Smoking Newsbytes

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Spontaneous Quitting Works Best

Smokers who quit smoking without advance planning actually are more successful than those who takes steps like choosing a quit day and strategy, HealthDay News reported.

Researchers Robert West and Taj Sohal postulated that building tension leads to decisive action. "In practice, worry about health and being fed up with the cost of smoking seem to be the main sources of tension that people can report," said West, of University College London.

"Planned quit attempts are implemented gradually and thus the level of motivation is probably rather low," said Boston University social and behavioral science expert Michael Siegel. "But these unplanned, sudden attempts probably reflect some sentinel event or great tension that precipitates a very high level of motivation to quit. And thus these attempts are more successful."

Siegel said the study suggests that more effort be devoted to motivating smokers to quit than on pharmaceutical interventions. Wise and Sohal said that public-health campaigns should focus on creating motivational tension, triggering action among those poised to quit, and supporting quitters with treatment and cessation aids.

The study appears in the British Medical Journal.

Reference: West, R., Sohal, T. (2006) 'Catastrophic' pathways to smoking cessation: findings from national survey. BMJ, 332:458-460, doi: 10.1136/bmj.38723.573866.AE.

Smoking Linked to Stillbirths, Study Says

Women who smoked during two consecutive pregnancies had a 35-percent higher risk of delivering a stillborn baby than those who didn't smoke at all or only smoked during their first pregnancy, according to Swedish researchers.

Women who smoked during two consecutive pregnancies had a 35-percent higher risk of delivering a stillborn baby than those who didn't smoke at all or only smoked during their first pregnancy, according to Swedish researchers.

Reuters reported June 27 that researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockhold also found that women who smoked 10 or more cigarettes daily had a 45-percent higher risk of stillbirth if they smoked during both pregnancies.

The study was published in the June 2007 issue of BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


Högberg, L., Cnattingius, S. (2007) The influence of maternal smoking habits on the risk of subsequent stillbirth: is there a causal relation? BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 114(6): 699–704. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2007.01340.x

New Jersey Senate Moves to Ban Smoking in Casinos

The New Jersey Senate voted 35-0 to eliminate a gaping hole in last year's indoor-smoking bill and ban smoking in casinos and horseracing simulcast centers.

NYC Smoking Rates Fall Dramatically

Higher cigarette taxes, indoor-smoking bans and educational campaigns have helped cut the smoking rate in New York City from 21.6 percent in 2002 to 17.5 percent in 2006, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Ban all Promotions of Tobacco, Study Says

Exposure to tobacco use featured in films, videos, advertising and give-away samples more than doubles the odds that any given young person will become a tobacco user, says a report from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts. The report is based on an analysis of 51 studies conducted since 1981 covering 141,949 children under age 18. Based on the findings, a ban "on all tobacco promotions is warranted to protect children," concludes the study in December's Archives of Pediatric and Adolecent Medicine. Lead author Robert Wellman argues that any film in which people smoke should carry an "R" or "NC-17" rating.
Source: USA Today

Smokeless Tobacco Poses Challenge for Stop-Smoking Advocates

Smokeless tobacco use carries serious health risks, but it's not as dangerous as smoking, and some people have used it to help them quit cigarettes. That leaves some health experts torn between the desire to see people stop smoking and advocating an alternative that still may be deadly.

Increase in Nicotine Receptors Makes Quitting Harder

Smokers have more nicotine receptors in their brains than nonsmokers, making it more difficult for them to quit, according to researchers at Yale University.

Nicotine Withdrawal Starts Within Minutes of Smoking

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms begin just 30 minutes after a smoker takes his last drag, according to researchers.

Reynolds Set to Test-Market 'Camel Snus'

'Camel Snus' will be the first smokeless-tobacco product to be rolled out by a major U.S. tobacco company.

U.S. Death Rate Falls; Smoking Trends May Share Credit

U.S. death rates hit an all-time low in 2004 and life expectancy peaked, thanks in part to a decline in smoking.

Visual Cues Outweigh Craving in Smokers, Study Says

Smokers who anticipate lighting up a cigarette are more stimulated by images of other people smoking than by craving or the length of time they have gone without smoking.

Smoking in Calif. Hits Record Low

Adult smoking in California has fallen to 14 percent, the lowest rate ever recorded, the Associated Press reported April 20.

