smoking cessation

There is zero doubt that the harms associated with smoking are considerable.  Thanks to public health efforts, smoking cigarettes is recognized as one of the biggest contributors to death and disability globally.  This is why when tools become available to reduce or eliminate cigarette use we should embrace it versus shooting it down with false fears.

We have been very vocal about our support for e-cigarette (in all its variety) use as a safer alternative to combustible cigarettes and a new article published in the journal, Addictive Behaviors, lends further credence to our advocacy.  The study included two years of data (2014 and 2015) from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).  For...

Smoking is bad.  Bad for mom.  Bad for unborn and born baby.  Now, yet another study reveals its adverse effect on the developing child.  

This time the focus is the kidney and the resultant damage.  

Researchers from Kyoto University in Japan set out to clarify the association between smoking during and after pregnancy in the home with the risk of proteinuria at age 3 years old of the child.  

Proteinuria refers to the spilling of protein into the urine.  This can occur in a benign fashion when it is in trace amounts and due to orthostatic proteinuria (aka protein appearing in the urine upon standing due to a positional or postural shift).  When it is sustained and present in the urine in increasingly significant amounts, it can reflect underlying disease or...

It is well documented that cigarette smoke causes lung cancer, but giving up nicotine still proves to be the most challenging part of quitting cigarettes. 

Of all the available smoking cessation aides, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have gained the most popularity - likely because they are designed to simulate the cigarette-smoking experience.  E-cigarettes are battery operated wands that contain liquid nicotine, which when heated, emit an aerosol that can be inhaled (vaped). 

Due to the relatively short history of e-cigarettes, there are some unanswered questions about their long-term health safety.  Studies up to this point have suggested that vaping is safer than smoking because it does not expose a person to the inhaled toxins found in cigarette smoke that can...

While nicotine is the addictive substance in cigarettes, it is the long term exposure to inhaled smoke - and its toxic constituents - that adversely impact the lungs. 

One such harmful mechanism is inflammation of the airways, which progressively damages and ultimately impairs lung function.  Nowadays, there are several ways one can give up the harmful toxicants of cigarette smoke while minimizing nicotine cravings.  Nicotine replacement is available in gums, patches, sprays, and electronically vaporized liquids. Proponents say that the latter, which they call electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), may be particularly more appealing, and therefore more beneficial in reducing cigarettes, because of their ability to simulate the mechanics of cigarettes.

But what...

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One of the hardest addictions to break is smoking — but it can be done. There is a myriad of aids to help smokers who want to quit, such as nicotine replacement patches and lozenges, e-cigarettes, and snus. A new report from Finland suggests that in addition to these, increasing the distance a smoker has to walk to obtain his or her cigarettes is associated with an increased rate of quitting.

Dr. Anna Pulakka from the  University of Turku, Turku, Finland and colleagues used data from 2 prospective...

The good news — no, make that the very good news — is that teen cigarette smoking has continued to decrease, according to the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).

In 1991, 28 percent of teens reported smoking at least one cigarette in the 30 days before taking the survey, while in 2015 that had dropped to 11 percent, as shown in the graph below.

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 12.03.15 PM Percent of High School Students Who Ever Tried Cigarette Smoking. 1991-2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Surveys

Since the majority of adult...

Pictorial warning labels courtesy of JAMA Pictorial warning labels courtesy of JAMA

During my medical training, it seemed like a guarantee that  the patients who were the sickest or fared the worst were smokers. Despite diagnoses of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or limb amputation, these folks continued to smoke.  One would think that inability to breathe or losing a foot would be an "aha moment," but sadly, that's not always the case.

Quitting smoking is not easy and the longer one has been smoking the tougher it becomes to kick the habit.  Smoking is the foremost modifiable...

Sad news from the "reality TV" front lines: Mob Wives star Angela Raiola, "Big Ang" to her large cult following, passed away, aged 55, from lung cancer which had spread to her brain. She also had a large throat cancer removed in April 2015, and had been undergoing chemotherapy recently for the lung cancer, but this did not stop its spread.

The VH1 show on which she came to "fame" premiered in July 2012 and is now about to launch its sixth season. The show revolves around the lives and interactions of several women "married to the mob." In Ang's case, she was a niece of a higher-up in the...

Courtesy Richard Levine/Corbis Courtesy Richard Levine/Corbis

A recent op-ed in the Sacramento Bee issues a strange warning about e-cigarettes, saying that they may cause hearing loss among teenagers. The piece was authored by Dave Fabry, identified as the vice-president of audiology for Starkey Hearing Technologies in Eden Prairie, MN.

While the urge is to simply view this as fear-mongering by someone who does not understand nicotine modes of action (and confuses it with smoking, which...

Credit: ShutterstockCredit: Shutterstock

In the September 1906 issue of the North American Review, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) popularized the phrase, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

More recently, and relevant to the increasing use of statistics in science and health issues, statistician Stephen John Senn wrote on Twitter