Displaying 1-10 letters out of 345 published
Important differences not significant and risk negligibleNOT PEER REVIEWED Surface nicotine levels in non-smoking rooms of smoking and smoke-free hotels were found to be significantly different. However, the authors found that "Geometric mean urine cotinine levels did not differ between non-smoking confederates staying in non-smoking rooms of smoke-free and smoking hotels." Therefore surface nicotine is not important. No significant difference was found between air nicotine levels, which is the major cause of concern to those who believe extremely low levels of ETS to be harmful. Also, non-smoking rooms in smoking hotels recorded nicotine levels 1/15th those of smoking rooms. The usual estimate for cigarette equivalence to spending 4 hours a day in a smoky bar is 10 cigarettes a year. The highest I have read claimed by anti tobacco campaigners is 150 cigarettes a year. Roughly, staying in a non-smoking room in a smoking hotel poses at most the same risk as smoking 10 cigarettes a year and more probably, less than one cigarette a year. Both these risks are negligible. See also http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/new-study-warns-of-dangers-of-thirdhand.html
Conflict of Interest:
Protecting youth and addicts from the neo-nicotine industry
NOT PEER REVIEWED Sincere thanks, Dr. Borland, for your insightful comments recognizing the inherent conflicts between harm elimination and reduction, between policy and profits. As a nicotine cessation educator monitoring the latest wave of irresponsible harm reduction marketing, I have grave concerns that we are only one youth fad away from seeing adolescent nicotine dependency rates skyrocket.
Nicotine addiction is every bit as permanent a disease as alcoholism. It is a wanting disorder in which brain dopamine pathways assign the same use priority to nicotine as they do to eating food. But instead of desiring food 2 to 3 times daily, imagine feeling wanting, urges or craves 15, 20 or even 30 times daily. Imagine that next fix quickly being life's new #1 priority, no longer being able to recall the beauty of going weeks, months and years without once wanting for nicotine.
Marketing suggesting that replenishment anxiety relief is "pleasure" is akin to suggesting that it feels good to stop pounding your fingers with a hammer. We are also seeing laughable harm reduction marketing centered on the concept of "freedom," or that nicotine is as safe as caffeine.
U.S. First Amendment commercial free speech concerns will likely trump marketing control initiatives. In nations where non-profit control is possible, history suggests that keen awareness as to financial conflicts among those permitted to define policy is critical if dependency onset avoidance and effective cessation are goals.
Your government agenda concerns are warranted, Dr. Borland. Nearly four years since passage of the U.S. Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and we have yet to see any meaningful change. Imagine 400,000 annual smoking related deaths and no sense of political urgency.
Imagine knowing that NRT shows efficacy against placebo in studies we know were not blind, while totally ignoring NRT's population level ineffectiveness evidence-base, and the prospect that three decades of feeding replacement nicotine to nicotine addicts may have cost millions their lives.
I am convinced that replacement nicotine has effectively destroyed cessation. Having watched decline in adult smoking grind to near standstill, we now watch as the frustrated harm reductionist throws cessation under the bus.
I live in a nation where this year cold turkey is again expected to generate more successful ex-smokers than all other methods combined. Yet, locating any researcher curious as to the keys to successful abrupt cessation is mission impossible. If neo-nicotine industry influence is allowed to define government's harm reduction agenda expect more of the same.
I submit that advancing delivery technology and declining prices are already heralding the cigarette's demise. As the cigarette industry moves toward enhanced smokeless, NRT and electronic nicotine delivery, the pharmaceutical industry is moving from cessation into maintenance. Market forces are causing it to occur without intervention.
But if heroin were legal would we allow it to be marketed in front of children? An immediate priority should be to compel stores to choose between marketing one of the planet's most captivating chemicals and having adolescents as customers. How hard would it be to pass local laws requiring that "all" nicotine products be sold inside clearly marked nicotine sales locations, where underage youth may not enter? Anyway, well done, Dr. Borland, in encouraging this much needed discussion.
Conflict of Interest:
Director of an abrupt nicotine cessation website and author of "Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home"
Re:Large-scale unassisted smoking cessation over 50 years: lessons from history for endgame planning in tobacco control
NOT PEER REVIEWED Jane, We of course agree that smokers who decide to quit do not make that decision in information environments devoid of all the sorts of influences you list. We both have spent decades contributing to those influences. Those influences are "why" people make quit attempts, but by assisted and unassisted, we are referring to "how" they quit. It's unlikely that many smokers would answer a question on how they quit by talking about an anti-smoking ad they saw on TV.
Over the past 30 years literally billions of dollars has been spent globally by pharmaceutical companies and by dedicated smoking cessation services on advertising, marketing and salaries trying to get smokers to use their cessation products and services. Yet despite this, very small proportions of smokers are willing to attend services like yours, and even smaller proportions attribute their successful cessation to their attendance. Only 3-6% of smokers are even willing to call a quitline. So good luck with your hopes that somehow this will turn around when there's little evidence over these decades that such services have any significant mass reach potential.
