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Smoking Cessation Blog

Cutting Cigarette Scenes From TV Shows May Have Helped Reduce Smoking

Posted 12 days ago by

FRIDAY, April 4, 2014 – Scenes of cigarette use have become less common on prime-time television shows, and it may be linked to reduced smoking rates in the United States, a new study suggests. Researchers from the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia looked at cigarette use depicted in more than 1,800 hours of popular U.S. prime-time dramas broadcast between 1955 and 2010. They also looked at smoking rates among adults during that period. Scenes involving cigarette use on such shows fell from nearly five scenes per hour of programming (excluding commercials) in 1961 to about 0.3 scenes per hour in 2010, according to the study published online April 3 in the journal Tobacco Control. After taking cigarette prices and other factors into account, the researchers concluded that one less depiction of smoking per hour over two years of prime-time ... Read more

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Smoking Bans Linked to Drop in Premature Births, Kids' Asthma Attacks

Posted 18 days ago by

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 – Bans on smoking in public places and the workplace in North America and Europe are linked to a 10 percent drop in premature births and the number of children going to the hospital for an asthma flare-up, according to a new study. The study authors said this positive trend occurred within one year of smoke-free policies being put into effect. They added that their findings show smoking bans have significant health benefits for both adults and children. The study was published online March 28 in the journal The Lancet. "Our research found significant reductions in preterm birth and severe asthma attacks in childhood, as well as a 5 percent decline in children being born very small for gestational age after the introduction of smoke-free laws," Dr. Jasper Been, of the Maastricht University Medical Centre, in the Netherlands, said in a journal news release. ... Read more

Related support groups: Asthma, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Prematurity/Underweight in Infancy

Fewer Americans Would Smoke If Cessation Treatments Were Covered: CDC

Posted 19 days ago by

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 – More Americans would quit smoking if coverage for every type of smoking-cessation treatment was provided by all state Medicaid programs, and if states removed barriers to coverage, according to a federal government study. Although states are making progress, few of them provide Medicaid coverage for all treatments to help people kick the habit, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC researchers said Medicaid enrollees are more likely to smoke than people in the general population, and smoking-related diseases are a major factor in rising Medicaid costs. Currently, seven states cover all approved smoking-cessation medications and counseling for all Medicaid recipients. Barriers to getting these treatments exist in all states, with the most common being limits on how long treatment is covered, how much is covered per year, ... Read more

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Smoke-Free Policies May Protect the Heart

Posted 19 days ago by

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 – A new study finds that hospitalizations for heart disease and stroke dipped slightly in Michigan after the state cracked down on smoking in bars and restaurants. But researchers can't say whether the smoking ban was directly responsible for the drop in hospitalizations because other factors could have caused the dip. While it's hard to know for certain whether smoking bans actually affect hospitalization rates, other studies have suggested that they can have an impact, the researchers noted. In 2010, Michigan banned smoking in workplaces, including bars and restaurants. Researchers checked a sample of statistics from hospitalizations from the year before and the year after the ban. They found that the number of hospitalizations fell by 2 percent, from 65,329 to 64,002, while deaths in hospitals also decreased slightly. The study authors weren't able to take ... Read more

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E-Cigarettes Won't Help You Quit, Study Finds

Posted 24 Mar 2014 by

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 – Contrary to some advertising claims, electronic cigarettes don't help people quit or cut down on smoking, a new study says. Users of e-cigarettes inhale vaporized nicotine but not tobacco smoke. The unregulated devices have been marketed as smoking-cessation tools, but studies to date have been inconclusive on that score, the study noted. "When used by a broad sample of smokers under 'real world' conditions, e-cigarette use did not significantly increase the chances of successfully quitting cigarette smoking," said lead researcher Dr. Pamela Ling, an associate professor at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at University of California, San Francisco. These findings – based on nearly 1,000 smokers – are consistent with other studies and contradict the claims frequently found in e-cigarette advertising, she said. "Advertising suggesting that ... Read more

