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December 18th, 2012:

Lung Cancer

Read actual excerpts from closing argument by a nicotine attorney in a lung cancer case.


How many tears will a child cry

When they’re told their dad will die

When their dad goes into eternity

For the cancer the doctor did not see

The emotions which are torn apart

And all the pain on the families heart

A precious life just slipping away

How can one be happy and gay

Knowing there’s nothing one can do

Feelings of sorrow, feelings so blue

For now they’ll cherish every living day

Tell him all the things they need to say

Truly a dad who really loved and cared

A lifelong memory forever shared.

Angela B. – daughter of victim who is in last stages of terminal lung cancer.


My brothers, sisters and I buried my father on St Patrick’s Day. We lost him to Lung cancer. He was 73 and very active until the cancer. He was playing volleyball 2 years ago with men in the 30-40’s. He was diagnosed in June. It was a shock because he had not smoked in about 20-25years. But he lived with my mom who was a heavy smoker and she died of lung cancer in 1990. So actually her smoking killed my father also.

This disease has devastated my family. We are all educated, family oriented people. I keep thinking there must be something that can be done. I am 32 years old and I have no parents because of smoking. MF


I lost my father to a heart attack caused by smoking (age 69), and my
mother at age 53 to due to a lung aneurism caused by smoking. She went
back to smoking after abstaining for 2 years after the lung surgery that
removed her entire left lung and part of her right lung. She had a
tracheotomy in order to breath. I had to suction copious amounts of goop
out of her lungs several times a day. As a teenager I found out that a
smoker can get their fix through the trach tube, and I was furious she
would continue to smoke knowing this would leave her children orphans.

My brother married later in life and adopted 13 children. He died at
43 from lung cancer that metastasized to his stomach ( a 3 pack a day
smoker, first cigarette at age 12). His wife died at age 40 a year later
from lung cancer (2 pack a day smoker). My father-in-law and his wife
both died from cancer of the brain that began in their lungs. It was a
very painful thing for them to endure. Since she worked for a cigarette
manufacturer, getting cigarettes was easy and packs were available free
if they wanted them, and they did want them. DJH


My brother has just died of lung cancer. He was only 54, and yes, he was a smoker. He has died a month after being diagnosed with cancer. We are devastated and terribly angry. When he was very young, working in a factory in Milan, Italy, he started to smoke because he was lonely, the job was alienating and repetitive, but nobody and I mean, nobody ever told him of the danger of smoking.. Warnings on cigarettes packets were introduced only very recently, certainly I am right in thinking that he has been killed…

Please help me in finding someone to blame, or at least in doing something to stop other young people from dying of nicotine poisoning. Do we only care to make huge profits? Does a life mean nothing to those who kill people by selling them cigarettes?



(C102)Dear NV,

In April of last year my mother passed away of lung cancer caused by her addiction to cigarettes. My father has just recently lost 3 toes to Buerger’s Disease, caused by nicotine. My father has since quit smoking but he will go on the rest of his life with a limp and these are not the first digits he has lost to an addiction he just couldn’t kick.

In ’85 and in ’90 he lost the tips of a total of three fingers. My mother smoked right up until the day she died. No matter how hard she tried she could not put down her lifeline, which is what the cigarettes became until she finally lost her life. Now my brother and I have watched these two people that we love dearly go through these tragedies with no way to help.

We are now trying to put ourselves through college because the medical bills are so high that Daddy can barely make the payments no matter how hard he tries. He loves us dearly but there is just so much he can do. I am just wondering if there is anything we could do. Had Mama lived and worked until retirement then maybe we wouldn’t be as stretched as we are now. I know this explanation is probably too long and for that I apologize. Thank you for your time.
Sincerely,K. P.

I live in the State of New York. My father died of lung cancer in March. Unfortunately, he died a very debilitating death and gasped for air in the last months of his life. The doctors told us that anyone could get lung cancer, but the type of lung cancer that my father had could only be contracted by a smoker. My father smoked for almost 40 years but had quit in the last years of his life. Once again, thank you. R. B.


I am a thirty-year-old woman who had smoked for 15 years and surrendered March 31, 1998. I was told that I have cervical dysphasia, which could very well lead to cancer. I had a biopsy and am to return to the doctor in September for another Pap Smear and possible biopsy to decide whether or not they want to do surgery.

