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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
January 23, 2012
Quit-Smoking Medications and State of Tobacco Control
Smoking cessation medications have been in the news again lately. A recent study is challenging the effectiveness of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). The study examined the effect of NRT on relapse.
There are physical, mental and social aspects to tobacco addiction, and NRT is only meant to address the physical addiction. (Refer to the Three Link Chain of Addiction lesson in Module 1.) A behavior modification program such as Freedom From Smoking® Online, and social support help to address the other two aspects of addiction. You give yourself the best chance of becoming smokefree when you combine a program such as FFS Online with an FDA-approved smoking cessation medication. Nicotine replacement therapy has been proven to work through many research trials and we still recommend it.
If you can't or don’t want to use medication when quitting smoking, you can still be successful in quitting. For most folks, however, we really recommend talking to your health care provider about using NRT or another medication to help you quit. Before talking with your health care provider, review the Using Medications and Building Confidence in the Program lesson in Module 1. Print the Medication Chart, read it and note the medications that most fit your need. Take the chart with you when you see your health care provider and discuss it.
You can also go over any concerns about medications with a registered nurse or respiratory therapist through our Lung HelpLine. You can have a live chat, or you can call 1-800-LUNG USA (586-4872) and press Option 2. The Lung HelpLine is open daily from 8:00 a.m. until midnight Eastern Time, and it is a free service provided by the American Lung Association.
2012 State of Tobacco Control®
Every year in January, the American Lung Association publishes our State of Tobacco Control report. This “report card” tracks progress on key tobacco control policies at the state and federal level and assigns grades based on how well laws protect people from tobacco-caused disease.
Some of the main points from the 2012 report are:
- Most smokers need help to quit. Uninsured and publicly-insured Americans smoke at much higher levels than the general public, and they need the most help to quit.
- States have received millions of dollars from increased tobacco excise taxes and from tobacco settlement payments, but they’re investing only pennies from each dollar to help addicted tobacco users. Some states don’t invest anything at all in helping smokers quit. States have a responsibility to do much, much more to help smokers quit, especially for those who can’t afford to pay for help.
- It is encouraging to see some states moving in the right direction and covering more treatments to quit through Medicaid. The American Lung Association hopes that even more states will expand coverage for these life-saving treatments in the coming year.
How did your state do? Visit www.StateofTobaccoControl.org for more information about the report and to see what grades your state earned.
This week, take the time to determine which FDA-approved quit-smoking medication is right for you. Talk to your health care provider about it if necessary. If you are already using a medication, blog about it or post your experiences and questions on the Message Boards.
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you're in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put "HELP NOW" in the subject line of your post. If you're looking to offer help, watch for those, "HELP NOW" posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well.