Sunday, March 28, 2010

Quitting smoking

  • Research shows that two-thirds to three-quarters of ex-smokers stop unaided. In contrast, the increasing medicalisation of smoking cessation implies that cessation need be pharmacologically or professionally mediated.

  • Most published papers of smoking cessation interventions are studies or reviews of assisted cessation; very few describe the cessation impact of policies or campaigns in which cessation is not assisted at the individual level.

  • Many assisted cessation studies, but few if any unassisted cessation studies, are funded by pharmaceutical companies manufacturing cessation products.

  • Health authorities should emphasise the positive message that the most successful method used by most ex-smokers is unassisted cessation.

    Oh my goodness! So let me get this straight. Most people who quit smoking, do it without using ANY pharmaceutical products or "professional" help.

    So when folks want to quit smoking, we should tell them the best thing for it is for them to just do it. We can charge you some money but it is your efforts that will determine success.

    Change all the ads for Chantix to ads stating "most ex-smokers quit without paying a dime to the medical system"

    I guess that'd be bad for business.

Framingham Risk

This is the starting point for anyone considering cholesterol lowering medications. It gives us the 10 year risk of having a heart attack. When the risk is in the single digits, usually you can stop thinking about cholesterol lowering drugs.

I've had family members placed on cholesterol lowering drugs or combinations of cholesterol lowering drugs inappropriately. We live in a medical culture that encourages "doing something". But the evidence of harms usually outweighs the evidence of benefit in the general, healthy , symptom-free population. We have to be very careful when doing things to the symptom free , general population. We have to have solid proof of benefit > harm before we start doing tests, procedures and prescribing preventive pharmaceuticals to healthy people.

Otherwise we will continue to do more harm than good.

Trans Fat

Interesting stuff about the history of the chemistry of diet, marketing of a byproduct of industrial soy bean production, and health effects of lab manufactured fat.

Makes me want to eat a cup of crisco, yummy

My pal over at the Skeptic's Health Journal is to blame for this post :)