The Hard Way to Quit Smoking

  Do you know what the letters ATTUD stand for? It’s Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence, based in the US. We are further informed from their website that: ATTUD is an organization of providers dedicated to the promotion of and increased access to evidence-based tobacco treatment for the tobacco user. Before […]

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The Tragedy of Smoking

One conventional measure of ‘success’ in smoking cessation is the proportion of smokers who, when then have used the X method, are not smoking one year later. For example, many studies show that of smokers who quit using medicinal nicotine (gum or patches), around 20% are still not smoking a year later. Not very impressive […]

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Tobacco Doesn’t Need to be Controlled; it Needs to be Abolished

These cigarette machines are ubiquitous in Japan. Note the ad for Parliament cigarettes. The attractive models imply that smoking is sexy. The wording says something like ‘vivid, strong menthol, crystal blast’. You can undergo this refreshing experience by crushing the menthol flavour capsule in the filter. The small print at the bottom, covering only about […]

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Smoking in Japan

As I have mentioned before, the Japanese are on the whole a considerate people. Near where I live in Tokyo I recently noticed an sign inviting you to ‘Nelson’s, the local pub’.  It reminded me of English pubs called ‘The Lord Nelson’. The sign pointed down a small alleyway so I went to investigate. […]

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How Not to Stop Smoking – Part II

What does the US National Cancer Institute have to say about stopping smoking? On their website there’s a long section titled ‘How To Handle Withdrawal Symptoms and Triggers When You Decide To Quit Smoking’. This implies that you may indeed suffer such symptoms and that ‘triggers’ are also something you will need to be aware […]

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What’s up with ASH?

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) in their 2008 report draw attention to a well-known but nonetheless shocking fact: Products which are known to kill one in every two of their life-long users are available for sale in shops throughout the land. What to do about this scandalous situation? The obvious thing they dismiss: As […]

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The Curious Idea of Controlling Tobacco

Did you know there is a scholarly journal calling itself, indeed, Tobacco Control? The very title shows the wrong-headed approach to the smoking problem: tobacco doesn’t need to be controlled; it needs to be abolished. In a recent edition there is an editorial and a research paper complaining that the full list of ingredients in […]

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Japanese Ashtray

Non-smoking restaurants and cafés are becoming more and more ubiquitous (!) in Japan, which, of course, is a good thing. And the Japanese, being on the whole a considerate people, make provision, as far as practicable, for other people’s needs. Outside this particular café a bench is provided together with an ashtray, partially filled with […]

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Ballooning

It is how extraordinary how the scholarly journal, Tobacco Control, from its curious title to much of the content, continues to be muddle-headed about the tobacco problem. Let me illustrate with an example from the March 2016 edition. In the section labelled ‘Worldwide news and comment’ we learn of allegations against British American Tobacco (BAT). […]

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How to Keep Smoking

On opening the cover of the august organ Tobacco Control of November 2015, I was confronted with what at first glance looked like an ad for a packet of washing powder. Closer inspection, however, revealed it’s an illiterate puff for ‘extra strength gum for enhanced craving relief’. In other words, it’s for chewing gum containing 6mg of […]

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Millions and Millions of Vapers

In support of the suggestion that e-cigarettes (‘vaping’) should be available on the NHS, there is a clip shown on the BBC Radio 5 Alive program (19 August 2015) featuring Professor Kevin Fenton from Public Health England. He points out that “more than 2.5 million smokers have already purchased their own e-cigarettes…some are using them […]

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World Expert on Smoking and Addiction

With such a billing, who might this be? It’s Professor Robert West, a psychologist and self-styled ‘world expert on smoking and addiction’ who thinks unless e-cigarettes are made available we’re condemning smokers to death (BBC interview, April 2014). He published a book in 2013 with the intriguing title The SmokeFree Formula, A Revolutionary Way to […]

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Smoking Cessation on the NHS

There’s a stop smoking promotion by NHS England called ‘Stoptober’, presumably because this scheme was launched in the month of October. Stoptober is the conventional approach – discouraging. They seem to recognize this fact and try to make a joke of it: Welcome to Day 1 of Stoptober. Now, it’s fair to say that this […]

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