Tag Archives: quit smoking

Big 5 Tobacco File Lawsuit to Fight New Warning Labels

On September 22, 2012, all cigarette packaging and advertising must display one of the FDAs 9 pre-approved graphic and text health warnings.

These labels are designed to discourage youths from smoking and to provide greater appeal for quitting to current smokers.

However, on September 21, 2011 a hearing was held in U.S. Federal District Court regarding the constitutionality of these warnings.

Big Tobacco Files Lawsuit

Five major tobacco manufacturers filed a lawsuit against the FDA on August 16, 2011 in hopes of achieving an injunction against the mandatory implementation of graphic and text warnings on cigarette packages and advertisements.

The tobacco manufacturing companies involved with this lawsuit are:

  • R.J. Reynolds
  • Lorillard Tobacco Co.
  • Commonwealth Brands Inc.
  • Ligget Group LLC
  • Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. Inc.

New Cigarette Package Warning LabelsThe tobacco companies’ lawsuit against the FDA was filed on the grounds that the mandatory text and graphic warnings infringed on the constitutional free speech of the tobacco manufacturers. They have asked that the FDAs mandatory implementation be dismissed, and that a new set of warnings that do not threaten their constitutional right be developed. Following this, a new fifteen month waiting period will be set before the new warnings become effective.

The FDA Taken to Court . . . Again

In August 2009, a similar lawsuit was filed on behalf of Discount Tobacco City & Lottery Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Conwood Co. LLC, Commonwealth Brands Inc., Lorillard Tobacco Co., and National Tobacco Co. The purpose was to have it declared the FDAs proposed graphic and text warnings were unconstitutional.

The judge dismissed the suit, and an appeal was filed. A decision is still pending from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on this case.

Tobacco Manufacturers Argue Warnings Are Unconstitutional

What’s at issue with the tobacco manufacturers is whether or not the FDAs nine warnings portray actual health risks as a result from smoking, or whether or not they stem more from an advocacy perspective.

Tobacco use accounts for more than one in five deaths. Smoking remains the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in America.

Judge Richard Leon’s decision on the injunction is expected by the end of October.

Reference: http://www.csdecisions.com/2011/09/22/tobacco-companies-fight-warning-labels/

Molly Wears a Hat

Why Molly Wears a Hat: She Started Smoking at 15, Developed Cancer by 30

Molly is a 30 year old mother who was working and going to school when she was diagnosed with large cell lung cancer.

As a smoker for half her life, Molly was faced with a terrifying and painful disease that could have been prevented.

Quitting smoking was a no-brainer for Molly. She says she could “smoke and die, or breathe and live.”

Smoking Habit Formed Early

Molly was a teenager when she started smoking. In the beginning, it was a social activity she’d do with her friends: someone would steal cigarettes from a parent or older sibling, and they’d sneak off to the park to smoke them.

Smoking was also a normal part of Molly’s family growing up. Many relatives on both sides of her family smoked. So, frequently being around smokers and smoking, she tended to see it as a normal activity.

Molly’s Advice to Kids & Teens

“Don’t do it!” are Molly’s words of wisdom to teenagers who are feeling pressured to smoke or are thinking about starting the lethal habit. She points out, using herself as an example, it is an activity that slowly kills yourself.

Vowing to live life to the fullest, Molly reminds people, “Don’t take anything for granted. Life is way too short.”

Listen to Molly’s Story

When Mama Wore a Hat

Book Cover for When Mama Wore a HatBecause she didn’t want to scare them, it took Molly a while to be brave enough to tell her kids that she had cancer. When she did, Molly used the illustrated children’s book When Mama Wore a Hat by Eleanor Schick (Wyeth) to help explain what was happening.

Schick, an esteemed children’s author and illustrator, wrote When Mama Wore a Hat, suitable for four to eight year olds, in order to help them understand illness.

To learn more about this book click > When Mama Wore a Hat by Eleanor Schick

We Quit Smoking for Love. We Both Succeeded.

I want a cigarette so bad.

Yesterday, we fought with tech support of our Internet service provider…for hours. They kept putting us on hold, handing us to different departments, saying one thing, then contradicting themselves. Seems the corporate behemoth would see fit to train their support personnel.

