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Tobacco Use Linked To Worse Outcomes In HPV-Positive Head And Neck Cancer, U-M Study Finds

Patients with head and neck cancer linked to high risk human papillomavirus, or HPV, have worse outcomes if they are current or former tobacco users, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. High-risk HPVs are the same viruses that are associated with cancers of the uterine cervix. The research suggests that current or former tobacco users may need a more aggressive treatment regimen than patients who have never used tobacco. Past research shows that HPV-positive head and neck cancers tend to be more responsive to current treatments and these patients overall tend to have better outcomes than patients with HPV-negative tumors.

Quitting Smoking Especially Difficult For Select Groups

With the national trend toward quitting smoking flat, psychologists are finding some success with treatments aimed at helping smokers from underserved groups, including racial and ethnic minorities and those with psychiatric disorders. In a special section of this month's issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association, researchers report on several effective treatments that may help these smokers in an effort to increase national smoking cessation rates. The percentage of American smokers rose from 19.8 percent in 2007 to 20.6 percent in 2008, after a 10-year steady decline in smoking rates, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Spanish Language Ads Get Message Across For Smoking Quit Lines

It pays to advertise. It especially pays to advertise in Spanish if you want Spanish speakers to use a telephone helpline to quit smoking. A study of usage of the Colorado QuitLine before and during a Spanish-language media campaign found that more Latinos called during and after the campaign and a greater percentage of those who called successfully quit smoking. Smoking cessation phone services offer counseling or coaching on how to quit smoking and sometimes offer nicotine replacement therapy products. The study published online and in the April supplement of the American Journal of Public Health took place in 2007. Spanish-language ads ran on television and radio and in movie theaters that catered to a Latino audience.

Study Reveals A Need To Evaluate And Regulate Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes should be evaluated, regulated, labeled and packaged in a manner consistent with cartridge content and product effect even if that effect is a total failure to deliver nicotine as demonstrated in a study supported by the National Cancer Institute and led by a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher. The research was published in the Online First issue of the journal Tobacco Control. The article will appear in the February print issue of the journal. Electronic cigarettes consist of a battery, heater and cartridge containing a solution of nicotine, propylene glycol and other chemicals and have been marketed to deliver nicotine without tobacco toxicants.

Insufficient Counseling For Obesity And Smoking Due To Cost To Patients

Reducing obesity and smoking have become national priorities in the United States. Research has shown that intensive counseling can positively impact each problem. However, because such counseling is typically not covered by medical insurance, cost can be a barrier. In a study published in the March 2010 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, found that when primary care clinicians and community counselors collaborated to offer free counseling services to patients, there was an overwhelming positive response. Yet, when the same services were offered at a cost to the patient, there was a significant drop in participation.

New TAU Study Proves Smoking Cessation Significantly Increases Cardiac Health Later In Life

Smoking affects your cardiac health both before and after a major event like a heart attack. But how much? And does cutting back instead of quitting have a positive effect as well? There are definitive answers in a new study from Tel Aviv University, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind. The research found that quitting smoking after a heart attack has about the same positive effect as other major interventions such as lipid-lowering agents like statins or more invasive procedures. Study results were reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. "It's really the most broad and eye-opening study of its kind, " says Dr. Yariv Gerber of TAU's Sackler School of Medicine.

News From The Annals Of Internal Medicine, February 2, 2010

1. Among Noninvasive Imaging Tests, CT More Accurate Than MRI for Ruling Out Coronary Artery Disease Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a major cause of death in the United States. Typically, CAD is diagnosed through conventional coronary angiography. However, this technique is invasive and potentially risky. While several less invasive tests can be used to view the coronary arteries, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are preferred because of their superior image quality. An obvious indication for these noninvasive tests would be to reliably rule out CAD in patients with a low-to-moderate likelihood of the disease, thus avoiding an unnecessary invasive test.

Decline In Exposure To Secondhand Smoke Among Children In England Since 1996

The most comprehensive study to date of secondhand smoke exposure among children in England is published in the journal Addiction. The study, carried out by researchers from the University of Bath's School for Health, reveals that exposure to household secondhand smoke among children aged 4-15 has declined steadily since 1996. The researchers wanted to find out if there were ways to predict the levels of secondhand smoke encountered by children in private households, and whether those levels were changing over time. Using eight surveys conducted between 1996 and 2006, researchers took saliva samples from over 19, 000 children aged 4-15 years. The saliva samples were analyzed for a substance called cotinine, an indicator of tobacco smoke exposure.

Single Payer Bill Passes Calif. Senate; Other States Consider Smaller Health Care Changes

California's state Senate Thursday voted for a bill creating a single-payer health system Thursday. The Associated Press : "The California Senate approved creating a government-run health care system for the nation's most populous state on Thursday, ignoring a veto threat from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger" (Thompson, 1/28) The New York Times : "While the move came as questions arose over the prospects of Congress adopting national health care legislation, the author of the California bill, State Senator Mark Leno, said that the timing was coincidental. ... 'Scott Brown did not push me to do this, ' said Mr. Leno, referring to the newly elected Republican senator from Massachusetts" (McKinley, 1/28).

Most Ex-Smokers Quit Successfully Without Help

Researchers reviewing hundreds of recent studies found that most ex-smokers ceased smoking successfully without help and found it less difficult than expected: they urge health authorities to do more to highlight this message and so that smoker's perceptions are not dominated by messages put out by tobacco control advocates and pharmaceutical companies who are overpromoting the idea that smokers need support like nicotine replacement products to help them quit. The study was the work of Drs Simon Chapman and Ross MacKenzie from the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, Australia and you can read a report about it in the 9 February issue of PLoS Medicine.

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