Getting Your Patients to Go Tobacco Free

Every year in the U.S. over 392,000 people die from tobacco-caused disease, making it the leading cause of preventable death. Another 50,000 people die from exposure to secondhand smoke. Tragically, each day thousands of kids still pick up a cigarette for the first time. The cycle of addiction, illness and death continues. What can be done to stop smoking?

It starts with you.  Bringing Smoking Cessation into your practice as a key element to the treatment of your patients that smoke will help to drop these numbers of people that suffer and die from tobacco.  Our Breath CO monitor is a simple test that can help to diagnose just how high their CO is elevated and how the disease is progressing.  This is an aid to smoking cessation that can be used as a motivational and educational tool.  “Self-reported” smoking status amongst patients has been shown to be quite unreliable.  That’s where our monitor steps into play.

Not only do tobacco products kill us, but tobacco products negatively impact and damage our environment. Cigarette butts are not just a nuisance, they are toxic waste. They contain chemicals that contaminate our waterways and ground soil and harm our wildlife.  Discarded lit cigarettes can cause fires, which can damage homes and land.  It is also very costly to clean up cigarette waste - a problem that continues to grow every year.

To properly treat your patients, it’s time to implement a solid Smoking Cessation program in your practice.  It  is a key component to caring for your patients.  Encouraging them to stop smoking and to take better care of themselves along with their treatment plan will help their lung function and overall well-being.

For more information about Breath CO Monitors and Smoking Cessation, visit us at

Novotny, Lum, Smith, Wang, & Barnes, "Cigarettes Butts and the Case for an Environmental Policy on Hazardous Cigarette Waste." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2009 May; 6(5): 1691-1705.
Register, Kathleen. "Cigarette Butts as Litter - Toxic as Well as Ugly." Underwater Naturalist Bulletin of the American Littoral Society. 25(20), August 2000.
American for Nonsmokers' Rights, "Tobacco Environmental Toll." ANR Update,...

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Eating a Healthy Diet Can Help Improve Lung Function In COPD Patients

An international team of researchers has discovered a direct link between eating fish, fruit and dairy products with improved lung function in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The study, which is being presented at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2014 International Conference, specifically examined COPD patients’ lung function within 24 hours of consuming fish, cheese, grapefruit and bananas.

“Diet is a potentially modifiable risk factor in the development and progression of many diseases, and there is evidence that diet plays a role in both the development and clinical features of COPD,” said Corinne Hanson, PhD, assistant professor of Medical Nutrition at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “This study aimed to evaluate that association.”

The research team used data collected as part of the Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints study (ECLIPSE), which was designed to determine the progression of COPD and identify biomarkers associated with the disease. The team analyzed limited diet records for 2,167 ECLIPSE subjects. The participants provided dietary intake information eight times over a three-year period, reporting the amount of a specific food they had consumed during the past 24 hours.

Standard lung functionality measurements for the same group were analyzed. These assessments included the six-minute walk test (SMWT), St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) scores and inflammatory biomarkers. The team adjusted their findings for age, sex, body mass index (BMI) and smoking.
According to the results, people who reported recently consuming fish, grapefruit, bananas or cheese showed improvement in lung function, less emphysema, improved scores on the SMWT, improved scores on the SGRQ, and a decrease in certain inflammatory biomarkers associated with poor lung function including white blood cells and C-reactive protein.

“This study demonstrates the nearly immediate effects a healthy diet can have on lung function in in a large and well-characterized population of COPD patients,” Hanson said. “It also demonstrates the potential need for dietary and nutritional counseling in patients who have COPD.”

Hanson believes that the link between diet as a modifiable risk factor in COPD and the results of the new study deserves further investigation.

To properly diagnose and treat your COPD patients, implementing Spirometry into your practice...

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Older people with COPD taking benzodiazepines more likely to experience adverse respiratory outcomes

A group of drugs commonly prescribed for insomnia, anxiety and breathing issues "significantly increase the risk" that older people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, need to visit a doctor or Emergency Department for respiratory reasons, new research has found.

Benzodiazepines, such as Ativan or Xanax, may actually contribute to respiratory problems, such as depressing breathing ability and pneumonia, in these patients, said Dr. Nicholas Vozoris, a respirologist at St. Michael's Hospital.

Dr. Vozoris said the findings are significant, given that 5 to 10 per cent of the Canadian population has COPD (also known as emphysema), which is mainly caused by smoking. His previous research has shown that 30 per cent of older Canadians with COPD are prescribed benzodiazepines.

His new research was published online in the European Respiratory Journal

Dr. Vozoris said he believes this is the first study to look at clinical outcomes of COPD patients prescribed these drugs. He used databases at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Studies to identify older adults in Ontario who had been diagnosed with COPD, as well as prescription, health insurance and hospitalization records.

He found that COPD patients who had been newly prescribed a benzodiazepine were at 45 per cent increased risk of having an exacerbation of respiratory symptoms requiring outpatient treatment. They were at 92 per cent greater risk of needing to visit an Emergency Department for COPD or pneumonia. There was an elevated, but not statistically significant, risk of also being hospitalized for respiratory reasons.

