SMOKING: THE TRUTH UNFILTERED
Teen: I had my first cigarette in eighth grade and I just remember feeling really lightheaded and feeling like I was going to throw up.
Teen: I had my first cigarette when I was in seventh grade.
Teen: We used to just go after school and buy a pack, you know, and just smoke on the corner just so everybody would see us.
Teen: I definitely started smoking because I thought it was cool. It was like the whole image.
Teen: There was definitely a lot of peer pressure, cause you know like, ĎWhy donít you have a cigarette with us?í
Teen: I was doing something that my parents didnít want me to do. It was almost like feeling like a rebel or something, you know.
Teen: Iím like, you know, Iím only going to have a couple of cigarettes and Iíll never get hooked, until it became a pack a day.
Teen: I realized that I had become addicted.
In the Mix Host Andrew: Three thousand teens become regular smokers every day.
Co-Host Tyra Banks: And one out of three of them will die early because of it. Iím Tyra Banks.
Andrew: And Iím Andrew Short from In the Mix.
Tyra: My grandmom started smoking cigarettes when she was thirteen years old and she died of lung cancer at age fifty. And I watched her for months and months as the cancer spread from her lungs all the way to her brain when she, in fact, didnít even know who she was anymore. And ever since that day that she died, I vowed to myself that I would not smoke cigarettes.
Andrew: You always think itís not going to happen to us, or, Iím not going to get addicted, or I can quit any time.
Tyra: Today, weíre going to give you the unfiltered truth about cigarettes and weíre going to let you know how they affect us now, not just in the future. Teens are smoking more now than ever and a lot of itís caused by the images created by the media.
Teen: You see like people in the music videos smoking. You see famous people smoking. Youíre like, oh, you know, theyíre cool.
Tyra: Weíre going to see how tobacco companies target and manipulate teens into getting hooked.
Teen: Theyíre using deceit. Theyíre using trickery. Theyíre making us think that weíre going to be running around having a great time when in fact theyíre making us sick.
Andrew: And weíll also get the facts about addiction and meet up with some kids who are kicking the habit.
Teen: I went through the process of trying to stop and there was no way I could do it on my own.
Teen: Trying to quit is the worst thing Iíve ever had to go through.
Tyra: You know, we all hear about cancer and emphysema. Thereís a lot of other ways that cigarette smoking can harm your health right now. In fact, Andrea has been smoking cigarettes for a while now and today sheís going to find out exactly what theyíre doing to her health.
HARMING YOUR HEALTH NOWÖNOT LATER
Doctor: Hi, how are you?
In the Mix Reporter Andrea: Iíve been smoking a lot more lately. Iím constantly short of breath. If I walk up a flight of steps, I can feel it. Iím panting. It seems like anything these days, a lot of physical activity, makes me tired and hurts my lungs.
Doctor: How long have you been smoking?
Andrea: Three years.
Doctor: How much do you smoke a day?
Andrea: A pack a day.
Doctor: Do you have anyÖdo you bring up any phlegm?
Andrea: Sometimes I cough up phlegm. Sometimes I cough up blood. I feel like I have these sharp pains in my lungs. Or, if I take a really deep breath, it hurts. And you know, I could have smoked one cigarette that day.
Doctor: Your lungs are inflamed from smoking as much as you are. They are partially burned a little bit inside from the heat.
Andrea: Is it like kind of like that smoke burning your lungs?
Doctor: Yeah, the heat irritates them, plus the chemicals thatís in the smoke. Just think, if youíre doing it a pack a day, thatís twenty times a day youíre exposing your lungs to that. Itís a lot.
Andrea: I know.
Dr. William Cahan, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: This is the cancer forming element in smoke. Tar, cigarette tar, resulting from the burning of tobacco. This is my little girlfriend here called Smoky Sue. Smoky Sue will smoke for a while and, after a while, down at the bottom here youíll see the smoke beginning to form. After about two or three cigarettes, the test tube that you see here will become as dark and filled with tar as the one you see here.
Andrea: Iím addicted to nicotine but then I feel like itís that in the tobacco and does the nicotine go into my lungs?
