Monday, August 31, 2009

How Many People Will Die From Tobacco Next Year? A Whole Lot..

The World Lung Foundation and the American Cancer Society released their annual Tobacco Atlas last week in which they found that 6 million people worldwide will die from tobacco related causes (cancer, heart disease, emphysema and other diseases.)

Some of the other findings from the report include:
* 1 billion men smoke -- 35 percent of men in rich countries and 50 percent of men in developing countries.
* About 250 million women smoke daily -- 22 percent of women in developed countries and 9 percent of women in developing countries.
* The risk of dying from lung cancer is more than 23 times higher for men who smoke than for nonsmokers and 13 times higher for women smokers.
* Tobacco kills one-third to one-half of those who smoke. Smokers die an average of 15 years earlier than nonsmokers.
* Tobacco use will eventually kill 250 million of today's teenagers and children.
* Nearly one-quarter of young people who smoke tried their first cigarette before the age of 10.
* Occupational exposure to secondhand smoke kills 200,000 workers every year.
* Tobacco use costs the global economy $500 billion a year in direct medical expenses, lost productivity and environmental harm.
* "One hundred million people were killed by tobacco in the 20th century. Unless effective measures are implemented to prevent young people from smoking and to help current smokers quit, tobacco will kill 1 billion people in the 21st century," the report predicts.

Lets hope that the FDA's regulation of the tobacco industry will help combat the impact tobacco has on the American people. These devastating statistic also highlight the need for tobacco prevention funding and smoke free air policies in Indiana

If you don't want to be one of these statistics and want to quit smoking call 1-800-Quit-Now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Indiana Legislators Tied to Casino Lobbyists

According to a study released yesterday by the Americans for Nonsmokers Rights Foundation casino lobbyists spent a significant amount of money on Indiana legislators during the past two legislative sessions. The study draws a direct correlation between dollars spent by the industry and the unwillingness of Indiana lawmakers to pass a comprehensive smoke free air law that includes casinos. The study found:

BIG LOBBYING EXPENDITURES: Gaming interests reported more than $3.6 million in lobbying expenditures between May 1, 2007 and April 30, 2009, according to public records online.

BIG POLITICAL PARTY DONATIONS: Major state political party committees and legislative caucus committees took in more than $228,000 in donations from people employed by lobbying firms that represent Indiana casinos and horse tracks in 2008.

BIG DONATIONS TO A KEY PLAYER: House Speaker Patrick Bauer’s reelection campaign received at least $60,000 in donations in 2008 from horse racing industry supporters, individuals employed by lobbying firms for casinos and affiliated contributors, including $39,000 on a single day.

Hopefully during the next legislative session legislators will be able to see beyond lobbying dollars to pass a strong public health law in which all Indiana businesses are smoke free, including casinos..