Organic Cigarettes: More dangerous than regular cigarettes?

A bizarre trend is emerging. There are people who see a boogey man in
almost everything, but have a blind spot for their favorite poison,
nicotine. While they run screaming from a packet of splenda, they pay
big bucks for a pack of organic cigarettes. They chainsmoke in front
of children, but want to deny them lifesaving vaccines for fear of

Cigarettes have never been proven safe and have been proven to be a
carcinogen. As a matter of fact, cigarettes are one of the worst
health risks. Heart attacks, strokes, and cancer are just a few of
the risk factors.

Organic cigarettes are likely DEADLIER than average cigarettes. The
people who smoke them are just lying to themselves in order to
rationalize their addiction. It is time to set the record straight.
Let see if the anti-vac liars will cop to the truth and give up their

'Natural Tobacco' Poses Greater Health Risks
Do not be fooled by "natural tobacco" products that are marketed to
teens and college students. They're not healthier. In fact, natural
tobacco can be deadlier than average cigarettes.

Unfortunately, for today's youth and young adults, forms of natural
tobacco, including bidis, clove cigarettes, cigars, chew/dip tobacco,
pipe tobacco and organic cigarettes, are viewed as trendy and perhaps
even healthier, despite the real health risks.

"Natural tobacco doesn't have anything to do with being healthier,"
says Ross Payson, project director for tobacco programs at the Dental
Health Foundation. "Natural means it has a small percentage of non-
synthetic substances. It's a marketing scam."

Natural tobacco often contains higher concentrations of tar and
nicotine, and the smoke has greater levels of toxic agents such as
carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia and carcinogenic
hydrocarbons. This not only increases the smoker's risk of developing
lung cancer or other diseases, but it also jeopardizes the health of
everyone in the room.

"You're still inhaling carbon monoxide and 400 carcinogens and
poisons," Payson says.

American Lung Associations in California and other groups, including
the Dental Health Foundation and the California Youth Advocacy
Network, are implementing new programs and adjusting others to combat
the rise in natural tobacco use by teens and college students, and the
ultimate disease and premature death it will cause.

New Study Shows 40 Percent of Teens Have Smoked Bidis
A recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) found in a Boston-area study of 642 high school
students that 40 percent had tried bidis and 16 percent were current
bidi smokers.

"Natural tobacco is an up and coming issue," says Jennifer Williams,
director of Tobacco Control for the American Lung Association of the
Central Coast. "We found that older and younger teens are asking about
bidis and cloves because they think they are a lot safer than

Bidi cigarettes, also known as beadies or beedies, are handrolled
tendu leaves containing low-grade tobacco and tied up with string.
Widely available in grocery stores and convenience stores for about
half the cost of cigarettes, the paper-wrapped bundles of bidis come
in several flavors including cinnamon, vanilla and strawberry.

Nearly 70 percent of bidi brands do not have warning labels as
required by law, according to a Dental Health Foundation fact sheet.

Bidis are known as the "poor man's cigarette" in India. They are made
by women and children in India's poor households, according to
research compiled by the Dental Health Foundation. In addition to a
lack of health precautions and poor working conditions, it has been
shown that bidi assemblers absorb nicotine through their skin.

"Teens are aware of the health risks from smoking tobacco and it may
not have an impact," Payson says. "But I think it would have more of
an impact if they knew that children in India roll 1,000 to 1,500
bidis a day, for 30 cents per day in a 12 to 16-hour work day. They
work under poor conditions and there is no quality assurance."

American Lung Association Fights Dangerous Trend
To combat this dangerous rise in bidi smoking, American Lung
Associations throughout the state are implementing Teens Against
Tobacco Use (TATU), in cooperation with the American Heart Association
and the American Cancer Society. The all-day training and education
workshop trains teens how to talk to children about the dangers and
myths about tobacco.

"We found that using teens as anti-tobacco educators for elementary
school children is more effective than using adults," Williams says.

More than 90 percent of adult smokers started smoking in their teens,
resulting in the creation of tobacco control programs that focus on
early prevention in junior high and high school. There are very few
prevention and cessation programs for young adults ages 18 to 25.

"Mind the Gap" is an advocacy project implemented by the American Lung
Association of Santa Clara-San Benito Counties focusing on college
students in that age category on seven college campuses in Santa Clara
and San Benito counties. The project focuses on education and

"Our goal is to make campuses smoke-free," says Francis Capili,
project director at the American Lung Association of Santa Clara-San
Benito Counties. "We want to protect people from secondhand smoke and
limit tobacco accessibility."

Tobacco Companies Target Colleges with Sponsorships
"Some tobacco companies are targeting colleges by sponsoring
fraternity parties and giving away free chew tobacco," says Susan
Snoke, college project consultant for the California Youth Advocacy

Snoke is part of a three-year project to develop student advocacy
coalitions at California schools, including the University of
California at Davis, University of California at Santa Cruz, Sonoma
State University, San Diego State University and Vanguard University
of Southern California.

The coalitions are implemented and facilitated by college students who
determine which campus smoking policies and issues to address. Marie
Boman, a college liaison for anti-tobacco advocacy at San Diego State
University (SDSU), led a movement to enforce SDSU's no smoking policy
in a specific campus building. She was able to get the college to
remove cement ashtrays from the breezeways and the doorways to prevent
smoke from flowing inside the building.

Boman volunteers for the American Lung Association and believes
tobacco companies are currently targeting colleges for cigars, clove
cigarettes and chew/dip tobacco.

"There's a misconception in defining cloves as natural," Boman says.
"Clove cigarettes are processed just like regular cigarettes." Clove
cigarettes are typically made of 60 percent poor quality tobacco. They
deliver twice as much nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide as tobacco
cigarettes in addition to the unknown hazards associated with
chemicals in cloves. Clove cigarette smokers can suffer immediate
effects including coughing up blood, nose bleeds, severe sore throats,
and upper respiratory infections.


Relevant Pages