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Concept: Smoking cessation


 To estimate how far changes in the prevalence of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use in England have been associated with changes in quit success, quit attempts, and use of licensed medication and behavioural support in quit attempts.

Concepts: Statistics, Smoking, Tobacco, Cigarette, Nicotine, Smoking cessation, Electronic cigarette, Time series


The number of quit attempts it takes a smoker to quit successfully is a commonly reported figure among smoking cessation programmes, but previous estimates have been based on lifetime recall in cross-sectional samples of successful quitters only. The purpose of this study is to improve the estimate of number of quit attempts prior to quitting successfully.

Concepts: Mathematics, Smoking, Nicotine, Smoking cessation, Estimation, Quitting


Quitting smoking remains a challenge for almost one-third of the military veteran population. Alternatives to pharmacological therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure, and electrical stimulation have received minimal attention in research but have been widely reported to be popular and safe interventions for smoking cessation.

Concepts: Smoking, Nicotine, Smoking cessation, Acupuncture


Most smoking cessation guidelines advise quitting abruptly. However, many quit attempts involve gradual cessation. If gradual cessation is as successful, smokers can be advised to quit either way.

Concepts: Smoking cessation


Tobacco use is the world’s leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality, resulting in nearly 6 million deaths each year (1). Smoked tobacco products, such as cigarettes and cigars, are the most common form of tobacco consumed worldwide (2), and most tobacco smokers begin smoking during adolescence (3). The health benefits of quitting are greater for persons who stop smoking at earlier ages; however, quitting smoking at any age has health benefits (4). CDC used the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) data from 61 countries across the six World Health Organization (WHO) regions from 2012 to 2015 to examine the prevalence of current tobacco smoking and desire to quit smoking among students aged 13-15 years. Across all 61 countries, the median current tobacco smoking prevalence among students aged 13-15 years was 10.7% (range = 1.7%, Sri Lanka to 35.0%, Timor-Leste). By sex, the median current tobacco smoking prevalence was 14.6% among males (range = 2.9%, Tajikistan to 61.4%, Timor-Leste) and 7.5% among females (range = 1.6%, Tajikistan to 29.0%, Bulgaria). In the majority of countries assessed, the proportion of current tobacco smokers who desired to quit smoking exceeded 50%. These findings could be used by country level tobacco control programs to inform strategies to prevent and reduce youth tobacco use (1,4).

Concepts: Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, Cigarette, Nicotine, Smoking cessation, Cigar, World Health Organization


There are conflicting reports about the efficacy of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) as nicotine delivery devices and smoking cessation products. In addition, smokers' responses to some nicotine dependence questions often change as they transition to exclusive e-cig use. Nicotyrine may explain these observations. Nicotyrine forms by the gradual oxidation of nicotine in e-liquids exposed to air. E-cigs aerosolize nicotyrine along with nicotine. Nicotyrine inhibits the cytochrome P450 2A family of enzymes (CYP2A) in airways and liver. These enzymes metabolize nicotine to cotinine, and then cotinine to trans 3-hydroxycotinine. In humans, nicotine is metabolized primarily by hepatic CYP2A6. We propose that e-cig users (vapers) achieve measurable serum nicotine levels when they inhale nicotine and nicotyrine together, because nicotyrine reversibly inhibits nicotine metabolism by CYP2A13 in airways. Consuming nicotyrine by any route should irreversibly inhibit hepatic CYP2A6. When CYP2A6 is substantially inhibited, nicotine clearance is delayed and nicotine withdrawal symptoms are attenuated. Small, relatively infrequent nicotine doses can then sustain satisfying nicotine levels. This theory has numerous implications for e-cig research and tobacco control. Behavioral and pharmacokinetic e-cig studies should be interpreted with attention to likely levels of nicotyrine delivery: e-cig studies may need to routinely measure nicotyrine exposure, assess CYP2A6 activity, confirm nicotine delivery, or deliberately compare unoxidized and oxidized e-liquids. The risks of nicotyrine exposure include impaired clearance of all CYP2A substrates and any effects of the metabolic products of nicotyrine. CYP2A inhibitors like nicotyrine may be useful for future smoking cessation therapy.

