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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.

Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

CLEAR THE AIR HAS A MESSAGE FOR YOU:

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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

The effect of pack warning labels on quitting

The effect of pack warning labels on quitting and related thoughts and behaviours in a national cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers

Anna Nicholson, GDipPH, BPhty(Hons) PhD Ron Borland, PhD Pele Bennet, BHSc Maureen Davey, MB BS FAFPHM Jasmine Sarin, BHSci(Indig Hlth) Anke Van der Sterren, MPH MA BA Matthew Stevens, PhD David Thomas, MB BS PhD FAFPHM

https://academic.oup.com/ntr/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/ntr/ntw396/2871245/The-effect-of-pack-warning-labels-on-quitting-and

Abstract

Introduction:

The high prevalence of smoking among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia (39%) contributes substantially to health inequalities. This study assesses the impact of warning labels on quitting and related thoughts and behaviours for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers.

Methods:

Participants were recruited from communities served by 34 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and communities in the Torres Strait, Australia, using quota sampling. A cohort of 642 daily/weekly smokers completed relevant questions at baseline (April 2012-October 2013) and follow up (August 2013-August 2014).

Results:

We considered three baseline predictor variables: noticing warning labels, forgoing cigarettes due to warning labels (‘forgoing’) and perceiving labels to be effective.

Forgoing increased significantly between surveys only for those first surveyed prior to the introduction of plain packs (19% vs. 34%), however there were no significant interactions between forgoing cigarettes and the introduction of new and enlarged graphic warning labels on plain packaging in any model. Forgoing cigarettes predicted attempting to quit (AOR: 1.45, 95% CI: 1.02-2.06) and, among those who did not want to quit at baseline, wanting to quit at follow-up (AOR: 3.19, 95% CI: 1.06-9.63).

Among those less worried about future health effects, all three variables predicted being very worried at follow-up. Often noticing warning labels predicted correct responses to questions about health effects that had featured on warning labels (AOR: 1.84, 95% CI: 1.20-2.82) but not for those not featured.

Conclusions:

Graphic warning labels appear to have a positive impact on the understanding, concerns and motivations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers and, through these, their quit attempts.

IMPLICATIONS

Graphic warning labels are likely to be effective for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers as they are for the broader Australian population.

The Surgeon General’s Report on E-Cigarettes: Quitters & Starters

By Dr. Sudip Bose, MD

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-sudip-bose/the-surgeon-generals-repo_b_14046964.html

Jan. 7, 2016 — A report on e-cigarettes released at the end of last year by the US Surgeon General’s office shows a number of risks related to the popular product — particularly regarding young people — that should make them a lot less popular, but likely won’t. The act of “vaping” is often thought of as a safer alternative to smoking, but that’s not necessarily the case. Here are the dangers and potential dangers people should be paying attention to related to e-cigarettes:

The Debate

E-cigs are at the center of one of the most contentious debates in public health. The availability and appeal of using e-cigs as an alternative to smoking cigarettes has been growing quickly over the years for both those who are new to smoking, as an introductory product, and to those who are trying to quit smoking, who see it as a more “healthful” way of trying to kick the smoking habit.

However, e-cigs don’t solve the nicotine problem at all. Yes, e-cigs eliminate tar, and yes, e-cigs eliminate the tobacco — both dangerous elements to one’s health. And that’s definitely good. But what they do not eliminate is the critical element of nicotine. Nicotine is one of the most highly addictive substances on earth. It’s presented in a liquid and then vaporized form in an e-cig; you inhale through the e-cig, and as you inhale, the nicotine and other substances in the liquid are atomized and absorbed into your lungs. The nicotine in an e-cig is a lot more concentrated and potent.

New Users

For those who have never smoked and who are interested in the experience, e-cigs are an entry-level product that have been promoted and marketed as being safe. They’re not. They may be “safer” than cigarettes, but that’s only by degree.

While a new “vaper” isn’t exposed to the other substances of tar and tobacco such as are found in a normal cigarette, he or she is getting concentrated and more potent doses of nicotine. That’s not good. And we’re seeing younger and younger people trying these. Also not good. The e-cig “e-liquid,” which is what produces the vapor that users inhale and exhale, are marketed in an array of flavors that appeal to younger users — junior high and high school age kids — they’re available for order online, and you’re getting addicted right away to the habit of using nicotine. The flavors available boggle the imagination: bubble gum, banana, “Mother’s MIlk,” blueberry-lemon, banana cinnamon nutbread, pomegranate, strawberry — it goes on endlessly. These teenagers — and even younger children — are getting addicted early, which could lead to smoking, and e-cigs can easily become a gateway to trying and developing an addiction to more serious drugs. Addiction correlates to crime. People need to feed their habit, they break into homes to steal things to resell, they commit robberies on the streets, all to get money to feed their addiction. Ultimately they make some very poor choices and place themselves in very dangerous situations.

We may see less cancer as a result of e-cig use, because the tobacco and tar are gone. But we won’t be able to tell that for years or decades to come. Remember there are other chemicals mixed in with the nicotine in the solution that also could cause cancer down the road. The liquid that becomes vaporized in e-cigs, which you inhale and exhale in a cloud of vapor, contains not only nicotine but an array of other substances, such as propylene glycol, glycerine, flavorings and sometimes components like diacetyl, acetyl propionyl, benzaldehyde and the less-threatening sounding vanillin. We know that when inhaled, diacetyl causes a type of bronchitis known as “popcorn lung” — a scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lungs resulting in the thickening and narrowing of the airways. It may sound benign to a degree, but according to the American Lung Association, “it’s a serious disease that causes wheezing and shortness of breath, similar to the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).”