Now, today, the stress is catching up with me. I haven’t yearned for a cigarette like this in years. Years!

My wife and I quit smoking 8 or 9 years ago. We kept track of the date for some time. After a while, it didn’t matter. What mattered was we actually did quit. For good.

We Quit for Good

Not one cigarette since. Not when we were stressed. Not with morning coffee. Not when inadvertently inhaling the allure and promise of second hand smoke. Not when a friend across the table lit up; not even when the friend gestured to help ourselves to the pack.

Our minds’, “One won’t matter. I quit once, I can do it again anytime I want” justification never did get the best of us.

Quitting smoking was the hardest thing I ever did.

Mary and Will Bontrager Choose HealthOh, I had quit before. Many times. Before I met Mari.

Most quitting lasted just long enough to reason with myself that I was young and I had plenty of time to quit. I really didn’t need to do it now. Why not enjoy myself? I could quit later!

I even quit for a month and a half, once.

That was broken one evening when I went to a bar and proceeded to get slightly drunk. A friend was with me. He smoked.

Like an everlasting fool, I asked him for a cigarette. He asked me if I was sure. “Sure I’m sure,” I said. “I’m no longer a smoker. I’ll prove to you I can smoke one cigarette and never smoke again.”

He said, “No, you can’t. If you really want a cigarette, I’ll give it to you. But I tell you now, you will become a smoker again.”

He was right.

This Time the Love was Real

Eleven years ago, I met my wife, Mari. There were times before when I thought I was in love. But this was real.

We both smoked.

One day, we talked about the future. The subject of health came up. We decided to quit so we could be together longer.

When I quit for myself, I always failed. The first time I quit for love, I succeeded. We both succeeded.

Will Bontrager is owner and operator of the free numerology readings web site, AffinityNumerology.com.

Quitting Smoking is a Pack Behavior

Smokers tend to quit in groups, according to a new study.

One person who quits can have ripple effects across his or her entire social network, prompting others to kick the habit.

The New York Times offers this delightfully evocative explanation of how the process works:

As the investigators watched the smokers and their social networks, they saw what they said was a striking effect — smokers had formed little social clusters and, as the years went by, entire clusters of smokers were stopping en masse. So were clusters of clusters that were only loosely connected.

Dogs in a FieldStudy co-author Dr. Nicholas Christakis described watching the vanishing clusters as like lying on your back in a field, looking up at stars that were burning out. “It’s not like one little star turning off at a time,” he said. “Whole constellations are blinking off at once.”

Continue Reading About the Stop Smoking Ripple Effect

A Bachelor’s Degree for Quitting Smoking?

For Nora King, a former chain-smoker with a master’s degree, it was neither a harrowing visit to her doctor nor a disturbing news article on the latest findings about the damage of cigarettes that caused her to put down her smokes once and for all.

It was a television commercial she saw a year ago in her New York City apartment that vividly illustrated what goes on inside a smoker’s body that made her decide to try to quit though a new study suggests the academic work she did years ago may have helped, too.

“The commercial showed the white stuff that builds up in smokers’ arteries,” King, 44, said. “It was really graphic and gross, and I would turn my head every time it came on.”

Visual images in stop-smoking ads have been a mainstay of stop smoking campaigns for years, but researchers at the University of Wisconsin recently found they may be more effective helping those with a college degree than those with a high school diploma or only some college.

“Smoking rates have declined steadily since 1966 for college-educated smokers with some college, but they have declined far more slowly for people who have high school, and we wanted to know why that is,” said Dr. Jeff Niederdeppe, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin’s department of population health sciences and an author of the study.

Cigarette smoking has declined among adults in the United States from about 42 percent of the population in 1965 to about 21 percent in 2005 (the latest year for which numbers are available), according to the American Cancer Society. Figures from the society’s Web site show that about 45 million adults currently smoke cigarettes – and 24 percent of men and 18 percent of women are smokers.

