Nicotine Not Medicine, Its Use Not TherapyWhyQuit - Tuesday, April 18, 2006
We already knew that drop for drop nicotine is deadlier than arsenic, cyanide, strychnine or diamond back rattlesnake venom, that it can quickly desensitize critical brain pathways, is highly addictive and harder to beat than heroin or cocaine. Now a new April 2006 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) reports that nicotine, in any form, may prevent chemotherapy from killing lung cancer cells.
Nicotine Prevents Lung Cancer Cells from Dying
Chemotherapy drugs Gemcitabine, Cisplatin and Taxol trigger death of cancerous cells via a process known as "apoptosis." The study shows how nicotine, via certain types of acetylcholine receptors, prevents apoptosis. One of the study's authors, Srikumar Chellappan, has been widely quoted by the AP as saying that smokers with lung cancer "should avoid nicotine in all forms, not just smoking."
Imagine being a smoker and bombarded by two decades of pharmaceutical industry nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) marketing proclaiming that replacement nicotine is the key to quitting, that it doubles your chances. Now try to imagine the catch-22 of being told your treatment battle against lung cancer probably won't be effective unless you first battle and arrest your chemical dependency upon nicotine.
Smokers whose dependency denial arsenal once included such thoughts as "anyone can quit smoking but it takes a real man to fight lung cancer" are now scrambling for new denial rationalizations.
Few dependent upon nicotine understand the scientific harm jargon. But it cannot sound good to those able to drop their denial barrier long enough to listen. According to the PANS study, "previous studies have implied that nicotine may be genotoxic, forming adducts with DNA ... thereby causing mutations in vital genes leading to neoplastic transformation." "However recent evidence has shown that nicotine can also lead to sustained activation of mitogenic pathways, promote angiogenesis, and accelerate tumor growth rates and atherosclerosis."
Words like antiapoptotic, genotoxic, angiogenesis and atherosclerosis have little meaning when the chemical you are addicted to is so captivating that despite more than 40% of smokers attempting to quit each year, roughly half of all adult smokers end up smoking themselves to death, each an average of 13 to 14 years early.
"Our findings are in agreement with clinical studies showing that patients who continue to smoke have worse survival profiles than those who quit before treatment; they also raise the possibility that nicotine supplementation for smoking cessation might reduce the response to chemotherapeutic agents," says the PANS study.
NRT Pharmaceutical Industry Has Not Been Honest
But there is growing awareness that replacement nicotine products such as the nicotine patch, gum and lozenge (nicotine supplementation) have zero value as aids to smoking cessation or nicotine cessation. Never once, in all real-world quit smoking surveys conducted to date, have those using replacement nicotine products performed better than those quitting cold turkey. Below is a sampling of facts the nicotine industry would rather those wanting to quit smoking not know:
- Almost all successful long-term quitters during 2006 will once again be cold turkey quitters (80-90%)
- Quitting resources offering a solid dependency recovery education, that enhance motivation and that offer some form of ongoing support will dramatically enhance a smoker's odds of joining more than 40 million U.S. ex-smokers who successfully quit nicotine cold turkey.
- 93% of study participants in the seven over-the-counter nicotine patch and gum studies relapsed to smoking within six months.
- Almost 100% second time nicotine patch users relapse to smoking within six months.
- 36.6% of current nicotine gum users have been dependent upon it for more than six months.
- Nicotine is a psychoactive drug producing dopamine/adrenaline intoxication. Early clinical NRT studies were not blind as claimed. The industry knew its clinical studies were not blind as early as 1982, when in the first nicotine gum studies it found itself compelled to use 1mg of nicotine as a placebo device masking agent. Amazingly, for more than two decades, it has promoted clinical results that it knew or should have known were defective and fatally flawed.
- A September 2002 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that ... "NRT appears no longer effective in increasing long-term successful cessation in California smokers."