I didn’t think at the age of fifteen that smoking was a bad thing. I thought it was cool, it made me appear grown up. I quickly became addicted to them without even realizing it. I am trying to explain addiction to my stepson who at the age of twelve is now smoking. I told him to hold his breath for as long as he can, which he did and then he said, “I need to breathe”. That is what addiction is like, you need to smoke. Your body craves it, your mind makes you think you will die without one when the truth is… you will die with them.

If you are a smoker, there is a time when it is too late, please break through your denial that cigarettes won’t kill you and find a way that works for you to let them go. It is possible. You weren’t born a smoker, you don’t have to die one. J. S.

Smokers who die from a smoking-related disease lose, on average, 15 years of life

Download PDF : Fact_15years-fnl-081003_0




Too unfit to run: Two-year-old who smokes 40 cigarettes a day puffs away on a toy truck

Created 11:07 AM on 26th May 2010

Taking a deep drag on his cigarette while resting on the steering wheel of his truck, he looks like a parody of a middle-aged lorry driver.

But the image covers up a much more disturbing truth: At just the tender age of two, Ardi Rizal’s health has been so ruined by his 40-a-day habit that he now struggles to move by himself.

The four-stone Indonesia toddler is certainly far too unfit to run around with other children – and his condition is set to rapidly deteriorate.

Truck on bad habits: Ardi Rizal sits smoking on his favourite toy at home in Musi Banyuasin, Indonesia

Truck on bad habits: Ardi Rizal sits smoking on his favourite toy at home in Musi Banyuasin, Indonesia

But, despite local officials’ offer to buy the Rizal family a new car if the boy quits, his parents feel unable to stop him because he throws massive tantrums if they don’t indulge him.

His mother, Diana, 26, wept: ‘He’s totally addicted. If he doesn’t get cigarettes, he gets angry and screams and batters his head against the wall. He tells me he feels dizzy and sick.’

Ardi will smoke only one brand and his habit costs his parents £3.78 a day in Musi Banyuasin, in Indonesia’s South Sumatra province.

But in spite of this, his fishmonger father Mohammed, 30, said: ‘He looks pretty healthy to me. I don’t see the problem.’

Gun smoke: Four-stone Ardi puffs one of 40 cigarettes he smokes a day while toting a water pistol

Ardi’s youth is the extreme of a disturbing trend. Data from the Central Statistics Agency showed 25 per cent of Indonesian children aged three to 15 have tried cigarettes, with 3.2 per cent of those active smokers.

The percentage of five to nine year olds lighting up increased from 0.4 per cent in 2001 to 2.8 per cent in 2004, the agency reported.

Gun smoke: Four-stone Ardi puffs one of 40 cigarettes he smokes a day while toting a water pistol

A video of a four-year-old Indonesian boy blowing smoke rings appeared briefly on YouTube in March, prompting outrage before it was removed from the site.

Child advocates are speaking out about the health damage to children from second-hand smoke, and the growing pressure on them to smoke in a country where one-third of the population uses tobacco and single cigarettes can be bought for a few cents.

Seto Mulyadi, chairman of Indonesia’s child protection commission, blames the increase on aggressive advertising and parents who are smokers.

‘A law to protect children and passive smokers should be introduced immediately in this country,’ he said.

A health law passed in 2009 formally recognizes that smoking is addictive, and an anti-smoking coalition is pushing for tighter restrictions on smoking in public places, advertising bans and bigger health warnings on cigarette packages.

Always having a break: Ardi, who is rarely seen without a cigarette, insists on the same brand, costing £78 a day

Puff baby: Ardi blows smoke while trundling around on his truck

But a bill on tobacco control has been stalled because of opposition from the tobacco industry.

The bill would ban cigarette advertising and sponsorship, prohibit smoking in public, and add graphic images to packaging.

Benny Wahyudi, a senior official at the Industry Ministry, said the government had initiated a plan to try to limit the number of smokers, including dropping production to 240 billion cigarettes this year, from 245 billion in 2009.

‘The government is aware of the impact of smoking on health and has taken efforts, including lowering cigarette production, increasing its tax and limiting smoking areas,’ he said.

Mr Mulyadi said a ban on advertising is key to putting the brakes on child and teen smoking.

‘If cigarette advertising is not banned, there will be more kids whose lives are threatened because of smoking,’ he said.

Ubiquitous advertising hit a bump last month when a cigarette company was forced to withdraw its sponsorship of pop star Kelly Clarkson’s concert following protests from fans and anti-tobacco groups.

