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Nicotine replacement therapy sampling (NRTS) refers to providing all smokers, regardless of interest in quitting, with free samples of over-the-counter NRT. NRTS has been shown to increase quit attempts and abstinence.
We conducted a pilot trial with a goal to establish the feasibility and acceptability of NRTS in a dental clinic, where providing free samples is routine and universal.
Participants (N = 30) completed a baseline survey and were randomized to receive or not receive a 2-week supply of NRT samples (14 mg patches and 4 mg lozenges) in a 3:1 ratio.
We enrolled 30 of 50 potentially eligible patients, of whom 26 completed a 4-week follow-up survey. At follow-up, 61% of the NRT group reported use of the samples and 26% said they used more NRT obtained on their own. In the No NRT group, only one patient reported using NRT. No patients reported past week abstinence, but 43% of the NRT group vs. 29% of the No NRT group reported making a quit attempt lasting longer than 24 h.
The pattern of results suggests that conducting a larger trial would be feasible and that the NRTS intervention was acceptable to dental patients.
There is increasing evidence that smoking is a risk factor for severe mental illness, including bipolar disorder. Conversely, patients with bipolar disorder might smoke more (often) as a result of the psychiatric disorder.
We conducted a bidirectional Mendelian randomisation (MR) study to investigate the direction and evidence for a causal nature of the relationship between smoking and bipolar disorder.
We used publicly available summary statistics from genome-wide association studies on bipolar disorder, smoking initiation, smoking heaviness, smoking cessation and lifetime smoking (i.e. a compound measure of heaviness, duration and cessation). We applied analytical methods with different, orthogonal assumptions to triangulate results, including inverse-variance weighted (IVW), MR-Egger, MR-Egger SIMEX, weighted-median, weighted-mode and Steiger-filtered analyses.
Across different methods of MR, consistent evidence was found for a positive effect of smoking on the odds of bipolar disorder (smoking initiation ORIVW = 1.46, 95% CI 1.28–1.66, P = 1.44 × 10−8, lifetime smoking ORIVW = 1.72, 95% CI 1.29–2.28, P = 1.8 × 10−4). The MR analyses of the effect of liability to bipolar disorder on smoking provided no clear evidence of a strong causal effect (smoking heaviness betaIVW = 0.028, 95% CI 0.003–0.053, P = 2.9 × 10−2).
These findings suggest that smoking initiation and lifetime smoking are likely to be a causal risk factor for developing bipolar disorder. We found some evidence that liability to bipolar disorder increased smoking heaviness. Given that smoking is a modifiable risk factor, these findings further support investment into smoking prevention and treatment in order to reduce mental health problems in future generations.
Declaration of interest
W.v.d.B received fees in the past 3 years from Indivior, C&A Pharma, Opiant and Angelini. G.M.G. is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Emeritus Senior Investigator, holds shares in P1vital and has served as consultant, advisor or CME speaker in the past 3 years for Allergan, Angelini, Compass Pathways, MSD, Lundbeck (/Otsuka and /Takeda), Medscape, Minervra, P1Vital, Pfizer, Sage, Servier, Shire and Sun Pharma.
To investigate the percentage of patients who commenced smoking after transferring out of a non-smoking forensic psychiatric unit, the corresponding clozapine dose adjustments, the effects on plasma clozapine/norclozapine concentrations and observed changes in mental state. We reviewed the notes and plasma clozapine/norclozapine concentrations of 46 patients transferred to medium secure units between July 2008 and December 2013.
Thirty-five patients commenced smoking. Their median clozapine dose was increased by 50 mg/d. In the non-smokers, the median clozapine dose remained unchanged. Plasma clozapine/norclozapine concentrations were significantly reduced in smokers despite dosage adjustment. Eighteen patients experienced deterioration in mental state after transfer; almost all these patients were smokers.
Approximately three-quarters of patients who were non-smokers by virtue of being in a secure non-smoking environment commenced smoking after transfer. Monitoring of clozapine serum levels and assessment of mental state in the immediate period after a change in smoking status is indicated.
The older Finnish Twin Cohort (FTC) was established in 1974. The baseline survey was in 1975, with two follow-up health surveys in 1981 and 1990. The fourth wave of assessments was done in three parts, with a questionnaire study of twins born during 1945–1957 in 2011–2012, while older twins were interviewed and screened for dementia in two time periods, between 1999 and 2007 for twins born before 1938 and between 2013 and 2017 for twins born in 1938–1944. The content of these wave 4 assessments is described and some initial results are described. In addition, we have invited twin-pairs, based on response to the cohortwide surveys, to participate in detailed in-person studies; these are described briefly together with key results. We also review other projects based on the older FTC and provide information on the biobanking of biosamples and related phenotypes.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence referral guidelines prompting urgent two-week referrals were updated in 2015. Additional symptoms with a lower threshold of 3 per cent positive predictive values were integrated. This study aimed to examine whether current pan-London urgent referral guidelines for suspected head and neck cancer lead to efficient and accurate referrals by assessing frequency of presenting symptoms and risk factors, and examining their correlation with positive cancer diagnoses.