The California Department of Health Services reported this week that the adult smoking rate in the state has fallen 38 percent since a state-funded stop-smoking campaign began in 1998. The 2005 smoking rate fell 14.6 percent compared to 2004.

"The ongoing decrease in the number of people smoking in California is a major public-health achievement," said state public-health official Mark Horton. "With California adults smoking 25 percent less than the rest of the nation, our state continues to benefit from lower rates of tobacco-related illnesses."

The smoking rate for adult California males was 17 percent last year; 11.1 percent of women smoked. However, 18 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds smoked.

More Female Nonsmokers Dying of Lung Cancer

The recent death of Dana Reeve has focused attention on a disturbing trend: young nonsmoking women dying of lung cancer.

Should Smokers Start Using Patch Before Quitting?

Some researchers say that smokers can improve the odds of breaking their nicotine addiction if they start using replacement therapies like gums or patches for a few weeks before quitting.

Teens Exposed to Tobacco More Likely to Have Metabolic Syndrome

Teens who smoke or are exposed to smoke when friends and family members light up are at risk for a number of health problems, including cancer, lung disease, and asthma. But recent research indicates that teens exposed to tobacco smoke could be at increased risk of metabolic syndrome, too.

Oxygen Therapy

It can help people with emphysema

Predicting Smokers' Relapse

Links between stress, hormones key to returning to habit.

Smoking's Global Death Toll Shows Shift

The global death toll from smoking is shifting dramatically, with about as many people now dying from smoking in the developing world as in industrialized nations, according to the most thorough estimate to date.

Lung Disease Diagnosis Spurs Smokers to Quit

Study finds those told they have COPD more likely to kick the habit.

Smokers' Sense Of Time Examined In Study

For smokers separated from their cigarettes, time seems to stand still. New research indicates there's good reason for that.

Many Teens Exposed to Secondhand Smoke Through Parents and Peers

Repeated exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to severe respiratory infections and asthma among teens and may eventually lead to respiratory problems in adulthood. According to researchers, half to two thirds of teens are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.

Trial Nicotine Gum Quickly Quells Cravings

Faster relief can help smokers kick the habit, say researchers.

Italy Bans Smoking In Most Public Places

Smoking will get a little harder in Italy, where cigarettes are as common an accessory as a Vespa motorbike or a Fendi handbag.

Big Tobacco Accused of Manipulating Study

Report finds heavy behind-the-scenes influence.

Use Lung Scans With Care

Needless screens threaten patients with acute injury.

Millions Of U.S. Smokers Ignore Warnings

Despite suffering from chronic lung and other ailments, millions of Americans ignore warnings from their physicians and continue smoking.

Negotiations On The Tobacco Convention

The Brazilian Ambassador Luis Felipe de Seixas Corrêa, chair of the Inter-governmental Negotiating Body (INB) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), made public his proposed text for the global treaty.

The Brazilian Ambassador Luis Felipe de Seixas Corrêa, chair of the Inter-governmental Negotiating Body (INB) of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), made public his proposed text for the global treaty.

Study Looks At Nicotine's Role In Cancer

Nicotine makes smoking addictive and is bad for the heart, but 60 other cigarette chemicals are blamed for causing cancer. Now some biochemists say nicotine might help set the stage for those chemicals to do their dirty work.

Mothers Who Smoke May Put Their Babies at Risk for Pyloric Stenosis

Over the last 10 years in Denmark, smoking rates among pregnant women as well as the incidence of pyloric stenosis among infants declined, so Danish researchers investigated whether a mom's smoking habits might be a factor in her child's risk of developing pyloric stenosis in infancy.

Study Links Cancer Rates, Prevention

Many states with the highest lung cancer rates are squandering tobacco settlement money intended for disease prevention on unrelated programs, according to a study of health and fiscal data released by a national anti-cancer group.

Kids Getting Hooked

Every year over 500,0000 kids get hooked on tobacco. 1 in 3 of them will die prematurely. The tobacco industry is spending a record $26 million DAILY to market their deadly products. Protect our Kids from Big Tobacco. Send a Free Letter. Click Here:

Smoking Can Hurt Male Fertility

Men who smoke and are trying to become fathers may want to become quitters. A new study shows smoking can damage the sperm of men who are trying to conceive.

Researchers found infertile men who smoked show signs of significant oxidative damage in their semen. Oxidative damage is known to harm fertility and is caused by increased stress on normal body processes.

The findings appear in the September issue of Fertility and Sterility.

