Smoking is a worldwide epidemic, an emergency situation that builds slowly, while the smoker isn’t noticing. This means it’s time to quit! We once gave you the advice to go cold turkey, but now it turns out that gradually cutting down (with the aim of quitting completely) may work just as well. If you have trouble quitting, it may be because smoking is in your GENES. And why do some people who DON’T smoke get lung cancer anyway?

Although many smokers try to quit by selecting a “quit day” and going cold turkey, a new study, that evaluated almost 4,000 anti-smoking programs, found that quitting gradually might work just as well. Researcher Nicola Lindson says, “All participants were asked to choose or were given a quit day to work toward, whether they quit gradually or abruptly. In these structured circumstances reduction was as successful as abrupt quitting.”

One study asked them to reduce their smoking by 50% over 4 weeks and then quit completely. Another study asked participants to reduce their smoking by five to 10 cigarettes per week over 5 weeks until they were not smoking at all.

BBC News reports that second-hand smoke can be almost as lethal as smoking–if you have the right (or maybe WRONG) gene. Now researchers think they’ve found the gene that causes this, and it’s not something to take lightly: One QUARTER of all lung cancers worldwide occur in people who have never smoked.

Signs of anti-smoking success are good, because tobacco companies are working hard to create an army of lifetime smokers by hooking in teens. A 1998 legal ruling prohibits tobacco industry advertising practices that encourage underage teenagers to smoke, yet new research finds that a 2007 marketing campaign for Camel brand cigarettes was effective in encouraging young girls to start smoking.

The new study showed that youth who had never smoked but who reported having a “favorite” cigarette ad at the beginning were 50% more likely to start smoking, and these ads influenced more girls than boys, probably because the Camel No. 9 marketing campaign included ads resembling fashion spreads that were placed in five of the top 10 US teen readership magazines, such as Glamour and Vogue. The campaign also featured promotional giveaways such as berry lip balm, cell phone jewelry, purses and wristbands.

It’s best not to start because some people have smoking in the GENES, and you may be one of them. Scientists have identified 3 genetic mutations that increase the number of cigarettes people smoke a day. Genes also seem to control how likely you are to START smoking and how hard it will be for you to QUIT. BBC News quotes researcher Amanda Sandford as saying that “[However], smokers who want to quit should not wait for treatment tailored to their genetic make-up.”

Our headquarters at the Dreamland Festival is strictly no smoking, but we DO expect to have some drinking there, especially when Jim Marrs holds court (as usual) in the local bar. Our festival is a gathering where you get to MEET and talk to the presenters because nobody keeps you at arm’s length, so come see us in June!

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