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U.S. Smoking Rate Falls to 15 Percent: CDC

Posted 1 day 15 hours ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 1, 2015 – The U.S. smoking rate continues to decline, with just over 15 percent of adults reporting they're current smokers, a new government survey reveals. That's down from nearly 17 percent in 2014 and almost 18 percent in 2013. The falloff reflects a continued decline that started in 2010 after a decade of no progress against smoking, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday. Higher tobacco taxes, tough anti-smoking messages and smoke-free laws that ban smoking from indoor and outdoor areas appear to be dissuading even hard-core, heavily addicted smokers from continuing the habit, said Patricia Folan, director of the Center for Tobacco Control at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, N.Y. "I hear from smokers all the time, 'When I can't smoke here, I can't smoke there, when people see me smoke they look at me like I'm a pariah – it ... Read more

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Many Parents Unaware of Dangers E-Cigarettes Pose to Little Kids: Survey

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 28, 2015 – Many parents don't understand that the liquid nicotine used in electronic cigarettes poses a serious danger to young children, a new survey indicates. The liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes is often fruit-flavored, which makes it appealing to youngsters. Consuming a teaspoon of this liquid can be deadly to a child, and smaller amounts can cause nausea and vomiting that require emergency care, experts warn. Children can also become sick if the liquid nicotine comes into contact with their skin. "These are largely avoidable risks, but because e-cigarettes are relatively new, many people – including pediatricians – aren't aware of the dangers or the steps that should be taken to protect children from them," study first author Dr. Jane Garbutt, a professor of medicine and of pediatrics at Washington University in St. Louis, said in a university news release. She ... Read more

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Many Young Adults Think Hookahs, E-Cigs Safer Than Cigarettes

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 25, 2015 – Many young American adults believe electronic cigarettes and water pipes are safer than traditional cigarettes, a new study finds. "This is concerning as it suggests that even a substantial proportion of nonsmokers may view hookah as being a relatively safer and acceptable way to use tobacco," wrote study authors Cristine Delnevo and Olivia Wackowski, of Rutgers University in New Jersey. Those younger than 25 were more likely than those aged 25 to 34 to say that hookahs (water pipes) and e-cigarettes were safer than cigarettes, according to an analysis of results from the National Young Adult Health Survey. Nearly 2,900 smokers and nonsmokers aged 18 to 34 participated. Overall, nearly 58 percent of the respondents said e-cigarettes were less risky than cigarettes, and more than 11 percent said they were unsure. More than 24 percent of smokers and nonsmokers ... Read more

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E-Cigs May Spur Teens to Try Smoking: Study

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 18, 2015 – Concerns that e-cigarettes are a stepping stone to smoking for teens appear to have merit, new research suggests. Los Angeles-area teenagers who had never smoked before were three to four times more likely to try cigarettes or other tobacco products after they'd experimented with an e-cigarette, according to the findings published in the Aug. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. "More teens have been using e-cigarettes for recreational uses, including teens who've never smoked before," said study author Adam Leventhal, an associate professor of preventive medicine and psychology at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles. "Because nicotine is such an addictive drug, it makes sense that if you enjoy the experience of inhaling nicotine, you might be more willing to experiment with other products that ... Read more

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Liquid Nicotine From E-Cigs Poses Poison Danger to Kids

Posted 3 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 3, 2015 – Nicotine poisoning is a growing concern for American children, but proposed U.S. federal government regulations alone aren't enough to solve the problem, an expert says. The increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes has led to a number of cases of nicotine poisoning in recent years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hopes to require warning labels and child-resistant packaging on liquid nicotine products, such as those used in e-cigarettes. Even a small amount of liquid nicotine can be lethal, Jonathan Foulds, a professor of public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, said in a university news release. The proposed FDA measures would help, but it's important for adults to consistently use the provided childproofing features and to keep all sources of nicotine out of children's ... Read more

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Teens Using E-Cigs More Prone to Take Up Smoking: Study

Posted 27 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 27, 2015 – Teenagers who use electronic cigarettes may be more likely to smoke the real thing, new research suggests. The study, which included almost 2,100 California high school students, found that one-quarter had ever "vaped" (tried e-cigarettes). Ten percent of the teens were currently using e-cigarettes. And those current users were much more likely than their peers to also smoke cigarettes. One-third of e-cigarette users also smoked tobacco cigarettes, versus 1 percent of kids who'd never vaped. Researchers said the findings do not prove e-cigarettes act as a gateway to tobacco use. But they raise the possibility that e-cigarettes are encouraging a more tobacco-friendly culture among kids, said study leader Jessica Barrington-Trimis, a researcher at the University of Southern California. The study also found that most kids who used e-cigarettes also had friends or ... Read more

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Low-Nicotine Cigarettes Won't Necessarily Help Smokers Stop

Posted 27 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, July 25, 2015 – Low-nicotine cigarettes alone don't help smokers quit over the long term, a new study finds. "We don't know that very low-nicotine cigarettes will not reduce nicotine dependence, but progressively reducing nicotine content of cigarettes in the way that we did, without other means of supporting smokers, did not produce the desired results," study leader Dr. Neal Benowitz, a professor in the departments of medicine and bioengineering and therapeutic sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a university news release. The study included 135 smokers who had no immediate plans to quit, but were interested in trying low-nicotine cigarettes. Eighty of them were given cigarettes with progressively lower levels of nicotine, eventually reaching just 5 percent of the level used in regular cigarettes. The other 55 participants continued using their ... Read more

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Lung Cancer Patients Who Quit Smoking Live Longer

Posted 16 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 16, 2015 – Lung cancer patients live longer if they quit smoking around the time of their cancer diagnosis, a new study finds. Researchers looked at 250 lung cancer patients who were smokers and were referred to a program to help them stop smoking. Fifty had recently quit smoking, and 71 had quit smoking soon after being referred to the tobacco cessation program. Those who quit smoking shortly before or after they learned they had lung cancer lived an average of 28 months. Those who continued to smoke lived an average of 18 months, the study found. Even patients with advanced lung cancer gained extra survival time if they quit smoking, the study in the July issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology showed. The researchers also found that patients who didn't quit smoking but continued their attempts to quit may also live longer. However, death rates for those who quit and ... Read more

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Smoking, Preterm Births Increase a Woman's Heart Disease Risk

Posted 9 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 9, 2015 – Women who smoke and have had a premature baby are at significantly higher risk for heart disease, a new study finds. Researchers examined data from more than 900,000 mothers and found that those who smoked and also had a preterm birth were nearly three-and-a-half times more likely to develop heart disease than nonsmokers who had full-term births. That risk is 29 percent higher than the risk associated with either smoking or preterm birth alone, according to the study published July 9 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The risk of heart disease was even higher among mothers who smoked and had multiple or extremely premature births. "Fertility treatment is pushing up rates of preterm birth and smoking in pregnant women remains high, so knowledge of the impact of these conditions on [heart disease] is important for prevention efforts. Our research ... Read more

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Flavored Cigarettes Still Popular Online Despite U.S. Ban

Posted 29 Jun 2015 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 25 Jun 2015 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 23 Jun 2015 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 23 Jun 2015 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 23 Jun 2015 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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