Doctor: Nicotine goes to the brain and itís working as a drug at that point. Itís a very potent drug. Itís not the nicotine that actually causes many of the health problems. Itís smoking. The nicotine basically gets you addicted to the cigarettes.
Andrea: Iím inhaling all this smoke. Where is the smoke going and what is it doing, like at that moment?
Doctor: The smoke breaks down into different chemicals. It goes into your lungs where it causes irritation and causes inflammation. Itís then absorbed from the lungs and basically goes to every part of your body.
Dr. Cahan: This is a healthy lung. This is the lung of a heavy smoker and here you can see how a lung is loaded with tar from smoking many, many cigarettes.
Doctor: Your heart rate is about 88, which is a little bit fast for your age, and that could be caused from smoking.
Andrea: Does your pulse rate go up when youíre actually smoking that cigarette?
Doctor: Yes, yes, and then it can lead to a higher resting pulse. Take a breath. All right, I hear a little bit of mucus. What I also would like to do is called a pulmonary function test on you and this will let me know how well your lungs are moving air. Iím going to ask you take in a very deep breath and blow out as fast and as hard as you can and keep blowing at the end. Okay, go. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. You okay? Andrea, Iím going to print out the results of your test. Why donít you get dressed and Iíll meet you in my office.
Teen: When youíre young, you donít want to think about the effects of cancer or anything.
Teen: I definitely thought that, you know, Iím young now, I can smoke as much as I want. As long as I quite by the time Iím like twenty or something, Iím going to be okay.
Teen: I definitely thought that I didnít have to worry about health problems when I started smoking.
Teen: But then we were running sprints and then I just had to stop and I started throwing up and I think it was definitely because I had been smoking so much.
Teen: Running short distances even, I getÖit takes me about five minutes afterwards to catch my breath.
Teen: You just like have a cough, they say the smokerís wheeze.
Teen: Smoking cigarettes has definitely contributed to making my asthma a lot worse.
Teen: Iím in a band and like when Iím doing vocals or something like that, like I definitely run out of breath like so much more now.
Doctor: Basically, what it shows is that you are having some blockage to air coming out of your lungs. Okay. The mucus is probably doing that and the irritation of the lungs is probably doing that.
Andrea: So how long would you say that it might take you to get hooked on cigarettes if youíre smoking half a pack a day?
Doctor: A few months.
Andrea: Wow. Whatís the difference between smoking light cigarettes and regular cigarettes?
Doctor: Not much.
Doctor: What people do often is they increase the number of cigarettes they smoke to get to a set nicotine level that their body craves. It doesnít Ė No, I donít think it really helps.
Dr. Cahan: One of the great advertising schemes of the tobacco industry, is to use the word "light" to suggest you get less of the elements that cause cancer and so forth, which of course is not true.
Andrea: If I continue smoking the way that I am, what kind of health hazards will I be looking at in the near future?
Doctor: Thereíre a lot. It could develop into something called emphysema, which is irreversible.
Andrea: What is emphysema?
Doctor: Emphysema is a terrible lung condition. Itís really caused by an actual breakdown in the lung tissue.
Pam, Emphysema Sufferer: I started smoking when I was ten because I wanted to look older and I got hooked. Cigarettes gave me asthma and bronchitis but I couldnít quit. I didnít quit until I got emphysema and had a lung removed. I was twenty-four. Iím twenty-six now. The medication, which Iíll take for the rest of my life, left me with this fat face and a hump on my neck. I started smoking to look older and Iím sorry to sayÖit worked.
Doctor: There are the cancer risks of smoking.
Dr. Cahan: Almost without exception, every one of the lung cancers Iíve operated on started smoking when they were a teenager.
Doctor: One of the concerns is when someone is as young as you are, you started three years ago, so that was sixteen, by the time youíre twenty-six, youíre going to have a ten year smoking history. So even at this point in time, after only three years, smoking is having some effect on your body: the coughing that youíre describing, the phlegm, the blood in the sputum thatís coming out, the fact that you get short of breath when you walk up a flight of stairs. The fact that your hands and your feet get very cold means that your blood vessels are being affected. Theyíre being damaged by the cigarette smoke.
