In It For Health

Where health and psychology intersect

Posts Tagged ‘smoking’

R-rated movies make teens smoke!

Posted by Dr. Susan on December 8, 2010

A new study shows a connection, in teens, between cigarette smoking and R-rated movies. The study shows that teens who watch R-rated movies are more likely to smoke cigarettes. In fact, when parents restricted 10-14 year olds completely from R-rated movies, their risk of starting to smoke dropped two to three-fold.

There are a couple of reason for the connection…first because movies glamorize smoking, making it look ‘cool’, and second because kids that are exposed to R-movies become more interested in seeking new and different ‘sensations, including smoking (in addition to everything they see in the R-movies).

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Workplace wellness works!

Posted by Dr. Susan on September 3, 2009

Research is now showing that companies that utilize wellness programs can save anywhere fromf $3 to $15 for every $1 they spend on wellness! In addition, aside from savings and productivity, great wellness programs will attract better employees and increase morale. Important factors in a great program include targeting: smoking cessation, stress reduction, nutrition, early detection/weight management, workplace safety and disease management.

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A recession maybe, but not when it comes to cheap sweets!

Posted by Dr. Susan on March 26, 2009

Since the crash of the market, there’s been an uptick in purchases of inexpensive candy and cheap chocolates! This great NY Times article, explains that even as we wallow in the demise of life as we knew it, we continue to soothe ourselves with instant gratification!

Despite the fact that we know eating too much junk food is not good for our health,  we still associate sweets with helping ourselves feel better and we’re suckers (no pun intended!) for the feeling that we had when we were innocent kids at the corner candy shop and all was right with the world.

So as we get fatter (again!) while we lose all our money, yet another corporate entity–the candy makers–are raking in the bucks. Let’s not let that happen!!! A little good-quality chocolate once in a while is great for stress reduction (it increases your feel-good neurotransmitters), but please don’t sacrifice your health for a quick sugar fix all the time!

Instead, when you’re feeling a little down, take a walk, talk to a friend, write in a journal, ask your kid to tell you some funny knock-knock jokes. All of these will lift your spirits just as well…maybe better…than candy, and without the negative side effects.

Also, when you’re stressed, don’t jump to other negative habits. Smoking, drinking, drugs–you know the drill. Over-eating is on that list too.

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REALLY underage drinking…

Posted by Dr. Susan on October 25, 2008

Some parents have come to accept that their child will experiment with alcohol–and even perhaps drugs–in college, or even the upper high school grades. They hope that it won’t be serious, but they are realistic in recognizing that very few teens abstain completely.  However, this powerful and important study demonstrates that kids who drink or use drugs before they are fifteen-years old, are at much higher risk for substance dependence, sexually transmitted diseases, dropping out of school or acquiring criminal records in adulthood. Also, please note that a full fifty-percent of these kids had NO prior behavior problems!

The take home message: drinking or drugs and teens not a good combination. Be clear about your message of disapproval. Research clearly shows that parents who give their kids a clear message that they will not tolerate drinking or drugs are more likely to have kids that don’t use–especially at a younger age.

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A twist on teens who smoke

Posted by Dr. Susan on May 12, 2008

I just read this study which gives parents yet another headache to worry about–but an important one, worthy of concern and particularly worthy of discussing with your teenager. It finds that there is an increase in college students who smoke hookahs–you know water pipes–Alice in Wonderland style–for some people, perhaps otherwise known as water bongs. The tobacco passes through flavored water. Hookah bars are cropping up all over major (and even smaller) cities, further adding a ‘coolness’ factor to the activity, not to mention somehow making it seem okay. But the truth–that most teens (and many adults) don’t realize–is that hookah smoking is NO SAFER than smoking tobacco in any other form. It’s just as harmful to your body despite seeming more natural and  somehow ‘filtered’.

Another important bit of info–lots of high school kids are also taking up hookah smoking–in fact, I’d say the many start in high school and continue in college. So, while the article discussed here talks about interventions with college students, I’m much more concerned about parents finding out how their high schoolers are spending their weekends. I know many who hang out at hookah bars, getting hooked on tobacco. Schools should be including it in drug ed. programs and parents should be talking about it at the family dinner table along with all the cigarettes, alcohol and drugs.

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depression is dangerous!

Posted by Dr. Susan on March 5, 2008

A new study shows that depressed and anxious people are more likely to be obese, and to smoke and drink heavily. I hope they didn’t spend a lot of money on this study because I, and any good clinician could have told them this years ago! What particularly infuriates me about this research is that it declares that given this data we should now pay attention to depression and anxiety in a whole new light. You mean before this did these researchers really think that those treating depressed people weren’t helping them with related issues like emotional eating, alcoholism and other addictions. Research like this is a waste of time and money in my opinion and perhaps these scientists need to get into the real world for at least a short while.

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mixed messages

Posted by Dr. Susan on February 20, 2008

President’s week in the northeast U.S. is a time to flee if you can–it’s freezing! So this week I’m happy to say, my husband, kids and I have headed south to a warmer climate, blue skies and even bluer waters. One of my favorite parts of vacation is people watching. How about the father, meticulously spraying his, let’s say 10-year old, with #50 sunscreen, right down to the toes, while simultaneously blowing secondhand smoke in the child’s face from the big ‘ole cigar that he was clutching in his free hand–the new spray sunblock makes it conveniently easy to do both at once! How’s that for a mixed message…I’ll make sure you avoid getting one type of cancer while giving you another. Parenting can be complicated…

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