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Nicotine Patches Don't Help Pregnant Women Quit Smoking: Study

Posted 12 Mar 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 – Nicotine patches don't seem to help pregnant women quit smoking, a new study has found. The study included 402 pregnant women in France who smoked at least five cigarettes a day. The women, who were 12 to 20 weeks' pregnant, were randomly selected to use either 16-hour nicotine patches or inactive placebo patches until they gave birth. The study participants also received counseling to help them quit smoking and were assessed monthly. Only 5.5 percent of the women in the nicotine patch group and 5.1 percent of those in the placebo group quit smoking entirely, the investigators reported in the March 11 online edition of the BMJ. The researchers also found that women in the nicotine patch group had significantly higher blood pressure than those in the placebo group. This suggests that future studies looking at nicotine replacement therapy in pregnant smokers ... Read more

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

Quitting Smoking Linked to Better Mental Health in Study

Posted 12 Feb 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 12, 2014 – Quitting smoking may be as good for your mental health as it is for your physical health, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from 4,800 daily smokers in the United States who took part in two surveys conducted three years apart. Those who had an addiction or other mental health problems in the first survey were less likely to have those issues in the second survey if they'd quit smoking, the investigators said. The first survey found that 40 percent of the participants had mood or anxiety disorders or a history of these conditions, 50 percent had alcohol problems and 24 percent had drug problems. The second survey showed that 29 percent of those who'd quit smoking had mood disorders, compared with 42 percent of those who still smoked. Alcohol problems were reported by 18 percent of quitters and 28 percent of ongoing smokers, and drug problems ... Read more

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Much More Must Be Done to Lower Smoking Rates, Experts Say

Posted 22 Jan 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 22, 2014 – State inaction and tobacco industry tactics are slowing tobacco control efforts in the United States, a new report from the American Lung Association finds. "We are faced with a deep-pocketed, ever-evolving tobacco industry that's determined to maintain its market share at the expense of our kids and current smokers," Harold Wimmer, ALA national president and CEO, said in a statement from the group. "In the absence of any meaningful action by state and federal policymakers, an ever-changing Big Tobacco will continue to gain more customers unless our nation's leaders step up to fund programs and enact policies proven to make tobacco history." According to the ALA report issued Wednesday, states spent $485.5 million on programs aimed at curbing tobacco use in 2013, a rise from $462.5 million in 2012. However, only two states – Alaska and North Dakota – had ... Read more

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U.S. Smoking Rates Drop to Historic Lows: CDC

Posted 16 Jan 2014 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 16, 2014 – Less than 20 percent of Americans still smoke cigarettes – a breakthrough called a "milestone" Thursday by federal health officials. Following years of smoking rates that had hovered around 20 percent, that number finally dropped to 18.1 percent in 2012, statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. "This is a milestone. We have seen a steady decline in recent years, and so the stall is no longer occurring," said report co-author Brian King, an epidemiologist in the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "But the progress is still not as strong as we would hope." King said several developments on the "national level helped to galvanize tobacco efforts, and help reduce smoking rates." "In 2009, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was implemented, which gave the FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] the authority to ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation

Drug Duo Might Help Smokers Quit Better Than Single Med

Posted 7 Jan 2014 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 7, 2014 – Two drugs in combination might be better than one when it comes to helping hardcore smokers quit, at least in the short term, a new study suggests. The drugs – varenicline (sold under the brand name Chantix) and bupropion (Zyban) – taken together increase the rates of quitting over 12 weeks compared with Chantix alone, the researchers found. After a year, however, relapse rates were similar using both approaches. "We believe this evidence strongly supports the idea that varenicline helps everybody quit," said lead researcher Dr. Jon Ebbert, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "But for heavier smokers and more dependent smokers, combination therapy with varenicline plus bupropion will increase quit rates more than varenicline alone." "This is how we are going to treat patients," he said. Combination therapy works better than a single ... Read more

