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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Smoking Effects

Quit Cigarette Smoking : Smoking is a convenance area a substance, best frequently tobacco, is austere and the smoke tasted or inhaled. This is primarily done as a anatomy of recreational biologic use, as agitation releases the alive substances in drugs such as nicotine and makes them accessible for assimilation through the lungs. It can additionally be done as a allotment of rituals, to abet trances and airy enlightenment.

Health warnings on Australian tobacco products have been mandated through federal legislation since 1973, being updated in 1987 and 1995. The current issue warnings followed by a detailed analysis of the likely effects of prototypes, particularly on youth. The warnings address general health "Smoking kills", heart disease, lung cancer, low infant birthweight, addiction, and harm to others through passive smoking.

Effects of Smoking

Cigarette smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease by itself. When it acts with other factors, it greatly increases risk. Smoking increases blood pressure, decreases exercise tolerance and increases the tendency for blood to clot. Smoking also increases the risk of recurrent coronary heart disease after bypass surgery.

The study is among the first to isolate the effects of smoking on sleep. In previous research, it was unclear whether changes in sleep patterns were due to smoking itself or to the medical conditions underlying smoking such as heart disease or respiratory disease, said study and epidemiology, in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine, at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland.

As a cigarette burns, the residues are concentrated towards the butt.

The products that are most damaging are:

• The risk of dying from lung cancer is more than 22 times higher among men who smoke cigarettes and about 12 times higher among women who smoke cigarettes compared with never smokers.
• nicotine is addictive and increases cholesterol levels in your body
• carbon monoxide reduces oxygen in the body
• tar, a carcinogen (substance that causes cancer)
• Cigarette smoking increases the risk for many types of cancer, including cancers of the lip, oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, larynx (voice box), lung, uterine cervix, urinary bladder, and kidney.

The fact that smoking causes problems for the heart arteries is not surprising when you consider that smoking has been demonstrated to:

• Directly accelerate the progression of the atherosclerotic plaque.
• Increase bad (LDL) cholesterol
• Lower good (HDL) cholesterol
• Cigarettes are loaded with "free radicals" which "oxidize" the LDL cholesterol. Oxidized LDL is the very worst type of cholesterol.
• Increases insulin resistance
• Increase the heart rate and the blood pressure

Does it Cause Wrinkles?

Yes. Smoking can accelerate the normal aging process of your skin, contributing to wrinkles. These skin changes may occur after only 10 years of smoking and are irreversible.
How does smoking lead to wrinkles? Smoking causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. This impairs blood flow to your skin, depleting it of oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin — fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely.

The many different brands of cigarettes will seem to provide you with a sense of bliss and an escape from the trails of everyday life. While this apparition is absolutely acquainted and accomplished by smokers there is one actuality which escapes these individuals. This is the assorted smoker furnishings which their bodies are apparent to.

These various effects can be of the long range type or the short term one. The only real way to determine the extent of the effects and damage is by the time and amount of smoking that a person goes through. Even though there are many well known smoking effects that we have heard about we still don’t really understand just how bad the situation is.

For instance while we apperceive that bodies can die from lung blight and this is acquired in allotment by smoker the furnishings of smoker is not accustomed abundant thought. While having one or two cigarettes can make you feel nauseous and dizzy there is not a lot of discernable damage which occurs to your body. On the other hand by consuming a number of these tobacco products will definitely have a detrimental effect on your health.

This is because the assorted elements and additives which are begin in cigarettes deposits particles of adverse substances on your lungs. Likewise there are some ingredients in cigarettes which can draw the oxygen away from your blood. All in all the many items which can be found in a simple cigarette all contribute to the smoking effects which we all know of and yet seldom address.

If you would prefer to live a healthy life there are many well known activities that you can participate in. smoking however is one that will take years from your life and in the end you will die in pain. To avoid smoking effects to your health it is to your best interests to avoid the lure of smoking altogether.

By seeing that you abstain the allurement of smoker you can authorize a blessed life. The alone affair that you should bethink is that smoker furnishings can still ability you from additional duke smoke. To action this botheration you ability appetite to see the assorted places which are accepted to be smoke free. The added bodies who feel that the smoker furnishings are too abundant for our bloom the eventually the abutment to stop these tobacco articles can begin.

