• Let the smokers die

    Posted August 4, 2011: by Bill Sardi

    Commentary: Sometimes news reports are particularly galling and provoke a writer to respond. What drivel is published today in the journal ADDICTION! The logic defies any moral sense. It is alleged that vitamin pills undermine the motivation to cease smoking and that they don’t prevent cancer anyway. Vitamin pills don’t need to prevent cancer among smokers in order to take them. Smokers rapidly deplete their body stores of vitamin C, resulting in rotten teeth, bleeding gums, weak and bulging arteries (aneurysms) that can rupture easily, eye hemorrhages, irritability and fatigue (due to anemia, as vitamin C deficiency impairs iron absorption from foods). Furthermore, multivitamins do not adequately replete vitamin C in smokers anyway. Modern medicine doesn’t withhold prescription medicines from smokers, so why vitamin C pills? The authors of this paper think vitamin C pills are an addiction. I only wish they were. -Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc., August 2, 2011

    Taking vitamin pills may undermine motivation to reduce smoking

    August 2nd, 2011 in Health

    A new study has found that smokers who take multivitamins offset their healthy behaviour by smoking more cigarettes. This is an example of what psychologists call the licensing effect, which occurs when people make a virtuous choice that permits them to make a poor choice later on, such as when someone ‘earns’ a weekend binge by avoiding alcohol all week. In this case, smokers take multivitamins, a healthy choice that they believe reduces the risk of cancer and allows them to smoke more. In fact, there is no evidence that multivitamins protect against cancer.

    The study, published online today in the journal Addiction, describes two experiments run by the authors. In the first experiment, run as a dummy health-food test, 74 daily smokers were given a placebo, but half were told they had taken a Vitamin C supplement. The smokers then took a one-hour unrelated survey during which they were allowed to smoke. Those who thought they had taken a vitamin pill smoked almost twice as much as those who knew they had taken a placebo (the control group) and reported greater feelings of invulnerability.

    The second experiment was an expanded version of the first, with 80 participants taken from a larger community and half told they were taking a multivitamin pill. The one-hour survey also contained questions about attitudes to multivitamins. The smokers who thought they had taken a multivitamin once again smoked more than the control group. But this time, researchers found that among the group, smokers with more toward multivitamins experienced a higher boost in perceived invulnerability and smoked even more than their less enthusiastic counterparts. In other words, the amount of extra smoking rose if the smoker expressed a conscious belief that multivitamins increased health.

    Health-conscious smokers who take vitamins may thus trigger fundamental but false beliefs that they are invulnerable to the major health hazards associated with smoking, which will lead them to smoke more and increase their overall health risk. Says lead author Wen-Bin Chiou, “Smokers who take dietary supplements can fool themselves into thinking they are protected against cancer and other diseases. Reminding health conscious that multivitamins don’t prevent cancer may help them control their or even encourage them to stop.”

    Provided by Wiley

    “Taking vitamin pills may undermine motivation to reduce smoking.” August 2nd, 2011. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-08-vitamin-pills-undermine.html

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