Andrea: How long would it take for me to get back to where I was before I started smoking?
Doctor: Initially, when you stop, what happens with the lungs is people start coughing more and a lot of the mucus comes out. And then they start noticing within a month or two or three that they really are feeling much better. Iíd really like you to think about this because, as weíve shown on the testing, you already do have some lung damage, which I hope is reversible because of your age and the length of time youíve been smoking.
Andrew: You know, we hear it all the time, ĎIím not addicted.í Or, Ď I can quit any time I want.í
Tyra: Thereís always going to be another excuse because cigarette smoking can be as addictive as crack, heroin or alcohol.
Andrew: But it is possible to quit. Andrea met up with some teens that are kicking the habit, so check it out.
KICKING THE HABIT
Group Leader: What was your toughest moment in terms of battling this addiction?
Teen: I had kind of a big argument in my house and like I wanted a cigarette so bad.
Teen: Right before my physics final, I was like really stressed. I was going like crazy and I just really wanted to have a cigarette.
Andrea: What made you guys decide to want to start quitting?
Teen: My motivation would probably be my health.
Teen: My band kind of wanted me to stop because like weíd be doing a live show and then Iíd just totally run out of breath on stage.
Teen: Iím on the football team and, you know, I would find myself being out of breath.
Teen: My girlfriend.
Teen: Iím on the basketball team and, you know, itís something that I take very seriously.
Jamie Ostroff, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: Essentially, when youíre addicted to cigarettes, youíve kind of lost control. If Iím so sick that I was home from school for the day, would I still smoke? Do I smoke more in the morning than I do in the afternoon? Would the morning cigarette be the hardest one for me to give up? And, also, is it hard for me to not smoke in places where itís not allowed?
Teen: Cigarettes stop you from doing things you want to do. Sometimes itís hard to go to a long movie because you canít have a cigarette there. And stuff like that just makes you feel like the cigarette is basically, like, owning you.
Teen: Cigarettes sometimes take over my good judgment. Iím going to have a cigarette even though I know the next morning Iím going to be busted by my parents.
Ostroff: One of the first things you need to do is set a quit date. That helps you to get organized and get prepared. If youíre a daily smoker, maybe you want to cut down a cigarette or two a day and youíll find it to be easier to quit and deal with withdrawal symptoms.
Teen: I know on my quit day I went to my friendís house and since his mother was home I justÖthere was no way out.
Teen: I picked a time when I would have little stress, a day when I wouldnít really need a cigarette.
Teen: We decided that on the quit day we were going to hang out together so that, you know, we wouldnít smoke. We could encourage each other.
Teen: I remember the first day after my quit day, one, I was a nervous wreck and, two, I had a quick temper.
Andrea: What are some of the things that you guys do when you want that cigarette but you know you shouldnít have it?
Teen: Chew some gum.
Teen: Always keep candy on you.
Teen: I like to like just lock myself in my room and listen to some music, like really loud.
Teen: Rollerblading would definitely be my release.
Teen: When youíre doing something athletic, like if youíre working out, playing football or basketball or something, it makes you like not want to smoke.
Teen: If Iím on the phone for like an hour, then the urge goes away a little bit.
Ostroff: Itís absolutely true that that urge to smoke will pass whether you smoke or not.
Andrea: How do you guys handle hanging out with your friends and trying to quit?
Teen: One major step to quitting was telling my other friends, who are not smokers, that I was quitting, so then every time I saw them they would feel even more obligated to say something to me.
Teen: If my friends like to shoot pool, and I know Iíll be in a situation where I want to smoke, Iíll be like, ĎNo, letís play football or something.í
Teen: If Tom sees me like, you know, Iím having like three or four cigarettes, sheíll be like, ĎMaybe you should calm down with that.í
Teen: Thereís one person for me and sheís very special to me and she really hates the fact that I smoke and, you know, when Iím around her, I donít smoke at all. And if she knows that I have cigarettes, she takes them away from me. And you know, even though like sheís taking my cigarettes and that bothers me, itís good that she does that.