He said the findings were consistent even after taking into account the severity of the person's illness - i.e. they were true for people with less advanced and more advanced COPD.

"Physicians, when prescribing these pills, need to be careful, use caution and monitor the patients for respiratory side effects," said Dr. Vozoris. "Patients also need to watch for respiratory-related symptoms."

This is why it is even more important that you stay connected more closely with your patients and monitor their respiratory function regularly with the use of spirometry.

To learn more about our product offerings and how you can implement spirometry into your practice to better diagnose and treat your COPD patients, be sure to visit us at  

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Pregnant Smokers Often Not Counseled to Quit

A significant knowledge gap about smoking cessation practices among perinatal substance abuse staff at a single center means pregnant women are often not being counseled about the dangers of tobacco and encouraged to quit, new research suggests.

Perinatal substance abuse counselors from the Johns Hopkins Center for Addiction and Pregnancy in Baltimore, Maryland, fared significantly worse than substance abuse staff who worked in Veteran's Administration hospital centers, other hospital-based centers, and community counseling centers throughout the United States.

"We found that they had much less knowledge about smoking cessation practices, and they also were more likely to have negative attitudes about their ability to get these women to stop smoking," senior author Margaret Chisolm, MD, from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, told Medscape Medical News.

The findings were presented here at the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) 45th Annual Medical-Scientific Conference.

More Harmful Than Illicit Drugs
Nearly 21% of reproductive-age women in the United States smoke cigarettes, and about 13% continue to smoke during pregnancy. This percentage is as high as 90% among pregnant women with substance use disorders, Dr. Chisolm said.

"When I started working here in 2006, this issue literally hit me in the face. These pregnant women who are in our drug abuse program would smoke outside the hospital in between their group sessions, and things like that, so I wanted to know why we were not addressing this in our program, especially since smoking is the leading modifiable risk factor for pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality," she said.

"Smoking is as harmful, if not more harmful, than most of the illicit drugs that pregnant women use," Dr. Chisolm added.

In the study, Dr. Chisolm used the Smoking Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (S-KAP) Instrument to compare the knowledge, attitudes, and practices among the 41 perinatal substance abuse staff at her institution with the knowledge, attitudes, and practices among 335 general substance abuse treatment staff from 11 other institutions.

The S-KAP Instrument was developed by Kevin L. Delucchi, PhD, and colleagues from the University of California, San Francisco, and published in the Journal of Drug Issues.

The instrument elicits staff knowledge about the risks of smoking, attitudes toward treating...

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Microparticles and COPD: Cell Injury in Lung Tissues is Closely Connected to Disease Progression in COPD Patients

The International Journal of COPD has published the review, “The role of microparticles in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease”.

As corresponding author Dr. Kubo says “Endothelial damage is believed to affect the pathophysiology of COPD, however, the influence of COPD exacerbation on the endothelium is not clearly understood. In this manuscript, we evaluated the influence of exacerbation on the endothelium by measuring circulating endothelial microparticles (EMPs), which are shed membrane vesicles in circulating blood that originate from activated or injured endothelium.”

Dr. Kubo continues “Several EMPs were significantly increased even at stable condition in COPD patients, but further increased during exacerbation. The increased EMPs were originated mainly from pulmonary capillary endothelial cells, suggesting pulmonary capillary is the main site suffered from exacerbation. Because circulating E-selectin EMPs increased in COPD patients who frequently underwent exacerbation, monitoring of EMP numbers is useful for evaluating endothelial damage in COPD patients and higher E-selectin EMP levels may predict the patients who are susceptible to exacerbation.”

As Dr. Richard Russell, Editor-in-Chief, explains “This is one of the first papers published on this subject. It is good science which is clear and understandable. The potential of the micro-particles both in the aetiology and treatment (even prevention) of COPD is massive.”

To help diagnose and treat COPD, Spirometry could not be an easier way to perform a test on your patients.  Your patients will be correctly diagnosed and treated more accurately and conveniently in your office and Spirometry is FULLY REIMBURSABLE.

Visit today to learn about our Spirometry products and find out how you can better diagnose and treat your patients.




The International Journal of COPD is an international, peer-reviewed journal of therapeutics and pharmacology focusing on concise rapid reporting of clinical studies and reviews in COPD. Special focus will be given to the pathophysiological processes underlying the disease, intervention programs, patient focused education, and self-management protocols. This journal is directed at specialists and healthcare...

