FDA to Lower Nicotine in Cigarettes


The FDA has issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) to explore lowering nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes to non-addictive levels, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, announced Thursday.

“This new regulatory step advances a comprehensive policy framework that we believe could help avoid millions of tobacco-related deaths across the country,” Gottlieb explained in a written press statement.

The proposal to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes is the centerpiece of a comprehensive tobacco regulatory strategy announced by FDA officials last July.

The FDA will conduct a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence involving nicotine’s role in cigarette addiction and seek input from the public. At this time, however, no specific nicotine limit has been set.

“We’re interested in public input on critical questions such as: What potential maximum nicotine level would be appropriate for the protection of public health? Should a product standard be implemented all at once or gradually? What unintended consequences — such as the potential for illicit trade or for addicted smokers to compensate for lower nicotine by smoking more — might occur as a result?” Gottlieb said in the statement.

He added that the FDA will soon issue two additional ANPRMs: one to seek data and comment on the role that flavors — including menthol — play in the initiation, use and cessation of tobacco products, and another to further explore the regulation of premium cigars.

The FDA commissioner also vowed to jump start efforts to speed development and regulation of novel nicotine replacement therapies to give smokers who want to quit more options to help them do so.

“When I returned to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year, it was immediately clear that tackling tobacco use — and cigarette smoking in particular — would be one of the most important actions I could take to advance public health,” the statement said.

“With that in mind, we’re taking a pivotal step today that could ultimately bring us closer to our vision of a world where combustible cigarettes would no longer create or sustain addiction — making it harder for future generations to become addicted in the first place and allowing more currently addicted smokers to quit or switch to potentially less harmful products.”

In an early afternoon press briefing, Gottlieb discussed finding from an analysis estimating the public health benefit of lowering nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine in conjunction with the FDA announcement.

The analysis suggested that about 5 million additional adult smokers would kick the habit within a year of reducing nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels. By the year 2100, according to the model, more than 33 million people — mostly youth and young adults — would have avoided becoming smokers and smoking rates would drop from the current 15% to 1.4%.

“All told, this framework could result in more than 8 million fewer tobacco-caused deaths through the end of the century,” Gottlieb said. “These estimates underscore the tremendous opportunity to save so many lives and forge a new path forward to combat the overwhelming disease and death caused by cigarettes.”

Roughly 40 million people in the U.S. smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use is estimated to contribute to more than 480,000 deaths each year.

FDA Center for Tobacco Products director Mitch Zeller, JD, said establishing a maximum nicotine level that would make cigarettes non-addictive has the potential to get adult smokers to quit and keep future generations of kids who experiment with cigarettes from becoming addicted.

A spokesman for tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds vowed to work with federal officials as they move forward.

“As this process gets underway, we look forward to working with FDA on its science-based review of nicotine levels in cigarettes and to build on the opportunity of establishing a regulatory framework that is based on tobacco harm reduction and recognizes the continuum of risk,” said R.J. Reynolds executive vice president James Figlar.

But Erika Sward of the American Lung Association said the FDA can expect challenges from tobacco companies.

“We can expect to see them put forward illegitimate and faulty studies during the fact-finding process,” she told MedPage Today. “An immense amount of political will will be needed to get this across the finish line.”

Sward called on the FDA to consider reducing nicotine levels to non-addictive levels in all combustible tobacco products.

This sentiment was echoed by Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids president Matthew Myers in a written statement.

“For this proposal to have maximum impact, the FDA should reduce nicotine levels in all combustible tobacco products and not just cigarettes, to prevent switching to other harmful products,” he said. “It is encouraging that the FDA recognizes this concern, noting in today’s regulatory notice that ‘if a standard were to apply to cigarettes only, it could be substantially less effective.’”

American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown called the FDA action “a commendable move in the right direction.”

“We encourage the agency to not stop here but move forward quickly with a proposed rule on nicotine levels — not just for cigarettes, but for every combustible tobacco product on the market.”

The FDA Changes Its Mind on Vaping, Cracks Down on Nicotine Instead


There’s still a lot we need to figure out about e-cigarettes when it comes to their health impacts. But smoking definitely kills, and regulators in the US have a new plan for tackling the problem.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just announced a comprehensive new roadmap for regulating tobacco products, and they have dramatically shifted their focus to nicotine addiction. And as part of the new plan, some of last year’s stringent regulations on vaping are going to be relaxed.

