Misperceptions about smoking cessation aids may hinder smokers from using effective treatment for quitting
Research presented at a recent meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) sheds light on why smokers may not take advantage of cessation aids to help them quit smoking. The study found that most smokers have tried to quit cold turkey, even though only 3-5% of smokers are able to successfully quit with that method. Smokers tend to underestimate the safety and effectiveness of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT); 68% of the smokers surveyed either incorrectly believed NRT was more dangerous than cigarettes or did not know which substance is more dangerous. The study showed that there is a great need to educate smokers about the use and effects of NRT therapies. Click here to read more.
Telling smokers "age" of lungs helps them quit
A British study examined the effects on quit rates when smokers are told the “age” of their lungs and receive information on how smoking affects the lungs. The lung age is determined by comparing a smoker’s lungs to a healthy nonsmoker’s lungs at a similar level of functioning. Thirteen percent of smokers who were told their lung age and given detailed explanations of the implications of smoking for their lung health were able to quit smoking after one year. Only six percent of those unaware of their lung age were able to quit. This study also shows the importance of diagnostic screening; sixteen percent of the study participants were found to have undiagnosed cases of emphysema. Click here to read more.
Quitting smoking -- it's never too late
A British study found that recent retirees were more frequently able to quit smoking than those in the workforce or those who had already been retired. The study looked at people aged 50 and over, and took into account both their smoking status and whether they currently worked or had retired. Forty two percent of recent retirees had quit smoking, a significantly larger quit rate than the 29% of currently-employed study subjects who had stopped smoking. The researchers reasoned that this may be the case because retirement is a major lifestyle change, and it may be an easier time to follow through with other major life changes, such as smoking cessation. Click here for a summary of the study.
Quitting smoking in pregnancy boosts chances of easygoing child
A British study of over 18,000 babies born between 2000 and 2002 found that infants of mothers who smoke are fussier than the children of nonsmokers. Various aspects of the babies’ temperaments were assessed at nine months of age, including mood, receptiveness to new things, and regularity of eating and sleeping patterns. Mothers who had quit smoking prior to their pregnancy had more even-tempered babies than both nonsmokers and heavy smokers. However, it is unclear from the study whether smokers are likely to pass on certain genetic behavioral traits to their children or whether pre- and postnatal exposures to smoke adversely affect the babies’ behavior. Read more here.
Young mothers don't kick habit long
A University of Washington study of young parents found that while mothers often quit smoking and drinking during their pregnancy, these lifestyle changes often do not last after the baby is born. After their child is born, new mothers may be tempted to resume drinking and smoking cigarettes or marijuana if their partner continues with those habits. Alcohol use, smoking, and drug use have the potential to bring about adverse effects on the welfare of a young child. The study also found that 40% of smokers and 24% of marijuana users continued to use these substances “throughout their pregnancies.” The researchers suggest more outreach during pregnancy to both mothers and their partners. Click here to find out more about this study.
$17 million Tobacco Free Florida campaign ignites statewide
The Florida Department of Health has launched its Tobacco Free Florida campaign, the state’s biggest anti-smoking campaign in a decade. This social marketing and public relations effort will target a broad audience of teens, young adults, small businesses, chronic disease sufferers, pregnant women, and low-income households. The multifaceted campaign will include print, billboard, broadcast, and internet advertisements. The Tobacco Free Florida website, http://www.tobaccofreeflorida.com offers tobacco related statistics, cessation tools, a calendar of events, interactive material, and a youth-oriented anti-smoking video contest sponsored by YouTube. The website also enables users to dial the Quitline from their computer. Read more about the campaign here.
Free nicotine patches and coaching offered
The Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation has announced that it will be expanding its cessation program to include free nicotine patches in addition to its existing online, telephone, and in-person cessation counseling services. The foundation has already assisted 130,000 smokers with a quit rate of 20%, but by distributing nicotine patches, the program’s quit rate could rise to 40%. Eligible Ohioans will receive two weeks of free patches, and may purchase another six weeks of discounted patches. Click here for more information.
DOD anti-tobacco campaign invades military markets
The U.S. Department of Defense is addressing high smoking rates in the military with its “Quit Tobacco. Make Everyone Proud” campaign. The campaign draws on the image of military as role models, and encourages them to quit for themselves and for the sake of their loved ones. A social marketing approach is being used to target 702,000 active military officers at 28 military installations located in 13 major metropolitan areas. The campaign draws attention to its website, which provides access to cessation counselors seven days a week, information about every step of quitting, assistance in creating a quit plan, message boards, games, and multimedia. For more information, click here.
The National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation has launched their Ex Campaign
The National Alliance for Tobacco Cessation (Alliance) will launch the EX campaign nationally on March 31, 2008 with a press conference at 10AM Eastern at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The launch phase will run from March 31 until June 29, 2008
The Great No Smoking Day Challenge
Supported by a coalition of health organizations, No Smoking Day 2008 was observed in the UK on March 12. Like the Great American Smokeout, this event challenges smokers to try quitting. The aim is to get smokers to quit for a week, in hopes that they may kick their habit for longer. The event’s website offers cessation support through email and text messages, opportunities to discuss cessation with friends, and a discussion forum for smokers who are quitting to share their experiences. Click here for more information on the UK’s answer to the Great American Smokeout.
Back to Table of Contents