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Reports US

US stock market daily report (January 20, 2014, Monday)

January 21, 2014, Tuesday, 05:22 GMT | 00:22 EST | 09:52 IST | 12:22 SGT
Contributed by Millennium Traders


I was a cigarette smoker for a really, really long time. I smoked half a pack of cigarettes a day for many years. Nothing I heard about smoking was ever enough to make me quit. Even seeing family members suffer from cancer, didn't make me quit. I finally realized that if I wanted to quit, I had to really, really want to quit - for me. While I have been around non-smokers for years, I never really knew how bad I smelled, as a smoker -until I quit. Heavy dousing of perfume after every cigarette only covered up the wrenching odor of tobacco. Now that I quit, any close contact with a smoker, is nauseating. Walking by an ashtray sitting outside of restaurants or a store is unbearable. Where ever I am, I scan for people smoking and will go out of my way to avoid going near them. Not because I am concerned that it will change my desire for a cigarette, but because it simply, stinks.
 
Smokers don't realize that when they smoke around family, children and friends - they will smell almost as bad as the smoker does.
 
With the growing trend of electronic cigarettes, public officials are already banning the use in public places. Even though I use e-cigarettes, the banning of certain locations that an e-cigarette can be used, is fine with me. I have the courtesy to not use my e-cigarette in public places and wouldn't even think of doing it out of courtesy for everyone around me.
 
Not to promote any specific non-smoking aids, eGo-T electronic cigarettes and Nicorette lozenges are doing the trick for me. I have absolutely no desire or thoughts of putting those stinky, useless cigarettes in my mouth ever again. I know results are not in on the safety of electronic cigarettes but, I don't stink when I use it and cannot imagine health risks even coming close to those associated with cigarettes.
 
About 50 years ago 42% of Americans smoked. Today that number is at 18% and dropping. Cigarettes today are found to be much more harmful then ever before. Centers for Disease Control estimates that smoking is the biggest cause of premature deaths in the U.S., affecting more than 20 million people. Each year approximately 443,000 Americans die from smoking-related illnesses, per the CDC. Nicotine in cigarettes contains more than 4,000 compounds which causes smoke-related diseases and illnesses. Smokers are fully aware of the dangers of smoking but, most do nothing because they enjoy smoking cigarettes. I enjoyed smoking, until I quit. I now realize it was such a waste of money and again, was just plain nasty.
 
An Internet search for ingredients in cigarettes is alarming. Type in a Google or Yahoo search window for chemicals in cigarettes. It is shocking to realize our government even allows the manufacturing of cigarettes. In 2011, the tobacco industry spent $8.37 billion on cigarette advertising and promotional expenses in the United States alone, and 83.6% ($6.997 billion) of this expenditure was spent on price discounts. From 2000–2004, cigarette smoking was estimated to be responsible for $193 billion in annual health-related economic losses in the United States (nearly $96 billion in direct medical costs and an additional $97 billion in lost productivity). In 2010, the combined profits of the six leading tobacco companies was $35.1 billion, equal to the combined profits of Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and McDonald’s in the same year. 
 
I know nothing anyone tells a smoker is enough to make them quit. I was a smoker and I know this for a fact. Smoking is quickly becoming a 'fad of the past' - a nasty, smelly, dangerous fad. Today, I am proud to say I am not a smoker and have been smoke free for a month. While I know it is a short period of time, I can say from my heart that I will never go back to smelling like an ashtray again.
 
Tobacco companies are getting closer to being required to reveal that they knew and know of the detrimental health effects from smoking. 
 
How many products or items do you use that contain a warning, from the manufacturer that you should not use them?