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Anti-smoking drug linked to father’s suicide

The suicide of a Tasmanian father of three has prompted a warning from a coroner about the anti-smoking drug Champix.

Champix has been blamed for several suicides interstate and overseas but it is believed to be the first time the drug has been linked to a suicide in Tasmania.

Coroner Glenn Hay found it is impossible to say the drug was a direct causal link of the man’s suicide.

But he found there was sufficient connection for him warn the community about the drug’s side effects and any contra-indicators when taking it.

The drug’s producer Pfizer Australia says some neuropsychiatric symptoms, including suicidal behaviour, have occurred in patients on the drug.

Mr Hay warned it was important those using medications such as Champix disclosed any history of mental illness to their doctor and stop taking the drug if mood or behaviour changes occurred.

QUIT Tasmania’s Michael Wilson says that after the man’s suicide it surveyed 64 clients known to be using the drug.

“Most of them were OK with it but there was a small percentage that had experienced some sort of nausaea or negative change in their mood, including anxiety or depression, but nothing major,” he said.

The Positive Effects of the Smoking Ban in England

Researchers from Bath University have concluded that the smoking ban has resulted in 1,200 fewer heart attack hospital admission in the year following the introduction of the legislation. The study analysed data from the period between July 2002 – September 2008. By studying the five year period prior to the ban, researchers were able to determine annual trends in terms of heart attack hospital admissions, and then apply these past trends to a hypothetical scenario in which the smoking ban had not been introduced. These figures were then compared to actual data compiled throughout the 12 months after the commencement of the ban.

The outcome was that the ban has potentially decreased the number of heart attack patients by 2.4%. The predicted figures can be translated as an £8 million saving for the NHS, and the prevention of circa 180 deaths. Every year approximately 141,000 people in the UK suffer a heart attack, about a third of die before arriving at a hospital. Within the hospital though, the survival rate is 85%, in which case, of a group of 1,200, 180 would not recover.

Although demonstrating obvious association between the smoking ban and the lower number of heart attack admissions in England, the study fails to investigate on a more comprehensive level. It remains impossible to say with any degree of certainty to what extent the ban has had on the overall numbers of heart attack patients, with other factors such as an unhealthy diet, excessive alcohol consumption and a lack of exercise all major causes of cardiac problems. Furthermore, the research does not investigate the smoking status of patients or their experience of passive smoking prior to the ban.

Since 2002 there has been a steady decrease in the number of heart attack hospital admissions, a fact cited by anti-non-smoking campaigners who suggest that the latest figures simply conform to the yearly fall in emergency heart attack admissions. However, this is not an accurate interpretation of the study. As aforementioned, the data was arrived at through a comparison of two scenarios; one in which the ban had not been created, and the other the reality in which we live.

This piece of legislation has clearly gone some way to addressing the health issues associated with smoking. There is however, much more that can be done by individuals. The benefits of not smoking can be felt in one’s health, lifestyle, and finances. By giving up the habit, one is far less likely to suffer from cancer and heart problems, and will find that they save a small fortune not only on the purchase of cigarettes or cigars, but also on financial products such as life insurance, which can be three or four times more expensive for a smoker.

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Lung Repair after quitting smoking-5 Tips to Keep on

Everyone knows that smoking is associated with some lung disorders like pulmonary emphysema and popcorn lung disease that are fatal by nature. Knowing this fact and other risks that may follow, many smokers start lung repair after quitting smoking. Some of them have tried to quit smoking many times but in vain. If one is an addict, it becomes really difficult to quit smoking. Smoking tends to leave the lungs not only toxic and congested, but also dry and possibly inflamed within the body. Another thing to remember is that lungs cannot be cleansed completely.

 

How long it requires for cleansing the lungs after quitting smoking depends on how long and how much you smoked. Normally it takes around one year, and it’s dreadful to hear that it requires sometimes 2 to 3 years to repairing the lungs even after quitting smoking. I’m not sure but for every cigarette you are throwing out without a puff, you are doing something good for your health. If you are a chain smoker, the smoker’s lung dryness can develop as one of the symptoms of lung disease. Shallow breathing is another sign that your lungs need internal cleansing. At this juncture, you will be safe if you work out a plan for your lung repair after quitting smoking.

