Monday, June 1, 2009

Get Rip of Smoking Habit, Article from the Star 31/5/2009

Sunday May 31, 2009
Kick the habit

Compiled by JOSEPH RAJ

IT has been estimated that over one billion people worldwide smoke and one out of every five deaths is caused by tobacco.(See http://health.learninginfo.org/cigarette-smoking-facts.htm.)
Also, according to http://www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/2009/picture_warnings/en/index.html, tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death.

“More than five million people die from the effects of tobacco every year - more than from HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

“It is the only legal consumer product that kills, when used exactly as the manufacturer intends. Up to half of all smokers will die from a tobacco-related disease. Second-hand smoke harms everyone who is exposed to it,” it adds.

According to http://www.euro.who.int/tobaccofree/database/20090209_3, it is estimated that up to a billion people could die from tobacco use during the 21st century.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) study reveals further alarming data. It shows that people are starting to smoke at a much younger age, with the majority of smokers in affluent countries picking up the habit in their teens!

“Tobacco companies spend tens of millions of dollars every year turning new users into addicts and keeping current users from quitting. Through advertising and promotional campaigns, including the use of carefully crafted package designs, the tobacco industry continues to divert attention from the deadly effects of its products,” says the WHO.

It is statistics such as this that has led to initiatives like the World No Tobacco Day, which is held every year on May 31, to encourage smokers to kick the habit.

The theme for the World No Tobacco Day 2009 is “Tobacco Health Warnings”, with an emphasis on picture warnings, which have been shown to be effective at making people aware of the health risks of tobacco use and convincing them to quit.

“Nicotine is a highly addictive substance. Warning people about its true risks can go a long way towards reducing tobacco addiction. Requiring warnings on tobacco packages is a simple, cheap and effective strategy that can vastly reduce tobacco use and save lives,” say the WHO. (See http://www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/2009/picture_warnings/en/index.html.)
According to http://health.learninginfo.org/cigarette-smoking-facts.htm, nicotine and tobacco are some of the most potent carcinogens and responsible for the majority of all cancers of the lung, larynx, trachea, oesophagus and bronchus.

“Smoking tobacco is also known to produce cancer in the pancreas, kidney, bladder, and the cervix. Because tobacco reduces blood flow, nicotine addiction has been proven to cause impotency.

“If you smoke, the risk of respiratory illnesses is high, leading to pulmonary diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia,
“If you don’t want to quit smoking after reading these shocking figures, you really need to get your head examined. You know in your heart, what’s the right thing to do. Make a firm decision to quit today, and stick to it!” the site adds.

But how does one go about quitting smoking?
Four steps

According to the American Cancer Society quitting smoking is not easy.

“There is no one right way to quit, but there are some key elements in quitting with success.
These four factors are the key – making the decision to quit, setting a quit date and choosing a quit plan, dealing with withdrawal, and staying quit.

“But most smokers find that the bigger challenge is the mental part of quitting. If you have been smoking for any length of time, smoking has become linked with nearly everything you do – waking up in the morning, eating, reading, watching TV, and drinking coffee, for example.

“It will take time to ‘un-link’ smoking from these activities. Ride out the desire to smoke. It will go away, but do not fool yourself into thinking you can have just one cigarette – or even one puff,” says the ACS website at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/PED_10_13X_Guide_for_Quitting_Smoking.asp?sitearea=PED#How_to_quit

Another way of “encouraging” yourself to quit is to look at the benefits of doing so - both health wise and financially.

According to the site, merely 20 minutes after quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure will drop.

Also:
> 12 hours after quitting – the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
> Two weeks to three months after quitting – your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
> One to nine months after quitting – coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
> One year after quitting – the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
> Five to 15 years after quitting – your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker.
> 10 years after quitting – the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker’s.
> 15 years after quitting – the risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s.
So, what are you waiting for? Give it a try and take the first step today to kick the smoking habit.

1 comment:

  1. Please pass this info along to all of your friends and family.
    Ozone-friendly inhalers could face early demise
    http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20090330/BIZ/303309942/1031/BIZ

    Benefits vague, problems clear in inhaler ban
    http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20090330/BIZ/303309941

    Asthma Patients Outraged at Indifference to Problems with New Inhalers:
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/02/asthma_hfa02.html

    Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee: FDA "Insensitive" to Asthma Patients' Problems:
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/03/asthma_hfa04.html

    The number of patient complaints is skyrocketing:
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/health/hfa_inhalers.html

    Read the thousands of complaints at this petition:
    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/saveCFCinhalers/signatures.html

    Patients at askapatient.com are reporting HFA inhalers as "useless" with a rating of 1.2 on
    a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best and 1 being the worst:
    http://www.askapatient.com/viewrating.asp?drug=20503&name=PROVENTIL-HFA

    You can only wonder if the FDA is trying to kill asthmatics:
    http://www.opednews.com/populum/diarypage.php?did=11627

    Also worth mentioning from the FDA website is the fact that a manufacturer of one of the HFA

    inhalers admits in it's own new drug application to the FDA that it's HFA based albuterol is less

    safe and effective than it's CFC based albuterol:
    http://www.fda.gov/cder/foi/nda/2001/20-983_Ventolin-HFA_medr_P1.pdf

    These quotes taken directly from the new drug application for Ventolin HFA.

    "In the multiple dose adolescent and adult studies, albuterol HFA showed a numerically smaller

    improvement in FEV1 than was seen with albuterol CFC
    "

    "There was other evidence that the HFA formulation delivers a lower/less effective dose on a per

    acutation basis than the CFC product.
    In the single dose, dose ranging study in adults, and in

    the single dose methacholine challenge study in adults one and two acutations of albuterol CFC were

    statistically indistinguishable in terms of effect, whereas significant differences were seen

    between one and two acutations of albuterol HFA. Finally, the combined adolescent/adult studies

    showed that the HFA formulation had a longer median time to onset of effect
    (4.2-9.6 minutes

    versus 3.6-4.2 minutes), had a shorter duration of effect(1.55-3.30 hours versus 2.29 - 3.69

    hours), and was associated with more albuterol 'back up' use than the CFC formulation."

    "We note that in the two 12 week clinical trials in adolescents and adults, Ventolin HFA

    Inhalation Aerosol consistently showed a smaller effect size than Ventolin CFC Inhalation

    Aerosol
    "

    "Because it is expected that many physicians will prescribe Ventolin HFA Inhalation Aerosol for

    patients who have previously used the CFC formulation, it would be appropriate to include some

    description of the relative effectiveness of these two formulations in the product label."

    "Unfavorable changes in physical examinations were observed in the ears, nose, and throat category

    as follows: 8% placebo HFA; 13% albuterol HFA; and 5% albuterol CFC."

    ReplyDelete