WBEZ | smoking http://www.wbez.org/tags/smoking Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Global ambitions for a Bulgarian pill to help smokers quit http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-29/global-ambitions-bulgarian-pill-help-smokers-quit-92666 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-30/smoking_Flickr_Ferran Jorda.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For decades, smokers behind the iron curtain had special help when it came to quitting smoking. A pill derived from the seeds of the Golden Rain acacia tree helped lessen cravings for nicotine.</p><p>A Bulgarian pharmaceutical company has sold the drug in Eastern Europe as under the brand name Tabex since the 1960s. In Poland, where it remains popular, a course of treatment costs about $15. It's not approved for use in the U.S.</p><p>But the medicine is getting another look as an inexpensive way to aid smoking cessation. The active ingredient, <a href="http://www.sopharma.com/tabex.phtml">cytisine</a>, may be be particularly appealing in developing countries where smoking rates are high and alternative therapies, such as nicotine gum and patches, cost a lot.</p><p>Tabex beat a placebo in helping people refrain from cigarettes up to a year after they stopped taking the drug, <a href="http://www.sopharma.com/tabex.phtml">according to results</a> in the latest <em>New England Journal of Medicine</em></p><p>The <a href="http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN37568749">study</a>, conducted in Poland, found that 8.4 percent of people who took the drug hadn't smoked for 12 months compared with 2.4 percent for those who got a dummy pill.</p><p>Those results show the pill isn't exactly magic, when it comes to helping people quit. Studies of <a href="http://www.chantix.com/index.aspx?source=google&amp;HBX_PK=s_chantix&amp;HBX_OU=50&amp;o=23119569nullnullnull">Chantix</a>, a Pfizer pill that works in much the same way, showed higher abstinence rates — around 20 percent — at one year after starting a three-month treatment.</p><p>Psychiatric side effects, including suicidal thoughts and hostility, have <a href="http://www.chantix.com/safety-info.aspx">been reported with Chantix</a>, which now carries a stern safety warning.</p><p>In the study of Tabex, the most common side effects were such things as nausea and stomachache. Psychiatric events were reported more in about 4.6 percent of people taking the drug versus about 3.2 percent of those on placebo, a difference that wasn't meaningful.</p><p>But the study, as the authors point out, wasn't large enough (only 740 people) to detect uncommon side effects. The research was funded by the United Kingdom National Prevention Research Institute.</p><p>Bloomberg News <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-09-28/smokers-quit-with-cheap-remedy-used-in-bulgaria-for-40-years.html">reports</a> Extab Corp. has licensed global rights to Tabex and is conducting clinical test to meet the standards of Western regulators.</p><div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</div></p> Thu, 29 Sep 2011 10:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-29/global-ambitions-bulgarian-pill-help-smokers-quit-92666 New law aims to help Illinoisans quit smoking http://www.wbez.org/story/new-law-aims-help-illinoisans-quit-smoking-91243 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-30/cigarette_Flickr_Raul Liberwirth.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A new Illinois law requires insurance companies to offer coverage for services meant to get smokers to kick the habit. Gov. Quinn signed the law on Monday.</p><p>The American Lung Association in Illinois enthusiastically backed the law. It said the law could be a tremendous help to tens of thousands of tobacco users who want to quit smoking but can't afford the services they need to make that happen.</p><p>A vice president at the state association, Kathy Drea, argued that getting smokers to quit not only improves the health of individuals. She said it reduces the several billion dollars that smoking-related diseases cost Illinois as a whole each year.</p><p>The smoking-cessation programs that insurance companies would be required to offer coverage on include various medical treatments and counseling by physicians.</p></p> Tue, 30 Aug 2011 15:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/new-law-aims-help-illinoisans-quit-smoking-91243 Smoking on the rise globally: Cigarettes are one of the top causes of preventable deaths worldwide http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-09/smoking-rise-globally-cigarettes-are-one-top-causes-preventable-deaths-w <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-02/smoking.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>For the first time in history, governments around the world are starting to coordinate their efforts to curb smoking. The fight to tame the global hunger for nicotine is an uphill battle. Worldwide, smoking increases by two percent each year. While U.S. rates had been declining for four decades, levels have plateaued in the last five years.&nbsp;</p><p>Today we speak to Dr. Judith Mackay, senior advisor to the <a href="http://www.worldlungfoundation.org/" target="_blank">World Lung Foundation</a>. She tells us what she thinks of the <a href="http://www.who.int/fctc/en/" target="_blank">Framework Convention on Tobacco Control</a>, the world’s first shared public health treaty. So far, 174 countries have ratified the treaty but several power players – including the U.S. – have not given it their full support.