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WWL>Topics>>11-20 9:10am Tommy, 21 years old to smoke?

11-20 9:10am Tommy, 21 years old to smoke?

Nov 20, 2013|

Tommy talks to Dr. Michael Steinberg, the Director of the Tobacco Dependence Program at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, about raising the legal age to smoke

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Right now we continue our conversation about. The legal age to buy cigarettes should it be raised its when he won and would it have any impact on. Young people's smoking and didn't -- so there's smokers for a long long time. 53% understand yes according to our full 47 prisoners and no. Don't raised its when he won Michael Steinberg joins us -- director of the tobacco dependence program. At Rutgers university New Brunswick morning Michael good morning thank you very much happening on patients a doctor Michael Steinberg. Tell me what the tobacco dependence program does it Rutgers. Well we've got a program here does a few things number one we offer face to face treatment to help people who want to stop smoking. With that without attempt Temares the great American smoke out which is a day where. Our people are asked to try to stop smoking just for one day. And we -- this is a good time to get the word out that there's treatment available for people whether it's safe to take treatment or telephone quick lines. For people really ticket take the chance take give up just this horrible behavior. How come. Effective is that the national smoke out day I've always wondered about that because I've heard smokers make fun of it that they're gonna smoke twice as much -- thing -- -- -- you do and assert yourself you know relational and anybody any thing from. DN any empirical data on that. Yeah I think I think just just. That data raised the awareness of how important it is to stop smoking and health issues and that it's you know sometimes people feel that. They could never make it a whole day without smoking and just to make it. You don't need a few hours and -- that you can do that it -- some confidence -- most people are just are scared to make an attempt clintons they've -- many many years without. Being successful in quitting and I think they just can't do it. And what I can talent as we work with people and each and every day we see people successfully quit smoking where they've been smoking for one year or for fifteen years. In terms of bomb it you're raising needs to buy a pack of cigarettes from eighteen point one we have a caller earlier not a lot of text that said. What you're old enough serve the country welding year old enough to buy cigarettes and and my take on that was -- maybe we need to. Look at whether or not you old enough to serve the country at eighteen. Com that's not your department but tell me what the numbers show in terms of when kids start smoking and how to get the cigarettes. How quickly you become hooked in how much of a problem isn't and in terms of prevention if they don't start smoking early what does that mean -- Later in life. Yes I mean there's some very important point to make it here number one I think the magnitude of how important. Tobacco use it in our country. In one year more people die from tobacco use and. The number American's total who died during World War II. So in my mind if I can do something to prevent casualties in America of World War II occurring each and every year. It's something that's really important to deal so it's -- just puts things in context. The other thing people don't realize is how addictive tobacco is when you think about it you'd. The young people art time anyone experiment with things whether it's behaviors -- substances. Alcohol tobacco. And if you think about the read a lending your rolls on the middle school with their parents cigarettes it's there's three of them back they're experimenting. -- so addictive that one of those really are gonna become lifelong smokers just because. -- experiment with cigarettes and become addicted to them it's it's tobacco it's one of the most addictive substances. In our society. And these kids they're going to be getting starting to smoke thinking. I'm gonna be looking for the next fifty years they think also smoked for now while -- high school and then I'll quit whenever I want to they don't realize how addictive it is and that's why. Raising the age -- engaged as a couple very important things number one. Young people that the brain -- adolescent brain is much more sensitive effects of nicotine's a nicotine's effect. Although on 15161718. Year old is gonna be much different than nicotine's effect on twenty to 25 girls so that's number one. Number two. Most people if there if there are you know 181920s. They buy their cigarettes the -- younger kids. Who are fourteen and 1590%. Of its cigarette today again are from the eighteen and nineteen year old. So by raising the tobacco elevate it aegis sale you're actually reducing the cigarettes that are available for the young kids to start experimenting. What would you really -- and and the reason -- -- looking at the economic principle if supply and demand of the nineteen year old or not there. To provide cigarettes to the younger kids are. Is somebody else gonna step in and and take over that niche in the market place. Well they might buy it but you can imagine just thinking about how how it would growing up. Yeah a fourteen year old. Having access to a 25 year old just doesn't happen as common as fourteen year old hanging out with eighteen year old it's just. Part of our social networks like think -- I think they're not of these policies are going to be a 100% effective. But every little bit we can do to reduce the normalization. Of smoking to reduce the social acceptability of smoking. And to reduce the exposure of young people to tobacco smoke. Is gonna chip away at -- after a million people dying each and every. Here I guess it goes convenience and availability if there's not a nineteen year old to give it to the eleven year old and it's going to be harder for the eleven year old to get so ultimately you'll get. Less -- smoking again. Exactly exactly and and clinical practice guidelines from the US -- rental service task force just came out the test here. And one of the things that -- in terms of reducing young people from initiating smoking is to reduce access and and the two biggest place we can do that is. Increase the price of cigarettes -- young people are the most sensitive to price. And number two is to increase the age of -- that's why we we would support policy like has been implemented in in New York City. So when it comes to use those 311 year olds behind. Garage where it is with them -- family cigarettes and just wondering one out of three no wanna become lifelong smokers to the other -- -- does -- does is it not addicted to them. Well all of -- we are all different in terms of how sensitive our brains to tobacco. So it just so happened that some people are more sensitive than others so not everybody who ever smokes a cigarette. Becomes two -- date smoker. But you never know if you're gonna be one of those people so. I can tell you that none of those three kids think they're going to be smoking when they're fifty years old. But -- statistics are. One of them is gonna be smoking and fifty years old now the other two they've made smoker you know when we inhale smoke it's not a very pleasant thing to their brains aren't. And if they inhale smoke they -- for another ten minutes and they say that this problem never gonna do that again but the one kid who is sensitive. The air and it their brains in the effected and there could become a long terms. Smoker have never smoked so how long does it take created to get acclimated to where it's not an unpleasant sensation. Yet doesn't take very long at all I mean that the brain that the effect of tobacco and nicotine on the brain is extremely powerful we have we have. People come to our program who have given up. Alcohol alcoholism. Heroin addiction cocaine addiction and they can't get rid of their cigarettes because cigarettes in the most addictive. Substance to our in our society so so it doesn't take long at all for people become addicted. Very quickly. I'm sorry this is collection and plead ignorance will what does -- do the brain -- feeling. Yeah I mean win when people smoke nicotine in in in most people nicotine it's kind of the stimulants -- you feel more alert you may have improved concentration. But what happens eventually after a short period of time it's not so much the beneficial effect you get it. You need to smoke to keep yourself from going to withdraw an absolute cravings and urges you have and if you go it our two without a cigarette. You start climbing the walls wanting one and that's really what drives people back to smoking when they're trying to -- it's not so much -- that feeling again after a short while. They have to keep smoking to prevent. That negative feelings. From not smoke so that's the worst part. I die I did before relate to go I presume it's never too late to quit. Absolutely that the health benefits start almost immediately within the first few minutes. And they continued for years on the road so it's you're never too young girl to quit. You're never too sick you're never too healthy. All things are good and the other the last thing on planet that these laws are actually not too. You make it illegal to buy cigarettes on. It's illegal to sell cigarettes to people at least -- so we're not we're not blaming the victim here it's it's just be illegal for people to sell cigarettes. -- folks on the -- items and it's not appreciate your time thank you so much they care.

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