portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting portland metro

drug war | environment | health

Women smokers killing themselves in Health Food Industry

Many workers in the Oregon health food industry, are eating healthy and killing themselves by smoking at the same time. Reason has no place in persuading them to stop. Can you help?
As a nearby neighbor to Food Front in Portland, Oregon, it is very dismaying to see (and have to breathe the product of) so many young people who work in the "Health food industry" who smoke all day and night long during work.
No amount of caring or concerned suggestions make any impact on them. They are truculently resistant and antagonistic. When contacted, FF management declined to take any measures to help these poor addicts quit their habit.
Please find a recent study below that shows the magnitude of the problem. I hope you can help.

WOMEN: THINK ABOUT LIGHTING THAT CIGARETTE

Smoking report card: Oregon flunks

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death among women,
yet 38 states, including Oregon, received failing grades in an advocacy group's study for not meeting national goals to reduce and prevent smoking among girls and women.

The report card released Tuesday, September 30, 2003 by the National Women's Law Center and the Center for Women's Health at Oregon Health & Science University suggests that the United States is not doing enough to address the issue or the billions in health care costs it imposes on state and national budgets. The report card is the first survey to comprehensively assess women's smoking-related health conditions and the policies that have proved effective in reducing smoking. The study grades and ranks each state based on 11 health status indicators, and evaluates the strength of state tobacco control policies through 10 policy indicators.

"This report delivers deplorable news for women, especially in Oregon. A lot of women are dying and these are preventable deaths," said Dr. Michelle Berlin, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and public health and preventive medicine, OHSU Center for Women's Health. She is the primary author of the health status aspects of this report.

Oregon received a failing grade

Oregon tied with Virginia for 20th place in the nation.

Almost 2,000 women die of smoking-related deaths each year in Oregon.

That is more than four times the number of women who die of breast cancer,
which claims the lives of about 485 women each year in the state. Nationally 178,000 women die annually from conditions related to smoking, including lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.

In Oregon almost 20 percent of adult women smoke. Among those, the number of smokers aged 18 to 44 is especially alarming, Berlin said. In the 18-to-24-year-old range, 26 percent smoke; in the 25-to-44-year-old group, 24 percent smoke--all higher rates than the national numbers.

STOP SMOKING FOR YOUR CHILD, IF NOT FOR YOURSELF

Oregon also fares worse than the nation for how many pregnant women smoke, especially for teenagers. More than 25 percent of pregnant girls aged 15 to 19 smoke.

Overall, 13 percent of pregnant women smoke. The national goal for pregnant women smoking is less than 1 percent.
The best way to stop the effects of smoking is never to start smoking, and we know the best way to keep kids from smoking is to make it expensive with a high excise tax on each pack of cigarettes. Oregon is good at this, but not great," Berlin said. To read the National State-By-State Report Card on Women and Smoking
STOP NOW: go to www.ohsuwomenshealth.com.
Lozenges 30.Sep.2003 23:18

Gus

One word -LOZENGES-is the answer. Nicothine lozenges came out a few months ago and are much better, effective and cheaper than nicothine gum or the patch. I dont care if I ever quit the lozenges-great and safe nicotine delivery system.

Lozenges 01.Oct.2003 00:47

George Bender

Gus,

The lozenges are certainly better for your lungs and a big step forward, but nicotine in any form is very bad for your circulatory system. It can lead to strokes and heart attacks. If you can, it's much better to quit entirely. I've seen too many members of my family have miserable old ages and early deaths due to smoking. I hate it. I don't believe in prohibition for any drugs, but if I could I would take cigarettes away from teenagers. They're too young to make such a deadly choice.

Smoking 01.Oct.2003 08:26

ranger

Portland needs to eliminate smoking from all restaurant/bars. The passive smoke in those places are dangerous for the workers and patrons in these establishments. You can't even go out and listen to music in this town without being overwhelmed with smoke. There are only a handful of establishments that are smoke free!

George 01.Oct.2003 10:07

Gus

George its not the nicotine that is the killer in cigarettes its the tar smoke. Nicotine as a drug by itself is not really all that bad for health. About the same as caffeine. In fact there is some evidence nicotine can prevent Alzheimers.
Now what was I talking about? Oh yeah, maybe restaurants and bars could give out free lozenges to discourage smoking. I take half a lozenge at a time which lasts about 3 hours at least and costs about 25cents!

OH MY GOD! 01.Oct.2003 14:31

OVERTLY SARCASTIC

I can't believe this. Smoking is bad for you? Why is the corporate media covering this up? We need expose this right now. To the streets.

Seriously, tobacco use is a choice, just like alcohol use, or eating fast food, or rock climbing or skydiving. Is there anyone in the united states that doesn't know this. And if there are people who don't know this, won't we be better off without them. Admittedly that last statement is cruel, but come on, you inhaling smoke into your lungs! Smoke is nature's warning signal for stay away..