The risk factors and symptoms of 984 consecutive patients (over a six-month period in 2016) were collected retrospectively from urgent referral letters to University College London Hospital for suspected head and neck cancer.
Only 37 referrals (3.76 per cent) resulted in a head and neck cancer diagnosis. Four of the 23 recommended symptoms demonstrated statistically significant results. Nine of the 23 symptoms had a positive predictive value of over 3 per cent.
The findings indicate that the current referral guidelines are not effective at detecting patients with cancer. Detection rates have decreased from 10–15 per cent to 3.76 per cent. A review of the current head and neck cancer referral guidelines is recommended, along with further data collection for comparison.
Cannabis smoking is considered the most popular illicit drug used worldwide. We present the case of a 26-year-old male with ST elevation myocardial infarction and heart failure subsequent to cannabis smoking abuse. We searched the literature regarding acute myocardial infarction following cannabis smoking and the possible pathophysiologic mechanisms.
We know a great deal about Brahms’s professional activities, thoughts about music and musicians, and general views on politics and culture, from his voluminous surviving correspondence. These letters and the reminiscences of his friends also trace his personal habits – what his daily routine was like, his enjoyment of food, drink, and tobacco, his delight in pranks and walking in the outdoors, his peculiar attire and occasional curmudgeonliness.
‘Today, my dear wife, née Nissen, successfully delivered a healthy boy. 7th May 1833. J. J. Brahms.’ Thus, on 8 May 1833 Johann Jakob Brahms announced the birth of his first son Johannes in the local paper, the Privileged Weekly General News of and for Hamburg (Privilegirte wöchentliche gemeinnützige Nachrichten von und für Hamburg). At a time when such announcements were the exception, this was a clear sign of pride. Johann Jakob Brahms or Brahmst, as he also spelled it, was born on 1 June 1806 in Heide in Holstein, the second son of the innkeeper and trader Johann Brahms, who had moved to Heide from Brunsbüttel via Meldorf. His ancestors were from Lower Saxony. Johann Jakob completed a five-year apprenticeship as a city wait in Heide and Wesselburen, during which he learned the flugelhorn, flute, violin, viola and cello, then standard instruments. In early 1826, the young journeyman began his travels with his certificate of apprenticeship, received in December 1825.
Roles for pharmacists in general practice are developing in Australia. It is known that pharmacists can provide effective smoking cessation services in other settings but evidence in general practice is lacking.
To determine whether a pharmacist can provide effective smoking cessation services within general practice.
Data from smoking cessation consultations were obtained for 66 consecutive patients seen by one practice pharmacist. The pharmacist tailored interventions to the individual. Medication was offered in collaboration with community pharmacists and general practitioners. Quit coaching, based on motivational interviewing, was conducted. Smoking status was ascertained at least 6 months after the intended quit date and verified by a carbon monoxide breath test where possible.
The patients’ median age was 43 years (range 19–74 years); 42 were females (64%). At baseline, the median (i) number of pack years smoked was 20 (range: 1–75); (ii) Fagerstrom Test of dependence score was 6 (1–10); and (iii) number of previous quit attempts was 3 (0–10). Follow-up after at least 6 months determined a self-reported point prevalence abstinence rate of 30% (20/66). Of all patients who reported to be abstinent, 65% (13/20) were tested for carbon monoxide breath levels and were all below 7 ppm. The biochemically verified smoking abstinence rate was therefore 20% overall (13/66). Successful quit attempts were associated with varenicline recommendation (69% v 25%), increased median number of practice pharmacist consultations (4 v 2 per patient) and mental health diagnosis (85% v 51%).
Our observed abstinence rate was comparable or better than those obtained by practice nurses, community pharmacists and outpatient pharmacists, indicating the general practice pharmacist provided an effective smoking cessation intervention. A larger randomised trial is warranted.
