Posts Tagged ‘Tobacco’

Kids and the Choking Game

April 16, 2012

A dull, dormant life can not be fully responsible for the rise of the infamous “choking game” played largely amongst kids, but it surely must be a contributing factor. The constrictive and restrictive nature of school, regulations, non-active lifestyles and anti-socialised extra-curricula activities must be factored into the increased popularity of this dangerous game.

Although the choking game is not new, very little research has been done to investigate how often it happens or which kids are more likely to try it. But the new study published today in the journal Pediatrics gives a snapshot of who is engaging in this risky activity.

Researchers surveyed nearly 5,400 Oregon eighth graders, and 6.1 percent reported playing the choking game at least once in their lives. Among those who had played, 64 percent had played more than once and 27 percent had done it more than five times. Boys and girls were equally likely to have participated.

The researchers found that kids who participated in the game commonly engaged in other risky health behaviors. About 16 percent of boys and 13 percent of girls who reported using alcohol, tobacco or marijuana on the health survey also reported playing the choking game. Girls who reported being sexually active were four times as likely to participate in the choking game as those who had never had sex.

Robert Nystrom, adolescent health manager at the Oregon Public Health Division and one of the study’s authors, said it’s significant that kids who play the choking game are also experimenting with alcohol, drugs and sex.

“Risk-taking is a part of normal adolescent development. The fact that a lot of adolescents are participating in these behaviors shouldn’t surprise us,” Nystrom said. “What we want to do is prevent it.”

Nystrom noted that the choking game is different from autoerotic asphyxiation, where the goal of near-strangulation is sexual gratification. In the choking game, kids simply seek the rush that comes from passing out.

Before adults become hysterical about this growing trend, I ask them to consider the life of a standard teenager and reflect on what we can do to help them appreciate the real thrills that life has to offer.

Big Tobacco Funding Primary Schools

September 23, 2011

In today’s age, knowing what we know about the risks of smoking, how is it possible that tobacco companies have access to schools?  As important as it is to take into account cultural differences, China has no excuse in allowing tobacco companies to make their pitch to impressionable young children.  The cost of a quality education is not worth it if it comes with lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema.

MORE than 100 primary schools in China are sponsored by tobacco companies in a move described by anti-smoking campaigners as hunting for the next generation of smokers.

The schools often have the names of Chinese cigarette brands, such as Zhongnanhai or Liqun, over their gates and in some cases have promotional slogans in the playground.

”Talent comes from hard work – Tobacco helps you become talented,” says one slogan, in foot-high gilt letters, on the front of the Sichuan Tobacco Hope Primary School.

Tobacco helps you become talented?  No China, tobacco helps you die well and truly before your time!
Unfortunately, the message is successfully getting through to China’s underage demographic:
There are 16 million smokers under the age of 15 in China, 6.3 per cent of the youth population, according to the Chinese government.

For a country that is reknown for its strict regulations, it is mistifying that there is no regulations prohibiting tobacco from parading their brands in schools.

%d bloggers like this: