Seeking Volunteers for an E-Cigarette Research Study

The Department of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College is looking for Healthy Non-Smokers (ages 21+) for a research study looking at the effects smoking electronic cigarettes may have on lung cells.

If you qualify and complete all tests and visits, you will receive:

1.  A free lung health and medical evaluation (includes physical exam, electrocardiogram (EKG), blood and urine tests, breathing test, questionnaires, chest X-ray and a bronchoscopy procedure)

2.  $550 compensation if you qualify and complete all tests and visits

Visits and compensation include:

Screening visit: $50

Initial study visit including bronchoscopy: $200

Follow up study visit including  bronchoscopy: $300

Please call 646-962-2672 for more information regarding the study.

IRB approved protocol #1312014623


E-Cigarette Shops Open Even as City Cracks Down

A half-dozen people were gathered around the tasting bar at the Henley Vaporium in SoHo on a recent Friday evening. Behind the bar, two vapologists in white lab coats stood before a selection of dozens of tiny bottles, each containing liquid nicotine. The customers, all students or young professionals, leisurely inhaled on their so-called vape pens. Clouds of mist curled upward and vanished. A slightly sweet smell lingered in the air.

Check out the full story at E-Cigarette Shops Open Even as City Cracks Down


Promising New Diagnostic for Emphysema

Dr. Crystal and researchers in the Weill Cornell Medical College Department of Genetic Medicine have located a potential biomarker of early-stage emphysema. Although further investigation is needed, these findings are promising for early detection of emphysema by a simple blood test.

Please click here to see the full article

Click here to read the abstract in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine

“The Stark Truth” – What is it like to die from COPD?

The New York City Department of Health launched a new advertising campaign, in early March 2011, which graphically depicts the suffering of those dying from smoking-related lung disease. The city’s new ad campaign hopes to convey the message that dying from smoking-related lung disease is seldom quick and painless.

The Metro New York newspaper covered the launch of the new advertising campaign and asked Dr. Ronald Crystal (Chairman of the Department of Genetic Medicine and Principal Investigator) to outline the stages that one goes through, from the development of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD; including chronic bronchitis and emphysema), to death.

The article, in the March 9, 2011 issue, is below in pdf form and can also be downloaded from the Metro NY’s website.

The Stark Truth

3.9.11 edition via

Dr. Crystal and the Dept. of Genetic Medicine Featured on NY1 TV

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College seem to have made a revolutionary discovery that may inspire more smokers to put out their butts a lot faster.” –NY1

Dr. Ronald Crystal (Chairman of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and Principal Investigator) was featured on NY1 television to talk about how a simple blood test may detect signs of emphysema, or lung damage, before symptoms develop in smokers. Smoking is the main cause of lung disease, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and emphysema. This simple blood test, is still under investigation; however, Dr. Crystal and researchers in the Department of Genetic Medicine hope that this blood test will help smokers detect signs of emphysema and inspire them to quit before it is too late.

Watch the video

Read the full article by NY1

Dr. Crystal and the Department of Genetic Medicine Featured on CBS News re a Simple Blood Test That May Detect Emphysema

Dr. Ronald G. Crystal (Chairman of the Dept. of Genetic Medicine) speaks to CBS Newspath about a blood test that may detect emphysema

Watch the video here

See full articles from this interview here:

MSN Health


The Cost of Smoking Goes Beyond the Pack

Source: MSN Money by Hilary Smith

If the risk of acquiring smoking related illnesses, such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, aren’t enough to persuade you to stop smoking, perhaps the financial consequences will. The financial cost of smoking doesn’t merely include the cost of a pack of cigarettes (which has increased to about $10 per pack in New York City), but also extends into added lifestyle maintenance and could even result in a decreased value of real estate.

As far as personal appearance is concerned, smokers tend to have yellow teeth, bad breath and stinky clothes, all of which cost money to fix. Teeth whitening can cost a minimum of $1,000 for a laser treatment and anywhere from $250+ at a dentist’s office. Most dental plans also only cover a maximum of 2 cleanings per year which is not enough to maintain the dental health of a  pack-a-day smoker.

