Hollywood legend Nick Nolte finally bins his tobacco habit


Hollywood actor Nick Nolte has binned his bad smoking habit with the help of an “electronic” cigarette.

NN.jpgNick who has had more than his fair share of negative publicity over the years.
Who can forget his mad haired police mug-shot below following his 2002 arrest on suspicion of drink driving?
When blood tests revealed the presence of the date rape drug GHB, Nolte, who starred alongside Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours back in 1982, allegedly said, “I’ve been taking it for four years and I’ve never been raped yet.”

Now though it seems the 69 year old has put his well publicised battles with drink and drugs firmly behind him – and he’s even managed to kick tobacco into touch after taking up a SmokeStik.

Nolte, voted the ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ by People magazine in 1992, was given a SmokeStik, the world’s leading brand of electronic cigarette, six months ago and yesterday admitted it had helped him to quit the cigs.

In a statement Nolte said: “Using Smokestik is a real good way to get off the cigarette. If you have a relapse with regular cigarettes, immediately pick up the Smokestik.”

SmokeStik’s are battery operated devices which give smokers a nicotine hit without the need for harmful tobacco. They’ve been eagerly adopted by big name celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton.

A spokesman said: “We are thrilled that Nick Nolte has become the latest celebrity to quit smoking thanks to SmokeStik.”

SmokeStiks release only an odourless vapour and are believed to be relatively healthy compared to traditional tobacco based cigarettes.

They are not restricted by the ban on smoking in public places and can be enjoyed in bars and restaurants – a factor which has led to many US smokers ditching tobacco in their favour.

The spokesman confirmed the product was selling well since its launch last year.

For more information please visit www.SmokeStikUSA.com

Top Tips for quitting smoking – watch the video


Listen to an expert on why you should quite smoking to save your health and beauty.

As the number of people quitting smoking last year falls by 24% in the UK, No Smoking Day, on March 11, challenges 12 million people to kick the habit

It’s national No Smoking Day again, a day when a quarter of the UK population – that’s 12 million smokers – are encouraged to kick their habit. In fact, every year more than a million people quit smoking on No Smoking Day. The campaign will also highlight the benefits of stopping smoking and how to get help.

Research* shows that that 24% fewer people quit smoking (April 2008 to September 2008), compared to the same period in 2007 – the months straddling the introduction of the smoking ban in July 2007 – when the number of quitters was exceptionally high. Worryingly, the number of smokers who managed to stay off cigarettes four weeks after quitting fell to 133,704 2008, a 24% fall compared to the same period in 2007 when 176,277 successfully quit. So how can you quit for good?

Visiting a local pharmacy should be the first step for smokers who want to quit for good on No Smoking Day. Pharmacists are at the front line of helping people to stop smoking, and can provide expert advice and support. They are also among the most accessible of healthcare professionals, with branches open in the high street at convenient times, often when GP surgeries are closed. 99% of people can reach a pharmacy within 20 minutes of their home and many offer private consultation rooms.

*NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care

Web: www.rpsgb.org.uk


Non-smokers live longer


London: Smoking matters more than money and class in determining how long you will live, researchers said.

Smokers from the highest social class are more likely to die early than non-smokers in the lowest class. And smoking also wipes out the longevity advantage that woman normally have over men.

The findings came from a massive study involving more than 15,000 men and women in Paisley and Renfrew. Carried out over the course of 28 years, the findings are reported today in the online edition of the British Medical Journal.

The researchers found that a well-off professional who smokes has a far lower survival rate than a non-smoking low-paid worker of the same sex. Among both men and women, smokers of all social classes ran a much higher risk of dying early than non-smokers from the lowest social classes.

“In essence, neither affluence nor being female offers a defence against the toxicity of tobacco,” said the researchers, led by Dr Laurence Gruer, director of public health science with NHS Health Scotland.

The findings also suggest there is little scope for reducing class-related health inequalities unless smoking rates in the lower social classes can be reduced.

The study began with 8,353 women and 7,049 men aged 45-64 in the early 1970s. These were then divided into 24 groups – male or female, smokers, ex-smokers or never-smokers – and all categorised in one of four social class headings.

After 28 years, 56% of non-smoking women and 36% of non-smoking men in the bottom two social classes were still alive – compared with only 41% of women smokers in the top two classes and 24% of men.