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Poor Diets Contributing to Increased Asthma Prevalence
The spread of poor diets with large amounts of processed food, fat and refined sugar could be leading to increasing levels of inflammation in the body and, as a result, contributing to increased asthma prevalence, say researchers.
The researchers looked at the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) in people with asthma compared with healthy controls to relate the index to the risk of asthma, lung function and systemic inflammation.
Ninety nine people with stable asthma and 61 healthy controls were studied. Lung function was tested through blood tests and spirometry, and the DII was worked out from questionnaires on food frequency of the subjects.
“Consumption of pro-inflammatory foods in the diet may contribute to worse asthma status”
The mean index score for people with asthma was found to be greater than that for healthy controls. The indication was that diets of people with asthma were more pro-inflammatory than those of controls and for each unit increase in index score there was a 62% rise in the chance of having asthma.
Lung function was also found to have a significant link with the index score, with a lowering of roughly 10% in the third of patients with the highest index score, compared with the third of patients with the lowest.
A further inflammation indicator − levels of inflammatory marker interleukin-6 in the blood − was positively linked with index score.
The index score was linked to lower lung function and greater systemic inflammation, said Lisa Wood, head of the Nutrition program at the Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases, University of Newcastle in New South Wales.
“The usual diet consumed by asthmatics in this study was pro-inflammatory relative to the diet consumed by the healthy controls, as assessed using the DII score,” she said.
“The DII score was associated with lower lung function and increased systemic inflammation,” she said. “Hence, consumption of pro-inflammatory foods in the diet may contribute to worse asthma status.”
The researchers are now designing more studies to look at how dietary components reduce inflammation and clinical asthma outcomes, for example dietary fiber and antioxidants.
The index was developed in 2009 at the University of South Carolina, and it was validated to assess individual diets’ inflammatory potential.
The study was presented at the meeting of...
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Exercise May Curtail COPD Complications
Exercise might help reduce the risk of hospital readmission in people with a progressive lung condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a new study finds.
"Our findings suggest that regular physical activity could buffer the stresses of hospitalization," said study author Huong Nguyen, of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research and Evaluation.
"Future studies will focus on determining whether we can reduce hospitalizations by improving physical activity in patients with COPD," Nguyen added.
COPD refers to a group of diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, that cause airflow blockage and breathing problems. Fifteen million Americans report they have a COPD diagnosis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For this study, published April 9, 2014 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, researchers analyzed the health records of more than 6,000 California patients, aged 40 and older. All were hospitalized with COPD during 2011 and 2012. The patients provided information about their physical activity levels.
Compared to inactive patients, those who exercised 150 minutes a week (the equivalent of a half-hour, five days a week) or more were 34 percent less likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days. Those who exercised less than 150 minutes a week still had a 33 percent lower risk compared to those who didn't exercise at all, the study found.
"The results of this study are groundbreaking because measures of physical activity were derived from routine clinical care, instead of lengthy physical activity surveys or activity devices in smaller research samples," Nguyen said in a Kaiser news release.
"Previous research has only analyzed the relationship between physical inactivity and increased [death] rate and hospitalizations, but not 30-day readmissions in patients with COPD," Nguyen added.
The study included white, black, Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander patients.
Many health care systems are looking at ways to reduce hospital readmissions, Nguyen said. "This study is novel in that we were able to capture information about patients' usual physical activity well before the initial hospitalization and provides evidence that supports the promotion of physical activity across the COPD care continuum," Nguyen added.
While the study doesn't establish a...
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Smoking Ban Reduces pre-term births, childhood asthma
On Friday, March 28, 2014, researchers stated that bans on smoking in public and the workplace led to a 10 percent drop in premature births and in emergency asthma treatment for children.
The evidence, based on the records of more than two million children, comes from 11 published investigations into the impact of local or national smoking bans in the United States, Canada, and four European countries.
Researchers found, within a year of a ban being imposed, rates of pre-term births and hospital treatment for childhood asthma each fell by more than a tenth.
Premature births are associated with a low birth weight and health problems for the child later in life.
Previous research into the benefits of smoking bans have focused mainly on adults, but children are disproportionately affected by passive smoking because their developing lungs and immune systems are more easily irritated.
A previous study in 2011, of 192 countries, found that children account for more than a quarter of the annual toll of 600,000 deaths attributed to second-hand smoking.
The new investigation, published in The Lancet, covered more than 2.5 million births and 250,000 hospital admissions of children who suffered an asthma attack. The data was for the period 2008-2013.
"Our research shows that smoking bans are an effective way to protect the health of our children," said Jasper Been of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Population Health Sciences in Scotland.
"These findings should help to accelerate the introduction of anti-smoking legislation in areas not currently protected."
In a comment, smoking experts Sara Kalkhoran and Stanton Glantz at the University of California in San Francisco said the figures showed, among other things, that smoking bans pay for themselves.
"Medical expenses for asthma exceeded $50 billion (36.5 billion euros) in the USA in 2007 and $20 billion in Europe in 2006," they said.
"If asthma emergency department visits and admissions to hospitals decreased by even 10 percent, the savings in the USA and Europe together would be $7 billion annually."
A 2012 analysis found a 15 percent reduction in heart attacks and strokes and a 24 percent drop in hospital admissions for respiratory disease after anti-tobacco laws were passed.
For more information on Smoking Cessation products for your practice, visit MD Spiro, your breathing...
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