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Study: Significant decline in pack-a-day smokers

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Between 1965 and 2007, the number of people with a pack-a-day habit significantly declined, as did the number of people who smoked 10 or more cigarettes a day, according to a study in the March 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

During this period, California consistently has led the United States in using public policies to reduce cigarette smoking. There were faster declines in smoking prevalence in California, compared with the remaining United States, as well as in lung cancer rates, according to background information in the article.

"The intensity of smoking [i.e., the number of cigarettes smoked per day], not just prevalence, is associated with future health consequences," noted lead author John Pierce of the University of California San Diego.

The researchers found that in 1965, the prevalence of high intensity (20 or more cigarettes per day) of smoking among California adults did not differ from the remaining United States; prevalence of high-intensity smoking in California was 23.2%, compared with 22.9% in the remaining United States. These smokers represented 56% of all smokers. By 2007, this prevalence was 2.6%, or 23% of smokers in California, and 7.2%, or 40% of smokers in the remaining United States.

The population prevalence of moderate-intensity smoking (10 or more cigarettes per day) in 1965 was 11.1% in California and 10.5% in the remaining United States; in 2007, the prevalence in California was 3.4%, compared with 5.4% in the remaining United States.

The researchers suggested that one of the reasons why the decline in moderate-intensity smoking has been greater in California than in the remaining United States is its comprehensive tobacco control programs.

The authors noted that, as expected, the large decline in the prevalence of pack-a-day smoking has been reflected in declines in lung cancer deaths in California and the United States.

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QVC goes Irish for St. Patrick’s Day showcase

BY Allison Cerra

WEST CHESTER, Pa. — St. Patrick’s Day is here, and QVC has kicked off its celebration with 24 hours of Irish programming that will feature an extensive assortment of authentic Irish goods, many of which were created especially for QVC.

During the event, which began at midnight EST on March 17, QVC will offer jewelry, fashion, home decor and other products from Ireland-based brands. The world-renowned singing group Celtic Thunder also is scheduled to perform several times throughout the broadcast, the company reported.

This year, the lineup of new products is scheduled to include the first-ever three-set perfume sampler from international fragrance house Fragrances of Ireland, as well as pieces from Belleek that are exclusive to QVC. New merchandise from Boyne Valley Weavers, Tipperary Crystal, Waterford, Bewley’s Tea and Coffee Co., and Connemara Marble, to name a few, also are scheduled to launch during QVC’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.

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Walgreens makes donations to Japan earthquake victims

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday donated $150,000 to the American Red Cross in response to the earthquake that struck Japan last week. The company also will match employee donations up to $100,000.

"Our employees have expressed their desire to lend assistance and support to those who’ve lost so much in this catastrophe," stated Chuck Greener, Walgreens VP corporate affairs and communications. "Though many miles away, our hearts go out to those who have been affected by this disaster, and we’re doing what we can to help the Red Cross reach those who need it most. We’re sending our dollars and we’re sending our thoughts and prayers to everyone touched by this tragedy."

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Pepsomgroup says:
Mar-17-2011 12:38 pm

As a Japanese-American manufacturer in the Walgreens Supplier Diversity program (co-founder of the Pepsom Group), we are deeply appreciative of the Walgreens donation to the American Red Cross. The people of Japan have been blindsided by these devastating events. As we all watch this disaster unfold, the feeling of sorrow and helplessness can be overwhelming. Walgreens donation helps to remind all of us that compassion and generosity is the way to recovery, in both tangible and intangible ways. We want to thank Walgreens for their leadership in donating to the American Red Cross to help Japan recover from this tragedy, and also thank everyone else, including other retailers that help the people in Japan at this time of great need. WIth gratitude, Miya Haag V.P. The Pepsom Group, Inc. http://www.pepsom.com

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