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Smoking Cessation Blog

Many Smokers Try to Quit After Cancer Diagnosis

Posted 12 hours ago by

MONDAY, April 20, 2015 – Cancer survivors are about 50 percent more likely to quit smoking two years after their diagnosis than smokers without cancer, a new study found. While the finding buttresses the theory that a cancer diagnosis can be a "teachable moment" to promote smoking cessation, the study also revealed that a such diagnosis isn't enough to get many smokers to quit. Almost 70 percent of study participants were smoking at least two years after their diagnosis, and 57 percent were still smoking four years after being diagnosed with cancer. "This speaks to the difficulty of quitting an addiction," said study lead author J. Lee Westmaas, director of Tobacco Control Research at the American Cancer Society's Behavioral Research Center. "We also know there's evidence that cancer patients who have smoked are not followed up to see if they have quit smoking and are often not ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Smoking, Smoking Cessation

E-Cigarettes May Not Help Smokers Quit Tobacco, Study Finds

Posted 5 days ago by

THURSDAY, April 16, 2015 – While some proponents of "vaping" claim that smokers who try e-cigarettes may use them as a bridge to quitting smoking, a new study finds that the opposite may true. The study, published April 16 in the American Journal of Public Health, found that smokers who used e-cigarettes were less likely to quit regular cigarettes than those who hadn't tried the devices. A team led by Dr. Wael Al-Delaimy, chief of the division of global public health at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, followed 1,000 California smokers for one year. The researchers found that smokers who said they had ever used e-cigarettes were about half as likely to cut down on their smoking and 59 percent less likely to quit, compared to those who never used e-cigarettes. "Based on the idea that smokers use e-cigarettes to quit smoking, we hypothesized that smokers who ... Read more

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E-Cigarette Use Triples Among U.S. Teens in 1 Year

Posted 5 days ago by

THURSDAY, April 16, 2015 – E-cigarettes are booming among U.S. teens, with nearly 2.5 million middle and high school students now choosing to "vape" rather than smoke traditional cigarettes or indulge in other forms of tobacco, federal health officials reported Thursday. E-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014, making the nicotine-delivery devices the most popular tobacco product now used by American teens, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey. This is the first time e-cigs have surpassed in teen popularity every other tobacco product, a trend that CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden called "deeply alarming." "We're seeing a striking increase. It's very concerning," Frieden said during a media briefing. "It more than counterbalances the decrease in cigarette smoking which we've ... Read more

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Weight-Control Myths Keep Many U.S. Women Smoking

Posted 8 days ago by

MONDAY, April 13, 2015 – American women who believe smoking helps control weight are less likely than other female smokers to try quitting in response to higher cigarette prices and anti-smoking messages, a new study finds. "We found that concerns about weight are a significant barrier to quitting among U.K. smokers and U.S. female smokers who believe smoking helps them manage weight," lead author Ce Shang, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in a university news release. Researchers analyzed data from about 10,000 smokers in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom who took part in surveys conducted between 2002 and 2007. A 10 percent increase in cigarette prices was associated with a 6 percent rise in attempts to quit among female smokers in the United States who did not believe that smoking helps control weight. But no significant increase in attempts ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Smoking, Weight Loss, Smoking Cessation

Young Adults Respond to Graphic Cigarette Warnings

Posted 12 days ago by

THURSDAY, April 9, 2015 – Graphic images increase the impact that cigarette warning labels have on young adults in the United States, a new study says. The study included smokers and non-smokers, ages 18-25, who took part in a nationwide survey that asked how much they learned about the dangers of smoking from cigarette warning labels. Increasing the awareness of the "true consequences" of smoking may not only encourage people to quit or even never start smoking, "but may actually drive the emotional experience of the label, which we know is an important predictor of motivation," said study author Renee Magnan, an assistant professor of psychology at Washington State University Vancouver. The labels used in the study emphasized smoking-related dangers such as lung cancer, heart disease and stroke, impotence, eye disease, and head, neck, throat and mouth cancers. Some were text-only ... Read more

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CDC Launches New Round of Graphic Anti-Smoking Ads

Posted 26 Mar 2015 by

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 – U.S. health officials on Thursday released a new round of graphic anti-smoking ads featuring former smokers living with the ravages of tobacco. The new ads highlight the benefits of quitting for the families of smokers and the importance of giving up cigarettes completely, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Bottom line, these ads will save lives and they will also save money," CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said during a news conference Thursday. Tobacco is "public health enemy number one," Frieden said. "More than 1,000 Americans per day are killed by tobacco – nearly 500,000 every year." Yet 42 million Americans still smoke, according to the CDC. Most Americans who smoke want to quit, he said, and "ads like these help them quit. We know that these ads have saved tens of thousands of lives and prevented hundreds of millions of ... Read more

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Plain Packaging Laws Might Spur Smokers to Quit

Posted 19 Mar 2015 by

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 – Legislation that strips cigarette packaging of all brand-specific design may boost the number of smokers who want to try quitting, a new Australian survey reveals. Researchers polled more than 5,000 Australian adults between 2012 and 2013. During that time, an Australian law was implemented requiring that all tobacco packaging be standardized and carry large graphic images warning of the dangers of cigarettes. Ireland and Britain also have passed laws requiring plain cigarette packing. The survey, published March 18 in Tobacco Control, focused on Australian smokers aged 18 to 69. The findings "provide some of the strongest evidence to date" that such laws up the likelihood that smokers will try to quit or at least contemplate kicking the habit, the survey team said in the news release. All participants were contacted twice over the course of a month. Some ... Read more

