Superstar DJ, Bob Sinclar and grand slam tennis champion, Victoria Azarenka lead a list of celebrities joining forces with the European Commission to celebrate the inaugural Day of the Ex-Smoker.
Cyprus joined this celebration for the Day of the Ex-Smoker by organizing a an informative event in the old part of the capital Nicosia with celebrity chef Athina Loizidou and radio producer Tasos Tryfonos. Loizidou created delicious delicacies enticing the public to quit smoking because by not smoking you can augment your sense of taste.
Whilst commenting Loizidou mentioned: “I am very happy that people have been sensitized to this serious matter. Taste is something that is directly affected by smoking and by quitting you can see a major difference. That is what we are trying to transmit: love yourself and respect others around you by quitting smoking.”
Tryfonos whilst wearing a high tech T-shirt that displayed photos of ex-smokers from all over Europe mentions: “today we say congratulations – we say bravo to anyone who has managed to free themselves from smoking. Who doesn’t want to be Unstoppable!”
Yesterday, events took place in all EU countries to mark the first ever Day of the Ex-Smoker, an initiative of the “Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable” campaign, and the first health awareness day to celebrate the achievements of ex-smokers everywhere. By making role models of all ex-smokers, including the 400,000 people who have signed up to quit smoking with free online tool, iCoach, it is hoped that thousands more will be inspired to kick the habit.
Sinclar and Azarenka join a host of other celebrities from around Europe to applaud those who have won one of life’s toughest battles - quitting smoking. The European Lung Foundation (www.europeanlung.org), Education for Health, (www.educationforhealth.org) and other health organisations, charities and leading employers are also joining in the celebrations. It is hoped that the Day of the Ex-Smoker will show those still struggling with tobacco, that the life of the ex-smoker is something worth striving for.
Speaking at a public event, at Parc du Cinquantenaire, Brussels; European Commissioner for Health, Tonio Borg said: “Congratulations to all ex-smokers! Ex-smokers are heroes for fighting and winning against addiction to cigarettes, and a source of inspiration to others. I am pleased that many people are embracing a life free of tobacco and I very much hope that this will indeed inspire many more people to follow.”
The public event was especially for ex-smokers who were in Brussels and got the chance to meet world renowned DJ, Bob Sinclar who, to celebrate the Day of the Ex-Smoker, has donated 1,000 free downloads of his new song, “Summer Moonlight”. Speaking at the event, he explained that getting involved with the campaign was down to his appreciation for the benefits of a smoke free environment after working for years in clubs. He said:
“Now that smoking is banned in most clubs the environment is so much better for the crowd and for me – I can see better, my clothes don’t smell and I know my health isn’t suffering from 2nd hand smoke.
“Ex-smokers have more money, better health, a better quality of life...and they certainly smell better. When you quit you’re making a conscious decision to choose life, to choose your own success. That’s why we’re celebrating today.”
Launched in 2011, “Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable” is an EC flagship campaign, aimed at reversing the annual toll of 700,000 preventable deaths linked to tobacco across the EU. Aimed specifically at the 28 million EU smokers aged from 25 to 34, “Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable” uniquely shifts the focus away from reiterating the dangers of smoking and highlights the benefits of quitting. The campaign’s science-based, free health tool, is available in 22 EU languages.
The Day of the Ex-Smoker follows another recent innovation of the campaign, ‘Quit Smoking With Barca’, the European Commission's partnership with international football club, FC Barcelona. This program is currently supporting more than 70,000 people quit smoking
As the ‘Day of the Ex-Smoker’ events continued across Europe, it is hoped that a new tradition has been formed: that of congratulating ex-smokers and celebrating health.
Abu Dhabi: For Moataz Ahmad, it had started much the same way as most other people. A desire to feel included among peers at the age of 16 years led him to take the first puff on a cigarette.
“It wasn’t even pleasant, and I felt dizzy and nauseated. But as a young teenager, you want to prove that you can handle it, and it feels as if smoking makes you an adult,” the now 31-year-old financial counsellor told Gulf News on Thursday. Monte Carlo cigarettes.
Although Ahmad refrained from buying his first pack of cigarettes for months, within a year he was addicted.
But Ahmad’s story is also different. He has quit the habit, and is determined to stay the course.“I have been smoke-free for about two months now, and it is a challenge to myself that I do not go back to smoking again.
“Besides, I know how difficult it was for me and how sick I felt when I was smoking,” he said.
It definitely wasn’t easy for Ahmad, whose father was a heavy smoker. In fact, just last year, Ahmad was smoking about a pack of cigarettes a day.
Use of tobacco in flavors like Dreamsicle and chocolate mint may be a growing problem among teenagers, according to a Centers for Disease Control report.
More than two out of every five middle- and high-school students who smoke report using flavored little cigars or flavored cigarettes, according to the report. And the bigger concern may be that the majority of the kids who smoke the flavored cigars -- some 60% -- say they don't plan to quit anytime soon (compared to 49% of all cigar smokers).
Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States.
The report was the CDC's first attempt to measure flavored little cigar and flavored cigarette use among kids. The data come from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
"Historically what we know from other studies is that flavors can mask the harshness and taste of tobacco, particularly for a new person who has not smoked regularly and finds it difficult to handle," said the CDC's Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the Office on Smoking and Health. "Flavoring makes it easier to use and more appealing to youth."
Cigars have become increasingly popular in the last couple of decades. Sales were up 240% from 1997 to 2007, according to the CDC. Flavored cigars account for 80% of those sales.
The problem is, studies show, kids' experimentation with tobacco often turns into a lifelong habit. Some 88% of adults who smoke say they started smoking by the age of 18, according to the CDC.
Tobacco use overall among kids has declined over the past few decades. Some 18% of high school students said they smoked one or more cigarettes in the previous month, and 13.1% said they smoked cigars, according to 2011 data.
"Things were looking and have been looking good in terms of the decline in youth smoking," McAfee said. "So we are particularly worried about little cigar use not declining."
In 2009, President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act banning the sale of flavored cigarettes. The law did not, however, ban flavored cigars.
The little cigars are really "kissing cousins" to cigarettes, McAfee said, and they resemble cigarettes when sold in a pack. They are similar in size and shape and have filters like cigarettes.
The difference is little cigars are wrapped in leaf tobacco or another tobacco product. Cigarettes are wrapped in paper or some other non-tobacco substance.
Little cigars may have already been more attractive to kids -- they are often taxed at a lower rate than cigarettes, which makes them more affordable. And unlike cigarettes, they can be sold individually.
"This allows kids to get little cigars for pocket change," McAfee said. "You can go into a convenience store and buy some variation on little cigars for under a dollar." Cafe Creme cigars.
Concerned about this issue, Rep. Harry Waxman, D-California, and the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration in 2012 asking the FDA to stop tobacco companies from "exploiting loopholes and continuing to addict youth."
Waxman's letter cited internal documents from tobacco companies that showed the companies were specifically trying to develop and market new products the letter characterized as taking "advantage of tax and regulatory loopholes."
A memo from National Tobacco mentioned in the Waxman letter describes adding "six explosive fruit flavors" including "Apple Blitz" and "Purple Thunder" to Zig Zag cigar wraps.
The Waxman letter warns "tobacco companies are succeeding in developing a new market by selling flavored cigars to young smokers."