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Smoking linked to increased brain lesions and brain shrinkage in MS

People who smoke and have multiple sclerosis (MS) may be at increased risk of brain shrinkage and increased brain lesions related to the disease, according to a study published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Smoking has already been linked to an increased risk of developing MS. 08 09

30-year follow-up study: 'Tremendous' impact of smoking on mortality and cardiovascular disease

Non-smokers live longer and have less cardiovascular disease than those who smoke, according to a 30-year follow-up study of men and women in Norway. Smoking, say the investigators, is "strongly" related to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

"What these results show is the cumulative long-term association between smoking and death and cardiovascular risk," says Professor Haakon Meyer. "Around two-thirds of the middle-aged heavy-smoking men and half the heavy-smoking women had died or had a cardiovascular disease within the next 30 years. The incidence was much lower in never-smokers and reflects the tremendously adverse effect of smoking on health and longevity. The difference in outcome between the never-smokers and heavy smokers was substantial.

"This study underlines the public health messages about smoking. We have seen declines in the prevalence of smoking in developed countries, but challenges still remain. Certain population groups – young women, immigrant communities – still have high rates of smoking, and there's more to be done here."

Professor Haakon Meyer, University of Oslo and Norwegian Institute of Public Health
European Society of Cardiology 05 09

"Don’t smoke tobacco — and stay away from tobacco smoke." American Heart Association

Study shows attitudes toward tobacco industry linked to smoking behavior

A new study by UCSF researchers concludes that media campaigns that portray the tobacco industry in a negative light and that appeal to young adults may be a powerful intervention to decrease young adult smoking. The results show a national impact of the “tobacco industry denormalization” approach, which educates the public about deceptive practices of the tobacco industry in order to influence individuals’ decisions about smoking, according to the research team.

“Running anti-tobacco ads to expose the fact that the tobacco industry kills five million people worldwide annually turns out to be hugely successful in preventing and promoting cessation,” said Stanton Glantz, PhD, a study co-author and professor of medicine and director of UCSF’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. Other anti-smoking advertising campaigns have focused more on health hazards of smoking, rather than those including tobacco-industry denormalization messages, he added.

Young adults are ground zero in tobacco battles right now,” said Ling. “They are sensitive to the tobacco industry lying about its products, and to the fact that the industry has been manipulating the public for so long.”

American Journal of Preventive Medicine / University of California - San Francisco / 05 09

Helping young women lose weight, quit smoking

One in five women between the ages of 18 and 24 are smokers, and most say they keep lighting up for fear of gaining weight. But researchers at Temple University have found that when it comes to quitting, a little bit of dialogue and support can be more effective than an exercise plan in helping women not only keep off the weight, but also stay smoke-free.

"A lot of college-age women report smoking to keep their weight down and for body image reasons, and we think that by providing them with the tools to make them feel better about themselves, it alleviates some of those stressors," said Melissa Napolitano, a clinical psychologist at Temple's Center for Obesity Research and Education. The findings were presented at the Society for Behavioral Medicine's annual meeting. Other researchers on this study include Joseph Fava, Ph.D., Elizabeth Lloyd-Richardson, Ph.D., and Bess Marcus, Ph.D., of the Miriam Hospital/Brown Medical School and Brown University. The study was funded by a grant to Napolitano from the National Cancer Institute. Temple University 04 09

A growing body of research shows there are no safe levels of exposure to secondhand smoke - for humans or for animals. And one new study shows that nearly 30 percent of pet owners live with at least one smoker - a number far too high given the consequences of exposure to secondhand smoke ("SHS").

"Secondhand smoke doesn't just affect people," said Dr. Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, President and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation (R). "While most citizens have been educated about the dangers of smoking to their own bodies, it is equally important that pet owners take action to protect their beloved domestic pets from the dangers of secondhand smoke."
  American Legacy Foundation 04 09

Cigarette smoke may alter immune response in COPD exacerbations

Smoking cigarettes is not only the principle cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but it may change the body's immune responses to bacteria that commonly cause exacerbations of the disease, according to new research. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 04 09

Maternal smoking may alter the arousal process of infants, increasing their risk for SIDS

