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Mood drug no help for smoking cessation in prison study

By ZenobiaSky, Jan 2, 2013 | | |
  1. ZenobiaSky
    18738.jpg The addition of the antidepressant nortriptyline to conventional smoking cessation therapy didn't improve the chances of longterm success among male prisoners, Australian researchers have found.

    Depression and other mental illnesses raise the likelihood of smoking, and quitting can depress a person's mood - which in turn can make it harder to quit. Studies have shown that antidepressants, including nortriptyline, can improve the success of smoking cessation efforts.

    And prison inmates are notoriously heavy smokers, with higher rates of depression and other mental illness than the general population.

    But the new study found that nortriptyline (marketed as Aventyl) - which is not FDA-approved for smoking cessation but often is used for that purpose - did not seem to help inmate smokers stay tobacco-free over time.

    Compliance with the therapy appeared to a significant issue, however, said Robyn Richmond, a public health researcher at the University of New South Wales, in Kensington, who led the study.

    Prisoners who were faithful to the treatment as ordered at least three-quarters of the time were much more likely to break their smoking habit than those who could not stick to the regimen, Richmond told Reuters Health.

    Another factor, Richmond added, was that the prison population in the study tended to migrate, making follow-up of the participants difficult.

    "One thinks that you have a captive audience" in prison studies, she said. "However, half of the prisoners were either transferred to another prison within the study or released into the community."

    The study, which appears in the journal Addiction, included 425 male inmates from prisons across Australia. All were smokers, with a habit lasting on average 20 years and more than 23 cigarettes a day.

    Nearly three-quarters of the inmates in the study had tried to quit in the previous year, according to the researchers.

    All of the prisoners in the study received 10 weeks of smoking cessation therapy consisting of nicotine patches and two sessions of behavioral counseling. To that was added either a dummy pill or nortriptyline.

    The researchers recorded the inmates' tobacco use at three, six and 12 months after the end of treatment, relying on self-reporting and direct measurements of exhaled carbon monoxide, a byproduct of smoking.

    At the three-month mark, about one-quarter of prisoners who had received the antidepressant had managed to stay off smoking continuously, compared with 16 percent of those who had not taken the drug. But by the one year mark, the abstinence rate had fallen to about 11 percent for both groups.

    Psychologist Karen Cropsey, a smoking researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said most jails and prisons in the United States have significantly restricted tobacco use by inmates. Roughly half of prisons, and many jails, now ban smoking completely, she said, while facilities that permit it typically require inmates to go outside to smoke.

    Cropsey, who has studied tobacco use by female inmates, said the latest work is the first to look at smoking by male inmates.

    By Adam Marcus NEW YORK | Tue Jan 1, 2013 11:24am EST



    Not being able to smoke in jail causes riots.

    Jails in Australia are among the worst in the world.

    I have heard of prisoners in Australia being forced into slave labour and forced to work in areas which are contaminated with asbestos with no safety respirators or suits.
  2. Phaeton
    Slave labor and cancerous conditions.
    Would you please cite the source of this outrage, something needs to be done!

    The riots must be just Australia, the jails here banned smoking many many years ago and not a single riot yet, although time has not ended and the possiblility does exist.

    Single ingredient "magic pill" studies do a part in understanding nicotine addiction, but like all addictions the causes are multiple.
    I personally do not give full credibility to jail studies, the participants are under unnaturally stressful conditions. The forceful incarceration is altering response, even physical responses will be nontypical in penitentiary situations.
    At Kempsey jail in NSW Australia in December 2009.
    The inmates in maximum security started brawling and minor rioting, prisoners told jail staff that stabbings would occur if inmates were not given tobacco thus inmates were given pouches of White Ox to calm tension - the ox was paid for by several inmates that had money in there jail accounts and was divided up between inmates.

    Cessnock prison in NSW 2011
    Prisoners forced to work some removing asbestos in an area not certified by engineer or workcover.
    Inadequate ventilation and negative pressurization resulting in inmates working in adjoining workshops being exposed. Was happening for almost a year until an inmate discovered large gaps to adjoining workshops and a dusty haze in his work area.Further inspection by the inmate revealed aboriginals removing asbestos with only common dust masks, no wash down area, pressurization system not ducted to outside of building , workers could read little English.

    Inmates advised workcover through relatives visiting the jail as prison staff would not act to fix defects.Asbestos samples taken in guards office even tested positive to asbestos which was kept quiet until a cleaner assessed the files.

    The site was closed down by workcover the body that investigates work accidents until all defects had been repaired and the area had to be certified safe by an engineer.Still prisoners carried out asbestos associated work while shutdown and were told workcover is not able to get in to inspect without notice.
    Prisoners that refused to work were threatened with transfers to Golburn jail built for terrorists and were locked in confinement with no privileges - tv kettle buy ups visits etc.
    Its an ongoing cover up to this day .
  4. Phaeton
    Slavery is as slavery does.

    I stand corrected.
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