For their study, Niederdeppe’s team interviewed a representative sample of smokers: some who had a college degree, some who had some college experience, and some who had a high school diploma.The smokers all saw stop smoking ads, and a year later, the research team then came back and interviewed the same group to see who had tried to quit and who had been able to quit in that period.

“Some type of media messages were less effective for people with lower levels of education,” Nierderdeppe said, “but we weren’t able to say definitively why that is.”

He said that the greatest discrepancy between groups trying to quit occurred based on the type of ad that encouraged the smoker to keep trying to quit, even though it’s hard, and they can call a helpline for support.

“We saw a big difference between education levels for the keep-trying-to-quit ads,” Niederdeppe said.

A reason Americans without a college degree responded less to the stop smoking ads is because education is tied to socioeconomic status and less-educated smokers may have less access to quit resources and may be less likely to be given medications to quit, Niederdeppe said.

The essence of the ads that college-educated smokers responded to, “If you keep trying to quit, you can do it,” may not be true for smokers who are in a lower socioeconomic status, said Niederdeppe.

“This message may not resonate with their experience,” he said. “Higher educated people have much more resources, social resources, and environments that restrict smoking.”

Nancy DiMartino, 61, who has some college but no degree, said commercials haven’t helped her quit.

“There’s an old saying: nothing scares an addict,” she said.

Picture of Graduation CapDiMartino, a former transcribing legal secretary who took several college credits to become certified, said, cigarettes help her deaden her emotions, so she’s out the door to the store to buy cigarettes as soon as she feels a negative emotion coming on.

“Cigarettes numb me out like alcohol does for an alcoholic, or drugs do for a drug addict,” she said.

Although her father died of emphysema, DiMartino said that the powerful chokehold nicotine has on her, physically as well as mentally, has made quitting a seemingly impossible task.

She successfully managed to quit for five years, but it didn’t last. One recent Christmas Eve, after she lost her job with a government agency, she was mugged.

The stress proved to be too much, and DiMartino picked up where she had left off.

Even when one of her grandchildren saw her smoking and began to cry, begging her to stop smoking, she has been unable to leave the habit behind for a second time.

DiMartino knows what kind of danger she is putting herself in by continuing to smoke.

“I have carpal tunnel syndrome and it’s getting worse,” she said. “I know I could wind up on an oxygen tank. But whenever I see those ads, I think that this could never happen to me,” she said.

Source: The Modesto Bee
Original source: Jessica Freiman, Columbia News Service

Susan DeWitt – This Video Will Break Your Heart…

Please quit smoking while you still have the choice.

Watch this musical tribute of Susan DeWitt’s struggle with cancer caused from smoking.

This will touch your heart, and offer great motivation for anyone wanting to quit.

The video points out smoking statistics and touching moments that make you think twice about lighting up:

Future of Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes Uncertain

Washington – The Food and Drug Administration may soon have the ability to regulate sales, distribution and advertising of tobacco products, but it would not be allowed to require removal of nicotine from cigarettes.

Nicotine, the most addictive ingredient in a cigarette, increases the level of the dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain.

Dopamine controls many important responses in the brain, such as behavior.

Nicotine spreads in the brain within a few minutes of the first inhalation, creating feelings of reward, which then cause the smoker to continue smoking.

“People may smoke for non-nicotine reasons, but it is the nicotine that is the primary addictive component of cigarettes,” said Dr. Allison Chausmer from the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

American Lung Association Graph of Chemicals in CigarettesAlthough the FDA would not be able to get rid of nicotine altogether under the bill being considered by Congress, it would have the power to reduce nicotine levels in tobacco products.

The possible benefits for smokers, just like the bill, remain debatable.

A study by the National Institute of Drug Abuse found that tapered reduction of nicotine in cigarettes over a four-week span led one-fourth of smokers who were not trying to quit to spontaneously stop smoking after returning to their regular cigarettes.

“If a cigarette has nicotine levels that are below the level that people find rewarding, it may result in a reduced incidence of smoking initiation and/or increased incidence of quitting,” Chausmer said.

Chausmer also said that if the FDA lowers the nicotine content of cigarettes, “Fewer people will become addicted, and those who are addicted may find it easier to quit.”

