Tag Archives: smoking cessation

Many want cutting nicotine in cigarettes

Marlboro Display

Almost 50% of U.S. adult people claim that they back the idea of a federal mandate to minimize nicotine levels, scientists state.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has power under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 to minimize nicotine in cigarettes, but not to zero. The FDA has not yet acted on this authority.

“The reduction of nicotine could be a guaranteeing method to protect the society from the problems caused by smoking,” lead author Jennifer Pearson, study researcher for the Schroeder Institute, said.

The study provides nationally representative details from a June 2010 study that identified 46.7% of U.S. adults said the FDA should minimize cigarette nicotine levels, which might make smoking cessation easier.

16% stated that the FDA should not modify levels of nicotine in cigarettes and 37.8% abstained from getting their opinion.

Smokers who were thinking about quitting smoking were more probably to back a rule than smokers who are not thinking of stopping smoking. African-Americans, Hispanics and those with lower education levels were especially supportive of nicotine reduction, Pearson said.

“These facts could be useful to FDA in gauging public sentiment and developing its messaging if the agency prefers to advance such rule,” Pearson said.

The Schroeder Institute has formal academic links with The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Legacy Foundation was produced due to the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between 46 states and the tobacco industry.

No Effect of Graphic Posters on Purchase of Cigarettes or Smoking Cessation

Anti-smoking poster

A research published online in the journal Tobacco Control contains the data of an analysis directed to see the effectiveness of New York City’s policy of demanding graphic anti-smoking posters at point-of-sale at all tobacco retail outlets. The demand that came into force late in 2009 was designed to reduce smoking rates by promoting smoking cessation at the point of sale.

The research included two rounds of interviews led among customers of retail cigarettes stores: one round in the beginning (before the implementation of the policy) and one round 9 months later.

Anti-smoking poster

Graphic anti-smoking poster

The influence of the signs on smoking cessation was estimated by asking recent quitters: “During this visit to the cigarette store or over the past 30 days, to what extent did these health warning signs help you to stop smoking or stay quit?”

Customers were also asked: ““During this visit to the store, did these warning smoking signs prevent you from buying cigarettes when you were about to purchase them?”

The major results of the research were as follows:

1. There was no difference across poll in the warning signs encouraging recent quitters to stay quit.

2. Differences in signs impelling smokers not to buy cigarettes achieved only borderline significance (15% to 8%). More participants said that they were persuaded not to purchase cigarettes before the graphic posters than after.

The research states these results: “The graphic smoking signs did not help recent quitters to stay quit or prevent smokers from buying cigarettes at the current visit to the store.”

Despite these negative results, the study made a conclusion that their results demonstrate that the implementation of signs was connected with a doubling in the awareness of health warning signs and an 11% rise in stimulating thoughts about smoking cessation.

The real question is whether the policy helped smokers to stop smoking and in accordance with this study, it did not.

This is yet another example of a research whose results are not in accordance with the reported research conclusion.

The final conclusion if the research is the following: “A policy obliging tobacco retailers to display graphic health warning signs raised awareness of health risks of smoking and stimulated thoughts about smoking cessation. Extra research was focused on evaluating the result of tobacco control measures in the retail sphere is necessary to provide further rationale for executing of these changes and countering legal challenges from the tobacco industry.”

This stated conclusion ignores the major results of the research. It ignores the fact that the research failed to reveal any effect of the warning signs on preventing the buying of cigarettes or leading to actual smoking cessation. Actually, the research did not provide evidence whatsoever of any impact on behavior.

Temporary Smoking Locations Designated

The University has designated 14 temporary zones for tobacco use, which will be in effect between January and August 2012 on main campus as part of the tobacco-free policy that will be implemented next semester.

Director of Communications and a member of the communications division of the task force David Payne, explained in an email to the Wheel that the transitional period is intended to allow smokers additional time to work towards smoking cessation.

Smoking Lady

Woman sitting at the sofa and lighting up a cigarette

The added benefit, he said, is that the policy can eliminate tobacco’s effects on nonsmokers.

“It is hoped that a timely transition phase and the temporary transition zones will better prepare all on the campus for a tobacco-free environment,” Payne wrote. “The transition zones were created as a means to remove tobacco use from building entrances and public areas when the campuses move to tobacco free status.”

Though the tobacco ban will apply to all University and Healthcare properties, only the main campus and Emory University Hospital Midtown and the Briarcliff campuses will be implementing temporary smoking areas, while other University campuses, such as the Oxford campus, will not introduce any such temporary locations.