Concepts: Metabolism, Smoking, Tobacco, Cigarette, Nicotine, Smoking cessation, Cytochrome P450, Electronic cigarette


Background Financial incentives promote many health behaviors, but effective ways to deliver health incentives remain uncertain. Methods We randomly assigned CVS Caremark employees and their relatives and friends to one of four incentive programs or to usual care for smoking cessation. Two of the incentive programs targeted individuals, and two targeted groups of six participants. One of the individual-oriented programs and one of the group-oriented programs entailed rewards of approximately $800 for smoking cessation; the others entailed refundable deposits of $150 plus $650 in reward payments for successful participants. Usual care included informational resources and free smoking-cessation aids. Results Overall, 2538 participants were enrolled. Of those assigned to reward-based programs, 90.0% accepted the assignment, as compared with 13.7% of those assigned to deposit-based programs (P<0.001). In intention-to-treat analyses, rates of sustained abstinence from smoking through 6 months were higher with each of the four incentive programs (range, 9.4 to 16.0%) than with usual care (6.0%) (P<0.05 for all comparisons); the superiority of reward-based programs was sustained through 12 months. Group-oriented and individual-oriented programs were associated with similar 6-month abstinence rates (13.7% and 12.1%, respectively; P=0.29). Reward-based programs were associated with higher abstinence rates than deposit-based programs (15.7% vs. 10.2%, P<0.001). However, in instrumental-variable analyses that accounted for differential acceptance, the rate of abstinence at 6 months was 13.2 percentage points (95% confidence interval, 3.1 to 22.8) higher in the deposit-based programs than in the reward-based programs among the estimated 13.7% of the participants who would accept participation in either type of program. Conclusions Reward-based programs were much more commonly accepted than deposit-based programs, leading to higher rates of sustained abstinence from smoking. Group-oriented incentive programs were no more effective than individual-oriented programs. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and CVS Caremark; number, NCT01526265 .).

Concepts: Smoking cessation, Randomness, Motivation, Incentive, Incentive program, Travel incentive, CVS Caremark, Caremark Rx


Sex differences in tobacco-related morbidity and mortality exist, with women experiencing more severe health consequences and greater difficulty with smoking cessation than men. One factor that likely contributes to these sex differences is menstrual cycle phase and associated neural and cognitive changes associated with ovarian hormone fluctuations across the menstrual cycle. Previously, we showed that naturally cycling, cigarette-dependent women in the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle showed greater reward-related neural activity and greater craving during smoking cue exposure. To better understand our results and the observed sex differences in smoking behavior and relapse, we explored potential menstrual cycle phase differences in resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) in naturally cycling, cigarette-dependent women. Understanding how menstrual cycle phase affects neural processes, cognition, and behavior is a critical step in developing more efficacious treatments and in selecting the best treatment option based on a patient’s needs.

Concepts: Psychology, Menopause, Smoking cessation, Cognition, Menstrual cycle, Puberty, Follicular phase


Alcohol consumption during attempts at smoking cessation can provoke relapse and so smokers are often advised to restrict their alcohol consumption during this time. This study assessed at a population-level whether smokers having recently initiated an attempt to stop smoking are more likely than other smokers to report i) lower alcohol consumption and ii) trying to reduce their alcohol consumption.

Concepts: Alcohol, Smoking, Nicotine, Smoking cessation


To investigate the impact of smoking and smoking cessation on cardiovascular mortality, acute coronary events, and stroke events in people aged 60 and older, and to calculate and report risk advancement periods for cardiovascular mortality in addition to traditional epidemiological relative risk measures.

Concepts: Cohort study, Epidemiology, Atherosclerosis, Medical statistics, Actuarial science, Relative risk, Smoking cessation, Biostatistics