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Smoking Cessation Blog

Anti-Smoking Policies May Also Curtail Drinking

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 23, 2014 – Cigarette tax hikes and smoke-free policies have not only cut tobacco use in the United States, they may have led to a noticeable drop in alcohol consumption, according to a new study. Consumption of beer and hard liquor – but not wine – declined in states where strict anti-tobacco legislation was enacted over the past three decades, the study found. "The major finding is that over a 30-year time span increasing cigarette prices and strengthening smoke-free air laws has also reduced alcohol consumption per capita," said study author Melissa Krauss, a senior statistical data analyst at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. "The big message is that some very good state tobacco policies have had public health implications that go beyond what was actually intended," Krauss said. The study findings appear in the October online edition of ... Read more

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More Than One Kind of Message May Convince Smokers to Quit, Study Says

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17, 2014 – Positive messages about the health benefits of quitting smoking may help some people kick the habit, a new study suggests. Although smokers who think quitting will be difficult responded better to "loss-framed" messages about the harmful effects of smoking, researchers found smokers who believe they can quit whenever they want benefit more from "gain-framed," or positive, messages about how quitting will improve their health. The researchers concluded that using a mix of both types of messages might get more people to stop smoking. "This study shows us that leveraging both gain- and loss-framed messaging may prompt more smokers to quit," lead investigator Darren Mays, a population scientist at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, said in a university news release. Most tobacco warnings on cigarette packages in the United States and around the ... Read more

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Healthy Lifestyle Changes Linked to Reduced Risk for Dementia

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17, 2014 – Managing diabetes, quitting smoking, controlling high blood pressure, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk for dementia – even late in life, according to new research. The World Alzheimer Report 2014, commissioned by Alzheimer's Disease International, revealed that diabetes can increase the risk of dementia by 50 percent. The study noted that obesity and an inactive lifestyle are key risk factors for diabetes as well as high blood pressure. The researchers suggested that dementia should be included in national public health prevention and detection programs along with other major non-communicable diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. They pointed out that it's never too late in life to make healthy lifestyle changes. "While age and genetics are part of the disease's risk factors, not smoking, eating more healthily, getting ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Smoking Cessation, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Smoking Banned in More Than 80 Percent of U.S. Homes: CDC

Posted 4 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 4, 2014 – Four out of five U.S. homes now ban smoking inside, federal health officials reported Thursday. No-smoking-in-the-house rules jumped considerably in the past two decades – from 43 percent in 1992-93 to 83 percent in 2010-11, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Homes of nonsmokers have become even less tolerant of cigarettes, with 91.4 percent banning tobacco use indoors compared to about 58 percent roughly 20 years ago, the report said. And nearly half of homes with smokers prohibit the practice, a fivefold jump over two decades. "Considerable progress has been made in the percentage of households that have smoke-free rules," said lead author Brian King, a senior scientist in CDC's Office of Smoking and Health. Despite that progress, much remains to be done, he said, noting that only 46 percent of homes with ... Read more

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Hospital Discharge a Key Time to Help Smokers Quit

Posted 20 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 19, 2014 – The weeks after a hospital discharge may be a great time to help smokers quit the habit, and one study suggests a particular program might help. The program involved giving patients free quit-smoking drugs. It also included automated phone calls that helped them manage their medications, encouraged their efforts to quit and tracked whether they might need more anti-smoking counseling. The study suggests that hospitalization – a time when smoking isn't allowed – "can be used as an opportunity for a lasting intervention for healthier living," said Dr. Peter Spiegler, director of the medical intensive care unit at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. He was not involved in the new research. The study included almost 400 patients and was led by Dr. Nancy Rigotti, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Patients averaged 53 years of age, and all said ... Read more

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Tough Laws Continue to Target Tobacco Sales to Minors

Posted 14 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 14, 2014 – Only about 10 percent of inspected stores across the United States illegally sold tobacco products to minors during 2013, a U.S. government report says. That is half the 20 percent target rate set by a national and state effort called the Synar Amendment program to end illegal tobacco sales to youth. And it's well below the highest violation rate of nearly 73 percent reported when the program was implemented 16 years ago. The Synar program requires states and federal jurisdictions to create laws and enforcement programs to prevent the sale and distribution of tobacco products to people younger than 18. For the eighth year in a row, all states met their Synar program goals and 10 states had retailer violation rates of less than 5 percent, according to the report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Thirty-four states ... Read more

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Many Doctors Recommend E-Cigarettes as Anti-Smoking Aid, Survey Finds

Posted 1 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 1, 2014 – E-cigarettes seem to be everywhere these days, and a new study finds many U.S. doctors recommending them to smokers as a way to kick the tobacco habit. "Even in the absence of evidence regarding the health impact of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices, a third of physicians we surveyed are recommending e-cigarettes to their patients to help quit smoking," study co-author Leah Ranney, associate director of the Tobacco Prevention and Evaluation Program at the University of North Carolina, said in a university news release. The researchers cautioned, however, that more research is needed to determine if e-cigarettes are safe and if they actually help people to stop smoking. E-cigarettes work by turning various concentrations of nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals into a vapor that can be inhaled – a process also known as "vaping." Most of the nicotine in ... Read more

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Benefits of E-Cigarettes May Outweigh Harms, Study Finds

Posted 30 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 30, 2014 – Strict regulation of electronic cigarettes isn't warranted based on current evidence, a team of researchers says. On the contrary, allowing e-cigarettes to compete with regular cigarettes might cut tobacco-related deaths and illness, the researchers concluded after reviewing 81 prior studies on the use and safety of the nicotine-emitting devices. "Current evidence suggests that there is a potential for smokers to reduce their health risks if electronic cigarettes are used in place of tobacco cigarettes and are considered a step toward ending all tobacco and nicotine use," said study researcher Thomas Eissenberg, co-director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. The study, partly funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, was published July 30 in the journal Addiction. Whether e-cigarettes ... Read more

