Sunday, March 09, 2008

Smoking doesn't make you happy.

Smoking doesn't make you happy.

Smokers who claim that smoking is one of the few pleasures left to them should think again. Extensive research carried out by Dr Iain Lang at the Peninsula Medical School in England looked at the relationship between smoking and psychological wellbeing.
Said Dr. Lang: "We found no evidence to support the claim that smoking is associated with pleasure, either in people from lower socio-economic groups or in the general population." In short -- smoking doesn't make you happy.
Some countries set No Smoking Day on 12th March hoping to persuade smokers to quit as a patriotic gesture and sacrifice (by stopping production of harmful second-hand smoke). Here are some of the tips.
A Quit Smoking Diet?
Can what you eat help you give up smoking?
Yes, according to Duke University psychologist F. Joseph McClernon. Based at the Duke Center for Nicotine and Smoking Research, McClernon “… kept hearing smokers say that certain foods and beverages made their cigarettes taste much better.” He began to wonder exactly which foods these were — and whether any foods made smoking a worse experience.”
Which, of course, got him thinking about the connection between foods and smoking. He enlisted 209 long term smokers (who smoked at least a pack a day for at least 21 years) and had them list the foods that seemed to enhance the smoking experience and the foods that seemed to worsened the smoking experience.
The results…
70% of the participants found that meat, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages appeared to make cigarettes taste better.
But for 45% of the participants, foods such as fruit, vegetables, dairy products, and beverages such as water, juice, and non caffeinated drinks appeared to make their cigarettes taste worse.
What this means…

So what do the smokers out there think?
Have you tried diet modification in your quit smoking campaign ?
Overlooked Reasons to Quit Smoking
If you need more incentive to quit smoking, here are some reasons that you may not know about.
You know smoking causes lung cancer, emphysema, and heart disease, but you're still lighting up. To help you get on the wagon, following is a compiled list of little known ways your life can go up in smoke if you don't kick the habit.
From an increased risk of blindness to a faster decline in mental function, here are 10 compelling -- and often surprising -- reasons to stick to your commitment.
Alzheimer's Disease: Smoking Speeds Up Mental Decline

SIDS: Maternal Smoking Doubles Risk
Colic: Smoking Makes Babies Irritable, Too
An Increased Risk of Impotence
Blindness: Smoking Raises Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Genetically Vulnerable Smokers Increase Their Risk Even More
Snoring: Even Living With a Smoker Raises Risk
Acid Reflux: Heavy Smoking Linked to Heartburn
Breast Cancer: Active Smoking Plays Bigger Role Than Thought
If those top 10 reasons weren't enough to motivate you to quit smoking, keep this in mind:
Smoking is linked to certain colon cancers.
Smoking may increase the risk of depression in young people,
Some studies have linked smoking to thyroid disease.
How Cigarette Smoke Causes Cancer: Study Points To New Treatments, Safer Tobacco (adopted fromScienceDaily (Mar. 2008)
Everyone has known for decades that that smoking can kill, but until now no one really understood how cigarette smoke causes healthy lung cells to become cancerous. Researchers from the University of California, Davis, show that hydrogen peroxide (or similar oxidants) in cigarette smoke is the culprit. This finding may help the tobacco industry develop "safer" cigarettes by eliminating such substances in the smoke, while giving medical researchers a new avenue to developing lung cancer treatments.
With the five-year survival rate for people with lung cancer at a dismally low 15.5 percent, the study will provide better insight into the identification of new therapeutic targets.
In the research study, researchers describe how they exposed different sets of human lung airway cells (in the laboratory) to cigarette smoke and hydrogen peroxide. After exposure, these cells were then incubated for one to two days. Then they, along with unexposed airway cells, were assessed for signs of cancer development. The cells exposed to cigarettes smoke and the cells exposed to hydrogen peroxide showed the same molecular signatures of cancer development, while the unexposed cells did not.
"Guns kill, bombs kill and cigarettes kill," said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "While biologists can't do much about the first two, studies like this will help in the fight against tobacco-related death and disease. These experiments not only pin-point new molecular targets for cancer treatment, but also identify culprits in cigarette smoke that eventually will do the smoker in."
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States, resulting in more than 400,000 deaths per year or about 1 in 5 U.S. deaths overall. Smoking accounts for the vast majority of lung cancer deaths, causing 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths in men and about 80 percent in women. In 2000, a Surgeon General report revealed that tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, with 43 being known carcinogens. Some of the 4,000 compounds result from chemicals added in processing to improve taste, increase burning times, and prolong shelf life.
This research is published in the March 2008 print issue of The FASEB Journal.