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Health Tip: Taking Care of Your Aging Skin

Posted 19 Mar 2015 by

-- Your skin has different needs as you age, and the products, skin care regimen and treatments may need to change. The Cleveland Clinic offers these tips: Wear sunscreen when outdoors, even if it's cloudy. Quit smoking, which can hasten skin aging. Follow a nutritious, balanced diet. Consider anti-aging topical products. Prescription and over-the-counter products are available. Read more

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E-Cigarette Ads Linked to Tobacco Cravings

Posted 16 Mar 2015 by

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 – Television ads for e-cigarettes trigger cravings for cigarettes in current and former smokers, a new study found. The study included more than 800 daily, occasional and former smokers who watched e-cigarette ads and then completed a survey to assess their smoking urges, intentions and behaviors. Regular smokers who saw ads with people using e-cigarettes (vaping) had a greater urge to smoke than regular smokers who did not see the ads, the study found. And former smokers who saw e-cigarette ads were less confident that they could stay away from cigarettes than those who did not see e-cigarette ads. The study was published online March 11 in the journal Health Communication. "We know that exposure to smoking cues such as visual depictions of cigarettes, ashtrays, matches, lighters, and smoke heightens smokers' urge to smoke a cigarette, and decreases former ... Read more

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Raise Legal Smoking Age to 21, U.S. Expert Panel Says

Posted 12 Mar 2015 by

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 – Raising the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 would save hundreds of thousands of lives and substantially reduce the number of smokers in the United States, a new report finds. Such a change would result in 249,000 fewer premature deaths among people born between 2000 and 2019, and 12 percent fewer smokers by 2100, according to the report released Thursday by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). "The public health benefits of raising the age to 21 are substantially greater than raising it to 19," said Richard Bonnie, chair of the IOM committee that wrote the report, and a professor of medicine and law at the University of Virginia. The IOM is an independent panel of experts that advises the federal government on public health issues. According to the report, increasing the minimum age to 21 would prevent or delay 15- to 17-year-olds from taking up ... Read more

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Health Tip: How Smoking Affects Your Heart

Posted 25 Feb 2015 by

-- Most people realize that smoking causes cancer, but it can also wreak havoc on your heart, experts say. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says smoking: Damages blood cells, heart function and blood vessels Increases the risk of hardening of the arteries, which restricts blood flow. Increases the risks of heart disease, which occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries. Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

2 of 3 Smokers Will Die Early If They Don't Quit, Research Shows

Posted 24 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 24, 2015 – Two-thirds of smokers will die early from their habit if they don't quit, a new study suggests. The findings indicate that it's never too late to quit smoking, one expert said. Researchers analyzed data from more than 200,000 people taking part in a study conducted by the Sax Institute in Australia. The study is a long-term investigation of healthy aging. "We knew smoking was bad, but we now have direct independent evidence that confirms the disturbing findings that have been emerging internationally," Emily Banks, scientific director of the Sax study and a researcher at the Australian National University, said in an institute news release. "Even with the very low rates of smoking that we have in Australia, we found that smokers have around threefold the risk of premature death of those who have never smoked. We also found smokers will die an estimated 10 years ... Read more

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Health Tip: Ready to Quit Smoking?

Posted 6 Feb 2015 by

-- Smoking can lead to a number of serious health problems, from cancer to heart disease. And quitting the habit can foster immediate and longer-term health benefits. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains these essential steps to quitting smoking: Choose an exact date to quit. Find ways to deal with cravings by talking with your doctor, participating in a telephone "quitline" or joining a support group. Call on friends and family for support and encouragement. Take medication to help you quit, carefully following all label instructions. Read more

Related support groups: Smoking Cessation

It Pays for Moms-to-Be to Stop Smoking

Posted 28 Jan 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28, 2015 – Financial incentives help pregnant women quit smoking, a new study shows. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of illness and death among mothers and babies in developed countries, the researchers say. "This study provides substantial evidence of a very promising and potentially cost-effective new intervention to add to present health service support," the researchers wrote. The study included 612 pregnant smokers in the United Kingdom who were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group received hundreds of dollars in shopping vouchers if they stopped smoking. The women in the other (control) group received usual care to help them quit smoking, including counseling and free nicotine replacement therapy for 10 weeks. Overall, 23 percent of the women in the financial incentive group quit smoking, compared with 9 percent of those in the control group, ... Read more

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Efforts to Curtail Tobacco Use Stalled in 2014, Report Says

Posted 21 Jan 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21, 2015 – Little to no progress is being made in curtailing tobacco use in the United States, a new report from the American Lung Association contends. The Surgeon General's 1964 report raised the red flag about the dangers of smoking. Tobacco, however, still claims nearly 500,000 lives each year and costs up to $333 billion in health care expenses and lost productivity in the United States, says the lung association's annual report for 2014. "Despite cutting U.S. smoking rates by half in the last 51 years, tobacco's ongoing burden on America's health and economy is catastrophic," said Harold Wimmer, president and CEO of the American Lung Association. "Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death and it impacts almost every system in the body, contributing to lung cancer, heart attacks, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and even sudden ... Read more

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