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Chantix Helped People With Mental Illness Quit Smoking Longer in Study

Posted 7 Jan 2014 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 7, 2014 – For people with serious mental illness who are trying to quit smoking, extending their treatment with the smoking cessation drug Chantix (varenicline) may help them avoid a relapse, according to a new study. After a standard 12-week course of treatment with the drug, study participants who quit smoking continued to receive the drug along with a type of treatment that helps alter behavior, called cognitive behavioral therapy, for another 40 weeks. After receiving the extended treatment, they were three times more successful in avoiding cigarettes than those who only received the behavioral therapy and a placebo (fake) pill, the study found. "We know that relapsing to smoking is a big problem for smokers without psychiatric illness, but relapsing after a course of smoking cessation medication appears to happen even more rapidly in those with schizophrenia and ... Read more

Related support groups: Chantix, Smoking Cessation

Half-Century of Smoking Prevention Extended 8 Million Lives: Study

Posted 7 Jan 2014 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 7, 2014 – Efforts to limit tobacco use over the past 50 years have prevented 8 million premature deaths in the United States, giving those people an average of nearly 20 additional years of life, according to a new study. The 1964 U.S. Surgeon General's report on the ills of smoking launched a great public health success story, said the authors of the study, which was published in the Jan. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. By calculating the number of people who have avoided premature death by not smoking, the researchers found that, because fewer people light up, overall life expectancy at age 40 has increased by about two years. The study's results reveal the power of smoking prevention, said study co-author Rafael Meza, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. However, 18 million Americans ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking Cessation

E-Cigarettes: Separating Fiction From Fact

Posted 3 Jan 2014 by

FRIDAY, Jan. 3, 2014 – It's the new year, a time when a smokers' thoughts often turn to quitting. Some people may use that promise of a fresh start to trade their tobacco cigarettes for an electronic cigarette, a device that attempts to mimic the look and feel of a cigarette and often contains nicotine. Here's what you need to know about e-cigarettes: What is an e-cigarette? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) describes an e-cigarette as a battery-operated device that turns nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals into a vapor that can be inhaled. The ones that contain nicotine offer varying concentrations of nicotine. Most are designed to look like a tobacco cigarette, but some look like everyday objects, such as pens or USB drives, according to the FDA. How does an e-cigarette work? "Nicotine or flavorings are dissolved into propylene glycol usually, though it's hard to know ... Read more

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A Guide to Smoking-Cessation Options

Posted 3 Jan 2014 by

FRIDAY, Jan. 3, 2014 – People who want to quit smoking cigarettes no longer have to suffer through cold-turkey withdrawal. A number of options now exist, and though most have some side effects, experts generally believe that the benefits of quitting smoking far exceed the risks posed by side effects. Current options include: Nicotine replacement therapy A variety of nicotine replacement products have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They include the nicotine patch, gum, inhaler, lozenges and nasal spray, according to Hilary Tindle, director of the Tobacco Treatment Service at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Patches, gum and lozenges do not require a prescription. A doctor's prescription is necessary for nasal spray or the inhaler, according to the American Cancer Society. Medications Two medications can help smokers quit. One is bupropion (marketed ... Read more

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

Counselors Give Smokers Best Chance to Quit: Study

Posted 27 Dec 2013 by

FRIDAY, Dec. 27, 2013 – Smokers who work with a counselor specially trained to help them quit – along with using medications or nicotine patches or gum – are three times more likely to kick the habit than smokers who try to quit without any help, a large new study finds. Over-the-counter nicotine-replacement products have become more popular than smoking cessation services and are used by millions of smokers, the researchers pointed out. However, these products alone do not appear to improve the odds that smokers will actually quit, they found. They used information compiled in a survey of smokers and former smokers to examine the effectiveness of services to help people stop smoking offered by the U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS). They analyzed the success of 10,000 people living in England who tried to quit smoking in the past year. The study, published online in Dec. 20 in the ... Read more

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