TIME tobacco

Here’s the Best Way to Get Someone to Quit Smoking

Antismoking messaging works differently depending on who's watching, a new study shows

For years, the U.S. government has gone back and forth about whether or not it’s legal to force tobacco companies to use images of cancerous lungs and other graphic pictures on their cigarette packaging. The assumption, of course, is that the images will terrify any smoker into kicking the habit.

However, a new study published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research shows that the graphic tactic might not work on all smokers. The effectiveness of antismoking messaging depends on the attitude of the smoker.

Researchers from the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center studied 740 smokers to figure out what type of antismoking campaigns worked best. They discovered that messages that stress the benefits of quitting, like “quitting smoking reduces the risk of death due to tobacco,” were more effective at getting smokers to quit if those smokers thought that quitting would be very hard. The more graphic and negative ads like “smoking can kill you” tended to work best for smokers who thought they could quit whenever they wanted.

One of the reasons motivating messaging worked best among smokers who viewed quitting as a challenge could be that they’re already well aware of the health risks. On the other hand, the researchers speculate that loss-framed messaging — the kind that focuses on the negative consequences of continuing a behavior — worked better for smokers who felt they had more agency in their cessation because the negative ads built up motivation to stop.

Ultimately, the researchers believe that having a mixture of various messaging strategies is the best way to appeal to a broad range of smokers, and that currently there are far more negative messages than positive ones.

That’s not to say that scary ads don’t work. For a couple years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has poured resources into an intensive ad campaign called “Tips From Former Smokers” which features real former smokers who have experienced serious setbacks from their habit, like no longer being able to speak properly or having a baby too early. During past campaigns, the CDC has said that their quit lines experience 80% more activity when the ads are running compared with the weeks before.

Terrifying ads aren’t going away anytime soon, but mixing in more motivating messages might appeal to would-be quitters of all kinds.

TIME Family

Why I Don’t Eat With My Kids

Who invited those two? The 'family dinner' ain't all it's cracked up to be
Who invited those two? The 'family dinner' ain't all it's cracked up to be GMVozd; Getty Images

The curative properties of the nightly family dinner have been greatly overexaggerated

I love my daughters, I really do, more than I can coherently describe. I love my dinner hours too — not nearly as much, of course, but I’ve been on familiar terms with dinner for a lot longer than I’ve been on familiar terms with my children. Frankly, I don’t see much reason to introduce them to each other.

It’s not that my wife and I don’t eat with our daughters sometimes. We do. It’s just that it often goes less well than one might like. For one thing, there’s the no-fly zone surrounding my younger daughter’s spot at the table, an invisible boundary my older daughter dare not cross with touch, gesture or even suspicious glance, lest a round of hostile shelling ensue.

There is too the deep world-weariness my older daughter has begun bringing with her to meals, one that, if she’s feeling especially 13-ish, squashes even the most benign conversational gambit with silence, an eye roll, or a look of disdain so piteous it could be sold as a bioterror weapon. Finally, there is the coolness they both show to the artfully prepared meal of, say, lemon sole and capers — an entrée that is really just doing its best and, at $18.99 per lb., is accustomed to better treatment.

All of this and oh so much more has always made me greatly prefer feeding the girls first, sitting with them while they eat and, with my own dinner not on the line, enjoying the time we spend together. Later, my wife and I can eat and actually take pleasure in the experience of our food. But that, apparently, is a very big problem.

We live in the era of the family dinner, or, more appropriately, The Family Dinner™, an institution so grimly, unrelentingly invoked that I’ve come to assume it has its own press rep and brand manager. The Family Dinner™, so parents are told, is now recognized as one of the greatest pillars of child-rearing, a nightly tradition you ignore at your peril, since that way lie eating disorders, obesity, drug use and even, according to a recent study out of McGill University, an increased risk of the meal skipper being cyberbullied.

O.K., there is some truth in all of this. Sit your kids down at the table and talk with them over dinner every day and you have a better chance of controlling what they eat, learning about their friends, and sussing out if they’re troubled about something or up to no good. But as with so much in the way of health trends in a gluten-free, no-carb, low-fat nation, enough, at some point, is enough.

