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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?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/depression-or-anxiety-keeping-you-from-quitting-tobacco_us_59318cd7e4b062a6ac0acf26

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.

High cigarette prices can really make you quit smoking

WHO says increased taxation on tobacco is least expensive and most effective tool in reducing smoking worldwide.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2017/05/high-cigarette-prices-quit-smoking-170525092939544.html

Tobacco remains one of the major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, lung and cardiovascular diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that tobacco is responsible for the death of around seven million people across the globe every year.

Over the last two decades, there has been a significant reduction in the percentage of people smoking every day across the world, but the WHO says a lot more needs to be done to deter people from smoking cigarettes.

In a bid to curb consumption, governments have been enforcing stricter regulations on tobacco products and their usage.

Several countries are increasingly implementing strategies to tighten their tobacco policies in the hopes of deterring smoking, especially among young people.

Raising taxes on tobacco products is seen to be one of the least expensive and the most effective tools in countering the influence of tobacco companies. But it is also the least implemented, with only 10 percent of the world’s population currently living in countries with sufficiently high taxes.

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A 2010 WHO report found that 78 percent of those aged 15 years and over in the WHO member states were non-smokers.

By 2025, the number of non-smokers is expected to rise to around 5 billion out of a projected 6.1 billion people aged 15 and over.

Currently, nearly a third of all men are smokers, making the prevalence of smoking among men considerably higher than among women. Over the past 30 years, smoking among men has decreased by 10 percent.

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The price of a pack of cigarettes

Increasing prices and adding tax measures on tobacco products has been used to decrease the demand for cigarettes.

Many countries have successfully used tax policies to regulate the price of cigarette products. In Australia, a pack of cigarettes can cost up to $18, making it the most expensive country to buy cigarettes.

A report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in 2016 found that the smoking rate in the country was at an all time low. In the last 20 years, smoking had decreased by almost 50 percent.

The study showed that less than 13 percent of Australians are daily smokers and fewer people are starting to smoke.

The report cites Australia as having one of the lowest smoking rates in the world, in part because of their implementation of increased taxes on tobacco products, plain packaging, and more restrictive smoke-free environment laws.

prices-cigs

Illicit trade in tobacco products

The tobacco industry and other interest groups argue that increased taxes on tobacco products allows an illicit black market trade in tobacco to thrive.

But the WHO says that high-income countries with taxes on tobacco products do not face widespread issues related to illicit trade, while low-income countries continue to do so, precisely because of weaker tobacco-control programmes and taxes. Nearly 80% of the world’s smokers live in low to middle-income countries.

cig-consumption

High cigarette prices can really make you quit smoking

WHO says increased taxation on tobacco is least expensive and most effective tool in reducing smoking worldwide.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2017/05/high-cigarette-prices-quit-smoking-170525092939544.html

Tobacco remains one of the major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, lung and cardiovascular diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that tobacco is responsible for the death of around seven million people across the globe every year.

Over the last two decades, there has been a significant reduction in the percentage of people smoking every day across the world, but the WHO says a lot more needs to be done to deter people from smoking cigarettes.

In a bid to curb consumption, governments have been enforcing stricter regulations on tobacco products and their usage.

Several countries are increasingly implementing strategies to tighten their tobacco policies in the hopes of deterring smoking, especially among young people.

Raising taxes on tobacco products is seen to be one of the least expensive and the most effective tools in countering the influence of tobacco companies. But it is also the least implemented, with only 10 percent of the world’s population currently living in countries with sufficiently high taxes.

A 2010 WHO report found that 78 percent of those aged 15 years and over in the WHO member states were non-smokers.

By 2025, the number of non-smokers is expected to rise to around 5 billion out of a projected 6.1 billion people aged 15 and over.

Currently, nearly a third of all men are smokers, making the prevalence of smoking among men considerably higher than among women. Over the past 30 years, smoking among men has decreased by 10 percent.

The price of a pack of cigarettes

Increasing prices and adding tax measures on tobacco products has been used to decrease the demand for cigarettes.

Many countries have successfully used tax policies to regulate the price of cigarette products. In Australia, a pack of cigarettes can cost up to $18, making it the most expensive country to buy cigarettes.

