General Quit Smoking Articles



NEW RESEARCH MAY ENCOURAGE SMOKERS TO JUMP-START THEIR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION TO QUIT SMOKING

Source: PR Newswire
Date: December 8, 2008
Author: SOURCE GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, mpolisky@golinharris.com, 312-729-4417

While New Year's is the most popular time to try quitting smoking, research shows the majority of smokers who try to quit at that time resume smoking in less than one week.(1) By starting a quit attempt early, smokers can avoid the pressures of a New Year's resolution and may be well on their way toward being smoke-free by January 1st. New research shows that smokers who use the 21 mg NicoDerm(R) CQ(R) nicotine patch every day for the first three weeks of a 10-week treatment significantly improve their chances of success.(2)

The study, published in the November issue of Clinical Therapeutics: The International Peer-Reviewed Journal of Drug Therapy, shows that people who use the 21 mg NicoDerm CQ nicotine patch every day for the first 21 days of quitting were three-times as likely of being smoke-free at the six week point in the course of treatment compared to those who do not wear their patch every day.(2) Further, when used as directed, the NicoDerm CQ patch can significantly increase a smoker's chance of quitting (versus placebo) and remaining smoke-free long-term (6 months or longer).(3) Quit smoking before the new year full article. CURRENT ECONOMIC SITUATION PROMPTS INCREASED SMOKING, DELAY IN QUIT ATTEMPTS / MIDDLE AND LOW-INCOME AMERICANS HIT HARDEST

Source: PR Web
Date: November 07, 2008

Today the American Legacy Foundation; - the nation's largest public health foundation dedicated to reducing tobacco use in the U.S. -- announced the results of a new survey conducted on their behalf by Harris Interactive which found that stress about the ongoing financial downturn is having a clear and immediate effect on smokers.

Seventy-seven percent of current smokers report increased stress levels due to the current state of the economy and two-thirds of those smokers say this stress has had an effect on their smoking. . . .

"We are especially concerned about how the economy is impacting those struggling to quit and stay quit," said Cheryl G. Healton, Dr. P.H., president and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation.

The survey found that 7 percent of current smokers surveyed had started smoking again due to stress over the economic crisis, even though they had previously quit. Furthermore, 9 percent of stressed-out former smokers said the state of the economy had tempted them to start smoking again. Even more telling, 13 percent of stressed smokers say their stress about the economy has caused them to postpone their plans to quit.

Full article no longer available.

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY MARKS 33RD GREAT AMERICAN SMOKEOUT

Source: American Cancer Society
Date: October 30, 2008

Thursday, November 20, is the 33rd Great American Smokeout, and the American Cancer Society continues its legacy of providing free resources to help smokers quit. The Great American Smokeout was inaugurated in 1976 to inspire and encourage smokers to quit for one day. Now, 44.2 percent of the 45.3 million Americans who smoke have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year, and the Great American Smokeout remains a great opportunity to encourage people to commit to making a long-term plan to quit for good.

With all the resources available to help smokers quit, there has never been a better time to quit smoking, and the American Cancer Society is here to help. If you smoke, make a plan and set the Great American Smokeout, November 20, 2008, as your quit date. By calling the American Cancer Society Quitline? at 1-800-227-2345, people who plan to quit will be able to speak with a trained counselor and receive free, confidential counseling. Great American Smokeout Full Article.

SOCIAL SMOKING TAKES A LASTING TOLL

Source: New York Times Magazine
Date: October 8, 2008
Author: STEPHANIE SAUL, well@nytimes.com

Among the 45 million smokers in the United States, about 19 percent don’t smoke every day. These occasional smokers — people who smoke only on the weekends or just a few times a week in social situations — often believe they are avoiding the health worries typically associated with smoking.

But new research shows that even occasional cigarette smoking can impair artery function, a sign of looming heart disease.

In a small study, researchers at the University of Georgia recruited 18 healthy college students, half of whom were nonsmokers. The other half were occasional smokers, puffing less than a pack a week and had not smoked for at least two days before undergoing testing. The study, published online in the journal Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, used ultrasound scans to measure how the students’ arteries responded to changes in blood flow.