 

While your lungs begin to heal around 48 hours after you quit smoking, why don’t you try it? Start cleansing your lungs without worrying about the causes of lung disease. Here it may sound a little funny, but it is true that you are to recover your normal health. It is an internal cleansing that promotes your health. Cleansing your lungs is possible by choosing right food supplements, exercise, and free breathing of fresh air. Here are some tips on how to clean your lungs:

 

Right food supplements: The first and foremost thing you ought to follow is the selection of right food supplements with nutrients. Nutritious food supplements help increasing immunity power for your body to get the lungs cleansed quickly after quitting smoking.

 

Exercise: Another excellent way to cleanse your lungs is through exercise. Exercise can help you keeping your pulmonary system stronger and healthier. You can have a short walk first to start with, and then can increase the distance. Also you can commence with a slow walk initially, and then wind up the speed gradually to jogging and running.

 

Free and fresh air: Here you have another suggestion for cleaning your lungs. The simplest way involves just getting yourself outside the four walls for having free breathing in open air. This can enable your lungs to get clean air to breath, and can help promoting health.

 

Vitamin foods: There are certain vitamin foods which you can consume to break up the toxins lodged in your lungs and flush out of your body through natural cleansing process. If you take in properly with recommended dosage, the food melts the nicotine, tar and carbon residue in your lungs.

 

Alternative treatment: If you have tried everything but still have not cleansed your lungs, you have the alternative treatments like acupuncture and hypnosis. But these are somewhat costly and may not be convincing for you. So you may try the first four tips successfully for your lung repair after quitting smoking.

 

It’s from my own experience that I’m telling for your welfare about the smoking effects on lungs and 7 tips on stopping smoking.

Black Hearts… Stop Smoking!!!

This is an ad campaign I recently came across from ADESF, Brazil’s anti smoking association.
The body parts that smoking affects the most are built from cigarettes, of which some are lit – suggesting that the
damage will spread like wild fire. the images are accompanied by the tagline ‘stop consuming your body’.

How to Quit Smoking for Beginners !!!

Stop Smoking Aids for Beginners

 Finding good stop smoking aids is no easy job, especially for those people who don’t trust medication. In other words, if you are a person who thinks quitting smoking is possible without any prescription from your therapist it means you are heading towards a brighter smoke less future. However, there are cases when people are too desperate and don’t have a clue where to start from. In most of these cases, medication and drugs that could help one overcome all the withdrawal symptoms and cravings are given. No matter how strong one might be, there are situations when the pain is so huge that you would do anything for it to go away just for one minute.

We previously talked about one of the most important requirements that a person who is willing to quit smoking must have and that is commitment. Without being determined to start a new life and to totally give up smoking you won’t be able to do it, even with the most expensive aids that are produced for heavy smokers. There are plenty of nicotine replacement products nowadays. When I say “plenty” I mean really “a lot” of them. You have those that you can stick on your skin, the gum, etc. There are so many that sometimes people who are looking for solutions to give up smoking fast and easy seem to be a little bit overwhelmed and have no clue where to start.

Sometimes you just have to learn how to quit smoking from those who already did it. So why not seek the blog of an ex smoker and try to calculate his or her progress. I think that this might be a really good idea since in most of the cases people are just saying one thing and doing the vice versa. Make a commitment right now, just after finishing to read my new post and begin your smokeless life changing program. If you are a heavy smoker willing to see something new in this world, you need to stop being addicted to nicotine. The failure to achieve this goal is going to lock you in the tobacco prison for the rest of your life, which in fact, isn’t that long if you continue this way.

Sure thing, I don’t believe in drugs either and I never took them (honestly) when quitting smoking and even when facing those awful cravings. Anyways, this doesn’t mean that I never wondered, “How the heck to I get rid of cravings when quitting smoking?”. The problem is that in most of the cases this is the price that you will be required to pay for spending the rest of your life away from cigarettes. Otherwise, you are welcome to continue your daily one pack routine and enjoy a lung cancer in several years; and as nowadays they don’t have any reliable cancer treatment for most smokers that get it, I suppose that you are a grown up and realize what is going to happen.

