Tag Archives: Cigarettes

5 ways to lose all your money

When it comes to money, I’m the worst at knowing what’s best. I want to spend every cent I have on things that I know I don’t need, or things that I need to survive but could potentially purchase cheaper alternatives. Even though I don’t make a lot of money, the money I do make never stays in my bank account long enough to gain interest or to gain more than 50 dollars at one time. Here are the 5 reasons I never have any money:

Don't waste your money on daily McDonald's trips. Graphic from JP Koning
Don’t waste your money on daily McDonald’s trips. Graphic from JP Koning

1. Food

Food is my worst enemy when it comes to spending all of my money. When I’m hungry, I have to eat as soon as possible, or I might explode with rage. I become the definition of “hangry” and, as you know, there is only one cure. My go-to when I’m dying of hunger is McDonald’s. I began eating McDonald’s when I was probably 4 or 5, and I’ve never looked back. However, McDonald’s can be pretty expensive when you’re not eating from the dollar menu, which of course, I usually don’t, unless I’m scrounging for change in my car. For some reason, I think eating at home is the worst idea ever and refuse to do it, until I’m out of money and crying on my couch eating Ramen. What I should be doing is only eating out once or twice a week, while eating at home the other 5 days, but that will never happen. My addiction to McDonald’s is too far gone. Save yourselves.

2. Gas

Gas is so expensive. I will never get over having to spend 25 to 30 dollars on gas every four days. My car literally eats my money and then poops it out over the course of a few days, then has the audacity to ask for more. Stupid car. Being a commuter and having to drive to and from Radford, from Blacksburg, multiple times a day, obviously doesn’t save any gas. In the long run, I’m sure it’s cheaper than living on campus, but my debit card sure feels sad and lonely at the end of the day.

3. Cigarettes

You don’t need to tell me how to save money with this one. I get it.

4. Significant Other

Relationships can be expensive, especially when expensive to me means more than 15 dollars. But your significant other deserves to have money spent on them, to have new things, but only every now and then. If you’re struggling with money like I am, then things like food, rent, gas, and other essentials tend to have a higher priority on the list. Just don’t forget about them. Nice things every once in awhile are good, but keep it to a minimum.

5. Clothes

Buying clothes can be a tricky situation. When you actually need clothes, it makes sense that you would go to a store, and buy your clothes. However, when you convince yourself that you need clothes, that you genuinely need new jeans or shirts, even though you really don’t, that’s when money and spending choices need to be questioned.

The bottom line here is spend your money wisely. If you can, save as much as possible so you can have it when you really need it. Try not to buy things you don’t need or spend money when you could eat or use things you already have.
Okay, time to get McDonald’s.

New nicotine vaccine could help smokers quit

According to data collected by the American Cancer Society, 70 percent of smokers want to quit altogether, 7 percent actually succeed at quitting smoking their first time, and 3.5 percent quit smoking cold turkey. These statistics are already extremely unsettling. Even though 40 percent of smokers tried to quit in 2015, half of smokers will relapse into smoking while intoxicated with alcohol.

Graphic from http://rcnky.com/
50 percent of smokers will not succeed in quitting on their first try. Graphic from http://rcnky.com/

These statistics even come into play with individuals who are underage. According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control, 80 percent of smokers began smoking before the age of 18, while 90 percent began smoking before the age of 21. 3,900 teens begin smoking each day, totaling 600,000 teens each year. What’s disturbing is that 11 percent of middle school students reported having smoked. That means 11 percent of pre-teens between the ages of 11 and 14.

A successful vaccine to assist individuals in quitting smoking for good has been difficult to discover. According to a report in ACS’s Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, a new vaccine for quitting smoking has been designed.

Over half of smokers who want to quit will not succeed in quitting their first time. There are several ways to quit smoking available. Smokers can quit cold turkey, use behavioral therapy, nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, spray, and lozenges), and medicine like Zyban and Chantix. These tools are readily available, but aren’t always effective, and may even have undesirable side effects.

This new vaccine design would target the nicotine molecule directly. Two individuals participated in a clinical study of the vaccine which ultimately failed. However, the clinical study provided worthwhile pieces of information, that scientists could improve upon.

The trials indicated that the individuals who produced the most elevated amounts of anti-nicotine antibodies were more likely to refrain from smoking for more than six months. Kim D. Janda, Ph.D., and fellow researchers from The Scripps Research Institute wanted to expand on this discovery.

The team designed a new vaccine that could raise the amount of antibodies that could attach to nicotine molecules.

While testing in mice, they discovered that the vaccine deferred the effects of nicotine after injection within the initial 10 minute period. Additionally, they discovered that the mice treated with the vaccine had lower concentrations of nicotine in their brains, which is where nicotine has its effects. The team expressed that their future endeavors will concentrate on further perfecting the formula of the vaccine to prepare it for potential clinical studies.

What smoking means today

Smoking hasn’t always had a huge stigma in society. It use to be something everyone did. In the office, the bars, in restaurants, everywhere really. It was something that everyone just did, regardless if they wanted to or not.

