Tobacco – September 13, 2013


The CDC announced that more than 100,000 Americans likely quit smoking permanently as a result of the 2012 TIPS national media campaign, more than doubling the project’s goals. A study of the campaign’s impact was published by a medical journal, The Lancet. Here are the research article and the press release.

 DIMENSIONS: Tobacco Free Toolkit for Healthcare Providers – Behavioral Health and Wellness Program, University of Colorado School of Medicine / Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Provides helpful information and tools to implement tobacco cessation services in the healthcare setting. Related: Supplement – Priority Population: Behavioral Health.   

The North American Quitline Consortium has developed a series of Return on Investment Fact Sheets to assist states in engaging employers in providing employee cessation treatment coverage, including quitline services. The fact sheets are in a template format, allowing states to tailor the fact sheets with the state’s logo, smoking prevalence rate and quitline information. Employers play a critical role in determining whether employees have access to tobacco cessation treatment benefits – they are the major purchasers of health insurance plans.

Reports and Articles


The tobacco industry peddles lies: Jeffrey S Wigand

Jeffrey S Wigand, played by actor Russell Crowe in the 1999 movie, The Insider, says he got death threats as late as last year from Big Tobacco, which he continues to fight ever since he became a whistle-blower in the mid-1990s and incurred the wrath of an industry that he says is “in the covert pharmaceutical business of selling the poison, nicotine”.

Changes to Nicotine Replacement Therapy Labels

Food and Drug Administration

When nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products were first marketed almost 30 years ago to help people stop smoking, there wasn’t a lot of data available on how long consumers could safely use them, and whether they could be used in combination with other NRTs or continued smoking.


That has changed in the intervening years as researchers conducted studies and clinical trials.


Now, the Food and Drug Administration—after reviewing scientific research on the safety of NRT products sold over the counter (OTC)—has decided that some warnings and limitations specified in the directions for use on the labels of these products are no longer necessary to make sure they are used safely and effectively to quit smoking.


This change in NRT labeling will be seen on the market by December 2013. It provides an important opportunity to communicate to community members, local organizations and health providers that it is recommended to use NRT: even if you slip up and use other tobacco products; on your quit day; and for a longer duration of time (this is okay/safe for most people).


For more information on this topic, please access the following resources:


FDA citizen petition response and a Notice of Findings related to over-the-counter NRT products

Slide show – 10 Side Benefits of Quitting Smoking

A blog from Stan Glantz, MD, on the FDA’s “menthol delay” and the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations.  

Thirdhand Smoke:  A Select Bibliography of Recent Studies. A select bibliography of the latest studies on thirdhand smoke, along with brief descriptors and links, where available. These studies, organized in reverse chronological order, contain data that may be of interest to landlords, tenants, day care users, home buyers and others concerned about thirdhand smoke exposure.

Use of conventional and novel smokeless tobacco products among U.S. adolescents Pediatrics. Key takeaways: Conventional smokeless tobacco products remain the predominant form of smokeless tobacco use. Most users of novel smokeless tobacco products (e.g. snus and dissolvables) also concurrently smoked combustible tobacco products. Read more here.

Data Brief: Secondhand smoke exposure among youth with and without asthmaCDC, National Center for Health Statistics. Key takeaways: Secondhand smoke exposure among children with asthma was higher (54.0%) than for those without asthma (44.2%) in 20072010. Secondhand smoke exposure among children aged 319 without asthma decreased from 57.3% to 44.2% from 19992010 while there was no change during this period in the percentage of children with asthma who were exposed to secondhand smoke.

Technical report: Peering through the mist: What does the chemistry of contaminants in electronic cigarettes tell us about health risks?Drexel University School of Public Health. Key takeaway: There is no evidence that vaping produces inhalable exposures to contaminants of the aerosol that would warrant health concerns by the standards that are used to ensure safety of workplaces.

Blog post: New e-cig risk assessment uses the wrong standardStan Glantz, University of California, San Francisco. Response to the aforementioned report notes that the study has been publicized by e-cigarette advocacy groups. Glantz states, “This paper uses the same approach to risk assessment that I remember from risk assessments done of secondhand smoke years ago by tobacco industry apologists that concluded that secondhand tobacco smoke could not produce any adverse health effects.

Comment: Should e-cigarettes be regulated as a medicinal device?The Lancet. The writers make the case for regulating e-cigarettes as consumer products, rather than as medicinal devices.

  U.S. Anti-smoking Ads Tied to 1.6 Million Quit Smoking Attempts

Reuters, 9/9/2013
A 2012 national TV ad campaign that featured real people living with diseases and injuries caused by smoking was tied to 1.6 million smokers making quit attempts and over 100,000 kicking the habit, according to new research from U.S. health officials.

  E-Cigarette Use Doubles Among Students, Survey Shows

The New York Times, 9/5/2013
The share of middle and high school students who use e-cigarettes doubled in 2012 from the previous year, federal data show. The rise is prompting concerns among health officials that the new devices could be creating as many health problems as they are solving.

A statement from Legacy titled Two New Studies Reiterate the Urgent Need for Science and Regulation of E-Cigarettes. “There are serious questions about the quality control of these devices, long-term health effects, efficacy as a quit smoking aide, and their appeal as a potential gateway device to traditional tobacco use”.

 A new study published in the journal Tobacco Control compares the carcinogen exposure between users of water pipes, cigarette smokers and nonsmokers. The results show that water pipe smokers were exposed to slightly lower carcinogen levels than smokers, but the difference was not statistically significant.

 A new study on the effects of e-cigarettes on the indoor environment:  Does E-Cigarette Consumption Cause Passive Vaping?


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