Smokeless Tobacco Substitutes Save Lives

Main Category: Smoking / Quit Smoking
Also Included In: Cancer / Oncology;  Public Health
Article Date: 21 Feb 2012 – 0:00 PST

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Substituting smokeless tobacco products can save smokers’ lives, and there is a scientific foundation that proves it.

That is the message Brad Rodu, D.D.S., professor of medicine at the University of Louisville (UofL) School of Medicine and the Endowed Chair in Tobacco Harm Reduction at UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Rodu spoke at the session, “Harm Reduction: Policy Change to Reduce the Global Toll of Smoking-Related Disease.”

“Quit or die: That’s been the brutal message delivered to 45 million American smokers, and it has helped contribute to 443,000 deaths per year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Rodu said. “The truth, however, is that total nicotine and tobacco abstinence is unattainable and unnecessary for many smokers.”

Rodu’s presentation, “Transforming Tobacco Use: The Potential of Tobacco Harm Reduction,” was based on his almost 20 years of research. His work shows that smokers can greatly reduce their risk of disease and death by replacing smoking products with e-cigarettes or modern, spit-free smokeless tobacco. These products provide a much safer alternative for those smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit smoking because they continue to deliver nicotine without the harmful effect of smoking.

“Nicotine is addictive, but it is not the cause of any smoking-related disease. Like caffeine, nicotine can be used safely by consumers,” Rodu said.

Decades of epidemiologic research bear out Rodu’s findings. While no tobacco product is completely safe, smokeless products have been shown to be 98 percent safer than cigarettes. In the United Kingdom, the Royal College of Physicians reported in 2002 that smokeless tobacco is up to 1,000 times less hazardous than smoking, and in 2007, further urged world governments to seriously consider instituting tobacco harm reduction strategies as a means to save lives.

To see the proof of what tobacco harm reduction can do, look to Sweden, Rodu said. “Over the past 50 years, Swedish men have had Europe’s highest per capita consumption of smokeless tobacco as well as Europe’s lowest cigarette use. During the same time, they also have the lowest rate of lung cancer than men in any other European country.”

In the United States, steps have been made to document the value of tobacco harm reduction. In 2006, a National Cancer Institute-funded study estimated that if tobacco harm reduction was “responsibly communicated” to smokers, 4 million would switch to smokeless tobacco. The American Council on Science and Health – which organized Rodu’s session at the AAAS Annual Meeting – concluded in the same year that tobacco harm reduction “shows great potential as a public health strategy to help millions of smokers.”

Rodu is well aware of the controversy his research findings generate. Opponents of any use of nicotine delivery products maintain that smokeless tobacco puts the user at great risk for oral cancer, a position not supported by research.

“The risk of mouth cancer among smokeless tobacco users is extremely low – certainly lower than the risk of smoking-related diseases among smokers,” he said. “The annual mortality rate among long-term dry snuff users is 12 deaths per 100,000 and the rate among users of more popular snus, moist snuff and chewing tobacco is much lower. For perspective, the death rate among automobile users is 11 per 100,000 according to a 2009 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Compare those to the rate among smokers: more than 600 deaths per 100,000 every year”

“The data clearly show that smokeless tobacco users have, at most, about the same risk of dying from mouth cancer as automobile users have of dying in a car wreck.”

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our smoking / quit smoking section for the latest news on this subject. Rodu earned his dental degree from The Ohio State University. After an oral pathology residency program at Emory University, he completed fellowships at the University of Alabama at Birmingham sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. He was on the UAB faculty from 1981 to 2005 with appointments in several departments in the schools of Medicine, Public Health and Dentistry. He joined the UofL faculty in 2005. His research is supported by unrestricted grants from tobacco manufacturers to the University of Louisville and by the Kentucky Research Challenge Trust Fund.
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Physicians Lack Confidence in Their Ability to Counsel Cancer Patients to Quit Smoking

HomeNewsPhysicians Lack Confidence in Their Ability to Counsel Cancer Patients to Quit Smoking

