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Why Heavy Drinking Seems to Boost Desire to Smoke More

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 18, 2016 – The reason alcoholics struggle to stop smoking may be because their heavy drinking speeds up how quickly their body breaks down nicotine, a new study suggests. "Our study showed that chronic heavy alcohol consumption may lead to an increase in the rate of nicotine metabolism, which could be one contributing factor to the poor smoking cessation rates in smokers addicted to alcohol," said senior study author Maciej Goniewicz. Nicotine metabolism is the term used to describe how quickly a body breaks down this addictive substance. People who break down nicotine more slowly may have an easier time quitting because the nicotine stays in their body longer. But, the investigators found, alcohol appears to speed up the breakdown of nicotine. For the study, the researchers measured markers (such as cotinine) that indicated nicotine levels among male smokers in Poland ... Read more

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E-Cigarette Poisonings Skyrocket Among Young Kids: Study

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 9, 2016 – Calls to poison control centers about young children's exposure to e-cigarettes have skyrocketed in recent years, new research shows. And those kids who are exposed seem to suffer worse health effects than those exposed to traditional cigarettes, the study authors added. The biggest threat with e-cigarettes appears to be the nicotine liquid inside the devices, the researchers said. "If this were an infectious disease, this would be headlines across the country," said Dr. Gary Smith, director of Nationwide Children's Hospital's Center for Injury Research and Policy in Ohio. He noted that the number of e-cigarette exposures in kids jumped 1,500 percent from 2012 to 2015. "E-cigarettes and liquid nicotine can cause serious poisoning, and even death, among young children," he said. "Like other dangerous poisons, they should be kept out of sight and reach of children, ... Read more

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Health Tip: Are E-Cigarettes Safe?

Posted 6 May 2016 by Drugs.com

-- People may turn to electronic cigarettes thinking they are a healthier alternative to smoking. Not so fast, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. E-cigarettes can: Encourage use of tobacco products, either by former smokers or by those who have never smoked. Cause harm to pregnant women and fetuses. Cause nicotine poisoning from accidental ingestion, inhalation or absorption of the nicotine liquid in e-cigarettes. Expose non e-cigarette users to secondhand nicotine emissions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is particularly concerned about users under the age of 18: On Thursday, the agency said it will ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. The move is part of its long-awaited plan to extend the agency's regulatory powers across all tobacco products. Read more

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FDA Banning E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

Posted 5 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 5, 2016 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that it is banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, as part of its long-awaited plan to extend the agency's regulatory powers across all tobacco products. The new rules would halt the sale of e-cigarettes and any other tobacco product to anyone younger than 18. The regulations also would require photo IDs to buy e-cigarettes, and ban retailers from handing out free samples or selling them in all-ages vending machines. The rules will go into effect in 90 days, the FDA said, and also cover other alternative forms of tobacco like cigars, hookah tobacco and pipe tobacco. Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices designed to create an aerosol that delivers nicotine, flavor and other chemicals when inhaled by the user. Manufacturers have marketed the products as a way to help smokers quit cigarettes, but ... Read more

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FDA launches public education campaign to prevent and reduce tobacco use among LGBT young adults

Posted 3 May 2016 by Drugs.com

May 2, 2016 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced the launch of a historic public education campaign aimed at preventing and reducing tobacco use among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young adults ages 18-24. Of the more than 2 million LGBT young adults in the U.S., more than 800,000 smoke occasionally. The “This Free Life” campaign is designed to specifically reach the occasional or “social” smokers in the LGBT community to help prevent tobacco-related disease and the loss of tens of thousands LGBT lives to tobacco use each year. “We know LGBT young adults in this country are nearly twice as likely to use tobacco as other young adults,” said Mitch Zeller, J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “We want LGBT young adults to know that there is no safe amount of smoking. Even an occasional cigarette can have serious health implications an ... Read more

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E-Cigarettes 'In' at Some Schools

Posted 29 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 29, 2016 – Teens are more likely to give electronic cigarettes a try if they attend schools where use of the devices is common, a new study suggests. The researchers found that differences in e-cigarette use between schools increased over time. This finding suggests that certain schools play a larger role in increasing teen use of e-cigarettes than other schools do. The researchers believe that there's something in the culture of those schools that encourages the use of these devices. "Our results indicate that there are certain types of schools that facilitate higher rates of e-cigarette use among students," said study leader Adam Lippert, an assistant professor of sociology at University of Colorado Denver. Data for the study was collected from U.S. middle and high schools between 2011 and 2013 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings showed ... Read more

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E-Cigarette Ads May Help Lure Teens to the Habit: Study

Posted 25 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 25, 2016 – The more ads for electronic cigarettes middle and high school students see, the more likely they are to use these devices, a new study finds. Many experts worry that e-cigarettes are merely a "gateway" product to addictive cigarette smoking. "Since electronic nicotine devices have the potential to cause harm, result in nicotine addiction and lead to use of traditional cigarettes, advertisement of these devices should be regulated and limited, particularly ads that target youth," said Patricia Folan. She directs the Center for Tobacco Control at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. Folan reviewed the findings from the study, which was led by Dr. Tushar Singh of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Office on Smoking and Health. The study can't prove cause-and-effect. However, the researchers found that U.S. high school students' use of ... Read more

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No Link Between Anti-Smoking Drugs, Mental Health Issues: Study

Posted 23 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 22, 2016 – The anti-smoking drugs Chantix (varenicline) and Wellbutrin (bupropion) don't appear to raise the risk of serious mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts, a new study suggests. "Clinical guidelines recommend that the most effective way to give up smoking is smoking cessation medication and counseling. However, smokers do not use these services enough, in part due to concerns that the medications may not be safe," said lead author Dr. Robert Anthenelli, professor of psychiatry at University of California, San Diego. The new study, published April 22 in The Lancet, should help ease those concerns for patients, the researchers said. The study was requested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration due to concerns about the safety of the drugs used to help people quit smoking. Funding was provided by drug makers Pfizer (which makes ... Read more

