It’s Time for Holiday Treats - Not Toxics
From candy canes to cookies, the Holidays are full of sweets. Chocolate, hard candies, pie and fruitcake are as common as lights and candles. So much sugar may make us begin to worry about our weight and our health. But there is an even unhealthier way we are exposed to sugar - the smoke of burning tobacco.
Tobacco has a high natural sugar content and more sugar is added in processing tobacco. The sugars promote tobacco use by smoothing out the harsh taste and impact of tobacco. The sweet taste and smell of the sugars comfort those who smoke - especially younger smokers.
Whether from a cigarette, a premium cigar or a pipe, the burning sugars in tobacco become toxic chemicals. In fact, when we handle these toxics on the job we need to take special precautions, such as using an OSHA-approved respirator. Here are just a few:
Ø Acetaldehyde: A suspected carcinogen used in glues and resins, it increases the absorption of other toxics into the bronchial tubes.
Ø Acetone: Used in solvents, long term exposure can cause liver and kidney damage.
Ø Acrolein: extremely toxic, it is used in synthetic resins.
Ø Formaldehyde: part of the resin used in particleboard, fiberboard, plywood, and insulation it causes nasal cancer and can damage the lungs skin and digestive system.
Holiday sweets offer a safer sugar rush than holiday smokes! If you still smoke or have a loved one who does, quitting is a great New Year's resolution. And it is easier with help.
For free, confidential counseling, call the - California Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS (1-800-662-8887)
Source: "Food and Chemical Toxicology," Volume 44, Issue 11, November 2006, pgs. 1789-1798