February 23, 2012   Less than one-fifth (18.1%) of healthcare providers reported high levels of confidence in their ability to counsel patients with cancer to quit smoking, a survey published in The Oncologist found. These results suggest “outpatient oncology providers may not be using the ‘teachable moment’ of cancer diagnosis to provide smoking-cessation assistance,” the investigators noted. Of the 74 physicians and midlevel providers surveyed, 82.4% frequently or always assessed smoking in new patients, but rates declined at subsequent visits. Rates of advising patients to quit smoking were also high, but <30% of providers reported frequently or always providing intervention to patients who smoked, and only 30% reported following up with patients to assess progress with quitting. Additional training and clinic-based interventions may help improve adherence to tobacco-cessation practice guidelines in the outpatient oncology setting. The most important barrier to smoking cessation was a patient’s lack of motivation.

For More Information:
http://www.chemotherapyadvisor.com/teachable-moments-for-smoking-cessation-in-patients-diagnosed-with-cancer-underutilized/article/227993/  

Feb 24, 2012
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Physicians Lack Confidence in Their Ability to Counsel Cancer Patients to Quit Smoking
Read the full story

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Man’s Face Burns From Exploding Electronic Cigarette

Editor’s Choice
Main Category: Smoking / Quit Smoking
Article Date: 16 Feb 2012 – 10:00 PST

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A Florida man’s electronic cigarette exploded while he was using it, knocking out some front teeth and causing severe burns on his face, according to officials from North Bay Fire Department. Joseph Parker, Fire Department Chief, said he believes the device’s battery blew up while he was inhaling from it. Parker said it was as if a rocket had ignited in the victim’s mouth.

According to reports in local media, it appears the man, who had been using the electronic cigarette to give up tobacco smoking also lost part of his tongue.

The fire chief, who added that the device’s battery seemed to be faulty, said that the victim thanked them yesterday and said he would probably be leaving a hospital in Mobile, Ala. Today.

No details have yet been released regarding the electronic cigarette brand, and what type of battery it contained. Parker believes it is a rechargeable lithium battery, because they found a recharging station.

The victim’s name has not been released. However, local media point towards a Tom Holloway (57) Facebook page which has filled up with get-better messages from friends commenting on a very similar incident – both addresses match, the one in the fire report and the other in the social media page.

The electronic cigarette explosion also burned the man’s carpet, chair, pictures and cushions – he was at his office at home when the incident occurred. Officials found a burnt battery care surrounded by melted carpet. Other members of his household, on hearing the explosion, came to his rescue and tried to extinguish the fire with salt.

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, and vaporizer cigarettes are devices that mimic the movements and sensations of tobacco cigarette smoking – they emit vaporized nicotine which is inhaled. The mechanism is driven by a battery, and the device can also emit hundreds of other non-nicotine vaporized solutions, such as menthol, cola, coffee and even strawberry.

E-cigarette manufacturers and sellers say that their devices do not contain the more than 4,000 different harmful chemicals contained in cigarette smoke.

Device makers, as well as a growing number of users, say the e-cigarette really does provide a very similar sensation to tobacco smoking, but without the combustion (without the smoke).

E-cigarettes are long tube-shaped devices, many of which look similar to the tobacco products the user used to smoke (or perhaps still does) – some look like ballpoint pens. Some are reusable, while others are throw-away ones.

Electronic cigarettes RN4072 CT-M401
Examples of two electronic cigarettes and their spare detatchment batteries (picture used for illustration pusporses only; the brand of the exploding device has not yet been revealed)

Other related articles:

Written by Christian Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today Visit our smoking / quit smoking section for the latest news on this subject. Medical News Today archives, CBS, Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

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posted by Bingham on 16 Feb 2012 at 4:33 pm

I think this guy is a lied, or he was trying to smoke crack from it. These been millions of electronic cig out there and this is the first. Also what cig company was it? The guy even wanted to hide is identity knowing this is another, “ballon boy” fibber story. I have been smoking electronic cigs for over 5 years. The best I have found was cige. Battery life last almost forever and it only takes 15 minutes to charge. I have tried everything out there and cige has been the best bet. Go to cige.co not dot com and read about em. Best taste and design for the average smoker. This one is small and I’m sure if it blows up it wouldn’t hurt lol. I almost 100 percent sure this guy did something to the cig to make it blow. What a crock.

