As parents, we have done a respectable job of teaching our four boys
that smoking is a dirty, smelly, dangerous habit that is highly
addictive and one that could ruin their lives. I think our plan has
worked; our kids are repulsed by the smell of smoke — not just the
smell, but the very idea of breathing harmful chemicals sends them
reeling in disbelief. “Why would anyone ever do that?”
My sons have visited the hospital room of a dying relative, a life-long smoker, who had his voice box removed because of cancer. The facts from this post were referenced from my 7th grade son's persuasive essay homework assignment.
I don’t think we have been too harsh in our portrayal of creating
smoking as the evil killer that it is. While smoking directly kills, the Centers of Disease Control say that each year 65,000
people die from secondhand smoke in the United States alone. In just 20
minutes, secondhand smoke can do great damage to person’s health.
Secondhand smoke is unfiltered, making it more harmful than inhaling a
cigarette. That filter, that protects the smoker, blocks some of the 4,000 chemicals (250 are toxic) that are released when the cigarette is burning. The result is cancer, respiratory illnesses and heart attacks.
Because they have faster breathing rates, children inhale greater
amounts of smoke than adults and inhale more chemicals. “A child who
spends just one hour in a very smoky room is inhaling as many dangerous
chemicals as smoking 10 or more cigarettes.”
I have no problem with the smoking ban in public places.
The ramifications to recent smoking bans have, presumably, wrecked
havoc on tobacco companies. Understandably, they are fighting back with
a vengeance. “You don’t like smoke? Fine. We’ll take the smoke out of
The R.J. Reynolds Company has responded with new smokeless tobacco
products. Camel Orbs are similar to breath mints. The same breath mints
my kids like. Camel Sticks are like toothpicks, and Camel Strips are
similar to mouthwash strips. The packaging looks similar to gum and
candy packs. It’s handy, small, and appealing to small hands.
These new dissolvable tobacco products leave no smell behind —
cleaner than cigarettes or chewing tobacco. There is no hacking cough,
and no odor. They are specifically designed to dissolve
quickly in the mouth and disappear entirely. These products do not
carry the health ramifications associated with second-hand smoke,
because there is no smoke.
The Camel Orbs, Camel Sticks and the Camel Strips deliver up to
three times the nicotine dosage of a single cigarette. Nicotine is
found naturally in tobacco. It has no odor and no color. It is,
however, both physically and psychologically addictive and makes you
Despite its ability to appear as almost invisible, nicotine carries
grave health consequences, more so without the smoke. Smokeless tobacco
provides a more efficient means of delivering carcinogens into the body through the bloodstream. In the August issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention,
a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, researchers
at the University of Minnesota Cancer Center report that users of
smokeless tobacco are exposed to higher amounts of tobacco-specific
nitrosamines — molecules that are known to be carcinogenic — than
smokers. In a study comparing 182 oral snuff users with 420 cigarette
smokers, the Minnesota researchers found that snuff users were exposed
to higher levels of NNK, a carcinogen known to produce cancer.
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