Seneca Leaders Call on President Obama to Protect Rights of Native Americans

CATTARAUGUS TERRITORY, – The Seneca Nation of Indians today denounced the U.S. House of Representatives approval of the PACT (Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking) Act as a blatant attack on Native American Treaty Rights.
If signed into law by President Obama, the PACT Act will bar Native American tobacco businesses from using the U.S. Postal Service for shipment of their products. Loss of that critical distribution channel will cripple the Seneca tobacco industry and result in the loss of more than 1,000 native and non-native jobs.
“This is a sucker punch to our federal treaty rights,” said Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder Sr. “This is a direct assault on our economy and our people. And it will have a devastating ripple effect on the Western New York economy.”
Snyder said it is now up to President Obama to “do the right thing” and veto the PACT Act when it reaches his desk.
“During his 2008 presidential campaign Obama promised to go beyond a government-to-government relationship with Native Americans to create a nation-to-nation relationship. In November we met with him as the first step in that effort. Now we call on him to honor his pledge by protecting our treaties,” Snyder said. “We are looking to the president for true leadership in our battle to maintain federal treaty rights.”
The Seneca have maintained that the PACT Act, which has been promoted as an anti-smoking measure aimed at keeping cigarettes out of the hands of under-age smokers, is really a push by big tobacco companies to squeeze out Native American competition and protect market share.
The Seneca Nation maintains the measure, which has attracted strong support and lobbying efforts from mainstream tobacco corporations, led by Philip Morris, is an overt attempt by big cigarette corporations to simply stomp out any market competition.
“Let’s call this what it is…a victory for Philip Morris and other global tobacco companies to wipe out competition anyway they can. They put 40,000 cases of cigarettes into the hands of minors every year, that’s more cigarettes than we sell in a year. This isn’t a victory for health and anti-smoking efforts,” Snyder said.
Snyder, General Counsel Robert Odawi Porter, Councillors JC Seneca and Brad John traveled to Washington, D.C. today for a final round of in-person lobbying before the House vote.
Meetings with Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) and Chris Lee (R-Clarence) proved nonproductive, with both congressmen voting in favor of the measure.
“It is difficult to comprehend how our elected officials can vote for something that will kill more than 1,000 jobs. It’s extremely disappointing,” Snyder said.
JC Seneca, Co-Chairman of its Foreign Relations Committee (FRC), said the PACT Act’s economic impact will be widespread.
“If this becomes law, more than 1,000 people will lose their jobs, those workers’ families will have less money to spend at businesses both on and off the reservation,” Seneca said. “This attempt by Congress to return us to the days of want, squalor and dependency will not succeed. We’ll find ways to weather this economic storm and keep fighting for our future.”
In addition to wiping out more than 1,000 Western New York jobs, an end to U.S. Post Office shipments of Native American tobacco to phone and online purchasers, will result in significant revenue losses to the Postal Service. Seneca tobacco sellers estimate they spend more than $250 million a year to mail their products to buyers.
“It’s ironic that the federal government is willing to forego more than a quarter of a billion dollars in revenues when the Postal Service is closing post offices and cutting service because of financial problems,” Seneca said.
Seneca tobacco shipments dominate business at several small post offices on and close to the Seneca Cattaraugus and Allegany Territories, including offices in Irving, Silver Creek, Versailles and Lawtons.
Richard Nephew, Seneca Council Chairman and Co-Chairman of the FRC, said the House vote marks a “win for big tobacco and sad day for Native Americans.”
“Big tobacco is losing ground to cheaper brands sold in Indian County and now all the states have the ability to regulate the competition out of existence. We call on President Obama, who was adopted by the Crow Nation as “Black Eagle,” to consult with Native Nation leaders as he reviews this legislation,” Nephew said.
The Nation’s Foreign Relations Committee (FRC) has focused considerable attention Tobacco trade is a key component of the Seneca Nation economy. The Nation estimates enforcement of the PACT Act could result in up to a 65 percent loss in Import/Export revenue which it uses to fund health and education programs.
The Nation has a state-of-the-art stamping and enforcement mechanism that ensures compliance with a rigorous set of internal regulations, including retailer authorization, minimum pricing and a ban on sale to minors. The Nation works in close partnership with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Enforcement (ATF).
SOURCE The Seneca Nation of Indians