However, smokers’ behavior varies, and some, if faced with lower nicotine levels in cigarettes, might smoke more to achieve the same nicotine satisfaction. Chausmer noted that smoking more cigarettes would mean spending more money and taking more time away from work or friends because of today’s smoke-free workplaces and restaurants.

The bill that would give the FDA regulatory power was approved by a House committee last week and will move to the House floor in the coming months.

Source: Farah Khan, Medill Reports, Northwestern University

Effects of Smoking on the Skin

Yes it can harm it in several ways. Here are more reasons to quit smoking now.

The foods we eat are broken down into nutrients and waste. The nutrients are absorbed by the bloodstream, which transports them around the body to the various organs, the largest of which is the skin.

Oxygen is also transported and delivered in the same way. The cells absorb the oxygen and this is vital for the health of the organs and the life process itself. This whole process takes place automatically when we breathe. . .

Except when we are breathing in smoke!

When we inhale the smoke from a cigarette the carbon monoxide from the smoke is absorbed by the hemoglobin in the blood. Carbon monoxide is a colorless odorless highly toxic gas also found in the smoke from car exhausts.

The blood can absorb carbon monoxide 200 times as fast as oxygen so a lot of the oxygen is displaced by carbon monoxide. The organs including the skin are starved of life giving oxygen and slowly poisoned by the carbon monoxide.

Photo of Woman SmokingBut that’s not the end of it. Cigarette smoke also contains the following deadly cocktail of chemicals: Ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, butane, nicotine, carbolic acid, collidine, formic aldehyde, lutidine, parvoline, prussic acid, pyridine, arsenic and cadmium. This list is by no means complete.

Skin is fed from within. The effect on the skin of all these is catastrophic. The liver goes into overdrive trying to expel these chemicals from the body and cannot perform its normal functions properly. The skin loses its healthy glow and takes on a yellowish-gray cast. The more cigarettes smoked, the worse your skin will look.

Smoking also causes premature aging in two ways. It uses up vitamin C in the body, about 35mg for each cigarette. Vitamin C is an unstable vitamin and cannot be manufactured by the body.

One of its functions is the preservation of the collagen in the skin, the substance that gives skin its plump and youthful appearance. The collagen breaks down causing premature wrinkles around the eyes and mouth.

The physical act of smoking causes us to squint, exaggerating the wrinkles around the eyes. Every time we purse our lips we deepen the wrinkles around our mouth as well.

Do yourself a favor! Stop poisoning yourself. Quit smoking now. Save the money you spend on these toxic weeds and go out and treat yourself to a facial or a new skin cream instead.

Your skin will thank you for it!

About The Author: Wendy Owen – Wendy has had a lifetime interest in general and alternative health and skin care.

Chantix Helps Smokers Quit

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – The first time Brian Kelly quit smoking, in the 1990s, he had nicotine cravings like crazy even though he was using a nicotine patch and nicotine gum.

This year when Kelly decided again to try to kick the habit he returned to the patch and gum, until he read on the Internet about Chantix, a prescription anti-smoking pill approved a year ago by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“It’s like a wonder drug as far as I’m concerned,” said Kelly, 63, of Martinsburg.

Kelly said he quit smoking in three weeks – a date he set through a quit-smoking class at Waynesboro Hospital in Pennsylvania – and didn’t face the withdrawal symptoms that occurred the first time he quit.

Chantix, made by Pfizer, blocks the nicotine receptors in the brain so people don’t get a buzz from smoking, nor do they suffer withdrawal symptoms when they stop smoking, said Dr. Paul Quesenberry, a family doctor with Cumberland Valley Family Physicians in Chambersburg, Pa.

“It’s been a really amazing addition to our regimen for getting people to stop smoking,” Quesenberry said.

Still, it’s not an immediate fix.

How long it takes to stop smoking with Chantix varies from patient to patient, but usually it takes weeks to months because people have to learn to break the habit as well, Quesenberry said.

According to Pfizer’s Web site, smokers should start taking Chantix one week before their quit-smoking date so the drug can build up in the body. They can keep smoking during that first week.