Quitting Smoking

If you’re trying to quit smoking, remember the key drug, nicotine, is still very much available through an e-cig and at much higher, concentrated doses. So while you will be eliminating the tar and tobacco of a cigarette, you’re amping up the accessibility of nicotine. That’s not exactly a great way to wean yourself from something harmful — to add more of it to your system.

We’re seeing a lot more nicotine toxicity. For example, little babies we see in the emergency room — sometimes they get a hold of a cigarette and they chew on it, which is usually not that harmful. But if they get a hold of an e-cigarette and ingest some of that liquid nicotine, which again is so concentrated in an e-cig form, we see nausea, vomiting seizures, paralysis — bad things.

Being that the nicotine is one of the most addictive substances, it’s not really helping you quit your addiction, it’s not the path to accomplishing that. And we’re seeing younger and younger people getting into it.

An Alternative to Smoking

There is a rising “connoisseur-ship” that’s evolved in the world of vaping in which vapers discuss vaping in the same way that wine aficionados discuss the nuances of whatever wine they are drinking. That’s great, but that doesn’t lessen the dangers outlined above.

Are vapers listening? Not really. In 2013, e-cigarette-related sales were $1.7 billion, which was double what they were in 2012. In 2015, those sales had risen to $2.9 billion. Many tobacco manufacturers also are in the e-cigarette game. More than 250 e-cig brands are on the market.

Perhaps this Surgeon General’s report will help refocus attention on the dangers of e-cigarettes and give people enough of a reason to take a pass at the growing trend of vaping.

For more about Dr. Sudip Bose, MD, please go to SudipBose.com and visit his nonprofit TheBattleContinues.org where 100% of donations go directly to injured veterans

Follow Dr. Sudip Bose on Twitter: www.twitter.com/docbose

Kingston University academics play key part in project to devise smartphone app that uses games technology to help smokers kick the habit

http://www.kingston.ac.uk/news/article/1765/04-jan-2017-kingston-university-academics-play-key-part-in-project-to-devise-smartphone-app-that-uses-games/

A smartphone app that could help smokers stick to New Year’s resolutions to quit by playing games to combat cravings has been developed by academics at Kingston University and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Cigbreak Free was the brainchild of games creation processes lecturer Hope Caton, from Kingston University’s School of Computer Science and Mathematics, and Robert Walton, Professor of Primary Medical Care at QMUL.

Ms Caton – who has extensive experience in video games, having worked on global hit TombRaider IV: The Last Revelation – teamed up with Professor Walton to see if they could combine a fun gaming experience with educational health messages to help smokers fight the urge to light up.

The result of the collaboration between the two universities was an app that works like a regular smartphone game, with players having to complete tasks to progress through levels, gaining rewards and gold stars along the way. However, it also incorporates a combination of some 37 behavioural change techniques – theory-based methods for changing behaviour – selected by QMUL health psychologists to help smokers quit, Ms Caton explained. “People think games are frivolous but we learn a lot through play,” she said. “The good thing about a smartphone gaming app is that you can play it anywhere.

“Craving is a short-term thing, so if you get a craving at 11am, you can play the game in the warm until it passes, rather than going out into the cold for a cigarette. You’ve also got something to do with your hands other than smoke.”

In the game, players have to swipe a certain number of cigarettes to break them within a time limit. As well as progressing through levels, the app includes a quit journal where users can calculate how much money they are saving. There are also mini-games where players have to clear smoke from a room to reveal a health message.

The app has now been commissioned for use by five London boroughs – Kingston, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Tower Hamlets and the City of Westminster – as part of their public health smoking cessation services. Residents can download it, enter their postcode and use the app for free, with several hundred people having downloaded Cigbreak Free so far.

Ms Caton and Professor Walton were authors of a recent research study published in the British Medical Journal, which analysed the use of behaviour change techniques and game-like elements in health apps currently on the market. They found that very few of the health apps they looked at were using games to help people make positive health changes.

The development of the app was inspired by a desire to exploit the latest trends in gaming to help improve people’s health, according to Professor Walton, from QMUL.

“Some of the health messages and behaviour change techniques we have used in the game are based on our previous research and include showing players the health consequences of a behaviour, gaining points for grabbing healthy items, or providing virtual financial incentives.

“We’re essentially trying to ‘gamify’ these messages and techniques as a way of embedding them in a person’s mind, in the hope that they will then be able to quit smoking.”

Rewards in the game were a way of giving smokers instant positive feedback, Ms Caton added. “When you’re trying to quit smoking you don’t get much instant feedback except desire. Your health is better but somehow it doesn’t have the same effect as being told you’re winning or getting a gold star,” she explained.

“We had to find subtle ways to include health messages so they don’t turn people off from playing, so the medical team ran 10 focus groups with 120 people to find out what worked and what didn’t.”

The team’s research is now being incorporated within teaching at Kingston University, as part of digital smoking cessation intervention work led by associate professor Dr Darrel Greenhill. Students on the University’s postgraduate game development courses are helping build the next upgrade for the app, using analytics gathered from users to inform improvements to gameplay – with the aim of providing more personalised support to help smokers quit.

“It’s really good experience for our Masters students to be able to work together on projects such as this as part of their digital studio practice module,” said Dr Greenhill, course director for the University’s game development programmes. “Our courses have been developed in consultation with representatives from the likes of Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe and Telefonica Europe. This insight, along with the opportunity to work with clients on real-world game development, helps provide them with the vital skills needed when seeking employment in the digital media industry.”

In January – a key time for smokers to make the resolution to quit – the team will begin a three-month pilot study with app users to evaluate its effectiveness. “The next step for us is to prove quit rates,” Ms Caton said. “We’ve had people smoking 25 cigarettes a day quit, some who’ve gone from 25 to four. It shows it can be effective but we need to get the analytics into the app to get more data and that’s something we’re working on now.”