Posts Tagged ‘teenagers’

CDC MMWR Report Shows Decrease Of Smoking In Movies

In National News on July 15, 2011 at 8:38 am

The CDC Office on Smoking and Health recently released a data relating to a new study, which is the first to compare major motion picture companies that have adopted a tobacco reduction policy to those without such a policy. Reducing smoking incidents in movies is important because studies have found that 44% of youth smoking initiation can be attributed to viewing tobacco incidents in movies.

MMWR Highlights Changes in Onscreen Smoking Incidents in Youth-Rated Movies (2005 – 2010)
  • Total number of onscreen tobacco incidents in youth-rated movies: 595 in 2010 versus 2093 in 2005
  • Total incidents decreased 71.6% from 2005 to 2010
  • Average number of incidents per youth-rated movie: 6.8 in 2010 versus 20.1 in 2005
  • Average incidents per movie decreased 66.2% from 2005 to 2010
Smoking-Reduction Policies
  • Only three of the six major studios have a published, written smoking reduction policy in place.
  • Those studios had reductions in tobacco use depictions in youth-rated movies between 2005 –2010 ranging from 91.5% to 98.9%.
  • The three major studios and Independent studios with no published, written smoking reduction policy had reductions ranging from 26.4% to 62.7% in the same time period.

Read it for yourself here:



Indiana Tobacco Prevention & Cessation Celebrates Milestones

In Local News, State News on February 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm

This op-ed by Sandy Gleim was published in the Herald Argus:

After 10 years working on the local and state levels, Indiana Tobacco Prevention & Cessation is celebrating impressive milestones that positively impact Hoosier health.

  • Smoking rates for high school youth have dropped by 42 percent, resulting in 49,000 fewer youth smokers.
  • Adult smoking decreased from 27 to 23 percent. This historic low rate means there are 207,000 fewer smokers in Indiana.
  • Per capita cigarette consumption has declined by 40 percent.
  • More than 2,000 community organizations statewide – including in LaPorte County – are working to help reduce tobacco use.
  • Many more Hoosiers are protected from the dangers of secondhand smoke, within 30 smoke-free communities.
  • The Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUITNOW has served more than 60,000 residents since it was launched in 2006.
  • 70 percent of Indiana’s schools have a tobacco-free campus, an increase from 28 percent.

That is much good work to applaud! But the flip side is there are still more than one million smokers in our state, translating to 9,700 deaths each year. An additional 194,000 Hoosiers live with serious tobacco-related illness. The tobacco use burden to the Indiana economy is estimated at $7.7 billion annually, and the state spends a whopping $487 million each year on Medicaid payments caused by tobacco use. The bottom line is that many Hoosiers continue to smoke, ultimately costing the state and taxpayers in increased health care costs.

Balancing all these facts, it’s apparent while much has been achieved in Indiana, we still have major work ahead to improve our health status.

Enacting smoke-free policy is not only an effective measure in leading persons to give up smoking, but public health advocates support 100% comprehensive legislation to protect the rights of all workers to breathe healthy air. Once again, our legislature is considering a statewide smoke-free policy. The House bill contains numerous exemptions to public places, including bars. Now the Senate has the chance to debate the issue and hopefully to strengthen the stance.

As these discussions progress, from an economic as well as a health angle, it benefits Indiana to support comprehensive smoke-free policy and the continued prevention and cessation work of the state tobacco agency.

No Smoking Flash Mob

In National News on April 28, 2010 at 10:12 am

Closing The Gateway To Alcohol And Drug Use

In State News on April 21, 2010 at 11:41 am

Smoking is not just a bad habit that can lead to premature death, but it also can lead to an increased use of certain drugs. An Indiana University study has found that increased smoking is strongly associated with increased use of alcohol, smokeless tobacco and other illicit drugs.

“The empirical data provides evidence that tobacco still serves as a gateway drug. Furthermore, there is a dose response relationship with regard to monthly use of cigarettes and other substances across all grades surveyed,” said Mohammad Torabi, Chancellor’s Professor in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and study co-author. “Tobacco is everyone’s common enemy.”

