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E-Cigarettes 'In' at Some Schools

Posted 1 day 6 hours ago by

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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Coffee, Wine Good for Healthy Gut, Sodas May Be Bad

Posted 2 days 6 hours ago by

THURSDAY, April 28, 2016 – The food you eat and the medicines you take can alter your gut bacteria in ways that either help or harm your health, two new studies suggest. Foods like fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, wine, yogurt and buttermilk can increase the diversity of bacteria in a person's intestines. And that diversity can help ward off illness, said Dr. Jingyuan Fu, senior author of one of the studies. "It is believed that higher diversity and richness [in gut bacteria] is beneficial," explained Fu. She is an associate professor of genetics at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. On the other hand, foods containing loads of simple carbohydrates appear to reduce bacterial diversity in the gut, Fu and colleagues found. These include high-fat whole milk and sugar-sweetened soda. In addition, medications can also play a part in the makeup of your gut bacteria. Antibiotics, ... Read more

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

Posted 5 days ago by

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 8 days ago by

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 11 days ago by

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 16 days ago by

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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Even Light Hookah Use May Cause Airway Problems

Posted 18 days ago by

TUESDAY, April 12, 2016 – Some people believe smoking from a hookah is safe because smoke passes through water before being inhaled. But, a new study found that hookah smoking may actually be more dangerous than cigarettes. The study found that young adults who are considered light hookah users have noticeable changes in the cells lining their airways. "With hookah, smoking a bowl is the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes," said study leader Dr. Ronald Crystal, chairman of the department of genetic medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. "When you talk to the hookah smokers, however, there's a general belief that it is safer than cigarette smoking. We looked at the airways, lower respiratory tract, and in the blood vessels and found biologic abnormalities in all of those who smoked hookah," he said. "Our conclusion is pretty obvious that there may be risk to ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Bronchitis, Smoking Cessation, Dyspnea, Substance Abuse, Respiratory Tract Disease, Bronchiectasis, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

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

Posted 19 days ago by

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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Underweight or Obese Women Who Drink and Smoke May Have Higher Asthma Risk

Posted 10 Apr 2016 by

SATURDAY, April 9, 2016 – Researchers say they have pinpointed several factors that increase asthma risk in women and – to a lesser extent – in men. They analyzed data from about 175,000 people between the ages of 18 and 44 in 51 countries. They found that underweight or obese women who drank and smoked were twice as likely to have asthma as those with a healthy weight who didn't drink or smoke. Underweight or obese women who smoked and drank were also two to three times more likely to have wheezing, according to the study published April 4 in the journal BMJ Open Respiratory Research. But the study did not prove that these factors cause asthma, it only showed an association. "Although individual physical and behavioral factors associated with asthma have been examined before, people are often exposed to multiple risk factors so it's important we understand the combined impact," lead ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Alcohol Dependence, Eating Disorder, Anorexia, Alcoholism, Bulimia, Hangover, Anorexia nervosa, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Smoking Rates Stall Among Young Blacks

Posted 9 Apr 2016 by

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

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

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 During Pregnancy Seems to Alter Fetal DNA, Study Finds

Posted 31 Mar 2016 by

THURSDAY, March 31, 2016 – When a pregnant woman smokes, the fetus' DNA is altered in ways also seen in adult smokers, researchers say. The researchers were also able to pinpoint new development-related genes that were affected by a mother-to-be's smoking. The findings may help improve understanding about the connection between smoking during pregnancy and children's health problems, the study authors said. For the study, researchers collected blood samples from newborns, mainly from the umbilical cord. Compared to babies of nonsmokers, those born to regular smokers had over 6,000 spots where DNA was chemically modified. About half of those locations could be linked to specific genes, including those involved in lung and nervous system development, birth defects such as cleft lip and palate, and smoking-related cancers. The investigators also found that many of these DNA changes were ... Read more

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Great American Smokeout Stands Out Among 'Awareness Days'

Posted 31 Mar 2016 by

THURSDAY, March 31, 2016 – Health-focused awareness days dot the calendar each year. There's World Health Day, World Dolphin Day, World Lupus Day and hundreds more. Whether they actually boost action on specific health issues isn't clear, however. But a new study reports that one event – the Great American Smokeout – does have a significant impact. This is held each year on the third Thursday of November in an effort to get more people to quit smoking. Researchers analyzed news reports and tweets since 2009 to determine whether the Great American Smokeout's message was being heard and shared. They also checked online searches for information about quitting smoking, as well as calls to hotlines that offer counseling on how to stop smoking. Compared to other days of the year, news reports about quitting smoking typically rose 61 percent on the day of the Great American Smokeout and ... Read more

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Smoking Triggers Big Changes in Mouth Bacteria, Study Finds

Posted 29 Mar 2016 by

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

Related support groups: Cancer, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Habitrol, Nicotrol NS, Nicotrol TD, Nicorelief, Nicorette DS, ProStep

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