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posted by Chris on 16 Feb 2012 at 4:40 pm

Every reputable E-Cigarette vendor, will recommend protected Batteries. The type pictured contains a protected battery. These protected batteries contain a circuit that stops the battery from functioning in order to prevent such incidents.

My guess is that he was using a low grade custom E-Cig,with no vent holes, and did not put protected batteries, turning the tube into a pipe bomb.

Quality ECigaretts even include electronic circuitry to prevent things like this from happening

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Study shows Rhode Island Smoking Ban Reduced Hospital Admissions for Heart Attack and Related Costs

HomeNewsStudy shows Rhode Island Smoking Ban Reduced Hospital Admissions for Heart Attack and Related Costs

February 15, 2012   A new study from the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) shows that Rhode Island hospitalization rates for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), commonly known as heart attack, and associated costs have been on the decline since the state’s Smoke-Free Public Places and Workplaces Act took effect in 2005. Published in the journal of Medicine and Health Rhode Island, “The Impact of Rhode Island’s Statewide Smoke-Free Ordinance on Hospital Admissions and Costs for Acute Myocardial Infarction and Asthma” compares the rates of the two conditions against a control group, hospitalization for appendicitis during a span of time between 2003, before the legislation was passed, and 2009, four years after the ban took effect. The findings reveal a 28.4 percent drop in the rate of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) admissions and a 14.6 percent reduction in total associated cost, representing a potential savings of over six million dollars.

For More Information:
http://www.ri.gov/press/view/15878

Feb 17, 2012
Why All Hospital Campuses Should be Smoke-Free
Read the full story Feb 17, 2012
Tobacco Added in to the Cocktail Mix
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Smokeless Tobacco May Have Led to Outfielder Tony Gwynn’s Cancer
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Electronic Cigarette Explodes in Man’s Mouth
Read the full story

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A Late Happy New Year! May Smoking Cessation be your Resolution

HomeNewsA Late Happy New Year! May Smoking Cessation be your Resolution

February 15, 2012   I am physician and much of what we do is smoking related disease.  Treatment of emphysema and the diagnosis of lung cancer is a regular occurrence. In the 10 days before New Year’s Day I diagnosed lung cancer three separate times—all were incurable at the time of discovery—and on Christmas Eve we could do nothing to stop a woman from dying because of unrelenting bleeding in her windpipe, possibly an undiscovered tumor, bleeding into her lungs—may be it was tuberculosis but that is less prevalent and less likely.  So, I hope you can see why this season, more than ever, I am troubled by the multiple and overwhelming costs of the addiction to tobacco products.  So let me ramble a bit today about disease, cost, politics, and smoking cessation efforts. 

For More Information:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/12/1064005/-A-Late-Happy-New-Year-May-Smoking-Cessation-be-your-Resolution

Feb 17, 2012
Why All Hospital Campuses Should be Smoke-Free
Read the full story Feb 17, 2012
Tobacco Added in to the Cocktail Mix
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Smokeless Tobacco May Have Led to Outfielder Tony Gwynn’s Cancer
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Electronic Cigarette Explodes in Man’s Mouth
Read the full story

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Tobacco Added in to the Cocktail Mix

HomeNewsTobacco Added in to the Cocktail Mix

February 17, 2012   It’s a freezing cold weekday night and I find myself in a place called Barts – a discreet, prohibition-style cocktail bar in the heart of Chelsea, brimming with stuffed animals, quirky antiques and young professionals – many of them drinking cocktails made with tobacco liqueur. Tobacco as an ingredient in drinks isn’t completely new, but it is rare. Back in 2003, a group of Floridian cocktail makers began making tobacco-spiked cocktails in an attempt to defy the smoking ban. One such drink was the ‘Nicotini’ made using vodka infused with tobacco leaves – its purpose being to recreate the effects of a cigarette. At the same time in New York, cocktail makers were trying to recreate the taste of cigarettes with drinks like the ‘Smokeless Manhattan’ made of port, Laphroaig whisky and orange bitters, which apparently tasted like a Marlboro Red.

