Using Nicotine Patch Before Quit Date Ups Success

Cigarettes Reuters HealthDay reported on November 19, 2006 on a study orginally reported in the journal, Nicotine and Tobacco Research, which found that starting nicotine patches two weeks before the cessation date increases the liklihood of people quitting smoking.

Giving nicotine patches a two-week "head start" more than doubles the chances they'll help smokers kick the habit, research finds.

A U.S. team found that by applying the patch 14 days before that last cigarette, users greatly boosted their long-term success rate.

The initial study was published earlier this year in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, and a second trial has now replicated those findings, according to Jed E. Rose, medical research professor and director of Duke University's Center for Nicotine Cessation Research. He led the original study and is co-inventor of the nicotine patch.

One concern for some experts was that wearing a patch while still smoking might prove too toxic, or actually boost addiction by putting more nicotine in the body.

Not true, Rose said. "We have also found in the recent studies that the success rate is double even when smokers switched to a low nicotine or de-nicotinized cigarettes during the two week pre-cessation treatment period, and this procedure further allays any concerns about the possibility of nicotine overdose."

Link: MedlinePlus: Using Nicotine Patch Before Quit Date Ups Success.

Kids' Smoking, Drinking Linked to R-Rated Movies

Kids_smoking November 6, 2006 Reuters Health Day article reports on a study which appears in the November, 2006 issue of Pediatrics which finds that children who watch R rated movies have increased smoking and alcohol.

Two new studies spotlight both the difficulty parents often have in keeping children away from the TV and also the potential health rewards for kids in cutting down on adult media, such as R-rated movies.

For example, one study found that 9-to-12-year-olds who were barred from watching R-rated movies also had lower risks for smoking and drinking.

Those results show that "the media is a very important part of children's lives today, and parents need to take it seriously," said the lead author of the movies-and-health study, Madeline Dalton, director of the Hood Center for Children and Families at Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, N.H.

Link: MedlinePlus: Kids' Smoking, Drinking Linked to R-Rated Movies.

Sue your neighbors for smoking?

Second_hand_smoke The Inside Bay Area web site has an article posted on 11/04/06 describing an ordinance passed by the City of Dublin in California that will allow neighbors to sue if their neighbor's smoke is polluting the air in their apartment or house.

The City of Dublin has passed an ordinance that allows neighbors to sue each other over cigarette smoke, and now other cities, including Belmont and Emeryville, may follow suit.

By classifying smoke as a public nuisance, residents whose neighbors' smoke wafts through their windows and under their doors will have legal recourse.

Although ordinances that regulate whether one can smoke in their own home may be tough to swallow on first glance, their aim is to protect those who wish to remain smoke-free in their own homes — it's a classic case of one person's freedom impinging on another's.

The very nature of smoking makes it apt to be an annoyance to those in the vicinity, since smoke isn't easy to contain. For example, there are no such regulations in effect for chewing tobacco, even though it is essentially the same product, because its effects aren't liable to disturb neighbors in the same way.

Also, the ordinances don't prevent people from smoking in their homes any more than other nuisance laws prevent people from playing loud music at home, but they do offer a remedy if those actions become a problem. The Bay Area ordinances stop short of dispatching police or any other city agencies from enforcing "no smoking" zones, but they give residents bothered by smoke a way to fight back. Although bringing such a case to court could be expensive, the threat of litigation gives those who are annoyed or may be suffering adverse health reactions from the smoke a legal bargaining chip.

The ordinances come in the wake of rulings on the adverse health effects of secondhand smoke.

In January, the California Air Resources Board deemed secondhand smoke a contaminant that that presents a "serious health threat." In June, the U.S. Surgeon General released a report that determined secondhand smoke is dangerous, and that 49,000 adults went on to die from its effects in 2005. A surgeon general report also notes that secondhand smoke contains formaldehyde, benzene, arsenic ammonia, hydrogen cyanide and hundreds of other toxic or carcinogenic substances.

Link: Inside Bay Area - Law entitles neighbors to fresh air.

Drug Therapy May Help Women Looking to Quit Smoking

Woman_smoking According to Reuters Health Day, in a report made on October 9, 2006 on a study published in the October issue of Nicotine and Tobacco Research, Naltrexone,along with a nicotine patch and counseling may help more women stop smoking. Naltrexone seems to facilitate better outcomes for women but not for men.

Women -- but not men -- hoping to kick the smoking habit may be helped in the short-term by taking an opiate blocker drug in conjunction with standard nicotine patch treatments and counseling, new research suggests. The medication -- naltrexone -- has been around for about 30 years and is already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of alcohol and heroin dependence. Naltrexone also prevented the weight gain that commonly comes with quitting smoking. Those who did not get the drug gained about four pounds in the first month after quitting; those who took the drug gained only one pound, the study found. The new findings suggest that a two-month regimen, incorporating naltrexone, nicotine patches and behavioral support, improves by nearly 50 percent a woman's ability to abstain from smoking for the duration of the program, compared to the same program minus naltrexone. But, naltrexone doesn't appear to offer similar help for men, according to the study, which was published in the October issue of Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

Link: MedlinePlus: Drug Therapy May Help Women Looking to Quit Smoking.

Smoking parents could loose custody in custody battles to nonsmoking parent


The Dayton Daily News in Ohio reported on September 27, 2006 that parents who smoke in Ohio may loose custody of their children in custody battles in favor of nonsmoking parents.