Conflict of Interest:
Large-scale unassisted smoking cessation over 50 years: lessons from history for endgame planning in tobacco control
NOT PEER REVIEWED Simon and Melanie,
Thanks for the article. With respect, i'm not convinced by your arguments here however.
Firstly, it is incorrect to broadly assume that millions upon millions of people in the 'real world' quit smoking unassisted. Some of them may have, but most would have been given some kind of assistance, albeit even if very brief. It may be advice from their GP, watched television health marketing messages, received cessation strategy suggestions from friends and relatives, biofeedback on their blood pressure or lung x-ray, advice in a book...and so on. Are you saying that this is not cessation assistance? It's just that it's not the more intense assistance such as NRT that you may be referring to.
Of the millions and millions of those who have quit that you refer to without the more intensive interventions, you do not mention just how many of these are now either a. dead from smoking or b. living a life of misery due to not quitting soon enough. It is a simple but compelling public health argument that we must try to reduce the risk of smoking related disease as best we can, and as soon as we can. This means embracing evidence based interventions such as group behaviour therapy and medications like varenicline. We can not escape the fact that these more intensive approaches increase the odds of quitting (see cochrane reviews)
We will never know just how many people quit 'unassiste'd yet contracted a smoking related disease. Yet they may however have otherwise lived a long and 'relatively' healthy life if only they had professional, intensive support earlier.
Sure, it remains to be seen if devices like the e-cig will enhance cessation, but if it turns out that it actually does, then there is a solid argument to support it's use. If I can increase my odds of quitting now by using say the e-cig, i'd rather at least try that than finally quitting 'unassisted'years down the track only to wind up with lung cancer.
Conflict of Interest:
Consultant conducting smoking cessation interventions and cessation skills training
Re:No evidence that the tobacco industry evaded the FDA's ban on 'Light' cigarette descriptors
NOT PEER REVIEWED This comment summarizes, but mischaracterizes the findings and conclusions of our study. Our analyses and interpretation are based strictly on the letter of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA) and its requirements, including Section 911(b)(2)(ii), which bans "the use of explicit or implicit descriptors that convey messages of reduced risk including 'light', 'mild' and 'low', or similar descriptions in a tobacco product, label, labeling or advertising". The findings demonstrated that manufacturers did not simply remove descriptors, to be in compliance with the law, but introduced new color-coded brand name descriptors which smokers were able to recognize and easily identify the formerly labeled "lights" brands. We did not examine the use of colors themselves, which may be protected by the First Amendment, but rather the use of color terms. The marketing materials examined make explicit the fact that the use of substituted color terms in brand names is similar to the dropped "descriptors, so that consumers will continue to recognize these brands as "lights". The National Cancer Institute previously found that filter ventilation has been used by manufacturers to delineate the misleading "lights" categories, which are now coded, and which conveyed messages of reduced risk resulting in increased initiation and reduced cessation. Our conclusions are stated in conservative terms that manufacturers appear to have evaded this critical element of the FSPTCA, which is intended to protect the public health.
Conflict of Interest:
No evidence that the tobacco industry evaded the FDA's ban on 'Light' cigarette descriptors
NOT PEER REVIEWED The authors of "Has the tobacco industry evaded the FDA's ban on 'Light' cigarette descriptors?" examined four distinct indicators to address this research question. They found that: (1) the major cigarette manufacturers removed the terms explicitly stated in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2010 by switching to colour terms (e.g., Marlboro Gold) to designate sub-brands; (2) the mean percent filter ventilation did not significantly differ between 2009 Light-designated cigarettes and the corresponding post-ban sub-brands; (3) one year after the ban on Light designations, 88%-91% of current smokers reported that it was 'somewhat easy' or 'very easy' to identify their usual brand of cigarettes by the banned descriptor names, Lights, Mediums, or Ultra- lights; and (4) sales of previously-designated Light sub-brands did not significantly change between the first two quarters of 2010 (pre-ban) and the second two quarters (post-ban). Based on these findings the authors concluded that, "Tobacco manufacturers appear to have evaded a critical element of the FSPTCA, the ban on misleading descriptors that convey reduced health risk messages".
