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Chemical That Can Irritate Lungs Found in Flavored E-Cigarettes

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 29, 2016 – People using flavored e-cigarettes, particularly ones that taste like cherry, are likely inhaling a chemical that can irritate their airways, a new study suggests. "It might be the case that if the user of an electronic cigarette experiences some side effects, like coughing, it might be attributed to the flavorings," since the chemical benzaldehyde was detected in 108 of the 145 flavored cigarettes tested in the study, said senior author Maciej Goniewicz. He is an assistant professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. Benzaldehyde is a widely used flavoring agent found in foods as well as medicines, such as cough syrup, Goniewicz said. It can taste like cherries or almonds. "It's safe when we eat it, or when we apply it to our skin, but inhalation is a completely different mode of exposure," Goniewicz explained. Benzaldehyde can ... Read more

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Mental Disorders Increasing for Younger Smokers

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 28, 2016 – Although fewer Americans are smoking, the rates of psychiatric disorders among those who do – particularly more recent smokers – are on the rise, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from 25,000 people born in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and found that the national smoking rate has been falling since the 1960s. But the percentage of nicotine-dependent smokers has been rising. The study also found that the risk of substance-use disorders increased among all smokers with each decade, whether or not they were nicotine-dependent. But nicotine-dependent smokers who began smoking in the 1980s were more likely than older smokers to have psychiatric conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder or antisocial personality disorder, according to the study. It was published Jan. 26 in the journal Molecular ... Read more

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Teens Who 'Vape' May Be More Likely to Try Smoking, Too

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2016 – Teens who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to switch to real cigarettes within a year, a new study suggests. In fact, the researchers found that teens who used e-cigarettes, also known as "vaping," when the study began were about three times more likely to have started smoking a year later than students who had never vaped. "This suggests that e-cigarette use among adolescents is not without behavioral costs," wrote Dr. Thomas Wills, from the Prevention and Control Program at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, in Honolulu. "These findings should be considered for policy discussions about the availability of e-cigarettes to adolescents." Restricting young people's access to e-cigarettes could have health benefits, the researchers suggested. While this study found an association between e-cigarette use and starting to smoke tobacco cigarettes, it wasn't ... Read more

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No Clear Winner Seen Among Stop-Smoking Aids in Study

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2016 – If you're trying to quit smoking, using the nicotine patch, the drug Chantix, or a combination of the patch and lozenges all appear to work equally well, researchers report. "To our surprise, all three treatments were essentially identical," said lead author Dr. Michael Fiore, director of the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention in Madison. Results of the three approaches did not differ significantly at either six months or a year, the investigators found. At six months, the quit rate was 23 percent for the patch, 24 percent for Chantix, and 27 percent for the combination of patch and lozenges. At a year, the quit rate was 21 percent, 19 percent and 20 percent, respectively, the findings showed. In the past, Chantix (varenicline) or the combination of the nicotine patch and nicotine lozenges were shown in studies to be more ... Read more

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Free Nicotine Patches by Mail May Help Smokers Quit

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 25, 2016 – Helping smokers quit may be as easy as mailing them free nicotine-replacement patches, even in the absence of counseling or other support, a new Canadian study shows. The finding didn't surprise one expert in lung health, Dr. Len Horovitz. "Sometimes smokers simply need access to help and a jumpstart," said Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. In the study, a team led by John Cunningham at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto randomly sent nicotine-replacement patches to smokers who had said they were interested in quitting. The researchers mailed a five-week course of nicotine patches to 500 people free of charge. The smokers were not offered any behavioral assistance – for example, counseling – to enhance their quitting efforts. The smokers averaged 48 years of age. The participants' self-reported 30-day ... Read more

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Secondhand Smoke in Hookah Bars May Put Employees at Risk

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 25, 2016 – Hookah bar employees are at risk for exposure to secondhand smoke, a new study warns. "Hookah [water pipe] use is often exempt from clean indoor-air laws that protect people from secondhand smoke," study senior author Terry Gordon, a toxicologist and professor in the department of environmental medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, said in an NYU news release. "Ours is the first study that links poor hookah bar air quality to damaging effects in workers, and the results recommend closer monitoring of this industry to protect the public," he added. Gordon is also a professor at the New York University College of Global Public Health in New York City. Hookah bars and lounges are increasingly popular in the United States, and New York City has about 140 of them, the researchers pointed out. For the study, 10 hookah bar employees were tested after ... Read more

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Candy-Flavored E-Cigarette Ads Appeal to Young: Study

Posted 18 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 18, 2016 – Ads featuring e-cigarettes with flavors like chocolate or bubble gum appear to increase kids' interest in buying and trying an e-cigarette, a new British study has found. However, the ads don't increase the overall appeal to kids of either smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes or using e-cigarettes regularly, the researchers reported. E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, are battery-powered devices that heat nicotine and flavorings to create a vapor that is inhaled by the user. E-cigarettes are marketed in thousands of different flavors, including some that seem to appeal directly to children, the researchers said in background notes. Flavors other than menthol have been banned in tobacco cigarettes in the United States. But, e-cigarettes currently remain unregulated and companies are free to add flavors, said Erika Sward, assistant vice president of ... Read more

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Smokers With Pneumonia at Risk for Lung Cancer: Study

Posted 14 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 14, 2016 – Smokers diagnosed with pneumonia may be at greater risk for developing lung cancer, a new study suggests. Researchers found that 9 percent of smokers admitted to the hospital for pneumonia developed lung cancer within one year, so they recommend early screening for the disease among heavy smokers treated for pneumonia. "Lung cancer is truly aggressive. The only chance of recuperation is if it's caught before it begins to cause any symptoms at all. The idea is to find the tumor well in advance," said study leader Dr. Daniel Shepshelovich, from Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Rabin Medical Center, in Israel. "Previous studies have shown that a low-dose radiation CT scan conducted once a year on heavy smokers has the potential to lower lung cancer mortality rates," he said in a university news release. "But this requires huge resources, ... Read more