Andrea: Is it working? I mean, have you guys like cut down?
Teen: I didnít think Iíd be able to like go this whole week without having a cigarette. I did.
Teen: I definitely feel good knowing that, you know, I wanted to smoke but I fought through the urge.
Teen: I was up to at least a pack a day, sometimes up to a pack and a half and right now, Iím at most five, six a day.
Teen: When I used to buy two packs a day, I wouldnít have enough money to eat and I used to be starving myself. Now, Iím able to do pretty much whatever I want and have money for it.
Teen: Iím probably down to less than half a pack a day, which is still not where I want to be but is definitely a lot better than I was before.
Ostroff: Quitting takes practice. The first time you quit, often youíre not prepared. The next time youíre smarter.
Andrea: Whatís the best piece of advice that you could give someone, like myself, who wants to quit smoking?
Teen: Every time you go to light up that cigarette, just think about the reasons you want to quit.
Teen: Whenever I wanted a cigarette, I would always like remind myself of why and just thinking that I could lose like being able to do something I really love just for a cigarette. You just see itís not worth it.
Ostroff: The longer you wait to quit smoking, the harder it will be.
Teen: Get it in your mind that you need to stop and like you canít think that like, oh, well, Iíll just have this cigarette and then Iíll quit after that. You have to like think that you have to do it now and itís not an option for you to smoke.
Teen: If I would have known what I have to do now to quit, I would have never started smoking.
Tyra: You know, itís hard to believe, but tobacco companies spend $5 billion a year to lure us into smoking. Thatís $13 million a day. Theyíre created this image that smoking is cool and that everybody is just doing it so that you should, too.
Andrew: Dylan is getting the inside thoughts from Bill Novelli, an expert in marketing and promotion.
TEENS AS TARGETS: THE IMPACT OF THE MEDIA
In the Mix Reporter Dylan: So how are the tobacco companies getting to us?
Bill Novelli, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: You see a tremendous amount of advertising near schools and playgrounds, in stores and gas stations, on billboards, when they go to a concert, just every place. Also, all those different kinds of things in terms of t-shirts and caps and all the things that kids like to wear. What could be better for the tobacco industry than to watch a kid walk down the street wearing a Marlboro t-shirt? Research shows that that has twice as much effect as peer pressure on kids smoking.
Teen: Stores always have like the big Marlboro signs and if Iím short on cigarettes, it reminds me, all right, I got to go buy a pack.
Teen: Theyíre forcing it down your throat almost to smoke and stuff. And with things like Marlboro Miles, itís like incentive to smoke. So basically youíre paying them to kill you.
Dylan: How is it that you tell if an ad is working?
Novelli: The three products that kids smoke are Marlboro, and they smoke Newport, and they also smoke Camel. And those are the three most heavily advertised brands. So thereís a direct correlation between the amount of marketing and amount of spending and the brands that kids smoke.
Dylan: Tobacco companies have to target teenagers because they are losing customers every day to death, to disease, you know, emphysema, lung cancer.
Teen: So like I want to be like Joe Camel, so Iím going out and smoking. Itís just gives this likeÖthis image of acceptance so then when you do decide to smoke, you think youíre making the choice for yourself but in actuality youíre really not because they put it in your face so much you just really canít escape from it.
Andrew: The tobacco companies arenít stupid. They know where we hang out and they know what kind of stuff we want, like t-shirts and CDs. But hereís a girl who did not let the tobacco companies use her to sell cigarettes.
