering into lungs.

What are major differences between varieties?
Not only cigarette package do differ but certainly tobacco taste. The tobacco blend is just amazing.

Parker&Simpson White has 4.0mg tar and 0.4mg nicotine. It is smooth version for those who prefer mild taste. The taste of tobacco blend is pleasant and sweet.

Parker&Simpson Black has 7.0mg tar and 0.6mg nicotine. This version is stonger than White and provides a more intense tobacco taste. It is sweet and therefore is not harsh as many other brands of the same strength.

I think that Parker&Simpson White is perfect for tender ladies who love sweet aromas. And elegant gentlemen would appreciate mild and sweet taste of Parker&Simpson Black.