A report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in 2016 found that the smoking rate in the country was at an all time low. In the last 20 years, smoking had decreased by almost 50 percent.

The study showed that less than 13 percent of Australians are daily smokers and fewer people are starting to smoke.

The report cites Australia as having one of the lowest smoking rates in the world, in part because of their implementation of increased taxes on tobacco products, plain packaging, and more restrictive smoke-free environment laws.

Illicit trade in tobacco products

The tobacco industry and other interest groups argue that increased taxes on tobacco products allows an illicit black market trade in tobacco to thrive.

But the WHO says that high-income countries with taxes on tobacco products do not face widespread issues related to illicit trade, while low-income countries continue to do so, precisely because of weaker tobacco-control programmes and taxes. Nearly 80% of the world’s smokers live in low to middle-income countries.

How to Quit Smoking: 10 Easy Ways to Resist Tobacco Cravings

Smoking is not a disease and does not need medication. A smoker needs an ecosystem of support, guidance, mentoring and self-discipline to kick the butt. World No Tobacco Day is commemorated every year by the World Health Organisation on 31st May. According to their report, tobacco kills more than 7 million people every year around the world. The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2017 is “Tobacco – a threat to development.” It proposes measures that governments and the public can take to promote health and development by confronting this global crisis. But here’s what you can do – quit smoking and start today. These easy tips may prove very helpful in your efforts to quit smoking.

1. Drink plenty of liquids (fruit juice or water) during the first three days of quitting. It will help in flushing out nicotine faster. Milder forms of green tea are also very helpful. Avoid black tea and coffee for a few days.

2. Your body systems are going to work much better, including your senses for smell and digestion. Consider keeping some pre-cut vegetables handy, such as celery, carrots and fruits to beat sudden hunger pangs and avoid binging on candies and pastries.

3. For some smokers, ending a meal means lighting up, and the prospect of giving that up may appear daunting. Here’s a quick tip to deal with this situation. Replace that moment after a meal with something such as a piece of fruit, a (healthy) dessert, a piece of chocolate, and a stick of gum or simply suck on a straw.

4. Distract yourself. Do the dishes, turn on the TV, take a shower, or call a friend. The activity doesn’t matter as long as it gets your mind off smoking.

5. Reward yourself. Reinforce your victories. Whenever you triumph over a craving, give yourself a reward to keep yourself motivated.

6. Whenever the urge of smoking arises, brush your teeth. The just-brushed, clean feeling can help get rid of cigarette cravings. Keep other things around to pop in your mouth when cravings hit. Good choices include mint, celery sticks, gum, and sunflower seeds

7. Practice deep breathing on a daily basis, use it whenever you may get an unwarranted craving.

8. Add ginseng powder to your breakfast. Ginseng is an effective remedy to prevent the release of dopamine, one of the main components found in nicotine.

9. Snap your cravings away. Wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it if you are considering giving in to a craving. The sting will distract you and give you a moment to remember all of the reasons why you are quitting.

10. Go for a quick work out. Whenever you feel the urge to smoke, take 5-10 push-ups. Your mind and body will be diverted quickly by engaging them in a new activity. A quick gaming session also keeps your mind off from nicotine.

Smoking cessation has definitive milestones which you should take note of. Key ones are 72 hours to reduce nicotine levels significantly, 14 days to recover from physical withdrawal, 48 days to recover from habituation and 3 months to go to sleep without thinking of smoking. Know and understand this journey to be able to quit smoking successfully. Remember that smoking is a one or all proposition. One single puff is sufficient to blow up all your efforts.

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Current Tobacco Smoking and Desire to Quit Smoking Among Students Aged 13–15 Years

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Finnish biotech firm claims breakthrough in smoking intervention

Biohit reveals that it received hundreds of enquiries following the publication of the results of a medical trial confirming that its Acetium lozenge is an effective, non-addictive means to quit smoking.

The Helsinki-based biotechnology firm also saw its share price jump by 7.4 per cent on the Helsinki Stock Exchange on Monday.

http://www.helsinkitimes.fi/business/14775-finnish-biotech-firm-claims-breakthrough-in-smoking-intervention.html

“We’ve received an astonishing number of contacts and enquiries – not only from Finland but in fact more from outside Finland,” Semi Korpela, the chief executive of the biotechnology firm, says to Uusi Suomi.

He believes the high interest in the results can be attributed primarily to two factors: first, because the active substance was shown to cause no side-effects and, second, because the active substance is neither addictive nor a a nicotine replacement.

“The efficacy is comparable to nicotine replacement therapy,” he said in a press release on Monday.

Kari Syrjänen, the chief medical director at Biohit, described the results of the second smoking intervention study as “a breakthrough in the development of smoking intervention methods”.

The intervention study confirmed that the lozenge is an effective tool in assisting the cessation of smoking due to its capability to absorb acetaldehyde derived from cigarette smoke in saliva, thus potentially reducing the effects of acetaldehyde in maintaining smoking addiction. Acetaldehyde has been labelled as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The study was adequately powered to confirm the results of the first intervention study and their statistical significance, according to the press release from Biohit.

Korpela reveals that the biotechnology firm will now begin re-branding and re-packaging the Acetium lozenge. The product, he adds, has already been available in web-shops but has yet been marketed as a smoking cessation aid due to lack of proof of its efficacy.

After the re-packaging and other preparations have been completed, the lozenge will be made available both domestically and globally, he says. “There are still plenty of smokers in the world. There are large smoking countries in Asia, as well as in Europe and the Middle East. There’s quite a few of them. Why should we rule out anything?” says Korpela.

Bedford lost £14m last year due to smoking breaks

Figures released this week show smoking costs Bedford borough’s economy almost £34million a year.

But the biggest cost to the economy is not early deaths (£8.79million), smoking-related disease (£4.25million) or lost productivity because of sick days (£2.48million), says Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).

Instead the big cost is from people taking smoking breaks – reckoned to have cost Bedford firms nearly £14million last year because of lost productivity.

Councillor Louise Jackson, portfolio holder for public health, said: “Both councils and the NHS are experiencing severe funding pressures so these costs are not sustainable.

“Smoking remains the single largest cause of preventable death and illness in Bedford Borough, and the council provides free advice and support to help smokers to stop.

“People who use the stop smoking service are up to four times more likely to quit and last year we helped more than 700 people to successfully stop.

“For advice and support call 0800 013 0553.”

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, said: “We know that most local authorities remain committed to reducing smoking but key services are under threat from public health funding cuts.”

http://www.bedfordtoday.co.uk/news/bedford-lost-14m-last-year-due-to-smoking-breaks-1-7801719

Hong Kong Department of Health Tobacco Control Zero Efforts

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Not much proof that e-cigarettes can help people stop smoking

http://www.nst.com.my/news/2017/01/203391/not-much-proof-e-cigarettes-can-help-people-stop-smoking

As people become more aware of the dangers of smoking, many have taken steps to reduce the number of cigarettes smoked or to stop the bad habit. Public and private health centres and pharmacies provide smoking- cessation services, which include evidence-based treatment. These studies were based on large-scale population with medication that has been proven to be safe and effective. Nicotine replacement therapy (Nicorette) and Varenicline (Champix) have been used by those who wanted to quit smoking, and they have done so.

Interestingly, there is not much evidence supporting e-cigarette use as an alternative method for smoking cessation.

Recently, the Institute of Public Health, Health Ministry, conducted a survey on the use of e-cigarettes among adolescents and adults in Malaysia (The Tobacco and E-cigarette Survey among Malaysia Adolescents and The National E-Cigarette Survey 2016).

The results were disturbing. The majority of those who use e-cigarette are dual users. This means that they smoke cigarettes and e-cigarette. This is hazardous as it may result in nicotine overdose, which can lead to death. This can strengthen their addiction to nicotine, which hooked them to cigarettes in the first place.

Almost 70 per cent of the dual users stopped e-cigarette but continued smoking conventional cigarettes.

Most school children and adolescents started using e-cigarettes out of curiosity.

The main pull factors were the flavours and smell of e-liquids.

Many other dangerous substances can be introduced by drug pushers and dealers by just lacing the liquids.

Nearly 75 per cent of the study population felt that e-cigarettes were not useful to stop smoking and more than half wanted these to be banned.

DR RASHIDI MOHAMED PAKRI MOHAMED Nicotine Addiction Research Group, Universiti Malaya