HEALTH

GSK study says about half of smokers drink coffee while smoking

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH A new survey from GlaxoSmithKline shows half of all smokers regularly drink coffee and smoke at the same time, the smoking cessation supplier reported Monday.

A recent survey conducted by the marketers of Commit Cappuccino, a new smokcing-cessation lozenge flavor, shows that while smokers drink almost twice as much coffee as nonsmokers, an overwhelming 86 percent surveyed are unaware that they may need to cut back their caffeine intake when trying to quit.

Studies show that smoking causes smokers to metabolize caffeine faster. As a result, smokers need to ingest more caffeine to get the same effects of nonsmokers. So when a smoker tries to quit, they may end up with more caffeine in their system, and may need to reduce their caffeine intake when trying to quit. In fact, the survey shows that fewer than one in 10 smokers (9 percent) know how smoking affects the way their body processes caffeine. Additionally, about one-third of smokers (about 32 percent) do not know that too much caffeine in the blood can be harmful.

“It is important smokers understand that they don’t need to give up coffee when trying to quit, but by drinking less coffee, they may help their body adjust to life without cigarettes, and avoid caffeine side effects,” said Saul Shiffman, researcher and professor in the departments of psychology and pharmaceutical science at the University of Pittsburgh and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare spokesman.

Among the adults surveyed, smokers drink an average of 2.8 cups of coffee per day, while nonsmokers drink 1.5 cups. And almost half (about 43 percent) of smokers report that drinking coffee makes them want to have a cigarette.

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Google tracks flu trends through requests via search engine

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN FRANCISCO Google has found a way to track the spread of the flu by taking note of users who type phrases related to the flu into its search engine and reporting them through a new service called Google Flu Trends.

This may enable local outbreaks to be detected before health officials detect them, tests of the site have shown.

According to The New York Times, searches for flu-related information on Google increased in mid-Atlantic U.S. states increased two weeks before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an increase in the incidence of flu in those states.

 

 

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J&J recalls lots of Infants’ Mylicon Gas Relief Dye Free

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT WASHINGTON, Pa. Johnson & Johnson-Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals Company Monday evening voluntarily recalled approximately 12,000 units of Infants’ Mylicon Gas Relief Dye Free (simethicone-antigas) non-staining sold in 1-ounce plastic bottles that were distributed after Oct. 5 because some of the bottles could include metal fragments that were generated during the manufacturing process.

Although the potential for serious medical events is low, the company is implementing this recall to the consumer level as a precaution. If any medical events were to occur, most are expected to be temporary and resolve without medical treatment. Parents who have given the product to their infant and are concerned should contact their health care provider immediately.

The company is taking this action in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration, J&J reported.

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