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Dying To Quit: Why We Smoke And How We Stop

by By Janet Brigham; A Joseph Henry Press Book

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From Publishers Weekly
Although seemingly writing for clinicians, Brigham, a research psychologist with a California think tank, has much to tell general readers about smoking. Is it an addiction or a habit? Studies are inconclusive, we learn here. But much is known, such as the connection between mood and tobacco use: nicotine, a mild euphoriant, provides "quick relief" to anxiety. With some 16 million smokers trying to quit every year, just 1.2 million succeed, according to studies quoted in this well-documented book. Brigham notes factors involved in avoiding relapse, such as a support network, low stress and a stable life. She explains that although the experience of withdrawal differs from individual to individual, among the constants is weight gain, an average 8-10 pounds but up to 30 pounds for some. The book also reviews the medical hazards of smoking, among them circulatory, coronary and lung diseases, and cancer of the esophagus. Brigham's material is all the more terrifying for its calm delivery. And only after motivating readers with so much alarming information does she discuss quitting techniques, noting that cessation usually requires many attempts and is more successfully accomplished with aids like nicotine replacements (patch or gum) or counseling lasting eight or more weeks. 20,000 first printing.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
Tobacco researcher and psychologist Brigham examines the complex effects of addiction and usage in this fascinating account of tobacco history and research. Interviews regarding one young woman's personal smoking experience lead each chapter into the scientific story of nicotine's effects on the mind and body as an addictive agent, appetite suppressant, emotional stabilizer, and toxic polluter. Tobacco usage and research, company sales strategies, social and peer pressures, and smoking-cessation products are all investigated, and Bingham presents staggering statistics on the number of people worldwide addicted to tobacco. Her impressive, fascinating volume, similar in scope to Simon Bryant's Know Smoking (Middle Way, 1997) but more scholarly and in-depth, will prove valuable to any person researching this subject. Highly recommended.AJanet M. Schneider, James A. Haley Veterans' Hosp., Tampa, FL
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews
A useful overview of the science and sociology surrounding the smoking debate. Former science journalist Brigham, now a research psychologist, observes that where smoking had been declining in the US since the surgeon generals 1963 report on smoking and cancer, the number of smokers has now begun to climb; Hollywood, she says, glamorizes smoking (65 percent of male leads in recent films are depicted as smokers), cigars are in, and teenagers are lighting up in record numbers. At the same time, the number of smokers worldwide is growing (as is, of course, the worlds population); it now stands at more than a billion, a cigarette manufacturers dream come true. American smokers are likelier, she writes, to live in the industrial northeast than in California or Hawaii, where the rates of smoking are lowest; they are likelier as well to be uneducated, and the less educated they are, the less probable it is that they will quit smoking. Brighams text becomes occasionally tangled when she departs from mere numerical observations--but only because the science surrounding smoking is itself confused and confusing. Brigham notes that nicotine and other active ingredients in tobacco affect different smokers in different ways, that some smokers can puff away for seven or eight decades without becoming ill, while others are felled by coronary disease in early middle age, and that nicotine offers powerful therapeutic value in combating such maladies as Alzheimers disease while posing undeniable health risks in other areas. Her text is straightforward, if sometimes marred by a too anecdotal approach, and she makes a good case--as if one were needed--for why those who smoke should stop and those who do not smoke should not start. Good reading for high-school health classes and for anti-smoking activists. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.



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