Gradual Reduction of Ingestion of Nicotine and Tar (GRINT)

GRINT (Gradual Reduction Method) is an alternative to NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) and other drug-based smoking cessation methods.

Compared with other methods available on the market, the GRINT technique, also known as the Gradual Reduction Method (GRM), is unique and innovative, as it does not make use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or other methods based on medicaments.

With NRT, the smoker stops abruptly, using medication in the form of patches, gums, inhalers or tablets to continue the supply of nicotine for up to 3 months to help overcome nicotine addiction.  Another drug-based treatment, only available on prescription, is the anti-depressant bupropion (‘Zyban’); a low dose in the last two weeks before quitting rises to full strength, taken for about 3 months after quitting.  Research shows that both NRT and bupropion create extra problems for smokers: they have their own side-effects and, for the majority of smokers, do not deliver the hoped-for results.

The problem for most smokers, particularly those who have previously tried to stop, is that they know that abruptly stopping is going to be a painful and difficult experience, demanding significant willpower and resilience and would prefer to use a gradual reduction method (1).    Approximately 30 per cent of women who smoke in Britain continue to smoke during pregnancy. There are 4000 chemical in cigarettes of which there are more than 30 known carcinogens. A German study showed traces of NNK, (nicotine-derived nitrosaminoketone) which is one of the strongest cancer causing agents found in tobacco products. It was detected in 22 of 31 newborns of mothers who smoked during pregnancy.

Gradual reduction is an effective procedure.  Moderate-to-heavy smokers who reduce their consumption prior to their quit date are more likely to stop smoking; even those who continue to smoke consume on average 11.4 fewer cigarettes per day(3).  Among relapsers, those who stop abruptly tend to return to their previous smoking levels while the gradual reducers relapse to significantly below their original levels(4)

 

The GRM options available to date include:

Self-control – (i) Gradual reduction in the number of cigarettes daily (‘cigarette tapering’), using techniques such as reducing the number of cigarettes in their pack at the start of the day, increasing the time gaps between smoking, smoking less and less of each cigarette.  (ii) ‘Nicotine fading’ by switching to brands yielding less nicotine.  However, such brand switching leads to smoking more cigarettes and taking larger and more frequent puffs(5).  Most smoking cessation professionals do not recommend self-control approaches as success rates are poor compared to therapist-paced target-setting(6).

Plastic filter systems – A nicotine fading method, using three or four different filters to trap different amounts of tar and nicotine.  However, the (unfashionable) use of plastic cigarette holders coupled to the need to dismantle and clean out the filter after every five cigarettes, makes them unattractive.  Smokers using these methods also tend to compensate for the reduced nicotine by smoking more cigarettes or taking longer and deeper puffs(7).

Computer monitoring – Hand-held or wristwatch devices instructing smokers when to smoke, gradually reducing consumption (cigarette tapering); these techniques can improve a smoker’s chance of giving up(8).  Possible downsides are that smokers can be required to smoke when they do not actually want to, and some are uncomfortable handing control to a machine.  They can be fairly expensive and are not widely available.

Aerating devices – These introduce air into the smoke stream, either by punching holes into the side of the cigarette or via plastic filters (nicotine fading).  Smokers tend to compensate for the diluted smoke by taking deeper puffs(9); this has been shown to cause a particular type of lung cancer, also found in smokers who have switched to ‘low tar’ or ‘light’ brands.  Smokers also tend to cover up the ventilation holes in order to ‘taste’ their cigarette.

The previous implementations of GRM have each had their particular problems, so there has been hardly any GRM available via mainstream smoking cessation routes.  However, after ten years research and development, NicoBloc is now available, heralding a new era in the provision of support for those who want to give up cigarettes in a gradual and controlled manner.

NicoBloc – is a safe, natural product made from a food-grade composition (FDA approved) and can be used by all smokers including those with medical conditions or women in pregnancy.  NicoBloc fluid soaks into the cigarette filter to trap tar and nicotine; it is typically used over a six-week period, achieving gentle weaning off nicotine addiction.

The smoker applies one drop of NicoBloc (which blocks up to 33% of tar and nicotine) to each cigarette in week one, two drops in week two and, from week three onwards, three drops, blocking up to 99% of tar and nicotine(10).

NicoBloc users do not compensate for reduced nicotine intake by smoking more cigarettes (11), and NicoBloc use is not associated with increased craving or other withdrawal symptoms, nor does it sufficiently affect the taste or smoking experience to deter users (12).

The NicoBloc method also contains subtle behaviour modification.  The action of applying NicoBloc to each cigarette before it is smoked breaks the pack-to-mouth routine.  Also, as smokers are required to progressively undertake more ‘work’ in order to receive less ‘reward’, they tend to opt not to smoke their least favourite or the more inconvenient cigarettes, e.g. when driving.