Despite the substantial decrease in the prevalence of tobacco smoking and the availability of effective smoking cessation treatments, smoking relapse after formal treatments remains extremely high. Evidence regarding clinical predictors of relapse after quitting is essential to promote long-term abstinence among those who successfully quit. This study aimed to explore whether baseline delay discounting (DD) rates and other sociodemographic, psychological, and smoking-related variables predicted relapse to smoking at six-month follow-up. Participants were 188 adult smokers (mean age = 42.9, SD = 12.9; 64.4% females) who received one of three treatment conditions: 6-weeks of cognitive–behavioral treatment (CBT) alone; or combined with contingency management (CBT + CM); or combined with cue exposure treatment (CBT+CET). Smoking status was biochemically verified. Logistic regression was conducted to examine prospective predictors of smoking relapse at six months after an initial period of abstinence. Greater DD rates (OR: 0.18; 95% CI [0.03, 0.93]), being younger (OR: 0.96; 95% CI [0.94, 0.99]), high nicotine dependence (OR: 1.34; 95% CI [1.13, 1.60]), and a higher number of previous quit attempts (OR: 4.47; 95% CI [1.14, 17.44]) increased the likelihood of smoking relapse at six-month follow-up. Besides sociodemographic and smoking-related characteristics, greater DD predisposes successful quitters to relapse back to smoking. These results stress the relevance of incorporating specific treatment components for reducing impulsivity.
Disparities exist among Latino smokers with respect to knowledge and access to smoking cessation resources. This study tested the feasibility of using case management (CM) to increase access to pharmacotherapy and quitlines among Latino smokers.
Latino smokers were randomized to CM (n = 40) or standard care (SC, n = 40). All participants received educational materials describing how to utilize pharmacy assistance for cessation pharmacotherapy and connect with quitlines. CM participants received four phone calls from staff to encourage pharmacotherapy and quitline use. At 6-months follow-up, we assessed the utilization of pharmacotherapy and quitline. Additional outcomes included self-reported smoking status and approval for pharmacotherapy assistance.
Using intention-to-treat analysis, CM produced higher utilization than SC of both pharmacotherapy (15.0% versus 2.5%; P = 0.108) and quitlines (12.5% versus 5.0%; P = 0.432), although differences were not statistically significant. Approval for pharmacotherapy assistance programs (20.0% versus 0.0%; P = 0.0005) was significantly higher for CM than SC participants. Self-reported point-prevalence smoking abstinence at 6-months were 20.0% and 17.5% for CM and SC, respectively (P = 0.775).
CM holds promise as an effective intervention to connect Latino smokers to evidence-based cessation treatment.
Maternal vitamin D level in pregnancy may have implications for both the mother and fetus. Deficiency of vitamin D has been linked to several pregnancy complications and fetal skeletal health. Smoking has been associated with reduced serum level of the vitamin D metabolite, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D).
A nested case–control study within the Finnish Maternity Cohort, a population-based cohort which includes first-trimester sera from 98 % of pregnancies in Finland since 1987. The selection consisted of women with uncomplicated pregnancies. We studied serum concentration of 25(OH)D in 313 non-smoking and forty-six self-reported smoking pregnant women.
We hypothesize that pregnant smokers may have an increased risk of low 25(OH)D levels especially during winter months.
A control group from an unpublished pregnancy complication study consisting of 359 uncomplicated pregnancies. Individuals who reported that they do not smoke were considered ‘non-smokers’ (n 313) and those who reported continued smoking after the first trimester of pregnancy were considered ‘smokers’ (n 46).
Smokers had significantly lower levels of 25(OH)D irrespective of sampling time (P<0·0001). Furthermore, during the low sun-exposure season, only 14 % of smokers met the guideline level of 40 nmol/l for serum 25(OH)D in comparison with 31 % of non-smokers.
Expectant mothers who smoke have an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency during low sun-exposure months in northern regions. Further studies are needed to assess the associated risks for maternal and fetal health as well as possible long-term implications for the infant.
To study the cluster of differentiation 8 population in the laryngeal mucosa of patients with laryngeal carcinoma. To our knowledge this is the first paper to address this issue.
The study group included 40 patients with known laryngeal cancer who were scheduled for laryngectomy. The control groups included 10 smokers and 10 non-smokers who were scheduled for microlaryngeal surgery. Specimens from the three groups were processed for histopathological and histochemical evaluation.
In patients without cancer of the larynx, the number of cluster of differentiation 8 lymphocytes was greater in smokers than non-smokers. The number of cluster of differentiation 8 lymphocytes was greatest in smokers with laryngeal cancer, and the difference between this group and the two control groups was statistically significant.
The study showed that smoking increased the number of cluster of differentiation 8 T-lymphocytes in the laryngeal mucosa. The increase was greatest in patients who had developed laryngeal cancer.
Smoking is purported to increase the risk of peritonsillar abscess formation, but prospective data are needed to confirm this hypothesis. This prospective study aimed to identify this correlation.
Fifty-four patients with peritonsillar abscess were prospectively asked about their smoking behaviour using a questionnaire that was designed and approved by the Robert Koch Institute (Berlin, Germany) to analyse smoking behaviour in epidemiological studies. Afterwards, a consecutive control group (without peritonsillar abscess), matched in terms of age and gender, was surveyed using the same questionnaire. A classification of smoker, former smoker and non-smoker was made, and the numbers of pack-years were calculated and compared.
