Naltrexone improves smoking quit rates among social drinkers

Naltrexone, approved for the treatment of alcohol dependence, also helps heavy social drinkers who aren’t alcoholics to quit smoking, as well as to reduce the amount of alcohol they drink, a new study shows.

After taking naltrexone, smokers who were heavy drinkers had significant reductions in heavy drinking rates over the course of the 8-week treatment, and also were more likely to quit than heavy drinkers taking placebo, lead investigator Dr. Andrea C. King told Reuters Health. “The effects were not as prominent among the lighter drinking smokers,” she noted.

Study documents secondhand smoke costs to Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – Supporters of a bill that would ban smoking in all of Indiana’s public places are trumpeting a new study of the financial and human costs of secondhand smoke as clear, persuasive evidence that state lawmakers should pass statewide smoking restrictions.

The study released Monday found that an estimated 1,194 Hoosiers died in 2007 from lung cancer, heart disease and other ailments caused by breathing secondhand cigarette smoke.

Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine’s Bowen Research Center also concluded that secondhand smoke in homes and businesses burdened Indiana with at least $390 million in medical-related costs in 2007.

Smoking Effect On Nurses Health

A new UCLA School of Nursing study is the first to reveal the devastating consequences of smoking on the nursing profession. Published in the November-December edition of the journal Nursing Research, the findings describe smoking trends and death rates among U.S. nurses and emphasize the importance of supporting smoking cessation programs in the nursing field.

“Nurses witness firsthand how smoking devastates the health of their patients with cancer and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases,” said principal investigator Linda Sarna, D.N.Sc, a professor at the UCLA School of Nursing. “Yet nurses struggle with nicotine addiction like the rest of the 45 million smokers in America. We are concerned that nurses who smoke may be less apt to support tobacco-control programs or encourage their patients to quit.”

Dip in U.S. adult-smoking rate

smoking rateAmerica has seen a dip in the number of current smokers. According to health officials 43.3 million people, or a shade under one-fifth of the population were smokers in 2007. The figure stood at 20.8 percent in 2006.

In November 2000, America had set a goal 12 percent adult-smoking rate as a part of the Healthy People 2010 project. That goal still remains a distant dream.

Prior to this, the smoking rate practically remained unchanged. It was 20.9 percent in 2004, 20.9 percent in 2005 and 20.8 percent in 2006. Since it was the first time that the adult-smoking rate had come below the 20 percent threshold, the anti-smoking groups had reasons to cheer.

Smoking statistics cast Dark shadow

THE smoking ban in bars, restaurants and other public places wasn’t just designed to protect the health of non-smokers. It was supposed to discourage those who already smoke to kick the habit. After its introduction in March 2006 a smokers’ life when out and about became much more difficult.

Not only did they have to go outside, regardless of weather, if they wanted a puff, but they were also increasingly alienated by a growing consensus that smoking wasn’t just unhealthy, but pretty selfish as well.