The FDA regulations for e-cigarette products were announced last May, and they were so stringent that some people were worried it could wipe out the burgeoning industry, despite the fact there’s evidence vaping does help smokers with quitting.

But now the agency is changing tack, putting nicotine at the heart of the issue and admitting that when it comes to ways of delivering this addictive substance, there’s a spectrum of methods – and some, like traditional cigarettes, are far more unhealthy than others.

“It’s the other chemical compounds in tobacco, and in the smoke created by setting tobacco on fire, that directly and primarily cause the illness and death, not the nicotine,” said FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

“Even with unanswered questions about benefits and risks, there are now different technologies to deliver nicotine for those who need it, that doesn’t bring with it the deadly consequences of burning tobacco and inhaling the resulting smoke.”

At the heart of FDA’s new strategy will be a push to lower nicotine levels in traditional cigarettes to levels that won’t cause addiction. The long-term goal here is to prevent young people from getting hooked when they try their first smoke.

“I’ve seen the science in this area and believe it holds much promise,” said Gottlieb.

“We intend to take a hard look at the existing published literature on this important topic and hear from stakeholders, which could provide the basis for regulatory action.”

And while the tobacco industry will be forced to cut back on addictive nicotine levels in their products, the manufacturers of e-cigarettes have been granted an extension on applications for product approval.

“The FDA is committed to encouraging innovations that have the potential to make a notable public health difference,” the agency explained in a statement.

“This action will afford the agency time to explore clear and meaningful measures to make tobacco products less toxic, appealing and addictive.”

But it doesn’t mean the agency is enabling a vaping boom. The agency will still work to develop product standards that will prevent known e-cigarette risks, such as exploding batteries or preventing children from getting easy access to all those sweet-smelling e-cigarette liquids.

On top of that, the FDA will be seeking public input on several aspects of the new plan, including the question of whether the flavouring of tobacco products – say, menthol or cherry cigarettes – makes them more enticing to young people.

They will also look into the best approaches to regulating e-cigarette flavours like bubblegum and gummy bear, which could be appealing to kids.

While the FDA won’t encourage you to go and vape to your heart’s content, it’s certainly a shift towards recognising that e-cigarettes are an innovative way to deliver nicotine, and that regulators need to tackle them differently.

“The overwhelming amount of death and disease attributable to tobacco is caused by addiction to cigarettes –  the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users,” said Gottlieb.

“Unless we change course, 5.6 million young people alive today will die prematurely later in life from tobacco use.

“Envisioning a world where cigarettes would no longer create or sustain addiction, and where adults who still need or want nicotine could get it from alternative and less harmful sources, needs to be the cornerstone of our efforts – and we believe it’s vital that we pursue this common ground.”

Menthol and nicotine combined can be harmful for lungs


Representational image.

 A new study has demonstrated that menthol acts in combination with nicotine to desensitize can be harmful for lungs.
Senior author Gerard Ahern, PhD, an associate professor of pharmacology at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC), said that in addition to desensitizing the receptors in the lung and airways, menthol appears to slow or prevent the recovery of sensitivity after the first insult, likely placing the receptors in a desensitized state.
Study co-author, Kenneth Kellar, PhD, a professor of pharmacology at GUMC, said that these receptors were also found in the brain, but they did not know yet what effect menthol had on those receptors, or whether they contribute, in any way, to nicotine addiction.
Ahern and his colleague say their study provides a better understanding of how menthol affects the function of the a34 receptor, one of the most prevalent nicotinic acetylcholine receptors expressed in the peripheral nervous system. These receptors are expressed in airway sensory nerves as well as other neurons.
Ahern added that the issue may be that menthol in the presence of nicotine may reduce the irritation enough that a smoker can inhale more deeply, bringing not just nicotine but toxic smoke products farther into the lungs.

TSRI Scientists Find that Nicotine Use Increases Compulsive Alcohol Consumption


Why do smokers have a five to ten times greater risk of developing alcohol dependence than nonsmokers? Do smokers have a greater tendency toward addiction in general or does nicotine somehow reinforce alcohol consumption?

Now, a study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) helps provide insight into these questions, showing that, in rat models, nicotine exposure actually promotes alcohol dependence.