“We wanted to determine whether occasional smoking can impair flow-mediated dilation and found that repeated bouts of cigarette smoking — even if classified as occasional — appear to increase the risk for developing cardiovascular disease in otherwise healthy, young people,” said lead author Lee Stoner, a former doctoral student and now a researcher at Christchurch Hospital in New Zealand.

The researchers said the lasting effect of occasional smoking on artery health was surprising.

“Most people know that if they have a cigarette or two over the weekend that it’s not good for their arteries,” said study co-author Kevin McCully, a professor of kinesiology in the University of Georgia College of Education. “But what they may not be aware of is that the decrease in function persists into the next week, if not longer.” Social Smoking full article.

DO 'LIGHT' CIGARETTES DELIVER LESS NICOTINE TO THE BRAIN THAN REGULAR CIGARETTES?

Source: EurekAlert
Date: September 26, 2008

For decades now, cigarette makers have marketed so-called light cigarettes -- which contain less nicotine than regular smokes -- with the implication that they are less harmful to smokers' health. A new UCLA study shows, however, that they deliver nearly as much nicotine to the brain.

Reporting in the current online edition of the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, UCLA psychiatry professor Dr. Arthur L. Brody and colleagues found that low-nicotine cigarettes act similarly to regular cigarettes, occupying a significant percentage of the brain's nicotine receptors.

Light cigarettes have nicotine levels of 0.6 to 1 milligrams, while regular cigarettes contain between 1.2 and 1.4 milligrams.

The researchers also looked at de-nicotinized cigarettes, which contain only a trace amount of nicotine (0.05 milligrams) and are currently being tested as an adjunct to standard smoking-cessation treatments. They found that even that low a nicotine level is enough to occupy a sizeable percentage of receptors.

"The two take-home messages are that very little nicotine is needed to occupy a substantial portion of brain nicotine receptors," Brody said, "and cigarettes with less nicotine than regular cigarettes, such as 'light' cigarettes, still occupy most brain nicotine receptors. Thus, low-nicotine cigarettes function almost the same as regular cigarettes in terms of brain nicotine-receptor occupancy.

"It also showed us that de-nicotinized cigarettes still deliver a considerable amount of nicotine to the brain. Nicotine in light cigarettes full article.

EXERCISE 'HELPS WOMEN QUIT SMOKING AS EFFECTIVELY AS NICOTINE PATCHES'

Source: Electronic Telegraph (uk)
Date: September 23, 2008
Author: Kate Devlin, Medical Correspondent

Working out just once a week helped one in four smokers to give up the habit, researchers looking at the effect of exercise on pregnant women found.

One in five women in Britain smoke, including 17 per cent of mothers-to-be, despite warnings over the damage to their own health and to that of their unborn children.

Experts warn that the majority of those who try to give up cigarettes without some form of help take up the habit again within a year.

Studies have found that one of the most successful ways to kick the habit is to use some form of nicotine replacement, to help smokers beat their cravings.

But the new study suggests that encouraging women to exercise could be as effective.

Researchers at the University of London asked 32 pregnant women who smoked regularly to work out at least once a week, under supervision, for six weeks.

Full article no longer available.

NEW BRAIN IMAGING SHOWS THE EFFECTS OF WITHDRAWAL ON SMOKERS TRYING TO QUIT AND HOW THERAPEUTIC NICOTINE HELPS - WITH VIDEO

Source: PR Newswire
Date: September 18, 2008

New research highlighted at a symposium during an annual meeting for family physicians shows how nicotine withdrawal creates functional changes in the brains of smokers trying to quit causing cognitive performance deficits (such as ability to concentrate) that may make it more difficult to quit, and could be a driver of smoking relapse. Further, brain imaging technology shows that when treatment with the Commit® 4 mg nicotine lozenge is introduced, these symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can be reversed. This information is helping physicians better understand addiction and how treatment can help. . . .

"In withdrawal, a smoker's brain is literally in dysfunction and this can impair the quitter's ability to think and act," said Dr. Jack Henningfield, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Vice President of Research and Health Policy at Pinney Associates and consultant to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare. "Research on the brain in withdrawal is important as it helps physicians and smokers trying to quit recognize and manage the symptoms. For smokers who experience withdrawal and can't afford lapse in concentration or judgement, FDA-approved medicines for smoking cessation such as the Commit 4 mg nicotine lozenge may make the difference between success and failure in their smoking cessation efforts."

Consistent with their FDA-approved labelling, therapeutic nicotine products are specifically designed to curb withdrawal symptoms by safely and gradually weaning a smoker off nicotine.

The Commit 4 mg nicotine lozenge has shown in this research that it specifically improves symptoms of withdrawal including craving, difficulty concentrating, irritability and restlessness. Quitting smoking and nicotine withdrawal full article.

STUDY PROBES WHY SMOKERS FIND IT HARD TO QUIT

Source: HealthDay [HealthScout]
Date: September 9, 2008

If you're not craving a hit of nicotine the moment you declare you are quitting smoking, your battle just got a little tougher, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

"We have observed previously that the idea of smoking a cigarette becomes increasingly attractive to smokers while they are craving," lead investigator Michael Sayette, a University of Pittsburgh professor of psychology, said in a university news release. "This study suggests that when smokers are not craving, they fail to appreciate just how powerful their cravings will be. This lack of insight while not craving may lead them to make decisions -- such as choosing to attend a party where there will be lots of smoking -- that they may come to regret."

The study, published in the September issue of Psychological Science, examines the "cold-to-hot empathy gap" -- that is, the tendency for people in a "cold" state (one not influenced by visceral factors such as hunger or fatigue) to improperly predict their own behavior when in a "hot" state (hungry, fatigued). This is, in part, because those in the cold state can't recall the intensity of their past cravings. Quitting smoking barriers full article.

TROUBLE QUITTING? NEW SMOKING STUDY MAY REVEAL WHY

Source: ScienceDaily Magazine
Date: August 27, 2008

A new study from researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University sheds light on why smokers' intentions to quit "cold turkey" often fizzle out within days or even hours.

If a smoker isn't yearning for a cigarette when he makes the decision to kick the habit-and most aren't-he isn't able to foresee how he will feel when he's in need of a nicotine buzz. The new study bolsters the theory that smokers not in a state of craving a cigarette will underestimate and underpredict the intensity of their future urge to smoke.

"We have observed previously that the idea of smoking a cigarette becomes increasingly attractive to smokers while they are craving," said the study's lead investigator and University of Pittsburgh professor of psychology Michael Sayette. "This study suggests that when smokers are not craving, they fail to appreciate just how powerful their cravings will be. This lack of insight while not craving may lead them to make decisions-such as choosing to attend a party where there will be lots of smoking-that they may come to regret." . . .

"The research not only has implications for helping smokers quit, but it also enlightens us on how nonsmokers may pick up the habit. If smokers can't appreciate the intensity of their need to smoke when they aren't currently craving, what's the likelihood that people who have never smoked can do so," said Loewenstein. . . .."

Full article no longer available.

Trouble quitting smoking full article.

NEWLY-DEFINED FACTORS MAY PREVENT POSTPARTUM SMOKING RELAPSE

Source: physorg.com
Date: August 27, 2008
Author: Source: University Of North Carolina

By shedding light on the factors that enable the other half to put down that cigarette for good, a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill could lead to programs designed to help women quit and stay quit.

According to the study, women with a live-in partner who shared some of the burden of child-rearing were more likely to remain smoke free, while women who were single mothers or who lacked the social and financial resources to deal with being a new parent were more likely to relapse.

"In the future we can look at these and other factors in women who quit smoking during pregnancy to assess who is at low or high risk of relapse," said Carol E. Ripley-Moffitt, MDiv, research associate in UNC's department of family medicine and the study's lead author. "We can then offer more intensive interventions for those at higher risk to address the physical, behavioral and social issues related to relapse Postpartum and smoking full article.