Leslie Nuchow, Singer/Songwriter: A scout called me at home and identified herself as a scout from Virginia Slims, and she said that they were doing a big promotion and they were searching out the best unsigned women singer/songwriters in the country, and she liked my sound and asked if I would be a part of the promotion. Then the clincher came, when she told me that the only way to get the CD that they were manufacturing would be to buy two packs of Virginia Slims cigarettes. First of all, Iím an ex-smoker and it was really, really hard to quit, and I quit because it affected my singing. Thatís the only reason I quit. I wasnít thinking of my health. I wasnít thinking about the tobacco industry and what theyíre doing. No, it just made my voice suck. I mean, it is clear Virginia Slims is a cigarette company and itís clear itís a womanís cigarette and they wanted to use music to get, you know, underage people to start smoking, although they wouldnít say thatís what theyíre doing. Itís clear to me that itís not a music project. Itís a tobacco project.
Basically, I said no to the offer and felt good about it and right about it, but it didnít feel like enough, and I got the idea to just start the Virginia Slam. What the Slam is about shining a light on what the tobacco industry is doing in the music business. For the first Virginia Slims concert series, we kind of picketed outside. Slam is saying, ĎTobacco industry, we donít want you in the music industry. Get your hands off of us. Do not use music to sell cigarettes to young people.í
Dylan: How do advertising companies advertise for teens?
Novelli: Theyíre interested in a lot of things that the tobacco companies know how to communicate. Theyíre interested in love. Theyíre interested in rebelliousness. Theyíre interested in adventure seeking. Theyíre interested in sex. And these are all parts of these images.
Dylan: Is chewing tobacco actually being marketed the same way as cigarettes.
Novelli: Exactly the same way. The idea is to create an image. Itís often a Western image. And this is not the kind of thing that will kill you when youíre sixty. Itíll kill you a lot younger than that because it causes cancer of the jaw and the tongue. The chewing tobacco companies just Ė we call it spit tobacco Ė they oftentimes do a lot of promoting and advertising at rodeo events, things that make it look like an outdoor, manly sort of thing.
Teen: I think itís media kind of all put together.
Teen: The image of being cool and smoking together, thatís from the movies.
Teen: You see like people in music videos smoking. You see famous people smoking. Youíre like, oh, you know, theyíre cool. And I know itís not true, but then some people might think, oh, you know, maybe if I smoke, I could be like them.
Tyra: Itís a big problem, not just in the movie world but in the fashion business. I read once that 98 percent of models have smoked or do smoke. I, for one, have not smoked and I donít understand why they do it, because smoking yellows your teeth and nails. It makes your skin all sallow and wrinkly and it gives you dull hair. You know, those models out there that do smoke are contributing to this image that, if you do smoke, youíll be beautiful, youíll be popular, and itís totally not true.
Former Model: I started to model when I was a teenager. When I was seventeen, I posed for the Lucky Strike ad and then there was a tobacco executive there that asked me if I smoked and I said, no. Then he said, ĎYou should. Youíre an up and coming model and it would be good for your career to learn how to smoke, to hold a cigarette and puff on one. Thatís when I started, I started to smoke. I was on the cover of Life and Look. I posed for bathing suits and I got hooked. I couldnít stop. And they found I had throat cancer. They had to remove my vocal chords, a laryngectomy. Thatís what they call me now. Iím a laryngectomy. I breathe out of a hole here. [points to a hole at the base of her neck] Itís called a stoma. I cough and sneeze from here. My nose doesnít work. I got more cancer from smoking. They took out a third of my right lung. If I thought that I would get cancer, I certainly wouldnít have smoked. You donít have to be smoking for twenty or thirty years. Iíve met laryngectomies that were in college. Smoking is not beautiful and people are starting to find out.
Dylan: What are some of the other images that are being created these days?
Novelli: [holding up a Camel print ad] The slogan here is, ĎWhat youíre looking for?í Now, this is a young woman. Are you looking for the woman or the Camel thatís shown in her hand? [holding up a Kool print ad] This is Kool. Kool has not been nearly as good at marketing to kids, but theyíve got this new campaign called, ĎB Kool.í And theyíve got a lot of really good-looking women in the campaign. I think theyíre trying to attract young men and boys. [holding up a Winston print ad] And this one is particularly outrageous and itís this ĎNo Bullí campaign. And the idea here is that itís got no additives in it. Itís all natural. It doesnít matter whether the additives are natural or artificial or theyíre from Mars. Cigarettes kill people and so this is a campaign thatís just a total fraud.