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Smoking Effects

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Dangers Of Smoking

Quit Cigarette Smoking : Almost everybody knows that smoking is bad for the health. Images of blackened lungs line school hallways and hospital waiting rooms, but despite this people continue to take up smoking. This may have to do with the pervasive romantic image of smoking -- an image that has nothing in common with reality.

There are many ways to take tobacco. You can chew it, inhale it through the nose, and smoke it in the form of cigars or cigarettes. No matter how it is taken it is dangerous, but because smoking is the most popular way to consume tobacco it has also received the greatest attention from the medical field and the media.

When a smoker inhales a puff of cigarette smoke, the large surface area of the lungs allows nicotine to pass into the blood stream almost immediately. It is this nicotine "hit" that smokers crave, but there is a lot more to smoke than just nicotine. In fact, there are more than 4000 chemical substances that make up cigarette smoke and many of them are toxic. or

Cancer is the most common disease associated with smoking. Smoking is the cause of 90% of lung cancer cases and is related to 30% of all cancer fatalities. Other smoking-related cancers include cancers of the mouth, pancreas, urinary bladder, kidney, stomach, esophagus, and larynx.

Cigarette smoke is composed of 43 carcinogenic substances and more than 400 other toxins that can also be found in wood varnish, nail polish remover, and rat poison. All of these substances accumulate in the body and can cause serious problems to the heart and lungs.

Besides cancer, smoking is also related to several other diseases of the lungs. Emphysema and bronchitis can be fatal and 75% of all deaths from these diseases are linked to smoking.

Smokers also put others at risk. The dangers of breathing in second-hand smoke are well known. Smokers harm their loved ones by exposing them to the smoke they exhale. All sorts of health problems are related to breathing in second-hand smoke. Children are especially susceptible to the dangers of second-hand smoke because their internal organs are still developing. Children exposed to second-hand smoke are more vulnerable to asthma, sudden infant death syndrome, bronchitis, pneumonia, and ear infections.

Smokers have shorter lives than non-smokers. On average, smoking takes 15 years off your life span. This can be explained by the high rate of exposure to toxic substances which are found in cigarette smoke.

Smoking can also be dangerous for unborn children. Mothers who smoke are more likely to suffer from miscarriages, bleeding and nausea, and babies of smoking mothers have reduced birth weights or may be premature. These babies are more susceptible to sudden infant death syndrome and may have lifelong health complications due to chest infections and asthma.

It is never too late to give up smoking, even those who have smoked for 20 years or more can realize tremendous health benefits from giving up the habit.

How to Quit Cigarette Smoking

If you are a smoker or you associate with people that smoke, you need to know that tobacco use is one of the most important causes of heart attack globally. In today's modern world, tobacco use is the most important risk factor for greater relative risk for persons under the age of fifty of the fifty.

Smoked or chewed, first-hand or second-hand, all kinds of tobacco, in whatever form they are used, cause heart attacks and there is more than enough evidence to prove that tobacco use increases other adverse health conditions.

Dangers of tobacco smoking are particularly severe and while it is often very difficult to think of ways in which tobacco use is beneficial, it is all too easy to mention the ways in which it is a health hazard. To be exact, all forms of tobacco use, including different types of smoking and chewing of tobacco and inhalation of second-hand smoke are potentially hazardous and should be discouraged.

On its own, cigarette smoking is as widespread and significant as a risk factor that it has been described as "the leading preventable cause of disease and death". Second-hand smoke may be even more dangerous than previously thought. The fact is that smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and has negative health impacts on people at all stages of life. It harms unborn babies, infants, children, adolescents, adults and the elderly.

Besides containing addictive nicotine, cigarette smoke contains chemicals which damage the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system and increases the risk of development of cancer of the lungs and respiratory system.

Tobacco smoke raises blood pressure but decreases the circulation of oxygen to the brain and body. Cigarette smoking is also a significant risk factor for other various disorders, including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, stroke, and osteoporosis and contributes to early menopause. Smoking has been linked to cancer of the lungs, mouth, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, bladder and cervix.

Research shows that there are at least sixty chemicals in cigarette smoke that are cacogenic. Cigarette and tobacco smoke contain highly toxic chemicals like carbon monoxide, ammonia, formaldehyde, arsenic and cyanide which are all produced as cigarette burns.