The study, published in the American Journal of Health Education, reiterates the findings of Torabi’s 1993 study that tobacco is a significant gateway drug.

“In our current study, increased smoking was strongly associated with increased use of alcohol, smokeless tobacco, and five other drugs. This is a significant public health problem,” Torabi said. “Probably one way to prevent other drug use is concentrating on tobacco prevention and cessation. That is not to say there is cause and effect relationship between tobacco use and other drugs.”

Every year tobacco is responsible for nearly 450,000 deaths in the United States. Its use affects the health and well-being of smokers and nonsmokers alike and it contributes significantly to skyrocketing health care costs. According to the study, tobacco has not only impacted the health but also the wealth of every member of our society.

“As is known, a great majority of smokers start prior to the age of 25. That is why most of the marketing of tobacco is targeted toward younger people. If they are ‘hooked’ to this deadly product, they are almost always ‘hooked’ for life,” Torabi said.

The younger a person begins smoking, the greater the likelihood of addiction and disease. This study reveals that Indiana eighth graders used cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana at a much higher rate than the national average. Similar results were also found in other grade levels. According to the study, “the heavier the level of smoking, the greater the predicted probability of alcohol use.”

Parents constitute the most important ingredient in preventing youth tobacco use. The study makes the following recommendations:

  • School involvement. Schools need to employ smoking bans, to adopt evidence-based tobacco prevention curricula and to offer and promote smoking cessation programs.
  • Community involvement. Evidence-based community strategies include increasing taxes on cigarettes, interventions to reduce youth access to tobacco in combination with mobilization efforts, and counter-marketing campaigns. Communities as well as schools should increase stigmatization of smoking.
  • Adult involvement. Every parent, teacher and person who works with youth should recognize the powerful predictive relationship between cigarette smoking and the use of alcohol and other drugs and be able to have an open dialogue with the said youth.

“Obviously, this study demonstrated that tobacco use is one of the most critical public health problems,” Torabi said. “If we make an investment in prevention and cessation, it not only saves premature death and suffering, but it saves taxpayers’ resources in the long term and will reduce our skyrocketing health care costs.”

Torabi, chair of the School of HPER’s Department of Applied Health Science, can be reached at 812-855-4808 or

How To Prevent Young People From Starting Tobacco Use

In National News, State News on January 25, 2010 at 10:09 am

From the American Lung Association:

Tobacco use usually begins in early adolescence, and almost all first use occurs before young people graduate from high school. If adolescents decide to be tobacco-free, they will likely remain tobacco-free for the rest of their lives.

Preventing young people from starting to use tobacco is critical to reducing the death and disease caused by tobacco use. An estimated 440,000 Americans die each year from diseases caused by smoking. Smoking costs the U.S. over $150 billion each year in annual health care costs and lost productivity.

Young people develop a tolerance for, and become dependent on, nicotine the same way as adults do, and like adults, young people have a difficult time quitting. If current tobacco use patterns persist in the U.S., an estimated 6.4 million children will die prematurely from a smoking-related disease.

Cigarette smoking during childhood and adolescence produces significant health problems among young people, including cough and phlegm production, an increased number of respiratory illnesses, decreased physical fitness and unfavorable lipid profile.

Policies to prevent tobacco use among young people should include:

  • Tobacco education in the schools
  • Restrictions on tobacco advertising and promotions
  • A complete ban on smoking by anyone on school grounds
  • No sale of tobacco products to minors
  • Tax increases on tobacco products so young people cannot afford them

Positive results have been seen in school-based programs that teach young people how to resist social influences to smoke. Programs to prevent tobacco use that are based on the same model have also demonstrated modest reductions in the initiation of smokeless tobacco use.

The effectiveness of school-based smoking prevention programs appears to be enhanced and sustained by comprehensive school health education and by community-wide programs that involve parents, mass media, community organizations, or other elements of an adolescent’s social environment. Smoking cessation programs for teenagers should be specifically designed to reach teens rather than adapted from an adult smoking cessation model. Youth smoking cessation programs should focus on selecting appropriate facilitators who work well with teens in a non-judgmental manner.

