Jun 26, 2013

Buzzkill: Women Who Drink and Smoke Run Higher Risks

Smoking and Drinking: Women Run Higher Risks

A new study has found that women who smoke and drink heavily are at a higher risk of early death than their male counterparts.

It’s the latest study* of many that has found that us women take even greater chances with our health than men when it comes to smoking. One of the biggest studies with over a million women found that women who smoked a pack a day reduced their life expectancy 11 years on average.  

No fair: Women who drink and smoke run even greater risks than men do. 
Now a new European study found that women take a disproportionate risk from the effects of heavy alcohol and tobacco use.

The study followed a group of 380,000 people over age 40 for around 12 years; during that period, 26,411 people died.

The study confirmed that the mortality rates for smokers is anywhere from 1.5 to three times higher than for people who never smoked.

The risk naturally went up depending on how much the person drank and smoked: if the death risk was a “1” for people who never smoked, this risk rose to 1.38 for men who smoked one to 15 cigarettes a day, 1.86 for those who smoked 16 to 26 cigarettes, and 2.44 for men who smoked more than 26 cigarettes a day.

For women, the study found the equivalent risks were similar: 1.32, 2.04 and 2.44 respectively.

But the risks changed dramatically when alcohol was thrown into the mix.

The study found that the death risk rose to a massive 3.88 among women who smoked more than 26 cigarettes and drank more than 30 grams of alcohol a day.

In other words, women run nearly four times the risk of early death when they drink and smoke heavily.

“Women who consume excessive amounts of alcohol have a significantly higher risk from tobacco use than those who consume little or no alcohol," the authors concluded.

What’s Worse? Smoking or Drinking?

So if you had to choose between smoking or drinking, which one should you choose? Which one is worse?

smoking and drinking: women run greater risksThere’s absolutely no doubt about it. Smoking carries a much higher risk of lung cancer (30 times that of a non-smoker), breast cancer (up to 60 percent higher risk) and early death.

Keep in mind that drinking can increase the urge to smoke (some call it "social smoking"), and vice-versa: smoking can make you want to drink more.

Taken together, these two addictions work hand-in-hand, causing women to smoke and drink more than they should.

It’s double-trouble. And it adds up to more than double the risk of a not-so-happy ending.

If that isn’t a buzzkill, I don’t know what is.

*This study was published in May in the journal Bulletin epidemiologique hebdomadaire (BEH)

Jun 20, 2013

Money Tight? Time the Make the Switch to E-Cigarettes!

E-Cigarettes Are Not Only Better, They're Also Cheaper Than Cigarettes

Here in Minnesota, a new cigarette tax of $2.83 a pack goes into effect on July 1. That’s an increase of $1.60 a pack.
A pack of Marlboros will now cost you around $8 a pack. Smoke a pack a day, and you’re talking about a habit that’s costing you around $240 a month. That’s a sizable increase.
Cigarettes are expensive, and taxes on them are going up Up UP!!
Cigarettes are so expensive in Minnesota that smokers are heading for the hills - well, at least Wisconsin and bordering states - for cheaper cigarettes.
It’s also putting cigarette retailers in Minnesota at a huge competitive disadvantage. That's because in Wisconsin, the cigarette tax is $2.52 a pack, South Dakota's is $1.53, Iowa's is $1.36, and North Dakota's is only 44 cents a pack. 
Anyone want to go to Fargo for vaca?
You'll have to make regular trips there, because it’s illegal to bring more than one carton of cigarettes into Minnesota from a different state.
Will This FINALLY Be the Nail in Cigarette’s Coffin?
There are plenty of good reasons to make the switch to e-cigarettes. Your health and lungs are one good reason.
Not exposing your friends and loved ones to secondhand smoke is another one. So is the lingering smell on your hair and clothes.
Money was always a good reason. In the long run, e-cigarettes are cheaper than cigarettes. And here in Minnesota, the savings is even more dramatic.
Here’s a quick and easy chart where you can add up the savings:
Cigarettes vs. e-cigarettes: compare the cost

Use the coupon code “Vamp5” to get your e-cigarette starter kit for an additional $5 off – plus we offer free shipping every day. 
Our VIP customers get special deals and discounts -- like an additional 15 percent off refill cartomizers after you've ordered more than twice from Vaping Vamps.
What would YOU do with the savings from making the switch? 
I know I'd buy a cute new pair of shoes =)

Jun 6, 2013

Why Women Smoke

Surrounded by Women Who Smoke, I Understand the Reasons Why 

I totally get why women smoke. 

My mother smoked. My daughter smoked. Close friends smoked.

My mom started smoking as a young woman, before the health risks were known.
Fortunately, most of the women who are near and dear to me have either switched to vaping or quit altogether.

My mom quit cold turkey after smoking for over 30 years. My daughter Emma quit smoking after a month-long transition using the e-cigarette starter kit I gave her. Close friends like my friend Lisa are now vaping instead of smoking, and she even turned her dad’s wife, a long-term smoker, onto vaping our beautiful black e-cigarette!

Many women start smoking as teenagers – perhaps as a form of rebellion, to be cool, or to bond with their friends. Later on, women will often smoke when drinking. “Social smoking” is aptly named, because it IS a social experience, something that binds us women together.

When we drink or smoke (or both) with our women friends, we feel we can share our deep, dark secrets, knowing we will be understood and supported. 

As we huddle together, we feel protected from the rest of the world.   

I totally get it. I went to an all-girls boarding school (Emma Willard School, Troy, N.Y.) and being accepted by the “in” crowd was an important part of my life on campus. 

Fortunately, I was able to be "cool" without smoking, mostly because I had the best collection of rock records: Jimi Hendrix, CSNY, the Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, the Beatles, and so on. 

Women Light Up Alone, Too

Research has found that women also light up alone, as a way of dealing with stress.

A survey of 1,000 people commissioned by an Edinburgh company found that women were more likely than men to smoke alone. This finding suggests that women attach some shame to their smoking habit – perhaps because they know it is becoming less socially acceptable.

One-third of women smokers said they smoked when they were stressed out, and they smoked even more when they felt under greater stress.

A psychologist said: “As women are more likely to smoke alone as a coping mechanism, the psychological effects of nicotine addiction become more accelerated. Smoking is often an auto-response, rather than a conscious decision. Breaking these embedded habits can be incredibly difficult.”

Having a cigarette may feel like a reward and a way to deal with stress or anxiety. But we all know deep down that smoking causes cancer and a host of other health issues. So it can bring on a whole new level of stress – the stress that comes from knowing we’re doing something that’s bad for us.

It’s a little like eating a big piece of chocolate cake when we know we need to lose weight. It may fill a temporary craving, but we know we needed that piece of cake like we needed another hole in the head.

Bonding through Vaping

I quit drinking two years ago, and with it, gave up the bonding experience I thought I was having with my friends. Of course, it turned out that some of these “friends” were no more than drinking buddies.

Vaping with our women friends gives us that bonding experience we crave.
I also gave up the crutch I thought was helping me cope with the stress in my life from dealing with a bipolar boyfriend, depressed teenaged daughter, and the ups and downs from being self-employed.

It’s very difficult to go from having a crutch such as smoking or drinking to nothing. That’s why vaping is such a Godsend. 

Vaping satisfied my oral cravings, helped me calm down and enjoy something guilt-free (I vape an e-cigarette with no nicotine). And it's become a fun bonding experience with my vaping girlfriends.

I hope it can do the same for you.