Smoking is associated with higher levels of chronic inflammation, another damaging process that may result from oxidative stress. Smokers have a higher risk of developing a number of chronic disorders including fatty buildups in arteries, several types of cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (lung problems). Atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty substances in the arteries) is a chief contributor to the high number of deaths from smoking.

The dangers of smoking cannot be exhaustively explained. To really Quit Cigarette Smoking, you must always ask yourself the reason why you are about to light up that cigarette. If you find out that it's got no sensible reason, DROP IT.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Smoking Facts

Nicotine Has Great Health Benefits

Smoking is bad for you. We know that, it kills million however a smoking fact that is true and backed up by medical research is that nicotine in its pure form is safe, non toxic, part of the natural food chain and is good for you. The World Health Organization has stated that tobacco smoke contains about 4,000 chemicals, of which nicotine is just one. Other chemicals are the real killers.

Smoking means you take into your body the following poisons:

1.At least 40 of the chemicals in tobacco smoke are proven to cause cancers of the lung, throat, mouth, bladder and kidneys and the smoke also causes a number of other cancers.

2. In addition to tar, carbon monoxide is present (found also in car exhaust fumes), ammonia (used in floor cleaner) and arsenic (used in rat poison).

3. There is no evidence at all that nicotine can cause cancer.

4. Smoking fact Nicotine in pure organic form is good for your health.

5. Nicotine switches on the receptors on the surface of cells in certain parts of the brain, causing these neurons to release the Neuro-transmitter dopamine, a chemical that is associated with feelings of pleasure.

6. Nicotine is a naturally occurring compound and part of the food chain.

7. Nicotine makes you feel good

8. Trace elements are found in many common foods including vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, cauliflower, eggplant, chili peppers, and also some teas.

Nicotine is not only you feel better it helps improve concentration and memory, and it has been proven by a series of conditions including:

1. Depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson's diseases and attention disorder.

2. Drug companies are already researching drugs with nicotine in to help these conditions removed from cigarette smoking and the first one has hit the market.

3. Originally aimed at smokers foe when they cant or don't want to smoke, more people today are taking it for its potential health benefits.

4. Expect more products to hit the market shortly as the potential health benefits of nicotine gain wider acceptance.

5. Nicotine water which simply delivers nicotine in water with no added chemicals is already on the market and more products are expected to follow.

Why you Should Quit Cigarette Smoking

A census taken in July of 2004 revealed that approximately 1/3 of the worlds population were smokers which equates to 1.2 billion people. While many developed countries are taking steps to reduce the number of smokers, many other places in the world are actually seeing an increase in both the smoking habit and health problems related to it. If you have not yet decided that its time to Quit Cigarette Smoking then here are some facts that may help to persuade you. This article will look at the properties of tobacco, the health affects related to smoking, how smoking affects woman and pregnancy, and the results of the ever increasing smoking bans occurring around the world.

If you are a smoker then you probably think you know what tobacco is because you ingest it on a daily basis. But did you know that the act of burning tobacco actually creates new substances and that cigarette smoke contains over 4,800 separate chemicals with 69 of them being shown to cause cancer. Some of these chemicals are considered so dangerous that they actually on a list of banned items for placing in landfills. If this makes you think that smokeless tobacco is safe, think again as un-burnt tobacco hosts thousands of chemicals that can destroy your health. While everybody realizes that nicotine is the chemical that causes addiction to tobacco, many dont realize that nicotine is more addictive then even cocaine. It is even said by some sources that there is a chemical in tobacco that is more addictive then the nicotine. Now that you have a better understanding of what tobacco is, lets talk about the health affects related to tobacco use and smoking.

While anybody can get lung cancer, it is important to realize that smoking causes around 90% of the cases and if this isnt enough to scare you, smoking can also cause emphysema, chronic bronchitis, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Smoking also can affect blood circulation and the immune system so that smokers may have a tendency to heal slower then non smokers. This reduced circulation also contributes to a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes. For smokers with children, keep in mind that second hand smoke increases the rate of asthma, colds, ear infections and pneumonia in children under 18. The cost of treating smoking related illnesses is estimated to be $167 billion per year in the United States alone with 440,000 Americans will die each year to smoking related illnesses. While these thoughts can be disturbing, woman who smoke have even more to worry about.