“It’s a vicious cycle,” said TSRI biologist Olivier George, a senior author of the new study. “Nicotine makes individuals crave alcohol to ‘reward’ the brain and reduce stress.”

In the study, published April 14, 2015, in The Journal of Neuroscience, the researchers also showed that the combination of nicotine and alcohol activated a unique group of neurons, giving positive reinforcement to continue alcohol and nicotine use.

In conducting the new research, the team first tested whether nicotine exposure could affect alcohol-drinking behavior in rat models. They started with two groups of male rats. Both groups were given access to alcohol to establish the baseline of how much they would drink. The rats drank a little bit, perhaps the equivalent of one or two beers for a human, but they stopped before showing signs of drunkenness.

After this baseline test, the researchers used alcohol vapor to induce alcohol dependence in one group of rats. Dependence developed in about two months. In subsequent tests where alcohol was freely available, these rats consumed the equivalent of a six-pack of beer and had blood alcohol levels close to three times the legal limit for humans.

The second group of rats was exposed to both nicotine and alcohol vapor. These rats developed alcohol dependence much faster—and they began drinking the equivalent of a six-pack in just three weeks. “We had never seen such a rapid escalation of alcohol drinking before,” said George.

The researchers then offered the rats alcohol with the bitter compound quinine added to see if they could stop the rats from drinking. Most rats decreased their alcohol consumption to avoid the bitter taste, but the nicotine-exposed rats just kept drinking. This indicated that their behavior was compulsive, much like alcoholism in humans.

Using further neurological studies, George and his colleagues tracked this compulsive behavior to the activation of “stress” and “reward” pathways in the brain.

Previous studies from George’s lab had shown that nicotine activates certain “reward” neurons in the brain—giving positive reinforcement to keep smoking. At the same time, nicotine activates “stress” neurons in the brain, giving negative reinforcement. This stress can lead individuals to crave alcohol to both activate the reward system and calm the stress system.

The compulsive alcohol consumption and neurological pathways seen in the new study suggest that alcohol works with nicotine to further activate the brain’s reward system and dampen the stress of nicotine exposure.

This interaction may explain why it is difficult for smokers to quit drinking, and vice versa. Interestingly, the combination of neurons activated by nicotine and alcohol together is different from the neurons activated by each substance on its own.

“Now we can try to find compounds that will specifically inactivate those neurons,” said George.

In addition to George, other authors of the paper, “Chronic Nicotine Activates Stress/Reward-Related Brain Regions and Facilitates the Transition to Compulsive Alcohol Drinking,” were Fabio C. Cruz and Bruce T. Hope of the Behavioral Neurosciences Branch of Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (IRP/NIDA/NIH/DHHS); Leandro F. Vendruscolo, Giordano de Guglielmo and Marian L. Logrip of TSRI; George Koob of TSRI; and Rodrigo M. Leao of IRP/NIDA/NIH/DHHS, TSRI and the University of Estadual Paulista.

How To Flush Nicotine Out Of Your Body Naturally?


When you smoke a cigarette, nicotine circulating in the bloodstream gives a kind of high. On an average 6-8 hours is how long the nicotine from a single cigarette lasts. Most of that nicotine will get eliminated in the urine. 48-72 hours is how long it can take for most of the stored nicotine to be metabolized and leave your body. 20-30 days is how long the nicotine by-product cotinine can continue to circulate in the bloodstream.

Vitamin C is the best known substance for removing nicotine from the bloodstream. It increases metabolism and creates white blood cells. Fruits and vegetables help your body flush nicotine – they’re good for your health, they contain water and they make cigarettes taste less appealing.

In fact, research shows that if you eat more fruit and vegetables, you may have an easier time staying tobacco-free for longer. A study, which was published online by University of Buffalo public health researchers, authors from UB’s School of Public Health and Health professions surveyed 1,000 smokers aged 25 and older from across the nation. Fourteen months after the survey, the authors followed up with the respondents to see if they stayed tobacco-free during the previous month.

What they found was that those who consumed the most fruit and vegetables were 3 times more likely to abstain from tobacco for at least 30 days than those consuming small amounts of fruit and vegetables. In addition, those consuming more fruit and vegetables smoked less often per day, waited longer before having their first daily cigarette, and scored better on a nicotine-dependent test.

