This is your brain on smoking

Your Health on SmokingThat cigarette may be doing more damage than meets the eye. If you’ve been smoking for an extended period of time, you’re likely familiar with at least some – if not all – of the bodily symptoms associated with smoking, including but certainly not limited to: Cravings, coughing, shortness of breath and changes to teeth, hair and skin. Coronary heart disease and/or lung cancer might not be far behind.

But a new study published in the journal Age & Ageing concludes that smoking can damage your mind, too. A consistent association was observed between smoking and lower cognitive functioning, including memory.

The bottom line: Smoking and long-term high blood pressure appear to increase the risk of cognitive decline.

How researchers did it

Researchers at Kings College London set out to explore the association between cardiovascular and stroke risk and cognitive decline in adults over the age of 50. Working with a nationally representative sample of nearly 9,000 participants, the study’s authors analyzed data on smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body mass index (BMI).

Full story of smoking health at CNN Health

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Judge Orders Tobacco Companies to Pay for Corrective Statements About Smoking

Judge Orders Tobacco Companies For Information ReleaseA federal judge has ordered tobacco companies to pay for corrective statements that disclose the dangers of smoking, the Associated Press reports. Judge Gladys Kessler, of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, said the corrective ads must state that a federal court has concluded the companies “deliberately deceived the American public about the health effects of smoking.” The ads must also state that smoking causes the death on average of 1,200 people a day.

In 2006, Judge Kessler ruled that Big Tobacco firms engaged in racketeering, and were likely to do so again in the future. She ordered tobacco companies to stop using terms like “light” and “low tar” to market cigarettes. She said she wanted the tobacco industry to pay for print and broadcast ads, but did not say what corrective statements must be included in them.

Tuesday’s ruling is the first time she stated what the ads will say, the article notes.

In July, a federal appeals court upheld Judge Kessler’s order that requires tobacco manufacturers to run the corrective ads. The manufacturers hoped the court would overturn her order on the grounds it had been superseded by the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gave the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate the content, marketing and sale of tobacco products.

Full story of orders on the tobacco companies at DrugFree.org

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

New Vaccine for Nicotine Addiction

New Vaccine For Smoking AddictionResearchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have developed and successfully tested in mice an innovative vaccine to treat nicotine addiction.

In the journal Science Translational Medicine, the scientists describe how a single dose of their novel vaccine protects mice, over their lifetime, against nicotine addiction. The vaccine is designed to use the animal’s liver as a factory to continuously produce antibodies that gobble up nicotine the moment it enters the bloodstream, preventing the chemical from reaching the brain and even the heart.

"As far as we can see, the best way to treat chronic nicotine addiction from smoking is to have these Pacman-like antibodies on patrol, clearing the blood as needed before nicotine can have any biological effect," says the study’s lead investigator, Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, chairman and professor of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

"Our vaccine allows the body to make its own monoclonal antibodies against nicotine, and in that way, develop a workable immunity," Dr. Crystal says.

Full story of nicotine addiction vaccine at Science Daily

Photos courtesy of and copyright stock.xchng, http://www.sxc.hu/

Nicotine Patches, Gums Fail to Help Smokers Quit for Good

By Michelle Fay Cortez

Nicotine Patches Adn Gum FailNicotine-replacing gums and patches like those from GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Pfizer Inc. failed to help smokers who quit the habit stay off cigarettes, even when used with professional counseling, a study found.

Researchers surveying 781 former smokers found almost a third relapsed even after using nicotine replacement products. Scientists said the results cast doubt on the long-term benefit of products like Pfizer’s Nicotrol inhaler and GlaxoSmithKline’s NicoDerm CQ patch and Nicorette gum, leaders in a market worth $1.2 billion annually, according to IMS Health, a research firm.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should only approve products that have been shown to help smokers quit and stay off cigarettes for years, said researcher Gregory Connolly, director of the Center for Global Tobacco Control at Harvard School of Public Health, in a statement.

“Using nicotine replacement therapy is no more effective in helping people stop smoking cigarettes in the long-term than trying to quit on one’s own,” said lead author Hillel Alpert, a Harvard research scientist.

Full story at Bloomberg Businessweek