The built project was funded by the California’s Tobacco Tax Fund (Proposition 99) from 1999-2007, and in that time, developed numerous resources about cessation and prevention of tobacco use by construction and blue collar workers.  Many of these materials are still available in hard copy through the Tobacco Education Clearinghouse of California (TECC):  (search for “union”).

We are pleased to have received funding from Pfizer to update the website and select materials.  Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions.

September 11, 2006

Tobacco Industry
Boosts Addictive Nicotine

Over the past eight years, California building trades unions have become more involved in educating their members about the unique dangers of tobacco. The BUILT program, with a focus on construction workers, is one of hundreds of tobacco tax-funded programs created to educate Californians about tobacco's harmful effects. Even tobacco companies now admit the danger of their products and offer advice for quitting and for talking with youth.

At the same time, tobacco companies have sneakily made their products even more addictive! In 1998, Massachusetts started requiring testing of all tobacco products for nicotine content. A study of these tests from 1998-2004 shows that the amount of addictive nicotine inhaled by the average smoker increased by 10%!

** 92 of 116 brands were in the highest nicotine range including "light" and "ultra-light" brands.

** Newport and Camels had the highest level of inhalable nicotine - 70% higher than the average.

** The brands with the highest rate of increase were those most popular with younger smokers and minority smokers.

Increasing the amount of nicotine is dangerous for smokers because it increases their dependence on tobacco use. "If people are getting accustomed to higher levels of nicotine when they smoke would make it harder for them to quit smoking," said Dr. Nancy Rigotti, director of tobacco research at Massachusetts General Hospital. While claiming to be more "responsible," tobacco companies have tried to make sure smokers become even more addicted to their killer product. Can we trust anything a tobacco company says?

If you are trying to quit you may need more help than ever. You can get free, confidential help by calling the California Smokers Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS.

Source: Boston Globe, August 30, 2006