The chance of a female smoker developing lung cancer is higher then her male counterpart with more woman now dying of lung cancer then breast cancer. There are also studies that indicate that it is harder for a woman to Quit Cigarette Smoking then a man. And smoking and pregnancy is a great concern with over 12% of pregnant woman being smokers. While some woman do Quit Cigarette Smoking during pregnancy the statistics show that 70% of women smokers will continue to smoker throughout there pregnancy. This can result in low birth weight, the baby being born addicted to nicotine, and a host of other health related problems for the new born infant. Hopefully all of this information will persuade you that it is time to Quit Cigarette Smoking but if not, keep in mind how the changes in society may affect you.

A great many states in American, not to mention numerous countries around the world are beginning to take serious steps to stamp out smoking and the health related cost involved in treating smoking related illness. It is estimated that 70% of Americans now work in a smoke free workplace and this number is sure to rise. In addition to this, many states and countries have or will implement smoking bans in hospitals, restaurants and bars. There are even communities where it is now illegal to smoke anywhere in the neighborhood, including your own home and for renters; some apartment complexes and condominiums have initiated a no smoking neighborhood as well. I realize that these new laws can create a lot of negative emotion and some of them border on violating smokers rights. After all, you should be allowed to smoke in the privacy of your own home or car, even if it is bad for you. But the laws being implemented to ban smoking in public places are being put into affect to protect the health of non-smokers.

Hopefully these facts will make you consider quitting your smoking habit but I suspect that if you are reading this article then you already had at leases some desire to Quit Cigarette Smoking. Maybe you want to Quit Cigarette Smoking and are not sure where to turn but let me tell you that there is help available for somebody that truly wants to Quit Cigarette Smoking.

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Smoking Facts

Friday, August 15, 2008

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Question For Your Doctor

What to Ask About Quitting (Quit Cigarette Smoking)

1. What do I need to do to prepare to Quit Cigarette Smoking?

Maybe you are ready today, but your doctor may suggest that you plan for a Quit Cigarette Smoking date in the near future. Ask about steps you can take before quitting to be better prepared.

2. Should I use nicotine replacement?

Though you do not need a prescription to buy nicotine gum, patches or lozenges, it’s a good idea to discuss their use with your doctor. Contrary to popular belief, many people can safely use more than one type of nicotine product at the same time. Studies show that using two forms of nicotine replacement simultaneously, like the patch with the gum, works better than using only one.

3. Is the nicotine in nicotine replacement products harmful?

No. The really harmful substances are the burnt carcinogens in tobacco, not the nicotine. Many people use nicotine replacement for a year or more after Quit Cigarette Smoking. Experts think that for most people there is no harm in long-term use. It’s better to use nicotine replacement forever than to start smoking again.

4. Who else can I talk to?

Most doctors do not have time to stay in close contact with you to find out how you’re doing. But counseling is known to be one of the most effective aids to Quit Cigarette Smoking. The more frequent your contact with a counselor, the better. Ask your doctor for a referral to a trained counselor. Many states offer telephone quitlines that can aid smokers.

5. Should I try a prescription drug?

Research shows that these drugs help people stay smoke-free longer. Doctors have written millions of prescriptions for Chantix, for example, though enthusiasm for the drug has been tempered by recent concerns about side effects like suicidal thoughts and erratic behaviors.

6. Do I have any factors that might make it harder for me to Quit Cigarette Smoking ?

Personal circumstances can make Quit Cigarette Smoking easier or harder. Depression or anxiety, for example, may make it harder to Quit Cigarette Smoking. Living with nonsmokers may ease the effort. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 75 percent of American homes are now smoke free.) Different smokers may also be more or less addicted to nicotine, and those with stronger addictions may need more help Quit Cigarette Smoking .

7. Are there alternative quitting aids that you recommend?

The scientific evidence for treatments like hypnosis, herbs and acupuncture is not convincing enough to merit an official recommendation for them. But you and your doctor may want to discuss ideas about complementary treatments to support your effort.

8. If I Quit Cigarette Smoking now, how might my health improve?

For smokers who are still relatively healthy, Quit Cigarette Smoking may remove the final barrier to achieving optimal health. But smoking has been linked to all kinds of health ills besides lung cancer or heart disease, including erection problems, arthritis and macular degeneration.

9. Will I gain weight?

Most people put on weight when they Quit Cigarette Smoking. Usually it is less than 10 pounds, but about 10 percent of quitters gain up to 30 pounds. Your doctor may be able to refer you to a nutritionist or counselor who can help you make changes to prevent weight gain.