The newly designated areas include the existing smoking area outside of Emory University Hospital near Clifton Road as well as areas outside the Woodruff Library, Dobbs University Center (DUC), the Math and Science Walkway, Tarbutton Hall, the Woodruff Residential Center, Clairmont Tower and the Student Health Services Building at 1525 Clifton Road.

“Administrators at Oxford decided they want to go directly into the pol- icy with no temporary zones,” Payne explained.

The Tobacco-Free Task Force committee — appointed by University President James W. Wagner in 2010 and led by associate vice president of the Office of Planning, Design and Construction Steven Thweatt — deliberated for seven months before electing the zones to ensure that the most appropriate locations were cho- sen, Payne wrote.

According to a Nov. 14 article in the Emory Report, the task force looked for areas that were located about five minutes away from workspaces — which would be far enough away from entrances but close enough to buildings to avoid extended smoke breaks — while also trying to avoid areas susceptible to fires.

Thweatt mentioned in the Emory Report article that the committee also examined how other institutions, such as Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have been affected by similarly imposed policies, as well as how such policies have impacted neighboring property owners.

Popular existing smoking areas, such as those outside of Emory University Hospital and the Woodruff Library, were taken into consideration as well.

A comprehensive list of temporary tobacco-free locations can be found on the the University’s Tobacco-Free Emory webpage.

Designated smoking areas will be clearly marked with signage designed by the Campus Services graphics group.

Quit Smoking Using Your Smartphone

Quit With Me is a free social application for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) and Android mobile devices released by DoNoHarm Apps on 9/21/2011. This is the third healthcare/medical app from DoNoHarm Apps, which has previously garnered impressive reviews for its “Pocket” series apps for medical professionals, which include Pocket Derm (a dermatology image database and diagnosis tool) and Pocket Rads (a similar tool for radiology images).

Quit With Me is the first social app to help smokers quit, and is also the first DoNoHarm Apps release available on both major mobile platforms.

Medical app

Medical app

It’s no secret that smoking is harmful. You hear it all the time from friends, family, your doctors. Every day you see Surgeon General’s warnings and anti-smoking commercials. You read news stories about the latest studies implicating tobacco in emphysema, asthma, heart disease, cancer. These are things you already know – you don’t need to hear them again. You don’t need to be scolded, “Why can’t you just quit?” You don’t need to be yelled at, lectured, hypnotized or brainwashed. You need support – not from people who run anti-smoking campaigns, and not from people who don’t smoke. To really quit, you need support from people who have successfully quit smoking or are trying to quit just like you. We believe Quit With Me can deliver that support.

Quit With Me is the first social app to help smokers quit. By inviting buddies to quit with you, you can build a network of support as you chart your own progress towards being smoke-free. Log your daily cigarette use, and then check in on your buddies’ progress. Your friend cut back by 3 cigarettes yesterday? Congratulate them with a free gift! And then try to match their success – hey, a little healthy competition never hurt, especially when it comes to quitting! We believe what goes around comes around. Day by day, the encouragement and support you give your friends will come back to you, and your success will inspire your friends. And in the end, these are the things that matter the most.

Up in smoke: Tobacco-free zones may help kick habit

REASURE VALLEY — With a ban on smoking in city parks, this year Meridian joined other governments and businesses that continue to limit where people can light up.

It’s part of a trend that makes it harder and harder for smokers to find places to smoke. And measures like the Meridian park ban could be part of the reason adult smoking rates in Idaho have gone done over the past 15 years.



On Sept. 1, the Woodgrain Millwork facilities in Nampa and Fruitland implemented a smoke free policy on all business property.

“We’ve heard from a lot of our smokers that it’s helped them actually quit,” Idaho Health and Welfare anti-smoking crusader Jack Miller said about smoke-free zones. “‘OK, I can’t smoke at work now, so maybe I should quit.’ A lot of them say that’s been the trigger.”





The Idaho American Heart Association’s Adrean Casper said a study at the University of California, San Francisco found a link between smoke-free zones and quitting and reducing smoking.

Idaho law prohibits smoking in most indoor public places, such as shopping malls, most businesses, hospitals and restaurants.

In the case of Woodgrain, Southwest District Health stepped in to help the company write its new smoking policies.

Stopping smoking

Stopping smoking

“Business owners would like government to be the ones to implement their (smoke- free) policies,” Mitch Kiester, of Southwest District Health, said.

“Then maybe they don’t look like the bad guy.”

In 2000, 22.3 percent of Idaho adults smoked. By 2010, that statistic decreased to 15.7 percent.
Casper pointed to other factors that can curb smoking.

