Tag Archives: quit smoking
Smokers celebrate, as Obama Administration turns down draconian proposal targeting smokers.
The Administration of President Obama this week successfully turned down one of the provisions of the federal public health legislation, which would have permitted insurance providers within the small group segment of the market to oblige smokers pay about a half more than those who do not smoke for insurance.
In accordance with the introduced bill, workers who consume tobacco in any form, may escape from paying these larger premiums in case they agree to take part in a smoking cessation programs.
Going cold turkey is the most popular way of getting rid of smoking, according to a study carried out by the University of Sydney Department of Public Health researches. Since nearly 60 percent of smokers managed to quit smoking permanently through this method, the scientists wanted to find out why.
The study is performed by a team of researchers, led by Dr. Sally Dunlop, who is specializing in the determinants of behaviors related to health. The objectives of the study were identified as investigation of causes and ways why cigarette smokers opt for different methods for quitting smoking.
Officially named as ‘unassisted cessation‘ this method of quitting is considered the most effective and successful way to stop smoking. However, Dr. Dunlop believes this method has not been studied and used as together with other methods of smoking cessation applied across the nation.
The researches from the University of South Carolina commence a study with an objective of finding answers to two questions related to potential public health consequences of usage of smokeless tobacco.
Are smoke-free tobacco, for example, Camel Snus, help an adult smoker stop smoking – especially one who has no intention to quit?
Attempting to answer these questions is Matthew Carpenter, an associate professor from the University of South Carolina Department of Medicine. The research, which will be performed by Carpenter and his team, is funded mostly by the National Institutes of Health.
The nationwide study will comprise 1,250 adult smokers, half of them will be receiving Camel Snus or other smoke-free product, while the other half will not be given anything.
The scientists are willing to know if consumption of Snus results in reduction or quitting smoking. They also seek to estimate the quantity and patterns of consumption of Snus.
“The research will give strong and reliable evidence to initiate clinical and regulatory decision-making in the given controversial part of tobacco control,” the scientist admitted.
Matthew Myers, chairman of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids stated studies of smoke-free tobacco products should estimate what health damage results from the usage of the product as well as the strategies used to market that product.
“In case a smoke-free tobacco product diminishes the risk of health complication, but leads to more people consuming tobacco, it might lead to more deaths, not fewer,” declared Myers.
Carpenter admitted they are not attempting to encourage consumption of smokeless tobacco products in their research.
“We’re simply willing to imitate the real-world actions of an adult cigarette smoker being exposed to smokeless products in certain environment, such as a convenience store, “Carpenter noted.
“If smokers decide to try such products, what could be the effect? We think regardless of the determination of the research, it would possess a public-health effect.”
The present research is based on a similar study Carpenter research team performed last year on Ariva and Stonewell smoke-free products manufactured by Star Scientific Inc.
The main conclusion of the latter research was smoking diminished by 40 percent after the 14-day examination period, however overall usage of tobacco remained unchanged.
“That means Ariva and Stonewall might be effective in reducing nicotine withdrawal and craving,” the scientist admitted in his summary. “We did not find any changes in overall nicotine craving or withdrawal, as surveyed smokers exchanged cigarettes for Ariva/Stonewall lozenges.
“We discovered no evidence that smoke-free products (Ariva and Stonewall) prevent smoking cessation. On the contrary, willingness to stop – during the 60 days and next six months – considerably grew among adult smokers who consumed smoke-free tobacco products in comparison to those who smoked cigarettes.”
Leading tobacco companies, headed by Reynolds American are focusing on smokeless tobacco products to obtain market share and increase sales since cigarette smoking rates across the country are falling. According to government data, approximately 42 million adult Americans are smokers, versus 53.5 million reported in 1983.
Put away cigarettes at least for a single day, and maybe you will not want to light up again. This message was sent by anti-smoking organization as they celebrate the 35th Annual Great American Smokeout.
It was estimated that more than 400,000 Americans die every year from smoking related diseases, as for instance lung cancer. While Nebraska’s population constitutes 1.8 million, about 2,000 Nebraskans die each year from smoking-related diseases. It was proved long ago that smoking is a real killer and it still continues to be a multibillion dollar industry.
