Monday, October 31, 2011

New Anti-Smoking Campaign

A cancer center in Kentucky, the state that leads the nation in smoking cigarettes, is promoting a quit-smoking cigarettes campaign that encourages people to opt for a smokeless pinch between gum and cheek, the Associated Press reports.

The campaign runs counter to the public health community position that there is no safe way to use tobacco. But the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and the University of Louisville say their "Switch and Quit" campaign makes sense because smokers who switch to smokeless cigarettes online are more likely to stay off cheap cigarettes than those who use a nicotine patches or other methods.

The effort targets Owensboro and the surrounding area, where about 3 million cigarettes are consumed a week, the AP says. That amounts to well over a pack for every man, woman and child.

"We need something that works better than what we have," Donald Miller, an oncologist and director of the center, told the AP. "This is as reasonable a scientific hypothesis as anybody has come up with and it needs to be tried."

The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health says on its website that the use of all buy cigarettes products "should be strongly discouraged," and that there is "no scientific evidence that using smokeless tobacco can help a person quit smoking cigarettes."

But this year it approved funding for a study that might provide some of that evidence afterall.

"Americans are largely misinformed about the relative risks. ... They think smokeless tobacco is just as dangerous," Brad Rodu, a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, told the AP. "This level of misinformation is an enormous barrier" to using smokeless tobacco as a tool to quit smoking cigarettes.

The program is funded through Rodu's research money, which includes grants from the tobacco industry. "There's absolutely no influence whatsoever," Rodu said. "I would not have a situation where there was some control over the kind of projects I undertake."

Todays Note: more Style.


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