For More Information:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2012/feb/17/tobacco-cocktails?newsfeed=true

Feb 17, 2012
Why All Hospital Campuses Should be Smoke-Free
Read the full story Feb 17, 2012
Tobacco Added in to the Cocktail Mix
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Smokeless Tobacco May Have Led to Outfielder Tony Gwynn’s Cancer
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Electronic Cigarette Explodes in Man’s Mouth
Read the full story

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Risk Of Heart Attack And Early Death Increases With Cellular Aging

Main Category: Genetics
Also Included In: Cardiovascular / Cardiology;  Smoking / Quit Smoking;  Obesity / Weight Loss / Fitness
Article Date: 18 Feb 2012 – 0:00 PST

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Every cell in the body has chromosomes with so-called telomeres, which are shortened over time and also through lifestyle choices such as smoking and obesity. Researchers have long speculated that the shortening of telomeres increases the risk of heart attack and early death. Now a large-scale population study in Denmark involving nearly 20,000 people shows that there is in fact a direct link, and has also given physicians a future way to test the actual cellular health of a person.

In an ongoing study of almost 20,000 Danes, a team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen have isolated each individual’s DNA to analyse their specific telomere length – a measurement of cellular aging.

“The risk of heart attack or early death is present whether your telomeres are shortened due to lifestyle or due to high age,” says Clinical Professor of Genetic Epidemiology Borge Nordestgaard from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. Professor Nordestgaard is also a chief physician at Copenhagen University Hospital, where he and colleagues conduct large scale studies of groups of tens of thousands of Danes over several decades.

Lifestyle can affect cellular aging

The recent “Copenhagen General Population Study” involved almost 20,000 people, some of which were followed during almost 19 years, and the conclusion was clear: If the telomere length was short, the risk of heart attack and early death was increased by 50 and 25 per cent, respectively.

“That smoking and obesity increases the risk of heart disease has been known for a while. We have now shown, as has been speculated, that the increased risk is directly related to the shortening of the protective telomeres – so you can say that smoking and obesity ages the body on a cellular level, just as surely as the passing of time,” says Borge Nordestgaard.

One in four Danes has short telomeres

The study also revealed that one in four Danes has telomeres with such short length that not only will they statistically die before their time, but their risk of heart attack is also increased by almost 50 per cent.

“Future studies will have to reveal the actual molecular mechanism by which the short telomere length causes heart attacks,” says Borge Nordestgaard, and asks, “Does one cause the other or is the telomere length and the coronary event both indicative of a third – yet unknown – mechanism?”

Another possible prospect of the study is that general practitioners could conduct simple blood tests to reveal a person’s telomere length and thereby the cellular wear and age.

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our genetics section for the latest news on this subject. The study “Short Telomere Length, Myocardial Infarction, Ischemic Heart Disease, and Early Death” is scheduled for the March issue of the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology published by the American Heart Association. The March issue will mail on 16 February 2012, and the journal article is also available online.
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Why All Hospital Campuses Should be Smoke-Free

HomeNewsWhy All Hospital Campuses Should be Smoke-Free

February 17, 2012   A nurse shouldn’t smell like she just smoked an entire pack of cigarettes. If my nose wrinkles at the foul odor of stale smoke on one of the hospital caregivers, imagine how the patient struggling with nausea must feel as the same nurse leans over them to listen to their chest. Twenty years ago, hospitals started banning smoking inside their buildings, so why is it that both staff and patients still smoke just outside the front doors, in the gardens and off of the loading docks? It is remarkable to look back at the 1950s and see cigarette ads in magazines that read, “What cigarette do you smoke, Doctor? The brand named most was Camel.”