For one thing, the always invoked, dew-kissed days of the entire nuclear family sitting down to a balanced, home-cooked meal were less than they’re cracked up to be. Ever hear of the Loud family? Ever watch an episode of Mad Men — particularly one that plays out in the Draper kitchen? Welcome to family dinner in the boomer era.

Much more important, as a new study from North Carolina State University shows, the dinner-hour ideal is simply not possible for a growing number of families. The researchers, a trio of sociologists and anthropologists, spent 18 months conducting extensive interviews with 150 white, African-American and Latina mothers from across the socioeconomic spectrum, and an additional 250 hours observing 12 lower-income and poor families to get at the truth of what’s possible at mealtime and what’s not.

The first problem, the moms in the study almost universally agree, is that it is always more time-consuming to prepare dinner than you think it will be. Michael Pollan, the ubiquitous author and food activist, has written, “Today, the typical American spends a mere twenty-seven minutes a day on food preparation, and another four minutes cleaning up. That’s less than half the time spent cooking and cleaning in 1965.” To which I say, huh? And so do the moms in the study.

“I just hate the kitchen,” said one. “I know I can cook but it’s the planning of the meal, and seeing if they’re going to like it, and the mess that you make, and then the mess afterwards.” Added another: “I don’t want to spend an hour cooking after I pick [my daughter] up from school every day.” All of that sounds a lot more familiar to me than Pollan’s rosy 27+4 formulation.

Even if prep time weren’t a problem, dealing with the scheduling vagaries in two-income households can require day-to-day improvisation that makes regular, predictable mealtimes impossible. One couple studied by the NC State researchers worked for the same fast-food company in different parts of the state. Both parents often don’t know the next day’s schedule until the night before, which means inventing dinner plans on the fly and often calling on a grandmother for help. That kind of scrambling is part of what the researchers describe as “invisible labor,” work that is every bit as much a part of dinner as preparing and serving the food, but is rarely acknowledged.

Finally, there is the eternal struggle of trying to prepare a meal that everyone at the table will tolerate — a high-order bit of probability math in which the number of acceptable options shrinks as the number of people who get to weigh in grows. “I don’t need it, I don’t want it, I never had it!” declared one 4-year-old in one observed household. Parents throughout history have dealt with that kind of reaction with all manner of wheedling, bargaining and here-comes-the-airplane-into-the-hangar games, to say nothing of one mother in the study who simply turned a timer on and told her child to keep eating until the buzzer sounded.

Again, none of these problems diminish the psychological and nutritional value of a family sitting down to eat a home-prepared meal together — but perhaps that meal should be an aspirational option, not a nightly requirement. The family-dinner ideal, the authors write, has become “a tasty illusion, one that is moralistic and rather elitist … Intentionally or not, it places the burden of a healthy, home-cooked meal on women.”

With that said, I shall now open some wine and grill my wife and myself some salmon. After all, the girls are in bed.

TIME Addiction

E-Cigarettes Are Gateway to Substance Abuse and Addiction

An e-cigarette on March 05, 2013 in Paris.
An e-cigarette in Paris on March 05, 2013 Kenzo Tribouillard—AFP/Getty Images

Nicotine, in any form, can prime the brain for harder drugs

For a product so young, e-cigarettes are already generating volumes of research. And the latest, appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggests that e-cigarettes serve as a “gateway drug” — meaning they could make users more likely to use, and become addicted to, other drugs like cocaine.

The wife-husband research team Denise Kandel and Eric Kandel has been studying nicotine for years, and in their earlier work they found that nicotine dramatically enhanced the effects of cocaine by activating a reward-related gene and shutting off inhibition. When mice had nicotine before cocaine, they behaved differently too — they ran around more and spent more time in the space where they were fed, likely driven by a need to satisfy their craving for the drug.

Denise’s epidemiological data shows that similar effects might be occurring in people; most who start taking cocaine were smoking at the time, and her studies showed that nicotine can prime users to turn to harder drugs to keep the reward system satisfied. While e-cigarettes don’t contain the tar and other byproducts of regular tobacco-burning cigarettes, they still rely on nicotine, and the Kandels believe they would lead to similar use of other drugs. “E-cigarettes are basically nicotine-delivery devices,” she says, and Eric agrees. “This is a powerful facilitator for addiction to cocaine and perhaps other drugs as well,” he says. “If people knew that this is in fact the danger … they’d be much less enthusiastic about using nicotine.”