Ohio may soon ban smoking in the barroom and the bedroom. Voters could face rival smoking restriction petitions on the Nov. 7 ballot. And a recent Ohio appeals court custody ruling that favored a nonsmoking parent could affect other smoker households with children. The ruling by the 7th District Court of Appeals is part of a trend that punishes parents who puff. "More and more people are bringing these issues up in custody fights, and courts are having to consider it," said Vernellia Randall, a University of Dayton health care law professor. Courts in at least 18 states "have issued orders prohibiting smoking in homes and cars of children involved in custody disputes and/or limited custody of parents smoking around children," according to Action on Smoking and Health, a Washington, D.C.-based anti-smoking group. "A parent who smokes around their children in their home in a closed environment is subjecting their child to a health hazard," Randall said. "That's the basic argument."

Link: Smoking limits may hit home.

Reduction in the Incidence of Acute Myocardial Infarction Associated With a Citywide Smoking Ordinance

Smoking_1 How would you like to reduce the incidence of heart attacks by 27 - 40% in a city population? That's what Helena, Montana, and Pueblo, Colorado did by simply banning indoor smoking in public places to reduce second hand smoke.

New York State was the fifth state in the United States to pass the Expanded Clean Indoor Air Act which took effect July 1, 2003. There have been remarkable benefits in New York State as well.

The study done in Pueblo, Colorado was reported in the journal Circulation in the October, 2006 issue. You can read the abstract clicking on the link below.

In this study, researchers assessed the impact of a smoke-free ordinance on acute myocardial infarction (AMI) hospitalizations in Pueblo , Colorado . This is the second study to assess the effects of second-hand smoke (SHS) following a smoking ban. A study performed in Helena , Montana found a 40 percent decline in AMI rates during a six month smoking ban. The Pueblo ordinance prohibits smoking inside the workplace and all buildings open to the public, including restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, and other businesses. It was implemented on July 1, 2003, was strictly enforced, and has remained in force ever since. The authors obtained patient data from two area hospitals and assessed the rates of AMI in individuals residing within the Pueblo city limits. They then compared the rates in Pueblo to rates in areas not affected by the smoking ban, i.e., outside Pueblo city limits and in nearby El Paso County . Because previous research demonstrated a seasonal trend in AMI rates, the authors accounted for such seasonality in the analysis. They found a 27 percent decrease in AMI hospitalizations since the onset of the Pueblo smoking ordinance. According to the authors, “The results of the present study mirror those in the Helena study, with a reduction in AMI seen only among citizens residing within the city, and strengthen the possibility that a reduction in AMI hospitalizations is directly related to enforcement of the smoking ordinance. These data suggest that community adoption of a smoke-free environment has the potential to rapidly improve the cardiovascular health status of its citizens.”

Link: Reduction in the Incidence of Acute Myocardial Infarction Associated With a Citywide Smoking Ordinance -- Bartecchi et al. 114 (14): 1490 -- Circulation.

Study Says Secondhand Smoke Costs $6 Billion Annually

Smoking_in_car Second hand smoke can kill you. Before it kills you, you will suffer with serious health problems. It should be against the law for adults to smoke in cars and houses with minor nonsmoking children present. The adults should be smart enough to leave or ask the people smoking to go outside. Unfortunately, minor children usually don't have the option.

The medical and economic costs of secondhand smoke totaled about $6 billion in 2004, according to a study released by the American Academy of Actuaries.

Cori Uccello, senior health fellow at the Academy, said that the medical costs of coronary heart disease and lung cancer caused by secondhand smoke alone cost the U.S. $2.4 billion. "This includes the medical care of nearly half a million people suffering from coronary heart disease, and an estimated 2,500 patients newly diagnosed with lung cancer -- an extremely deadly form of cancer -- as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke," he said.

Link: Study Says Secondhand Smoke Costs $6 Billion Annually.

Is the Meth 'Epidemic' Real?

Is the Meth Epidemic real? Depends where you live.

Join Together Online has an interesting article on its website dated 12/20/05 which you can access by clicking below.

As with most drug hype, it is hype. There is no epidemic, but there are problems in certain areas.

The drug problem in the US of A is alcohol and tobacco. As I repeatedly point out on this blog, 100,000 Americans die every year from alcohol and 430,000 Americans die from tobacco. Big difference between alcohol and tobacco and illegal drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, etc. is that alcohol and tobacco are taxed by the government and legally sold. Street drugs by comparison kill about 30,000 people, and the government makes no money from them.

The policy makers need to get real and wake up to the facts. There is no epidemic of meth killing even a smidgen of the people that alcohol and tobacco are killing. By comparison, methamphetamine is like farting in the hurricane of alcohol and tobacco.

Link: Is the Meth 'Epidemic' Real? |

Movies Show Plenty of Sex and Drug Use, Few Consequences

Yesterday, October 4th, 2005 Join Together had an in interesting article on its web site describing a study in an Australian Journal, The Journal Of The Royal Society of Medicine in October of 2005 which reports a study on the way that sex and drugs are portrayed in movies since 1983.

"The film industry isn't shy about portraying sex and drug use, but rarely portrays negative consequences such as unwanted pregnancy or addiction, according to a new study.

The Associated Press reported Oct. 3 that researchers led by Hasantha Gunasekera of the University of Sydney looked at 87 box-office hits released since 1983 and found that none portrayed unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted disease. Drug use received similarly mild treatment."

Link: Movies Show Plenty of Sex and Drug Use, Few Consequences |

Exercise helps with cigarette cravings

An article in the May 3, 2005 issue of NY Newsday reports on research in Great Britian which found that 15 minutes of exercise, like walking, reduces cravings for cigarettes.

"New research out of Great Britain shows that smokers who took a moderate-intensity 15-minute walk when they craved a cigarette lessened their desire for a smoke compared with a control group and waited an average of 83.7 minutes for their next cigarette, compared with 26.6 minutes for non-walkers. (Participants walked on a treadmill under observation.) All study participants, who smoked an average of 15 cigarettes daily, abstained from smoking for two hours before testing."

Link: New York City: QUITTING SMOKING.