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With people still insisting to smoke, even with some states threatening to raise the cost of cigarettes to, in some cases, $9 a pack, stop smoking PSA’s are a good way to remind people tha they should not smoke. With each video there is a slightly different message, but in all of them there is a consistent theme, and it is this: Smoking kills, and you need to quit smoking. Listen, the makers of Smoke Away want you to quit smoking. period, end of story!

Face it, if you smoke, you’re heading down the wrong path, and the only time it’s too late to quit, is when it’s too late.

People who are paid to stop smoking are about three times more likely to quit and not have another cigarette than those given no cash, a study found.

Almost 15 percent of study participants who were given money as a reward were still not smoking six months after quitting compared with 5 percent in the group that didn’t get the cash incentive, research in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine found. Some people in both groups eventually started smoking again after the financial offers ended.

Smoking is the top cause of preventable death in the U.S., responsible for killing about 438,000 people each year, according to the study. Getting one person to stop smoking can save businesses about $3,400 a year by boosting productivity, decreasing absenteeism and reducing illnesses, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Employers are already paying for the cost of smoking,” said the study’s lead author Kevin Volpp, director of the Center for Health Incentives at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, in a Feb. 10 telephone interview. “Rather than paying for the consequences, why not try to use some of that money to help motivate people so that they don’t develop smoking- related illnesses in the first place?”

Smoking can cause lung cancer, lung disease, heart disease, stroke and cataracts, according to the National Institutes of Health. About one in five U.S. adults, or 45.3 million, smoked in 2006, according to the Atlanta-based CDC. The percentage figure remained constant since 2004 after a previous seven-year decline in smoking among U.S. adults, the CDC said.

GE Employees

Robert Galvin, chief medical officer for Fairfield, Connecticut-based General Electric Co., said the company participated in the study to help determine if incentives would encourage people to stop smoking, which would lower health-care costs. GE spends about $50 million each year on health care for smokers, a figure that doesn’t include the cost of lost productivity, he said. GE, the biggest maker of jet engines and the owner of the NBC-Universal media unit, employs about 152,000 people in the U.S.

“We are very excited about the fact that we have proved that incentives can work to help stop smoking,” said Galvin, who is also an author on the paper.

The study included 878 people who worked at GE in the U.S. Of those, 436 employees were given information about smoking- cessation programs along with an offer of cash incentives and 442 were only provided information about the programs, without money.

Money for Quitting

Those in the financial incentives group received $100 for completing the smoking-cessation program, $250 for not smoking within six months after enrolling in the study and $400 for abstinence after six months more, confirmed by saliva or urine tests. The trial was designed to see how many people remained nonsmokers nine or 12 months after enrolling in the study, depending on whether they initially stopped smoking within three months or six months of participating.

After an additional six months, 9.4 percent of the paid group still wasn’t smoking though they were no longer receiving cash rewards, compared with 3.6 percent of the other group.

“There’s a lot of room for further intervention,” Volpp said. “If we could encourage broader adoption of these programs, that would go a long way to improve cessation rates.”

About 70 percent of those who smoke in the U.S. say they want to quit, but only 2 percent to 3 percent succeed each year, the researchers said. Most relapses occur within the first month of quitting and about 90 percent of those who start smoking again do so within the first six months, according to the authors.

Rewards for Healthy Behavior

The study was supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Volpp reported owning equity in GE.

A study by Volpp in December in the Journal of the American Medical Association also found that people who were paid to lose weight dropped 13 to 14 pounds on average after 16 weeks, compared with a loss of 3.9 pounds by those who didn’t get the cash incentive.

“There’s something very powerful about the awards being paid to you using other people’s money. That’s very motivating,” Volpp said. Providing people with money gives them a reward in the present rather than waiting for a future reward like better health, he said.

Now the makers of Smoke Away are not going to pay you to quit smoking but they will certainly help you in your quest to stop smoking.

About 46 million American adults smoke cigarettes, but most smokers are either actively trying to quit or want to quit. Since 1965, more than 49 percent of all adults who have ever smoked have quit.

According to the 2004 Surgeon General’s Report, The Health Consequences of Smoking, eliminating smoking can greatly reduce the occurrence of coronary heart disease and other forms of cardiovascular disease. Smoking cessation is important in the medical management of many contributors to heart attack. These include atherosclerosis (fatty buildups in arteries), thrombosis (blood clots), coronary artery spasm and cardiac arrhythmia (heart rhythm problems). Quitting smoking also can help manage several other disorders, especially arteriosclerotic peripheral vascular disease (fatty buildups in peripheral arteries) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

According to the 2004 Surgeon General’s Report, tobacco smoking remains the No. 1 cause of preventable disease and death in the United States.

About 23 percent of adult men and 19 percent of adult women smoke. This figure is down considerably from 42 percent in 1965. Changes in smoking habits during the late 1960s, the 1970s and the 1980s have very likely contributed to the drop in cardiovascular deaths that occurred at the same time in the United States.

