Tag: smoking

No Safe Level of Smoking

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Smoking 1 cigarette a day over a lifetime increases risk of day by 64 percent.
Smoking 1 cigarette a day over a lifetime increases risk of day by 64 percent.

People who consistently smoked an average of less than one cigarette per day over their lifetime had a 64 percent higher risk of earlier death than never smokers, and those who smoked between one and 10 cigarettes a day had an 87 percent higher risk of earlier death than never smokers, according to a new study from researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Ocean City’s First Smoke Free Summer Was… Not Dramatic

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Ocean City to Institute Smoking Ban

After lots of back-and-forth, Ocean City decided to go smoke free this past summer. (Kind of.) So how did the beach’s first summer with smoking restrictions in place go?

Take “Magic Mushrooms,” Quit Smoking

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Photo by Erik Fenderson, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Erik Fenderson, via Wikimedia Commons

Only a few medical/research facilities in the country have the official clearance to do research on psilocybin, a.k.a. magic mushrooms, a Schedule I drug. Johns Hopkins is one of those authorized to do those experiments, and some of its findings have been amazing–mushrooms have been shown to ease cancer patients’ anxiety about death and help people access profound spiritual experiences. And now new research out of Hopkins indicates that a dose of psilocybin can help longtime smokers finally give up the nicotine habit once and for all.

No More Smoking at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

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Smoking is a major public health issue, so it makes sense that our city’s biggest school of public health–the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins–has now banned all tobacco use from its property, including buildings, facilities, and vehicles. And yes, e-cigarettes are included.

Maryland Hospital Stops Hiring Smokers

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The Anne Arundel Medical Center has become the latest in a list of hospitals to announce that it’ll stop hiring people who smoke as of July 1, 2015. Many other hospitals in the region, including the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Union Memorial, and the Baltimore Washington Medical Center have similar policies in place. But are they fair to employees?

Maryland Trying to Figure Out How to Feel About E-Cigarettes

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Photo by Michael Dorausch
Photo by Michael Dorausch

Electronic cigarettes may be a godsend for cigarette smokers who have been unable to quit. But the tobacco-less nicotine vaporizers have become a real brain-buster for anti-smoking activists.

A bill in the Maryland House of Delegates would broaden the definition of smoking to include smokeless vaping, which would subject the practice to the Clean Indoor Air Act.

Former Radio Morning Show Host Opens an “E-Cigarette and Coffee Shop”

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So maybe you’re going out on a date with someone you really want to impress. S/he is both hip and classy, so you know you’ve really got to bring your A game. What could be a better date venue than a Bel Air e-cigarette and coffee shop run by an ex-morning radio shock comedy show host? You could sit together, sucking on little tubes that resemble cigarettes, getting your nicotine fix without having to deal with the gross smoke/nasty looks from bystanders/having to go outside. You can even get a banana nut bread-flavored e-cig, if that’s the kind of thing you’re into. It’s class personified!

If you’ve missed Mickey Cucchiella, former host of 98 Rock’s morning show, you’ll probably be able to catch a glimpse of him at his new business venture, The Vape Lounge. The Bel Air shop will center on “vaping,” which Cucchiella’s press release describes as “a safer, carcinogen-free form of traditional smoking” that takes advantage of various liquid flavors ranging from menthol to tobacco to banana nut bread. Cucchiella hopes that this Vape Lounge (138 N. Bond St.) will be the first of many he’ll open all around Baltimore.

It’s More Expensive Than Ever to Be a Smoker in Maryland

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The Awl just released their annual roundup of cigarette prices across the nation; now we know definitively that Maryland is the 13th most-expensive place to be a smoker in 2013. The cost of a pack of cigarettes in Maryland rose by 21 percent (!) this past year to an average of $7.93. If you really want to quit, though, move to New York, the state with the most expensive cigarettes in the nation:  $14.50 per pack. The nation’s cheapest cigarettes are found in that bastion of health and well-being, Kentucky ($4.96). Kentucky was one of the few states to see the price of a pack go down since 2012. Stay healthy, everyone.

Smoking in a Car: Child Abuse or an Inalienable Right?

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Maryland Senator Jennie Forehand has authored a bill to ban smoking in cars carrying children under eight years old. This is the kind of bill that sorts voters into neat, partisan categories. If you support it, you’re a big government liberal who thinks people shouldn’t be allowed to make their own decisions; if you’re against it, you’re a conservative ideologue who’s so obsessed with personal freedoms you can’t recognize that smoking in a car with a kid is child abuse, pure and simple.

That said, I’m a little nervous to say what I think about the bill. Okay. Promise you won’t be mad at me. I think that regulating behavior in a car strikes me as a little… opportunistic. Are you still there?

Also, I think a public health campaign aimed at changing people’s minds and making refraining from smoking in a car with children the societal norm would be preferable to unenforceable legislation that will only make car-smoking parents resentful and non-smokers even more self-righteous and judgmental. Wow, that was scary! but we got through it. And you’re still friends with me, right? Right?

Anyway, what’s your position? Are you an elitist, know-it-all liberal? an uncaring conservative? something inbetween?

This Week in Research: Healing Smokers’ Lungs, Mixed Race Segregation

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Okay, so you should still quit smoking… but if you absolutely refuse, here’s some good news for you:  Johns Hopkins researchers have found a drug that may work to shield the lungs from damage caused by smoking. The drug, Iosartan (brand name Cozaar), which is commonly used to treat hypertension, “improved or prevented lung tissue breakdown, airway wall thickening, inflammation, and lung overexpansion associated with two months of exposure to cigarette smoke” — in mice. That’s not to say that it’ll necessarily prevent the most serious consequences of smoking in humans, but it’s a decent bet.  The medicine’s reparative effects could help with symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing, and mucus production. It’s also already been approved by the FDA; expect more tests of its possible human effectiveness shortly.

The U.S. Census provides sociologists with lots of juicy data to parse, which is exactly what Hopkins prof Pamela Bennett has done. Drawing conclusions from where people call home (a decent approximation for social status), Bennett concludes that in terms of social hierarchy, mixed-race Americans rank below whites but above blacks.  She also found that segregation is lower among people with both black and white heritage, compared to those with fully black ancestry; in contrast, people of Asian-white or American Indian-white heritage show higher markers of segregation. “While some scholars and activists view official recognition of multiracial identities as a movement toward the deconstruction of race, I caution against such an optimistic narrative for now,” Bennett says.

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