Encouraging Text Messages Help Smokers Quit

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A study conducted in Great Britain shows that people who receive supportive and positive text messages while trying to quit smoking are twice as likely to successfully quit than those who did not receive the texts. The BBC reports that over 10% of the 5,800 smokers studied were able to quit while receiving texts that said things like, "You can do it." Participants who did not get those messages only had a 4.9% rate of success. Scientists hope to create a worldwide text service to help smokers who are trying to quit. Fortunately for tobacco companies, 90% of those who received the encouraging texts said, "Screw this," and bought another pack of cigarettes. [BBC]

'Loosie' Cigarettes Are Still For Sale, Still Illegal

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There is apparently a man that goes by the name of Lonnie Loosie, and he is selling illegal cigarettes in New York City, armed with a battle cry of "Newports, Newports, packs and looses." He's not the only "roving vendor" in the city, where a pack of smokes can run you $2,100.07, but he is the lead character in a New York Times story this morning. "The tax went up, and we started selling 10 times as much," said one seller. "Bloomberg thinks he's stopping people from smoking. He's just turning them onto loosies." Yes, the smoking ban is taking over, from restaurants and bars to parks and plazas, but it seems an odd time for this phenomenon to make the paper, considering that loosies scored passing Times mentions in 1994, 1995, 2008 and 2009. In other words, this isn't new, nor is it really a throwback considering it never went away.

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Smoking Ban Coming to NYC Apartments?

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The New York City smoking ban is spreading steadily, like the scent from your inconsiderate roommate who sucks on those disgusting cancer sticks even though you told her 12 times it screws with your asthma. Smoking in bars and restaurants, at least the ones that let in your unfashionable friend, is basically the stuff of long-ago legends at this point, with parks and beaches set to be smoke-free come summer. Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that at least six Manhattan co-ops "are expected to ask shareholders during annual meetings this spring to vote on an all-out smoking ban that would prohibit residents from lighting up in their own homes," with about a dozen more condo buildings or co-ops considering the very same measures.

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We Rank the New Cigarette Warning Labels: The Good, the Bad, and the *NSYNC

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‚ÄčThe FDA has released a bunch of new warning labels to be prominently displayed on all cigarette packs sold in the United States by June 2011. The 36 large, full-color ads (9 of which will end up on packs) are all meant to deter the buyer from smoking. Clearly. But which work the best? And which are simply ridiculous? Don't worry, we'll tell you!

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