While some, including those in the health community, have supported e-cigs as a tool to help smokers quit, the backlash against them has been building. Last month, the American Heart Association released a policy statement calling for stricter laws, more industry oversight, and a ban on marketing and selling e-cigs to adolescents. Toronto just banned e-cigs from the workplace. And the World Health Organization recommended a host of new regulations around the growing e-cigarette market. At the same time, it’s not clear whether the devices actually help smokers to kick the habit; at least one study found that they don’t.

The Kandels argue that it’s time to consider nicotine’s effect not just on the lungs but on the brain as well. “The fact that this is a significant influence on encouraging or facilitating the use of other drugs is never discussed, and it’s just a major omission,” Eric says.

“We’ve worked very hard to reduce smoking in this country, and I think it’s been a fantastic success,” Denise says. With the introduction of e-cigs, “Now I think we’re on the verge of destroying all of the progress that we’ve [made].”

TIME Addiction

WHO Urges Tighter Regulation of E-Cigarettes

A woman smokes an "Blu" e-cigarette in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 25, 2013.
A woman smokes an "Blu" e-cigarette in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 25, 2013. Jim Watson—AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations agency acknowledged both the "promise and threat" of the $3 billion industry

The World Health Organization recommended countries adopt a raft of tighter regulations over the sale and use of e-cigarettes Tuesday, including a ban on sales to minors, a ban on “vaping” indoors and tighter controls over advertising and flavored products.

The United Nations agency released a report on Tuesday that acknowledged both the “promise and threat” of the e-cigarette market, Reuters reports. The authors cast doubt on e-cigarette makers’ claims that the devices could help smokers kick the habit. Until those claims had been substantiated by a stronger body of scientific evidence, the U.N. health agency recommended that countries adopt regulations that would “minimize content and emissions of toxicants.”

Suggested regulations include restrictions on advertisements promoting e-cigarettes as a healthy alternative to smoking, prohibitions on sales to minors and sweetened flavors that might appeal to minors and a ban on using the devices indoors. The Food and Drug Administration proposed similar restrictions on sales to minors and advertising of e-cigarettes in April, but stopped short of banning television advertising or sweetened flavors.

The report comes amid a widening divide in the scientific community as to whether e-cigarettes constitute a help or a hindrance in the battle to stop people smoking. A group of 53 scientists signed an open letter to the WHO earlier this year urging officials to resist any measures that might suppress sales of e-cigarettes, calling them “part of the solution” in the fight against smoking.

[Reuters]

TIME Gadgets

The 4 Naggiest Products Ever…and Why You Want Them

Somewhere around my son’s 14th birthday, I grew weary of “gently reminding” him to stop wolfing down his food and to clean up his room. Of course he called these gentle reminders nagging, and we both came to realize it wasn’t a good thing. So how do you help someone who needs some coaching or gentle reminders to get out and exercise, sit up straight or quit a bad habit? We’ve found some gadgets and apps to help with that.

New devices equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy, which have enough battery power to run for days, alert you to your stats and behavior patterns. From eating to quitting smoking to practicing good posture, there’s a device to remind you of your good intentions — and unlike your parents, spouse or friends, if they start nagging too much, you can always turn them off.

Lumo Lift Posture Sensor

lumo lift
Lumo BodyTech

When I was growing up, my grandmother always reminded me to sit up straight. I straightened my back whenever the words came out of her mouth, whether I was standing up or sitting on the couch.

Lumo Lift is a wearable device that looks like a lapel pin with a magnetic clasp. The built-in sensor buzzes or vibrates to let you know when you’re slouching, gently nudging you to regain proper form. The vibration frequency can be adjusted to your preference.

If you need a visual reminder of how your posture can slip during the day, prop up your mobile device on your desk and watch the app react to your movements. As your body slouches, the stick figure on the screen slouches as well. As you straighten your back and open your shoulders, the figure does too — while displaying a happy face.

Like other fitness devices, Lumo Lift can track your daily activity to see if you’re reaching your goals. Aside from reminding you throughout the day, the app lets you see how much time you spend sitting, what distance you walked or how many calories you burned. Battery life is about five days. Lumo Body Tech calls this positive reinforcement throughout the day; I say it acts just like my grandma.

Price: $99 by preorder at Lumobodytech.com

June Sun Exposure Tracker

june
Netatmo

The beautiful, jewelry-like June bracelet from Netatmo measures how long you’ve been in the sun and, just like your mom, reminds you to reapply sunscreen. The sensor in the bracelet tracks UV intensity, sending it wirelessly to a mobile app. You tell the iOS app a little about you: whether you’re fair skinned and what color hair and eyes you have. Based on the local UV index, it calculates your maximum suggested daily sun exposure (which is likely a lot lower than you might think it should be).

If you’ve had too much sun and need to take action, the June will alert you to the need to put on a hat or sunglasses, or just move to a shadier spot. The sensor, made to look like a diamond that glistens in the sun, is available in platinum, gold and gunmetal. You can wear it as a bracelet or a brooch. Netatmo says the battery should last for about a month before needing a charge.

The downside of June is that while it’s splash- and sweat-resistant, it’s not water-resistant, so you need to take it off before you go for a swim — and if it’s tucked into your beach bag while you’re in the water, it’s not gauging your exposure to the sun. While it may not keep you from getting burned, the app is likely to help you become more aware of the damage the sun does to your skin.

Price: $99 at Netatmo.com

HAPIfork Food Consumption Pacer

hapifork
Hapilabs

The HAPIfork is a connected smart fork that lets you know when you’re eating too quickly. Just as your mother repeatedly reminded you that eating too quickly will give you an upset stomach, the HAPIfork measures the time between bites and then vibrates to let you know when you’re eating too quickly. The data collected from the fork is sent wirelessly to an app to track your progress.

Using the iOS or Android app, you can see how many bites (“fork servings”) you take per minute. And HAPIfork wants to be part of your overall healthier lifestyle, not just a nag at the dinner table. There’s a coaching program available with tips and advice to guide you through smarter eating, along with suggested meal plans.

You would think the HAPIfork is dishwasher safe. After all, you eat with it; you’ll want to wash it afterwards. Alas, only the tines and handle are waterproof, which means you need to remove the electronics from the fork before placing it in the dishwasher. HAPIfork says you can wash the entire fork under a faucet by hand.

Add to that the need to keep the fork with you at all times for tracking to be effective, and I’m not sure this one will take a bite out of my poor eating habits.

HAPIfork claims a two-week battery life.

Price: $99 at Hapi.com or Amazon

Quitbit Smoking Tracker

quitbit
Quitbit

If you hear “you really should quit smoking” a lot from a parent, child or spouse, it may be time to fire up the Quitbit. Currently available for preorder, the Quitbit is a battery-powered lighter that measures how often you light a cigarette. That’s right, it counts your smokes. But unlike a nagging spouse, it wirelessly tracks your smoking habits so you can see in real time how long it’s been since your last cigarette. The idea is to help you meet your goals and keep you motivated.

There’s a tiny digital screen on the lighter that tells you how many cigarettes you’ve gone through as well as how long it’s been since your last smoke. The iOS or Android app displays your smoking history and lets you set rules for when the lighter can be used. For instance, you can program it to only light a certain number of times a day or to hold off for two minutes after an initial attempt.

The Quitbit battery lasts for about a week or 100 lights, depending on how much you smoke. Quitbit says it’s received 55,000 preorders and expects to ship the items in December 2014, just in time for New Year’s resolutions.

Price: $150 for pre-order at Quitbitlighter.com

This article was written by Andrea Smith and originally appeared on Techlicious.

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TIME Cancer

Nearly 1 in 10 Cancer Survivors Still Smokes

And only about 40% said they planned to quit

Nearly one in 10 cancer survivors reports smoking years after their diagnosis, according to a new study from the American Cancer Society.

Researchers analyzed data from 2,938 patients nine years after their diagnosis, and 9.3 percent were current smokers (within the pat 30 days). Of those patients, 83 percent smoked every day, averaging 14.7 cigarettes per day.

The study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, included patients with the 10 most common types of cancer: breast, prostate, bladder, uterine, melanoma, colorectal, kidney, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, ovarian, and lung.

The highest rates of smoking appeared in patients who were diagnosed with bladder (17.2 percent) and lung (14.9 percent) cancer, which are both smoking-related cancers.

