Tag Archives: smoking ban

Smoking Link to Cot Death Underestimated by Majority 0f Parents

Seventy per cent of parents are not aware of the extent of the cot death risk posed by smoking in the home.

A poll(1), conducted for the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) during the first two weeks of the ban on smoking in enclosed public places, found that 70 percent of parents of young children (aged 0-3) either significantly underestimated or did not know how much more likely cot death was if a baby is exposed to tobacco smoke for one hour every day.

A baby who regularly spends one hour a day in a smoky environment is twice as likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – or cot death – as a baby who lives in a smoke-free home.(2)

Forty-seven per cent of parents polled, however, thought that there was either no risk or a much lower risk than is in fact the case, while 23 percent couldn’t estimate the risk from the options given.

The poll also found that a greater proportion of families on lower incomes than higher incomes (76 percent as opposed to 56 percent) were unaware of the extent of the risk. A greater proportion of parents in the North of England (75 percent) and the Midlands (74 percent) than parents in the South (65 percent) and in London (60 percent) were unaware of the extent of the risk.

FSID-funded cot death researcher Professor Peter Fleming of Bristol University says:

“We all know about the danger that secondhand smoke poses to the public and yet we expose children to cigarette smoke in the home. Parents need to be aware of the threat that smoke poses to their children and protect them by enforcing their own smoke-free zones at home.”

Joyce Epstein, FSID’s director, says: “Even if parents do smoke, they can have a really positive effect on reducing the risk of cot death by making their home a smoke-free zone and always going outside to smoke. And smokers should never share a bed with their baby, even if they don’t smoke in bed.”

Nearly every day in the UK a family suffers the tragedy of a cot death. It remains the leading cause of death for babies over one month old, but about 30 per cent of these deaths could be avoided if parents didn’t smoke around their children. As the smoking ban comes into force, there is the risk that people will smoke more at home, exposing more infants to secondhand cigarette smoke and increasing the risk of cot death.

Photo of Child in CribSmoking in pregnancy is also dangerous. A woman who smokes 1-9 cigarettes a day during pregnancy is more than 4 times as likely to have a baby die as a cot death than a woman who didn’t smoke at all during pregnancy.

Women who did smoke when they were pregnant should try not to expose their babies to smoke after birth as this can help reduce the risk of cot death.

(1) The research was conducted via a face-to-face omnibus from 28 June-13 July 2007 by Ipsos MORI’s Global Omnibus Services division. A nationally representative sample of 449 parents of children aged 0-3 in Great Britain were interviewed (with the data subsequently weighted to the known profile of this population). 37% of households had one or more smoker. 47% of respondents underestimated the cot death risk if a baby spent one hour every day in a room where people smoked, including 6% who thought there would be no effect on the chances of cot death, 17% who thought the chances would increase by one-tenth, and 24% who thought the chances would increase by half. 23% didn’t know how the chances would be affected. 30% accurately stated that the chance of a cot death would double.

(2) The UK’s largest ever cot death study (Fleming, P et al (2000), Sudden Unexpected Deaths in Infancy – the CESDI/SUDI Studies, The Stationery Office, London) found that the more hours babies were exposed to tobacco smoke each day the greater the risk of cot death. Babies who were exposed to 1-2 hours of smoke a day, were 2.43 times more likely to die than those who had no exposure to tobacco smoke. The risk was 3.84 times greater if the baby was exposed for 3-5 hours a day, rising to 5.89 times the risk for 6-8 hours of daily exposure and to 8.3 times the risk after 8 hours or more of regular tobacco smoke exposure. The risk of death also rose with the number of smokers in the household. A family with one smoker had nearly 5 times the risk of a cot death of a non-smoking household, while there was 11 times the risk if two people smoked and 16 times the risk if three or more people smoked.

About FSID

The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths is the UK’s leading baby charity working to prevent sudden infant deaths and promote infant health.

FSID funds research (nearly £10 million to date); supports bereaved families; promotes baby care advice; and works to improve investigations when a baby dies.

The UK’s cot death rate has fallen by 75% since the campaign to reduce the risk of cot death was launched in 1991, and we estimate that 25,000 babies’ lives have been saved. Cot death is still the biggest killer of babies over one month old in the UK today, claiming around 300 infants’ lives every year – that’s more than road traffic accidents, leukemia, and meningitis put together.

http://www.sids.org.uk
(SIDS)

Source: Medical News Today

Ready for the Smoking Ban? (UK)

Soon there will be no hiding place for smokers with a smoking ban in public places in England in force from 1 July.