Current decision implemented by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to place health warning labels on cigarette packs will be an essential knock over the head, according to Community Connections Tobacco Free Lincoln County Coordinator Megan Shelton.
“People and most of all children are usually too visual. I can run on for hours about the consequences and dangers of smoking, but these graphic packages will be especially effective for those children who are thinking about trying to smoke and also for those who expose themselves and those around them to those dangers by smoking tobacco products,” she stated.
Shelton said that the Great American Smokeout was quite effective in increasing awareness to these problems.
“The problem with tobacco consumption is something that will not hurt anyone. You are not going to smoke one cigarette and have a smoking related disease that day. It is a process that takes time, that is why such a day as the Great American Smokeout is a day that is aimed to encourage people to kick their habit and increase the awareness about the consequences of smoking and the harm that is caused to those who use this dangerous product,” Ms. Shelron said.
Ms. Shelron stated that she hopes that namely this day people will mark as the beginning of a new life, a life where there is no place for tobacco. Also this day is very important in continuing to inform and educate people on tobacco dangers.
The American Cancer Society and the Nebraska Department of Health have a common message for the Great American Smokeout which is “Less smoking, more birthdays”.
“Stopping smoking is probably one of the best things a person can do in order to improve his/her health. I think that The Great American Smokeout is an excellent chance to make the first step in this direction,” declared Dr. Joann Schaefer, the state’s Chief Medical Officer.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled without a single dissenting vote that State reserves set aside a decade ago specially for smoking prevention programs remained state money and might be allocated for other purposes.
“I do not think that this legislation is constitutional, it would be better to spend those reserves for their original purpose,” stated Justice Paul Pfeifer.
“The General Assembly has full legislative power and executing that power it estimated Ohio’s budget priorities and adopted a law which allowed tacking those State reserves for other purposes. We can’t judge General Assembly action but we can determine whether it exercises its power in conformity with Ohio Constitution,” he said.
The current case pits health-care advocates who waited for the money to be allocated on anti-smoking programs against those health-care officials whose presented programs promised the money in the operating budget.
The lower court discovered that legislators developed an irrevocable trust with their anti-smoking foundation in 2000, a trust that even they couldn’t break.
The decision ends after approximately three-year fluctuating battle over part of Ohio’s share of a $10 billion, long-term national settlement with leading tobacco manufacturers as R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris.
Over the last years, the foundation had seen as usually that its settlement checks are allocated to other purposes before reaching the foundation.
The organization’s committee tried to hand over $190 million of its money to a foundation that had the same anti-smoking aim. That would have left Ohio foundation with about $40 million it is less than a year’s amount allocated for its programs which are aimed at helping smokers to kick the habit.
Money was eventually transferred in the current budget to sponsor Medicaid adult dental and vision services; breast cancer screenings and health-care coverage for children.
“I am sure that this is a great achievement for children’s health care in Ohio. At present Ohio has enough funds to assure that all children will have full access to admissible health care system, despite their financial situation. This important decision excepts state funds that can be used in order to make lives of many families and their children better,” Mr. Strickland stated.
Robert G. Miller, who was a beneficiary of one of the smoking cessation programs sponsored by the foundation, was one of the claimants in the case. At the process, the court found out that he and his colleagues didn’t have the right to that money.
Tobacco industry is targeting women and girls – World Health Organization declares
The latest report on smoking issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) coming on the threshold of World No-Tobacco Day has showed that women make up 20 percent of 1 billion smokers in the world, and these figures keep growing annually. WHO focused the attention not only to the growing numbers of adult female-smokers, by as well to the growth of smokers among teenage girls.
An international survey on youth tobacco use has demonstrated that tobacco consumption among girls aged 13-16 years, is even higher than that among teenage boys of the same age. According to the survey, 23.6 percent of girls are taking up cigarette compared to 21.5 percent of boys, and these figures are coming despite the fact that sales to minors are prohibited in the majority of countries.
