Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Teen smoking rate “greatly diminished after 20″

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

A new study conducted by The Institute of Truly-Great Science reveals the rate of teen smoking drops off dramatically after age 20.

“This study is a watershed in the fight against teen smoking,” said  TITS scientist Dr. Rusty Meyers.  “It’s likely this data will lead to major revisions in anti-smoking literature.”

The data, which includes surveys from 420 middle schools, high schools, and post secondary schools, flies in the face of conventional wisdom–namely the belief that teen smoking continues into adulthood.

“When we looked at the numbers, we were stunned,” said Myers.  “It turns out that after teen smokers turn 20, their participation in teen smoking goes from 22 percent to 0; it basically stops.”

According to Myers, that means the U.S. Department of Education is wasting 100s of millions of dollars in anti-smoking pamphlets at post secondary institutions across the nation.  “The data says it all–once they’re in their 20s, these kids are no longer teen smokers,” he said.

Myers thinks the study has wider implications as well.

“Extrapolating on that, it seems that teen smoking isn’t habit forming,” he said.  “That means we’re wasting even more money educating kids about an activity that’s essentially limited to seven years of their lives.”

Smokers go native, lawmakers on warpath

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

When President Barack Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in June 2009, many thought the final nail had been hammered into the coffin of public smoking.   No one suspected a group of crafty smokers would find a loop hole in the law, go native, and inadvertently revive the nearly extinct Native American practice of pipe making.

At the center of this story is 23DPED, a controversial provision in the bill stating “no person shall use tobacco products within three feet of any person, including themselves.”  After a group of tobacco enthusiasts calling themselves Smokescreen was arrested in a park last June for smoking within three feet of themselves, they got to thinking.

“We got to thinking,” says Billy Blacklunge, a founding member of Smokescreen.  “After about four meetings and five failed public protests, we decided to actually read the bill–that’s when we came across 23DPED.”

Smokescreen members and others believe the bill allows smokers to use devices that place the burning tobacco at least three feet away from the user and others.  The group contacted the North American Native Indigenous Peoples Indian American Artisans or (NANIPIAA) and asks if they knew anyone who could design pipes for their members.

“We figured, hey these guys used to smoke long pipes, so maybe they know how to make them,” says Blacklunge.  The NANIPIAA put them in contact with Giorgio Long-Stem, the last of the Lakota pipe makers.

“Our pipes, they’re very long,” says Long-Stem, who’s been crafting pipes for over 40 years.  Due to the diminished role of smoking in Lakota ceremonies, public castigation, and legal restriction, Long-Stem has had a rough time finding an outlet for his skills.

“When Smokescreen got in touch with me, I was just literally about to hang myself,” says Long-Stem.  “I figured my craft was dead and that I was as a grieving widow, a shadow left with no place in this new world.”  But Smokescreen’s orders reinvigorated his business and gave him a reason to live.

“They breathed new life into me,” says Long-Stem.  “Now that my people’s pipes are catching on, I’ve taken on three apprentices and still can’t keep up with orders.”

Long-Stem’s designs have spread all over North America and lead to numerous knockoffs and several high end designer models.  In order to keep his own pipes distinct and instantly recognizable, he applied for a trademark and now engraves each model with the words “Freedom Pipe.”

Chanunpa, the word my people use for this pipe, is too narrow a convention for this,” says Long-Stem.  “We smokers are in this together now.  We are the new tribe and the Freedom Pipe is the symbol of our solidarity.”

The government is none too happy and is set to fight back against smokers.  Today President Obama issued a statement condemning Smokescreen and Long-Stem’s efforts and has threatened legal action.

“I have extreme reservations about these groups and their attempts to undermine the rule of the land,” he says.  “I understand these new laws are vague, and Lord knows, everything I sign my name on doesn’t get into particulars, but the practices of these groups are a mockery of the law and in clear violation of it.”

The State has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Smokescreen and Long-Stem and seeks to impound their assets.

But their lawyer has a different opinion.

“23DPED–it’s all there in black and white just waiting to be read,” says Sandra Shystern, who took on the case this afternoon.  “The governments’s lawsuit against Smokescreen is nothing but a smokescreen.  Their anti-smoker and anti-NANIPIAA agenda has been clear for quite some time.”

Ex-’Floyd member claims pre-knowledge of swine flu

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

32 years–that’s how long we’ve had to prepare for the swine flu, according to ex-Pink Floyd bassist Rodger Waters.  “When we put out Animals in 1977, I insisted on the flying pig avatar for concerts.  That pig was the warning,” he intimated in a press conference earlier today.  “People really seemed to enjoy the music and the pig, so I assumed the message was clear.”

Waters claims the lyrics to songs on Animals reinforce the imagery of the avian swine.  “Look at the lyrics to ‘Pigs on the Wing 1′:  If you didn’t care what happened to me/And I didn’t care for you/We would zigzag our way through the boredom and pain/occasionally glancing up through the rain/wondering which of the buggers to blame/and watching for pigs on the wing.”  He went on to hum the guitar solo.  “Have you got it, yet?  Don’t you see the meaning?” asked Waters.  “It rains in April, farmers bugger farm animals, and pigs on a wing are flying pigs–that means they flu!”  Waters went on to play his entire catalog of songs for the press conference over the course of several hours before taking more questions.

“I’m an artist and as such I’m ahead of the curve.  I know these things are going to happen,” said Waters.  “I tried to warn everyone, but apparently most people just don’t understand symbolism.”

Makers of 28 Days Later birth control company sue Fox over title of movie franchise

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Kithgan, makers of the popular 28 Days Later birth control pill are suing FOX subsidiary Searchlight Pictures over rights to the name “28 Days Later.”  FOX Searchlight Pictures released a popular horror/science fiction film in 2002 under a name which Kithgan claims infringes on it’s copyright secured in 1984.

“It’s our right to chose how our name is used and FOX should respect that choice,” said Kithgan spokeswoman Latoya Wright.  “A bloody barren future is not an image we want associated with Kithgan brand birth control.”  Ms. Wright declined to comment on the details of the suit.

“I wish they quiet being such a pill,” said FOX spokeswoman Jeff Wong.  “They have brand recognition in their corner of the market, we have it in ours.”  He added “They’ve threatened to sue us every month, just like clockwork–they just need to eat a pint or two of Chunky Monkey and calm down.”

As for the timing of the lawsuit, Ms. Wright had this to say:  “We were expecting a check in the mail, but it never came.  At first we thought it was late, but after a couple of weeks we knew something was dreadfully wrong and that we needed to take action.”

  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • -->