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Ban Flavoring, Ads for E-Cigarettes, Doctors' Group Says

Posted 2 days 13 hours ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should ban flavorings and television ads for e-cigarettes, a prominent physicians' organization says. There is scant evidence that e-cigarettes help people quit smoking, as claimed by manufacturers. And the chemicals used in these devices may be harmful to both smokers and bystanders, said Ryan Crowley, senior associate for health policy at the American College of Physicians (ACP). "There are over 7,000 different flavorings in e-cigarettes, and the evidence shows that young people are attracted to these products because of the flavors," Crowley said. "There are also concerns that there are harmful chemicals in the flavorings themselves." Crowley added that calling for a ban on TV ads for e-cigarettes follows ACP's continuing policy supporting bans on all tobacco advertising. The organization also recommends taxing ... Read more

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E-Cigarettes May Not Help Smokers Quit Tobacco, Study Finds

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 16, 2015 – While some proponents of "vaping" claim that smokers who try e-cigarettes may use them as a bridge to quitting smoking, a new study finds that the opposite may true. The study, published April 16 in the American Journal of Public Health, found that smokers who used e-cigarettes were less likely to quit regular cigarettes than those who hadn't tried the devices. A team led by Dr. Wael Al-Delaimy, chief of the division of global public health at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, followed 1,000 California smokers for one year. The researchers found that smokers who said they had ever used e-cigarettes were about half as likely to cut down on their smoking and 59 percent less likely to quit, compared to those who never used e-cigarettes. "Based on the idea that smokers use e-cigarettes to quit smoking, we hypothesized that smokers who ... Read more

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E-Cigarette Use Triples Among U.S. Teens in 1 Year

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 16, 2015 – E-cigarettes are booming among U.S. teens, with nearly 2.5 million middle and high school students now choosing to "vape" rather than smoke traditional cigarettes or indulge in other forms of tobacco, federal health officials reported Thursday. E-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014, making the nicotine-delivery devices the most popular tobacco product now used by American teens, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey. This is the first time e-cigs have surpassed in teen popularity every other tobacco product, a trend that CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden called "deeply alarming." "We're seeing a striking increase. It's very concerning," Frieden said during a media briefing. "It more than counterbalances the decrease in cigarette smoking which we've ... Read more

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About 1 in 10 Kids Tries E-Cigarettes

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2015 – While many teenagers try electronic cigarettes, few become regular users, according to a new study. The research included more than 10,000 children from Wales who were asked about their use of e-cigarettes. About 1,600 children were between the ages of 10 and 11. More than 9,000 were between 11 and 16 years old. Nearly 6 percent of the younger group had tried e-cigarettes. Just over 12 percent of the older kids had tried e-cigarettes, the study revealed. The percentage of youngsters who had tried an e-cigarette at least once was higher than the percentage who had tried tobacco cigarettes in all age groups, except among those ages 15 to 16, the researchers found. The proportion of teens who had tried e-cigarettes but never smoked tobacco cigarettes rose from 5 percent in the younger kids to 8 percent among those ages 15 to 16. However, only 1.5 percent of ... Read more

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E-Cigs Tied to Drinking, Other Risky Teen Behaviors

Posted 31 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 – Electronic cigarettes are used by both smoking and nonsmoking teens, and are associated with drinking and other risky behaviors, a new study finds. "We found that e-cigarette access is strongly related to alcohol use in teenagers," said study author Karen Hughes. She is a professor of behavioral epidemiology at Liverpool John Moores University in England. "Those who drink are more likely to have accessed e-cigarettes than nondrinkers regardless of whether they smoke normal cigarettes or not, and those who drink frequently, binge drink, drink to get drunk, drink strong alcohol products, and show signs of unsupervised alcohol consumption are most likely to have accessed e-cigarettes," said Hughes in a news release from BMC Public Health. The study was published in the journal on March 30. The researchers from the university surveyed more than 16,000 students, ... Read more

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E-Cigarette Use in College Tied to Other Risky Behaviors

Posted 13 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 – College students who use tobacco, marijuana and/or binge drink are more likely to use electronic cigarettes, researchers report. The study included more than 1,400 students, aged 18 to 23, at four colleges/universities in upstate New York who took part in an online survey. More than 95 percent of the respondents knew about e-cigarettes, and nearly 30 percent said they had tried e-cigarettes, the survey found. Those most likely to report current or previous use of e-cigarettes included: males, younger students, whites, those with average or below average school grades, and those who have ever smoked or tried cigarettes. The survey results also showed that students who considered e-cigarettes to be less harmful than traditional tobacco products were also more likely to use e-cigarettes. Among e-cigarette users, 87 percent said they used another nicotine product ... Read more

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Two-Pronged Program Looks Best for Helping Smokers Quit

Posted 19 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 17, 2014 – A combination of counseling and medication greatly increases smokers' chances of quitting, according to new research. The study included 1,560 adult smokers in England who made at least one attempt to quit over six months. About 45 percent used no aids to help them quit, while about 5 percent used prescription medication (nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion or varenicline) in combination with behavioral counseling. Another 21 percent used prescription medication with brief advice, and about 30 percent used over-the-counter nicotine replacement products. After six months, 23 percent of the participants were no longer smoking. Those who used the medication/counseling method were nearly three times more likely to quit than those who did not use medication or counseling. Taking a prescription medication with brief advice was also more effective than unaided ... Read more

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Combo Approach May Work Best for Smokers Looking to Quit

Posted 8 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 8, 2014 – Combining two anti-smoking approaches – the medication Chantix and nicotine patches – improves the odds you'll quit smoking over the short term, a new industry-funded study suggests. "The combination appears to be safe, although further studies are needed to confirm this," said Dr. Coenie Koegelenberg, an associate professor of pulmonology with Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital in South Africa. Although the dual treatment costs more than either agent separately, Koegelenberg said the drugs typically aren't used for long and will reduce overall health costs if smokers succeed in quitting. Chantix, known by the generic name varenicline, appears to help people stop smoking by interfering with the way that nicotine stimulates the brain. However, smokers who take Chantix may be at higher risk for heart attacks and stroke compared to those who ... Read more

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Nicotine Poisoning of Infant Highlights 'E-Cig' Dangers, Docs Report

Posted 7 May 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 7, 2014 – The story of a 10-month-old boy rushed to a hospital after ingesting the refill liquid used in e-cigarettes spotlights an emerging safety issue, the doctors who treated him say. The child recovered. But the consequences of children accidently consuming the nicotine in these refill vials can easily become tragic, Dr. Robert Bassett, of Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and two colleagues report in the May 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Just "one teaspoon of a 1.8 percent nicotine solution could be lethal" to a 200-pound person, the doctors pointed out. The recent rise in such poisonings among children, tied to the surging popularity of e-cigarettes, highlights "the need to educate patients and parents about this danger and advocate for measures that will help prevent potentially fatal liquid nicotine poisoning of infants and young ... Read more

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Nicotine in E-Cigarettes a Growing Public Health Threat, CDC Says

Posted 3 Apr 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 3, 2014 – The number of calls to poison control centers for nicotine poisoning from e-cigarettes has risen dramatically in recent years, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. Calls related to poisoning from the liquid nicotine used in these devices were running at a rate of roughly one a month in 2010, but jumped to 215 in February of this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even more troubling, more than half (51 percent) of the poison calls involved children aged 5 and younger, while 42 percent involved people aged 20 and older. "The time has come to start thinking about what we can do to keep this from turning into an even worse public health problem," said Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. He added that many people are not aware that liquid nicotine is toxic. "We need to make sure we can avert ... Read more

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Nicotine Patches Don't Help Pregnant Women Quit Smoking: Study

Posted 12 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 – Nicotine patches don't seem to help pregnant women quit smoking, a new study has found. The study included 402 pregnant women in France who smoked at least five cigarettes a day. The women, who were 12 to 20 weeks' pregnant, were randomly selected to use either 16-hour nicotine patches or inactive placebo patches until they gave birth. The study participants also received counseling to help them quit smoking and were assessed monthly. Only 5.5 percent of the women in the nicotine patch group and 5.1 percent of those in the placebo group quit smoking entirely, the investigators reported in the March 11 online edition of the BMJ. The researchers also found that women in the nicotine patch group had significantly higher blood pressure than those in the placebo group. This suggests that future studies looking at nicotine replacement therapy in pregnant smokers ... Read more

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A Guide to Smoking-Cessation Options

Posted 3 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 3, 2014 – People who want to quit smoking cigarettes no longer have to suffer through cold-turkey withdrawal. A number of options now exist, and though most have some side effects, experts generally believe that the benefits of quitting smoking far exceed the risks posed by side effects. Current options include: Nicotine replacement therapy A variety of nicotine replacement products have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They include the nicotine patch, gum, inhaler, lozenges and nasal spray, according to Hilary Tindle, director of the Tobacco Treatment Service at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Patches, gum and lozenges do not require a prescription. A doctor's prescription is necessary for nasal spray or the inhaler, according to the American Cancer Society. Medications Two medications can help smokers quit. One is bupropion (marketed ... Read more

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Quit-Smoking Products Won't Harm the Heart, Review Finds

Posted 9 Dec 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2013 – There's good news for people trying to quit smoking: Aids such as nicotine gums and patches or smoking cessation drugs such as Chantix won't harm the heart. The new findings may ease concerns that some products that help people "butt out" may pose a threat to heart health, the researchers noted. One expert said patients sometimes wonder about the safety of certain products. "Patients are often concerned that nicotine replacement therapies, such as the nicotine gum or patch, will harm them," said Dr. Jonathan Whiteson, a smoking cessation specialist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. "However in most situations, patients are getting more nicotine from their smoking habit than from nicotine replacement when not smoking." The results "should give reassurance to smokers trying to quit with nicotine replacement therapy, as well as health care ... Read more

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Nicotine Addiction Level May Predict Weight Gain in Ex-Smokers

Posted 22 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 21 – Smokers with a serious nicotine addiction are more likely to gain weight than folks who are less addicted when they try to quit, even if they use nicotine replacement therapy, according to a new study by Japanese researchers. The people who quit smoking as part of the study gained an average 2.4 pounds over three months, even though they received support from nicotine patches or the oral medication varenicline (Chantix), which blocks the effect of nicotine on the brain, doctors from Kyoto Medical Center reported in the August issue of PLoS One. But those smokers with a heavy nicotine addiction experienced three times more weight gain than smokers who were less addicted, the researchers found. This finding is not unexpected, given that nicotine both suppresses food cravings and increases a person's metabolism, said Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer for the ... Read more

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Genes Might Help Some Smokers Kick the Habit

Posted 31 May 2012 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 31 – Smokers' genes may help predict whether they'll respond to drug treatments for nicotine addiction, a new study indicates. Researchers analyzed data from more than 6,000 smokers in community-based studies and a clinical treatment study and found that the same gene variations that make it difficult to stop smoking also increase the chances that heavy smokers will respond to nicotine-replacement therapy and drugs that reduce the craving for nicotine. "People with the high-risk genetic markers smoked an average of two years longer than those without these high-risk genes, and they were less likely to quit smoking without medication," study first author Dr. Li-Shiun Chen, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University of Medicine in St. Louis, said in a university news release. "The same gene variants can predict a person's response to smoking-cessation ... Read more

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