Always having a break: Ardi, who is rarely seen without a cigarette, insists on the same brand, costing £3.78 a day

However, imposing a non-smoking message will be difficult in Indonesia, the world’s third-largest tobacco consumer.

Tubagus Haryo Karbyanto, a member of the National Commission of Tobacco Control, said Indonesia must also address the social conditions that lead to smoking, such as family influence and peer pressure.

‘The promotion of health has to be integrated down to the smallest units in our society, from public health centres and local health care centres to the family,’ he was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Globe on Friday.

Health Minister Endang Sedyaningsih conceded turning young people off smoking will be difficult in a country where it is perceived as positive because cigarette companies sponsor everything from scholarships to sporting events.

‘This is the challenge we face in protecting youth from the dangers of smoking,’ she said in a statement on the ministry’s website

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Parents’ smoking gives 15,000 children a year asthma, doctors warn

Thousands more suffer chest infections and ear problems because of exposure to smoke from parents’ cigarettes

Tens of thousands of children in the UK every year get asthma, chest infections and ear problems because they are exposed to smoke from their parents’ cigarettes, doctors reveal today.

Secondhand smoke causes 15,400 children between three and 16 to develop asthma, gives 20,500 two or under a chest infection and 121,400 under-16s an infected middle ear, a report from the Royal College of Physicians warns. Another 600 under-16s get meningitis, 7,200 babies start wheezing and 40 children die of sudden infant death syndrome owing to passive smoking, the study says.

In total 165,000 children get such conditions, 9,500 need hospital treatment and 25,000 under-16s start smoking as a result of having one or more parents who smokes, while GPs undertake 303,900 consultations annually involving childhood illness linked to parental smoking, it adds.

Young people’s health suffers so badly from adults smoking near them or living in a home where people light up that smoking in outdoor areas where children gather should be outlawed, the report from the RCP’s tobacco advisory group concludes.

There was no point in proposing a ban on smoking in homes because that would be “unenforceable”, said Prof John Britton, the group’s chairman. But government action and changes in public behaviour were needed to protect the two million children being brought up in homes where smoking occurs, he added.

Some parents mistakenly believe that it is not harmful to smoke if they do it with a window open or after their children are asleep, Britton said. A child’s exposure to passive smoke is about three times higher than a peer in a non-smoking family if the father smokes but is raised by more than six times if the mother does and by almost nine-fold if both parents light up, the report found.

The legislation banning smoking in public places that came into force in England in mid-2007 should be extended to tackle smoking in places popular with children, such as play areas and swimming pools, said Richard Ashcroft, a co-author of the report and professor of bio-ethics at Queen Mary, University of London.

The leaders of many of the medical royal colleges, which represent specialist groups of doctors, backed the proposals. Prof Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said the figures for childhood illness linked to passive smoking were horrifying. “These smokers are, in effect, forcing children to breathe what is essentially poisonous air,” he said.

The chief medical officer for England, Prof Sir Liam Donaldson, said the report’s recommendations “align very well with the government’s 10-year vision for tobacco control set out in its new strategy for England”. Ministers will decide whether to extend the scope of the public smoking ban when it is reviewed later this year.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “Children are being exposed to far less secondhand smoke as a result of smoke-free legislation. Parents have a responsibility to protect their children by stopping smoking around them in enclosed spaces like their cars and in their homes.”, she added.

Study: How smoking rots your brain

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There are 3 million smokers in Australia and 70% say they want to quit. Picture:

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SMOKING is known to be highly damaging to physical health, being a major factor in cancer and heart disease.

Now, however, its alarming effects on the mental well-being of millions of smokers have been outlined by scientists in the UK.

Lighting up regularly has been associated with a sharp decline in the performance of the brain, according to their study.

They found that middle-aged smokers performed worse on tests compared with those without the tobacco habit.

The project examined memory, planning and overall mental ability after four and eight years. The tests included asking people to learn new words or name as many animals as they could in a minute.

Researchers concluded that smoking “consistently” reduced all three performance measures after four years.

They also found that high blood pressure and being overweight took their toll of brainpower – but not as much as smoking.

There are 3 million smokers in Australia and 70% say they want to quit. Every year, about 19,000 Australians die from diseases caused by smoking and one in two lifetime smokers will die from their addiction.

This study examined risk factor data for more than 8,800 people aged 50 and over who were taking part in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. The researchers at King’s College London were investigating links between the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke and the state of the brain.