U.S. Youth Likely To Face Greater Health Issues

Americans are not only getting fatter, but they’re still smoking and they’re not exercising enough. Every few years the federal government releases the findings of its survey of health behaviors among U.S. adults. This year’s report covers 2005 to 2007 — and it’s not really good news.
“Stubborn” is how Charlotte Schoenborn describes the health habits of U.S. adults. Schoenborn is a statistician with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which oversees and analyzes the collection of information on U.S. health behaviors.
“It’s amazing how hard it is to change these personal health behaviors,” despite enormous resources and education efforts to encourage more healthy behaviors, she says.
Slight Decline In Smoking And Binge Drinking
One in five adult Americans still smokes. This is only a slight decline since the late 1990s, when 23 percent of adults smoked. Additionally, binge drinking — drinking more than five drinks in one sitting — is also on the decline. However, 61 percent of adults report they are current drinkers.
White men and women drink the most, and Asian-Americans drink the least. Among those who drink, the biggest drinkers are people who have higher incomes and more education.
“People with more education are more likely to drink. I mean it’s that simple,” says Schoenborn. The study finds that 74 percent of adults with a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree say they are current drinkers. Schoenborn says this doesn’t mean these are binge drinkers at all.
Obesity Remains A Serious Problem
When it comes to exercise and weight, education also makes a difference. The more educated people are, the more likely they are to exercise and maintain a healthy weight. Even so, two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.
And many doctors say such unhealthful behaviors are more distressing among children. Pediatrician Amy Porter runs a weight management program for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. She says this may be the first generation of children who may not live as long as their parents.
Porter points to what used to be considered “adult diseases,” like diabetes and high blood pressure, which are now being seen in obese kids. She says she sees teenagers who have knee and joint problems so severe they need to consult orthopedists. And sleep apnea, which is often a symptom of obesity, is also showing up in record numbers among kids.
Would An Anti-Obesity Campaign Work Like Anti-Smoking?
Porter says these problems are cumulative and take their toll as children grow into adulthood. Previous research has shown that overweight children are likely to become overweight teens and overweight adults, which is why Porter wants to see a major cultural shift, a sort of “in your face” anti-obesity campaign, similar to what happened with smoking decades ago. Even though smoking has not decreased dramatically over the past decade, it has decreased enormously since the 1960s when the first anti-smoking public health campaigns began.
And the best news is among teenagers. University of Michigan social psychologist Lloyd Johnston runs an ongoing study that tracks the behavior of children between the ages of 13 and 18. He says that in 1996, 21 percent of eighth-graders were smoking. By 2009, that had dropped by nearly 70 percent, down to 6.5 percent currently smoking.
Johnston says the change was driven in part by prices and taxes on cigarettes. But he also points to successful public health messages that convinced kids that smoking was dangerous, not glamorous. “Today, we see three-quarters of teens say that they would prefer to date somebody that doesn’t smoke. So, what used to be suggested as increasing your attractiveness to the opposite gender, today does exactly the opposite.”
Doctors like Porter hope to see similar success with campaigns against obesity. Recent studies do indicate a plateau in the obesity epidemic, but not among the heaviest of young boys, who are only getting heavier.
March 16, 2010,

Women, Men and Smoking

Over the past few decades, the smoking behaviour of men and women has become more and more similar. Until the 1960’s smoking was the province of men, with a smaller number of women choosing to smoke. But two opposing forces have changed the gender balance of smoking aggressive promotion of cigarettes to women and large numbers of men responding to quit smoking campaigns.
The tobacco industry tied its products to the concept of women’s equality, independence, beauty and weight control in the early and mid-20th That approach did not stop with the Virginia brand of cigarettes ads of the 1960s and 1970s, and it did not stop with the increasing limitations on the industry’s ability to market in the late part of the century.
In 2007, R.J. Reynolds launched a new brand aimed at women and marketed with an air of Sex and the City-style glamour. Camel No. 9s (the name echoes Chanel’s numbered fragrances) are packaged in shiny boxes with pink and teal decorations. Slogans include “Light and Luscious” and “Now Available in Stiletto” for “the Most Fashion-Forward Woman.” Free samples were given out at “launch parties” at nightclubs across the country, often with free massages and gift bags. According to Camel representative Cressida Lozano, Camel No. 9s were developed for women who said they liked Camel’s “irreverence” and “authenticity,” but didn’t feel Camel products were “meant for them.” In truth, Reynolds had realized only 30 percent of its customers were female and wanted to improve its bottom line by reaching women.
Not to be outdone, Philip Morris USA unveiled yet another makeover of Virginia Slims (the 11th) in 2008, with new “purse packs”: small, rectangular cigarette packs containing“Superslim” cigarettes. The purse packs resemble cosmetics packages and fit easily into small purses. The cigarettes are available in “Superslims Lights” and “Superslims Ultra Lights”—the terms “slim” and “light” as well as the design of the cigarettes themselves continuing the tobacco industry’s history of associating smoking with weight control.
Another thing these campaigns for women all have in common: they downplay or avoid the impact of tobacco on women’s health. And it’s not just women who are targeted. Despite being ostensibly “for adults,” the marketing—with its associations of glamour, freedom and sexual attractiveness—has great appeal for girls who are also seeking to be attractive, mature, independent and thin.