STUDY: QUITTING SMOKERS GAIN LESS WEIGHT USING NICOTINE LOZENGES

Source: (Madison, WI) Capital Times
Date: August 5, 2008

If you want to gain fewer pounds after you quit smoking, use a nicotine lozenge instead of nicotine gum, according to findings published Tuesday in the Wisconsin Medical Journal.

In the first head-to-head comparison of gum and lozenge smoking cessation aids, people using a lozenge gained 5.4 fewer pounds on average than those using gum, after eight weeks of treatment.

The quit-smoking rate was slightly better for lozenge users than gum users, with a 15.1 percent quit rate for lozenge users at the eight-week treatment mark compared to an 11.3 percent rate for the gum users.

The study was conducted on 408 participants at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee between June 2004 and July 2005. Quitting smoking and weight gain full article no longer available.

STUDY SHOWS WHY ONCE IS ENOUGH TO HOOK SOME SMOKERS

Source: Reuters
Date: August 5, 2008
Author: Julie Steenhuysen, 996-2006

Researchers in Canada have found a region in the brains of rats that may be the key to these differences.

By manipulating specific molecular doorways into brain cells called receptors, they were able to control which rats in the study enjoyed their first exposure to nicotine and which were repelled by it.

"Our findings may explain an individual's vulnerability to nicotine addiction and may point to new pharmacological treatments for the prevention of it and the treatment of nicotine withdrawal," said Dr. Steven Laviolette of the University of Western Ontario, who reported his findings in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Several studies have found that certain people are especially responsive to the effects of nicotine. Smoking addiction full article.

SCIENTISTS UNCOVER THE GENES THAT CAN LEAD TO A LIFE-LONG SMOKING ADDICTION

Source: The Mail (uk)
Date: July 11, 2008
Author: Daily Mail Reporter

A particular set of genes can turn a teenager who experiments with tobacco into a life-long addicted smoker, research shows.

Around 40 per cent of people with European origins have 'high-risk' versions of the genes, which affect the brain's sensitivity to nicotine.

They are in danger of getting hooked if they start smoking before 17, scientists found.

Scientists at the University of Utah studied 2,827 smokers, taking DNA samples. They looked for changes in the genetic code, known as single nucleotide polymorphisms, linked to nicotine addiction. Genetics and smoking full article.

EXERCISE GOOD FOR YOUR WAISTLINE - BUT CAN IT HELP SUBSTANCE ABUSE?

Source: AP
Date: June 9, 2008
Author: LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer

Drug treatment programs often include exercise, partly to keep people distracted from their cravings, but there's been little formal research on the effects.

The best evidence: Brown University took smokers to the gym three times a week and found adding the exercise to a smoking-cessation program doubled women's chances of successfully kicking the habit. The quitters who worked out got an extra benefit: They gained half as much weight as women who managed to quit without exercising, says lead researcher Dr. Bess Marcus.

She now is working with the YMCA on a larger, NIDA-funded study to prove the benefit.

Full article no longer available.

QUITTING SMOKING INCREASES THE CHANCE OF STAYING SOBER

Source: Medical News TODAY(UK)
Date: June 5, 2008

People who are dependent on alcohol are also likely to smoke cigarettes. Many experts believe that it's important to counsel alcohol-dependent individuals to give up smoking as well as drinking not just to improve their health, but also to increase their chances of staying sober, reports the June 2008 issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter.

It is a common worry that trying to quit smoking and drinking at the same time will undermine treatment for alcohol dependence. However, most studies have reported that efforts to quit smoking either have no impact on maintaining sobriety or actually increase success of alcohol treatment. Quitting smoking and drinking full article.

