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Lancet Book Review: Our Changing Attitudes to Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs

February 26, 2014 in Public health news

" Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana I was surprised that Virginia Berridge didn't mention the above quote in her impressive book, Demons, because it succinctly covers the key message. Berridge explores the history of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, particularly opioids but she also covers to some extent […]

Understanding nicotine dependence

February 26, 2014 in Public health news

We briefly unpack Scott Leischow‘s tobacco workshop presentation at the 2013 PHASA conference on pharmacodynamics and nicotine dependence.

Hopeful evidence – smoking cessation medication

February 26, 2014 in Articles, Social determinants

When a smoker with limited funds approached the public health care system for help to quit smoking, Motivational Interviewing (MI) was the only treatment available to them. This despite the fact that there were recommended non-prescription medications on the market (Nicotine Replacement Therapies) as well as prescription medications (Nicotine Receptor Agonists) and antidepressants. Furthermore, costly curative care would be provided in the public health care system when smokers got illnesses and diseases linked to smoking. Megan Harker investigates the intricacies of smoking cessation medication.

Why tobacco is a public health priority

March 8, 2013 in Public health news

Tobacco use kills more than 5 million people per year. It is responsible for 1 in 10 adult deaths. Among the five greatest risk factors for mortality, it is the single most preventable cause of death.

Tobacco cessation: The role of health professionals

November 15, 2011 in Articles

Tobacco use has been identified as the leading cause of preventable deaths in the world, giving rise to an estimated 5 million deaths per year. By the year 2020, this is expected to nearly double with 70% of the deaths occurring in the developing countries. To prevent the projected number of deaths, many attempts are being made to curb the current smoking patterns. In South Africa, the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act of 1999 was formulated and has resulted in the decreasing prevalence of smoking. This paper discusses approaches to smoking cessation and proposes a context for action by all health care professionals. We suggest changing the social acceptability of smoking, strengthening community participation, integrating tobacco cessation with other healthcare services and specifying the role of healthcare professionals to increase tobacco use cessation.

World No Tobacco Day

May 31, 2011 in Public health news

On the 31st of May the WHO highlights the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocates effective policies to reduce consumption.

Join the African Tobacco Treatment Network

May 5, 2011 in Environmental and occupational health, Organisations, Public health news

The University of Pretoria as part of the Global Bridges initiative of the Mayo Clinic is hosting the African Tobacco Treatment Network (ATTNet).