Archive for the ‘smoking cessation’ Category

Are E-Cigarettes Associated with Successful Attempts to Quit Smoking?

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016


A study reported in the British Medical Journal concluded that  the use of e-cigarettes in England has been associated with a higher rate of successful attempts to quit smoking.  Statistics showed that in 2015 an additional estimated 18,000 long term smokers in England may have quit as a result of e-cigarettes.  Researchers concluded “although these numbers are relatively small, they are clinically significant because of the huge health gains from stopping smoking.” For example, they said a 40 year old smoker who quit permanently could extend her/his life by 9 years compared to one who continued to smoke. They also say that their findings “conflict with the hypothesis that an increase in populations use of e-cigarettes undermine quitting in general.” They concludced that more research was needed.

NB: It should be mentioned that some research has found that e-cagarettes are harmful to health.

Are E-cigarettes Effective for Smoking Cessation?

Friday, May 22nd, 2015


A new study presented at the 2015 American Thoracic  Society International Conference concluded that there is little evidence that electronic cigarettes are effective for long-term smoking cessation. Researchers said “While e-cigarettes have been shown to significantly improve abstinence at 1 month compared with placebo, no such evidence is available supporting their effectiveness for longer periods.” “Until such data are available, there are a number of other smoking cessation aids available that have a more robust evidence base supporting their efficacy and safety.”

These conclusions were based upon a mega analysis of four studies of the efficacy and safety of e-cigarettes for promoting smoking cessation in 1011 patients and an additional 18 studies of the safety of e-cigarettes reporting adverse effects that occurred in 1212 patients.  At 1 month as previously noted, e-cigarettes significantly improved the prevalence of abstinence among study subjects, but this effect was absent at 3 and 6 month follow ups. Adverse effects of e-cigarettes noted included dry cough, throat irritation, and shortness of breath,. The researchers concluded “Although e-cigarettes are widely promoted and used as a smoking cessation tool, we found no data supporting their long term efficacy and safety.” “Given the potential health risks of using these unproven and unregulated devices, individuals seeking help with smoking cessation should consider other more well-established options until more research is performed.”

Can Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Reduce Smoking?

Friday, February 15th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new study published in online Elsevier reported on electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) that debuted in China in 2002, and have become available globally especially through the Internet.  Little is known about their long term health effect and addiction possibility and are of varying nicotine content and  delivery. They have been banned by health authorities in Canada and Australia.

Researchers from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada investigated ENDS awareness, use, and perception among current and former cigarette users. Researchers were unaware of previous studies of cross-national patterns of ENDS use. Data were collected from around 6,000 telephone and web surveys in the four countries between July 2010 and June 2011. Overall awareness of ENDS reached about 47 percent ranging from 73 percent in the United States where they are legal, to 20 percent in Australia where they are banned.  Awareness was highest among younger (age 18-24), non-minority populations with higher incomes and of those aware, 16 percent had tried ENDS. Just over 70 percent said ENDS were less harmful than traditional cigarettes and perception of harm was highest in the United States and United Kingdom.

Almost 80 percent said they used ENDS because they were considered less harmful than traditional cigarettes and almost seventy five percent said they used ENDS to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoked. Eighty five percent said they used ENDS to help quit smoking and almost 75 percent used them to access nicotine in smoke-free spaces. Researchers said “This study represents a snapshot in time of the use of ENDS from mid 2010 to mid 2011. As the market evolves, awareness, trial, and use of ENDS is likely to increase. Should regulatory authorities approve direct claims about reduced harm, one might expect greater adoption of these products, at least among current cigarette smokers. If credible evidence can be provided to regulators, through independently researched, well-controlled studies, that ENDS reduces the number of cigarette smokers and does not attract use among nonsmokers, then the net public health effect is likely to be positive.”

Are Graphic Warnings on Cigarettes Effective?

Friday, January 25th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new study published in the journal PLOS ONE concluded that hard hitting graphic tobacco warnings may help smokers of diverse backgrounds who are struggling to quit. These are bold pictorial cigarette warning labels that visually depict the health consequences of smoking.

This is one of the first studies to evaluate the effectiveness of pictorial warning labels versus text-only labels across racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups. In the study, the reaction to cigarette warning labels for over 3,300 smokers were examined. Results showed that hard hitting, pictorial graphic warnings are more effective than text-only versions, with smokers indicating the labels are more impactful, credible, and have a greater effect on one’s intent to quit smoking.  In addition, the stronger impact of pictorial warnings was similar across vulnerable populations, with consistent reactions across diverse populations.  The author said “The implementation of graphic warning labels appear to be one of the few tobacco control policies that have the potential to reduce communication inequalities accross groups.”

Interviews with Dr Jacob Teitelbaum (Fibromalgia, CFS, Alzheimers) and Kristin Mallon (Midwifery) Now Available for Listening.

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Guests on the show yesterday were Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum (left) and Kristin mallon (right).

Dr Teitelbaum is one of the leading authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome and has written best selling books, appeared on major radio and television programs and spoken internationally. More information is available at:

Kristin Mallon is a certified nurse midwife with a masters in nursing and is in private practice in northern new Jersey and is a published author and breastfeeding counselor. More information is available at:

Enjoy the interview below:

Will Smoking Cessation Reduce Mortality At An Older Age?

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

A report in the June 11 issue of the  Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that smoking is linked to increased mortality in older patients and smoking cessation is associated with reduced mortality in this population. Researchers said “We provide a thorough review and mega-analysis of studies assessing the impact of smoking on all-cause mortality in people 60 years and older, paying particular attention to the strength of the association by age, the impact of smoking cessation at older age, and factors that might specifically affect results of epidemiological studies on the impact of smoking in an older population.”