A study in the journal SLEEP shows that maternal smoking is associated with an impaired infant arousal process that may increase the risk for sudden infant death syndrome. The authors suggest that maternal smoking has replaced stomach sleeping as the greatest modifiable risk factor for SIDS. American Academy of Sleep Medicine 04 09

Health choices predict cancer survival, study finds

Head and neck cancer patients who smoked, drank, didn't exercise or didn't eat enough fruit when they were diagnosed had worse survival outcomes than those with better health habits, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. 04 09

There is no safe level of cigarette smoke and for this reason the American Legacy Foundation, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research co-funded Light and Intermittent Smoking, a special issue of Nicotine and Tobacco Research. The issue includes 13 original, peer-reviewed articles that stemmed from recommendations made at a meeting of 29 collaborative scientists. 03 09

Another reminder to quit smoking

"The health risks from smoking are enormous. It's important for children to understand this, and to live in a smoke-free household," says Leslie Spry, M.D., president of the Nebraska Medical Association. "Kick Butts Day is one more way to bring that message home." 03 09
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applaud Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey's call for the Food and Drug Administration to exert its authority and immediately remove e-cigarettes from the market.
03 09

Smokers may have increased risk of pancreatitis

Smoking appears to be associated with an increased risk of acute and chronic pancreatitis, according to a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. In addition, the risk of developing the disease may be higher in those who smoke more. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169[6]:603-609

A study presented at CHEST, the 73rd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), shows that smoking patients who participated in one hypnotherapy session were more likely to be nonsmokers at 6 months compared with patients using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone or patients who quit “cold turkey”American College of Chest Physicians 22 Oct 2007

Leading Child Trust Fund (CTF) provider, The Children's Mutual is encouraging all parents who decide to give up smoking to consider putting the money that they will save towards their children's futures. While the NHS records numerous health benefits associated with giving up smoking, the potential to improve a child's future financial health can also be added to the list of reasons to quit.  Source: The Children's Mutual

Patients who gave up smoking before surgery had half as many complications afterwards

But a lot of patients refused to take part in the study as they were not prepared to quit before their operation

The efficacy of a smoking cessation programme in patients undergoing elective surgery - a randomised clinical trial. Sadr Azodi et al. Anaesthesia. 64, 259-265. (March 2009)

One in three smokers say they are likely to quit smoking because it is bad for their pet's health, according to Henry Ford Health System researchers.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal Tobacco Control, represents the first time researchers looked at the smoking behaviors of people who own or live with a pet. Participants were either smokers or non-smokers who lived with a dog, cat or bird.

"We hope smokers realize that the health of their pets is affected by their smoking habit, and that secondhand smoke's impact is not limited just to human beings," says Sharon Milberger, Sc. D, the study's lead author interim director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. "Exposure to second-hand smoke has been linked to cancer, allergies, eye and skin diseases and respiratory problems in dogs and cats."

A new study finds that kids who are allowed to watch R-rated movies are much more likely to believe it's easy to get a cigarette than those who aren't allowed to watch such films. 

"We don't know why this is so. It may have to do with a parenting style that is permissive of activities that are not age-appropriate. Or it may be an outcome of all the smoking scenes in R-rated movies," says lead author of the study Chyke Doubeni, PhD, with the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The study appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Young Smokers Increase Risk for Multiple Sclerosis

People who start smoking before age 17 may increase their risk for developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting.

Regulation of Tobacco Products Favors Big Tobacco

In an attempt to reinvent itself as a “responsible corporate citizen,” tobacco company supports regulation of tobacco products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A new study in American Ethnologist reveals that proposed FDA regulation fails to address the suffering of migrant tobacco workers, the prevalence of smoking, and the redistribution of leaf production to the developing world, and it may actually favor the tobacco industry by reducing its liability for tobacco-related death and disease, by sustaining its operations around the world, and by strengthening its control over the terms of its contracts with U.S. tobacco growers.
The study is published in the journal American Ethnologist. Volume 35 Issue 3 (August 2008)

In a new study, University of Missouri researchers examined the effects of two types of content commonly used in anti-tobacco ads - tobacco health threats that evoke fear and disturbing or disgusting images. The researchers found that ads focused on either fear or disgust increased attention and memory in viewers; however, ads that included both fear and disgust decreased viewers' attention and memory. 22 Oct 08

"Tobacco use is a major health and economic problem for employers and their workers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, employee and dependent tobacco use costs U.S. companies an estimated $167 billion each year in direct medical costs and lost productivity due to morbidity. Smoking costs businesses even more when absenteeism, lost productivity due to smoke breaks and workers compensation claims are included. Lost productivity is 75% higher for smokers versus non-smokers and annual workers compensation costs are up to 12 times higher for smokers than non-smokers.