When NicoBloc was used in the workplace ‘Rosen Stop Smoking Programme’ field trials (800 smokers over a 2-year period in 88 different UK and Irish companies),  the results showed that 6 weeks was a comfortable period for gradual reduction with 60% of participants completing the Programme and stopping smoking without significant withdrawal symptoms.   This Programme also generated the cigarette tapering target-setting algorithms embodied in the printed NicoBloc materials and within the interactive facility at www.nicobloc.com.

In a small study (which did not include NicoBloc), five different combinations of various quitting strategies were tested; the most effective involved a combination of nicotine fading and cigarette tapering; 12 months later, 57% were still non-smokers(13).

NicoBloc combines, in one simple, user-friendly process, nicotine fading and cigarette tapering together with target-setting and behaviour modification.

The NicoBloc retail pack contains an illustrated instruction booklet with a free CD or DVD and website support.  Also included is a voucher for a nicotine test kit that can show, with a simple urine test, the presence or absence of nicotine in the smoker’s body.   This is usually used at the end of the programme to provide confirmation to the smoker that they are clear of nicotine.

NicoBloc is readily available over the counter in pharmacies and comes in a convenient sized pack that provides a typical 20-a-day smoker with 2 weeks’ supply.

References
1. Hazelden Foundation (1998). Heading off a nation of teenage smokers. New York Times, 17/11/98.
2. Flaxman, J. (1978) Quitting smoking now or later: Gradual, abrupt, immediate and delayed quitting. Behavior Therapy, 9, 260–270.
3. Farkas, A.J. (1999) When does cigarette fading increase the likelihood of future cessation? Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 21, 71–76.
4. Gunther, V., Gritsch, S. & Meise, U. (1992) Smoking cessation – gradual or sudden stopping? Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 29, 231–236.
5. Zacny, J.P. & Stitzer, M.L. (1998) Cigarette brand-switching: Effects on smoke exposure and smoking behavior. Journal of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, 246, 619–627.
6. Hill, A.A. (1982) Target-setting self-control for smoking. Psychological Reports, 50, 68-70.
7. Henningfield, J.E, & Griffiths, R.R. (1980) Effects of ventilated cigarette holders on cigarette smoking by humans. Psychopharmacology (Berlin) 68, 115–119.
8. Cinciripini, P.M., Lapitsky, L., Seay, S., Wallfisch, A., Kitchens, K. & Van Vunakis, H. (1995) The effects of smoking schedules on cessation outcome: Can we improve on common methods of gradual and abrupt nicotine withdrawal. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol., 63, 388–399.
9. Stitzer, M.L., Brigham, J. & Felch, L.J. (1992) Phase-out filter perforation: Effects on human tobacco smoke exposure. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 41, 749–754.
10. Stillwell & Gladding Testing Laboratories. (April 19, 1993) Cigarette smoking tests using Accudrop (=NicoBloc) filter solution.
11. Pickworth, W.B., Fant, R.V., Nelson, R.A. & Henningfield, J.E. (1998) Effects of cigarette smoking through a partially occluded filter. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 60, 817–821.
12. Gariti, P. & Alterman, A. (1997) Testing a smoking cessation aid. College on Problems of Drug Dependence. 59th Annual Meeting. Nashville TN June 1997. In: L.S. Harris (ed), Problems of Drug Dependence. NIDA Research monograph 178. p.158.
13. Becona, E. & Garcia, M.P. (1993) Nicotine fading and smokeholding methods to smoking cessation. Psychological Reports, 73, 779–786.

Gradual Reduction works better then Cold Turkey for Quitting smoking

Smokers trying to quit may have a better chance of success if they let the clock tell them when to have a cigarette.

The strategy proved twice as successful in the long term as quitting cold turkey according to a study reported in the June issue of The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

The timed reduction strategy assigns smokers specific times of day for lighting up. The schedule gradually lengthens the intervals between cigarettes until a smoker quits altogether.

“They’re still going to get to smoke, they’re just not going to get to smoke when they want to smoke,” said one of the researchers, Dr. Paul Cinciripini, director of the smoking-cessation program at the University of Texas’s M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

By repeatedly putting their nicotine urges on hold for manageable periods, smokers gain practice and self-confidence for after they quit altogether, Dr. Cinciripini said.

The researchers studied two versions of the clock strategy. The better result came from forcing smokers to gradually reduce the number of cigarettes smoked, rather than maintaining their normal level of consumption before quitting.

In the study of 128 smokers, the clock strategy was part of a nine-week program that also taught how to resist the urge to smoke.

First, researchers took the number of cigarettes each smoker consumed per day and scheduled smoking to occur at regular intervals. A person who usually smoked 30 cigarettes a day and stayed awake for 15 hours, for example, got smoking times that allowed one cigarette every half-hour. Smokers had to light up within five minutes of the scheduled time. If they missed it, they could not make it up later.

The next week, their schedule was adjusted to allow one-third fewer cigarettes. The week after that brought another one-third cut. And the week after that, the consumption was reduced again to an average of three or four cigarettes a day. Then came the target date for quitting.