10. How will Quit Cigarette Smoking affect the health care I’m receiving?

Ask your doctor to re-evaluate you after you have not smoked for a while. Your doctor may, for example, lower your doses for cholesterol or blood pressure medications after you stop smoking.

11. What if I fail?

Most smokers relapse. Ask your doctor to help you come up with a Plan B in case your first strategy does not succeed.

12. Have I already done irreparable harm by smoking?

It’s never too late to Quit Cigarette Smoking . Discuss your disease risks based upon your smoking history.

13. Will I ever feel good again after quitting?

Smoking is a serious addiction, not just a bad habit. The worst withdrawal symptoms last one to three weeks, but some people crave cigarettes long afterward. You may feel a sense of loss or emptiness after Quit Cigarette Smoking. Ask your doctor to explain the process of nicotine addiction and withdrawal. It’s important to know what is happening in your brain and body to understand how you feel.

14. Should I be screened for lung cancer?

Most doctors don’t recommend it. On the one hand, a chest X-ray could potentially catch tumors early, and maybe offer better treatment odds. On the other hand, screening may pick up something that looks like cancer but actually isn’t. Having an operation to check out a suspicious spot on the lung may therefore subject you to unnecessary risk, pain and expense.

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Question For Your Doctor

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Things to Know: Quitting Smoking

Quit Cigarette Smoking : Dr. Richard H. Carmona, who was surgeon general of the United States from 2002 to 2006, is a distinguished professor at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona and president of the nonprofit Canyon Ranch Institute in Tucson. His advice to smokers: “Stop now. It will improve the quality and quantity of your life, no question.” He says that smokers should know these five things about Quit Cigarette Smoking.

a.Few people kick cigarettes on the first try. As many as four relapses are common during the first year. Too often people think one or more failed attempts mean they are incapable of Quit Cigarette Smoking. Not so. If you keep falling down, it means you need to try a different approach.

b. It’s never too late. No matter how long you have smoked, you will benefit from Quit Cigarette Smoking. The health benefits start immediately as your body begins to recover from the continual assault of noxious chemicals in tobacco smoke.

The earlier you Quit Cigarette Smoking, the less likely you are to get cancer or other smoking-related ills. If you Quit Cigarette Smoking before age 53, your disease risk 10 years later would be the same as those of someone who never smoked. But even people who Quit Cigarette Smoking in their 60s and 70s have a lower disease risk. If you have a smoking-related illness already, your condition can improve, or at least not worsen, if you Quit Cigarette Smoking.

c. Cutting down doesn’t cut it. It can help as a way to prime yourself for quitting, but only if you intend go all the way. In the long run, smoking less often or smoking “light” cigarettes is not safe. For most people, cutting down is not sustainable. If you don’t break the addiction, you are likely to slip back into smoking as much as — or even more than — you did before.

d. Get help. There are many stop-smoking aids available, including nicotine patches and gums, prescription medicines and counseling. There is strong evidence these things really do help. Try one, or try them all together, to ease the transition and improve your chances of Quit Cigarette Smoking.

e. America’s smoking days are over. It’s only going to become more difficult to be a smoker anywhere in the United States. Smoking bans are taking effect in more places nationwide, and this trend is unlikely to stall or reverse. As the smoking population dwindles and as people are less willing to be exposed to tobacco smoke, cigarettes have become less socially acceptable. Increasingly, smokers are strangers in a smoke-free land.

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Things to Know: Quitting Smoking

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quit Cigarette Smoking~How To Quit Cigarette Smoking

Quit Cigarette Smoking : Like any other addiction, the smoking phenomenon has a plethora of marketers and snake oil salesmen ready to leap upon your misery. You will get pills, injections, patches, books, support groups, books and even the idea of genetic change as ways to stop smoking cigarettes

But listen. There is only one way which can truly beat the cigarette habit, and that is to simply stop smoking. It is a wonderful concept, because it is so simple in statement, and yet many people find it incredibly difficult to successfully execute.

Of the many ways to Quit Cigarette Smoking, the only method which has a mass of anecdotal evidence to support it is that of quitting cold turkey. Now, that is not to mean you can't use a secondary method to help you with Quit Cigarette Smoking habit cold turkey; on the contrary, that is encouraged.

