Study: Kids who smoke pot do better in school than kids who just smoke cigarettes

pot smoking

OK, NOT an endorsement for kids smoking dope, but an interesting study out of Canada. I think this study speaks more toward the attitudes toward dope and tobacco than the actual health effects of dope and tobacco.

According to this study, kids who just smoke pot have better grades and do better academically than kids who just smoke cigarettes. This study was done over the course of 30 years and to me the really interesting information that came out of it is that far fewer kids smoke cigarettes today than 30 years ago, while more kids smoke pot.

According to the article:

… and those that do (smoke cigarettes) make up a very “marginalized, vulnerable” population, says lead study author Michael Chaiton, assistant professor in epidemiology and public health policy.

This tells me that the most ostracised, least engaged kids, probably kids that will end up as dropouts, are the ones smoking cigarettes, while a lot of all-around average kids are smoking pot now, because even among kids, smoking is no longer seen as cool.

The article states this as much:

“Now there is a distinction between marijuana use and co-use with other substances, and it’s an indication of the changing social norms. So it’s not an absolute that they do better; it’s that social norms have changed and the population of people who use marijuana are more like the general population,” said Chaiton.

Another interesting stat — 92 percent of tobacco smokers also smoke dope, while only 25 percent of pot smokers also smoke tobacco. So, it’s really not an “either or” situation. Most of those cigarette smokers are also smoking pot. It has to do with attitudes toward cigarettes and pot … and what kind of kids are smoking cigarettes or pot in light of those attitudes.

Again, I’m not a fan of kids smoking dope, but they are going to smoke pot. Pot is becoming more and more socially acceptable for adults to the point where two states have legalised it, and I predict it will be legal in several other states within the next two or three years — and when it becomes more socially acceptable for adults to use it, it’s pretty tough to tell kids “none for you.” The attitudes toward pot are pretty similar to the attitudes toward beer.

Now, the study doesn’t say much about how kids smoke pot do academically versus kids who don’t use any drugs (one of the commenters on the article pointed this out.) The article contains this single sentence:

 Marijuana users don’t outperform non-users, Chaiton says.

It would be nice to see more information than that in the study.

 

Tobacco Madness bracket — some truly insane tobacco and e-cig ads

TobaccoMadness2014_Bracket_R2OK, I honestly thought I had seen every insane cigarette ad there was, but thanks to the Respiratory Health Association and Lungchigaco.org, I’ve found some more.

They’ve got a game going called “Tobacco Madness,” in which two insane cigarette ads are paired against one another, and you have to pick the one that is the most nuts. (It took me a while to get the links straightened out to this. The bracket is tiny, but if you click on  this, it should be readable.)

Here’s some of the more insane ads blown up in a slideshow. Really demented stuff. I mean the ad tying e-cigs to breast cancer awareness is really the most twisted one I’ve seen:

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Elaine Benes lives — Being a smoker is bad for dating

keith hernandez
Elaine Benes broke up with Keith Hernandez over his smoking

This is absolutely not a surprise to me at all.

According to stats from the dating app Hinge, men who self-identify being a smoker are absolutely killing themselves for hooking up with someone.

According to newly released statistics from the the dating app Hinge, men who self-identify as smokers are rejected 89 percent of the time. In other words, they’re 61 percent more likely to be rejected than their smoke-free counterparts.

Similarly:

survey published in February from Match.com and the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer found that 89 percent of people on Match.com preferred to date a non-smoker.

Remember, the old days when the tobacco companies promoted cigarettes as sexy and alluring. No more.  Smoking is a major turnoff for a lot of people — the smell, the secondhand smoke, etc.  Seinfeld was ahead of it’s time!

I love a couple of the comments on this story (I don’t comment on HuffPost anymore.)

I always thought some anti-tobacco ads should emphasize the butt breath people get from smoking. The stank in their hair, clothes, skin, saliva (yes, try kissing a smoker – ugh) is disgusting right along with the yellow fingers and teeth. I always chuckle when I see a smoker put on cologne or perfume – what’s the point? It’s like spraying Fabreeze on a turd.
 I am a smoker and have no complaints with your post. It is a horrible and useless habit.

 

Liquid nicotine … 1,300 poisonings in 2013 and growing; one teaspoon can kill a kid

NICOTINE-articleLarge

Saw this article splattered all over the Internet today. Scary.

Liquid nicotine, completely unregulated by the way, is one of the main ingredients of e-cigarettes. It’s extremely potent and dangerous in its concentrated liquid form and can kill kids if they get their hands on it and start drinking it. The New York Times, and USA Today  had articles on this today.

There were more than 1,300 reported poisonings from liquid nicotine in 2013, according to the New York Times, a 300 percent increase from 2012. That number is expected to double in 2014. The vast majority of these involved children 4 and under. (Interestingly, one of these poisonings involved an e-cig that broke while a woman was asleep and she absorbed the nicotine concentrate through her skin. Man, that is some powerful stuff.)