... About 55% of employers take advantage of their employee assistance plan, health plan or wellness vendor for smoking cessation programs and counseling, 15% use on-site professionals, and only 15% utilize community resources" Source: Midwest Business Group on Health

Associations Between Tobacco Marketing and Use Among Urban Youth in ... (Monika Arora, MS; K. Srinath Reddy, MD; Melissa H. Stigler, PhD; Cheryl L. Perry, PhD, FAAHB) Am J Health Behav. 2008;32(3):283-294

Physical Self-perception, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and Smoking Behavior
(Sean R. Stickney, PhD; David R. Black, PhD, MPH, FAAHB)  Am J Health Behav. 2008;32(3):295-304

Prevalence of Tobacco Use Among Students Aged 13-15 Years ... "If effective programs are not developed, implemented, and enforced, morbidity and mortality attributed to tobacco use will surely increase."
Am J Health Behav. 2008;32(4):438-445

Stop smoking for good: 90 minute session uses clinical hypnosis, an article in The Beacon News, a Member of the Sun-Times News Group

Can Hypnosis Snuff Out a Smoker's Cigarette Habit? New study finds hypnotism is an effective smoking-cessation technique. June 2008, US News & World Report

"Smokers have tried nicotine patches, gum, even antidepressants in attempts to quit. Now researchers at UC San Francisco find that hypnosis may be a good alternative to those trying to quit smoking." KABC-TV Los Angeles June 2008

"Hypnosis study seeks smokers who want to quit. The University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco VA Medical Center is recruiting men and women smokers, ages 18 and up, who want to quit." The Salinas Californian June 2008

Try hypnosis. "Hypnosis is a highly effective, safe, and quick way to stop smoking," Drop Smoking Without Picking Up Weight, CBS News article by Suzanne Wright

New Report: Increasing Cigarette Tax Will Reduce Smoking, Save Lives and Save Money

The Metro London reported that a Publican was fined £500 plus £2000 costs for flouting the No Smoking Ban.

'Can Hypnosis Help Smokers Quit?' 
“Smokers in this study learn how to use self-hypnosis skills to strengthen their resolve, particularly at the moment of a craving,” said researcher Tim Carmody, PhD, director of health psychology at SFVAMC and UCSF clinical professor of psychiatry. 
University of California News 2002-01-18

"I was amazed when my husband, who had smoked for 50 years, quit cold turkey in 1994 after one session with a hypnotist and a few sticks of nicotine gum." Trying to Break Nicotine's Grip, New York Times, 20 May 2008

"If you're determined to quit, you have many options - acupuncture, hypnosis, nicotine gum and support groups." Drug no guarantee you'll kick smoking habit, By Dr. Weil, Health & Fitness, The Rocky Mountain News

Link between initial smoking pleasure, lifetime smoking habits and variation in nicotine receptor gene: A mechanism for explaining increased disease risk, proposed by one of the cancer genetics researchers, is the possibility that certain chemicals, for instance N-nitrosonornicotine in tobacco smoke, act on nicotine receptors in the lung to produce cancer-causing changes – a process known as tumorigenesis. University of Michigan Health System, 8 August 2008

Doctors give the skinny on longevity - Losing weight, eating healthy and quitting smoking are the biggest factors to leading a longer life, doctors say. Galveston County Daily News

Light Cigarettes as Harmful as Regular Ones

Smoking light or ultra-light cigarettes in hopes of reducing your risk of lung cancer actually does nothing for your health. A new study conducted by the University of Minnesota Cancer Center found that ultra-light and light cigarettes are just as unhealthy as regular smokes.

So for those who believe that they are at less of a risk for lung cancer because they smoke lighter cigarettes, they have been misled. It just isn't true. No cigarette is better for you than another - they are all bad for your health.
University of Minnesota 07 05

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