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E-cigarettes Don't Help Smokers Quit Tobacco: Study

Posted 14 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 14, 2016 – Electronic cigarettes are promoted as a way to help smokers kick the habit, but a new study contends that the devices hamper rather than help. E-cigarette use actually lowers smokers' chances that they'll quit tobacco by about 28 percent, according to an evidence review published online Jan. 14 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal. "We found that e-cigarette use was associated with significantly less quitting," said study senior author Stanton Glantz, a professor with the University of California, San Francisco's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. "E-cigarettes are being promoted as a means of quitting, but they're actually having the opposite effect." Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat nicotine and flavorings to create a vapor that is inhaled by the user. The e-cigarette industry and "vaping" advocates have ... Read more

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Millions of Teens Exposed to E-Cigarette Ads: CDC

Posted 6 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 5, 2016 – E-cigarette use is soaring among U.S. teenagers, largely because of advertising aimed at their age group, federal health officials said Tuesday. Seven out of 10 middle school and high school students say they've seen e-cigarette ads in stores, online or in other media, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Not coincidentally, e-cigarette use is increasing rapidly in kids," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. Frieden said the ads are similar to those "that got a generation of kids hooked on tobacco." They rely on the same themes – independence, rebellion and sex – used to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products, he said. "This is a page right out of the tobacco company playbook," Frieden said. According to the "Vital Signs" report published online Jan. 5 in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, more ... Read more

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Graphic Warnings on Cigarettes Help Smokers Consider Quitting

Posted 23 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23, 2015 – Graphic images on cigarette packaging help smokers consider quitting, a new study finds. Researchers from Ohio State University found that photos of damage caused by tobacco use are more effective than words alone in deterring smokers. "The graphic images motivated smokers to think more deeply about their habit and the risks associated with smoking," study co-author Ellen Peters, a professor of psychology, said in a university news release. "Policies requiring such labels have the potential to reduce the number of Americans who smoke." The study followed 244 adults who smoked between five and 40 cigarettes daily. They were given their preferred brand, but some packages included graphic images along with a written warning such as "Cigarettes cause fatal lung disease." The use of graphic warning labels was required in the United States in 2009, but the mandate ... Read more

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E-Cigarettes May Contain Chemicals Linked to Lung Disease

Posted 8 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2015 – Many electronic cigarettes contain flavoring chemicals that may cause lung disease, researchers say. A team from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston tested 51 types of flavored e-cigarettes and liquids. The investigators found that 47 (more than 75 percent) of them contained diacetyl. The chemical has been linked to a severe lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans, also known as "popcorn lung" because it was first diagnosed in workers who inhaled artificial-butter flavoring in factories making microwave popcorn. Two other related flavoring chemicals that may pose a lung hazard were also found in many of the flavored e-cigarettes and liquids tested, according to researchers led by Joseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at the school. One such flavoring chemical, acetoin, was detected in 46 of the flavors while another, ... Read more

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Could There Be a 'Quit-Smoking' Gene?

Posted 3 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 3, 2015 – Some smokers have much more difficulty kicking the habit than others. Now, a new review of prior research identifies a potential culprit: genes. Researchers analyzed genetic differences cited in 22 studies involving nearly 9,500 white smokers. Of particular interest were variations in genes involved in processing dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate the brain's reward and pleasure centers. Experts believe that the nicotine found in tobacco boosts dopamine in the brain, leading to addiction. The researchers wondered if variants in genes that regulate dopamine might be associated with the ability to put out the butts for good. In the end, the scientists focused on a DNA sequence called Taq1A. They found that smokers who carried a variation of that sequence – called A2/A2 – appeared to have an easier time quitting smoking than those who carried ... Read more

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Higher Cigarette Taxes Tied to Fewer Infant Deaths

Posted 1 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 1, 2015 – A new study suggests that higher tobacco prices in the United States could save hundreds of infant lives every year by discouraging more women from smoking during and after pregnancy. Specifically, researchers said that each $1 per pack increase in the overall tobacco tax rate over the years 1999-2010 may have contributed to two fewer infant deaths each day. The effect appears to be especially strong among black babies. The research doesn't directly prove that higher taxes translate into fewer infant deaths. Still, "we found that increases in cigarette taxes and prices were associated with decreases in infant mortality," said study author Dr. Stephen Patrick, an assistant professor of pediatrics and health policy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. And it's clear, he said, that pregnant women who smoke put their unborn children at risk. "Smoking in pregnancy ... Read more

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Hiding Tobacco Displays in Stores Might Lower Kids' Smoking Rates

Posted 23 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 23, 2015 – Teenagers may be less likely to buy cigarettes in convenience stores if tobacco ads and products are out of sight, according to a new study. Hiding cigarettes and other tobacco products could reduce teens' risk of trying these products in the future, RAND Corp. researchers found. "These findings suggest limiting the visibility of tobacco displays in retail stores may reduce the number of young people who try cigarettes," said William Shadel, a senior behavioral scientist at RAND, in a news release from the nonprofit organization. Tobacco "power walls" at retail stores have largely replaced tobacco advertising in magazines and on billboards, Shadel and his colleagues said. These walls, which are usually situated behind cashiers, display hundreds of tobacco products, branded posters, product slogans and prices. In conducting the study, the researchers recreated a ... Read more

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