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Have the Cookie, Not the Cigarette

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Cancer related image Photo: Getty Images

Cigarette companies have been targeting women and young girls since tobacco broke onto the scene in the early 20th century. One famous Lucky Strike ad campaign told women to “Reach for A Lucky Instead of A Sweet,” appealing specifically to women’s image insecurities.

These early marketing efforts portrayed female smoking as a way to express one's independence and to be particularly stylish and sexy.

Their efforts have been fortuitous, no doubt, because I personally know at least a dozen women who have taken to nicotine as a weight loss method and I’m sure you could think of a few yourselves.

But you should warn your friends that in the near and distant future, a cookie that collects on your hips is a healthier option than a cigarette that gives you an oral fix and a little more room in your pants.

Turns out, a report out today, tells us that inhaling or consuming even the smallest amounts of tobacco smoke can cause considerable damage.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s new report on tobacco, “Even brief exposure to tobacco smoke causes immediate harm to the body, damaging cells and inflaming tissue in ways that can lead to serious illness and death.”

The report, "How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease" is Regina Benjamin's first as Surgeon General and describes tobacco smoke's assault on the body.

The report focuses on the medical effects of smoke on the body but also sheds light on why cigarettes are so addictive: “They are designed to deliver nicotine more quickly and more efficiently than cigarettes did decades ago.”

Every exposure to tobacco, from occasional smoking or secondhand smoke, can damage DNA in ways that lead to cancer.
Smoking is responsible for a long list of health problems including:

• More than 85 percent of lung cancers;
• Heart disease, stroke, aortic aneurysm and peripheral arterial disease (PAD);
• 13 different cancers including esophagus, trachea, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, cervix and acute myeloid leukemia;

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EmpowHER Guest

It's amazing to think that all these cigarette ads used to be on tv, including when stars of a show would pause to sell the cigarette (Jackie Gleason, Mary Tyler Moore, for example) to the audience. Cigarettes are never the answer to any problem!

December 21, 2010 - 9:51am
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