Recent laboratory research suggested a compound in tobacco called NNK provokes white blood cells in the central nervous system to attack healthy cells, leading to severe neurological damage. Dr Simon Ridley, of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Research has repeatedly linked smoking and high blood pressure to a greater risk of cognitive decline and dementia. This study adds weight to that.

“Cognitive decline as we age can develop into dementia, and unravelling the factors linked to this decline could be crucial for finding ways to prevent the condition.”

Jessica Smith, of the Alzheimer”s Society, said: “We all know smoking, a high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a high Body Mass Index is bad for our heart.

“This adds to the huge amount of evidence that also suggests they can be bad for our head too.”

On 1 December 2012, Australia will be the first country in the world to introduce plain packaging legislation. The aim is to reduce the number of smokers in Australia

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Quit smoking for a 1m pension

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Report: Smoking Takes 5 Hours Off Life Expectancy Per Day

A new report attempts to compare the relative effects of habits on life expectancy

By Jason Koebler

December 17, 2012 RSS Feed Print

Every so often, a scientific report will come out that warns of the life-shortening dangers of smoking, eating red meat, sitting too long, or of drinking too much alcohol. But until now, no researchers have tried to quantify the day-to-day hazards of bad habits.

British statistician David Spiegelhalter, in a report published Monday in British Medical Journal, attempts to quantify which habits have a greater impact on life expectancy: Is drinking heavily worse than living a sedentary lifestyle?

To do this, he created a unit of measure called a “microlife,” which corresponds to 30 minutes of life expectancy. Using other studies, he determined that for each day of heavy smoking, a person could be shaving about five hours off his life; someone who watches TV for two hours a day loses about 30 minutes for each day they take part in that activity.

“I’m taking lifelong habits and looking at how they affect people on average, convert it to a daily rate,” Spiegelhalter says. “The whole idea is to make a comparison about healthy activities and bad activities. Crudely, drinking two cups of coffee will cancel out eating a burger.”

Spiegelhalter says when people hear about life expectancy studies, they assume they’ll lose a couple years off the end of their lives. Instead, he says, they should consider it as “aging faster” — a smoker could be hurtling faster towards lung cancer, for instance, than a nonsmoker.

“If you’re a smoker, it’s like you’re moving at your death as if you were living 29 hours a day, it’s accelerated aging,” he says. “It’s a bit of a metaphor — you’re getting older quicker rather than living just a bit less.”

Here’s how different habits stack up, according to Spiegelhalter (estimates are based on various life expectancy studies and hours gained or lost are per day of exposure)

Smoking (15-24 cigarettes per day): Minus -five hours

Draft EU tobacco rules pave way for plain cigarette packs

By Charlie Dunmore and Claire Davenport, Reuters

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The EU’s executive commission is to propose larger health warnings on cigarette packets and a total ban on flavourings such as menthol, a draft revision of EU tobacco rules showed yesterday.

The proposal stops short of forcing all cigarettes to be sold in plain packets carrying graphic health warnings, as required in Australia from the start of this month. But individual governments will be free to insist on such packaging if they choose to do so.

The proposed rules, aimed at preventing young people from taking up smoking, are likely to anger tobacco firms who fear tougher packaging rules will reduce already dwindling European sales.

Cigarette sales in the EU bloc have fallen sharply in recent years but — at about 33% — Europe still has a higher proportion of smokers than any other region of the globe, according to the World Health Organisation.

The commission said tobacco was the number one cause of premature death in Europe claiming 700,000 lives every year.

The draft rules have been in development for over two years and have become the focus of intense lobbying by the tobacco industry.

They played a part in the resignation of former EU health commissioner John Dalli in October, after one of his associates was accused of seeking bribes from “snus” producer Swedish Match in return for lifting a sales ban on the snuff-like product outside Sweden.

“The proposal foresees that combined warnings [picture plus text] of 75% should be displayed on both sides of the packages of tobacco products,” the draft legislation said.

“However, a member state may maintain more stringent national provisions … in areas covered by this directive, on grounds of overriding needs relating to the protection of public health,” it said.

The draft rules also include plans to ban “slim” cigarettes and the sale of packets containing fewer than 20 cigarettes.

They maintain existing maximum limits on the amount of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide produced by cigarettes, and would keep the EU sales ban on snus, outside Sweden in place.

© This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Tuesday, December 18, 2012