The purpose of this post entitled “Stop Smoking Aids for Beginners” is to show you once again that if you don’t take action nothing is going to happen. As my main purpose is to try and help as many people as possible quit smoking, I won’t possible try to influence you to use any particular method to get rid of this life taking addiction. However, if you think that being aided by some kind of drug like Zyban or Chantix is going to help, than you are welcome to try – maybe you’ll succeed. Anyway, be aware of the possible secondary effects that most of these products have. It’s great to quit smoking, but it’s not okay to face suicidal thoughts afterward.

If you are a quit smoking beginner and you need help, you may try several stop smoking aids in order not to go crazy the first several days (mostly first week) after you stop inhaling the smoke from cigarettes and decide that you won’t be smoking again. I would suggest nicotine patches, but as most of you already realize that this is not honest stop smoking, you can go without taking anything at all. However, don’t say that you haven’t been warned. In most of the cases you will be facing terrible pain, nausea, insomnia and many other unpleasant issues. So, take your time for your decision. Most aids to help you get rid of nicotine also have their negative aspects so don’t blindly believe in everything that you are being given or told.

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Conquer Your Cigarette-smoking Habit Without Requiring Nicotine Replacement Therapy Or Nrt

Cigarette addiction is a fight that many cigarette smokers have most certainly been involved in for countless decades. Nicotine users surely think it’s hard to avoid the need to light up, because for them, it is very similar to an individual’s normal instincts, for example, sleeping or eating. A number of options were proposed to aid individuals in quitting cigarette dependency, such as nicotine replacement therapy or NRT. Nicotine replacement therapy can help a person fight her or his nicotine addiction by utilizing specifically designed bubble gum and also nicotine patches, but these types of products and solutions were not effective in some cases. To properly eliminate any dependency, a person should search for the cause and define the right course for himself or herself, and not settle for temporary alternatives. It is very much feasible to give up using tobacco without needing NRT, and you have to discover what other options are available as well as the best way to go about it.

A long-term habit is a lot more of a mental condition rather than a corporeal one. It’s for this reason that overcoming nicotine dependence concerns obtaining a possible replacement for tobacco. Swap cigarette smoking for a task that will take up your usual smoking times. When you do this, you will almost immediately notice how you won’t decide to smoke cigarettes throughout those periods. You could find yourself using tobacco at a later time, but for that particular interval, you will not smoke at all. Once you eventually find yourself becoming much more busy than ever during these times, it is the cue to take the next step.

Research on the hazards of cigarette smoking with regard to your health and well-being, and also continuously go over them in your head. This technique trains your mind to think that smoking isn’t needed and that you have some other ways of feeling great without searching for a fix. Listing all of the risks will ultimately get you in a prohibitive perspective that could allow you to avoid unhealthy cravings. Numerous people who smoke do not succeed in quitting simply because deep down, they continue to feel that tobacco use gives them heaps of positive aspects.

It is also wise to remind yourself about the advantages of becoming free from tobacco, such as an extended life expectancy and also a lessened risk of passing away from emphysema as well as other cigarette smoking-related medical conditions. Furthermore, you may have extra cash to spend on other stuff, along with a drastically improved general state of health and well-being.

Hypnosis is one more good alternative in case you find it tough to condition your brain to avoid the most popular viewpoints held by smokers. Whenever an individual starts smoking, she / he tells her or his subconscious of the advantages of smoking cigarettes. With time, all of these views are permanently embedded into a tobacco user’s frame of mind. Hypnotherapy coupled with favorable statements will aid smokers to really adjust how they view tobacco use.

Quitting is harder without folks demanding that you quit. Ensure that these people know about your objectives. Your loved ones as well as close friends can be a good support system simply because you will never decline their counsel. To make this method more powerful, you must also request them to undertake some things for you whenever they see you smoking cigarettes again, like throwing away all of your tobacco.

Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese technique that is now employed by nicotine users to help them stop using tobacco, includes the pressing of slender needles into your pores. Acupuncture can effectively cut down your hankering for nicotine since it opens up energy reserves as well as induces the discharge of endorphins, the all-natural ‘feel-good’ hormone. This endorphin rush results in you experiencing pleasure, a sensation that used to be acquired via nicotine.

Lobelia and passion flower are natural remedies that can be used to eliminate the itch to smoke. For several folks, these herbal remedies’ impact takes too long, but other people have stated the advantageous outcomes that they’ve gotten through this method.

Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com

 

About the Author:
You want to stop smoking! No, you NEED to stop smoking. Find out how to stop smoking naturally without resorting to pharmaceutical options with our FREE reviews on the top quit smoking programs available.

25 Ways to Stop Smoking Cigarettes!!!

25 Ways to stop smoking cigarettes and ways to quit smoking for good can help you towards a healthier, smoke-free life.


For all the intense efforts to reduce smoking in America over the past two decades, the progress has not been stellar. Today one in four men and one in five women still smoke.

For those who never smoked, this is a befuddling fact. Don’t smokers understand that cigarettes are the number one killer in America, that they dramatically increase risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure, and almost every other health concern, small or large? How could any habit be worth this?

Truth is, most smokers do understand. They also understand the huge financial toll of smoking, with a pack of 20 cigarettes costing $7 in some areas (imagine: $2,500 spent a year on cigarettes by pack-a-day smokers — often people of only modest resources).
Then why do millions still smoke? In good part, because the nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive. In good part, because smoking provides psychological comfort to some people. Perhaps most of all, because quitting smoking is so hard.

Researchers and businesses have responded strongly to the last point. Never have there been so many tools, systems, and programs available for quitting smoking. And with every month that passes, there is more research showing the benefits of quitting, and the drawbacks of not quitting.

So if you smoke, consider again whether it is time, finally, to quit. If yes, you’ll need to think through the best approach, perhaps working with your doctor or an expert. But the following 25 tips will help you succeed.

 

1.Make an honest list of all the things you like about smoking. Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper and write them on one side; on the other side make a list of all the things you dislike, such as how it can interfere with your health, work, family, etc., suggests Daniel Z. Lieberman, M.D., director of the Clinical Psychiatric Research Center at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Think about the list over time, and make changes. If you are brave enough, get feedback from family and friends about things they don’t like about your use of cigarettes. When the negative side outweighs the positive side, you are ready to quit.  

2.Then make another list of why quitting won’t be easy. Be thorough, even if the list gets long and discouraging. Here’s the important part: Next to each entry, list one or more options for overcoming that challenge. For instance, one item might be: “Nicotine is an addictive drug.” Your option might be: “Try a nicotine replacement alternative.” Another reason might be: “Smoking helps me deal with stress.” Your option might be: “Take five-minute walks instead.” The more you anticipate the challenges to quitting, and their solutions, the better your chance of success.

3. Set a quit date and write a “quit date contract” that includes your signature and that of a supportive witness.

4. Write all your reasons for quitting on an index card and keep it near you at all times. Here are some to get you started: “My daughter, my granddaughter, my husband, my wife…” You get the idea.

5. As you’re getting ready to quit, stop buying cartons of cigarettes. Instead, only buy a pack at a time, and only carry two or three with you at a time (try putting them in an Altoids tin). Eventually you’ll find that when you want a smoke, you won’t have any immediately available. That will slowly wean you down to fewer cigarettes.

6. Keep a list of when you smoke, what you’re doing at the time, and how bad the craving is for a week before quitting to see if specific times of the day or activities increase your cravings, suggests Gaylene Mooney, chair of the American Association for Respiratory Care’s Subcommittee on Smoking and Tobacco-Related Issues. Then arrange fun, unique things to do during those times, like some of the ones we recommend here.

7. Prepare a list of things to do when a craving hits. Suggestions include: take a walk, drink a glass of water, kiss your partner or child, throw the ball for the dog, wash the car, clean out a cupboard or closet, have sex, chew a piece of gum, wash your face, brush your teeth, take a nap, get a cup of coffee or tea, practice your deep breathing, light a candle. Make copies of the list and keep one with you at all times so when the craving hits, you can whip out the list and quickly do something from it.