In a world that was becoming increasingly complex and frustrating for the ordinary man, the cowboy represented the antithesis – a man whose environment was simplistic and relatively pressure-free. He was his own man in a world he owned.
— Jack Landry, Marlboro brand manager, 2002

Two words: Marlboro Man. Could there be a more iconic representation of what a strong and masculine man desires to be? After five decades, Marlboro brand remains one of the most valuable and well-known consumer product brands in the world.
For decades, tobacco advertising for men has depicted them as powerful, adventurous, rugged and independent. “Marlboro Country” became synonymous with masculinity, and the iconic images created for the brand depicted an idealized western frontier—pure Americana. Even during the 1950s and 1960s, when American culture was becoming more complicated, the Marlboro brand appealed to American sensibilities and the desire for freedom and simplicity in an increasingly urbanized society.
The Marlboro Man has come and gone, but tobacco ads that target men still use many of the same messages— playing to their desires to be strong and masculine, successful and athletic. Men continue to dominate tobacco consumption, smoking more and using more smokeless tobacco than do women in all demographic groups.
Tobacco marketing also seeks to create an impression among male consumers that tobacco products make them sexually attractive to women. Perhaps the most notable examples come from smokeless tobacco manufacturers, which are not bound by the same marketing restrictions as cigarette makers and which frequently use sexually provocative images in their advertising. A 2008 promotion campaign for Skoal—whose slogan is “Welcome to the Brotherhood”— partnered with Playboy magazine, giving participants the chance to vote for one of 12 Skoal models who would be featured in a pictorial.
The promotion was intended not just to appeal to existing smokeless customers but also to lure new ones who had previously used cigarettes.
Health effects of smoking are generally similar for men and women. While more men than women are dying currently dying from smoking related disease, this will change as the women who took up smoking in larger numbers from the 1970’s contract tobacco related diseases.
For example, lung cancer deaths in men are declining, due to reductions in male smoking prevalence over the last 30+ years, while they are increasing in women. It is likely that this sort of change will be evident for most smoking related disease in the future. This includes heart disease and stroke and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
There have also been some studies that have suggested that women may be more susceptible to lung cancer than men.
Reproductive system
It is in diseases of the reproductive system where gender differences in the effects of smoking are most evident.
Smoking is linked with impotence. Studies have shown that cigarette smokers are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction (impotence) than non-smokers. For example, in a study of 4,462 US Army veterans the prevalence of impotence was 2.2% among never smokers, 2.0% among ex-smokers and 3.7% among smokers. Smoking can reduce blood flow to the penis, because of cholesterol deposits and blood clots.
Smoking is linked with reduced sperm quality and fertility problems. Research has shown that smokers have lower sperm counts and lower quality semen than non-smokers. One recent study found that in men undergoing fertility investigation, smokers had poorer sperm density, a lower percentage of motile sperm, and a lower percentage of normal sperm morphology.
Warning: Smoking causes male impotence.
Impotence and smoking
Smoking is linked with menstrual symptoms. An Australian study has shown that women who smoke are more likely to have premenstrual tension, irregular periods, heavy periods and severe period pain than their non-smoking peers.
Smoking is linked with early menopause in women. Women who smoke have menopause 1 – 4 years earlier than non-smokers. Recent research suggests that they are also more likely to experience menopausal hot flushes.
Smoking is linked with greater difficulty in conceiving among women. Women who smoke have decreased fertility – due to either delayed conception (a lower probability of conception per menstrual cycle) or infertility (failure to conceive after 12 months).
Smoking is linked with increased risks during and immediately after pregnancy. During pregnancy, smoking is linked with miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, placenta previa, and premature rupture of the membranes. Most of these risks increase with the number of cigarettes smoked. Babies born to smoking mothers are at increased risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight (including small for gestational age), both associated with short and long-term health problems. These babies are also more likely to be stillborn, or die during the first weeks after birth. Smoking during and after pregnancy also considerably increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Smoking is linked with osteoporosis in women. Smoking is linked with increased risk of hip fractures. Smokers have also been shown to have lower bone density than the non-smokers.
Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved.