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Quit Smoking

$1.7b in and $43m out: the Government’s ‘double standard’ on tobacco

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Can e-cigarettes help save lives? It’s complicated

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Global smokers’ study criticised as biased

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The State of Smoking 2018

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Public Health England prematurely endorses e-cigarettes

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Vaping remains off the table in UAE for New Year resolutions

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Tobacco tax in Saudi Arabia: 213% increase in smokers seeking help to quit

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Pulmonary toxicity of e-cigarettes


Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes or e-cigs) are designed to heat and aerosolize mixtures of vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, nicotine, and flavoring additives, thus delivering nicotine by inhalation in the absence of combustion. These devices were originally developed to facilitate smoking cessation and have been available in the United States for over a decade. Since 2010, e-cig use has expanded rapidly, especially among adolescents, despite a paucity of short- and long-term safety data. Patterns of use have shifted to include never smokers and many dual users of e-cigs and combustible tobacco products. Over the last several years, research into the potential toxicities of e-cig aerosols has grown exponentially. In the interim, regulatory policymakers across the world have struggled with how to regulate an increasingly diverse array of suppliers and products, against a backdrop of strong advocacy from users, manufacturers, and tobacco control experts. Herein we provide an updated review of the pulmonary toxicity profile of these devices, summarizing evidence from cell culture, animal models, and human subjects. We highlight the major gaps in our current understanding, emphasize the challenges confronting the scientific and regulatory communities, and identify areas that require more research in this important and rapidly evolving field.

‘Quitting tobacco can decrease cancer chances eight times’

Increase in tobacco consumption has led to rise in cancer cases among the youth in recent years. “It is most common in people between 25 and 40 years of age,” said Dr Satsheel Sapre, HoD of Head and Neck Cancer Department at Rashtrasant Tukdoji Regional Cancer Hospital (RST).

Sapre was speaking at an awareness programme organized by RST and Indian Medical Association (IMA) to mark Head and Neck Cancer Day, on Thursday, on the premises of the hospital. “Vidarbha is world capital of tobacco related cancers. Quitting tobacco can decrease chances of cancer eight times,” he said.

“Young people mostly start smoking or chewing tobacco due to peer pressure or perceive it as something glamorous. But smoking causes lung cancer and increases development of unwanted, uncontrolled and abnormal cells,” Sapre added.

Making an appeal about quitting smoking, Sapre said, “Our body does not need tobacco. It only harms our body, still many youths take the suicidal path. According to WHO, one among every eight persons is likely to be affected with cancer before death.”

Talking about symptoms of cancer, Sapre said, “Bleeding from mouth, constipation, change in voice, stink from mouth and fever or cough for more than 15 days can be symptoms of cancer. Patients must visit doctors for fighting cancer, it will not disappear by itself.”

A cancer survivor Shrimad shared his experience. “In 2000, I developed a small lump on my chick, which was due to cancer. I use to chew tobacco but I didn’t lose hope and fought it. Now I am living a normal life. I will suggest everyone not to eat tobacco and never lose hope because you can fight cancer. Doctors are your closest friend against diseases like cancer,” he said.

A small play on banning tobacco, alcohol and smoking was also staged at the programme. It illustrated cancer as the ‘boss’ of all addictive materials that are driving people towards destruction.

Dr BK Sharma, director of RST, and Dr Avinash Wase, president of IMA, were also present at the programme.

Depression Or Anxiety Keeping You From Quitting Tobacco? Here’s How To Break The Pattern

If you want to live free of tobacco but struggle with depression, anxiety, or both, you may feel like quitting just isn’t an option. There’s no way you can deal with it all, right?

It’s time to dispel that myth. With the right plan – one that takes your personal needs into account – you can regain control of your health, body and mind.

A heavy burden

According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four American adults is dealing with a mental illness or battling substance abuse, which are known as behavioral health concerns.

Behavioral health challenges can complicate any quit attempt – even the search for a stable starting point can feel overwhelming. But the need is great. This group alone consumes more than 40 percent of all cigarettes smoked by adults.

Doctors may prioritize treating mental health first and addiction gets sidelined, especially if the addiction is something as common as tobacco use. But that’s a mistake. The mental illness may lead to harm, however, tobacco kills half of those who use the products.

In fact, according to that same CDC data, people with behavioral health disorders die about five years earlier than those without, many from the effects of smoking. Even more concerning, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, statistics suggest people with combined addiction and mental illness die up to 25 years earlier than the general population.

Unfortunately, behavioral health providers don’t usually get trained in helping patients quit. That’s one reason the myth persists that smoking is simply the lesser of two evils. In fact, some addiction treatment programs use cigarettes as rewards in treatment. You can’t tackle one harmful addiction by substituting another, more deadly, one.

However, as overwhelming as it may seem, you can beat addiction despite depression, anxiety and other strains. The key is to look carefully at personal triggers, routines, moods and your environment.

Developing a personalized plan that works

A quit attempt is not a behavioral health treatment, and it shouldn’t replace that process, but it can be integrated into any treatment plan. At QuitLogix, our quit line at National Jewish Health, we’ve learned that patients with behavioral health issues are more likely to succeed when they believe they can quit regardless of the circumstance. The experience will not be the same for any two people.

To customize your quit, consider these five strategies. They can get you off of tobacco while keeping anxiety and depression in check.

1. Smoke on a schedule.

A powerful tool for breaking habits, setting up a schedule for when you smoke can help you gain control of your addiction. A systematic, time-based approach gives you a target, a way to hold off a craving by not smoking at that moment but rather on a pre-determined time, which you’ve set. You can reduce the number smoked slowly, week by week.

2. Set a quit date for the future.

A quit date removes a lot of mental burden, relieving that pressure of feeling like you have to quit immediately. A lot of people who quit cold turkey eventually go back to cigarettes. Setting a quit date is an important way for you to prepare yourself and your environments to support your intention to quit.

3. Track your mood.

Each of us should do more to track our moods. Knowing how we feel helps remain alert to when you may be vulnerable to use tobacco. Pairing that knowledge with an awareness of when you smoke will allow you to retool your day to keep on track toward quitting for good.

4. Know your daily routines.

What is causing stress or anxiety at various points in your day? Who are the people that you are likely to smoke with? What times of the day do you smoke? Which activities do you associate with smoking? These triggers will often have you reaching for a cigarette. Plan for those moments when your cravings are likely to be triggered – they’re not always obvious. Do you reach for a cigarette when you get in the car and drive? When you wake up? When you have your first cup of coffee? When you go outside for your work break? When you gain awareness of those associations, you can have a plan to use different strategies to help in these high-risk situations.

5. Prepare your environment.

Do you have ashtrays or lighters sitting around? Do you have a cabinet where you keep your cigarettes? Things in your everyday environment will trigger you. The smell of the coat you wear when you grab a smoke outside, for example. It may be difficult at first, but go through your home environment, your car, and your work environment to remove those potential triggers before you embark on your quit.

Preparing mentally, physically and environmentally will bring stability, a starting point for getting better. When that preparation is done, the quit process becomes a process you control, even as you are burdened by other challenges. With a plan, and an eye on your target, you can do this.

Amy Lukowski is Clinical Director for Health Initiatives (QuitLogix), Assistant Professor at National Jewish Health, and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine.

Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.