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Health Highlights: May 31, 2013

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Starbucks Will Ban Smoking Within 25 Feet of Stores

Cafe-chain giant Starbucks announced Friday that it will ban smoking within 25 feet of its stores, so that patrons can enjoy a smoke-free environment in its outside seating areas.

The ban will be in effect starting Saturday, the Seattle-based company said, and includes 7,000 cafes owned by the company, the Associated Press reported.

And if a smoker lights up within the proscribed 25 feet? "If there were any concerns, we would hope to resolve it amicably," Starbucks spokeswoman Jaime Lynn Riley told the AP.

Many people may not notice a difference, because numerous communities already enforce smoking bans within certain distances of business entrances, the news agency added.


Stop-Smoking Approaches Work, Review Says

First the good news: nearly 70 percent of American adults who smoke want to quit, according to federal statistics.

And now the even better news: a recent review of 267 studies involving nearly 102,000 people found that there are smoking-cessation methods that work, according to Time.com.

The review, published in the Cochrane Library, looked at three stop-smoking therapies: nicotine-replacement products such as patches, gums and inhalers; the antidepressant bupropion; and the drug varenicline. All the therapies try to limit nicotine's impact on the brain.

The study found that all the approaches gave smokers a better chance of quitting. Smokers were 80 percent more likely to quit when using a nicotine-replacement treatment or taking bupropion, compared to those taking a placebo. And those using varenicline as well as a nicotine-replacement therapy had a two to three times better chance of quitting, Time.com reported.

"This review provides strong evidence that the three main treatments, nicotine-replacement therapy, bupropion and varenicline, can all help people to stop smoking, lead researcher Kate Cahill of the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford in England, said in a statement.

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