Back in the 1950s, smoking was at an all time high because it was cool and cheap. Actors like James Dean and Audrey Hepburn were never seen on screen without a cigarette in their hands or mouths.

Everyone was influenced by famous people in the 1950s and 1960s and because smoking cigarettes was cheap, cool, and socially acceptable, everyone did it.

Nowadays, however, smoking is much more controversial and stigmatized. Most people think smoking is disgusting, a habit that will kill you the second a cigarette hits your lips.

I think this change occurred because more medical information was released about cigarettes, telling consumers that cigarettes can cause cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and many more effects. However, what most people don’t seem to take into account are the effects of that alcohol can have as well.

People like to lecture smokers how on they can kill you, but don’t take a second to step back and look at themselves and the bad habits they have. Cigarettes may have more short-term effects, but alcohol can kill you in the long term.

Smoking, since the 1950s, has also become much more expensive. In the 1950s, a pack of cigarettes cost 25 cents. Today, on average, a pack of cigarettes cost $5.25.

No wonder people don’t smoke as much anymore;it’s way too expensive.

People rather spend that $5.25 on the dollar menu at McDonald’s, killing their arteries and increasing their risk for heart disease, than buy a pack of cigarettes. See what I did there?

Just because cigarettes are more direct with their health risks doesn’t mean that fast food or alcohol is any better for you. Fast food is a silent killers in a way, since they don’t tell their consumers out right what the effects of their products can have.

Simply because cigarette companies are legally bound to tell their consumers about the effects, people think cigarettes are the killer of all things when in fact they are just honest with their side effects.

1950s cigarette packaging Photo from Vintageadbrowser
1950s cigarette packaging
Photo from Vintageadbrowser

The stigma around cigarette smokers is mostly judgement and false opinions on those who smoke. People think that smokers are scary, rude, disgusting, and many other negative adjectives when that simply isn’t true for everyone.

Everybody smokes for different reasons whether it be to handle stress, anxiety, depression, or whatever reason, and this is personal to the smoker. People judge too quickly and don’t think about the reasons behind the actions of people. Think before you judge someone and get rid of the stigma. It is unnecessary and simply unjust.

Electronic cigarettes are why you should quit smoking

If you’re like me, you’ve thought about how to quit smoking for weeks now. You know smoking cigarettes is really bad for you and you can see how it physically and mentally affects you.

I’ve noticed that I cough much more frequently than I did before, as well as wheezing and low stamina. Smoking also affects my voice, speaking and singing. I wake up in the morning with a sore throat and with a hoarse tone, making it even harder for my singing voice to perform in the way I want it to.

Given all these valid factors of why I need to stop smoking, it has been way harder than I thought it would be. I never realized how addicted I would get to cigarettes or how dependent I would become on them.

I’ve gone through most of the ways to quit smoking including stopping cold turkey, electronic cigarettes, vapes, and slowly smoking less and less until finally I would stop smoking completely. These are all valid ways of quitting; however, for me, the only way that would work would be using an e-cig. This way, I can still have the motion of smoking without the consequences.

Are you trying to quit smoking? Graphic from AvailVapor
Are you trying to quit smoking? http://availvapor.com/subox-mini

An electronic cigarette is a cigarette-shaped device containing a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled, used to simulate the experience of smoking tobacco. The experience when smoking an e-cig is the same as a cigarette.

The only difference is an e-cig doesn’t contain the harmful carcinogens that are in tobacco making it less dangerous than cigarettes. Most people I have talked to about quitting say the reason they like smoking is because of the motion of smoking, bringing the cigarette to your mouth, inhaling, and exhaling out the smoke.

Seeing the smoke is one of the main reasons I enjoy smoking. With e-cigs, you can still obtain that feeling and motion of smoking but with a vapor and ingredients that are healthier for you.

Another benefit of smoking an e-cig is the nicotine variance and flavor. Electronic cigarettes use liquid nicotine that is injected into the machine, varying in flavor and nicotine levels. Depending on how often and what brand of cigarettes you smoke, the nicotine level will vary.

Along with nicotine variance, the nice thing about e-cigs is they come with many different flavors. My least favorite part about smoking is the after-taste. With e-cigs you don’t have to worry about that. Although, if you do enjoy the flavor of tobacco, most electronic cigarette stores carry that flavor as well.

When smoking cigarettes, one of the main complaints I receive from my friends is the smell. The smell of cigarettes is not enjoyable for you or the people around you. With e-cigs, the vapor that you exhale isn’t as strong as cigarettes and the smell doesn’t stick to your clothes or in your hair. You won’t have to worry about smelling like an ashtray ever again.

If you’re looking to quit smoking, e-cigs are your best bet. They allow you to still feel as though you’re smoking but they’re better for you and are a good stepping stone on the way to quitting for good.

Should RU be a smoke free campus?