Cigarette smoking is known to decrease the effectiveness of cancer treatments, increase the probability of recurrence, and reduce survival time.

“We need to follow up with cancer survivors long after their diagnoses to see whether they are still smoking and offer appropriate counseling, interventions, and possible medications to help them quit,” Lee Westmaas, director of tobacco research at the American Cancer Society (ACS) and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

Of the patients who reported smoking, 46.6 percent said they planned to quit, but 10.1 percent said they did not plan to quit, and 43.3 percent were unsure. In addition, 88.6 percent of the current smokers had quit before their diagnosis.

Researchers also looked at a variety of sociodemographic factors among the patients. Survivors were more likely to smoke if they were younger, female, had lower education, lower income or drank more alcohol. Those who smoked more, were older or were married were less likely to want to quit.

The study suggests the lack of intent to quit in older patients could suggest they don’t believe the difficulties of quitting will be worth the gains in quality of life or life expectancy.

Future studies should examine the importance of psychosocial variables and their relationships to current smoking or motivation to quit, the authors wrote in the study. “Those who smoke heavily long after their diagnosis may require more intense treatment addressing specific psychosocial characteristics such as perceptions of risk, beliefs of fatalism, etc. that may influence motivation to quit.”

TIME Culture

Up in Smoke: The Rise and Fall of Big Tobacco

"According to this survey, more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette," is just one of the phrases we no longer hear in commercials

Earlier this week, a $27.4 billion deal was announced that will merge two of the largest American tobacco companies, Reynolds American and Lorillard.

The deal comes at a time when cigarette smokers are at a steady decline. Even so, Marlboro still makes some lists of most valuable brands in the world.

And while it’s hard to remember the days when Camels were advertised as the most preferred cigarettes by doctors, a small segment of the industry is quickly growing: e-cigarettes.

Above, take a quick look at the history of America’s complicated relationship with the addictive habit.

TIME Smoking

This Is The New Best Way to Quit Smoking, Study Finds

Combining varenicline and the nicotine patch was more effective in helping smokers quit after six months than the drug alone

Quitting smoking can be a frustrating challenge, and no single therapy works dramatically well. Nicotine replacement strategies – the patch, gum or lozenges—can help wean smokers off nicotine gradually, but don’t often work in keeping smokers abstinent over the long term. The prescription drug varenicline, or Chantix, which curbs smoking by occupying and blocking the same nicotine receptors in the brain used by the nicotine in cigarettes, makes nicotine less pleasurable. But studies show that it’s only about 33% effective in keeping smokers off cigarettes after 12 weeks.

Researchers in South Africa, however, report in JAMA that combining varenicline with the nicotine patch boosted that quit rate to 49% among a group of 435 smokers who were randomly assigned to take either the pills and the patch or the pills and a placebo patch. Smokers on the pills and patch were nearly twice as likely to be abstinent after six months than those who took the pills alone with a dummy patch.

MORE: Nicotine Gum and Patch Don’t Help Smokers Quit Long Term

“The efficacy of combining the two drugs cannot be readily explained,” Dr. Coenraad Koegelenberg, lead author of the study from Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, wrote in an email response to questions about the findings.

It’s possible that the timing of the pills and the patch worked in the smokers’ favor. While both varenicline and the nicotine patch target the same nicotine receptors in the brain, they have different effects; the nicotine from the patch activates the nicotine receptors and provides the same pleasurable sensations that cigarettes would, while varenincline is designed to bind and block the effects of nicotine on the brain. Varenincline is more effective at binding to these receptors, while nicotine from the patch is slower to activate, so starting on the patch may wean smokers from nicotine, and the varenicline may have helped them to drop cigarettes completely.

MORE: Hope for Quitters? Scientists Devise a New Nicotine Vaccine

Interestingly, the one-two punch didn’t work by lowering craving for nicotine. They also did not find a significantly increased risk of side effects, including depression or nausea, in the varenicline group. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2009 added a black box warning alerting users to the potential for suicidal thoughts, although a 2013 study found no greater risk of depression among smokers with depression or who had had depression in the past.

The results raise important questions about how current smoking cessation treatments might be more effective if used in combination. Currently, varenicline is not recommended with other nicotine-replacement strategies; for that to change, other studies showing similar results to this one would be needed.