For More Information:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-c-senelick-md/hospital-smoking_b_1270481.html

Feb 17, 2012
Why All Hospital Campuses Should be Smoke-Free
Read the full story Feb 17, 2012
Tobacco Added in to the Cocktail Mix
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Smokeless Tobacco May Have Led to Outfielder Tony Gwynn’s Cancer
Read the full story Feb 16, 2012
Electronic Cigarette Explodes in Man’s Mouth
Read the full story

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Varenicline For Smoking Cessation Also Makes Drinking Less Enjoyable

Main Category: Alcohol / Addiction / Illegal Drugs
Also Included In: Smoking / Quit Smoking
Article Date: 16 Feb 2012 – 2:00 PST

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Varenicline is an effective smoking-cessation medication that may also reduce drinking. However, the means by which it might reduce drinking is unclear. A study of the effects of varenicline on subjective, physiological, and objective responses to low and moderate doses of alcohol among healthy social drinkers has found that varenicline may reduce drinking by increasing alcohol’s aversive effects.

Results will be published in the May 2012 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

“Varenicline was first approved in the USA for treatment of nicotine dependence in 2006,” said Emma Childs, research associate at the University of Chicago as well as corresponding author for the study. “Smokers who use varenicline are approximately two to three times more likely to remain abstinent six months or more after their quit date. After it was approved, several patients treated with varenicline also reported reductions in their drinking, so investigators began to assess if this was an actual effect and how it might be produced.”

“Since there is a high comorbidity between nicotine and alcohol dependence, a single medication that could decrease the use of both substances would be ideal,” added Hugh Myrick, associate professor of psychiatry as well as vice chair of the Psychiatry Practice Plan at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Childs and her colleagues assessed 15 healthy participants (8 males, 7 females) during six randomized sessions: three sessions each with 2 mg varenicline and placebo, followed three hours later by a beverage containing placebo, a low dose of alcohol (0.4g/kg), or a high dose of alcohol (0.8g/kg). Measures included subjective mood and drug effects such as stimulation and drug liking, physiological measures such as heart rate and blood pressure, and the results of eye-tracking tasks before and after drug and alcohol administration.

“We found that varenicline increased the unpleasant effects of alcohol and decreased drug liking,” said Childs, “thus we think that varenicline may reduce drinking by altering the effects of alcohol.”

“There are generally two ways that a medication may help reduce alcohol use,” observed Myrick. “First, the rewarding aspects of alcohol could be reduced. An example of a medication that works by reducing reward is naltrexone, which blocks opiate receptors and therefore reduces the rewarding aspects of dopamine in the ventral striatum. Second, the aversive aspects of alcohol could be increased. In other words, the medication would cause symptoms leading to a decrease in alcohol use. Disulfiram, or Antabuse, is a medication that works by causing aversive effects if alcohol is consumed. Varenicline may work in a similar fashion.”

“Our findings shed light on the mechanism underlying why people consume less alcohol when they have taken varenicline,” said Childs. “The pleasurable effects of alcohol, for example feeling ‘buzzed’ and talkative, are associated with greater consumption and binge drinking. Some people lose control of their alcohol consumption during a drinking episode, for example they may aim to only have one or two drinks but end up drinking say four or five. If varenicline counteracts these positive effects by producing unpleasant effects, then as a result people may consume less alcohol during a drinking episode.”

“Varenicline may find a nice niche in those individuals who are both nicotine and alcohol dependent,” noted Myrick, “who we know represent a large portion of alcohol-dependent individuals.”

Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click ‘references’ tab above for source.
Visit our alcohol / addiction / illegal drugs section for the latest news on this subject. The University of Chicago
Medical University of South Carolina
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