Friday, September 30, 2011

How smoking affects your health, skin and fitness

According to the third edition of The Tobacco Atlas, published by the World Lung Foundation and the American Cancer Society, almost 6 million people die every year due to tobacco use.

We all know that smoking affects our lungs and may lead to lung or bronchus cancer, but did you know that it affects your skin and stamina as well? From your heart strength to ocular function; smoking can chronically influence your life, making you vulnerable to many hazardous health conditions. Let's find out what these common health and fitness hazards that occur due to smoking are... 

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Tobacco firms kept radioactive link secret

TOBACCO companies knew for decades that cigarette smoke was radioactive and potentially carcinogenic but kept the information from the public, a new study says.
The industry began investigations into the possible effects of these radioactive particles, identified as polonium-210, on smokers as early as the 1960s, says a study by University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers, who analysed dozens of previously unexamined industry documents.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Smokers Quit With Cheap Remedy Used in Bulgaria for 40 Years

Interesting study..


Smokers Quit With Cheap Remedy Used in Bulgaria for 40 Years
2011-09-28 21:00:00.1 GMT

By Marthe Fourcade
    Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- For as little as $6, there may be a
smoking-cessation remedy that actually works.
    A clinical test of Tabex, sold in Eastern Europe for more
than four decades, shows that the plant-based medicine can
triple smokers’ chances of quitting compared with a dummy pill.
The results of a study on 740 people were published today in the
New England Journal of Medicine.
    The tablet, developed and sold by Bulgaria’s Sopharma AD,
may help smokers with limited means quit, scientists said. Most
of the 6 million people who die from tobacco use each year are
from low- and middle-income countries, according to the World
Health Organization.
    “The benefits of Tabex are comparable with those of other
smoking-cessation treatments, but at a fraction of the cost,”
Robert West of University College London’s Department of
Epidemiology and Public Health, who led the research team, said
in a statement.
    “Stopping smoking can be extremely difficult,” West said,
and the study’s results suggest Tabex could become “a practical
option even for the poorest smokers.”
    In India, where 20 cigarettes cost about $1.10, a course of
nicotine-replacement therapy costs about $150 and smoking-
cessation drugs as much as $200, West and his colleagues wrote.
    In the study, 8.4 percent of patients taking Tabex for 25
days with “minimal” counseling abstained from smoking for a
year, compared with 2.4 percent of those given a placebo. The
smokers who took the plant-based remedy reported more
gastrointestinal upset, the research shows.

                        Yellow Flowers

    Tabex tablets contain cytisine, a substance found in the
seeds of a tree called laburnum that produces yellow pea-
flowers, which mimics the effect of nicotine.
    Pfizer Inc.’s Chantix, a smoking-cessation drug available
in the U.S. and Europe on prescription, is also derived from
cytisine. One week’s worth of tablets for a patient taking three
a day costs about $63 on the website
    The absolute difference in rates of tobacco abstinence
between the two patient groups in the Tabex study was lower than
for Chantix and similar to what has been found for nicotine-
replacement therapy, the scientists wrote. University College
London’s Cancer Research U.K. Health Behaviour Research Centre
and the Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology in Warsaw
conducted the research.
    Extab Corp. has licensed global rights to Tabex and is
conducting clinical trials designed to meet the standards of
Western regulators, the Delaware-incorporated company said on
its website. Extab is run by Sopharma Chief Executive Officer
Ognian Donev; Rick Stewart, former CEO of Amarin Corp.; and
Anthony Clarke, a researcher with a focus on neurology,
psychiatry and pain management, with the goal of winning
regulatory approval for Tabex, according to the website.
    A course of Tabex, which was first sold in Bulgaria in
1964, costs about $15 in Poland and $6 in Russia, where it is
sold over the counter, the study’s authors wrote.

For Related News and Information:
Top health stories: HTOP
FDA regulation of tobacco: TNI FDA TOB BN
Financial analysis of Altria: MO US FA
Bloomberg drug database: BDRG

--Editors: David Risser, Robert Valpuesta.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Marthe Fourcade in Paris at +33-1-5365-5065 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Phil Serafino at +33-1-5530-6277 or