I smoked 40 cigarettes a day for a decade, yet I was able to Quit Cigarette Smoking very quickly and without any of the side effect such as weight gain, dizziness, cravings or a change in temperament. Ostensibly I simply packed in the smokes cold turkey, but in order to do that successfully, I had to rewire my brain by looking at the habit differently.

Out of the many ways to Quit Cigarette Smoking, it was hypnotherapy that did it for me. Now, I know it is likely you think of hypnotherapy as going into a seedy office with an even seedier man who has a pencil mustache and swinging medallion. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Hypnotherapy does not involve going into a trance. It doesn't even have to mean leaving your home. There are plenty of books and CD products which act as hypnotic therapy. Using hypnotherapy to kick the cigarette habit is really quite simple – it changes your views of smoking. Whereas you might argue that smoking helps you shed anxiety, hypnotherapy will question whether that is really the case. In essence, hypnotherapy removes the reasons you have for smoking. If you have no justification to smoke, then you will not feel the need to have a cigarette.

Nicotine patches, nicotine gum, herbal cigarettes and the like are all ineffective ways to Quit Cigarette Smoking. Smoking is primarily a psychological addiction, and these remedies don't cure the psychological bond you have with cigarettes – they just strengthen it. How many times have you gone to the cinema for three hours without smoking? In fact, I'm willing to bet that the only time you did want a cigarette was when you actually thought about the fact you had not smoked for a while.

In conclusion, it is essential that you break the psychological addiction to cigarettes. The only way to break the psychological addiction is to break down the thinking patterns your brain has developed over the course of your smoking career. The best way to do this is through hypnotherapy. If you intend on leaving the cigarette habit, ensure you don't replace one dependency with another one.

Quit Cigarette Smoking~How To Quit Cigarette Smoking

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Q & A With Dr. David B. Abrams About On Becoming an Ex-Smoker

Quit Cigarette Smoking : Dr. David B. Abrams is executive director of the Steven A. Schroeder National Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at the American Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to reducing tobacco use. He was formerly director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the National Institutes of Health. As a researcher and a clinical psychologist, he has studied and treated nicotine addiction for 25 years. He co-wrote an Institute of Medicine report, “Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation,” published in 2007.

Q. Do you think it’s much easier to Quit Cigarette Smoking now than it was 5 or 10 years ago?

A. Yes. There are now a variety of good treatments available that can be tailored to individual smokers. There are good cognitive behavioral treatments for the part of addiction that has to do with needing to unlearn the habit. There have also been some breakthroughs in pharmacologic treatments, from the introduction of the first nicotine replacement therapies to the very recent new drug, Chantix, that’s tailored to nicotine receptors in the brain.

Q. The Food and Drug Administration recently warned about suicidal behavior with Chantix. Are people more wary of trying it now because of that?

A. As with other new drugs, there are a few people that have some untoward reactions. In some of them, frankly, it’s not clear that it’s directly related to the drug itself. They may have other predisposing factors that coincidentally happen around the same time. So I hope there isn’t an overreaction to that. I think it continues to be a very safe and effective drug.

Q. What about changes in social norms? Does less tolerance of smoking in public support the clinical side of treating the addiction?

A. It is probably one of the most important drivers of helping people to Quit Cigarette Smoking. It’s not just that it motivates people to Quit Cigarette Smoking because it’s more inconvenient to smoke, or because they don’t want to damage the health of people around them. It’s also that there’s less smoking around them at bars or in restaurants, and therefore, they’re not as tempted. The way I like to say it is that once your brain has tasted “chocolate cake” — the powerful benefits of nicotine — it’s very hard to forget it. So every time you’re reminded of it when you see someone smoking, or you smell smoke, you have an instant reaction to want to smoke.

Q. In addition to new medicines, have counseling methods improved?

A. Right. I think one of the biggest breakthroughs was taking the best components of behavioral treatments and boiling them down so they could be distributed widely through different channels, like telephone quit lines and primary care practices, where physicians or nurses can be trained to deliver a brief treatment.

Q. Might smoking bans and high taxes make some smokers feel persecuted, and as a result more recalcitrant about their smoking? Or doesn’t that matter much?

A. I think it does matter. Sometimes when they dig their heels in, it’s because they really don’t feel that they can get the help they need to change. I think you need to be very supportive. But certainly, there will be a small group of people who say, “I have the freedom to smoke, and leave me alone.”