Certain Vitamin Supplements May Increase Lung Cancer Risk, Especially In Smokers
Vitamin supplements do not protect against lung cancer, according to a study of more than 77,000 vitamin users. In fact, some supplements may even increase the risk of developing it. A study of supplemental multivitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and folate did not show any evidence for a decreased risk of lung cancer, wrote the study's author "Indeed, increasing intake of supplemental vitamin E was associated with a slightly increased risk of lung cancer." he said.
Researchers selected a prospective cohort of 77,126 men and women between 50 and 76 years of age in the VITAL (VITamins And Lifestyle) study, and determined their rate of developing lung cancer over four years with respect to their current and past vitamin usage, smoking, and other demographic and medical characteristics.
Of the original cohort, 521 developed lung cancer, the expected rate for a low-risk cohort such as VITAL. But among those who developed lung cancer, in addition to the unsurprising associations with smoking history, family history, and age, there was a slight but significant association between use of supplemental vitamin E and lung cancer.
In contrast to the often assumed benefits or at least lack of harm, supplemental vitamin E was associated with a small increased risk of lung cancer. The increased risk was most prominent in current smokers.
The idea that vitamin supplements are healthy, or at the very least, do no harm, comes from the desire of many people to mimic the benefits of a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables with a convenient pill. However, fruits contain not only vitamins but also many hundreds of other phytochemical compounds whose functions are not well understood.
The World Cancer Research Fund and the American Cancer Society recommend two servings of fruit each day, based on a study that previously found a 20 percent increase in cancer risk among people who ate the least amount of fruit. This recommendation would likely lead to a reduced risk for lung cancer, as well as reduced risk of several other cancers and cardiovascular disease However, any benefit to the population of smokers from increasing fruit intake to reduce cancer risk by 20 percent would be more than offset if even a small proportion of smokers decided to continue tobacco use in favor of such a diet change.
These findings have broad public health implications, given the large population of current and former smokers and the widespread use of vitamin supplements. Future studies may focus on other components of fruits and vegetables that may explain the decreased risk [of cancer] that has been associated with fruits and vegetables.
Big brains payrolled by Big Tobacco
16 February 2008
Jim Giles writing in Magazine issue 2643:
IT IS well known that when the dangers of smoking became increasingly obvious in the 1950s, tobacco companies funded scientific research aimed at downplaying the risks. Now, a little-known strand of that campaign, aimed at giving an intellectual gloss to pro-smoking arguments, has been detailed for the first time.
In an attempt to win hearts and minds, the tobacco companies bankrolled a network of economists, philosophers and sociologists. Documents newly scrutinized by academics reveal that members of the network generated extensive media coverage and numerous academic articles - with almost no mention that the work had been paid for by cigarette manufacturers.
The perverse prosperity of the tobacco industry
Incredibly, the financial health of tobacco companies continues to improve as the physical health of its customers continues to decline. Last week, analysts at the bank, J P Morgan, reported that tobacco had consistently outperformed the US and European market since 1973 and that they saw no reason for this trend to change. And this despite all the assaults against the tobacco industry over the past few decades: first, lawsuits and then the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), WHO's first treaty, which was adopted in 2005 and has been signed by 168 countries to date.
Such attacks on the industry continue thick and fast. In Florida, US tobacco companies were deluged with thousands of new lawsuits before the deadline imposed by the Florida Supreme Court for filing individual claims after last year's decision to overturn a US$145 billion class action punitive award. And the Nigerian Government is currently suing three tobacco companies—British American Tobacco, Philip Morris, and International Tobacco—for $44 billion after accusing them of deliberately promoting smoking to young Nigerians.
The Lancet Chronic Diseases Series showed that 5·5 million deaths could be avoided in 23 countries if the four elements of the FCTC—increased taxes on tobacco products; enforcement of smoke-free work places; packaging, labels, and public awareness campaigns about the health risks of smoking; and a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising—were implemented.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has taken a stand against investing in tobacco companies, describing such enterprises as “egregious”. Other investors should follow their example. And WHO should make better use of the most effective weapon it has against the tobacco industry—the FCTC. Countries that have not signed and ratified the FCTC, such as America and Italy, should do so and all member states should make the implementation of the four key elements of the FCTC an urgent priority. Tobacco companies must not be allowed to continue to profit from the massive amount of mortality, morbidity, and misery they cause. We look forward to the time when J P Morgan advises investors to “sell, sell, sell” The Lancet 26 January 2008

Teaming up for tobacco control

Last week, two billionaires—Microsoft founder Bill Gates and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg—announced their latest plan for spending some of their vast fortunes. The pair, through their respective charitable organisations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies, will contribute a combined total of US$500 million to global tobacco-control programmes.
This is not the first time that Bloomberg, who led New York City's successful anti-smoking legislation in 2002, has contributed his own money to anti-tobacco efforts. In 2005, he set up Bloomberg's Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use with $125 million, and his foundation helped fund WHO's Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2008. That report culminated in the MPOWER package, a group of evidence-based strategies for tobacco control. (The acronym stands for: Monitor tobacco use and policies; Protect people from second-hand smoke; Offer help to quit; Warn about the dangers of tobacco; Enforce bans on advertising, promotion, and tobacco company sponsorship; and Raise taxes on tobacco products.) Bloomberg will now make a further donation of $250 million, to be used over 4 years. The Gates' contribution is $125 million over 5 years, of which $24 million is designated as a grant to the Bloomberg Initiative. These investments are modest when set against the net worth of the two funders, but the amount vastly exceeds what is now being spent on tobacco control in low-income and middle-income countries. According to the 2008 WHO report, such spending comes to less than half a penny per person per year—against tobacco tax revenues of nearly $66 million. Read more ...

No comments: