Smoke-Free but Nicotine-Trapped

I hope the copywriters of Public Health England’s ‘Smokefree’ campaign will forgive me for my satirical review of their efforts which I put in a chapter of my book, Smoking is a Psychological Problem. At least they were trying, however misguidedly, to help smokers quit. Now, the other day I wished to refresh my memory […]

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Australia Leads the Way: Vaping is Verboten!

What’s this? A smoking doctor? No, a vaping doctor! He has the unusual name of Attila Danko, which seems to be of Eastern European provenance, possibly Hungarian, and I hope he will forgive me for saying that this perhaps explains his passing resemblance to the actor Christopher Lee in his role as Dracula from next […]

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Cigarette Harm Reduction? What About Harm Abolition?

I have just come across an interesting presentation by one Maciej L Goniewicz, PhD, who works at the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit of Queen Mary University of London and the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies. So he should know what he’s talking about. Oh, and he receives research funding from Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company […]

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Mrs May – Save Us!

From the pages of that trusty source of the latest developments in medical politics, The British Medical Journal (7 January 2017), comes an arresting news item: More than 1000 doctors and other healthcare workers…have written an open letter to the prime minister, Theresa May, and England’s health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, urging them to publish a […]

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How Not to Stop Smoking – Part III

In the Tobacco Control Industry three unhelpful concepts regularly crop up in learned articles in scholarly journals. Or scholarly articles in learned journals. Trying to give up This is the idea that is derived from the common response people give if asked whether they smoke. If they do, they’re likely to say, ‘Yes—but I’m trying […]

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A Little-Known Risk of Smoking

Here is a sad story which illustrates a little-known sad fact about smoking. It was recently reported in the Southern Daily Echo online news that ‘a Mum tried to smuggle nearly 35,000 cigarettes through Southampton docks’. It is said that she ‘tried to avoid paying almost £11,500 in tax by storing the tobacco in her […]

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Why Doctors Should Quit Being Involved in Smoking Cessation

As part of my continuing efforts to keep up to date in the practice of medicine I subscribe to a generally very good online publication from America called, appropriately enough, UpToDate®. They send bi-weekly reminders of the latest research, and in today’s issue a section on  e-cigarettes caught my eye. In America they are, rightly […]

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The Dangers of Stopping Smoking

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: almost everything that most people believe about smoking is wrong. Browsing the internet will reveal plenty of examples. Here’s one I came across recently. It’s a YouTube video by a certain Dr Eric Berg. He’s not a doctor in the usual sense of the word but […]

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E-Cigarettes May Be Hazardous To Your Health

Is this the beginning of the end for ENDS? The acronym – much medical writing is peppered with annoying non-standard abbreviations of this sort – means Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems. These drug-delivery devices (for that is what they are) were in the spotlight at a conference in India of the FCTC (there we go again) […]

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To Vape, or Not to Vape: That is the Question!

I recently signed up for the Vaping Post, an online publication that ‘brings information on vaping’. They add, ‘We consider that the electronic cigarette (vaporizer) is a method of risk reduction for adult smokers who can’t or don’t want to quit smoking.’ Having set out their raison d’être they rightly caution that: Vaping exposes the […]

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The Art of Medicine and Stopping Smoking

The distinguished medical journal, The Lancet, in June 2016 reported the results of a huge multinational collaborative effort to investigate the risks of psychiatric side-effects of two drugs used in smoking cessation: varenicline (Champix®) and bupropion (Zyban®); no evidence of increased harm was found compared with nicotine patches and placebo (dummy) treatments. This must have […]

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Chewing the Wall and Climbing the Carpet

In the best tradition of the orthodox approach to smoking cessation, this year’s vintage of the quaintly named Stoptober scheme, produced by NHS England, has just finished. At least it’s an improvement on the previous two versions. Last year’s seemed intended to encourage smokers to quit through humour. Is it a laughing matter? The idea […]

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