However, despite the majority of smokers saying they would like to quit, many of them are still unsure what the ban will entail. We look at the impact the ban will have and find out the best ways of quitting.

Smokers, now so often forced to huddle outside offices and homes, will find even less places where their habit’s welcome from July 1.

That’s when the English public smoking ban comes into effect, banning smokers from having a drag in pubs, cafes, clubs and restaurants and a host of other places that will become smoke-free zones.

The ban already exists in Scotland and Wales and making it UK wide is predicted, by the Department of Health, to provoke up to 600,000 people to attempt quitting for good. There are many ways of quitting a habit that’s getting harder and harder to enjoy.

Millions more would like to join them – at least 70% of the UK’s 12 million smokers would like to kick the habit – but are daunted by the difficulty of kicking the weed.

Click for > Methods for quitting

Smokers need support to succeed according to Jennifer Percival, head of the Royal College of Nursing Tobacco Education project and author of You Can Stop Smoking, a self-help guide to overcoming the habit. She says: “Smoking is extremely difficult to give up and people shouldn’t feel bad about themselves or failures if they struggle with it.

Smoking Ban Cartoon“Nicotine is as addictive as heroin or cocaine, and so the cycle of addiction can be difficult to break. Most people try five or six times to quit before they succeed.”

From MSN Money: how the ban won’t kill the pub trade

Percival points out that those using nicotine replacement therapy products – such as patches, gum, or inhalators which mimic cigarettes – and getting support, are four times more likely to quit than those simply going cold turkey.

She says: “Nicotine replacement therapy is no magic cure but combined with willpower and support maybe from a group or even a sympathetic friend it can significantly help you overcome your desire to smoke.”

Nicotine and withdrawal symptoms

Percival also counters the two major reasons people give for smoking – that it aids concentration and helps reduce stress. “The reality is that smokers experience higher levels of stress than non-smokers. After stopping, the level of stress in ex-smokers drops noticeably.

“And although many people believe smoking helps them clear their thoughts and concentrate, research shows that nicotine does not enhance a smoker’s performance level above that of a non-smoker’s.”

Medicines to help you quit

Reasons to Quit Smoking

  • According to the British Heart Foundation, one in five people will die from smoking and annually there are 114,000 deaths of smokers in the UK.
  • Over the past 50 years smoking has killed 6.3 million Britons – the equivalent of the population of London.
  • Most risks from smoking come with the first few cigarettes of the day. Just one cigarette triples the risk of lung cancer, while a five-a-day habit increases a woman’s risk of dying of lung cancer fivefold.
  • It’s worth quitting. Within 10 to 15 years of giving up smoking, an ex-smoker’s risk of developing lung cancer is only slightly greater than that of a non-smoker, according to statistics from ASH.
  • If you ditch a 20-a-day habit you’ll now find an extra £35.50 in your wallet every week, which adds up to £152 a month or £1,825 a year.

What you gain when you quit

What type of smoker are you?

  • Light smokers have fewer than 10 cigarettes a day, or only smoke in certain situations – while socializing or when stressed.
  • Heavy Smokers light up more than 15 to 20 times a day and see smoking as an integral part of life.

Test: are you addicted to nicotine?

What Can I Do?

  • Check out the condition of your lungs, it could boost your desire to stop!
  • Take a free ‘smokelyser’ test at Boots to measure the level of carbon monoxide in your lungs. Carbon monoxide thickens and clots blood, which can cause a heart attack or stroke. Test three months after quitting to see the difference.
  • Boots also offers, from June 20, a free lung age test, measuring the ‘real’ age of lungs.
  • Set a quit date and prepare for it by getting guidance on how to give up. Visit your GP, or visit the NHS website: http://www.nhs.uk/smokefree. Seek advice from helplines such as NHS Stop Smoking Service: 0800 169 0169 or the Quitline: 0800 00 22 00.
  • Boots, alongside charity Quit, offers a personalised quitting plan, with the charity’s stop smoking counsellors giving further support.

The phases of quitting

What Can Help?

