Wednesday, March 21, 2012

American Heart Association

Smoking is linked to lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, other lung diseases, and cancer of the bladder, throat and mouth, kidneys, cervix and pancreas.  According to the American Heart Association, "most adult smokers started smoking when they were preteens or teenagers."  Unfortunately, approximately "60% of American children ages 4 to 11 are exposed to secondhand smoke at home."  Smoking cuts your life expectancy a lot.  On average, "smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "there are 4,000 chemical components found in cigarettes and 250 of them are harmful to human health."  Smoking makes your life shorter and also dramatically affects your mood.  Smoking can cause you to be "irritable, impatient, hostile, anxious and depressed."  This is a credible source that I will use in my research paper.

American Heart Association. (2011). Smoking: Do you really know the risks? Retrieved from
Alfretta Linnert

"The cigarette warnings would not affect me in any way. I have been smoking for so long that even if i did quit i would probably die from a smoking related disease anyway. When looking at the new warnings, I can see that they are graphic, but so is everything else these days. If the target group of thses new warnings is children, than I am all for them. Smoking is a horrible habit that will only hinder a child's future like it did mine"(A. Linnert, personal communication, Feburary 17, 2012).

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 45.3 million people or 19.3% of all adults in the United States smoke.  More men then women smoke.  In the United States, 23.5% of men smoke where as 17.3% of women smoke.  One out of every five preventable deaths in the U.S. is due to smoking.  When looking at the poverty status, more people who live below the poverty level smoke then people who live above the poverty level.  The more education one has, the less likely they are to smoke.  When looking at race and ethnicity, 31.4% of American Indians/Alaska Natives smoke, 21.0% of whites smoke and 20.6% of blacks smoke.  Most people smoke between the ages of 25 and 64 years old.  About 21.8% of people smoke in the Midwest, 21.0% in the South and 15.9% in the West.  This source gives me good statistics and I will probably incorporate a few of them in my final paper.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Adult cigarette smoking in the United States: 
     Current estimate. Retrieved from

Effects of Warning Labels

According to the Center for Tobacco Policy Research, recent research has shown that warning labels on cigarette boxes give people "greater knowledge about the risks of smoking," they have a "greater negative affect toward smoking cues," they "reduce attractiveness of smoker images and of cigarette packaging," they "reduce intention to purchase cigarettes," and they "increase intention quit rates and actual quit rates."  Warning labels that are most effective are "prominent in size, graphics, color and contrast."  Warning labels effect may be modest but if they help only one person then they are completely worth it.  The warning labels will be more effective if they are designed for a "particular audience" or a "particular goal."  This source has great evidence in the benefits of warning labels so I will definitely use this in my research paper.

Center for Tobacco Policy Research. (2007). Do warning labels work? Lessons from tobacco 
     control. Retrieved from

Interview with Stacy Lewis

Stacy first tried a cigarette when she was eleven years old.  She started smoking on a regular basis when she was fifteen.  Her older sister influenced her to start smoking.  They thought that it would be cool to smoke.  Stacy's entire family smokes so she has grown up around people who smoke, though she says this does not influence her.  Stacy agrees with Carolyn that the new graphic warning labels are a good idea.  However, Stacy isn't quite as convinced as Carolyn that the warning labels will help her to quit.  Stacy has tried to quit smoking twice; the first time she lasted a year and a half and the second time was only three and a half weeks.  She smokes when she's bored, driving or drinking.  If times are particularly stressful and money is a little tight, Stacy will sacrifice some things in order to smoke.  She has had many people suffer from a smoking related disease.  Her grandpa died of lung cancer, her other grandpa had emphysema, and her step mom has high blood pressure and has had a stroke and is currently recovering from a heart attack.  Due to the recent life-threatening heart attack her step mom suffered, Stacy is trying to quit since her step mom is now trying.  Smoking is even affecting Stacy's health.  She has smoker's cough and shortness of breath.

(S. Lewis, personal communication, February 18, 2012)

Interview of Carolyn Freyburgher

Carolyn Freyburgher has been smoking off and on since she was seventeen years old.  She began smoking to fit in.  Her friend and sister introduced smoking to her.  Carolyn's grandma used to smoke and that used to influence her, however no one influences her to smoke anymore.  She believes that the new graphic warning labels are a good idea.  She even thinks that these new labels might make her permanently quit.  Carolyn has tried quitting many times but unfortunately, a stressful situation causes her to start smoking once again.  Smoking really calms her down and helps relieve the stress.  She also likes to smoke when she's having a beer.  Carolyn's grandma had lung cancer due to smoking and she had to watch her grandmother die because of smoking.  Even though smoking is expensive and it took someone she loved, Carolyn continues to smoke.

(C. Freyburgher, personal communication, February 18, 2012)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Graphic Cigarette Warnings

For the first time in more than 25 years, the U. S. Food & Drug Administration is requiring bigger and more graphic warning labels on cigarette cartons. The intent is to further raise awareness about the consequences of smoking. These new labels aim to "increase awareness of the specific health risks associated with smoking, such as death, addiction, lung disease, cancer, stroke and heart disease; encourage smokers to quit; and empower youth to say no to tobacco." These new labels should remind all smokers in the future of the health risks that will come every time they pick up a pack. The information from this source will be sufficient in my research paper.

U. S. Food & Drug Administration. (2011). Cigarette health warnings. Retrieved from