My long-time readers know I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. But, considering your overall health, here are some items you might want to consider in 2016: Continue reading
Not only does the health of former smokers DRAMATICALLY improve after quitting, but people who stop smoking get a boost in their quality of life, new research finds. Continue reading
A major study is reporting that people who practiced four low-risk behaviors are 63% less likely to die (during the stydy period) than those who kept none of those practices. The researchers found that ALL four of these low-risk behaviors were individually associated with a reduction in death and that the higher number of behaviors practiced, the lower the risk of death. So, what were they? Continue reading
Researchers in Australia say smoking “can shorten of life expectancy by more than four years after the age of 50. That represents 11 minutes of life lost for every cigarette and that’s the same as half an hour of TV watching.” Said another way, for every hour of TV watched “after age 25, lifespan falls by 22 minutes.” Ouch! Time to turn off the TV, snub out the cigarettes, and begin walking 15 minutes a day to increase the quality and quantity of your life! Continue reading
Congrats to the new Surgeon General, for taking an even stronger stand on tobacco in her recent report, “How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease.: The Los Angeles Times and Orlando Sentinel write that the report has found that “ANY exposure” to tobacco smoke can cause immediate damage to the human body.
“There is NO safe level of exposure to cigarette smoke,” Surgeon General Regina Benjamin said.
“Inhaling even the SMALLEST amount of tobacco smoke can also damage your DNA, which can lead to cancer.”
The report also finds almost NO difference between being a light smoker and a heavy smoker.
“That’s because of the inflammatory processes occur at very, very low doses,” said cardiologist Dr. Stanton Glantz.
The AP notes that the report “is the 30th issued by the nation’s surgeons general to warn the public about tobacco’s risks,” but “is unusual because it devotes more than 700 pages to detail the biology of how cigarette smoke accomplishes its dirty deeds — including the latest genetic findings to help explain why some people become more addicted than others, and why some smokers develop tobacco-caused disease faster than others.”
CNN says that the report “links smoking directly to 13 different cancers including esophagus, trachea, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, cervix and acute myeloid leukemia.”
It also “ties smoking to more than a dozen chronic diseases like stroke, blindness, periodontitis, heart disease, pneumonia; reproductive problems like diminishing fertility; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and other respiratory illnesses.”
The Washington Post “Checkup” blog reports that Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, called the report “a stark reminder of how lethal and addictive smoking truly is.”
Nicotine patches and gum seem to be safe and effective in pregnant women, according to a new study.
Such patches and gum have been shown to help non-pregnant adults stop smoking, study co-author Dr. Geeta K. Swamy told Reuters Health. However, women and their physicians have been uncertain about their safety and effectiveness during pregnancy.
Reuters Health reports Dr. Swamy, from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues took another look at data on pregnant smokers who had participated in a study comparing psychological treatments with nicotine patches or gum to help them quit.
Adding nicotine patches or gum tripled the number of women who quit, from 8 percent to 24 percent.
However, almost a third, 31%, of the women who used the patch or gum had pregnancy complications, compared to 17% of the women who did not use it. And, there was a much higher risk of such complications in black women, in those with complications in previous pregnancies, and in those using painkillers. However, the use of the patch did not seem to have a direct effect, the researchers noted.
Based on the findings, although the patch is not “absolutely safe,” the researchers believe it may still be worth using in heavy smokers, given the known association between smoking and bad pregnancy outcomes, particularly premature birth and low birth weight, they conclude.
The editors of the journal wrote that this study was “an important reanalysis of a randomized trial that compared cognitive therapy with cognitive therapy and nicotine replacement therapy to reduce smoking in pregnancy” and revealed “it is unlikely that the nicotine replacement therapy was associated with adverse outcomes.”
Nevertheless, we may not know for sure until the “Smoking, Nicotine, and Pregnancy trial,” which is a large-scale randomized trial of nicotine replacement therapy during pregnancy that is being conducted in the United Kingdom, is published. It will likely provide useful insight into any potential safety concerns because it will follow the offspring up to 2 years of age.
In the meantime, I consider smoking in pregnancy to be much more likely to harm a woman or her baby than using a nicotine replacement therapy to stop smoking. In addition, carrying an unborn baby is often a motive for women to stop smoking.
And, stopping smoking is health at any time!
In my latest book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People, I teach people how to utilize these ten essentials that are necessary to live a happy and highly healthy life. Under The Essential of Self-Care, teach what I call “The 10 Commandments of Preventive Medicine. Here’s the seventh installment of this ten-part series. Continue reading
What an interesting new study. It concludes that to dramatically reduce your healthcare costs, to lengthen your life, to improve the quality of your life, and, in short, to have a happier and more highly healthy life, you need to “only” do four things.
More Information: Continue reading
Reuters is reporting that World Health Organization’s cancer agency is concluding that using chewing tobacco and snuff is less dangerous than cigarettes, which is linked to lung cancer. However, the smokeless products still raise the risk of oral cancer by 80 percent and the risk of esophageal and pancreatic cancer by 60 percent.
My Take? Continue reading