Why Quit?:

  • After one year off cigarettes, the excess risk of coronary heart disease caused by smoking is reduced by half. After 15 years of abstinence, the risk is similar to that for people who’ve never smoked.  
  • In 5 to 15 years, the risk of stroke for ex-smokers returns to the level of those who’ve never smoked.
  • Male smokers who quit between ages 35 to 39 add an average of 5 years to their lives. Female quitters in this age group add 3 years. Men and women who quit at ages 65 to 69 increase their life expectancy by 1 year. 

More than four in five smokers say they want to quit. And each year about 1.3 million smokers do quit. With good smoking cessation programs, 20 to 40 percent of participants are able to quit smoking and stay off cigarettes for at least one year.  Smoking cessation programs seem especially helpful for people who smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day. If you are having trouble wrapping your arms around data like this and you need answers, the makers of Smoke Away suggest going to The Smoke Away Support Site to get answers today on how to quit smoking in the new year.

Health profoundly improves once a person
stops smoking. In this video Mayo Clinic Physicians provide examples of
healing that occurs once a person stops smoking and the many benefits
to staying …

Bottom line, quitting smoking is the best decision you can make. Whether you quit with Smoke Away or not-is up to you. Just quit. Today.


The U.N. General Assembly has ordered Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to put an end to smoking at U.N. headquarters in New York, widely seen as a tobacco safe haven in an otherwise smoke-free metropolis. The assembly told Ban to implement a ban on smoking and on the sale of tobacco products inside the building, Enrique Yeves, spokesman for General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, told reporters on Thursday.

 

He said the demand came in a nonbinding resolution passed unanimously by the 192 U.N. member states earlier this week. “It is up to the secretariat now … to decide what kind of realistic measures can be taken for this to be implemented,” Yeves told reporters. Word of the General Assembly’s anti-smoking resolution had yet to reach all corners of the 40-story building. In the U.N. Delegates Lounge, a cloud of cigarette smoke hovered over clusters of diplomats and U.N. staff puffing tobacco and sipping coffee. Several of them told Reuters they had not heard of the resolution but added that they doubted Ban would succeed.

 

Although the United Nations is headquartered in New York, a statewide smoking ban does not apply to the Manhattan compound because it is considered international territory. Ban’s predecessor Kofi Annan tried to ban smoking at the U.N. skyscraper in 2003. But his anti-smoking drive failed as many diplomats and U.N. staff simply ignored the “no smoking” signs that appeared throughout the building.

 

U.N. officials say that smoking in the 60-year-old skyscraper is discouraged but not officially banned. Other U.N. agencies in New York with offices outside the U.N. secretariat building have successfully banned smoking on their premises. The top envoy from Britain, which co-sponsored the General Assembly resolution, welcomed the new anti-smoking drive. “I think as part of our effort to modernize the U.N., it’s important that the United Nations keeps up with the standards in the rest of the world,” Ambassador John Sawers told Reuters.

 “Smoking has been banned in the United Nations in Geneva,” he said. “We look forward to doing the same here in New York.” The key is that the genesis of stopping smoking on the largest of stages and scales needs to begin at the UN and New York and then it needs to trickle down to the smallest of places so that everyone understands how important it is that they stop or quit smoking or realize that they should have never started. Smoke Away realizes this and wants you too as well.

From the department of the obvious comes this advice.

If you smoke and you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it’s especially important to kick the habit now. The toxic chemicals inhaled when you smoke are easily passed to the unborn baby.

The American Pregnancy Association offers these suggestions to help you stop smoking during pregnancy:

  • Make a list of all of the health benefits of quitting for yourself and your baby.
  • Replace smoking with healthier habits, such as having a snack or a cup of tea with your newspaper, instead of a cigarette.
  • Surround yourself with nonsmokers.
  • Have a friend or family member ready to call when you need support.
  • Ask your doctor for ways to help you quit, including tips on which smoking cessation aids are safe for you and baby.
  • Set a goal date for quitting.

Need more help in trying to kick the habit? Try Smoke Away even before you become pregnant! It may do the trick, but you’ll never know unless you check it out!

Pay-for-Performance Gets Doctors to Push Smoking Cessation

Paying providers of health care to refer patients for help in quitting smoking really makes a difference.

A study, appearing in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at programs that tie physician pay to the quality of care. The key measure was clinics’ referrals of patients in Minnesota to a tobacco quit line. Researchers compared clinics that were paid bonuses for making such referrals — $5,000 for 50 referrals and $25 for each referral beyond the initial 50 — to clinics that didn’t have a financial incentive.

It turned out that the clinics that were in the pay-for-performance program made 1,483 referrals to the quit line, an average of 11.4% of their patients who were smokers. Those that didn’t have the chance to earn extra money made 441 referrals, an average of 4.2% of their smokers.

The researchers, led by Lawrence An of the University of Minnesota, noted some important factors for success beyond cold cash. For one, Minnesota health plans collaborated to make the referral process easy for the clinics. The clinics were also rewarded regardless of what health plan their patients belonged to, meaning that they could make the same recommendation to all smokers.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, which funded the study and payments to the clinics with money from a tobacco settlement, decided along with a number of other Minnesota health plans to continue with the program around smoking cessation, albeit with lower financial awards, a spokeswoman tells us.