Illegal sales of tobacco products are common. Active enforcement of age-at-sale policies by public officials and community members is necessary to prevent minors access to tobacco. Studies indicate that substantial increases in the real price of cigarettes significantly reduce cigarette smoking; young people are three times as responsive as adults to such price changes. Maintaining higher real prices of cigarettes depends on further tax increases to offset the effects of inflation.

Public smoking restrictions are an important component of the social environment that supports non-smoking behavior. Smoking restrictions reduce the number of opportunities to smoke, making smoking less convenient and less socially acceptable. The net effects of smoking restrictions should reduce the psychosocial benefits of smoking to adolescents, making it less likely that those who experiment with smoking will continue to smoke and become dependent.

The following characteristics make model school smoking policies effective:

  • Smoking on school grounds, in school buildings, on school buses, and at school-sponsored events is prohibited for students, school personnel, and visitors.
  • Schools enforce the policy and consistently administer penalties for violations. Disciplinary measures for non-compliance with policy are educational as well as punitive.
  • Policy development includes active collaboration with teachers, students, and parent groups to give direction and build support for tobacco-free schools.
  • All components of a school’s smoking policy, including consequences for violations, are communicated in written and oral form to students, staff, and visitors.
  • District-wide educational programs addressing the prevention of tobacco use are initiated or expanded as part of the policy implementation process.
  • Smoking cessation programs or other incentives are developed for students, school personnel, and, if possible, the public.
  • Programs are periodically evaluated to provide information on acceptance and effectiveness of policy.
  • Schools do not accept any contributions from the tobacco industry, including direct financial support and materials paid for or produced by or for the tobacco industry.

For more information call the American Lung Association at 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872).


In Local News on March 5, 2009 at 9:02 am

I just returned from two days of training on how to intervene with teen smokers and how to help teens quit using tobacco when they are ready. I’d like to see some forms of these researched-based curriculums implemented in our schools and youth programs in both counties because they give excellent information and motivation to shun tobacco. The programs have a pretty good success rate with helping teens quit, reduce or rethink their tobacco use.

This is very important because teens who are addicted to tobacco can’t pay attention in class and get worse grades than teens who don’t. They also have more behavior problems. While schools are trying to improve test scores and leave no child behind, they need to work on fixing the issues that cause children to fall behind. One of those problems is tobacco use.

And teenagers are under fire from the tobacco companies. Ninety percent of smokers started smoking before the legal age of 18. The rate is similar for spit tobacco users. And these people who  use tobacco are having the quality of their lives decreased and the length of their lives cut short.

We’ve all heard the biblical proverb to love your neighbor as yourself. Loving another person in this way means in part helping them escape the dangerous and deadly addiction to tobacco, which for many is more powerful than addictions to alcohol, marijuana and cocaine.

Tobacco And Kids

In National News on March 2, 2009 at 9:13 am

We all know that smoking during pregnancy can cause great harm to the baby before he or she is born. But did you know that smoking during pregnancy can also cause problems for the child after birth?

A recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that babies whose mothers smoked during pregnancy showed greater need for handling and worse self-regulation than babies whose mothers did not smoke. They also showed greater excitability and arousal. Researchers believed this was evidence that smoking during pregnancy causes children’s behavioral problems to intensify later in childhood.

Another study found that teenagers who don’t take the risks of smoking seriously are more likely to start smoking than teens who do. These findings suggest that smoking initiation is directly related to perceptions of risks and benefits. So it’s very important to teach teens the immediate dangers of tobacco use and impress on them the seriousness of these effects. Characters who smoke in movies have an impact on how teens perceive smoking, making it seem more attractive, so we need to talk to our teens about how the tobacco industry manipulates Hollywood.

Indiana Tobacco Sales To Minors Reaches New Low

In Local News, State News on February 19, 2009 at 8:41 am

Sales of tobacco products to Indiana youth who are assisting with the Tobacco Retailer Inspection Program (TRIP) hit an all-time low last year. Sales occured during just 7.2 percent of more than 8,000 inspections, reversing the slight increase seen the previous year.