Patrick Reynolds in PSA: Know whatís in cigarettes? No, because the last thing that the tobacco companies want is for you to know how many poisonous chemicals there are in cigarettes. So they just donít tell you. Not on the pack. Not in their ads. Iím Patrick Reynolds, the grandson of R.J. Reynolds. My familyís name is printed on the side of seven billion packs of cigarettes every year. Why am I telling you this? Because I want my family to be on the right side for a change.
Dylan: So are these executive tobacco like men like sitting up in their office actually plotting how to get teens hooked onto cigarettes?
Novelli: Well, right now, I think theyíre sitting up in their offices and theyíre quaking in their boots because a lot of documents, secret documents, have come out recently showing that they have been researching kids, targeting kids, and theyíve also been marketing to kids. And now that these documents are out, these people are in really hot water. All the kids have to say is, ĎIím not going to fall for this crap any more. Iím not going to give my money to the tobacco industry.í
Teen: My friends and I donít smoke any more. I think itís kind of out of spite because I know that theyíre targeting me and I know they want me and my friends to smoke. So now when I donít do it, itís like I donít want to give them the satisfaction of addicting another customer.
Novelli: A lot of kids are fighting back. Theyíre working with their friends, theyíre lobbying school boards and theyíre going to the city council and getting billboards taken away from their schools.
Gary de Seza: [speaking to New York City Council] Good afternoon, Mayor Guiliani and other distinguished officials. My name is Gary de Seza and Iím representing thirty-eight high school students of the SHOCK coalition. SHOCK stands for Saving the Health of our Community and Kids.
Teen: Tobacco companies are waving cigarettes under childrenís noses every time a child sees a camel lighting a cigarette or passes a candy store glamorizing the Marlboro Man.
Teen: We subconsciously connect and associate cigarette smoking with coolness, happiness and friends.
Teen: In the tobacco advertisements, everybodyís young. Everybodyís having fun. Everybody is looking their best.
Teen: Theyíre using deceit. Theyíre using trickery. Theyíre making us think that weíre going to be running around having a great time when, in fact, theyíre making us sick.
Teen: And also they know that like our years are a time when thereís a lot of low self esteem problems, that people are just like having confusion, so they try to like reel us in when they know weíre at our most vulnerable.
Teen: Bill 951A is about making sure that billboards that advertise cigarettes are not allowed within a thousand feet around a school.
Teen: It angers me that the tobacco companies are using us. Like theyíre seeking out young people and then theyíre kind of using us, taking our money, exploiting us, ruining our health, and then kicking us to the wayside.
Teen: This is about us, so it seems logical that we should have a say in what goes on about it.
Teen: This hearing, we really got a chance to speak for ourselves.
Teen: One of the things that we presented to the mayor was a list of letters that the fifth and sixth graders had written in support of it. Mayor Guiliani was so attentive and he ended up voting yes.
Teen: It really shows that we have power even though weíre not adults.
Waitress: [serving snacks and smoothies to Tyra and Andrew] Here you go, guys.
Tyra: Thanks, Iím hungry. You know, it may seem like everybody smokes, but they donít. I mean, I donít, and two out of three high school seniors donít do it.
Andrew: And instead of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, which adds up to about eighty bucks a month, or a thousand dollars a year, use it for something cool, like CDs or something.
Tyra: And itís never too late to stop smoking, even if you think you canít. So if you want more information about how to stop smoking, you can call these toll free numbers 1-800-CDC-1311, or, 1-800-662-HELP.
Andrew: And weíd like to hear what you have to say about smoking or anything else. So write to us at In the Mix, 114 East 32nd Street, New York, New York 10016. You can also get more info on the In the Mix website, so sign on to www.pbs.org, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tyra: I had a great time hanging out with you, Andrew.
Andrew: All right. Letís eat.
Tyra: Iím hungry. Oh, you just took mine. All right.
Andrew: Thatís really good. Thatís really good.
This In the Mix special was made possible by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Thanks a lot, guys.
[end of program]