Dr. Dwight Wooster, a pulmonologist with Newman, Wooster, Kass, Bradford, McCormack & Hurwitz at Robinwood Medical Center, said he recommends his patients try to reduce how much they smoke before they start Chantix. Of the 22 patients for whom he has prescribed Chantix, about 17 already have quit smoking.

Most people take Chantix for up to 12 weeks, according to Pfizer.

The most common side effects include gastrointestinal problems such as nausea and constipation, and difficulty sleeping, doctors said.

Quesenberry said most people he’s prescribed Chantix to haven’t had problems with side effects.

Most people who experience side effects will tolerate them because the benefit of quitting smoking is so huge, he said.

Dr. Sanjay Saxena, a family doctor with Hagerstown Family Medicine, said he’s had patients ask about Chantix, whether they’ve tried other smoking cessation tools or not, because they’ve heard how successful the drug has been for others.

Health benefits

Kelly began smoking at age 7 when he was living in Brooklyn, N.Y., because it was a tough neighborhood and smoking was cool.

When he quit the first time, Kelly had been smoking as many as 4 1/2 packs a day.

He began smoking again around 2001 after several deaths in his family and got up to a pack and a half a day.

Since he quit with Chantix, Kelly feels terrific, he said.

His breathing has improved, and he no longer has a smoker’s cough.

The carbon monoxide that gets into the bloodstream from smoking can lead to heart disease and strokes, Quesenberry said.

Smoking also can lead to chronic lung diseases such as emphysema and cancers, including lung, mouth, esophagus, and cervical and bladder cancers, he said.

Lesa Spedden, 32, of Chambersburg, Pa., took Chantix to quit smoking so she would have more energy and to be an example for her children.

“I don’t want to be a hypocrite and say, ‘Now, you can’t do this.’ Meanwhile, I’m there huffing and puffing in front of them,” Spedden said.

Spedden said she truly enjoyed smoking and wanted something to help her not enjoy the habit. Chantix helped curb that desire. After taking the drug a few days, smoking cigarettes developed an unpleasant, bitter taste, she said.

Smoking didn’t appeal to her anymore.

The most immediate benefit is getting rid of the expense of smoking, Quesenberry said.

Chantix can be pricey and sometimes health insurance doesn’t cover it, but the flip side is the expense of cigarettes, Quesenberry said.

A one-month supply – a 1-milligram Chantix pill per day – would cost $60 to $65 without insurance coverage, said David Russo, pharmacist and owner of Russo’s Rx in Hagerstown.

Other options

Other options for smokers wanting to quit include the nicotine patch, nicotine gum, nicotine inhaler and the anti-smoking drug Zyban.

Saxena said Chantix has been more successful than other treatments, but there’s still a place for those other treatments. He’s had at least one patient who experienced bad nausea with Chantix.

For that person, he might recommend the nicotine inhaler, which gives smokers nicotine as well as something to do with their hands rather than handle a cigarette or turn to more food as a substitution.

Quesenberry said he typically hasn’t recommended the nicotine patch because it causes skin irritation, and smokers usually don’t like it because it doesn’t deliver that quick nicotine buzz as a cigarette does. Instead, the patch provides a slow release of nicotine.

While the taste of nicotine gum isn’t pleasant, it does a better job of providing a nicotine buzz, like a cigarette, he said.

Quesenberry said he would prescribe Zyban for smokers with significant co-existing anxiety or depression because the pill is actually an anti-anxiety medicine, marketed for the latter purpose as Wellbutrin. The drug, generically known as bupropion, was approved by the FDA in May 1997 as an anti-smoking medication and marketed under the name Zyban.

If someone specifically asked for Zyban because they knew someone who quit with it, Quesenberry would prescribe the person that drug, he said.

Wanting to quit is a big factor in succeeding quitting, local doctors said.

Quesenberry said he won’t prescribe Zyban or Chantix for smokers who don’t want to quit but say they want an anti-smoking drug because a family member wants them to quit, because they have to want to quit themselves.

A bit of psychology is involved, he said.

“Once it’s in the heart and they want to do it, it doesn’t take much. It’s getting people to where they’re ready to stop that’s the big deal sometimes,” Quesenberry said.

