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Smoking Rates Continue to Drop in Many States: CDC

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 21, 2015 – Cigarette smoking continues to decline in about half of American states, according to the latest U.S. government estimates. But despite that good news, rates have gone up in some states. And in other states, a more worrisome trend has emerged – people using a combination of tobacco products, such as cigarettes plus smokeless tobacco, officials said. "From 2011 to 2013 although we've seen some progress for cigarette smoking overall, there hasn't been a significant change in cigarette smoking or smokeless tobacco use across many states," said Brian King, acting deputy director for research translation in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Office on Smoking and Health. "What is most concerning is the preponderance of dual use – people using multiple tobacco products," King said. "That's concerning because we know that dual users have a higher level ... Read more

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Money May Convince Smokers to Quit

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 13, 2015 – Paying smokers to quit seems to work better than offering them free counseling and nicotine replacement therapy, new research suggests. "Roughly 18 percent of Americans smoke regularly – a percentage that hasn't changed in more than a decade despite the proliferation of new therapies. We desperately need new interventions, and this study shows that financial incentives are likely as good, if not better, than other available interventions," said lead author Dr. Scott Halpern, an assistant professor of medicine, epidemiology, medical ethics and health policy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In the study of more than 2,500 CVS Health employees across the United States, some smokers were rewarded money if they quit, while others could earn back more than their $150 deposit if they quit. However, those who put up their deposit ... Read more

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Health Tip: Facing Emotions Without Cigarettes

Posted 8 May 2015 by Drugs.com

-- Quitting smoking can be an emotional step, and there are ways to help you fight the temptation to resume the habit. The Smokefree.gov website recommends: Take a break from what's making you emotional or nervous. Find something to use as a distraction, such as reading a book or playing a game. Call a friend or family member to talk through what you're feeling. Get some exercise to take your mind off of your worries. Also, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep. Create a plan to help you deal with stressful, emotional situations. Set reasonable goals. Don't succumb to negative thoughts. Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can, and reward yourself for a job well done. Stop and count to 10 while breathing deeply, and let go of what's bothering you. Read more

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Canadian Teens Trying E-Cigarettes as Often as Cigarettes: Study

Posted 7 May 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 7, 2015 – Canadian teens are trying electronic cigarettes as often as they are experimenting with tobacco cigarettes, a new study shows. Researchers found that about 20 percent of Canadian teens have tried e-cigarettes, the same rate as those who experiment with tobacco cigarettes. "E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular among Canadians," study author David Hammond, a professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, said in a university news release. "Now one in five youth will try vaping before graduating high school." More than 2.5 million Canadians have tried e-cigarettes, with smokers and young people accounting for the largest number of ongoing users. A similar trend is unfolding in the United States. A study by federal health officials that was published in April found e-cigarette use booming among U.S. ... Read more

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Expert Panel Unclear on Whether E-Cigarettes Help Smokers Quit

Posted 4 May 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 4, 2015 – An influential U.S. panel of experts says there's just not enough data to decide whether or not e-cigarettes can help smokers quit. For now, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends behavioral therapy and federally approved medications, such as nicotine replacement treatments, for most adults seeing to kick the smoking habit. The exception: pregnant women. For them, the task force recommends behavioral therapy alone. In any case, doctors "should ask all patients whether they smoke, and provide appropriate interventions to help smokers quit," task force member Dr. Francisco Garcia said in a statement provided by the task force. "We're fortunate that doctors and patients have a choice of many interventions that have been proven to be effective," he said. The task force, an independent panel of volunteers, makes recommendations about the prevention ... Read more

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Many Pregnant Women Think E-Cigarettes 'Safer' Than Regular Cigarettes

Posted 30 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 30, 2015 – More than 40 percent of pregnant women surveyed think electronic cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco cigarettes, according to a new study. What's more, only 57 percent of the women believed that e-cigarettes contain nicotine. And fewer than two-thirds of the women thought that e-cigarettes could be addictive. "This study is concerning," said Dr. Edward McCabe, medical director of the March of Dimes. E-cigarettes are nicotine delivery devices and nicotine can be addictive, McCabe said. In addition, exposing a fetus to nicotine – which can pass from the mother through the placenta – can result in low birth weight and preterm birth. "There is also strong evidence in animal experiments that nicotine alters brain development," McCabe said. He added that the U.S. Surgeon General warns pregnant women not to use nicotine in any form. Some e-cigarettes contain ... Read more

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More Than 1 in 10 Teens Has Tried E-Cigarettes, Study Finds

Posted 27 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, April 26, 2015 – American teens' use of electronic cigarettes is growing, especially among those who also smoke tobacco cigarettes, according to a new study. Researchers surveyed more than 10,000 teens across the nation from 2012 to 2014. They found that 22 percent of teens used tobacco cigarettes, 13 percent used water pipes (hookahs), and 10 percent used e-cigarettes during that time. Teens' use of e-cigarettes rose from 8 percent in 2012 to 11 percent in 2014. The use of e-cigarettes was especially high among those who also smoked traditional cigarettes (56 percent in 2014). E-cigarette use was highest among older teens and males, the study found. "Electronic cigarettes are of great concern. They are highly addictive nicotine delivery devices, and the vapor can and does cause harm to the lungs," principal investigator Dr. Jonathan Klein, associate executive director of the ... Read more

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

Posted 22 Apr 2015 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 16 Apr 2015 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 16 Apr 2015 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 16 Apr 2015 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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