Posts Tagged ‘smoking’

The FDA and Tobacco: Questions about the landmark regulation bill

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Last week Congress passed a bill that gave the FDA regulating authority over tobacco.The president is sure to sign it.It is supposed to be a blow to the tobacco industry and their advertising efforts.No more flavored tobacco or “light cigarette” claims.

But I have a few questions: (more…)

Secondhand smoke harms your pet: Stop smoking for your dog?

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Would you quit smoking for your pet’s health?  New survey findings say 28 percent of adult pet owners would try. The study is from The Henry Ford Health System Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and appears in Tobacco Control.

What was interesting to me were the cited studies that linked pet health and secondhand smoke. (Sorry, no word on pets who actually smoke.)

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Quit smoking as your New Year’s resolution? Make it your priority.

Monday, December 29th, 2008

by  James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Healthy Lung.  Courtesy of American Lung Association

I used to make New Year’s resolutions when I was very, very young.  They were bold and visionary.  I never kept them and forgot what they were by January 2.  Since my late teens, when people would ask me if had made a resolution, I would tell them something like sweat less, age a year or some other nonsense.

Maybe I should compromise and make one good resolution that I try my best to keep.  Something specific and doable.   Any ideas for me? (keep it civil now)  What is your resolution?

If you smoke, may I suggest to stop by the end of 2009?  Many patients I advise to stop smoking give me a frustrated look that implies easier said than done.  I know.  But what if you make it the one thing you resolve to do, your number one priority for 2009?

Here is one incentive.  Dr. Norman Edleman of the American Lung Association says half of smokers die of lung disease.  Have you ever seen anyone with chronic lung disease?  Most of you can imagine cancer, but there are other more long term diseases that slowly destroy your lungs to the point you become constantly short of breath and nothing (including oxygen) relieves you.  Fully half.  I know most of you think you will not be in that half.  Maybe, if you are lucky (sarcasm goes here), you may die of one of the many other associated cancers, or heart disease.

Here are some tips to help you stop.

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American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout is today

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H

Do you smoke?  Want to quit?  Want to help a friend quit?  Today is the day to get serious.  It is the American Cancer Society’s 33rd annual Great American Smokeout.  The ACS has great information on their Web site with topics such as ”reasons to quit,” “guide to quitting” and “plan your quit day.”  Check it out or mail the link to a smoker-friend. (You can even download a “Craving Stopper” button, pictured at right, that pulls up a match game to occupy your mind.)

The ACS quitline at 800-227-2345 has counseled 380,000 smokers over the past eight years.

Personally, I have never taken a puff of a cigarette.  The smell, touch, and even sight, of tobacco nauseates me.  It may be that my father smoked for years, finally quitting, but dying of lung cancer.  But I know it is a really hard habit to quit for many.  Over the years I have heard excuses like, “It is my only enjoyment,” or, “You have to die of something.”  Strangely, though, I never heard it from lung cancer or emphysema victims.  It is worth it to quit.

Find out what will happen to your body if you stop smoking right now at Healthbolt.

What do you think?  Have you quit?  Have any tips or words of encouragement?

Proof That Stopping Smoking Saves Lives

Monday, May 12th, 2008

By James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H

Good News!  If you stop smoking, you can lower your risk of dying almost back to the risk of those who have never smoked.  It takes some time and lung cancer risks never completely go away, but hey, did you really think it was a free ride?

“Most of the excess risk of vascular mortalitydue to smoking in women may be eliminated rapidly upon cessationand within 20 years for lung diseases,” the authors conclude in the study published in the  May 7, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The observers began studying over 100,000 female nurses in 1980.  Much valuable medical information has been gleaned from them over the years.  This most recent study reviews the rate of deaths among smokers, non-smokers and smokers who quit the nasty habit.  They found almost 3 times more deaths, from any cause, in the smokers.  The amount of smoking increased the risk.  More colon cancer was seen in the smokers, and 7 times more lung cancer.

Now for the good news (something patients ask me all of the time).  In those that quit smoking, the risk of death gradually became that of non-smokers over time.  The cardiovascular disease (heart, circulation, strokes) death rate risk was halved in those who had quit for five years.  By 20 years the overall deaths, including from lung disease, were close to the same in both groups.  Lung cancer risks were still 13 percent more (but had come down 87 percent) than in the never-smokers.

Since death was the endpoint in this observed study, the authors did not comment on nonfatal, debilitating disease.

The bottom line is that this study shows it is definitely worthwhile to quit smoking and the sooner the better.

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