Q. What major obstacles remain for smokers trying to Quit Cigarette Smoking ?

A. The general public is not as aware of the value of using evidence-based treatment as they should be. When we do surveys of current smokers, a fair number of them actually believe that nicotine replacement products could be as harmful to their health as smoking, which is absolutely not true. It’s the burnt carcinogens in tobacco, and not the nicotine, that’s the really harmful substance. Unfortunately, I think people are not using the best pharmacologic treatments and the best behavioral treatments. They still try to use willpower.

I think another barrier is that busy physicians, because of managed care and other things, have so much pressure to move patients through their offices that they aren’t able to take the time to do brief lifestyle counseling. I would love to see the reimbursement system change to allow physicians to bill for, say, 15 minutes of talk therapy, and allow them to do brief behavioral treatment, along with nicotine replacement or other drug therapies.

We need a system where you have comprehensive continuity of care until the smoker quits. You never give up on a diabetic if they go off their diet or stop taking their insulin. You still bring them back, and you remind them, and you have all sorts of support systems because it’s a lifetime commitment.

We’re talking about a stepped-care system. The idea is that you should give people a chance to use a low-level treatment on their own, but if it doesn’t work, then you need to step them up to a more specialized treatment. In fact, a third step may well be that if you’ve tried to Quit Cigarette Smoking with your primary care physician and failed, maybe you ought to be referred to a specialist in addiction treatment.

Q. Do you think today’s young children will take up smoking the way their parents’ generation did?

A. Of course, my hope would be absolutely not. I hope within 5 to 10 years that the F.D.A. would have approved the reduction of nicotine content in tobacco; therefore, it wouldn’t even be an interesting thing to try, because there would be so little reward value in the small amount of nicotine left. I also hope that because so many fewer parents smoke, that kids would grow up smoke-free. The third thing is, there may well be a more significant vaccine. The real hope is that we could give pre-adolescent kids a vaccine, just like we do for childhood diseases.

If I were to wave a magic wand so that those three things happened, I think we may actually have very close to a smoke-free next generation, which would be my ideal.

Q. What do you think about people continuing to use nicotine replacement for a long time after Quit Cigarette Smoking ?

A. Certain people may well need some kind of pharmacologic treatment to correct their brain imbalance, just like some people need long-term medication for serious mental illness. I’d rather see them on long-term nicotine therapy than go back to smoking.

Q. Is there anything new on the horizon that could make it much easier for people to Quit Cigarette Smoking ?

A. There are two things that I’m quite excited about. One is the talk with the F.D.A. about systematically reducing nicotine in tobacco over a 5- or a 10-year period. If they did reduce it significantly, there’s a lot of research suggesting that we could, in effect, wean the whole population off their nicotine addiction and get to the point where, gradually, smokers would be less and less addicted and may find it easier to Quit Cigarette Smoking. I think as a public health solution, that’s a very good one. I’m hoping that kind of legislation will be taken seriously.

The second thing is that we may be developing a nicotine vaccine — the NicVAX. There is some preliminary evidence that it’s promising. It’s not quite there yet, but it’s particularly useful, perhaps, to prevent relapse.

We’ve got a lot of people trying to Quit Cigarette Smoking every year — millions, actually. What we have to do is figure out how to prevent them from relapsing after they Quit Cigarette Smoking. I think relapse prevention is the single biggest research challenge. The vaccine may help with that; getting nicotine out of cigarettes would certainly help with that.

Q. What do you say to your friends and family who still smoke?

A. I want to find a way to hold your hand and help you Quit Cigarette Smoking, not to be nasty to you and box you in a corner, but really be sympathetic and understand that this is something that you couldn’t help doing. When you were younger and you got hooked on nicotine, you had no idea that you would become a lifetime slave to this substance, because it changed the reward pathway in your brain. I want to help you get over that, and I know it’s extremely hard to do because nicotine is a very powerful addictive substance.

The biggest problem with nicotine is that, actually, your brain works better on nicotine. It improves reaction time, it improves memory, it improves concentration, it helps you get through a frustrating workday. There are reasons why people hang on to nicotine. It’s almost the perfect drug.

I’m an ex-smoker, and I still miss it. I think I might actually have been more productive as a researcher if I’d continued to smoke, because I know it made my brain work better. It’s very, very hard to give up, and I’m very sympathetic.

Quit Cigarette Smoking~Q & A With Dr. David B. Abrams About On Becoming an Ex-Smoker