Tag Archives: women

The Cigarette Diet

This week we premier our new blog series “Tobacco & Twenty-somethings” which will take a look at tobacco use and tobacco control through the eyes of our own twenty-something, Stacy Song. Every week Stacy will blog about tobacco through her own very unique lens. We hope you enjoy!

In today’s society, women are obsessed with being skinny and the newest dieting fads. Source: I am a woman in today’s society. I’ve tried low-carb, no-carb, paleo, the master cleanse…you name it! Although I normally stick with a diet for only a few days before giving up, I know the feeling of just wanting to lose a few pounds. I was talking to an incredibly thin co-worker last week (not at the ALA) who told me she used to be heavy in high school. Of course, my first response was, “How did you do it?” Jokingly, she responded, “The cigarette diet really works.”

Although she laughed about it, she told me cigarettes actually did help her lose weight. I had heard about this before, about how supermodels smoke tons of cigarettes to suppress their appetite and how some people just drink water and smoke cigarette to have the same effect. Because nicotine is a stimulant, it is said to suppress your appetite and keep your brain satisfied. It can aid with weight loss, but it obviously comes with health risks. My co-worker now smokes close to a pack a day but she still remains thin. She wants to go into the Air Force but doesn’t know if she can complete basic training because her lungs and body won’t allow her to run one mile without feeling like she might die. She thinks this is because she is out of shape, and although that is one of the reasons, her addiction to cigarettes is definitely the main cause. Read More »

Secondhand smoke is a women’s issue

Guest Blogger – Jaime Jenett, MPH, Policy Coordinator, Contra Costa Tobacco Prevention Project

Worldwide, 40% of women are exposed to secondhand smoke regularly. Secondhand smoke doesn’t only make us sick, it’s killing us. Women make up 47% of the 600,000 annual secondhand smoke deaths throughout the world, compared to 26% men.

I always found secondhand smoke irritating but I never knew how dangerous it is until I started working in tobacco control. I didn’t know this toxic substance can actually trigger cardiac events in people with heart disease or that even low levels are harmful.

The majority of the secondhand smoke complaint calls I take as part of my job are from women. They usually call because secondhand smoke is drifting from a neighboring apartment or condominium. Many of the women and their children have health issues that are being made worse by the smoke. They are literally trapped in their homes with toxic fumes. They call me because they don’t know what to do.

The World Health Organization and the U.S. Surgeon General have determined that the most effective way to protect people from secondhand smoke is through secondhand smoke protections policies. Despite this, only 7.4% of the world lives in jurisdictions with comprehensive smoke-free laws. In California, the state law protects people in a few places including most indoor workplaces. In the last ten years, an increasing number of local communities are adding even more protections. Read More »