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Study: A Few Cigarettes Can Hook You For Life
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Scientists have confirmed a suspicion held by some smokers but never proven: It could take just a few cigarettes to become addicted. Some 12 and 13 year-olds showed evidence of addiction within days of their first cigarette, according to research reported this week in the British Medical Association journal Tobacco control.
"There’s been a suspicion that many people become addicted very quickly, but this is really
the first hard evidence that we’ve had that this occurs , ’ said Dr. Richard Hurt, director of the Nicotine Dependency Unit at the Mayo Clinic.
Experts have tried for years to determine how long people have to smoke before becoming addicted, and "the best answer to date had been 1-2 years," said Hurt, who was not involved in the study. He said the findings will help scientists better understand the biology of nicotine addiction and lend more plausibility to the idea that some people may be more genetically susceptible to it than others.
The study, conducted by scientists at the University of Massachusetts in 1998, followed 681 12 to 13 year-olds in central Massachusetts for a year and tracked their smoking habits. The researchers did not label any of them addicted because the standard definition of nicotine dependence assumes addiction cannot happen without prolonged heavy smoking. These include cravings, needing more to get This teen says she’s tied to quit smoking 8 times the same buzz, withdrawal symptoms when not smoking, feeling addicted to tobacco and loss of control over the number of cigarettes smoked or the duration of smoking.
Ninety-five of the youths said they had started smoking occasionally at least one cigarette a month during the study. The scientists found that 60, or 63 percent, had one or more symptoms of addiction. A quarter of those with symptoms got them within two weeks of starting to smoke and several said their symptoms began within a few days.
Deistic Teens- Researchers with the National Study of Youth and Religion have concluded American teens believe in a combination of works based righteousness, religion as psychological well-being, and a distant, non-interfering god. With no place for sin, judgment, salvation, or Christ; their creed is a far cry from Christianity. The study found they believe: • A god exists who created the world and watches over human life. • God wants people to be nice to each other. • The central goal of life is to be happy and feel good about oneself. • God does not need to be involved in one’s life except when needed to resolve a problem.• Good people go to heaven when they die. (World 6/25/05)
What Happened To Sunday School? New Barna Group research has identified several significant changes affecting children’s programs: (1) A declining percentage of pastors viewing Sunday School as their top priority. (2) Fewer churches offering Sunday School for children under age 6 or for junior high or high schoolers. (3) More customization of curriculum by churches. (4) Fewer churches offering VBS. (5) A decline in midweek programming for children. Yet, every weekend more than 300,000 churches offer some type of systematic religious instruction in a classroom setting attended by nearly 45 million adults and 22 million youth and children. “The changes facing Sunday School seem to be more about the form—not the function—of Sunday School,” says Barna VP David Kinnaman. It seems churches are moving toward a ‘label-less’ future, e.g. summertime programs, but not necessarily VBS, and Christian education, but not necessarily Sunday School. The most significant part of the changing landscape, however, is the new identity being carved out by Buster pastors and those relatively new in ministry. Although many Buster pastors currently deploy Sunday School programs, they seem open to new methods and approaches and less driven by tradition or program loyalty. Many Buster pastors possess a means-to-an-end perspective about Sunday School and VBS, which suggests the churches they lead, will be more apt to adopt innovations in spiritual training. (Barna Online 7/11/05)
"YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A JESUS."
It is truly heartwarming to know that millions of people around the world believe in Santa. Sure, most are under four feet tall, but still it’s amazing that so many believe in the big guy in the red suit. Consider the following:
Around the globe, today, live approximately two billion children (persons under 18). Santa doesn’t visit all of them, of course. Subtracting the number of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, or Buddhist children reduces Santa’s Christmas Eve workload to 15 percent of the total, or 378 million children (according to the Population Reference Bureau). At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, and presuming that there is at least one good child in each home, Santa must visit about 108 million homes.
Santa has about 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 967.7 visits per second. That means that at each household with a good child, Santa has around 1/1000th of a second to park the sleigh, hop out, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left for him, and get back up the chimney, jump into the sleigh, and get on to the next house.