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FDA Launches Ad Campaign Against Chewing Tobacco

Posted 19 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 – U.S. health officials said Tuesday that they are targeting rural teenagers with a new $36 million ad campaign that highlights the health risks associated with chewing tobacco. The campaign's message – "smokeless doesn't mean harmless" – will challenge a habit that has become a tradition in the rural United States, said Mitch Zeller, director of the Center for Tobacco Products at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "It is culturally ingrained in many rural communities, and can be seen as a rite of passage and an acceptable societal norm," Zeller said during a Tuesday morning news conference. He noted that smokeless tobacco use is more than twice as common in rural areas as it is in urban settings. Chewing tobacco, snuff and other smokeless tobacco products have been linked to multiple kinds of cancer, gum disease, tooth loss and nicotine addiction, Zeller ... Read more

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No Drop in Teen Use of Tobacco Products, CDC Says, and E-Cigs May Be Why

Posted 15 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 14, 2016 – Use of tobacco products by U.S. teens hasn't fallen since 2011, and federal officials say electronic cigarettes may be to blame. One in four high school students now uses what officials define as a tobacco product. And e-cigarettes have eclipsed traditional cigarettes as the most widely used tobacco product among teens, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among youth, and use continues to climb," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said Thursday in an agency news release. "No form of youth tobacco use is safe. Nicotine is an addictive drug, and use during adolescence may cause lasting harm to brain development." Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat nicotine and flavorings to create a vapor that is inhaled by the user. Last year, 4.7 million middle and ... Read more

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Besides Your Lungs, Smoking May Harm Your Job Prospects, Paycheck

Posted 11 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 11, 2016 – The "Mad Men" glory days of smoking at work are long gone. Today, smokers have a harder time finding jobs, and earn less than nonsmokers when they do get work, a new study suggests. "When we studied a sample of 251 [unemployed] job seekers over a 12-month period, smokers relative to nonsmokers were at a serious disadvantage for finding re-employment," said study lead author Judith Prochaska. "When they did secure jobs, they were paid significantly less than nonsmokers," said Prochaska, an associate professor with Stanford University's Prevention Research Center in California. That difference was about $5 an hour on average – or more than $8,300 annually, the researchers found. It's unclear why smokers might face a penalty on the job front, and factors other than smoking could explain the difference, the study authors said. However, smoking is tied to higher ... Read more

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Smoking Rates Stall Among Young Blacks

Posted 9 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 8, 2016 – Little progress has been made to reduce smoking among young black Americans over the past two decades, likely due to aggressive marketing by the tobacco industry, researchers report. Before 1982, smoking rates were falling among black high school seniors, but progress has since stalled. The rate was 8.7 percent in 1982 and 9 percent in 2014, according to a supplement to the April issue of the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research. "That the decline has stalled in the last 22 years is, to me, very sad news. I think it's about the industry working really hard to keep this market," supplement co-editor Gary Giovino said in a news release from the University at Buffalo. He is chairman of the department of community health and health behavior at the university. Other reported findings show that black adult smokers are less likely than whites to quit as they age. Blacks ... Read more

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Study: Smoking Hikes Chances of Early Death for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Posted 4 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 4, 2016 – Smoking increases the chances of early death in people with rheumatoid arthritis, but quitting smoking significantly reduces that risk, a new study suggests. "This research provides important evidence that the risk of early death starts to decline in patients who stop smoking, and continues year on year," said researcher Deborah Symmons. She is a professor of rheumatology and musculoskeletal epidemiology at the University of Manchester in England. Symmons and her colleagues analyzed data from rheumatoid arthritis patients in the United Kingdom. The investigators found that the patients who smoked were nearly twice as likely to die prematurely as those who never smoked. The risk among former smokers was similar to that of those who never smoked, and fell for each additional year they no longer smoked, the researchers said. "We hope that this research can be used ... Read more

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Web Searches for E-Cigs Focus on Buying

Posted 1 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 1, 2016 – Most people who search the Internet for e-cigarettes are shopping for the products – not looking to quit smoking, a new study reveals. In fact, researchers found that less than 1 percent of millions of Google searches on the topic were focused on smoking cessation or the health effects of vaping. "The e-cigarette industry, the media, and the vaping community have promoted the notion that e-cigarettes are an effective device for quitting smoking, yet what we're seeing is that there are very few people searching for information about that," said the study's senior author, Rebecca S. Williams. She is a researcher at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. "They are more commonly searching for terms like 'buy,' 'shop,' or 'sale,' " she added in a news release from the American ... Read more

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Smoking Triggers Big Changes in Mouth Bacteria, Study Finds

Posted 29 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 29, 2016 – Smoking can dramatically change the balance of bacterial species in the mouth, which may affect the risk of mouth, lung and digestive system diseases, a new study says. The research also found that the proper mix of bacteria in the mouth is restored if people quit smoking. Researchers analyzed the mix of about 600 bacterial species in the mouths (oral microbiome) of more than 1,200 Americans. All were 50 or older. The group included smokers, former smokers and people who never smoked. Current smokers had significantly increased growth of more than 150 bacterial species, while 70 other species showed sharp decreases in growth. For example, Proteobacteria species accounted for less than 5 percent of overall bacteria in the mouths of smokers, compared with about 12 percent in nonsmokers, the researchers reported. Proteobacteria help break down toxic chemicals ... Read more

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