Again, an incredibly, potent, powerful drug … and completely unregulated at the moment.

“It’s the wild, wild west right now,” said Chip Paul, chief executive officer of Palm Beach Vapors, a company based in Tulsa, Okla., that operates 13 e-cigarette franchises nationwide and plans to open 50 more this year. “Everybody fears F.D.A. regulation, but honestly, we kind of welcome some kind of rules and regulations around this liquid.”

 

 

OK, we get it Arnold Schwarzenegger, you’re some kind of rebel … or something

Arnold

Arnold Schwarzenegger made a point of it last week to have his photo taken on the campus of Facebook holding a cigar in front of a sign that says, “tobacco free campus,” later proclaiming that he loves to break the rules.

Arnold’s Facebook caption:

Facebook’s philosophy is Move Fast and Break Things, which I love,’ he wrote in the caption. ‘So naturally I broke some rules at their headquarters. Thanks for the great visit!’

Yeah, whatever, most people are grown up enough that they don’t need to brag about what rebels they are, by holding an unlit cigar in front of a sign that says, “no smoking.” (the story says he was lighting the cigar, but in this photo at least, it’s pretty obviously unlit) Maybe because he was a serial philanderer, a steroid abuser and just about the worst governor in the history of California who utterly bankrupt the state financially .. but to me, this doesn’t really say “rebel,” it just says, “a guy acting like a douche.”

Jesus Christ, this cigarette ad was actually in the Sunday comics

Doral comic

Got this from TobaccoFreeCa.

This made my head just explode. At first, I thought this was some old magazine ad for Doral cigarettes (looks very 1960s), but according to TobaccoFreeCA, this ad was actually placed in the Sunday comics section of newspapers.

Wow, just unbelievable to me. Not even trying to be remotely subtle about marketing to kids.

Los Angeles, San Francisco, Long Beach ban e-cigs indoors

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I think you’re going to see more and more of this, and I’m becoming more and more OK with it.

The cities of L.A., San Francisco and Long Beach last week all banned e-cigarette use indoors — that means mostly bars and restaurants and workplaces.

Now, e-cigs put out a vapour that has virtually no smell, and it does not irritate your eyes and nose like cigarette smoke. However, it is laced with nicotine, and people are not comfortable being in a room with nicotine-laced steam floating in the room.

It was apparently a very heated debate in L.A. as the city council heard impassioned pleas from e-cig users not to ban them.

According to the LA. Times:

“We have a right to … choose to breathe clean air,” Councilwoman Nury Martinez told her colleagues. “And if this device turns out to be safe, then we can always undo the ordinance. But if this device proves not to be safe, we cannot undo the harm this will create on the public health.”

and the other side of the argument:

Councilman Joe Buscaino led an unsuccessful attempt to exempt bars and nightclubs from the ban, a measure sought by lobbyists for the e-cigarette industry. He too invoked a family member while making his arguments.

E-cigarettes “are not tobacco,” he said. “I don’t think they should be regulated exactly the same way. And I’ve heard from so many people, including my cousin Anthony, that they’ve stopped smoking from the help of e-cigarettes.”

I guess I feel like if e-cigs have helped you quit smoking real cigarettes, then that somehow being banned from smoking them in bars or restaurants really isn’t going to change anything for you. More power to you if they’ve genuinely helped you quit smoking. You can continue not smoking cigarettes in spite of this ban.

Meanwhile, in nearby Long Beach, a similar ban was passed, and then San Francisco banned them indoors just yesterday. San Francisco is also requiring a special licence to sell e-cigs.

These major California cities join Washington, D.C., New York City and Chicago as cities banning e-cigs indoors. Again, a growing trend. People are just not comfortable breathing that steam despite the lack of odour.

 

A smoking ban in the Deep South — Georgia bans smoking on college campuses

georgia

Normally, a story like this wouldn’t really get on my radar, but then I remembered this is Georgia, buried well into the Deep South.

I haven’t written much about smoking bans in the last couple of years, mostly because not a lot has been happening on that front. Places that are going to ban indoor smoking have done it and places that haven’t done it — mostly Southern states — have if anything the last few years become more stubborn about passing regulations on private businesses.

Georgia has some city bans, but statewide, the only ban is on smoking in restaurants. This week, the state of Georgia banned all tobacco products on its state college campuses — Univ. of Georgia, Georgia Tech and 29 other campuses.  This even includes outdoor football stadiums. I have no idea if this also includes e-cigs, which aren’t mentioned in the article (debatable if e-cigs are a “tobacco product.”)

I think this is a fairly big deal because Georgia’s university system is huge, with more than 300,000 students, and like I said, it’s in the Deep South, where the laws are pretty lax about cigarette smoking. Few states in the Deep South even bother to ban smoking in restaurants, much less bars (though a number of major cities in the South do have smoking bans). And not coincidentally, partly because of low state cigarette taxes in many of these states, the Deep South has some of the highest smoking rates in the country.