“History has shown us when you increase the tobacco tax, when you implement smoke free policies, and when you fully fund a state smoking cessation program you’ll see a decrease in tobacco use,” Casper said.

Gender differences in smoking cessation among FEP patients

MedWire News: Gender is significantly associated with smoking cessation rates in first episode psychosis (FEP) patients, with women significantly less likely to quit the habit than men, researchers have found.

“Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are associated worldwide with higher rates of current and ever smoking than those observed in the general population or in patients with other severe mental illnesses,” observe Ana González-Pinto (University of the Basque Country, Vitoria, Spain) and colleagues.

They explain that “in order to design useful treatments to help psychotic patients with smoking cessation, it is important to identify factors associated with lower smoking cessation in psychotic patients.”

However, they add that, to date, “no prospective studies of first psychotic episodes have explored sex differences in smoking cessation.”



To address this, the researchers studied 112 FEP patients (48% women), aged 15-65 years, with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or other associated condition. Of these, 79% of men and 84% of women were current smokers at baseline.

Smoking cessation rates over an 8-year follow-up period were recorded, and logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with smoking cessation by gender.

After 8 years, just 25% of the men were still current smokers compared with 58% of the women, and men also quit the habit significantly earlier than women.

Overall, women were significantly less likely to quit smoking than men, at an adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of 0.30, and those who used typical antipsychotics were less likely to quit the habit than those who did not, at an aOR of 0.30.

Among the 44 patients with history of cannabis use, continuous cannabis use was not significantly associated with smoking cessation. However, gender significantly influenced this association, with women who continued to use cannabis being less likely to stop smoking than men.

Changes in negative symptom or functioning scores between baseline and year 8 were not significantly associated with smoking cessation, and their interaction with gender was not significant.

However, although change in positive symptom scores over time was not significantly associated with smoking cessation, the interaction with gender was significant, in that among patients who quit smoking, women tended to have lower positive symptom scores than men.

González-Pinto and team conclude in the journal Psychiatry Research: “Women were less prone to quit smoking than men during long-term follow-up after the development of psychosis. Factors that have usually been considered mediators of the difficulties in smoking cessation, such as cannabis use and positive symptoms, were linked to continued tobacco use in women but not in men.”

They add: “If our results are replicated by other studies this would indicate sex difference for the treatment of nicotine dependence in psychotic patients. Treatment for psychotic women who want to quit smoking should probably be more supportive and intensive than that for men.”

Arguments ready for smoking ban lawsuit

MUNCIE — Both sides in the legal battle over Delaware County’s new smoking banare ready to make their arguments when the case goes to court next week.

The judge in the smoking ban lawsuit has set a Friday hearing, and attorneys for the county and the tavern owners and others who oppose the ban — which went into effect Aug. 11 — are preparing for it.

Bruce Munson, representing the tavern owners, fraternal organizations and tobacco shops that want the ban overturned, said Friday he will “challenge some of the long-standing assumptions” about the dangers of second-hand smoke and argue that public health does not get a boost from a smoking ban.

Arguments ready for smoking ban lawsuit

Arguments ready for smoking ban lawsuit

Donald Dunnuck, attorney for the local board of health and one of three county commissioners who voted on June 6 to approve the ban, said Munson’s arguments aren’t valid and plans to show that similar smoking bans have been legally upheld in other communities.

Dunnuck argued in the motion that the tavern owners had failed to adequately demonstrate why the ban “causes their members immediate and irreparable harm … and their motion should be denied.”

Munson’s clients raised objections shortly before the ban went into effect — banning smoking in virtually all public buildings, most particularly bars and taverns that had been exempted from a 2006 ban covering restaurants — but action has been delayed until a judge would accept the case.

Munson had asked for a hearing on a temporary injunction when the lawsuit was originally filed and Vorhees recently set the Sept. 16 date in response.

The attorney said he would meet with his clients before the hearing, but he expected to argue “constitutional concerns that have to be raised.”

But he added that the larger issue of the worth of a ban might be argued.

“We may challenge some of the long-standing assumptions on second-hand smoke,” he said. “There is another side to that coin.”

Munson also said he might refer to studies that show communities that implemented a ban don’t show a decrease in hospitalizations or an increase in overall public health.

“They show that a ban doesn’t create a health benefit,” he said.

Asked whether Munson was making a valid argument, Dunnuck said Friday, “No, of course not.”

“In my judgment, there is no legal argument to defeat this ordinance. I don’t think the allegations contained in the complaint are valid.”