Depending on the brand, gum costs an average of $1.25 per pack; by purchasing one or two packs per week, to try and cover that smoker’s breath, one could spend up to $75-$130 a year just on gum alone.

Smokers are also more likely to have their clothes dry-cleaned at least one extra time per month. Cleaning a suit or a coat one extra time a month at a cost of around $12, means that you could spend an additional $144 per year. If that seems like a small chunk of change, add it to the $130 spent on gum and $250 spent on teeth whitening, that equals $524 in addition to the $3,640 yearly cost of cigarettes (at $10 per pack, 1 pack per day). Do you smoke in your house? Don’t forget to factor in your family’s extra dry cleaning and health costs.

In addition to personal appearance, the financial consequences of smoking extend to your home. Thinking about selling your house? Smokers’ houses will most likely require professional carpet cleaning and new paint and/or wall treatments. According to this article, it would cost more than $2,000 to paint and prime an average-sized living room, dining room and two bedrooms. The article also states that it could cost around $280 to clean 1,000 square feet of carpet. Today’s real estate market is quite competitive; would you buy a house that smelled of stale smoke?

The Department of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College is offering a free smoking cessation program for eligible smokers. Click here to see who we are recruiting, or call us at 646-962-2672 to hear more about our research study.

It’s Never too Late to Quit Smoking – 5 Things to Know

(Reference: Time Essentials: 5 Things to Know It’s Never too Late to Quit by Martin Downs)

Former surgeon general, Dr. Richard H. Carmona advises smokers to “stop now. It will improve the quality and quantity of your life, no question.” He urges smokers to consider these 5 points about quitting: 1. It’s never too late, 2. Few people kick cigarettes on the first try, 3. Get help, 4. Cutting down doesn’t cut it, 5. America’s smoking days are over

1. It’s never too late

No matter your age or how long you have smoked, you will reap the benefits of quitting immediately. When you quit, your body immediately begins to recover from the exposure to chemicals found in tobacco smoke.

2. Few people kick cigarettes on the first try

You may experience several relapses your first year of attempting to quit (The cited NY Times article says that as many as four relapses are common the first year). This often discourages people into thinking that they will never be able to quit. Quitting techniques are personal; while some methods may work for others, they may not necessarily be the best for you. If you find yourself relapsing, try pursuing a different  quitting technique. Have you tried participating in a research study?

3. Get help

There are many smoking cessation aides and support groups available. Please contact us at 646-962-2672 to hear about how eligible participants can receive free smoking cessation medication and counseling by participating in our research study.

4. Cutting down doesn’t cut it

Cutting down on the amount you smoke per day can be a way to prepare yourself for quitting, but only if you intend on quitting completely. Smoking fewer cigarettes is still considered smoking and is not safe for your body. In the long run, cutting back is not sustainable because the nicotine addiction has not been broken. Smokers who do not conquer their addiction completely are more likely to revert back to smoking as much as, or even more than, they did before.

5. America’s smoking days are over

It is becoming more difficult socially and financially to remain a smoker in the United States. Smoking bans have been implemented in major US cities making it harder for smokers to smoke when they go out. Additionally, it costs anywhere from $10-$11 for one pack of cigarettes in NYC (at a half-pack per day, that adds up to approximately $2000/year!)

Please remember that it is never too late to quit smoking. To hear more about how we can help you quit, by participating in our research study, please call us at 646-962-2672.

New Yorkers are Living Longer. Are Anti-Smoking Ads to Thank?

Source: NY1

The NYC’s Department of Health reports that NYC residents born in 2007 can expect to live around 79.5 years. That’s a five month gain over 2006’s estimate and a gain of one year and seven months since 2001.

NY1 News reports that City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley credits New Yorkers for listening to advice regarding quitting smoking, being more active and following better diets.

The city’s push on “in-your-face anti-smoking ads”, calorie counts in fast food restaurants and decreased salt quantities may also be to thank. NY1 also reports that smoking deaths in people 35 years and older are down more than 11% over the last 5 years.

NY1’s full article can be found here.

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