Increased consumption of fruit and vegetables help people to quit smoking due to the following reasons:

 Less nicotine dependence.
 High fiber content makes people feel fuller – since smokers sometimes confuse hunger with smoking urges.
 Unlike meats, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages, fruit and vegetables don’t enhance and may even worsen the taste of tobacco.
 Engaging in a healthier lifestyle could consciously and subconsciously cause smokers to further shift out of an unhealthy lifestyle involving smoking.

Foods To Flush Out Nicotine

1. Water

Nicotine dehydrates the body, so drink water to rehydrate. Keeping up a good supply helps your body sweat the nicotine out of your body.

2. Nettle

This herb is loaded with iron and is a useful disinfectant and great at fighting infection.

3. Vegetables

Eat celery, along with such vegetables as zucchinis, egg-plants, beans, and even cucumbers, which affect cigarette taste. Eating a lot of these vegetables can decrease nicotine dependence. Do not eat a lot of sweet vegetable, that are high in sugar, because excessive amounts of glucose activate the areas of the brain responsible for pleasure and satisfaction. Thus, glucose can stimulate cravings.

4. Pine needle tea

This tea has been traditionally used to disinfect the mouth and throat, but can also be a helpful aid in lung health.

5. Oranges

Contains high levels of vitamin C to replace vitamin C in your body that smoking reduces. Eating orangesboosts your metabolism to flush nicotine faster and reduces stress.

6. Kiwi fruit

Kiwi helps you eliminate nicotine from the body and replenish Vitamins A, C and E that smoking reduces.

7. Carrot juice

Carrot juice has vitamins A, B, C, K that help eliminate nicotine from the body. Nicotine also damages your skin, and carrot juice is high in vitamins that are good for the skin.

8. Broccoli

Contains high levels of vitamins B5 and C. Replenish vitamin C by eating broccoli and keep your metabolism high. Broccoli contains a substance that protects lungs from toxin-related damage.

9. Spinach

Rich in vitamins and folic acid, so it’s good for your body and especially good in making tobacco taste bad.

Nicotine withdrawal traced to very specific group of brain cells.


Nicotine withdrawal might take over your body, but it doesn’t take over your brain. The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are driven by a very specific group of neurons within a very specific brain region, according to a report in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, on November 14. Although caution is warranted, the researchers say, the findings in mice suggest that therapies directed at this group of neurons might one day help people quit smoking.

“We were surprised to find that one population of neurons within a single brain region could actually control physical nicotine withdrawal behaviors,” says Andrew Tapper of the Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Tapper and his colleagues first obtained mice addicted to nicotine by delivering the drug to mice in their water for a period of 6 weeks. Then they took the nicotine away. The mice started scratching and shaking in the way a dog does when it is wet. Close examination of the animals’ brains revealed abnormally increased activity in neurons within a single region known as the interpeduncular nucleus.

When the researchers artificially activated those neurons with light, animals showed behaviors that looked like nicotine withdrawal, whether they had been exposed to the drug or not. The reverse was also true: treatments that lowered activity in those neurons alleviated nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

That the interpeduncular nucleus might play such a role in withdrawal from nicotine makes sense because the region receives connections from other areas of the brain involved in nicotine use and response, as well as feelings of anxiety. The interpeduncular nucleus is also densely packed with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors that are the molecular targets of nicotine.

It is much less clear whether the findings related to nicotine will be relevant to other forms of addiction, but there are some hints that they may.

“Smoking is highly prevalent in people with other substance-use disorders, suggesting a potential interaction between nicotine and other drugs of abuse,” Tapper says. “In addition, naturally occurring mutations in genes encoding the nicotinic receptor subunits that are found in the interpeduncular nucleus have been associated with drug and alcohol dependence.”

Source: Cell Press

8 Natural Ways to Quit Smoking Cigarettes.


Compelling reasons to stop smoking far outnumber effective ways to do so. Even with recent revelations that tobacco is contaminated with the highly carcinogenic radioisotope polonium-210, the addictive hold it maintains on millions of smokers worldwide who already know it causes premature death and cancer is far more powerful than the desire for self-preservation, it would seem.

