Thursday, May 26, 2011

How To Help Women Quit Smoking?

Smoking is definitely not a good habit for health. Smokers are at a higher risk of getting not only lung cancer but also other diseases including heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). More importantly, smokers can pose health risk to people around them through secondhand smoke.

While smokers are aware of the risk they face, many of them especially females are reluctant to quit because they afraid they could gain weight after they stop smoking. In fact, most smokers who quit smoking will eventually gain 5 to 15 pounds.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center reported that a combination of specialized counseling and the anti-smoking drug Zyban might boost, at least for a while, chances of quitting smoking for female smokers.

Zyban is a prescription drug used to help smokers give up their habit. It comes in a pill form, and it does not contain nicotine. Hence, it is not a nicotine replacement therapy product. Zyban is the trade name of the drug called “bupropion” and it was approved in 1997 as a stop smoking aid.

The findings, appeared on March 22, 2010 in the ‘Archives of Internal Medicine’, showed that over a period of 6 months of treatment, women who received the combo therapy were more successful at quitting than those who received weight counseling only, and more successful than those who received standard smoking-cessation counseling plus Zyban.

Over the period of 6 months, 34 percent of women in the group that received weight counseling and Zyban consistently abstained, comparing to 21 percent of women who received standard counseling and Zyban, 11 percent of those who received weight counseling and placebo (inactive pills) and 10 percent of those who had standard counseling and placebo.

However, the positive effect faded after treatment ended. At the 1-year mark, 24 percent of women in the group that received weight counseling and Zyban had still remained abstinent, as compared with those in the group that received standard therapy/Zyban. Yet, researchers still insisted that cognitive behavioral therapy, which was developed by them, aimed at smokers' weight-gain issues could give certain women an extra push to quit.

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