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Extra Exercise Could Help Depressed Smokers Quit: Study

Posted 29 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 29, 2014 – Quitting smoking is harder for people with depression, according to a new review. Depression can make it more difficult to ride out the anxiety, cravings or lack of sleep that come with trying to quit cold turkey, scientists found. But extra exercise – even just a walk – could help people quit faster, they said. "The review should be seen as a call to arms," the study's co-author, Gregory Moullec, a postdoctoral researcher in the department of exercise science at Concordia University in Montreal, said in a university news release. The study's first author, Paquito Bernard, of the University of Montpellier in France, added that he hopes the findings will alert researchers and clinicians to the "promising role of exercise in the treatment of both depression and smoking cessation." Nearly 20 percent of adults in North America are regular smokers, although this ... Read more

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Study Suggests Tough Smoking Laws Might Lower Suicide Risk

Posted 16 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 16, 2014 – Smoking may increase a person's risk for suicide, but high cigarette taxes and smoking restrictions in public places lower that risk, a new study suggests. Previous research has found that smokers are more likely to take their own lives than nonsmokers. This difference was attributed to the fact that smoking is common among people with psychiatric disorders, who have higher suicide rates. However, this new study suggests that smoking itself may increase suicide risk and that efforts to reduce smoking may lead to lower suicide rates. "Our analysis showed that each dollar increase in cigarette taxes was associated with a 10 percent decrease in suicide risk," study leader Richard Grucza, associate professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, said in a university news release. "Indoor smoking bans also were associated with ... Read more

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Health Tip: Quit Smoking, Especially While Pregnant

Posted 14 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

-- If you're pregnant or trying, you've probably been told not to smoke. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains how smoking can affect pregnancy: Being a smoker can make getting pregnant more difficult, and can increase the risk of miscarriage. Smoking during pregnancy can lead to problems with the placenta, which is baby's source of nourishment and oxygen during pregnancy. Smoking may lead to low birth weight or premature birth. Smoking during pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects. Smoking while pregnant and after birth can increase the risk of SIDS. Read more

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Lung Groups: Governments Should Limit or Ban Use of E-Cigarettes

Posted 10 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 10, 2014 – Governments should ban or limit the use of electronic cigarettes until more is known about their health effects, say experts from the world's leading lung organizations. The position statement was issued Wednesday by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), which includes more than 70,000 members worldwide. "The gravity of tobacco use on global health and the historical behavior of the tobacco industry that has included deceit about the health effects of tobacco, intentional marketing to children and manipulating nicotine levels in cigarettes to maintain addiction should prompt us to proceed cautiously," statement author Dr. Dean Schraufnagel, past president of the American Thoracic Society, said in a society news release. "Nicotine is central to lifelong addiction, and [e-cigarettes] are nicotine-delivery devices," he added. The safety of ... Read more

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Combo Approach May Work Best for Smokers Looking to Quit

Posted 8 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 8, 2014 – Combining two anti-smoking approaches – the medication Chantix and nicotine patches – improves the odds you'll quit smoking over the short term, a new industry-funded study suggests. "The combination appears to be safe, although further studies are needed to confirm this," said Dr. Coenie Koegelenberg, an associate professor of pulmonology with Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital in South Africa. Although the dual treatment costs more than either agent separately, Koegelenberg said the drugs typically aren't used for long and will reduce overall health costs if smokers succeed in quitting. Chantix, known by the generic name varenicline, appears to help people stop smoking by interfering with the way that nicotine stimulates the brain. However, smokers who take Chantix may be at higher risk for heart attacks and stroke compared to those who ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Chantix, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Nicotrol Inhaler, Champix, Commit, Varenicline, Habitrol, Nicorelief, Nicorette DS, Nicotrol NS, ProStep, Nicotrol TD

Quitting Smokeless Tobacco May Boost Survival After Heart Attack

Posted 23 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 – A new study suggests that heart attack patients who stop using snus – a specific type of moist chewing tobacco that is popular in Sweden – could greatly reduce their risk of dying within a couple years. The findings don't directly prove that stopping the use of this type of smokeless tobacco actually affects cardiac health, and ethical constraints may prevent researchers from ever understanding the full value of quitting. There are other caveats, and it's not clear that quitting the main kinds of smokeless tobacco used in the United States would have the same potential effect. Still, the study "indicates that quitting snus use after a heart attack might be as equally beneficial as quitting smoking after a heart attack," said study author Dr. Gabriel Arefalk, a cardiologist at Uppsala University Hospital in Uppsala, Sweden. The health risks of smokeless tobacco ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Smoking Cessation, Myocardial Infarction

Text Messages May Double Smoker's Odds of Quitting

Posted 8 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 6, 2014 – Text messages providing tips, reminders and advice can help smokers quit, according to a new study. Researchers found that this type of cellphone program doubles the chances that a smoker will kick the habit. "Text messages seem to give smokers the constant reminders they need to stay focused on quitting," said the study's lead author, Lorien Abroms. She is an associate professor of prevention and community health at George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health, in Washington D.C. "However, additional studies must be done to confirm this result and to look at how these programs work when coupled with other established anti-smoking therapies," she said in a university news release. Traditional methods to help people stop smoking include phone counseling and nicotine replacement therapies. The study's authors pointed out that research ... Read more

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