For the purposes of our calculations, we will assume that each of these 108 million stops is evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false). We’re talking about a trip of 0.78 miles per household; a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting bathroom stops or breaks. To cover that ground in 31 hours, Santa’s sleigh moves at 650 miles per second--3,000 times the speed of sound. By comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second, and a conventional reindeer can run (at best) 15 miles per hour.
The payload of the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized Lego set (two pounds), the sleigh must carry over 500 thousand tons, not counting Santa himself. On land, a conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. In air, even granting that the "flying" reindeer could pull 10 times the normal amount, the job can’t be done with a mere eight or nine of them—Santa would need 360,000 of them. This increases the payload, not counting the weight of the sleigh, another 54,000 tons, or roughly seven times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth (the ship, not the monarch).
Six hundred thousand tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance—this would heat up the reindeer in the same fashion as a spacecraft reentering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they would burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them and creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team would be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second, or right about the time Santa reached the fifth house on his trip.
Not that it matters, however, since Santa, as a result of accelerating from a dead stop to 650 miles per second in .001 seconds, would be subje...
I conducted a personal survey for an evangelism course in seminary, examining the ways people come to faith in Christ. The single most influence in leading people to Christ? By far, it was the parents. Behind parents came pastors, youth pastors, Sunday School teachers, adults of the church. The influence of the adult members of the church upon our youth cannot be over-emphasized. In the Methodist church, we even have it built into our baptismal rituals. Each time a baby or young child is baptized, we all commit together once again to take an active part in their nurture and spiritual growth.
Have you ever thought seriously about your influence upon others? What would be your highs and lows?
GENERATON GAP DANGER
In America adolescence is taken for granted, but until recently, the idea of adolescence was unknown in many parts of the world, says Cynthia B. Lloyd, author of Growing Up Global, a National Research Council and Institute of Medicine report. International demographers are worrying about economic, cultural, and political implications of a population boom among the world's youth. Currently, the total population of 10- to 24-year-olds is estimated at 1.5 billion, of which 86% live in developing countries. The growth is most rapid in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. Previously, young people tended to move directly from childhood to adulthood. Spurred by improved health care, the onset of puberty is also declining for young people - from about 15 to 12 years of age. This along with economic and technological gains, has affected cultural practices tied to puberty and delayed employment, marriage, and childbearing while increasing time spent in school. Researchers suggest the possibility of a critical and potentially dangerous global generation gap as their political and economic expectations rise. Nearly half of all unemployment in the world is among young people. (Bend Weekly 1/5/07)
Divorce Cost Us All Each year about 1.2 million couples divorce in the U.S., costing taxpayers an estimated $30 billion in federal and state expenditures. Each divorce costs society $25,000 to $30,000 because of the increased costs of helping people with housing, food stamps, bankruptcies, problems with youth and other related expenses. Annually $6 billion is lost by business due to lost of productivity stemming from marriage and relationship difficulties. (Marriagecommission.com 3/07)
HUNGRY FOR PEACE
Much, if not most, of the social turmoil of our culture is due to a hunger for peace, which is sought for in all the wrong places. According to Ronald Hutchcraft, the Director of Youth for Christ in New York and New Jersey, in the next thirty minutes-
57 kids will run away from home.
29 children will attempt suicide.
22 girls under 19 years of age will receive an abortion.
14 teenage girls will give birth to an illegitimate baby.
685 teens will use some form of narcotic.
There were 17.3 million U.S. college undergraduates in 2004 vs. just 8.6 million in 1970. (Foster letter 3/25/07)
Bible Buyers don’t buy on impulse, but 88% know before shopping they want to buy a Bible. They spend an average of 21 minutes making a Bible purchase, and 61% buy them as gifts. The two top Bible gifting occasions are ceremonial events (32%) such as graduation, birthday, wedding, etc., and life passage events (17%) or life stage transition (e.g. youth to adult). The average buyer spends $33 per Bible or $44 each if buying multiple copies. (Aspiring Retail 3/07)