Quit Smoking Articles from October 2008





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.

NICOTINE REPLACEMENT SAFE DURING PREGNANCY

Source: Reuters
Date: October 24, 2008

For women trying to quit smoking during pregnancy, using nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine patches or nicotine gum does not increase the likelihood of a stillbirth, a study shows.

"Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of stillbirth," the researchers write in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. "The use of NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) in pregnancy is a possible harm reduction strategy," they add.

Using national data, Dr. K. Strandberg-Larsen, at the University of Southern Denmark in Copenhagen, and colleagues gathered information on NRT use and smoking for 87,032 singleton pregnancies.

Two percent of women reported using nicotine replacement during pregnancy. Of these women, 14 percent had not smoked during pregnancy, 30 percent had quit smoking during pregnancy, and 56 percent continued to smoke. Some quit smoking aids safe during pregnancy full article.

FDA MAY REVISE WARNING FOR ANTISMOKING DRUG

Source: The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition
Date: October 23, 2008
Author: ALICIA MUNDY

The Food and Drug Administration said it may upgrade warnings on the Pfizer Inc. antismoking drug Chantix after a nonprofit safety group cited a new spate of road-traffic accidents and seizures involving people on the drug.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices said 1,001 serious incidents involving Chantix users were reported in the first quarter of this year, based on its analysis of government safety data. That is more than the total number of serious incidents for the top 10 most-prescribed brand-name drugs combined.

The institute, based in Horsham, Pa., said 15 cases in the quarter were connected to traffic accidents and 52 cases were linked to blackouts.

An FDA statement said the agency "confirms that there are reports of accidents, including road traffic accidents, after the use of varenicline [Chantix] in the Adverse Event Reporting System. The FDA is reviewing these reports to see if current labeling related to accidents after varenicline is adequate."

Pfizer, which has been struggling to overcome nearly a year of negative publicity involving Chantix, questioned the report's conclusions. Warning Label for Chantix full article.

PANEL CALLS FOR VACCINE FOR ADULT SMOKERS

Source: AP
Date: October 22, 2008
Author: Associated Press, kpic4news@kpic.com

For the first time, an influential government panel is recommending a vaccination specifically for smokers.

The panel decided Wednesday that adult smokers under 65 should get pneumococcal vaccine. The shot - already recommended for anyone 65 or older - protects against bacteria that cause pneumonia, meningitis and other illnesses.

Federal officials usually adopt recommendations made by the panel, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The vote means more than 31 million adult smokers probably will soon be called on to get the shot.

Studies have shown that smokers are about four times more likely than nonsmokers to suffer pneumococcal disease. Pneumococcal Vaccine for Smokers 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

NICOTINE MAY SPUR BREAST CANCER'S SPREAD

Source: HealthDay [HealthScout]
Date: October 16, 2008
Author: Amanda Gardner HealthDay Reporter

Nicotine may help push breast cancer cells from the original tumor to other parts of the body, contributing to the metastasis that so often kills patients.

Besides serving as yet another warning against smoking, the finding may also point to new targets for cancer drugs. However, the study's lead author stressed it is still too early to pinpoint the exact role nicotine may play in breast cancer's spread.

"I don't know what the potential is," said Dr. Chang Yan Chen, of the department of radiation oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

"This adds to the whole body of literature on how things that we ingest could potentially be harmful in terms of causing breast cancer or making existing breast cancer worse," added Dr. Julian Kim, a breast cancer surgeon and chief of oncologic surgery at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. Breast cancer and smoking full article.

STUDY: EVEN OCCASIONAL SMOKING CAN IMPAIR ARTERIES

Source: physorg.com
Date: October 7, 2008
Author: Source: University Of Georgia

Even occasional cigarette smoking can impair the functioning of your arteries, according to a new University of Georgia study that used ultrasound to measure how the arteries of young, healthy adults respond to changes in blood flow.

"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 UGA College of Education, "but what they may not be aware of—and what our study shows—is that the decrease in function persists into the next week, if not longer."

Previous studies have shown reductions in the arterial health of people who smoke regularly, McCully said, but what's surprising about his finding is that the study subjects were occasional smokers (less than a pack a week) who had not smoked for at least two days before their ultrasound. Occasional smoking health risks full article.

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