This is why effective, natural interventions for smoking cessation are so needed today and why we are excited to report on a new study involving a solution that can be found not at your local pharmacy, but at your local grocer’s fruit stand.

In a new study published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand titled, “Efficacy of fresh lime for smoking cessation,“[i] researchers from the Department of Medicine, Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand tested the effectiveness of fresh lime as a smoking cessation aid compared with nicotine gum.

100 regular smokers aged 18 or older who were willing to quit were entered into a six-month long randomized, controlled trial, receiving either fresh lime (47) or nicotine gum (53) over the course of the study. Smoking reduction was confirmed through measuring exhaled carbon monoxide (CO), with measurements at weeks 9-12 being the primary outcome. Severity of craving was also measured using a visual analogue scale.

The results of the trial showed that there was no significant difference in abstinence rates between the groups during weeks 9-12, although they did observe that “7-day point prevalence abstinence at week 4 of the fresh lime users was statistically significant lower than those using nicotine gum (38.3% vs. 58.5%; p = 0.04). They also found fresh lime users tended to report more intense cravings than the nicotine gum group, but the number of cravings were found not to differ significantly between the groups.

The report concluded, “Fresh lime can be used effectively as a smoking cessation aid, although not as good as nicotine gum in reducing cravings.”‘

Lime

Lime, of course, is an easily accessible and non-toxic alternative to nicotine gum, and physiologically has a number of ‘side benefits,’ including alkalinizing the tissues, which are normally more acidic in tobacco users to begin with.  It is also an anti-infective agent, having been demonstrated to have significant antimicrobial activity against multiple strains of drug resistant E. coli,[ii] and inhibiting the survival of Vibrio cholera, the pathogen that contributes to cholera, in foods;[iii] another nice ‘side benefit’ considering smokers often have compromised immunity.

Additional evidence-based natural aids for smoking cessation include:

Acupunture: Acupuncture treatment ameliorated the smoking withdrawal symptoms as well as the selective attention to smoking-related visual cues in smokers. [iv]

Exercise: Five minutes of moderate intensity exercise is associated with a short-term reduction in desire to smoke and tobacco withdrawal symptoms.[v] [vi]

Hypnosis: Hypnosis combined with nicotine patches compares favorably to standard behavioral counseling for smoking cessation.[vii] In a meta-analysis of 59 studies hypnosis was judged to be partially efficacious in the treatment of smoking cessation.[viii]

Black Pepper: Inhalation of vapor from black pepper reduces smoking withdrawal symptoms.[ix]

Mindfulness: Mindfulness-based interventions reduce the urge to smoke in college student smokers.[x]

Self-Massage: Smoking cravings are reduced by self-massage.[xi]

Rhodiola rosea: Rhodiola rosea has a therapeutic effect in the treatment of smoking cessation.[xii]

St. John’s Wort: There is preclinical evidence that St. John’s wort is therapeutic in nicotine addiction.[xiii] [xiv]  [Note: St. John’s wort can interact with a wide range of medications, and should be used under the guidance of a licensed health professional]

Source and citations: greenmedinfo.com

If you think the timing is wrong for quitting cigarettes, you are wrong – Now is the time.


I bet you didn’t know that nicotine in commercial cigarettes is up to 35 times stronger than it was in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, before Big Tobacco (Marlboro and Kool) started using ammonia to free-base it. That is the number one reason why 95% of smokers who try to quit without help will return to smoking within 6 months. Nicotine is artificial chemical control of your emotions. Some people are switching to e-cigs (electronic cigarettes), so they can keep their nicotine addiction going strong while eliminating “some” of the chemicals found in the commercial cancer sticks. Other people quit cold turkey, usually after finding out they have cancer, or after a close friend or relative winds up six feet under from the nicotine nightmare. Talk about bad timing.

