(photo credit: Channel 10)
Most smokers who kick the habit do it on their own without help from
counsellors, medications, nicotine gum or patches, according to a new Australian
study. The research was published in PLoS Medicine (of the US Public Library of
Science). Authors Simon Chapman and Ross McKenzie of the School of Public Health
of the University of Sydney wrote that there is too much “medicalization” in
smoking cessation today, and that even 20 years ago, when such medications were
introduced, twice as many smokers stopped without such pharmacological help.
Now, prescription and over-the-counter drugs and smokingcessation classes are
included in Israel’s basket of health services.
In the US, where the
smoking rate is lower than Israel’s 22.8%, only 8.8% who quit required
behavioral therapy to do so. Instead, most went “cold turkey” or gradually
reduced the number of cigarettes smoked each day. The American Cancer Society
reported in 1986 that over 97% of the 37 million Americans who quit smoking
since the 1964 Surgeon General’s report on the dangers of tobacco gave up by
Israel Cancer Association (ICA) directorgeneral Miri Ziv said
“really wanting” to kick the habit is the main factor in succeeding.
studies conducted before the medications were introduced showed that 53%
those who quit by themselves felt it was “not as hard” as they thought
be; just 27% maintained it was “quite hard” and 20% “very hard.”
added that half of the studies of efficacy of nicotine patches financed
pharmaceutical industry found them effective, while only 22% of those
not financed by the industry showed this technique was effective.
journal Addictive Behavior last year publishing findings that raising
taxes, laws to restrict smoking in public places and educational
stress its dangers are much more effective in getting people to quit
A new ICA study carried out by Geocartography of a
representative sample of 500 Israeli Jews found that most are “very
about health damage caused by tobacco, and three-quarters know that
one cigarette a day is enough to harm health.STANDARDS FOR MINERAL WATER
The same specifications for the quality of water drilled from the
be set for bottled mineral water, the Health Ministry’s new
Dr. Ronni Gamzu, decided on Wednesday. Until now, there were no
mineral water quality. Not long ago, a committee had discussed setting
and made recommendations, but the issue was raised practically only
when the Mei Eden company on the Golan Heights announced irregularities
certain components of its mineral water. Gamzu invited ministry
discuss the matter and decided on the spot to set the same standards as
water from drilling.
UNDERSTANDING CELL PROTEINS
Tel Aviv University
researchers have used calculations to analyze the structure, mobility
function of the protein hCTR1, which transmits copper ions within the
It might seem unimportant to the layman, but this discovery will,
they say, make it possible to better understand the way that
fight cancers. Prof. Nir Ben-Tal, doctoral student Maya Shoshan and
degree student Yariv Barkan of the biochemistry and molecular biology
– working in cooperation with Prof. Turkan Haliloglu from Istanbul –
human copper transporter 1 protein, located in the fatty envelope
all bodily cells.
It not only supervises the movement of copper ions, but
also transfers to the cell the active chemotherapy drug cisplatin.
new discovery, just published in theProceedings of the (US) National
Sciences (PNAS), could lead to the development of more effective
drugs, said Ben-Tal.
Copper ions are needed in low concentrations by
cells for the activity of various enzymes, and participate in vital
such as blood coagulation, protection against oxidants and oxygen
copper-binding enzymes are harmed, it can trigger anemia, hemophilia,
and heart disease. However, copper ions alone are very reactive and tend
quickly produce oxygen free radicals, which are harmful. Evolutionary
caused the ions to be handed in a chain from one protein to another, and
is one of the proteins. The TAU research has expanded understanding of
unique functions of hCTR1 and how the cell succeeds in absorbing the
copper ions while controlling their destructive potential, Shoshan
added.WATCH OUT FOR LASER POINTERS
Beware of damage to eyesight from
handheld laser pointers. The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a
recently from doctors at Royal Liverpool University Hospital and
Royal Eye Hospital describing the case of a teenager who suffered from
spots in the center of his vision after he bought a green diode laser
and shone the beam into his eyes while playing with it.
His visual acuity
was poor and tests revealed burns to the surface of the eye and
the retina, the lightsensitive tissue at the back of the eye.
later, the man’s visual acuity improved but some retinal damage
authors warn that, although lasers may cause only a transient
shining one into the eyse can lead to permanent visual loss in later
The UK Health Protection Agency has received no previous reports
of such injury from laser pointers, they write. It advises that laser
sold to the public should be restricted to devices of less than one
in accordance with the British Standard, and be accompanied by
information on their safe operation.