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Smoking on the Outs with Oats

Pilot Study: Wild Oats May Cut Cigarette Use in Half

Smoking is a very unnatural habit.

Smoking is a very unnatural habit.

There’s definitely been a full-scale blitz on the tobacco industry in recent years.  Everywhere you look, from the federal government to state government, legislators are pushing cigarette taxes northward.  This past March, for instance, the president signed a new bill into law that would increase the federal tax on cigarettes from 39 cents to $1.00 and the tax on chewing tobacco from 20 cents to 50 cents!  Percentage wise, that’s the largest tobacco tax hike in the history of tobacco tax hikes.

And that’s just the federal tax. Add in the excise tax states imposed, and you’re spending as much as $5.00 before paying for that 20-pack of cigs!

Because the health effects of cigarette use spurn the economy an estimated $193 billion in expenses, it’s no wonder the government is tackling the issue by going after the smoker’s wallet.  After all, what better way to curb the use of cigarettes than by making it difficult to buy them?

I’m all for curbing cigarette use, but as a natural health advocate, I’m much more inclined to advise using natural methods than financial ones.  And according to a pilot study, a natural one may be found with the ol’ oat.

We all know of the benefits oats hold, by minimizing cancer risk, reducing heart disease risk and controlling cholesterol levels.  But curbing cigarette use?  After a 28-month study, we now may be able to add “natural suppressant” to oats’ highlight reel of benefits.

The study originates in Japan, where researchers recruited eight smokers to take 900 mg of an extract taken from wild oats that has this suppressive characteristic.

While the oats didn’t kick the habit entirely, the number of cigarettes smoked dropped significantly among the eight gentlemen studied.  Consider: The average number of cigarettes smoked was about 20 per day when the study started.  But by the study’s conclusion, that number had dropped to about nine per day!

Granted, nine is nine too many, but that’s a significant drop off for a suppressant entirely derived from nature.

There are several questions that need answers before putting too much credence into this study, though.  For one, it was a very small group of volunteers (thus the reliability is lacking a bit), and we also don’t know how the oats compare to other suppressants, like nicotine gums or patches.  But given that nicotine gums and patches carry side effects of their own, and given that this is a pilot study (i.e. in its seminal stages of development), the results show huge potential to be another natural way in which to break a very unnatural habit. 

The pilot study is published in the journal Pharmacometrics.

Sources:
Fox News
NUTRAingredients-usa.com

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