There’s nothing like walking through a cloud of second-hand cigarette smoke early in the morning. Really, there’s nothing else like it. Many on campus who don’t smoke cigarettes are constantly exposed to quick puffs of smoke blown in their faces as they try and walk to classes. It can sometimes be hard to voice an opinion about it though, seeing that smoking is allowed on campus. This can quickly become a controversial issue.

There’s a need to protect those students and employees at RU from exposure to secondhand smoke. Even e-cigarettes cause discomfort for those with allergic reactions and asthma. Some would like to create an expectation that their living and working environment is smoke-free.

Young woman smoking e-cigarette - Stock Image
“There’s nothing like walking through a cloud of second-hand cigarette smoke early in the morning.”

According to tobaccofreecampus.org, Oct. 1 of this year makes over 1,000 campuses smoke-free. The goal of this group’s initiative is to make 100 percent of campuses tobacco-free. The only way to do this is to change the way that we think about tobacco products and cigarettes. Obviously, it’s old news that they’re bad for you. However, that doesn’t stop the sellers from depicting them as fun, sexy, or dangerous.

While navigating Tobacco Free Campus’s website, you can choose to join the challenge and see what regional opportunities there are to help out with this smoke-free initiative. On the home page at the top of the website, you’re greeted by this statement: “Looking to make your campus tobacco-free? Already tobacco-free but need to improve compliance? You’ve come to the right place.”

If this so-called initiative were to take effect at RU, would electronic cigarettes be taken in to account as well? They have about as many problems to go with them as regular cigarettes. They can harm and cause unpleasantness for those around them. Not to mention, they release smelly chemicals like aerosol and other chemicals that can trigger asthma attacks to those that are around them.

The mayo clinic has said this about E-cigs: “Electronic cigarettes and nicotine inhalers both deliver nicotine to your body without tobacco. But that’s where the similarity ends. The two are quite different when it comes to how they’re used and how much doctors know about their safety. Nicotine inhalers are a proven safe and effective way to help people stop smoking. In contrast, very little is known about the health effects of electronic cigarettes … Also, no convincing evidence shows that e-cigarettes are useful in helping people to eventually stop smoking.”

CVS: Congrats on quitting!

It’s not like it’s shocking or headline news that “smoking kills.” I mean, we don’t refer to cigarettes as “cancer sticks” for nothing. The producers don’t put explicit warnings on each pack informing the consumer of the risks of tobacco use for their amusement. The risks and consequences are real. Yet, this reality hasn’t stopped tobacco companies from earning billions.

Recently, though, we may have seen the beginning of what could be the collapse of tobacco sales everywhere.

CVS Caremark, the largest drug store chain in US sales, announced in February that it planned to stop selling all tobacco products by October this year. CVS is the first of the major tobacco distributors to make such a statement, and according to the secretary of Health and Services, Kathleen Sebelius, this decision will have a “considerable impact.”

Other large companies, such as Wal-Mart, Rite-Aid, and even some dollar stores continue to sell tobacco products at a high rate, while Walgreens is said to be “assessing” their tobacco sales. Will they follow suit and be the second billion-dollar tobacco distributor to end their sales? Will the potential message sent by such a decision offset the loss of billions for these other companies? CVS seems to think so.

CVS tosses out cigarettes. Graphic by Katie Gibson

Although the $2 billion loss in sales that CVS will likely experience will hardly be felt when compared to the $123 billion in sales they recorded in 2012, the message it sends is far more powerful than any amount of money can illustrate. This decision by CVS is what anti-tobacco campaigns have been fighting for since, well, forever. Now, what seems to maybe have become a lost cause, or an “agree to disagree” issue, has regained attention, and more notably, momentum. Regardless of which side of the argument you fall on (rights to smoke and treat your body how you want versus personal health being policed) the magnitude of the issue can’t be ignored.

The fact that the largest drug store chain in the US views this issue as relevant and important enough to risk billions on, as well as many customer’s long-time loyalty, speaks volumes about the potential effects of such a statement. By ending all sales of tobacco, CVS is truly committing to a whole new era of promoting health. This decision puts the company into a classification of its own, and whether seen as positive or negative, there’ll unquestionably be a “considerable impact.” What type of impact will this be? I guess the rest of us will have to join Walgreens and Wal-Mart as they wait to assess the impact CVS’s decision has.

Lung cancer is no longer a prejudiced disease

In a woman’s journey to aspire for gender equality, she can live like a man, dress in jeans, work in previously male-dominated fields, and now she can die like a man, too. Since the 50s, women have been celebrating their new-found liberation by lighting up their cancer sticks. Consequently, women have suffered a dramatic increase in lung cancer rates in recent decades leading to lung cancer becoming the lead cause of cancer death for women in the United States. Continue reading Lung cancer is no longer a prejudiced disease

The Great American Smokeout

On Nov. 15, The American Cancer Society is marking its 37th Great American Smokeout. Its importance is to remind those who do smoke or know those who smoke tobacco to plan to quit or at least lower their consumption of tobacco. Tobacco use is known to cause not only lung cancer, but at least 10 other cancers; this includes cancers of the bladder, kidney, liver,  and pancreas. Continue reading The Great American Smokeout