Peanuts and Popcorn

Peanuts and Popcorn

News Flash: Smoking Kills

posted by jtotey
Photo: CVS/Pharmacy

Photo: CVS/Pharmacy

With the age of 50 near the horizon, I look back on my life and take note that not once was I told that smoking was good for me. I remember my father struggling to quit smoking, the slides of black lungs the nurses brought to our school classrooms to show us the dangers of smoking and the “bad kids” who would smoke on outside of the corner grocery store who no doubt sold the gang the cancer sticks. In my lifetime I saw the disappearance of cigarette TV commercials, magazine ads and billboards and the reverse rise of anti-smoking TV commercials, magazine ads and billboards. I’ve seen tobacco companies defend for years on how smoking was not harmful to our health only to become the biggest spenders of anti-smoking advertising. (The new 2014 “TRUTH” anti-smoking campaign is paid through fees charged by the FDA under a 2009 law that gave the agency authority over the tobacco industry.)

David Millar, David McLean and Eric Lawson, all “Marlboro Man” actors, have died due to cigarettes, and in a sense, their employer. Miller died of emphysema in 1987, McLean died of lung cancer in 1995 and just last Thursday, January 30, 2014 Lawson died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In August of 1996, Target department stores made headlines announcing that the chain would no longer sell tobacco products in their stores. Today, CVS/Pharmacy has announced that more than of its 7,600 stores will be doing the same by October 1st of this year. This is a move to be truly praised and if I had a CVS store in my area, I would begin to show my solidary to the chain by not shopping at the other drug stores.

In almost 50 years of my life, I never understood how pharmacies, stores that are meant to be a symbol of health, would sell cigarettes and tobacco products to begin with. Yes, the easy answer is, “for money,” but it seems to me that if just one of them had done so, they could have made a larger statement about how they are “all about health.” Many stores currently sell their products to help those to stop smoking right beside the things that are making them sick in the first place. Having a drug store selling cigarettes is like seeing your doctor on a smoke break. The two just doesn’t make sense. Any child of the ‘70’s knew this then and any child today knows this now.

Yes, we live in America and we all have a right to smoke if we want to blah, blah, blah. While I do not believe that we should outlaw smoking, I don’t believe that a facility that stands for health should offer unhealthy wares. Just because we “can” doesn’t mean that we “should.” I think that businesses that place their profits as a higher priority than moralities are wrong.

I applaud CVS and today’s statement: “The sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose – helping people on their path to better health. As the delivery of health care evolves with an emphasis on better health outcomes, reducing chronic disease and controlling costs, CVS Caremark is playing an expanded role through our 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners. By removing tobacco products from our retail shelves, we will better serve our patients, clients and health care providers while positioning CVS Caremark for future growth as a health care company. Cigarettes and tobacco products have no place in a setting where health care is delivered. This is the right thing to do.”

Meanwhile, Walgreens, who have been “Innovating For More Than 100 Years At The Corner of Happy & Healthy” are claiming to “continue to evaluate” the selling of cigarettes. No word from Rite Aid who believe in “wellness empowerment.”

Watch ‘Jerusalem’ the Movie Then Take a the Challenge to Win a Trip There

posted by jtotey

JerChallYou’re smart, opinionated and have great ideas. Why not share them with the world? By entering The Jerusalem Challenge, you’ll have the opportunity to win a trip to Jerusalem and $2,500 to be toward your goal.

In celebration of new IMAX film, Jerusalem, National Geographic Entertainment and the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University (CFHU) have teamed together to create The Jerusalem Challenge. “The Jerusalem Challenge shares National Geographic’s mission to build awareness and understanding between people of different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs,” said Lisa Truitt, president of National Geographic Entertainment. “The competition will encourage the discussion and give several lucky fans the opportunity to discover the distinctive sites featured in our Jerusalem film firsthand, and explore why the Old City is so unique and beloved.”

Jerusalem_205x305From now until March 2, 2014, you can enter the contest by answering this question: “What ideas do you have or what are you already doing to make the world a better place by bringing people together from different cultures, backgrounds, or beliefs?” Ten finalists will be unveiled on March 24, 2014, when the public will be tasked to vote for the top two winners, each of whom will win $2500 and a trip for two to Jerusalem hosted by National Geographic and the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  The winner in the 15-years old and under category will also be gifted a one-year subscription to National Geographic Magazine and a one-year membership to their local museum and IMAX® theater, as well as a trip for two to Jerusalem provided by Nat Geo Expeditions.

In addition, everyone can test their Jerusalem knowledge by answering a variety of trivia questions about Jerusalem every week for the opportunity to win prizes, including National Geographic film collections and magazine subscriptions, cookbooks and film posters. Everyone who answers the trivia questions will be entered into a weekly drawing, with winners chosen randomly every Monday.

Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch (PBS’ Sherlock, Star Trek into Darkness), Jerusalem focuses on the positive aspects of the city with upbeat music. It is “hosted” by three young women which gives the film a contemporary feel rather than a dull history lesson. The incredibly clear photography will make you feel like you are really there and you might be surprised by what you can learn within the 45 minute film. It is currently playing at many IMAX theaters across the country. To find the theater closest to you, visit jerusalemthemovie.com.

Mandisa, Tye Tribbett and Tasha Cobbs Win at Grammys

posted by jtotey

Mandisa1

After being nominated three times for a Grammy, last night it finally happened for Mandisa during the 56th Grammy Awards. Mandisa took home two Grammys for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album and song, “Overcomer.” Mandisa’s other Grammy nominations were for 2008, 2010 and 2012 for her first three studio albums, True Beauty, Freedom and What If We Were Real. It’s been a big and busy year for Mandisa as she has had numerous appearances on Good Morning America and is currently touring with TobyMac. She was not alone.

Tye1Gospel singer Tye Tribbet won for Best Gospel Album (“Greater Than” live), and Best Gospel Song (“If He Did It Before…Same God”). This was extra special for the singer as the awards were given out on his 38th birthday. This is in addition to the recent Stellar Awards where he walked away with the award for Male Vocalist of the Year.

 

Tasha1Finally, Gospel Singer Tasha Cobbs is a triple threat winning at all three of the award shows. Last night she won for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance of “Break Every Chain.” At the Dove Awards, she also won for best Gospel Performance along with awards for Best Contemporary Gospel/Urban Song and Best Contemporary Gospel/Urban Album. Finally, Tasha won two awards at the Stellar Awards for New Artist of the Year and Contemporary Female of the Year.

Lifetime to Present ‘The Gabby Douglas Story’

posted by jtotey

The-Gabby-Douglas-Story-1-Gabby-DouglasTo celebrate Black History Month and the upcoming winter Olympics, the Lifetime Channel will be presenting The Gabby Douglas Story during the first week of February. If you recall, Douglas was the winner of the Team Gold and Women’s Gymnastics Olympic All-Around Title during the 2012 Summer Olympics. In fact, she is the only African American to receive the All-Around title and she is the only female to receive both titles.

The inspirational movie will start when Douglas was only eight competing in gymnastics for the first time, follow her through the numerous state championships, how she left her family to train with renowned coach Liang Chow and end during the 2012 Games.

The Gabby Douglas Story stars Regina King, S. Epatha Merkerson, Imani Hakim, Sydney Mikayla and Gabby Douglas herself. It will air on Lifetime Saturday, February 1 at 8 p.m., February 2 at 12:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., and February 3 at 1:00 a.m.

In addition, two discussion guides have been created for viewers and their families, youth groups, etc. One is based on education and the other is a faith-based themed guide. They both can be downloaded for free at the Lifetime website.

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