Old-Cigarettes-Trash-Ashtray

Quitting “cold turkey” is very difficult. Most people who quit smoking “cave in” and start back up again within half a year, but why? That’s because most programs give little to zero advice about nutrition and building back up the nutrients and the gut “flora” (good bacteria), which is destroyed by the 4,000 chemicals in every cigarette. Also, behavior rituals like breathing patterns and hand to mouth habits must be replaced with positive ones, or they will be missed and might cause a relapse. (http://www.naturalnews.com)

Plus, on top of everything else that sends smokers back to the well, toxic food and high blood acidity can cause nicotine withdrawal symptoms to flare up and the “urge to smoke” seem more “necessary,” leading to temporary relief from cravings and stressful moments, only to drag the person back into the undertow of chemical addiction and artificial emotion control. (http://www.naturalnews.com)

On top of the big “hooks” that keep smokers addicted, the cigarette industry spends about $23,000,000 a day on advertising and promotions. The statistics are all consuming, and cigarettes cause about 5 million deaths annually worldwide. Still, people smoke and wonder why they don’t quit. Want to know why? They can’t quit because they don’t know how. Even though “Big Tobacco” got busted for fraud and settled in the billions, they’re still up to no good, free-basing nicotine and brainwashing people into the habit from which they just can’t seem to “escape.”
(http://www.cdc.gov)

23 million smokers in U.S. wish they could QUIT today

There are 46,000,000 smokers in the U.S. alone and half want to quit, but only 5% will succeed. Scary ads don’t work, and commercial cigarettes are STILL JUICED UP WITH AMMONIA, despite settling with Blue Cross Blue Shield to the tune of $6.5 billion in the 1990’s for doing just that and also marketing to children and teens. “More than 15 years has passed since the conclusion of the Minnesota tobacco trial and the signing of the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) by 46 U.S. State Attorney Generals and the US tobacco industry. The Minnesota settlement exposed the tobacco industry’s long history of deceptive marketing, advertising, and research and ultimately forced the industry to change its business practices. It has also been more than 15 years since the tobacco industry’s individual settlements with the states of Mississippi (1997), Florida (1997), and Texas (1998) … These agreements are the 5 largest settlements in the history of litigation.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

The CDC scary advertising campaign is also a dismal failure, only helping about 4% of the people who see it quit smoking, half of whom go back to smoking within 6 months, so what’s the use? Although the CDC brags that 1.6 million people TRIED to quit thanks to their scary ad campaign, how many really did quit? You can’t just scare people out of the third strongest addictive drug on the planet (nicotine); people need guidance and nutritional help.
(http://www.examiner.com)

The Number One Excuse is “Bad Timing”

The single most popular excuse that people use for not quitting is that the timing is wrong. They will say that times are TOO stressful, so they’ll have to wait, but the last thing the body needs while it’s under stress is ammonia, bleach, pesticide and plastic fumes entering the lungs, attached to chemical tar and glass fibers that cut the epithelial tissue. This breaks down the person’s immunity and makes them more susceptible to common colds, flu, viruses, bacterial infections, nasal congestion, allergies, sinus infections, bronchial infections, bladder infections, depression, sleep disorders and more. So go figure. Who needs all of that when times are stressful? Some people turn to electronic cigarettes to filter out some of the chemicals contained in commercial cigarettes (except for diethylene glycol – antifreeze – which causes leukemia!), but many of those people learn a hard lesson: nicotine damages the central cleansing organs and causes a host of its own problems, short term and long term, so bragging rights there are few and far between. (http://www.naturalnews.com)

One way out of the nicotine “prison” is to combine chemical knowledge with behavior modification and nutritional guidance. These three factors and skill bases, when taught and used correctly, have the highest success rate for helping smokers quit and stay smoke-free for life. There is a natural method that incorporates all three of these phases and is receiving excellent reviews. Studies show that smokers who seek help and follow the “yellow brick road” to a smoke-free life have an easier time “sticking to their guns.” The 14AndOut one hour program (video of the class) teaches smokers how to wean themselves off commercial cigarettes in 14 days or less and is recommended by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger and Editor of Natural News. The program has been a sensation for the past two years and there is nothing else like it on the market right now. Give 14AndOut a try and share the natural method with your friends, co-workers, relatives and/or neighbors who smoke cigarettes and speak of quitting. Stop smoking before 2014 and bring in the New Year with style and good health. Where there is a will, there is a way!

Nicotine exposure gives baby rats addictive personalities.


Results suggest explanation for why people exposed to nicotine in the womb are more likely to become smokers.

Exposure to nicotine in the womb increases the production of brain cells that stimulate appetite, leading to overconsumption of nicotine, alcohol and fatty foods in later life, according to a new study in rats.