A GENETIC CLUE TO QUITTING SMOKING

Source: TIME Magazine
Date: June 4, 2008
Author: ALICE PARK

Reporting this week in the Archives of General Psychiatry, scientists describe for the first time a set of genes, about 100 in all, that seem to predict how well a smoker will respond to two different types of quitting programs -- nicotine replacement or bupropion (Zyban). Nicotine-replacement methods, including the patch, pill and gum, work by weaning the smoker off nicotine gradually, usually over a period of weeks or months. Bupropion, on the other hand, is an antidepressant, which does not contain nicotine; instead, it works to curb nicotine cravings by interfering with the reward circuit in the brain, where addictions -- to nicotine and other drugs, or behaviors -- are reinforced. Nationally, about 70% to 80% of smokers say they want to quit, but any single attempt, regardless of the quitting method, is on average only 30% successful.

One way to boost the quitting success rate would be to match smokers with the right cessation program. A team of researchers, led by Jed Rose, director of the Duke University Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research, have begun doing just that.


PARENTS: QUIT SMOKING AND YOUR CHILDREN ARE LESS LIKELY TO SMOKE


Source: PR Newswire
Date: May 28, 2008
Author: SOURCE GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

If both parents of a child never smoked, research shows that a child's odds of daily smoking are reduced by more than 70 percent compared to when both parents continue to smoke. And if both parents were smokers but quit, those same odds are reduced by nearly 40 percent.(1) Additional research shows that mothers who quit are less likely to have children who start smoking.

As global leaders in tobacco control commemorate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) on May 31st, the rallying cry is to prevent young people from starting to smoke. While the 2008 theme, "Tobacco-Free Youth" calls for additional limitations on the marketing practices of cigarette marketers and other comprehensive changes, a major determining factor of children's tobacco use is the smoking status of their parents.

"By quitting smoking, parents can play a major role in helping to end the vicious cycle of passing addiction from generation to generation," said Howard Marsh, M.D., medical director, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. "Parents who want to take this important step on May 31st should get help from proven smoking cessation treatments such as therapeutic nicotine to increase their chances of staying off cigarettes for good." Parents and smoking full article.

FRIENDS QUIT SMOKING? YOU PROBABLY WILL TOO
Source: AP
Date: May 22, 2008
Author: ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer

The urge to smoke is contagious, but quitting apparently is, too. A team of researchers who showed that obesity can spread person-to-person has found a similar pattern with smoking cessation: A smoker is more likely to kick the habit if a spouse, friend, co-worker or sibling did.

What's more, smokers tend to quit in groups and those who don't stop puffing increasingly find themselves pushed to the edge of their social circles, the researchers found.

"Your smoking behavior depends upon not just the smoking behavior of the people you know, but also the people who they know" and so on, said Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a medical sociologist at Harvard Medical School and lead author of the new report.

Full article no longer available.

SMOKING A $300K HABIT: DOCTOR
Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) (au)
Date: May 8, 2008

An Adelaide physician has calculated that the average Australian smoker spends about $300,000 on cigarettes in a lifetime.

Doctor Ross Philpot's calculations have been published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

The research also shows that a person who smokes 20 cigarettes a day will have smoked 500,000 by the time they die.

Dr Philpot says telling patients about the cumulative total of cigarettes bought and smoked can be an effective way to get people to quit. Cost of smoking full article.

New Smoking Cessation Guideline Confirms That Now is the Time to Quit Smoking
Source: PR Newswire
Date: May 7, 2008
Author: SOURCE American Lung Association

Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published an update to its 1996 Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline, Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, which contains revised and improved recommendations to providers and clinicians so that they can better assist smokers in quitting. The guideline also confirms that there has never been a better time for smokers to quit than right now.

With the release of these new guidelines, smokers can receive improved strategies from physicians and other health care providers to help successfully quit smoking. The guidelines definitively state that combining FDA-approved pharmacotherapies and counseling is the most effective way for smokers to end addiction to tobacco products. The Public Health Service also finds that cessation treatments are cost-effective and that providing these treatments through healthcare systems will increase the number of people who seek treatment for smoking, attempt to quit and successfully quit.

"These new guidelines underscore how important it is for smokers to receive assistance quitting," said Bernadette Toomey, President and CEO, of the American Lung Association. "The American Lung Association stands ready to help smokers quit through our different smoking cessation programs and resources." New quit smoking guidelines full article.


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