One important note is that Smoke Away, though they care about you using their product, also would suggest doing whatever you can in order to quit smoking. For more information, log onto the Smoke Away support site to talk with people who have quit with our product.

 

Women who smoke have heart attacks nearly 14 years earlier than women who don’t smoke, Norwegian doctors reported in a study presented to the European Society of Cardiology. For men, the gap is not so dramatic; male smokers have heart attacks about six years earlier than men who don’t smoke.

“This is not a minor difference,” said Dr. Silvia Priori, a cardiologist at the Scientific Institute in Pavia, Italy. “Women need to realize they are losing much more than men when they smoke,” she said. Priori was not connected to the research.

Dr. Morten Grundtvig and colleagues from the Innlandet Hospital Trust in Lillehammer, Norway, based their study on data from 1,784 patients admitted for a first heart attack at a hospital in Lillehammer.

Their study found that the men on average had their first heart attack at age 72 if they didn’t smoke, and at 64 if they did.

Women in the study had their first heart attack at age 81 if they didn’t smoke, and at age 66 if they did.

After adjusting for other heart risk factors like blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes, researchers found that the difference for women was about 14 years and for men, about six years.

Previous studies looking at a possible gender difference have been inconclusive.

Doctors have long suspected that female hormones protect women against heart disease. Estrogen is thought to raise the levels of good cholesterol as well as enabling blood vessel walls to relax more easily, thus lowering the chances of a blockage.

Grundtvig said that smoking might make women go through menopause earlier, leaving them less protected against a heart attack. With rising rates of smoking in women – compared with falling rates in men – Grundtvig said that doctors expect to see increased heart disease in women.

“Smoking might erase the natural advantage that women have,” said Dr. Robert Harrington, a professor of medicine at Duke University and spokesman for the American College of Cardiology.

Doctors aren’t yet sure if other cardiac risk factors like cholesterol and obesity also affect women differently.

“The difference in how smoking affects women and men is profound,” Harrington said. “Unless women don’t smoke or quit, they risk ending up with the same terrible diseases as men, only at a much earlier age.”

The bottom line is this, smoking kills and you need to quit smoking. What are you going to do about it? Whether you use Smoke Away or not, is not the point. You have to quit smoking!

We spend an inordinate amount of time telling people, no, pleading with people to quit smoking either with the help of Smoke Away or without. The point being that is important for smokers to realize that quitting smoking is the name of the game because it kills you and it hurts others. With that in mind here are 11 thoughts and facts about second hand smoke you probably did not know,

  • Secondhand smoke has been classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a known cause of cancer in humans (Group A carcinogen).
  • Secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke. Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic ammonia and hydrogen cyanide.
  • Secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 22,700-69,600 heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each year.
  • Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at work are at increased risk for adverse health effects. Levels of secondhand smoke in restaurants and bars were found to be 2 to 5 times higher than in residences with smokers and 2 to 6 times higher than in office workplaces.
  • Since 1999, 70 percent of the U.S. workforce worked under a smoke-free policy, ranging from 83.9 percent in Utah to 48.7 percent in Nevada.  Workplace productivity was increased and absenteeism was decreased among former smokers compared with current smokers.
  • Eighteen states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Washington and Vermont – as well as the District of Columbia prohibit smoking in almost all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars. Montana and Utah prohibit smoking in most public places and workplaces, including restaurants; bars will go smokefree in 2009. New Hampshire prohibits smoking in some public places, including all restaurants and bars. Four states – Florida, Idaho, Louisiana and Nevada – prohibit smoking in most public places and workplaces, including restaurants, but exempt stand-alone bars. Fifteen states partially or totally prevent (preempt) local communities from passing smokefree air ordinances stronger than the statewide law. Iowa, Nebraska and Oregon have passed legislation prohibiting smoking in almost all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars, but the laws have not taken effect yet.
  • Secondhand smoke is especially harmful to young children. Secondhand smoke is responsible for between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children under 18 months of age, resulting in between 7,500 and 15,000 hospitalizations each year, and causes 430 sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) deaths in the United States annually.
  • Secondhand smoke exposure may cause buildup of fluid in the middle ear, resulting in 790,000 physician office visits per year.  Secondhand smoke can also aggravate symptoms in 400,000 to 1,000,000 children with asthma.
  • In the United States, 21 million, or 35 percent of, children live in homes where residents or visitors smoke in the home on a regular basis. Approximately 50-75 percent of children in the United States have detectable levels of cotinine, the breakdown product of nicotine in the blood.
  • Research indicates that private research conducted by cigarette company Philip Morris in the 1980s showed that secondhand smoke was highly toxic, yet the company suppressed the finding during the next two decades.
  • The current Surgeon General’s Report concluded that scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Short exposures to secondhand smoke can cause blood platelets to become stickier, damage the lining of blood vessels, decrease coronary flow velocity reserves, and reduce heart rate variability, potentially increasing the risk of heart attack.
  • This is tough to watch but it cannot help but drive the point home that if you continue to smoke, you will end up like the person in this video. Smoke Away as it has maintained from day one of this blog, does not care how you quit, whether it’s with our product or not, we just want you to quit.

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