TRIP is a joint venture of the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation’s Indiana Prevention Resource Center at Indiana University Bloomington and the Indiana State Excise Police.

When TRIP inspections began in 2000, 40 percent of retailers were found to have sold tobacco to minors, and the state saw six consecutive years of decline until 2007’s slight increase. In 2007, underage sales were made during 12.7 percent of inspections, compared to 10.5 percent the previous year.

“The data from 2008 reflects the work that is being done across the state to protect Indiana youth from the harmful effects of tobacco,” said Aaron Jones, TRIP operations coordinator at the IPRC. “Many steps were taken last year to directly influence youth access. Through revisions to the state code, the State Excise Police enacted a steeper fine schedule for retail outlets with violations, and the development of a new online manual and quiz for retail clerks was an important educational component.”

In Indiana it is illegal for a clerk or a retail establishment to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18.
Last year TRIP conducted more than 8,000 unannounced inspections of retail outlets across the state — an increase of more than 1,400 inspections from 2007. In each of 13 inspection districts, teams made up of a police officer, an adult assistant and a youth assistant conduct the inspections.

During TRIP inspections, the youth enters a store under the observation of the adult or officer and attempts to buy a tobacco product — usually cigarettes, but sometimes chewing tobacco if it is a popular product in the area, or cigars. If the youth is successful with the purchase, the TRIP officer issues a notice of violation to the clerk and to the store. Fines for stores with violations range from $200 to $1,000 depending on the number of prior violations the store has received.

The TRIP program is an important component in Indiana’s effort to reduce tobacco use. Tobacco use by adults is linked with the age of initiation. The American Lung Association reports that 90 percent of adult smokers started before the age of 21, and up to half of them will die from tobacco related diseases.

“Programs such as a TRIP are a proven prevention approach that can impact tobacco use rates,” said Ruth Gassman, IPRC executive director. “By improving compliance with policies and laws, we can change the way in which youth view tobacco use. As with the support for clean indoor air ordinances, limiting youth access to tobacco products is another way of demonstrating that Indiana cares about the health of our youth.”

TRIP is supported by the Master Tobacco Settlement fund through the Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency and is administered through the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission and the IPRC, which is in the School of HPER’s Department of Applied Health Science. Additional funding for TRIP comes from the FSSA Division of Mental Health and Addiction to cover activities related to federal reporting requirements resulting from the Synar Amendment.

These data show Indiana is reducing social acceptability of tobacco use in the community. However, one of the most effective interventions we can do to prevent youth from starting to smoke is to eliminate tobacco smoke in all workplaces. Many youth work in places that are currently not smoke free.

The fewer opportunities teens have to see others smoking or to have the opportunity to experiment with smoking, the less likely they will become a smoker. 

With the introduction of new tobacco products that are spitless and smokeless, we need to work to ensure youth do not have access. Some of these products have up to three times the amount of nicotine as a cigarette, so we are concerned about youth and others consuming large quantities of these deadly products.

Through With Chew Week

In Local News on January 13, 2009 at 8:26 am

mouth_cancer2Through With Chew Week is coming up February 15 to 21. This movement started in Wyoming, which has a drastically higher rate of smokeless tobacco use than the national average, and has spread across the nation.

Many people wrongly assume that smokeless tobacco is a safer alternative to smoking. But in reality, it causes some truly horrific cancers. (See photo…) Many Hoosier youth (37%) are aware of “alternative” tobacco products and most (64%) did not express a strong belief that these alternative products are not safer than smoking. These Hoosier youth may be susceptible to tobacco industry marketing of “safer” alternatives to smoking.

So in Feburary, Daviess and Pike counties’  TPC coalitions are working to educate people about the dangers of smokeless tobacco. We’re looking at doing a traveling display that week in all the area schools, and putting fliers on pizza boxes at the major pizza restaurants. The push will carry over into March, when we plan to have a booth at the YMCA Health Kids Day fair.

To join us in educating our counties about the dangers of tobacco in all forms, email Sally Petty at