Smokers who used that strategy showed a 44 percent success rate one year after the smoking program ended.

How I Quit Smoking

Life begins at 65 – I haven’t had a cigarette since

Thank you NicoBloc

I smoked for 44 years and have given up smoking for good. It is the best thing I ever did. It wasn’t easy. I must have tried thousands of times, cold turkey, patches, gum, hypnotism you name it I tried it.

Then one day I found NicoBloc and that worked for me. I quit smoking in only 6 weeks and have never looked back. I think that if you keep trying you will find your way. I read somewhere that half of all smokers in America had quit. So I always felt it was going to be possible for me.

I can remember so many key points in my life when I made a firm commitment to quit. One time was when my eldest daughter was born, I remember it so vividly, looking at her and swearing I would give up the fags. I wouldn’t pollute her life. But within a short time I was back on the smokes.

What I didn’t realise then was that I was addicted to nicotine – I just called it a habit, one that I felt I could just give up. I did not understand then that there was a big difference. Wanting to give up wasn’t enough. I think that was why I failed so many times. When I tried with patches and gum I felt I was just replacing one form of taking in nicotine into my body with another – a recipe for disaster.

Well, I did I give up in the end, with the help of NicoBloc I found it on a website one day . It seemed so simple. You just put a drop on the filter of the cigarette before you smoke it and it traps the nicotine in the filter – well some of it – after a few weeks you put two drops on the filter and it then traps more nicotine. I think why it worked for me was that I slowly weaned myself off nicotine without any of the panic of the sudden stop you have when you use NRT patches or gum. I feel it treated my addiction the same way addicts come off drugs – slowly.

Anyway, after about six weeks I was only smoking a few fags a day and then I would forget to smoke. I know its sounds silly but I found a new confidence in myself, I slowly felt that this was going to be the last time I gave up the fags.

Don’t get me wrong it took effort but I beat the addiction!  I can now play with my grandchildren without them saying “Grandad please don’t smoke” – like my kids did.

I wish you every success

A very happy ex-smoker

 

NicoBloc, the ultimate new-generation product to help you stop smoking.

37 Tips to help you Quit Smoking

  1. Try chewing on a flavored toothpick instead of smoking.
  2. Remove the heads from some wooden kitchen matches. Put several headless matches in your mouth and chew on them.
  3. Keep a flask of spicy soup or tomato juice handy for when you get the craving feeling in your chest.
  4. When you want to smoke, take a shower. You can’t smoke in the shower.
  5. Or try taking a bath. One woman made the break successfully by passing most of one week-end in the tub.
  6. If you feel you need professional help or support, see your doctor.
  7. Certainly see him if you have any persistent symptoms that might be related to smoking or quitting.
  8. If you feel irritable or tense, shut your eyes and count backwards from 10 to 0
  9. Imagine yourself descending a flight of stairs or watching the sun slowly sink beyond the western horizon.
  10. Don’t quit permanently, just quit for today–and tomorrow–and the next day, until you’ve established your new habit.
  11. Each day try to put off lighting your first cigarettes.
  12. At home put your cigarettes in the most inconvenient place, far from matches or lighter.
  13. One man kept his in the garden shed and forced himself to smoke only outside the house.
  14. Decide arbitrarily that you will smoke only on even or odd-numbered hours of the clock.
  15. Temporarily avoid those situations where you are inclined to smoke heavily.
  16. Hide the ashtrays and cigarettes. Out of sight, out of mind. A simple yet helpful maneuver.
  17. Do everything you can to avoid the “unconscious” cigarette
  18. You will cut down significantly with little effort at all.
  19. Pop something non-caloric in your mouth–gum, hard candy, dietetic candy, pencils, fingers, toes, etc.
  20. Deep breathing: this can be done either standing or sitting. It has a marvelous therapeutic effect.
  21. Don’t buy your next pack until you’ve finished the last.
  22. Never buy a full carton. This helps reduce temptation.
  23. Tell all your friends you are going to kick the habit.
  24. Develop a set of rules as to where you can not smoke.
  25. Try yoga. It’s very hard to smoke while standing on your head.
  26. At some point you’ve got to make a “clean break”–you have to make a decision to stop.
  27. Set a date and stick to it!
  28. Keep postponing the first cigarette of the day for a longer and longer time.
  29. Fill those cigarette gaps with other things.
  30. Talk to yourself! When the urge comes say  “Calm Down Wait a few Minutes”
  31. The trick of tricks is to find the right personal incentive.
  32. Keep foremost in your mind the thought that you “do not smoke.”
  33. Just convince yourself that nothing would control you unless you want it to.
  34. Make yourself a “smoking corner” that is far from anything interesting.
  35. Never smoke while watching television.
  36. Brush your teeth frequently to get rid of the tobacco taste and stains
  37. Bet with someone that you can quit.

Second Hand Smoke is Toxic