As I have previously written, smoking tobacco products is probably one of the most destructive things people can do to themselves. Tobacco dependence remains the primary preventable cause of death in the United States. Addiction to tobacco and nicotine is a more powerful addiction than opioids and narcotics. That being said, it is fair to say that most smokers want to quit smoking but can’t. While some smokers are able to abruptly stop smoking (“cold turkey”), most smokers cannot suddenly stop. In order to quit, most smokers require a combination of pharmacologic therapy and counseling. Today, I would like to discuss pharmacologic treatment for smoking cessation.

Let’s start with nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs). Nicotine undergoes

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) causes about 4,000 cases each year of sudden, one-sided hearing loss. Along with the hearing loss, a sense of fullness in the affected ear is common, as is tinnitus, or ringing in the ear, and vertigo. In more than 90 percent of these cases, a cause for the hearing loss is never found and only about one-third of these patients will spontaneously recover hearing. Most people with SSNHL will initially see their primary care physician, not an ENT

Finland has had a long tradition of sauna bathing for pleasure and relaxation. On average, most Finns take sauna baths two to three times a week, and saunas are publicly widely available. Recently, there has been mounting evidence that the use of saunas offers a multitude of health benefits. During the past decade there has been a considerable amount of research data from various countries on the potential benefits of sauna bathing. That evidence points to sauna bathing as alleviating and

Fibromyalgia, once thought to be imaginary, is now recognized as a real disease. It is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. It occurs in about two to four percent of the population and is much more common in women, especially women in their forties. It is a disease of the nervous system and it is not an autoimmune disease. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way the brain

Many medical practitioners, myself included, bemoan the fact that medicine, or the practice of it, has changed drastically in the last few decades. The age of techno-medicine has changed the way young doctors are trained and how they practice. Medicine, which is still an art and not a science, has come to be seen by many (especially plaintiff attorneys) as more of a science. All kinds of high-tech tests are ordered on people and, in many cases, are not needed. Doctors in the past were trained

Scabies is a contagious skin infestation caused by microscopic, eight-legged human itch mites. It should not be mistaken for bed bugs, which are visible, not microscopic. Scabies was once called the seven-year itch (not to be confused with the movie of the same name). The mites, which cannot survive outside of human skin for more than two or three days, burrow under the skin and lay eggs. Scabies is transmitted by prolonged direct person-to-person contact or through objects that carry the mites

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to the buildup of plaque in arteries that causes reduced or blocked blood flow in major blood vessels. If it occurs in arteries in the heart (coronary arteries), it is termed coronary heart disease. If it occurs in arteries in the brain, it is called cerebrovascular disease and if in arteries in the legs, it is known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD). CVD may cause heart attacks, strokes, and death. Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in

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