Quit Smoking Articles
from June 2008



AS AMY WINEHOUSE SHOWS, SIGNS OF EMPHYSEMA CAN BEGIN EARLY
Subtitle: Younger adults often don't notice the damage that years of smoking can cause until later in life when lung capacity may be severely cut.

Source: Los Angeles Times
Date: June 30, 2008
Author: Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

In fact, Winehouse is not an anomaly. Health experts say that young adult smokers are no strangers to mild emphysema, a shortness of breath caused by damage to the lung's small air sacs. Smoking can permanently deteriorate the lungs, irreversibly diminishing lung capacity -- and the damage starts young, even in teens who smoke five cigarettes a day, according to one 1996 study from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston of 10,000 youths who smoked.

But many smokers don't show symptoms for years, leading them to believe no damage is being done when, in fact, it is accruing all the time. "Teenagers and people in their 20s think they're invincible," says Dr. Norman H. Edelman, chief medical officer for the American Lung Assn. "They think they can wait until they're 35 to stop smoking and everything's going to be fine, but they can do permanent damage before that."

As well as emphysema, Samet adds, smoking can cause chronic bronchitis, lung inflammation characterized by irritation and scarring. "There are a lot of extraordinarily irritating substances in tobacco smoke. The lung has defense mechanisms that can clean out things that get in. But smokers dump so much toxic stuff in that the lungs can't keep up." Amy Winehouse and smoking full article.

MATERNAL SMOKING TIED TO OVERWEIGHT CHILDREN

Source: DoctorNDTV (in)
Date: June 25, 2008
Author: American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition

Maternal smoking in the first trimester of pregnancy may increase the risk of overweight in children later.

The prevalence of obesity is increasing worldwide, and the rising number of obese children and adolescents is of particular concern. Smoking is a predisposing factor for abdominal obesity, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. Maternal smoking has been associated with preterm birth and low birth weight. On the other hand, the incidence of obesity is higher in children and adults born of smoking mothers. However, till date no study has examined whether smoking in the first trimester lead to childhood overweight. Smoking and childhood obesity full article.

THE FUTURE OF NICOTINE ADDICTION TREATMENT -- A NICOTINE VACCINE?

Source: EurekAlert
Date: June 12, 2008URL:

Nicotine addiction is a chronic illness, and reducing the massive burden of death and disease associated with it will require matching individual treatments to patients, along with the necessary public health messages, concludes a Seminar in this week's edition of The Lancet. Future treatments in development include an antinicotine vaccine. And an accompanying Comment looks at the importance of a broad range of anti-tobacco strategies, and focuses on the importance of the implementation of The Framework for Tobacco Control.

In the Seminar, by Dr Dorothy Hatsukami, Tobacco Use Research Center, University of Minnesota, MN, USA and colleagues look at the startling death rates associated with smoking. There are around 1.2 billion smokers worldwide, more than half of whom will die from diseases caused by smoking. Roughly 5 million smokers die per year at present, though this could be 10 million per year by 2025 if present trends continue. . . .

The authors conclude: "Nicotine or tobacco addiction should be treated as a chronic disorder. Treatment can need persistent efforts to try to assist tobacco users in their attempts at quitting. Relapse should be seen as a probable event ...Treatment can improve these outcomes....The most crucial component of care is the actual delivery of such treatments."

In the accompanying Comment, Dr Kenneth Warner. School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI, USA, and Dr Judith Longstaff Mackay, Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, Hong Kong, China, discuss the importance of implementing The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), currently ratified by 154 countries.

They conclude that the medical community needs to make treatment of tobacco dependence a high priority in everyday practice, and also to lobby governments - which are often conflicted by their own financial dependence on tobacco - to implement FCTC. They conclude: "Here is something simple, achievable, and unequivocally good that would relieve the suffering of literally millions of human beings." Nicotine vaccine 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.

LOW NICOTINE AND NICOTINE-FREE CIGARETTES NO LESS HARMFUL TO SMOKERS, RESEARCH FINDS

Source: British Medical Journal
Date: June 7, 2008
Author: Roger Dobson

Perceptions that low nicotine and nicotine-free cigarettes are less harmful than conventional cigarettes are not supported by research.

Smokers might have reduced exposure to some toxicants, but exposure to others is greater, say researchers in Toxicology.

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.

HEALTH BLOG : PFIZER CLEARS AIR AT CHANTIX ROUNDTABLE

Source: Wall Street Journal Blogs
Date: June 5, 2008
Author: Posted By Avery Johnson, healthblog@wsj.com

Pfizer invited a bunch of folks, including the Health Blog, to a media roundtable about Chantix at the company's 42nd Street HQ this morning.

Chantix, if you're just tuning in, has weathered a lot of safety questions recently. The label for the drug has been beefed-up to warn about suicidal thinking, and a recent report linked the medicine to a range of possible side effects from seizures to accidents.

By way of introduction at today's meeting, Pfizer's VP for media relations Ray Kerins explained to the group that Pfizer wanted to openly correct misunderstandings and misinterpretations in the marketplace.

Here's a summary of Pfizer's main points:

  • #1 Smoking is a serious health problem that kills people.
  • #2 Most of the adverse events that have been reported recently are already in the Chantix label.
  • #3 Smokers who are trying to quit can be depressed and irritable.
  • #4 Paying close attention to adverse-event reports helps the FDA and Pfizer enhance drug safety.

On that last point, Pfizer cautions that real-world, post-market reports aren't the gold standard of clinical research and shouldn't be interpreted as such. Chantix full article.

FLAVONOIDS IN FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND TEAS MAY PROTECT SMOKERS FROM LUNG CANCER, UCLA RESEARCHERS REPORT

Source: Medical News TODAY(UK)
Date: June 1, 2008
Author: Source: Kim Irwin University Of California - Los Angeles

Tobacco smokers who eat three servings of fruits and vegetables per day and drink green or black tea may be protecting themselves from lung cancer, according to a first-of-its-kind study by UCLA cancer researchers.

UCLA researchers found that smokers who ingested high levels of natural chemicals called flavonoids in their diet had a lower risk of developing lung cancer, an important finding since more than 90 percent of lung cancers are caused by tobacco smoking.

The study was published this month in the journal CANCER.

"What we found was extremely interesting, that several types of flavonoids are associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer among smokers," said Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, a researcher at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center and a professor of public health and epidemiology. "The findings were especially interesting because tobacco smoking is the major risk factor for lung cancer." Cancer and smoking full article.

SMOKERS WITH ADVANCED COLON CANCER MAY FACE HIGHER ODDS OF DISEASE RECURRENCE

Source: ScienceDaily Magazine
Date: June 2, 2008
Author: Adapted From Materials Provided By Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Via EurekAlert, A Service Of AAAS., editor@sciencedaily.com

People with advanced colon cancer who have smoked cigarettes or used other tobacco products for many years may have an increased risk that their colon cancer will return, according to research by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), May 30-June 3, in Chicago.

Based on data from 965 patients treated for stage III colon cancer, investigators found the chances of recurrence or death up to 22 percent higher in patients with a 20 or more pack year history. Smoking and colon cancer 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.

Genetics and quitting smoking full article.

Back from Quit Smoking Articles June 2008 to Quit Smoking Articles Home