Image

Smoking during pregnancy is known to alter fetal brain development and increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight and miscarriage. Prenatal exposure to nicotine also increases the likelihood of tobacco use and nicotine addiction in later life, but exactly how is unclear.

To understand the mechanisms behind this effect, Sarah Leibowitz, a behavioural neurobiologist at the Rockefeller University in New York, and her colleagues injected pregnant rats with small doses of nicotine — which the researchers say are comparable to the amount a pregnant woman would get from smoking one cigarette a day — and then examined the brains and behaviour of the offspring.

Image  

In a paper published today in Journal of Neuroscience1, they found that nicotine increased the production of specific types of neurons in the amygdala and hypothalamus. These cells produce orexin, enkephalin and melanin-concentrating hormone, neuropeptides that stimulate appetite and increase food intake.

Rats exposed to nicotine in the womb had more of these cells and produced more of the neuropeptides than those that were not, and this had long-term consequences on their behaviour. As adolescents, they not only self-administered more nicotine, but also ate more fat-rich food and drank more alcohol.

“These peptide systems stimulate food intake,” says Leibowitz, “but we found that they similarly increase the consumption of drugs and stimulate the brain’s reward mechanisms that promote addiction and substance abuse.”

Leibowitz notes that children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are more likely to smoke themselves during adolescence and adulthood. Her team’s findings suggest a possible mechanism for that.

The use of nicotine patches or e-cigarettes during pregnancy could have a similar effect. “Whether given subcutaneously, as in our study, or via smoking or patches, the same amount of nicotine would still get into the brain to affect neuronal development and function,” Leibowitz says.

The results highlight the toxic effects of nicotine exposure on brain development, says George Koob, a neurobiologist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. He also adds that the study casts new light on the role of these neuropeptides in reward and motivation.

In earlier work, Leibowitz and her colleagues showed that rats exposed to fat and alcohol in the womb likewise overconsume these substances as adolescents. “Our studies make it very clear that neuronal development in utero is highly sensitive to these substances,” she says, “with each promoting their overconsumption and addictive-like behaviour in the offspring.” 

She and her collaborators are now comparing the effects of nicotine, fat and alcohol to learn more about how this promotion occurs. They are also exploring ways to reverse the effects of prenatal exposure to these substances, thus preventing their overconsumption in later life, which could lead to addiction and obesity.

 

 

Source: Nature

 

Groundbreaking Research Exposes the Serious Health Consequences of Thirdhand Smoke.


Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California have proven for the first time that thirdhand smoke produces significant damage to human DNA.

A toxic residue from cigarette smoke that adheres to practically every surface – including hair, skin, clothing, carpeting, furniture and paint, this problematic remnant may become increasingly dangerous over time. Even more alarming, cleaning the noxious substance from physical environments is virtually impossible.

cigarette_smoke

Thirdhand smoke: New hazards uncovered

“This is the very first study to find that thirdhand smoke is mutagenic,” said researcher and study co-author Lara Gundel. “Tobacco-specific nitrosamines, some of the chemical compounds in thirdhand smoke, are among the most potent carcinogens there are. They stay on surfaces, and when those surfaces are clothing or carpets, the danger to children is especially serious.”

Published in the journal Mutagenesis, the study has clearly shown the toxicity of thirdhand smoke on human DNA, whereas previously the dangers were not well understood. According to the laboratory, prior research discovered:

… that residual nicotine can react with ozone and nitrous acid – both common indoor air pollutants – to form hazardous agents. When nicotine in thirdhand smoke reacts with nitrous acid it undergoes a chemical transformation and forms carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines, such as NNA, NNK and NNN. Nicotine can react with ozone to form ultrafine particles, which can carry harmful chemicals and pass through human tissue. Humans can be exposed to thirdhand smoke through inhalation, ingestion or skin contact.

Now the new research demonstrates the increasingly harmful effects on cellular DNA. The scientists found higher levels of damage in chronic samples compared to acute exposure, leading the team to believe “… the materials could be getting more toxic with time.”

To make matters worse, thirdhand smoke is exceedingly difficult to remove. Studies have shown it can still be found in the dust and surfaces of homes over two months after the smokers have vacated. Vacuuming, ventilation and wiping have little effect on contamination – the only solution is to completely change out the carpet and repaint.

Sources for this article include:

http://newscenter.lbl.gov

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/third-hand-smoke