Smoking, Tooth Loss, and Congratulations to CVS

(Photo by Geierunited)


This week the US FDA announced a new anti-smoking campaign, and today, the pharmacy CVS decided to end its apparent hypocrisy with tobacco:

February 5, 2014

WASHINGTON — Drug store giant CVS Caremark announced Wednesday it will no longer sell tobacco products at its 7,600 pharmacies by Oct. 1.

CVS sells $1.5 billion in tobacco a year, but CVS officials said selling cigarettes while promoting wellness doesn’t make sense.

“Selling tobacco is very inconsistent with being in that business,” said Helena Foulkes, CVS’s president. “We really thought about this decision as it relates to the future as a health company — it’s good for customers and our company, in the long run.”

Congratulations to CVS!  This is a bold and gutsy move.  And, this will cost CVS more that the loss of tobacco sales–it will also lose customers who may have also come to buy other items.  While CVS has a plan to attempt to recoup its losses, that is a big financial risk.

That being said, it is fantastic that CVS took a moral stand on this.  Smoking kills, and CVS and others know this.  A decision, like CVS has done, is very difficult for profit-driven corporations and this is a decision that I must really commend.  Smoking directly causes a lot of health problems.

Speaking of health problems, notice the following reports, one of which highlights another problem with smoking, loss of a teeth:

When it comes to persuading teenagers not to smoke, you have to think short-term, the Food and Drug Administration says…One graphic TV ad shows a teenager buying a pack of cigarettes at a convenience store and literally pulling out a tooth with a set of pliers to pay for them.

“What’s a pack of smokes cost? Your teeth,” the narrator says. “Smoking can cause serious gum disease that makes you more likely to lose them.”

Other ads speak to teenagers’ growing desire for independence by showing how the need to smoke can take over their lives.

Anti-smoking advocates say they’re thrilled by the ads.

“For the first time the federal government is really using the same quality advertising agencies, using the same kind of research, that the tobacco industry has used for decades to market to kids,” says Matthew Myers, who heads the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “However, this time they’re doing it to discourage tobacco use among kids.”

The Food and Drug Administration will start their first tobacco prevention campaign targeted at adolescents.

“The Real Cost” addresses the more than 10 million 12 to 17-year-olds who have already began smoking or may pick up the habit soon and are in danger of becoming life-long addicts, the FDA said in a statement on Monday. Advertisements will start running across the country on Feb. 11…

One in five deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to cigarette smoking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It causes about 90 percent and 80 percent of male and female lung cancer deaths, respectively. Men are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer if they smoke, and women increase their risk 13 times when they start the habit.

In addition, cigarette smoking causes nine out of 10 deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Smoking cigarettes also increases coronary heart disease and stroke risk two to four times…Every day, almost 4,000 kids under the age of 18 smoke their first cigarette. An additional 1,000 adolescents make the move to become daily smokers.

“Our kids are the replacement customers,” Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, told the Washington Post

The loss of a tooth may get teenage girls to think more than twice about taking up smoking.  The fact that smoking also causes premature wrinkling is something that young women also tend to wish to avoid.  While teenage boys probably will not be that interested in that, a way to discourage older males is to warn that ED is also associated with cigarette smoking.

Yet, to appeal to teenage boys, cigarette companies have tended to use images of tough, masculine appearing men. To appeal to teenage girls, tobacco companies have tended to indicate that smoking is exciting and keeps one slim.

Hopefully, between the risk of death, serious diseases, and gender-based concerns, hopefully less and less people will smoke.  Despite that, many do smoke and the economic costs to the USA and even China are staggering:

China is said to have 350 million smokers – more than the entire population of the United States. We bring up the U.S. for comparison because the Surgeon General coincidentally released a report last month that really caught our eye. The fallout of tobacco use, the report says, costs Americans $289 billion a year – about four times as much as the U.S. federal budget for education combined. Twenty million Americans have died in the last 50 years as a result of smoking – more than the tally from all of our wars put together, of course. This year, nearly 500,000 Americans will die prematurely because of smoking.

These numbers are just staggering. And in China, the numbers are much, much worse.

The tobacco industry knowingly sells and entices people to use an addictive poison –nicotine, which is part of why it is hard to stop.

I even read a report today that ‘third-hand’ smoking harms health.  What is that?  That is the residue of cigarette smoke on furniture, walls, ceilings, and floors. Notice:

Exposure to surfaces and objects that have been saturated in cigarette smoke, labeled as “third-hand smoke,” may be as deadly as smoking the cigarette itself.

A new study from the University of California, Riverside finds that the third-hand smoke that has soaked into the surfaces, objects and environment around people becomes increasingly toxic over time. Third-hand smoke is defined as the second-hand smoke that is allowed to settle on objects in any environment. Non-smoking children, co-workers, spouses and friends of smokers breathe in such carcinogens left in rooms exposed to smokers.

Smoking is not good.  It is not a Christian thing to do.  Its ‘fruits’ are bad.

Actually, I wrote a full article about smoking a week ago (which I also updated today) that may be of interest to some titled Should Christians Smoke?

God wants people to change/repent (Acts 17:30)–which means that, despite its difficulties, quitting smoking can be done (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:13). The sooner one starts the better one will be. Christians should strive to not smoke.

Some items of possibly related interest include:

Should Christians Smoke? Is smoking a sin? What does the Bible teach? What have COG leaders written? Can smokers change? What about marijuana?
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?
Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today?
Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains how he is and should be viewed today.
Overcoming Sin What is sin? How are Christians suppose to overcome it? Here is also a link to a video titled How to Overcome Sin.
How to Prevent Sin This is an article by Herbert W. Armstrong.
Just What Do You Mean Conversion? Many think that they are converted Christians. But are they? Would you like to know more about conversion. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.

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