Reduce and Replace

8. When your quit date arrives, throw out anything that reminds you of smoking. That includes all smoking paraphernalia — leftover cigarettes, matches, lighters, ashtrays, cigarette holders, even the lighter in your car.

9. Instead of a cigarette break at work, play a game of solitaire on your computer. It takes about the same time and is much more fun (although, like cigarettes, it can get addictive). If your company prohibits games like that, find another five-minute diversion: a phone call, a stroll, or eating a piece of fruit outdoors (but not where smokers congregate).

10. Switch to a cup of herbal tea whenever you usually have a cigarette. That might be at breakfast, midmorning, or after meals. The act of brewing the tea and slowly sipping it as it cools will provide the same stress relief as a hit of nicotine.

11. Switch your cigarette habit for a nut habit – four nuts in their shell for every cigarette you want to smoke. This way, you’re using your hands and your mouth, getting the same physical and oral sensations you get from smoking.

12. Carry some cinnamon-flavored toothpicks with you. Suck on one whenever a cig craving hits.

13. Make an appointment with an acupuncturist. There’s some evidence that auricular acupuncture (i.e., needles in the ears) curbs cigarette cravings quite successfully, says Ather Ali, N.D., a naturopathic physician completing a National Institutes of Health-sponsored postdoctoral research fellowship at the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, Connecticut. You can even do it yourself by taping “seeds” (small beads) onto the acupuncture points and squeezing them whenever cravings arise.

14. Swing by the health food store for some Avena sativa (oat) extract. One study found that, taken at 1 milliliters four times daily, it helped habitual tobacco smokers significantly decrease the number of cigarettes they smoked.

15. Think of difficult things you have done in the past. Ask people who know you well to remind you of challenges you have successfully overcome, says Dr. Lieberman. This will give you the necessary self-confidence to stick with your pledge not to smoke.

16. To minimize cravings, change your routine. Sit in a different chair at breakfast or take a different route to work. If you usually have a drink and cigarette after work, change that to a walk. If you’re used to a smoke with your morning coffee, switch to tea, or stop at Starbucks for a cup of java — the chain is smoke-free.

17. Tell your friends, coworkers, boss, partner, kids, etc., how you feel about situations instead of bottling up your emotions. If something makes you angry, express it instead of smothering it with cigarette smoke. If you’re bored, admit to yourself that you’re bored and find something energetic to do instead of lighting up.

State of Mind

18. If you relapse, just start again. You haven’t failed. Some people have to quit as many as eight times before they are successful.

19. Put all the money you’re saving on cigarettes in a large glass jar. You want to physically see how much you’ve been spending. Earmark that money for something you’ve always dreamed of doing, but never thought you could afford, be it a cruise to Alaska or a first-class ticket to visit an old college friend.

20. Switch to decaf until you’ve been cigarette-free for two months. Too much caffeine while quitting can cause the jitters.

21. Create a smoke-free zone. Don’t allow anyone to use tobacco in your home, car, or even while sitting next to you in a restaurant. Make actual “No Smoking” signs and hang them around your house and in your car.

22. Find a healthy snack food you can keep with you and use in place of cigarettes to quench that urge for oral gratification. For instance, try pistachio nuts, sunflower seeds, sugarless lollipops or gum, carrot or celery sticks. The last ones are best if you are concerned about weight gain.

23. Picture yourself playing tennis. Or go play tennis. British researchers found volunteers trying to quit smoking were better able to ignore their urges to smoke when they were told to visualize a tennis match.

24. Quit when you’re in a good mood. Studies find that you’re less likely to be a successful quitter if you quit when you’re depressed or under a great deal of stress.

