Amazing what myths persist about smoking and nicotine.
It is yet another reason to keep that New Year’s resolution about giving up smoking.
Contrary to popular perception, smoking does not relieve stress. But quitting does.
British researchers measured anxiety levels in almost 500 smokers – before and after they tried to give up.
One in five said they smoked to help them deal with stress. Nationally, the figure is as high as one in two.
All took part in an NHS smoking cessation programme, which involved being given nicotine patches and attending two-monthly appointments.
Six months after signing up for the course, 68 of the 491 were still abstaining – and they were less anxious than before.
However, those who tried to give up and failed were more stressed than in the beginning, the British Journal of Psychiatry reports.
The researchers, from Oxford University and King’s College London, said: ‘The belief that smoking is stress-relieving is pervasive but almost certainly wrong.
‘The reverse is true: smoking probably causes anxiety and smokers deserve to know this and understand how their own experience may be misleading.’
Do yourself a favor for 2013.
Don’t start smoking, or if you do – quit!
Even with the controversy and court actions, this is good news – for every person who tries to quit = the better.
Graphic and/or emotional television anti-smoking ads get more smokers to try to quit than less intense ads, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
“Harder hitting ads worked equally well, regardless of how much you wanted to quit, how much your income is and your level of education,” said Matthew C. Farrelly, Ph.D., chief scientist at RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and lead author on the study.
The study evaluated the impact of anti-smoking ads run by the New York Tobacco Control Program from 2003 to 2011. Smokers were surveyed about their smoking habits, their recall of anti-smoking ads, their desire to quit and demographic information, such as income level and race. Researchers looked at media market data and determined that the survey participants were exposed to an average of three emotional or graphic anti-smoking commercials and three comparison ads per month during that period. Comparison ads advocated or encouraged quitting but without strong emotional content.
The survey found that current smokers who recalled seeing at least one emotional or graphic ad were 29 percent more likely to have tried to quit in the prior year. Exposure to comparison ads did not increase quit attempts. If the goal is to get smokers to try to quit, ads need to evoke a strongly negative reaction to smoking, the authors concluded.
Here is a video that has played on California television. It is shocking, but if it can prevent one more case of smoking induced cancer….
Undoubtedly this smoking flap will be headed to the United States Supreme Court.
A US court on Friday shot down orders to slap graphic anti-tobacco messages on cigarette packs, saying the government overstepped its authority by trying to “browbeat” smokers into quitting.
In line with campaigns in several other nations, the United States planned from September 22 to require images on cigarette packs including a man smoking through a hole in his throat and a body with chest staples on an autopsy table.
In a 2-1 decision, the US Court of Appeals in Washington said that the images planned on cigarette packs were not necessarily false but they went beyond “pure attempts to convey information to consumers.”
“They are unabashed attempts to evoke emotion (and perhaps embarrassment) and browbeat consumers into quitting,” Judge Janice Rogers Brown, who was appointed by former president George W. Bush, wrote for the majority.
She also said that the US Food and Drug Administration “has not provided a shred of evidence” that graphic warnings directly reduced rates of smoking.
The graphic ads, as I have said before, don’t really bother me. I, also, don’t think anyone will be deterred from smoking because of them.
Hopefully, the entire flap will be moot as more and more Americans abandon the smoking habit/addiction.
Samples of smokeless tobacco
Apparently yes, according to a new study – e-cigarettes too.
Substituting smokeless tobacco products can save smokers’ lives, and there is a scientific foundation that proves it.
That is the message Brad Rodu, D.D.S., professor of medicine at the University of Louisville (UofL) School of Medicine and the Endowed Chair in Tobacco Harm Reduction at UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Feb. 18. Rodu spoke at the session, “Harm Reduction: Policy Change to Reduce the Global Toll of Smoking-Related Disease.”
“Quit or die: That’s been the brutal message delivered to 45 million American smokers, and it has helped contribute to 443,000 deaths per year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Rodu said. “The truth, however, is that total nicotine and tobacco abstinence is unattainable and unnecessary for many smokers.”
There is one interesting part of the study.
“Nicotine is addictive, but it is not the cause of any smoking-related disease. Like caffeine, nicotine can be used safely by consumers,” Rodu said.
And, the evidence?
Decades of epidemiologic research bear out Rodu’s findings. While no tobacco product is completely safe, smokeless products have been shown to be 98 percent safer than cigarettes. In the United Kingdom, the Royal College of Physicians reported in 2002 that smokeless tobacco is up to 1,000 times less hazardous than smoking, and in 2007, further urged world governments to seriously consider instituting tobacco harm reduction strategies as a means to save lives.
To see the proof of what tobacco harm reduction can do, look to Sweden, Rodu said. “Over the past 50 years, Swedish men have had Europe’s highest per capita consumption of smokeless tobacco as well as Europe’s lowest cigarette use. During the same time, they also have the lowest rate of lung cancer than men in any other European country.”
While I would not recommend my patients to start smokeless tobacco or e-cigarettes, the evidence is there that if they cannot quit using smoking cessation programs at least recommend that they switch to another nicotine delivery system.
Rodu is well aware of the controversy his research findings generate. Opponents of any use of nicotine delivery products maintain that smokeless tobacco puts the user at great risk for oral cancer, a position not supported by research.
“The risk of mouth cancer among smokeless tobacco users is extremely low — certainly lower than the risk of smoking-related diseases among smokers,” he said. “The annual mortality rate among long-term dry snuff users is 12 deaths per 100,000 and the rate among users of more popular snus, moist snuff and chewing tobacco is much lower. For perspective, the death rate among automobile users is 11 per 100,000 according to a 2009 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Compare those to the rate among smokers: more than 600 deaths per 100,000 every year.”
“The data clearly show that smokeless tobacco users have, at most, about the same risk of dying from mouth cancer as automobile users have of dying in a car wreck.”
In summary, as far as far as death is concerned: cigarettes (smoked tobacco)> smokeless tobacco> e-cigarettes> or = car wreck.