The researchers also found that most deaths from lung cancer were among smokers. There were 842 deaths from lung cancer – 5% of them among those who had never smoked, 9% amongst former smokers, and 86% among current smokers.

The researchers also found that the death rate for ex-smokers was similar to those who had never smoked, suggesting that quitting can make a significant difference regardless of status.

Cigarette poison kills anti-ageing gene, new research reveals


New York: Scientists have discovered one of the ways in which smoking cigarettes makes you age faster and puts you at risk of diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer.

Researchers at the University of Rochester in the US found that the toxins in cigarette smoke wipe out a gene that protects the body against premature ageing.

Dr Irfan Rahman, associate professor of environmental medicine and an investigator in the University of Rochester’s Lung Biology and Disease Programme, noted: “You can be 45 years old and look great on the outside, but if you are a smoker or former smoker, your lungs can easily be 60 years old because of the chemical assault.”

Cigarettes contain around 4,700 toxic chemical compounds which decrease the lungs’ production of SIRT1, a protein that helps to regulate chronic inflammation, cancer and ageing.

The University of Rochester team, in collaboration with Finland’s Helsinki University Hospital, confirmed that levels of SIRT1 are significantly lower in smokers than in non-smokers.

This in turn affects genes that help to detoxify the airways, speeding up the ageing process of the lungs.

The findings are published in the American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine and in the American Journal of Physiology.

Stem cell experiment may help lung disease sufferers

Stockholm: Lung cells grown from mouse embryo stem cells have been successfully implanted into the lungs of mice, a breakthrough that could one day help humans with sick lungs, say researchers.

The experiment was conducted by a team of scientists from London’s Imperial College and is a “global breakthrough” that “opens up exciting new horizons for the treatment of lung disease,” a statement from the European Respiratory Society’s (ERS) annual congress in Stockholm said.

In the experiment, the researchers injected lung cells cultivated from embryonic stem cells into the mice’s lungs.

Two days later, they killed the rodents and found that the lung cells had lodged themselves in the animals’ lungs, demonstrating the “high degree of specialisation of these cells, which attach only to their target organ, ie. the lungs,” the statement said.

Embryonic stem cell therapy has given rise to hopes for the treatment of many conditions and could one day help repair organs, such as a heart damaged by a heart attack.

Experiments suggest stem cells could also yield effective treatments for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injury, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and numerous other illnesses.

But lung diseases have not yet benefited from stem cell research.

One of the great challenges of cell biology is figuring out how stem cells remain unspecialised or “pluripotent,” maintaining the capacity to become virtually any type of cell found in blood, nerves and individual organs.

“The lung is a very difficult target for tissue engineering researchers … especially since it is an extremely complex organ and contains a large variety of cells, some of which have a very slow renewal rate,” researcher Sile Lane of Imperial College said in the statement.

The ERS said the capacity to “regenerate lungs damaged by disease or accident would help tens of millions of patients.”

While the study sparked “great hopes”, the British researchers noted that human medical applications were “still a long way off.”

According to the ERS, respiratory diseases are the main cause of death in the world. In Europe, respiratory diseases cost society more than 100 billion euros (140 billion dollars) a year.

A total of 15,000 clinical doctors, researchers, physiotherapists and medical and pharmaceutical industry workers from more than 100 countries are attending the congress in Stockholm, which concludes on Wednesday.

Secondhand smoke – the invisable killer – new government ad campaign launches

London: Secondhand smoke is an “invisible killer”, according to a shocking new advertising campaign, launched by Public Health Minister Caroline Flint today. Nearly 85 per cent of tobacco smoke is invisible and odourless, but it causes just as much harm to people’s health as the smoke that is visible(i).

In the TV advert, which will be broadcast on UK TV from Monday 5 March, pervasive, dark smoke curls around guests at a wedding reception revealing the actual amount of smoke emitted by a single cigarette. And the smoker’s well intentioned attempts to blow or waft smoke away from non-smokers does not reduce the potential risk of secondhand smoke to health. The ads make this “invisible killer” visible in this family celebration. The TV commercial will be supported by press, online and outdoor advertising from 5 March.

