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Flavored Cigarettes Still Popular Online Despite U.S. Ban

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 29, 2015 – Although banned in 2009 by the U.S. Food Administration, flavored cigarettes are still popular and available online, a new study finds. Researchers from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine monitored certain online search terms related to flavored cigarettes and cigars made by the company Djarum. Only the cigars are legal. Among the first 50 search results for "Djarum cigarettes," 72 percent of websites promoted and 34 percent sold the illegal cigarettes, according to the study published June 17 in Tobacco Control. The researchers noted there were also 291 percent more online searches for the company's illegal flavored cigarettes than its replacement cigars, even five years after the ban was issued. "We weren't surprised that the Web is being used to circumvent tobacco regulations," said the study's corresponding author, Jon-Patrick ... Read more

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As U.S. Smoking Rate Drops, Smokers More Likely to Quit: Study

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 25, 2015 – As the number of smokers in the United States dwindles, those who still light up are becoming less attached to the habit and more likely to try quitting, a new study has found. These findings run counter to the theory of "hardening," which has held that as smoking rates decline those who still smoke will be increasingly committed to their habit, said study author Margarete Kulik, a postdoctoral fellow with the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco. "The assumption is as smoking prevalence decreases, those smokers who are left will be the hardcore smokers who are unable or unwilling to quit," Kulik said. "We found out that there is not hardening. There is softening. There is actually more quitting, and people smoke less." The study was published online June 24 in the journal Tobacco Control. Dr. Norman ... Read more

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Teen Use of E-Cigarettes, Hookahs Way Up: Survey

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 23, 2015 – Although fewer American children are smoking cigarettes, the use of controversial e-cigarettes has more than doubled in just three years, a federal survey reports. It's something of a good news/bad news situation, Catherine Corey, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said in an agency news release. "While we're glad to see cigarette smoking decreasing in middle and high school youth, the increase in the use of e-cigarettes and hookahs [water pipes] undermines progress in reducing tobacco use among kids," she said. The 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that 25 percent of high school students had used a tobacco product in the past month. The survey also found that one in 13 kids in middle school had admitted to using a tobacco product in the past month. Between 2011 and 2014, the percentage of children smoking cigarettes fell ... Read more

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Teens Unfamiliar With Harms of Pot, E-Cigs, Study Finds

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 23, 2015 – Teens may have a firm grasp on the dangers of smoking cigarettes, but they appear less clear about how using marijuana or electronic cigarettes might harm their health, new research suggests. "The most striking finding from this study was how little information adolescents were getting regarding risks related to marijuana and e-cigarettes," said lead author Maria Roditis, a researcher at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco. "The youth we talked with actually mentioned the fact that they would see commercials talking about risks related to cigarettes, but there was nothing about marijuana or e-cigarettes," Roditis said. The findings were published online June 23 in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The researchers conducted six small-group discussions with 24 teens from a Northern California school ... Read more

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Evidence Supports Medical Pot for Some Conditions, Not Others

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 23, 2015 – Medical marijuana can be useful in treating chronic pain, but may be less effective for other conditions, a new analysis reveals. A review of nearly 80 clinical trials involving medical marijuana or marijuana-derived drugs revealed moderately strong evidence to support their use in treating chronic pain, says a report published June 23 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The evidence also showed that the medications could help multiple sclerosis patients who suffer from spasticity, which involves sustained muscle contractions or sudden involuntary movements. But the review found weaker support for the drugs' use in treating sleep disorders; nausea or vomiting related to chemotherapy; for producing weight gain in people with HIV; or for reducing symptoms of Tourette syndrome, a nervous system disorder characterized by repetitive movements or ... Read more

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Smoking Blamed for Half of Deaths From Major Cancers in People Over 35

Posted 15 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 15, 2015 – About half of U.S. deaths caused by certain cancers – including lung, colon and pancreatic tumors – can be attributed to smoking, a new American Cancer Society study estimates. In 2011, nearly half of the almost 346,000 deaths from 12 cancers in people 35 and older were linked to smoking, the study found. "Despite large declines in smoking in the United States over the last 50 years, smoking still accounts for the majority of lung cancer deaths," said study co-author Rebecca Siegel, the American Cancer Society's director of surveillance information. The researchers looked at 12 cancers known to be caused by smoking. In 2011, they found that 346,000 people died from these types of cancer. The researchers also had data on current and former smoking, and found that almost 168,000 of these deaths were due to tobacco. For some cancers, the researchers said smoking ... Read more

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E-Cigarette Users Often Believe Devices Will Help Them Quit Tobacco

Posted 4 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 4, 2015 – E-cigarette users are much more hopeful that the devices will help them quit smoking than the general public is, including people who just smoke traditional tobacco cigarettes, according to a new French survey. "Vapers" (people who use e-cigarettes) also are much less concerned about how possible toxins in e-cigarette vapors might affect them and those around them, said lead study author Dr. Sebastien Couraud, a doctor of respiratory medicine and thoracic oncology at Lyon Sud Hospital and Lyon University Cancer Institute in France. "E-cigarette users appear to have a different view of reality, compared with everyone else," Couraud said. "Their reality is elsewhere." Couraud presented his findings Monday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago. Findings presented at meetings are generally viewed as preliminary until they've ... Read more

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Smoking Rates Continue to Drop in Many States: CDC

Posted 21 May 2015 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 13 May 2015 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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