Statistical analysis of both groups revealed a significant correlation between peritonsillar abscess and smoking experience (p = 0.025). Moreover, there were significantly fewer non-smokers in the non-peritonsillar abscess group (p = 0.04). The number of pack-years was higher in the peritonsillar abscess group (p = 0.037).
There is a statistically significant association between peritonsillar abscess and smoking.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
An evaluation of the relationship between predictors and immune response was conducted using data obtained from a clinical trial in 200 Czech healthy adults aged 24–65 years receiving a booster dose of a monovalent tetanus vaccine in 2017. The response was determined from ELISA antibody concentrations of paired sera obtained before and 4 weeks after the immunisation. While all subjects with initial antibody levels <1.2 IU/ml achieved a 100% seroconversion rate (at least a fourfold rise in antibodies), only 8% seroconversion was documented in subjects with initial levels >2.2 IU/ml. The immune response was not affected by sex, age, tetanus vaccine type, concomitant medication, related adverse events or post-vaccination period since there were no significant differences in geometric mean concentrations or seroconversion rates. The seroconversion rate of 56% in smokers was significantly lower than that of 73% achieved in non-smokers. Although the seroconversion rates did not differ between individuals with normal or higher body weight, the adjusted odds ratio (1.3; 95% Cl 1.08–1.60) revealed a positive correlation between seroconversion rate and body mass index (BMI). Although the vaccine-induced response was influenced by pre-vaccination antibody levels, smoking or BMI, the booster immunisation against tetanus produced a sufficient response regardless the predictors.
Smoking is the largest single contributor to poor physical health and increased mortality in people with serious mental illnesses. The aim of the study was to investigate the utility of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as a harm reduction intervention in this population.
Fifty tobacco smokers with a psychotic disorder were enrolled onto a 24-week pilot study (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02212041) investigating the efficacy of a 6-week free e-cigarette intervention to reduce smoking. Cigarette and e-cigarette use was self-reported at weekly visits, and verified using carbon monoxide tests. Psychopathology, e-cigarette acceptability and adverse effects were assessed using standardised scales.
There was a significant (⩾50%) reduction in cigarettes consumed per day between baseline and week 6 [F(2.596,116.800) = 25.878, p < 0.001], and e-cigarette use was stable during this period [F(2.932,46.504) = 2.023, p = 0.115]. These changes were verified by significant carbon monoxide reductions between these time points [F(3.335,126.633) = 5.063, p = 0.002].
The provision of e-cigarettes is a potentially useful harm reduction intervention in smokers with a psychotic disorder.
n-3 Highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA), are essential components of neuronal membranes and mediate a range of complex bioactive properties including gene expression, myelination, cell-signalling and dopaminergic function. Deficits in n-3 HUFA have been linked to increased risks for addictive disorders, thus we posited that lower fish consumption would be associated with greater risks for perinatal smoking among 9640 mothers enroled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. We used univariable and multivariable regression models to examine relationships between self-reported prenatal dietary intakes of n-3 HUFA-rich foods (fish and shellfish) and maternal smoking; outcomes included cessation and the number of cigarettes smoked per d. Both before and during pregnancy, there was consistent evidence (P<0·001) of protective fish intake–smoking associations; relative to mothers reporting no fish consumption, those who reported some fish consumption (<340 g/week) and high fish consumption (340 g+/week) at 32 weeks of gestation showed lower likelihoods of smoking (adjusted P values <0·001). Respective OR for these relationships were 0·87 (95% CI 0·77, 0·97) and 0·73 (95% CI 0·61, 0·86). Although the prevalence of smoking diminished, from a high of 31·6% (pre-pregnancy) to a low of 18·7% (second trimester), the magnitude of fish intake–smoking associations remained stable following adjustment for confounders. These observations suggest that greater fish or n-3 HUFA consumption should be evaluated as an intervention to reduce or prevent smoking in randomised clinical trials.
In their daily clinical work, healthcare professionals generally apply what seems to be a double standard for the responsibility of patients. On the one hand, patients are encouraged to take responsibility for lifestyle changes that can improve their chances of good health. On the other hand, when patients fail to follow such recommendations, they are not held responsible for the failure. This seeming inconsistency is explained in terms of the distinction between task responsibility and blame responsibility. The double standard for responsibility is shown to be epistemologically rational, ethically commendable, and therapeutically advantageous. However, this non-blaming approach to patient responsibility is threatened by proposals to assign lower priority in healthcare to patients who are themselves responsible for their disease. Such responsibility-based priority setting requires that physicians assign blame responsibility to their patients, a practice that would run into conflict with the ethical foundations of the patient–physician relationship. Therefore, such proposals should be rejected.