The WHO report as well demonstrates that in Europe adult men constitute 59 percent of all smokers, and women make up 21 percent. While in Western Europe the rates of smokers among men and women are almost equal (33 percent to 28 percent in Germany), Eastern Europe shows the contrary trend with much fewer smokers among women (60 percent to 30 percent in Cyprus and 61 percent to 5 percent in Armenia). And this tendency couldn’t remain unnoticed by tobacco industry that is currently trying to close this gap by luring women into smoking, alleged the survey.
A report in China: Smokers can’t give up without help
According to a report carried out by China Ministry of Public Health and based on a survey of more than 15,000 internet users across the country, the majority of current smokers face many difficulties while trying to quit cold turkey without help of professionals. The report was published in the Life Times newspaper in advance of the World No Tobacco Day celebrated across China on May 31st and funded in part by international grants.
The report authors deduce that 20 percent of smokers trying to quit admitted they needed medical assistance to overcome nicotine addiction, but only 5 percent were able to receive that assistance. Among those smokers who tried to quit on their own 49 percent didn’t manage to do this, and 35 percent of the surveyed smokers admitted they felt physical pain when trying to give up smoking, while 41 percent mentioned that their environment was not favorable for them to get rid of smoking. Whereas the majority of the respondents considered that smoking made up an essential part of their social life, 10 percent of smokers admitted it was fashionable to quit smoking.
Dr. Zuo Fang, director of tobacco cessation program at the Ministry of Public Health said that the most effective smoking cessation strategy is based on medications, medical assistance and strong desire to give up.
The scientist said that without medical assistance, the success rate is less than 5 percent, and when applying scientific approach the chances may rise that figure to over 30 percent.
The majority of smokers have tried to give up at least once, but only 3 of 10 smokers manage to overcome their addiction. So, pharmaceutical industry has been trying to create more products that will help smokers overcome their habit, but a great part of smoking-cessation therapies were useless for inveterate smokers who have been addicted to the mental part of smoking, i.e. holding cigarette between their fingers. Thus, a nicotine-free cigarette is the best choice for them.
A research recently published in the Minnesota Journal of Public Health and carried out by a group of scientists from the Minnesota State University demonstrated that nicotine-free cigs are useful in giving up smoking, and especially for long-time and chain smokers.
The research financed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse comprised the survey of 165 men and women of middle age, who had been lighting up on a regular basis for at least 15 years. All the smokers who took part in the research were divided into three groups: one group used nicotine troches, second group took conventional low-nicotine cigs and the third group got nicotine-free cigarettes.
The participants had to use the aforementioned products for six weeks, and then underwent urine and lung tests. The research team compared the tests of all the participants and came to an interesting conclusion.
The tests showed that 19 of 53 members of the group which used nicotine-free cigarette to quit smoking, managed to get rid of their habit, in comparison to only 7 of 52 smokers who used low-nicotine cigarettes and were able to give up.
Dr. Dorothy Hatsukami, the lead researcher admitted that during their work they found out that nicotine-free cigarettes were nearly as efficient as nicotine troches in helping smokers to give up.
Dr. Hatsukami said that the percentage of quitters in the group that used nicotine lozenges and nicotine-free cigarettes as nearly equivalent because nicotine-free cigarettes help smokers get rid of mental part of their addiction, while lozenges are useful in overcoming nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
The scientist added that unfortunately nicotine-free cigarettes are not currently offered in cigarette stores across the United States, but can purchased in online cigarette shops. These cigarettes contain no nicotine, or just 0.1a milligram of nicotine, whereas conventional low-nicotine cigs provide at least 0.4 mg
Dr. Hatsukami stated that for many smokers repeating the process of lighting up and smoking can be enough to overcome the withdrawal symptoms, whereas traditional nicotine-replacement therapies do not provide any help in getting rid of the metal part of the habit that is, for instance, lighting up while drinking a morning coffee or talking over the phone.
She noted that they plan to have another research, this time comparing the effectiveness of using the patches together with nicotine-free cigarettes, and both products separately.