Nicotine patches as a once-a-day solution are most suitable for smokers who have a regular pattern of smoking. They release a steady dose of nicotine into the bloodstream via the skin. They come in three strengths to allow users to reduce the dose when they’re ready. “In general, people who smoke 10 cigarettes or more a day should start with the highest dose patch,” Percival says. A week’s supply costs around £15, but they may be available on prescription.
Nicotine nasal spray is the strongest form of NRT available. “It’s especially suitable for heavy and highly addicted smokers as it is absorbed faster than any other NRT”, Percival explains. It’s recommended for those who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day or light up within 30 minutes of waking. It costs around £21 for one spray.

The social and psychological influences

Nicotine gum “lets you control your nicotine dose yourself”, Percival says. It comes in two strengths,the 2mg gum for those who smoke 20 cigarettes or fewer a day, and 4mg for those who smoke more than 20 a day. Most people use 10-15 pieces of gum daily for at least the first 12 weeks. A pack of 24 costs around £4.

A new therapy, IQS (I Quit Smoking) from America, has just launched in the UK, and involves having electrical stimulation applied to the earlobe. It’s claimed this releases endorphins that help reduce nicotine cravings.

Top tips for quitting

It’s aimed at those who smoke over 15 cigarettes a day, and have smoked for over eight years. It costs £399 and includes four treatment sessions, and six months helpline/follow up support at five London clinics, with another opening shortly in Birmingham. IQS also offers a money back guarantee if the treatment fails to work over six months. For more information call 0800 107 5877 or visit www.iqs.uk.com

Nicotine microtab is a small white tablet that dissolves allowing the mouth to absorb the nicotine. It should be taken for 12 weeks. It’s around £16 for a pack of 100 tablets.

How to keep your weight down when you quit

Nicotine inhalators are plastic devices shaped like a cigarette with a nicotine cartridge fitted into it. “It’s held like a cigarette so it’s suitable for people who miss the habit of holding and handling a cigarette,” Percival says. It’s around £6 for a starter pack.

How to Avoid Temptation

  • Keep busy, go for a walk or start a new project.
  • Change your routine, and avoid shops where you usually bought cigarettes.
  • Research shows that you are four times more likely to quit if you let people around you know and gain their support.
  • Wear a commitment ring, which costs £1 from Boots and proceeds go to the Quit charity.
  • When your desire for a cigarette is intense, clean your teeth or wash your hands to reinforce how pleasant it is not to smell of smoke.
  • If you miss having something in your mouth, try a toothpick, carrot and celery sticks.
  • Never allow yourself to think that ‘one won’t hurt’ – it will. It’s the slippery slope.

You Can Stop Smoking, by Jennifer Percival, is published by Virgin Books, priced £10. Out now.

By Gabrielle Fagan

1.1 Million Smokers Quit on No Smoking Day 2007 (UK)

Figures released today show that 1.1 million smokers (1 in 10) actually stopped smoking on last month’s No Smoking Day (14 March) and a third of all smokers took a positive step towards stopping smoking.

The charity behind the No Smoking Day ‘Make a fresh start’ campaign has seen a surge in the numbers of people who have requested information to organize events on No Smoking Day and the increased demand is due to the UK’s smoke free legislation coming into force this year.

Many employers sought the chance to get ahead of the ban and used No Smoking Day as the day to change their policies and help their staff to quit smoking.

Analysis showed that there was an increase in the number of smokers using help to quit on the Day rather than going it alone. Vishnee Sauntoo, Campaign Manager for the No Smoking Day charity, said: “It is really important that smokers who want to stop seek help in their quit attempt.

We know that stopping smoking is difficult on your own. There is a range of help available from a free local NHS Stop Smoking Service to nicotine patches or gum from your local pharmacy. However you choose to stop, there is always someone to help and support you.”

Any smokers who quit on No Smoking Day will already be feeling the benefits.

A 20-a-day smoker will have almost £180 extra in their pocket – a nice weekend break in Europe or a shopping trip getting ready for the summer – using the extra energy they’ve got! Not only will their sense of taste and smell come back – they will smell a lot fresher too! Blood pressure will be back to normal and there will be no carbon monoxide or nicotine left in the body.

No Smoke Sign Smokers who didn’t join in on No Smoking Day – don’t despair!

Help and support is available all year round. NHS Stop Smoking Services offer free help that can make it four times more likely that a smoker will succeed in stopping smoking.

To find out where your local stop smoking service is log onto www.nosmokingday.org.uk or call 0800 169 0 169

Source: Femalefirst.co.uk