</p></p> Tue, 09 Aug 2011 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-09/smoking-rise-globally-cigarettes-are-one-top-causes-preventable-deaths-w Be warned: FDA unveils graphic cigarette labels http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-21/be-warned-fda-unveils-graphic-cigarette-labels-88117 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-21/04-high-res-pack_custom.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Everybody knew the graphic new cigarette labels the Food and Drug Administration would be disturbing. But the <a href="http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/CigaretteWarningLabels/ucm259214.htm">nine selected by the agency</a> may still startle you.</p><p>The whole idea is that the labels will grab people by the lapels and be the visual equivalent of someone yelling: "Stop smoking!"</p><p>And, for the most part, the labels unveiled by the agency today live up to the advanced billing. Check out the ravaged teeth and damaged lip in the label on the left for starters.</p><p>Beginning in Sept. 2012, cigarette makers will have to give up the top half on their packages to display the nine images in rotation. In ads, 20 percent of the real estate at the top of the ads will have to be devoted to a graphic warning.</p><p></p><p>Since the '80s, cigarette packs have featured boxed safety warnings that were more of a whisper. Next year, they'll carry the hard-hitting visuals, a rotating set of text warnings, such as "Cigarettes cause cancer," and a toll-free telephone number for smokers who want help quitting. One of the new images is more encouraging that rest; it shows a young, bald man wearing an "I Quit" t-shirt.</p><p>Will the starker warnings work? The FDA predicts the new labels will cut the ranks of smokers by 213,000 in 2013, with smaller reductions in later years.</p><p>And in Canada, which has had tougher labeling for decades, graphic images have <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/05/27/131213322/">helped increase smokers' motivation to quit</a>. Even so, as the University of Ottawa's David Sweanor told NPR last November, smoking hasn't declined quite as much as some people had hoped because of inadequate access to smoking cessation programs.</p><p>Some <a href="http://www.coband.org/docs/morbid.pdf">research</a> has suggested that graphic warnings may actually reinforce the habit among smokers whose self-esteem is tied to it. But the <a href="http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2010-N-0568-0001;oldLink=false">FDA has its own research</a>, involving 18,000 people, backing up the labels and their likely effect.</p><p>Late last year, Shots and Thomson Reuters asked Americans about the FDA's proposed graphic warnings. Fifty-four percent people surveyed supported the FDA proposed to deter smoking. About 24 percent were opposed. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. <img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1308668388?&gn=Be+Warned%3A+FDA+Unveils+Graphic+Cigarette+Labels&ev=event2&ch=103537970&h1=Public+Health,smoking,FDA,advertising,Shots+-+Health+Blog,Health,Your+Health,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=137316580&c7=1128&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1128&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110621&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=133188449,129305701,129287924,126338104,103537970&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Tue, 21 Jun 2011 09:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-21/be-warned-fda-unveils-graphic-cigarette-labels-88117 Chicago teens awarded for anti-tobacco ads http://www.wbez.org/content/chicago-teens-awarded-anti-tobacco-ads <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-16/anti smoking teens_Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/UEn_Lr-HFrQ" frameborder="0" height="390" width="480"></iframe></p><p>Two Chicago teens have won awards for producing anti-tobacco commercials that will air locally on TV and radio this summer. The announcement comes from the <a href="http://www.lungchicago.org/chicago-tobacco-prevention-project/">Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project</a>.</p><p>The winners are 15-year-old Jennifer Sansone from De La Salle Institute and Miguel Ruiz, an 18-year-old at Kelly High School. They were among more than 150 teens who entered the <a href="http://www.lungchicago.org/sharethetruth/">Share the Truth contest</a>. It offered teens the chance to make a 30-second TV or radio commercial about the dangers of tobacco and smoking.</p><p>Ruiz's TV commercial closes with, "Don't let smoking take your life away." Sansone's radio commercial describes how her grandmother died due to tobacco-related illness.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/g6MalMkMAto" frameborder="0" height="349" width="560"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 16 Jun 2011 14:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/chicago-teens-awarded-anti-tobacco-ads The skinny on smoking: Why nicotine curbs appetite http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-09/skinny-smoking-why-nicotine-curbs-appetite-87692 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-10/cigarette.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Scientists say they have finally figured out how smoking helps people keep off extra pounds.