Quit Smoking Articles
September 2008



ELECTRONIC FAGS COULD BE TOXIC

Source: The Australian (au)
Date: September 19, 2008

THE World Health Organisation warned today that "electronic cigarettes", which claim to be a nicotine replacement therapy, could be highly poisonous.

"It's 100 per cent false to affirm this is a therapy for smokers to quit," WHO anti-tobacco official Douglas Bettcher said.

"There are a number of chemical additives in the product which could be very toxic."

Electronic cigarettes are usually made of stainless steel and have a chamber for storing liquid nicotine in various concentrations. Users puff on them as they would a real cigarette but do not light them - rather the cigarettes produce a fine, heated mist which is absorbed into the lungs.

The WHO is particularly aggrieved that some manufacturers have implied the organisation views it as a legitimate nicotine replacement therapy, like nicotine gum, lozenges and patches.

"Manufacturers of this electronic cigarette around the world have included WHO's name or logo, for example on their website, on package inserts or on advertisements," Mr Bettcher said. Harm of electronic cigarette 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.

NEW INVESTIGATIONAL "LIQUID CIGARETTE" SMOKE CESSATION PRODUCT ACHIEVES 71 PERCENT QUIT RATE

Source: PR Web
Date: September 26, 2008

Several months ago, 52 smokers embarked on an FDA-approved, 12-week clinical study of a new smoke-cessation device called Smoke-Break. The results of the study were released today with 71 percent of the study participants smoke-free after 12 weeks.

Smoke-Break is a "liquid nicotine cigarette" that resembles an unlit cigarette in size and shape. The clear tube contains a cherry-flavored gel along with 1.5 milligrams of nicotine, about as much as in a light cigarette. Users consume the liquid by lifting the tube to their mouths, and sipping through a mouthpiece, much like they would draw on a cigarette.

Approved by the FDA for clinical study in 2007, the study sought to determine whether Smoke-Break would help smokers stop smoking, while avoiding the side effects seen in other smoke-cessation products. The answer is yes, and that's promising news to study sponsor Dr. Carl E. Olson, Chairman of the Radiation Oncology Department at Columbia St. Mary's in Milwaukee. New nicotine replacement therapy clinical trial 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 and nicotine withdrawal full article.

NICOTINE NASAL SPRAY A NO-GO FOR TEEN SMOKERS

Source: Reuters
Date: September 10, 2008
Author: Anne Harding, 996-2006

Nicotine nasal spray won't help teen smokers kick the habit, at least in its current formulation, new research published in Pediatrics suggests.

Adolescents who tried the spray complained of burning in their nostrils, a bad smell, and other side effects, leading them it stop using it or using it too infrequently to be effective, Dr. Mark L. Rubenstein and his colleagues from the University of California, San Francisco found.

"It's actually one of the most effective forms of nicotine replacement in adults," Rubenstein noted in an interview with Reuters Health. "Usually the side effects are supposed to wear off during the first week."

The researchers had high hopes for success because the spray is very fast-acting and it allows the patient to control the dosage. Nicotine nasal spray and adolescents 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. Quit smoking barriers full article.

SMOKING RISKIER TO WOMEN'S HEARTS THAN MEN'S

Source: AP
Date: September 2, 2008
Author: MARIA CHENG

Women typically get heart disease much later than men, but not if they smoke, researchers said Tuesday.

In fact, women who smoke have heart attacks nearly 14 years earlier than women who don't smoke, Norwegian doctors reported in a study presented to the European Society of Cardiology. For men, the gap is not so dramatic; male smokers have heart attacks about six years earlier than men who don't smoke.

"This is not a minor difference," said Dr. Silvia Priori, a cardiologist at the Scientific Institute in Pavia, Italy. "Women need to realize they are losing much more than men when they smoke," she said. Priori was not connected to the research.

Dr. Morten Grundtvig and colleagues from the Innlandet Hospital Trust in Lillehammer, Norway, based their study on data from 1,784 patients admitted for a first heart attack at a hospital in Lillehammer.

Their study found that the men on average had their first heart attack at age 72 if they didn't smoke, and at 64 if they did.

Women in the study had their first heart attack at age 81 if they didn't smoke, and at age 66 if they did.

Full article no longer available.


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