- Real-world quitter surveys from Minnesota, London, Quebec and Maryland found zero advantage at six months for those using expensive NRT products
Related Links and Articles
- Flawed research equates placebo to cold turkey - John R. Polito, 03/07
- Nicotine Fix - Behind Antismoking Policy, Influence of Drug Industry - Kevin Helliker, 02/07
- Evidence of Collusion: Pharma-Govt Smoking Guidelines - AHRP, 02/07
- WSJ Highlights Financial Conflicts of Chair of Federal Guidelines Panel - Michael Siegel, MD 02/07
- Nixing the Patch: Smokers quit cold turkey - Ken Millstone, 02/07
- New Study Challenges Thinking on Use of NRT During Pregnancy - Michael Siegel, MD, 02/07
- Nicotine for the Fetus, the Infant and Adolescent - H.K. Ginzel, MD, 02/07
- The secret to quitting smoking - John R. Polito, 01/07
- Financial Ties Between Guideline Panels and Big Pharma Run Deep - Michael Siegel, MD, 01/07
- Chantix - an 8 in 10 failure rate or worse? - John R. Polito, 12/06
- Do physician's have a legal duty to ignore Guideline Recommendation 7? - John R. Polito, 12/06
- Chantix likely as ineffective as NRT - John R. Polito, 11/06
- Is the U.S. government's quitting policy killing smokers? - John R. Polito, 10/06
- Will Chantix really help me quit smoking? - John R. Polito, 08/06
- It's unlikely this NRT study was blind - John R. Polito, 08/06
- Conference Sponsorship by Pharma Precludes Objective Symposium - Michael Siegel, MD 07/06
- 13th World Conference on Tobacco or Health Drenched in Nicotine - John R. Polito, 07/06
- Cold Turkey Twice as Effective as NRT or Zyban - John R. Polito, 05/06
- Nicotine Not Medicine, Its Use Not Therapy - John R. Polito, 04/06
- How to use behavorial findings to sell NRT - John R. Polito, 01/06
- GlaxoSmithKline Attacks Cold Turkey Quitting - John R. Polito, 12/05
- UK Guidance for NRT use in pregnancy and by children - ASH London, 12/05
- June 2000 Guideline Chairman Michael Fiore's Testimony - see PDF pages 14 & 15, 05/05
- The Nicotine Patch, Gum and Lozenge - Mounting Evidence of a Sham - John R. Polito, 04/05
- 40 Years of Progress? - Joel Spitzer, 10/04
- Widespread Blinding Failures Put NRT Studies in Serious Question - John R. Polito, 06/04
- Nicotine Gum Maker's Concern Raises Concerns - John R. Polito, 05/04
- A Quitter's Dilemma: Hooked on the Cure - New York Times, 05/04
- Quebec CT Quitters Disprove "Double Your Chances" NRT Assertion - John R. Polito, 04/04
- Are nicotine weaning products a bad joke? - John R. Polito, 10/03
- Is CT Quitting More Productive & Effective than NRT? - John R. Polito, 07/03
- Are Teens Getting Hooked on NRT? - John R. Polito, 06/03
- March 2003 OTC NRT Meta-Analysis Finds 93% Midyear Relapse Rate - John R. Polito, 03/03
- Quitting Methods - Who to Believe? - Joel Spitzer, 2003
- JAMA Study Concludes NRT is Ineffective - John R. Polito, 09/02
- Real-World Nicotine Patch and Gum Rates - John R. Polito, 06/02
- Does the OTC Nicotine Patch Really Double Your Chances of Quitting? - John R. Polito, 04/02
- Is Nicotine Replacement Therapy The Smoker's Last Best Hope? - John R. Polito, 11/00
- Financial Disclosures for June 2000 Guideline Panel - U.S. Public Health Service, 06/00
- June 2000 Guideline Recommendation 7 - pharmacotherapy use by all quitters - 06/00
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- WhyQuit.com - WhyQuit is the Internet's oldest forum devoted to the art, science and psychology of cold turkey quitting, the stop smoking method used by the vast majority of all successful long-term ex-smokers. Left to right, WhyQuit is organized under three headings: (1) Motivation, (2) Education and (3) Support.
- "Never Take Another Puff" - Imagine a free 149 page stop smoking ebook that's registered more than 4 million downloads and was written by a man who has devoted 40 years, full-time to helping smokers quit. Never Take Another Puff (NTAP) was authored by Joel Spitzer, the Internet's leading authority on how to stop smoking cold turkey. It is an insightful collection of almost 100 articles on every cessation topic imaginable.
- "Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home" - Written by John R. Polito, a former 30-year heavy smoker and WhyQuit's 1999 founder, Freedom from Nicotine (FFN) is a free 240 page nicotine dependency recovery book that documents the science underlying nicotine dependency and successful cessation. Whether hooked on cigarettes, e-cigarettes (e-cigs), bidis, kreteks, a pipe, hookah or cigars, on dip, chew, snuff or snus, or on the nicotine gum, lozenge, spray, inhaler or patch, FFN provides a comprehensive yet easy to follow road-map to freedom from nicotine.
- Joel's Library - Joel's Library is home to Joel Spitzer's "Daily Quitting Lesson Guide." The Guide walks new quitters through the first two weeks of smoking cessation, recommending daily videos to watch and articles to read. Joel's Library is also home to more than 100 original short stop smoking articles, to his free ebook Never Take Another Puff, and to his collection of more than 160 video stop smoking lessons.
- Nicotine Addiction 101 - WhyQuit's guide to understanding nicotine dependency.
- Freedom - Looking for a deadly serious and highly focused education oriented support group? Home to Joel Spitzer, Freedom is the Internet's only 100% nicotine-free peer messageboard support forum. Explore Freedom's hundreds of thousands of archived member posts on how to quit smoking.
- Turkeyville - Visit WhyQuit's Facebook cold turkey support group, where the primary focus is the first few days and helping new quitters get started. Yes you can!
- Nicotine Cessation Topic Index - An alphabetical subject matter index to hundreds of nicotine cessation support group discussions, article and videos.
- 40 Quitting Tips - Key cold turkey nicotine cessation tips on how to stop smoking, vaping, chewing or sucking nicotine into your body and bloodstream.