Best way to quit smoking?

Most physicians, including yours truly, have recommended to our smoking patients to quit abruptly (“cold turkey”), rather than slowly cutting down. In a recently published study in the Annal of Internal Medicine, Lindson-Hawley et al examined the success of quitting smoking by gradual means compared to abruptly quitting. This was a study of almost images-3700 smokers in England, and included behavioral support and nicotine replacement. The primary outcome was prolonged validated abstinence from smoking at 4 weeks after quitting and the secondary outcome was validated abstinence at 6 months.

The authors found that, compared to trying to quit by slowly cutting back on your smoking, quitting smoking abruptly was more likely to lead to lasting abstinence, even in those patients who preferred to quit slowly.

Bottom line: You are better off quitting cold turkey.

Teenage vaping increases smoking cigarettes.

E-cigarette usage amongst middle- and high-school students in the US has increased from 1-3% in 2010/2011 to 10-20% in 2013/2014.images-2

In a study from Hawaii, teens who reported vaping were almost three times more likely to try smoking cigarettes over the following year than were their peers who had not used e-cigarettes.

Thomas Wills, from the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, reported in Tobacco Control, regarding a 2013/2014 survey of 2,338 ninth and tenth graders (ages 14-16, avg. 14.7) in Hawaii.

Compared to teens who had never vaped or smoked cigarettes, teens who used e-cigarettes, but not smoked tobacco cigarettes, were 2.87 times more likely to smoke cigarettes within the year.

These data, as well as data from other published studies, indicate that teens who vape are more likely to go on to smoke cigarettes, making a strong case against the sale or use of e-cigarettes to minors as a smoking prevention strategy.

Asthma? Granny’s fault?

In a study presented this year at the European Respiratory Society’s International Congress, research from Sweden suggested that cigarette smoking in previous generations can influence asthma risk in future generations.


There were about 45,000 grandmothers who smoked while they were pregnant with daughters between 1982 and 1986. Of the approximately 66,000 children later born from these daughters, there was a 10-22% increase in asthma risk, even if the mother did not smoke during pregnancy. No cause and effect relationship was established but the findings are of interest and more research is needed.


Anyone can learn CPR-and everyone should! Every year in the United States, there are about 383,000 out of hospital sudden cardiac arrests, with 80% occurring at home. Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can significantly improve chance of survival, but <1/3 of cardiac arrest victims receive CPR from a bystander, and sadly less than one in 10 who have sudden cardiac arrest outside of the hospital survive. You can prepare yourself to act in an emergency by simply viewing this instructional video. You can also learn more about CPR from the American Heart Association

Question: According to the American Heart Association, which disco hit provides the best pace for chest compressions during CPR?

Answer: U.S. doctors have found that the Bee Gees disco song “Stayin’ Alive” provides an ideal beat to follow while performing chest compressions as part of CPR on a heart attack victim. The 1977 hit song has a rhythm of 103 beats per minute (bpm), which is close to the recommended rate of at least 100 chest compressions per 60 seconds that should be delivered during CPR. In fact, the American Heart Association (AHA) officially recommends that if you see someone collapse, you should “call 9-1-1 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive.”

New Hope for Malignant Mesothelioma?

The FDA granted orphan drug status to MTG-201 for the treatment of patients with malignant mesothelioma. The FDA Office of Orphan Products Development mission is to advance the evaluation and development of products that demonstrate promise for the diagnosis and/or treatment of rare diseases or conditions. This drug targets specific genetic defects in various cancer types. The hope is that MTG-201 will induce apoptosis (cell death) for malignant mesothelioma cells and induce an immunological response against this deadly cancer.