Menthol Cigarettes May Make it Tougher to Quit Smoking for Certain Populations

It finds that menthol cigarettes are associated with decreased quitting in the United States, and that this effect is more pronounced for blacks and Puerto Ricans. The findings, which appear in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, are ideally timed as the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products is currently considering banning menthol cigarettes after its own Tobacco Product Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) concluded that “removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace would benefit public health in the United States.” CINJ is a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Menthol cigarettes pack and mint leaves

Menthol cigarettes pack and mint leaves

Previous studies regarding the impact of smoking menthol cigarettes and smoking cessation efforts have produced mixed results. For instance, some research did not take into account the overall population of smokers, while other studies lacked focus on periods of successful smoking cessation and instead targeted attempts to quit. This current study, Smoking Cessation Prevalence among Menthol and Non-Menthol Smokers in the United States, looks at whether those who smoke menthol cigarettes are less likely to quit than smokers of non-menthol cigarettes and whether these findings differ by race/ethnicity as well as among various subgroups of smokers, such as those trying to quit.

28.1% Hispanics smoke menthol cigarettes

28.1% Hispanics smoke menthol cigarettes

Utilizing data from the 2003 and 2006-2007 National Cancer Institute Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey, investigators focused on white, black and Hispanic “ever-smokers,” who were defined as current smokers and former smokers who quit in the past five years. Current smokers were further defined as having smoked 100 cigarettes in a lifetime and smoking every day or some days at the time of the survey. Former smokers were noted as those who smoked 100 cigarettes in a lifetime and were not smoking at all during the time of the survey. Blacks included multi-racial blacks, and the Hispanic data set was further broken down by Hispanic origin (ie: Mexico vs. Puerto Rico). Socioeconomic factors including education and household income were examined for all groups.

71.8 blacks smoked menthols

71.8% blacks smoked menthols

Overall, menthol smoking was more common among females and young adults, ages 18 to 24. Menthol smoking varied considerably by race/ethnicity; among blacks, 71.8 percent smoked menthols, which is significantly greater than whites (21 percent) and Hispanics (28.1 percent). However, among Hispanics there were wide variations. Menthol smoking was more common among those of Puerto Rican descent (62 percent) than among those of Mexican (19.9 percent) and other Hispanic origins (26.5 percent).

The study further found that menthol cigarette smoking was associated with lower levels of smoking cessation compared to non-menthol smokers, and this relationship was more pronounced among blacks and those of Puerto Rican descent. A key strength of the study was that the research team examined the relationship between menthol smoking and cessation for five different sample restrictions (e.g., all smokers vs. smokers with quit attempt history). The main finding held true even after analyzing the data using several different samples. “Because our evidence suggests that the presence of menthol may partially explain the observed differences in cessation outcomes, the recent calls to ban this flavoring would be prudent and evidence-based,” the authors state.

“Historically, smoking cessation research has generally grouped Hispanics together and contrasted them with non-Hispanic whites, thus ignoring the broad heterogeneity of the Hispanic population. By further drilling down into these subgroups, the opportunity exists to develop targeted interventions for quit efforts among this population,” she stated.

Insomnia When You Quit Smoking

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.
~Leo J. Burke~

Some people will sleep much more than usual through this phase of cessation, while others have difficulty getting any sleep at all. If you find yourself suffering from insomnia during the first few weeks after you quit smoking, try a few of these natural remedies to ease your discomforts.


    Cut out the caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant. Most people know this, but here’s a fact that is less widely known: caffeine in the body of a smoker is metabolized(digested) at about twice the rate as that of a nonsmoker. The result is a high tolerance to caffeine. When you quit smoking, the amount of coffee or colas you’re used to drinking might now make you very jittery and anxious. Cut back on, or cut out caffeine completely for awhile, especially if you’re having trouble sleeping through the night. Chances are good that once you’re through the withdrawal process, you’ll be able to drink coffee again, though maybe not as much as you used to.

    Having bath

    Take a warm bath. This is one of my personal favorite ways to relax and destress. I recommend it often, and YES, it’s good for the guys too! Light a few candles, use some scented bath salts, and submerge!



    Get a massage. Enlist your spouse or other willing pair of hands to help work the stress out of your muscles. If you can get a full body massage, great, but even 10 or 15 minutes spent on your neck, shoulders, face and scalp can really work wonders to relax you to the point of being ready to sleep.



    Have a cup of herbal tea. There are a variety of teas on the market today blended specifically to help soothe and promote sleep. Take a look at the tea section in the supermarket, or visit your local health food store and ask for suggestions.