Whilst most smokers and non-smokers believe secondhand smoke can cause harm, a new survey released today to support the campaign shows over half of smokers continue to smoke in a room with adult non-smokers, and a further quarter will still smoke when they’re near children(ii).

Secondhand smoke contains around 4,000 different chemicals. It can increase your chance of developing lung cancer and heart disease and can also cause a variety of serious health conditions including respiratory disease and cot death in children(iii). It’s made up of both side stream smoke from the burning tip of the cigarette, and mainstream smoke exhaled by the smoker. Side stream smoke accounts for nearly 85 per cent of the smoke in a smoky environment and contains a much higher concentration of toxins, such as hydrogen cyanide, ammonia and carbon monoxide.

Launching the new campaign Public Health Minister Caroline Flint said:

“Smoking is harmful not just to smokers but to the people around them. What this new campaign brings home very clearly is the full impact of secondhand smoke. 85 per cent of smoke may be invisible and odourless but it is still damaging people’s health. Wafting and blowing away smoke may seem like the right thing to do but in reality, it makes little difference to the amount of secondhand smoke inhaled by people around you.

“With England going Smokefree on 1st July, there has never been a better time to stop smoking. We have already exceeded our three-year target to help 800,000 people quit by 2005/6, and still more and more people are successfully kicking the habit.”

Professor Jarvis, University College London commented: “Children are particularly affected by breathing the poisons in secondhand tobacco smoke, because their bodies are still developing. Their bronchial tubes and lungs are smaller and immune systems less developed, making them more vulnerable to the toxins in smoke. Despite smokers’ efforts to blow their smoke away, or to not sit near children, they are still causing harm. People need to see secondhand smoke for the invisible killer that it is.”

Mikis Euripides, Asthma UK’s Assistant Director of Policy & Public Affairs said: ‘For people with asthma the effects of smoking can be deadly. 82% of people with this serious condition tell us that other people’s cigarette smoke triggers their asthma and many cannot go out to bars and clubs without the fear of a fatal asthma attack. About 800,000 people with asthma in England are also smokers themselves(iv), increasing their risk of asthma symptoms, asthma attacks and permanent damage to the airways.”

The ads will run until 8th April coinciding with National No Smoking Day on Wednesday 14th March: nosmokingday.org.uk

The best way to protect your family and other adults from secondhand smoke is to stop smoking. For further information phone the NHS Smoking Helpline free on 0800 169 0 169. Smokers who want to quit can also find details of their local NHS Stop Smoking Service by visiting gosmokefree.co.uk texting ‘GIVE UP’ and their full postcode to 88088 or asking at their local GP practice, pharmacy or hospital.

The NHS Smoking Helpline (0800 169 0 169) provides expert, free, and friendly advice to smokers and those close to them. Since its launch it has received over one million calls and a year after first calling the helpline, nearly a quarter of callers said they had successfully stopped and were still not smoking. Advisors can also refer callers to a local NHS Stop Smoking Service offering ongoing free face-to-face support and advice near their own home. There are over 170 throughout the country, offering a range of services including one-to-one meetings and group discussions with trained cessation advisors. Government research shows that smokers are up to four times more likely to stop successfully if they use their local NHS Stop Smoking Service together with NRT than they are if they use willpower alone.

Quitters can also sign up to a new website: justgiving.com/smokefree and quit smoking whilst raising money for a charity of their choice. The NHS also offers an interactive cessation support programme, Together, which helps smokers to quit by providing advice at key stages of the giving up process through a range of communication methods including email, text messages, mailings and phone calls.

Sources for statistics
(i) Chief Medical Office Annual Report 2003/US Surgeon General. The Health Consequences of Smoking: Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, 1984.

(ii) 90% of UK population believes secondhand smoke can cause harm. However 56% smokers will still smoke in a room with adult non-smokers and 24% smokers will still smoke in a room with children. Research conducted amongst 1,600 adults aged 16-74 in England by BMRB’s Access Omnibus survey, Feb 2007.

(iii) Secondhand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer by 24% and heart disease

by 25%. Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health (SCOTH) report, 2004.

(iv) 23% of adults with asthma in England are smokers (National Asthma Panel 2006) based on England adult population of 3.49 million with asthma

Accupressure can relieve stress-related diseases

San Francisco: Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) has been successfully addressing physical illness by getting to the true cause of illness — unresolved emotional issues like anger, fear and hostility. This is done without lengthy psychotherapy or medications. When unresolved negative emotions are neutralized with this needle free acupuncture technique, symptoms associated with asthma, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, and even cancer tend to subside or disappear, often permanently.