"Given the known potential adverse effects of [oxidative stress] on fertility, physicians should advise infertile men who smoke cigarettes to quit," writes study researcher Saleh A. Ramadan, MD, with colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio. "This argument against smoking is true for anyone wishing to conceive but is particularly important for individuals experiencing fertility problems."

Although cigarette smoking already has been shown to hurt female fertility, researchers say the impact on male fertility remains a controversial issue because studies have produced contradictory results.

In this study, researchers compared semen samples from 52 infertile men -- 20 smokers and 32 nonsmokers -- with samples from 13 healthy, nonsmoking men. They found "dramatically" more oxidative stress levels in the smokers.

No significant differences in standard sperm variables, such as sperm count or activity, or DNA damage were found between the infertile smokers and nonsmokers, but researchers say the fact that both groups were infertile may have obscured some levels of DNA damage.

But men who smoked also had 48% more infection-fighting white blood cells in their semen than nonsmokers or healthy donors, which may also cause problems with fertility.
Source: Jennifer Warner,

Anti-Smoking Groups Call For Movie Ratings To Factor In Tobacco

Citing a new study that examines the ties between Hollywood and cigarette makers, health advocates are calling for the film industry to incorporate tobacco as a factor in determining movie ratings.

Smokers Disillusioned And Over-Optimistic About Quitting

Most smokers are disenchanted with smoking and would not smoke if they had their time again, according to a letter in this week's BMJ. It also shows that smokers' expectations of how soon they will quit greatly exceed rates of quitting observed in recent history.
Source: British Medical Journal,

Smoke Gets In Your Mind

Lung cancer, hypertension, heart disease, birth defects - we're all too familiar with the perils of smoking. But add to that list a frightening new concern. Mental illness. According to some controversial new findings, if smoking doesn't kill you, it may, quite literally, drive you to despair.
Source: New Scientist,

Heart Association Recommends Screenings

The American Heart Association has updated its guidelines for preventing heart attacks and strokes, listing secondhand smoke as a risk factor for the first time and recommending that people get screened for risk factors beginning at age 20.

Smokes Deadlier Than Labels Suggest

Smokers may be inhaling up to five times the amount of nicotine and seven times the amount of tar than is claimed on cigarette packaging, according to a health ministry study.

Global Alliance Between European Commission And WHO To Fight Against Communicable Diseases, Tobacco And Other Health Threats

The European Commission and the World Health Organisation (WHO) held a series of high-level consultations in Brussels to take forward their global alliance in tackling tobacco and other health threats.

Cigarette Maker Removes "Light" From Packaging

Star Scientific Inc. is the first U.S. tobacco company to announce plans to stop identifying its cigarettes as "light" or "ultralight," which critics say mislead smokers into believing the cigarettes are safer.

Pregnant Women Smokers Bear Low Birth Weight Babies

Smoking among pregnant women declined for most age groups, down to 12.2 percent in 2000. That rate has fallen steadily since 1989. The report found 12 percent of babies born to smokers had low birth weights, compared with just 7 percent of babies born to nonsmokers.


American Health & Fitness magazine ran this full page ad in their 10-11/01 issue: left showing 5 standing, lite cigarettes and reading "Stop smoking now". Top right cigarettes are almost burned to the filters and copy reads "or suffer the". Center bottom ash off one cigarette, one cigarette has fallen and copy reads "consequences..."

Baby sitters may expose infants to second-hand smoke

While some mothers who puff on cigarettes attempt to protect their infants from the smoke, researchers believe they may be ignoring other sources of second-hand smoke--such as baby sitters or relatives in the home.

Cigarette addiction can start early

Scientists have confirmed a suspicion held by some smokers but never proven: It could take just a few cigarettes to become addicted.

Some 12- and 13-year-olds showed evidence of addiction within days of their first cigarette, according to research reported this week in the British Medical Association journal Tobacco Control.

"There's been a suspicion that many people become addicted very quickly, but this is really the first hard evidence that we've had that this occurs," said Dr. Richard Hurt, director of the Nicotine Dependency Unit at the Mayo Clinic.

Experts have tried for years to determine how long people have to smoke before becoming addicted, and "the best answer to date had been 1-2 years," said Hurt, who was not involved in the study.

He said the findings will help scientists better understand the biology of nicotine addiction and lend more plausibility to the idea that some people may be more genetically susceptible to it than others.