TIME Cancer

The Government’s Super Scary New Anti-Smoking Campaign

CDC

The CDC releases its next set of graphic ads to encourage smokers to kick the habit for good—or else

The newest phase of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) graphic campaign to persuade America’s 42 million smokers to quit—”Tips from Former Smokers”—launches today, and it’s heart wrenching.

Since 2012, the campaign has featured real former smokers dealing with serious health problems spawned by their addiction, and this round is bound to make smokers and non-smokers alike squirm. It’s an especially graphic campaign from the CDC’s tobacco office, which has not shied away from bold, conversation-starting efforts to curb smoking.

Here’s an example: Shawn provides tips on how to live with a hole in your neck. Amanda, meanwhile, smoked during pregnancy and gave birth to her baby two months early.

Here are the newest ads, which the CDC provided early to TIME:

Amanda, a 30-year-old who smoked while pregnant. Her 3 lb daughter spent weeks in an incubator.

Brett, 49, who lost most of his teeth to gum disease by age 42. He takes out most of his teeth on camera.

Rose, 59, whose lung cancer resulted in surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Shawn, 50, who breathes through the opening in his throat due to smoking-related throat cancer.

Brian, 45, whose smoking and HIV led to clogged blood vessels and resulted in a stroke.

Felicita, 54, who lost all of her teeth to gum disease by age 50.

Terrie, who died of cancer last September at age 53

Previously released ads ran earlier this year in February, and a CDC spokesperson told TIME that the “effort had immediate and strong impact.” During the last set of the ads’ nine-week run, they generated over 100,000 additional calls to the CDC’s quit line, 800-QUIT-NOW. On average, the CDC says weekly quitline calls were up 80% while the ads were on the air compared to the week before they began running. Preliminary estimates show there were nearly 650,000 unique visitors to the the agency’s website during those nine weeks.

The ads will be placed on cable TV, on radio, in print, on billboards, and in movie theater and online starting July 7. The CDC is also launching a social media campaign to support its tradition-media plays.

Of course, considering tobacco is a $100 billion market, and the industry continues to spend billions every year, the campaign is a drop in the pond. But it certainly stands out.

If you want to quit smoking, you can call l 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.cdc.gov/tips.

MONEY Health Care

Obamacare Will Help You Quit Smoking—Or Charge You for Your Habit

140603_FF_QA_Obamacare_illo_1
Robert A. Di Ieso, Jr.

Q: I heard Obamacare requires health plans to help people quit smoking. Is that true?

A: You’re right. Under the health reform law, the vast majority of people now have access to tobacco cessation programs at no cost, says Katie McMahon, a policy expert at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, an advocacy group.

Implementation of this benefit initially was inconsistent, though, she says. A 2012 report from Georgetown University Health Policy Institute found that coverage varied widely, and that in many cases, it was impossible for consumers to determine what, if any, benefit their plan had. The Obama administration recently clarified the requirements.

Now, anyone insured through an employer-sponsored health plan or an individual policy purchased via the exchange gets the following paid for 100%: two attempts per year to quit, each including four counseling sessions and a 90-day supply of a medication approved by the FDA for this purpose, according to McMahon. Two of the medications require a prescription from the doctor; the others come over-the-counter.

A counseling session can be an individual, group or phone based-program offered through your employer, or a one-on-one session with a behavioral health specialist. (To find a specialist, call your state’s quit line—find it through 1-800-QUIT-NOW—or ask your primary care physician.)

One caveat: Not all Medicaid plans offer the benefit. Only Medicaid plans in states that decided to expand their Medicaid program under the health reform law—about half did—are required to pay for these services, says McMahon.

The good news for those looking to kick the habit is that research suggests having insurance coverage for treatment improves the chances that a person will stop, according to the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. And combining counseling with medication is more effective than using either therapy alone, according to the United States Preventive Services Task Force, which is charged with evaluating the latest scientific evidence on preventive services.

The bad news is that the health reform law takes a carrot-and-stick approach when it comes to smoking. While it includes this coverage to help people quit, it also allows insurers to charge smokers up to 50% higher premiums. So if the health consequences aren’t enough to convince you to conquer your addiction, maybe money will motivate you.

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