Listening to music

Listening to music

    Listen to some soothing music. Soft, mellow music can go a long way towards relaxing you enough to drift off to sleep. You may want to try listening to a recording of waves hitting the beach – soft sounds can be a very good sleep aid. Make sure you have a player that will turn itself off – you don’t want to have to get up and do it yourself – defeats the purpose!

Glass of milk

Glass of milk

    Have a glass of warm milk. Spice it up with a little honey and cardamom or nutmeg. It could well be that the reason warm milk helps us sleep is due to the fact that it is a food rich in the amino acid L-tryptophan. L-tryptophan helps the body produce neurotransmitters such as seratonin. Neurotransmitters are chemical nerve messengers that tell our bodies to shut down at night, as well as helping us to be fully awake during the day. More of the L-tryptophan in milk gets delivered to your brain when you eat a carbohydrate along with it. No wonder milk and cookies have long been a favorite bedtime snack.

    Other foods containing the amino acid L-tryptophan:
    dairy products…milk, cheese, yogurt

    Don’t drink alcohol. It disrupts sleep. Though a few drinks may make it easier to fall asleep initially, a person will often wake up just a few hours into their sleep cycle. Frequently, sleep is then intermittent for the remainder of the night.

    Get some exercise. Even a short 15 minute walk will help, but if you can’t sleep, try getting out for a nice long walk a few hours before bed.

Exersice girl

    Meditate. The value of this exercise is in letting the stress of your day go. Start out by laying quietly, eyes closed, for 5 minutes. When thoughts come, acknowledge them and let them go. Let your mind drift. Build the time up that you do this activity gradually. It’s a terrific way to relax and slow down enough to sleep. Adding meditation to your daily routine will reward you with improved control and calmness throughout your day.



    Read a good book. Climb into bed and settle in for some reading. It never fails to put me out, usually within the first 5 pages.



    Avoid naps. While it may feel good to get a bit of sleep in during the day, if you’re suffering from insomnia, you need to skip the naps.



    Get up earlier. Another useful technique to help you shift your internal clock so that you’re sleepy come bedtime.

Getting up

Getting up

Remember, the physical withdrawal phase of quitting tobacco is a temporary condition. Your sleep patterns will return to normal soon, providing you didn’t have insomnia before cessation. If symptoms persist beyond the first month or so, schedule a visit with your doctor.

E-cigarette distributors fired up over recent FDA announcement

Seven months after Abilene’s only retailer of electronic cigarettes opened for business, the Food and Drug Administration announced Monday it plans to regulate smokeless electronic cigarettes as tobacco products.

The announcement is considered good news for e-cigarette distributors like Roey Chen because regulation of electronic cigarettes as a tobacco product is less strict that previously proposed regulation as a drug-delivery device. Chen is owner of the electronic cigarette kiosk inside the Mall of Abilene.

FDA e cigarettes

FDA e cigarettes

In September of last year, the FDA announced it had taken action against five e-cigarette companies the agency claimed violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

According to The Associated Press, the FDA previously attempted to regulate the product as a drug delivery device. After an appeals court struck that idea down, the federal agency decided instead to focus on providing guidance for the industry.

In a letter to stakeholders this week, the FDA said it intends to treat previously unregulated e-cigarettes the same way it treats traditional cigarettes or other tobacco products, rather than trying to regulate them under stricter rules for drug-delivery devices.

E-cigarettes are plastic and metal devices used to heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating a vapor that is inhaled as a smoker would inhale traditional cigarette smoke.

“People smoke them to stop smoking regular cigarettes,” Chen said. “It gives you the feeling of the habit without any of the chemicals. It’s the healthy way to smoke.”

According to Chen, more than 30 varieties of the electronic sort mimic almost every brand of cigarettes on the market, making it the perfect tool to wean an individual off traditional tobacco.

He has met many individuals in Abilene who have been able to stop smoking thanks to the product he sells, he said, and even used the product to kick his 10-year smoking habit.

“I can run, I don’t have to catch my breath, I don’t stink,” he said. “I just feel better. I feel a big change.”

He believes the e-cigarette is a successful alternative because it removes the unwanted effects of smoking but allows smokers to continue the habitual activity of lighting up. Although ex-smokers like Chen swear by the product, the FDA does not approve the device as a smoking cessation aid.

According to the FDA website, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act states that e-cigarettes are not considered drug delivery devices unless they are marketed for therapeutic purposes, but that products “made or derived from tobacco” can be regulated as “tobacco products.”

The agency plans to develop a strategy to regulate these devices as tobacco products under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.