EFT was initially developed to accelerate and improve the psychotherapy process. Soon EFT users were reporting that addressing their emotional issues resulted in a reduction in their physical symptoms. Thousands of case studies have shown an 80% success rate and it often works when nothing else will. It can be learned freely by downloading the EFT Manual at www.emofree.com

Harvard researchers recently published findings from a study that explored the link between anger and hostility and lung function. Even at the beginning of the study, men with the highest anger and hostility ratings had the poorest lung function, and their condition deteriorated over the period of the study.

According to Dr Paul Lehrer, one of the authors of the study, “Stress-related factors are known to depress immune function and increase susceptibility to, or exacerbate a host of diseases and disorders,” he said. “Indeed, it is hard to find a disease for which emotion or stress plays absolutely no part in symptom severity, frequency, or intensity of flare-ups.”

The scientists did not know how unresolved negative emotions contribute to the physical deterioration of the lungs but expect that this question will be the topic of another study.

Dr. Eric Robins, a medical doctor who uses EFT with his patients offers a possible explanation … and a simple solution. “At least 85% of medical problems are physical manifestations of how stress, anxiety and past traumas are held in and processed by the body. Stress and negative emotions are frequently stored in the smooth muscles that function automatically, without our conscious control. If people store tension in the smooth muscles of the blood vessels going to the head, we might call this a migraine headache. If they store tension in the smooth muscles of the air passages of the lungs we might call that asthma. The best technique to address these issues and to clear them out of the body is EFT.”

Gary Craig, the Stanford-trained engineer who developed EFT, recommends that researchers who are exploring the link between emotion and physical illness become familiar with EFT. “We have filmed more than 120 hours of EFT demonstrations where people are addressing their emotional issues and measurably improving their physical conditions,” says Craig. “This collection, which is available from the EFT website, includes forty hours of people using EFT to address symptoms associated with serious diseases like prostate cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis and diabetes.

“EFT is a simple solution,” says Craig, “that many health professionals are incorporating into their regular practice. Surgeons use EFT to avoid unnecessary surgery, chiropractors use EFT to correct misalignments and therapists use EFT to avoid lengthy and costly psychotherapy sessions. And every day people are using EFT to address their own physical and emotional issues.”

Over 350,000 people have downloaded Craig’s free training manual and another 10,000 download it each month. Known as The EFT Manual, it has been translated by volunteer practitioners into nine languages. The EFT website is the fifth most actively visited natural health site in the world.

The EFT Manual gives anyone all the basics so they can apply it right away. It can be freely downloaded at… www.emofree.com

Beta carotene slows down age-related lung decline

Paris: Beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, slows the decline in lung power associated with ageing, reveals research in the medical magazine Thorax.

Beta carotene belongs to a group of antioxidant substances called carotenoids, which give fruits and vegetables their red, yellow, and orange colourings.

Researchers assessed the FEV1 and the blood levels of carotenoids and vitamin E in almost 1200 adults aged between 20 and 44 in 1992.

Eight years later the same measurements was taken in 535 of the original participants, half of whom were men.

FEV1 measures the volume of air forced out of the lungs in one second after taking a deep breath, and is a critical indicator of lung power. It naturally declines with age.

Between 1992 and 2000, the average decline in FEV1 was just under 30 ml a year. But the drop off was significantly slower in those in whom levels of beta carotene were highest to begin with and in those in whom levels rose over the eight years.

Alpha carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E levels had no impact on the rate of decline of FEV1.

In 1992, men had lower levels of carotenoids in their blood than women, and the decline in FEV1 was significantly steeper in men than in women over the eight years.

But the steepest declines in FEV1 of more than 52 ml a year were seen in those smoking a pack or more of cigarettes a day, and with low levels of vitamin E and beta carotene in their blood.

The authors suggest that beta carotene compensates for some of the damage caused by oxygen free radicals, while both it and vitamin E may help to lessen the damaging effects of heavy smoking on the airways.

And they warn that heavy smokers whose dietary intake of antioxidants is low, “are probably at very high risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).”