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Latest Posts

Research Provides Statistics About Adult Smokers In The U.S.

I live on the West Coast, where it is rare to see a smoker.  Because it is not socially accepted, smokers are not out in the open.  They lurk behind buildings to take a smoke break at work and I don’t even own an ashtray for friends because none of my friends smoke.  But San Francisco isn’t the rest of America.   In 2010 there were 45.5 million Americans who smoke, with men smoking more than women.  Tobacco remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States.  Each year approximately 433,000 people die of smoking-related illness.

Here are some more stats on American adult smokers.  The highest prevalence is American Indians/Alaska Natives (31.4%) followed by whites (21%).  Smoking incidence decreases with increasing education and improved economics.  By region, the Midwest has the most smokers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia (22-27%).  That is huge.

California and Utah have the lowest percentage of adult smokers at Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Why Tobacco Should Be Childproof

A number of colleagues recently mentioned to me that they’ve heard that new smokeless tobacco products are very dangerous because they cause a lot of poisonings to children.

When I checked the Internet, sure enough — there were plenty of news headlines along the lines of “Tobacco mints tied to poisoning in kids” and “Tobacco candy poisoning kids, study shows.” I thought this looked interesting, particularly as I was unaware of any “tobacco candy.” Read more »

This post, Why Tobacco Should Be Childproof, was originally published on by Jonathan Foulds, Ph.D..

When Hospitals And Patients Are Smoke-Free

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA

“This is a smoke-free institution. Thank you for your compliance.”

Nurses and doctors and other members of the healthcare team strive every day to provide quality patient care. We focus on patients by understanding their needs. We listen, assess and evaluate. We work together as a team focusing not only on the patient, but family members as well. We formulate individual care plans addressing each and every need.

Providing quality patient care is the single most important goal for any hospital, and it’s important to note that patients need to understand that there are policies within the hospital. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*

Will Nicotine-Free Cigarettes Be Mandated By The FDA?

In the previous posting I discussed the possibility of FDA requiring that no tobacco products be allowed to emit Carbon Monoxide. While appealing in its simplicity, such a strategy may have problems in that it could be interpreted as a ban on a whole class (or classes) of tobacco products, which the legislation does not allow.

Another strategy might be to reduce the harm from tobacco by lowering the nicotine content/delivery of cigarettes down to the level at which they are no longer addictive. A form of this strategy was proposed in the 1990’s by leading tobacco researchers Professor Neal Benowitz, and Professor Jack Henningfield. The FDA legislation singles out nicotine as the only chemical that cannot be reduced to zero, but this allows FDA the right to reduce the nicotine delivery of tobacco products down to a level just above zero at which they would no longer be addictive. Read more »

This post, Will Nicotine-Free Cigarettes Be Mandated By The FDA?, was originally published on by Jonathan Foulds, Ph.D..

How Cigarette Nicotine Affects The Brain

I was recently asked to review a new textbook on Nicotine Psychopharmacology, containing 18 very thorough chapters describing the latest evidence on the effects of smoking and nicotine on the brain and behavior. Much of it, though interesting, was a very heavy read. But it occurred to me that it might be useful to try to summarize what the 544 pages in this new book suggests about the effects of nicotine and the reasons smokers get addicted. So here is an attempt to describe how nicotine addiction works, in simplified terms.

When a smoker inhales nicotine from a cigarette, the drug is carried to the brain in highly concentrated form within around 10-15 seconds. The drug then Read more »

This post, How Cigarette Nicotine Affects The Brain, was originally published on by Jonathan Foulds, Ph.D..

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Latest Book Reviews

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

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