This overreaching conclusion is not supported by the evidence reported in the article. Taken in turn: (1) the major tobacco companies demonstrated 100% compliance with the law by eliminating all terms specified in the FSPTCA--the use of colour terms to designate sub-brands is not regulated by the FSPTCA; (2) there is nothing in the FSPTCA that requires, or even suggests, that tobacco companies should modify filter ventilation levels; (3) it is hardly surprising that one year after the ban, almost all then-current smokers could remember the old Full- flavored/Medium/Light/Ultra-light designation of their usual brand of cigarettes--a much more telling test of the effect of these designations on brand preference would have required surveying new initiates to the smoking habit--and in any case, there is little discernable relevance of these data to the question of whether or not the tobacco industry evaded the FDA's ban on Light-type cigarette descriptors; and (4) one would not expect habitual smokers to change brands based on the repackaging mandated by the FSPTCA (provided they could identify the new equivalent), only that recent smoking initiates might display different brand preferences in the first and second two-quarter periods of 2010 due to the switch from Lights -type descriptors to colour-based descriptors, an effect that the published study would have had very limited power to confirm, had the authors looked for it.
Conflict of Interest:
Smoking scenes in Japanese comics (manga)NOT PEER REVIEWED
Re:Consequences of TC policy
NOT PEER REVIEWED Prof. Ruth Malone is a real, well known catalyst in controlling use of tobacco worldwide. Now her one very sharp weapon to control tobacco use is to implement a policy in terms of rejecting tobacco industry funded research manuscripts publication. There are currently hundreds of thousands of journals including open access journals and are these journals going to follow the steps of TC policy of TCJ? If the answer to this question is no, the tobacco industry funded research and research articles could be published in journals other than TCJ. Even if the answer to the above question is yes, assuredly not all medical sciences journals will implement this TC ploicy. Therefore there remains a strong possibility that the tobacco industry funded research will continue and their findings, biased or unbiased, will be regularly published in a multitude of journals across the world. The tobacco business, from seedling to production to manufacturing, can not be eradicated completely, but concerned people concerted efforts directed towards controlling this slow fatal addiction should persist and continue in future. Dr. Naseem Akhtar Qureshi MD, PhD Dr. Abdullah M. Al-Bedah MD
Conflict of Interest:
Implementing Tobacco Control's policy on tobacco industry-funded research.
NOT PEER REVIEWED The decision to ban tobacco industry-funded research in the Journal could be the opportunity for pointless byzantine discussions from the pros and cons.(1) However, the issue is more concrete. First, Ruth Malone acknowledged the editorial board for vigorous discussions and I would like to know how many members opposed the ban. Second, what is the definition of a tobacco industry for the Journal? Cancer Research UK has issued a Code of Practice on tobacco industry funding to universities after the Nottingham University scandal. (http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/science/funding/terms-conditions/funding- policies/policy-tobacco/ssLINK/CR_016307) It provides precise definitions. The scope is large with five possibilities, including "owning a tobacco company". Accordingly, will the Journal ban research from Chinese universities? Indeed, they are owned by China as China National Tobacco Co. the largest tobacco company in the world, no less. Last, what amount of resources will be provided and what procedures will be implemented to check that papers submitted to the Journal are not funded by the tobacco industry?
1 Malone RE. Changing Tobacco Control's policy on tobacco industry- funded research Tob Control 2013;22:1-2
Conflict of Interest:
Consequences of TC policy
Although I disagree with TC's policy to prohibit publication of research from the tobacco industry, I do understand the rationale for this decision. My concern is illustrated by the following scenario. Assume a pharmaceutical company owned by a tobacco industry has truly developed a safer tobacco/nicotine product; e.g. a nicotine inhaler, submits it to the US FDA or the UK MHRA. Both of these agencies have stated they would use industry data to decide on approval of such products. And assume the product is approved. Then, assume the pharmaceutical company wants to obtain independent replication of its own findings by reputable scientists or wants to do post-marketing research to examine the safety of its produce, and it offers a truly no-strings grant to a reputable scientist. Now, assume the scientist declines because he/she knows TC and other journals have stated any result from a tobacco-funded study is suspect, and because he/she fears stigmatization for taking tobacco money.
This scenario raises at least two questions. First, TC says one should not rely on data from tobacco industry studies and doing so is unethical; thus, is the FDA unethical for relying on tobacco industry data to decide on approval? Is the FDA now saying the tobacco industry is ethical enough to believe their data? If so, why does TC disagree with the FDA?
Second, TC says the tobacco industry has been unethical in the past (I totally agree); thus, should we assume they will be unethical for the entire future? If we did this within the justice system, we would recommend no-one ever hire an ex-felon. So what could the industry do to prove that it no longer tries to influence the scientific process?
I bring up these issues, because I think that it is very unlikely that we will ever have a world without nicotine products produced by the tobacco industry. To me this is as likely as alcohol prohibition in the US. If we will have the tobacco industry for the foreseeable future, then a plan in which we can encourage/force the tobacco industry into ethical practices is a better plan than one that tries to eliminate the tobacco industry.
Conflict of Interest:
I have recieved grants and consulting fees from many for-profit and non-profit organizations that develop or sell smoking cessation products or services and organizations that engage in tobacco control activities.
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