“If you’re not motivated, no medication is going to work,” Wooster said.

For more information about Chantix, check out this Web site:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s patient information sheet for Chantix: www.fda.gov/cder/drug/InfoSheets/patient/vareniclinePIS.htm.

Source: JULIE E. GREENE, The Herald-Mail Company

Bee in the Bonnet

Meaning: Preoccupied or obsessed with an idea.

“Resolving The Bee In the Bonnet Problem”
by Bear Jack Gebhardt

This article was originally hosted at Seventraditions. I have been unable to locate Bear Jack Gebhardt, but have decided to save this wonderful file here at Ciggyfree until some time in the future when Jack reclaims it. Thank you Jack!

You ever get a bee in your bonnet? Or in your hat? In your car? All
of sudden, you’re not thinking of anything, else, right? Everything in
your life, except that bee, is immediately back burner.

You need to do something about that buzzing bee and you need to do it now. When you
have a bee in your bonnet, life is suddenly very intense, and
uncomfortable, or potentially uncomfortable, and that potential makes
it uncomfortable right now.

Child in a Bee CostumeFor a lot of smokers, quitting smoking is very similar to having a bee
in their bonnet, or a bee buzzing around in the car with them. Life
is suddenly very intense, and uncomfortable, or potentially
uncomfortable. They feel they need to do something about it, “right
now.” Nothing else really matters.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not the lack of nicotine that makes
a quitting smoker so jumpy. The use of nicotine patches, and the new
drug Zyban can be helpful, but, so far, in fewer than 30% of the
cases. Even with nicotine levels at “ordinary,” and with stress levels
reduced, the “bee in the bonnet” feeling persists, and smokers go back
to smoking in order to let the bee out. The “relief ” which a smoker
feels with his or her first cigarette, after an unsuccessful quitting
attempt, is exactly the same relief as when the bee flies out the
window. “Whew, thank goodness that’s over.”

So, what is it, exactly, that makes a smoker feel as if he or she has
a bee in the bonnet, a bee in the car just as soon as the Quit Date
arrives? If we could figure out where the bee comes from, we could go
a long way to making it easier to quit, yes?

From careful research, and long discussions with smokers and
ex-smokers, it seems clear that the “bee in the bonnet” comes in the
form of a simple little question that the smoker continually asks.
That question is, “Should I, or shouldn’t I?”

Should I or shouldn’t I have a smoke? Should I or shouldn’t I give up
on this quitting business? The answer to the question, of course, is
logically no, don’t have one, don’t give up. That’s obvious, that’s
easy. So the smoker answers, “no, of course not, I won’t have one, I
won’t give up.” And then the question comes up again, and then again,
and then again, should I or shouldn’t I?

Here’s the rub: To answer, no, is obvious, but just to answer no does
not stop the question from recurring! The recurring question is the
bee in the bonnet!

Researchers have consistently found that the reason most smokers give
for trying and failing to quit is that they were unable to resist the
“cravings” they experienced shortly after stopping. A craving is
basically a thought repeated over and over. It may be a craving for
chocolate pie or a craving for a ski trip or a new Ferrari. A craving
is a thought repeated, again and again, until finally action is taken
or— here’s the freedom– the “craver” consciously decides to change
his or her thinking patterns. The key words here are consciously
decides. In the minutes and hours and days after quitting smoking, the
thought– in the form of a question– continually arises, “Should
I or shouldn’t I?” Most smokers assume it is their job to just keep
saying no long enough for the question to finally go away. Of course,
that works, sometimes.

More directly, though, the conscious decision to drop the question,
and think about something else, is a conscious decision to drop the
craving, and thus drop the habit. We are inherently free to drop our
cravings! In the same way we are free to develop or nourish our
cravings.

Non smokers don’t ask the question, “should I or shouldn’t I” Asking
that particular mental question is the basic habit that smokers are
breaking when they quit smoking. The secret to quitting is not so much
in correctly answering the question, “should I or shouldn’t I?” The
secret is in not asking the question at all. That lets the bee out of
the bonnet. Then, whether to smoke or not smoke is simply no longer
the question.