Financial problems make it harder to quit smoking
An analysis of data from 4984 smokers participating in the International Tobacco Control Four Country Survey examined the association between financial stress and quitting interest, attempts, and success. The data indicated that smokers experiencing financial stress were more likely to be interested in quitting, but were less likely to make a quit attempt and succeed at sustaining cessation. The authors suggest that cessation counseling include financial assessment and management counseling to ease stress and improve the ability to quit. Click here to read more about the study, or click here to read the abstract of the study in Addiction.
Acculturation influences smoking cessation by Latino men
Research suggests that Latino men who have adapted to U.S. culture are more likely to quit smoking than men who have not, but acculturation has no effect on Latina women’s quitting. Six factors were examined, of which number of years lived in the U.S., proportion of life lived in the U.S., and preferred media language were found to have significant effects on Latino men’s quitting behaviors. This indicates that Latino smokers who have lived in the U.S. for a short period of time and prefer Spanish should be targeted for smoking cessation outreach to help eliminate health disparities. Click here to read more or click here to read the abstract of the article, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
Time to first cigarette after waking predicts cotinine levels
Regardless of the number of cigarettes smoked, people who smoke within thirty minutes of waking up have higher cotinine levels than those that do not. Cotinine levels varied greatly from person to person in smokers that smoke one pack per day, with the highest levels being almost 75 times higher than the lowest levels. The highest levels were seen in those who smoked within 30 minutes of waking up, indicating that their high dependency on nicotine could make quitting more difficult. The findings suggest that the time to first cigarette can predict nicotine uptake, and should therefore be considered when developing smoking interventions. Click here to read the abstract of the article, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. Click here to read an article describing the study.
Cardiac benefits of smoking reduction quantified
According to a new study, while quitting smoking is best, decreasing the number of cigarettes smoked can also decrease mortality following a heart attack. The study followed 1,521 heart attack patients under age 65, comparing the long-term survival of those who never smoked, those that quit before their heart attack, those that quit after their heart attack, and those that kept smoking. Cutting out five cigarettes per day was found to decrease mortality by 18%, and quitting completely reduced mortality by 37%. The results show that reducing the amount of smoking can improve health outcomes in those that cannot quit. Read more here. The research was published here in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
1-800-QUIT-NOW statistics, Nov. 2004 – Nov. 2009
The North American Quitline Consortium (NAQC) recently released data on quitline call attempts from November 9, 2004 through November 30, 2009. Nationally, call volumes peaked this year in March and April, which coincides with the federal tax increase that went into effect on April 1. According to the NAQC’s 2009 Annual Survey, 33 U.S. quitlines and one Canadian quitline reported a surge in call volume in FY09 – nearly all were attributable to the U.S. federal or state tax increases. Click here to download the latest quitline call data report, or click here to read NAQC’s Connections newsletter from November 2009, which includes a sneak peek of the NAQC Annual Survey results.
Nicorette puffs $15 million into ad blitz
GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Nicorette nicotine gum is launching a $15 million advertising campaign on prime-time TV networks ABC, CBS, and NBC. The campaign will include thirty-second advertisements with the tagline, “Quitting sucks. Nicorette Makes It Suck Less,” and print ads in magazines including ESPN, Time, and People. The campaign is designed to offer smokers empathy and is part of a five year program to improve consumer awareness of Nicorette. This portion of the campaign arrives in time to catch the eye of smokers resolving to quit for the New Year, and will run through April of 2010. Click here for more details.
Smoking rate drops in Massachusetts, drawing attention (MA)
When the Massachusetts Medicaid program began offering affordable smoking cessation coverage to low-income residents in 2006, state officials were optimistic that the program would eventually cut smoking rates and reduce rates of tobacco-related illnesses in the state. New data suggest that the program may already be making significant progress toward these goals. Smoking rates among low-income residents have decreased from 38% in 2006 to 28% in 2008. Senators from Illinois and Vermont are looking to replicate this success on a national level by expanding Medicaid coverage for tobacco cessation treatment in the national healthcare legislation. The Massachusetts data have not yet been peer-reviewed, but the early results show that Medicaid coverage of smoking cessation treatment may be a promising approach to decreasing the Medicaid costs of tobacco-related illnesses. Click here for more information.
North Carolina prods obese workers, smokers toward healthier lifestyles (NC)
In preparation for North Carolina’s new State Health Plan guidelines that charge smokers and obese workers more, the state is offering members of its health plan free nicotine patches and reduced-cost weight-loss drugs. Starting July 1, 2010, smokers will be charged more for their health plans. Adherence to smoking requirements will be assessed by random testing. Opponents argue that the poor will be disproportionately affected by the rate hikes, but supporters claim that the state will save an estimated $13 million in healthcare costs by charging smokers more. Click here to read more.
Moms-to-be smoke less after workplace smoking ban (Ireland)
Ireland’s 2004 workplace smoking ban appears to be associated with a decrease in maternal smoking rates and decreased risk of preterm births. Researchers compared medical records from live births in 2003 and 2005, finding that 12% fewer women surveyed smoked during pregnancy after the ban was implemented than before. There was also a 25% decline in risk of preterm births after the ban was enacted. Click here to read more, or here to read the abstract of the article, published in BJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
Quitting smoking can reverse asthma-inducing changes in lungs: research (The Netherlands)
Research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine shows that asthmatic smokers who quit smoking can reverse some of the damage to their lungs that worsens asthmatic symptoms. The researchers categorized 147 patients with asthma as non-smokers, current smokers, and ex-smokers to compare bronchial inflammation and remodeling among the groups. While non-smokers and ex-smokers had similar lung epithelial characteristics, smokers appeared to have several changes to the lung epithelium. Exposure to cigarette smoke may increase the thickness of lung epithelium, which could be an underlying cause of the exacerbated asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath and increased phlegm production that smokers often experience. Click here to read a summary of the findings or here to read the abstract.
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