25. Post this list in a visible location in your house. Whenever you’re tempted to light up, take a look at all the ways smoking can damage your health:

 

  • Increases risk of lung, bladder, pancreatic, mouth, esophageal, and other cancers, including leukemia

 

  • Reduces fertility

 

  • Contributes to thin bones

 

  • Affects mental capacity and memory

 

  • Reduces levels of folate, low levels of which can increase the risk of heart disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease

 

  • Increases likelihood of impotence

 

  • Affects ability to smell and taste

 

  • Results in low-birth-weight, premature babies

 

  • Increases risk of depression in adolescents

 

  • Increases risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure

 

  • Increases risk of diabetes

 

  • Increases your child’s risk of obesity and diabetes later in life if you smoked while pregnant

SOURCE

Nicotine vaccine effective in early tests !!!

(CNN) — A vaccine that could help people stop smoking is showing promise in early clinical trials, researchers announced this week at a national meeting of addiction specialists.

The vaccine is designed to stimulate the immune system to generate antibodies that would latch on to nicotine in a smoker’s body and prevent it from ever entering the brain.

The vaccine maker, Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, reported that among those who responded best to NicVAX in earlier testing, 16 percent were able to stop smoking and not start again, compared with 6 percent in the placebo group.

These are considered statistically significant results and superior or comparable to the testing results of Zyban and Chantix, prescription medications already approved to help smokers over the age of 18 quit, Nabi officials told the National Institute on Drug Abuse conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In addition, those whose bodies responded most effectively to NicVAX cut the number of cigarettes smoked, from a baseline of 20 cigarettes per day to 10 cigarettes per day.

Those who took the vaccine experienced few side effects, said Dr. Raafat Fahim, president and CEO of Nabi Biopharmaceuticals.

In 2009, Zyban and Chantix were ordered by the Food and Drug Administration to carry “black box” warnings of the risk of depression and suicidal thoughts.

Nabi began the first phase III trials for NicVAX last November, enrolling 1,000 people. In March, a second phase III trial began with another 1,000 participants. Phase III trials are intended to prove a drug’s effectiveness.

The effects of nicotine addiction cause nearly a half-million deaths annually in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.

“Finding effective treatments that can help people stay off cigarettes has been a real challenge,” said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. “This phase III trial of a nicotine vaccine offers tremendous hope towards solving this immense public health problem.”

One of the primary goals of the NicVAX phase III studies is to determine what the smoking abstinence rate is at 12 months, meaning how many people are actually quitting for good.

Study results are anticipated by the third quarter of 2011. Then, said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the NIDA, “we can get the vaccine in front of the Food and Drug Administration for approval.”

Volkow, citing the positive reports, said she is excited about the idea of vaccinating to fight addiction overall. Noting that a vaccine for cocaine addiction is also in testing, she said, “We could apply it for heroin, for marijuana, other drugs, and that could make a huge impact.”

When a smoker inhales cigarette smoke, nicotine is absorbed through the lung tissue, into the blood stream and carried through the body. Because nicotine is a small molecule, it easily crosses the blood-brain barrier into the brain. The nicotine then binds to receptors in the brain, which release dopamine, a stimulant that gives the smoker a pleasurable sensation, known as a “smoker’s high.”

This process occurs very rapidly in the body — less than one minute after tobacco smoke is inhaled — so the nicotine fix is quick. That’s what causes the addiction.

The NicVAX vaccine creates antibodies that bind to nicotine in the bloodstream, blocking it from crossing into the brain, through the blood-brain barrier. That’s because these nicotine-specific antibodies are molecules that are too big to cross into the brain.

So the bound nicotine is trapped in the blood and can’t reach the receptors that trigger the release of dopamine, which is what causes the pleasure response. It’s believed that the addiction of the smoker to nicotine will gradually diminish because as the antibodies created by NicVAX continue to bind to the nicotine, the amount of nicotine reaching the brain will gradually decrease.

“We hope the phase III trials will get stronger results, so that a large percentage of our population can benefit from it” Volkow said. “Ideally, we’d like to see 100 percent of those taking the vaccine stop smoking for good.”

Relapse is a significant challenge facing smokers, Volkow said. With currently available therapies, relapse rates can be as high as 90 percent in the first year after a smoker quits. Of the 44 million people in the U.S. who smoke, the American Cancer Society says, 70 percent say they want to quit, and about 40 percent do quit each year. Yet only 4 percent to 7 percent actually give up smoking, without help, permanently.

SOURCE