Seventeen studies from seven countries were selected that were published between 1987 and 2011. Follow up time in the studies ranged from 3 to 50 years and the size of study populations ranged from 863 to 877,243.  The researchers found an 83% increased relative mortality for current smokers and a 34% increased relative mortality for former smokers compared to those who never smoked. The authors said “In this review and mega-analysis on the association of smoking and an all-cause mortality at older age, current and former smokers showed an approximately 2-fold and 1.3 -fold risk for mortality, respectively.” “This review and mega-analysis demonstrates that the relative risk for death notably decreases with time since smoking cessation even in older age.”

Will Eating More Fruit and Vegetables Assist in Smoking Cessation?

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

A new study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research concluded  that eating more fruit and vegetables may help one quit smoking and stay tobacco-free longer. Researchers surveyed 1,000 smokers ages 25 and older from around the United States using random-digit dialing telephone interviews. A follow up interview was carried out 14 months later to determine if they had abstained from tobacco use the preceding month. The researchers had previously determined smokers who abstinened from cigarettes for less than 6 months consumed more fruit and vegetables than those still smoking.  What they did not know was whether recent quitters increased their consumption of fruit and vegetables or if those eating more fruit and vegetables were more likely to quit smoking.

In this study they found that smokers who consumed the most fruit and vegetables were three times more likely to be tobacco-free for at least 30 days at follow-up 14 months later than those who ate the least amount of fruit and vegetables.  Adjusting for variables of age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, household income, and health orientation did not influence the findings.

They also found that those eating the highest amount of fruit and vegetables smoked fewer cigarettes daily, waiter longer to smoke their first cigarette of the day, and scored lower on the common test for nicotine dependence. Researchers said ” It’s possible that an improved diet could be an important item to be added to the list of measures to help smokers quit.”

Does Anti-tobacco Advertising on Television Help Reduce Adult Smoking?

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

It is know that adults and youth are exposed to anti-smoking advertising on television but little is know about  about which  ones  or if any are effective.  A new study evaluates the relationship between adults’ smoking behavior and their exposure to advertising sponsored by a variety of sources including states; private foundations, tobacco companies, and pharmaceutical companies marketing smoking-cessation products.

In the study published in the American Journal of Public Health researchers evaluated exposure to smoking related advertising using Nielsen ratings data for the top 75 U.S. media markets between 1999 and 2007 and combined the data with individual smoking data and state tobacco-control-policy data. Variables such as smoking status, intentions to quit, attempts to quit in the past year, and average daily cigarette consumption were included.

Data showed  that markets with higher exposure to state-sponsored media campaigns had less smoking  and higher intentions to quit.   Those with higher exposure to state-sponsored, private organization advertising, and pharmaceutical adverting was associated with less smoking but higher exposure to tobacco industry advertising was associated with more smoking. In addition, it was found that adults who were in areas with more ads for pharmaceutical cessation products were less likely to attempt to quit.  The author said “Since we looked at the total amount of exposure to anti-smoking campaigns–and the campaigns are very different–our data suggests that it may not matter what you say to people, just that you’re saying it a lot.”  The researcher also says that recent increased funding for anti-smoking campaigns may contribute to reduction in smoking among adults in the United States.

Is Nicotine Replacement Effective for Smoking Cessation?

Friday, January 27th, 2012

A new study published in an advanced online edition of Tobacco Control concluded that nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) such as nicotine patches and nicotine gum used to assist with smoking cessation do not seem to be effective long-term even when used in combination with counseling.
In the prospective study researchers followed 787 adult smokers who had recently stopped smoking. Surveyed over three time periods, 2001-2002, 2003-2004, and 2005-2006, subjects were asked whether or not they used nicotine replacement therapy in the form of a patch, gum, inhaler, or spray to help them quit, and if so, how long they had used the product. Subjects were also asked if they had joined a quit-smoking program, or received help from professions such as a physician or counselor.
Results showed that for each time period studied, almost 1/3 of the recent quitters had reported a relapse. There was no difference in the relapse rate of those using NRT for more than 6 weeks with or without professional counseling and no difference in successful quitting using NRT for heavy or light smokers. The researchers xoncluded “This study shows that using NTR is no more effective in helping people stop smoking cigarettes in the long-term than trying to quit on one’s own. “

Research Finds Chantix is Unsuitable for First-Line Smoking Cessation

Friday, November 11th, 2011


Research published in the November 2 issue of PLoS ONE concluded varenicline (Chantix) is unsuitable for first line use for smoking cessation because of its poor safety profile. Results showed a -substantially increased risk of reported depression or suicidal behavior compared to other smoking cessation treatments. Ninety-percent of all reported suicides related to smoking-cessation drugs since 1988 implicated Chantix despite the fact that it was only on the market 4 of the 13 years of the study. In addition, it was eight times more likely to result in a reported case of suicidal behavior or depression than nicotine replacement products and was associated with more suicidal behavior than any other smoking-cessation drug on the U.S. market. The researchers analyzed 3,249 case reports of serious injury from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System between 1998 and September, 2010 for self-injurious behavior or depression related to Chantix, Zyban (bupropion) and nicotine replacement products. For suicidal behavior and depression 90% (2,925 cases) were related to Chantix, 7% (229) related to Zyban, and 3% (95) were related to nicotine replacement products. The researchers also said there are other safety issues with Chantix found by other researchers. They concluded “We agree with the recommendation of the U.S., Veterans Administration (VA) that varenicline should be prescribed only after failure of nicotine replacement , bupropion or a combination.” They further said “We
strongly recommend that the FDA should revise the black box warning to say what the study and the FDA ‘s own data shows–that varenicline has higher risks for suicidal behavior and depression than other smoking-cessation treatments.” .