</p><p>It turns out that nicotine activates a pathway in the brain that suppresses appetite, according to a study in the journal <em>Science</em>. This discovery should lead to better diet drugs, the researchers say.</p><p>The finding comes after decades of research showing that smokers tend to be a bit thinner than nonsmokers, and that smokers who quit tend to put on weight.</p><p>Researchers made the discovery after stumbling onto a major clue recently, says Marina Picciotto, a professor of psychiatry at Yale and one of the study's authors.</p><p>The clue turned up during experiments looking for chemicals to treat depression, Picciotto says. A scientist at Yale named Yann Mineur was giving mice a chemical that's a lot like nicotine, she says.</p><p>"He was watching these mice and he said, 'You know what, they don't eat as much as the mice that didn't get this medication,' " she says. "And so he decided to follow that up. It was a window into how nicotine might be decreasing appetite."</p><p>The scientists knew that nicotine must be triggering a response in certain brain cells. So they started looking at cells in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain known to regulate appetite. And they focused on a type of nerve cell, called POMC cells, known to be involved in eating behavior.</p><p>Sure enough, nicotine made these POMC cells more active. But the researchers still needed to figure out how nicotine was communicating with these cells.</p><p>To find out, the team took a closer look at the different types of receptors on the surface of the cells, Picciotto says.</p><p>"And we actually thought that maybe the same nicotine receptors that make you want to smoke, that make you rewarded when you smoke, would be the ones that also control appetite," she says. "But we were wrong."</p><p>So the team looked at another type of receptor. These receptors don't make you feel good — they're involved in the so-called fight-or-flight response that occurs when animals or people encounter a threat.</p><p>It turned out these fight-or-flight receptors responded to nicotine in a way that reduced hunger. That would make sense from an evolutionary perspective, Picciotto says.</p><p>"The fight-or-flight response is one where you actually want to preserve your energy to do something very important," she says. "So maybe you don't want to be out there eating while you're supposed to be running away from a tiger."</p><p>The nicotine research does not mean people should take up smoking to lose weight, Picciotto says. But for people who already smoke and want to quit, but don't want to put on weight, she says, nicotine gum or a patch might help.</p><p>Still, Picciotto says, any form of nicotine has a downside, and scientists who study weight loss agree.</p><p>If people used, say, a nicotine patch, "you might find that patients do lose weight but then become dependent on a patch all the time," says Michael Cowley, who directs the Obesity and Diabetes Institute at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.</p><p>Fortunately, Cowley says, Picciotto's new research hints at a much better solution: drugs that suppress appetite without triggering the brain circuits involved in addiction.</p><p>"What this shows is that there's a whole new class of drugs that can potentially be used as weight-loss agents," Cowley says.</p><p>Picciotto's lab has already shown that a nicotine-like chemical called cytisine causes mice to eat less.</p><p>Cytisine comes from a natural source: the laburnum plant, a flowering shrub found in Eastern Europe, Picciotto says. She says it's sold there as an herbal smoking cessation product. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. <img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1307720746?&gn=The+Skinny+On+Smoking%3A+Why+Nicotine+Curbs+Appetite&ev=event2&ch=1024&h1=Humans,Research+News,Science,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=137085989&c7=1024&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1024&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110609&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=2&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Thu, 09 Jun 2011 15:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-09/skinny-smoking-why-nicotine-curbs-appetite-87692 Eviction possible for tenants caught smoking http://www.wbez.org/story/apartment/eviction-possible-tenants-caught-smoking <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/smoking.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Tenants in one Chicago apartment building could face fines or eviction if they're caught smoking.</p><p>The management firm in charge of the 420 units at Kingsburg Plaza in the city's River North neighborhood started transitioning to a smoke-free building at the beginning of the year. Kingsbury property supervisor Gary Lundemo tells the Chicago Tribune that, if it's successful, the management company could expand the policy.</p><p>Kingsbury plans a $350 fine for one violation and eviction for a second violation.</p><p>The building opened three years ago, and the newspaper reports 15 percent of the tenants are smokers. A survey at the building found concern about second-hand smoke.<br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 05 Jan 2011 19:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/apartment/eviction-possible-tenants-caught-smoking