"The really important implication of this study is that we have to warn kids that you can't just fool around with cigarettes or experiment with cigarettes for a few weeks and then give it up," said Dr. Joseph DiFranza, who lead the research at the University of Massachusetts. "If you fool around with cigarettes for a few weeks, you may be addicted for life."

The study, conducted in 1998, followed 681 12- to 13-year-olds in central Massachusetts for a year and tracked their smoking habits.

The researchers did not label any of them addicted because the standard definition of nicotine dependence assumes addiction cannot happen without prolonged heavy smoking. The scientists simply recorded symptoms that indicate addiction.

These include cravings, needing more to get the same buzz, withdrawal symptoms when not smoking, feeling addicted to tobacco and loss of control over the number of cigarettes smoked or the duration of smoking.

Ninety-five of the youths said they had started smoking occasionally - at least one cigarette a month - during the study. The scientists found that 60, or 63 percent, had one or more symptoms of addiction.

A quarter of those with symptoms got them within two weeks of starting to smoke and several said their symptoms began within a few days.

Sixty-two percent said they had their first symptom before they began smoking every day, or that the symptoms made them start smoking daily.

The researchers found that the symptoms began soon after the teens started smoking.

Even though some people who have never smoked on a daily basis can find it hard to quit, the assumption that smokers only become addicted after smoking a lot of cigarettes over a long period of time came from observations that some people can smoke five cigarettes a day for many years and not become addicted, the study noted.

However, it has never been proven that daily smoking is necessary for addiction to begin, the study added.

The scientists suggested there may be three types of smokers: Those who become addicted very quickly, those who get hooked gradually after more regular smoking and those who can smoke lightly or pick up and drop the habit without becoming addicted.

It is also possible that adolescents could be more sensitive to nicotine and that addiction may take longer in people who start smoking at a later age, they added.

Nicotine addiction can hit within days (9/12/00)

Addiction to nicotine may start within a few days of starting to smoke and after just a few cigarettes, researchers reported on Tuesday, contradicting belief that nicotine addiction is a gradual process.

"The first symptoms of nicotine dependence can appear within days to weeks of the onset of occasional use, often before the onset of daily smoking," the researchers from the University of Massachusetts and Harvard Medical School said in the journal Tobacco Control.

This research goes against a "popular model for the development of nicotine dependence (which) holds that youths progress from the first cigarette through a period of occasional use and on to sustained and increasingly heavier daily use, resulting ultimately in dependence," the researchers added.

The study of about 700 teenagers aged between 12 and 13 from seven schools in central Massachusetts in 1998 showed that 95 students could be described as monthly smokers--they smoked at least one cigarette a month.

Of these 95 monthly smokers one in five reported nicotine dependency symptoms within four weeks of starting to smoke and 16 developed symptoms within two weeks, one of the researchers, Joseph DiFranza, told Reuters.

In total 60 out of 95 monthly smokers said they had experienced one or more symptoms of nicotine dependence.

Thirty-seven of the 60 who had experienced symptoms of nicotine dependency said they had felt their first feelings of dependency even before they started smoking daily or began smoking daily only upon starting to feel dependent.

The researchers said experiments on mice showed the number of nicotine receptors in the brain increased rapidly after just the second dose of nicotine, providing a mechanism for the quick development of dependence.

The researchers further postulated that three groups of individuals distinguishable by their dependence on nicotine may exist. The groups could be described as rapid onset, slower onset and resistant to nicotine addiction, they added.

Smoking has been linked to several diseases including lung cancer and asthma. Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer in the world and is extremely deadly. The American Cancer Society predicts 164,000 Americans will be diagnosed with the cancer this year and 156,000 will die of it.

Where to Write

Both complete and summary versions of Tobacco Use Among U.S. Racial/Ethnic Groups—African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics: A Report of the Surgeon General are available. For more information about the report or to order a free executive summary, either call 770/488-5705 (press 2) or call 1-800-CDC-1311 for a faxed version of the executive summary. Access the Office on Smoking and Health at for additional information, or write: (1) Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, NE (Mail Stop K-50), Atlanta, GA 30341-3717 or (2) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health.


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"Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. We have an enormous opportunity to reduce heart disease, cancer, stroke, and respiratory disease among members of racial and ethnic minority groups, who make up a rapidly growing segment of the U.S. population."—David Satcher, MD, PhD, Surgeon General

There are more teenage girl smokers than teenage boy smokers. More boys chew, though.

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