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Long-Term Pot Use May Make Word Recall Tougher in Middle Age

Posted 7 days ago by

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 – People who smoke marijuana as young adults may have a slightly harder time remembering words by the time they reach middle age, a new study suggests. However, pot use does not appear to damage or dim other mental capacities, such as the ability to think quickly, focus or problem-solve, the study authors said. "We were really surprised by the findings," said study author Dr. Reto Auer, an academic chief resident in the department of community medicine and ambulatory care at the University of Lausanne, in Switzerland. Pot's impact on the ability to memorize words appeared to be incremental, meaning that "the more you smoke, the lower your verbal memory," Auer said. Still, he stressed that the results "are only associations," and not proof of cause and effect. He also said the study only examined pot's impact on verbal memory, not overall memory, and didn't assess ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Cannabis

Chemical That Can Irritate Lungs Found in Flavored E-Cigarettes

Posted 10 days ago by

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

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Respiratory Tract Disease, Habitrol, Nicotrol NS, ProStep, Nicotrol TD, Nicorelief, Nicorette DS

Mental Disorders Increasing for Younger Smokers

Posted 11 days ago by

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

Related support groups: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Smoking, Borderline Personality Disorder, Paranoid Disorder, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Habitrol, Nicotrol NS, ProStep, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Nicotrol TD

Appalachia Cancer Rates Higher Than Average, But Shrinking

Posted 12 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 27, 2016 – Cancer rates in Appalachia remain higher than in other parts of the United States, but that gap is shrinking, a new study shows. Reasons for the higher cancer rates in Appalachia – which extends from parts of New York to Mississippi – include greater tobacco use, poverty and less use of health care services, according to the study. The results were published Jan. 27 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The Appalachian region spans 420 counties in 13 states, and about 25 million people reside in it, said study author Reda Wilson, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "This region is primarily made up of rural areas with persistent poverty levels that are at least 20 percent, which is higher than the national average," Wilson said in a journal news release. Researchers analyzed 2004-11 cancer ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Lung Cancer

Smoking Lowers Breast Cancer Survival, Study Finds

Posted 13 days ago by

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2016 – Women diagnosed with breast cancer who continue to smoke cigarettes are less likely to survive than those who never smoked or those who quit, new research finds. The study suggests that it's never too late to quit smoking to help boost cancer survival. "Women who quit smoking at the time of their diagnosis do better, they have better outcomes than women who continue to smoke after the diagnosis," noted study leader Michael Passarelli, a cancer epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco. The smokers also had a higher risk of dying from respiratory cancers or heart disease and strokes, the research team found. The study was published online Jan. 25 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The researchers looked at the data from more than 20,000 women. The women were between the ages of 20 and 79, and nearly all were white. All had been diagnosed ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Breast Cancer, Smoking Cessation, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative

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

Posted 13 days ago by

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 13 days ago by

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 14 days ago by

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

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

Secondhand Smoke in Hookah Bars May Put Employees at Risk

Posted 14 days ago by

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

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Habitrol, Diagnosis and Investigation, Nicotrol NS, ProStep, Nicotrol TD, Nicorelief, Nicorette DS

Computer-Based Test Aims to Predict Dementia Risk

Posted 18 days ago by

THURSDAY, Jan. 21, 2016 – A new computer-based test might be able to predict a person's risk for dementia, just by analyzing the information family doctors gather during routine visits, a new study from Britain suggests. Researchers from University College London have developed an algorithm that uses medical data to predict a five-year risk of dementia, according to a report Jan. 21 in the journal BioMed Central. The algorithm assesses factors like age, sex, social interaction, smoking, body-mass index, alcohol use, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation), aspirin use and depression, the study authors said. "We chose the particular factors as other research has shown in some people that they [risk factors] can be linked to an increased risk of dementia," said Kate Walters, director of the Centre for Ageing and Population Studies at University ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Smoking, Atrial Fibrillation, Dementia, Smoking Cessation, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Diagnosis and Investigation, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, Arteriosclerotic Dementia w/ Depressive Features

Teens Who Tan Indoors May Be More Likely to Smoke, Drink, Use Drugs: Study

Posted 19 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2016 – New survey results suggest that teenagers who go to tanning salons are more likely to smoke, drink and use illegal drugs and steroids. The findings, from Colorado, don't prove that indoor tanning prompts risky choices about drugs, alcohol and steroids. But the results do suggest that teens who tan indoors – upping their odds for skin cancer – might also be prone to do other potentially dangerous things, the researchers said. "This makes them an especially vulnerable group," said Dr. Eleni Linos, an assistant professor of dermatology with the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Teen use of tanning beds is an important issue because they pose more danger to younger people, noted Linos, who was not involved in the study. "Those who use tanning beds before age 25 have almost double the risk of malignant melanoma and a 70 percent ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Drug Dependence, Smoking Cessation, Alcohol Dependence, Sunburn, Substance Abuse, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Prevention of Sunburn

Teens' IQ Drop Can't Be Blamed Solely on Pot: Study

Posted 19 Jan 2016 by

MONDAY, Jan. 18, 2016 – Studies have suggested that teenage marijuana use leads to a decline in intelligence. But new research with twins suggests the link may not be as clear-cut as some believe. Confounding family issues that lead a kid to try pot in the first place may be to blame for any brain drain, according to the new study. The researchers did report that marijuana users had lower IQ test scores, on average, when compared to those who didn't indulge in pot. But they also discovered that a twin who uses pot winds up with about the same IQ as a twin who doesn't. "We found there was no difference between twins in terms of how much their IQ changed," said study co-author Joshua Isen, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Minnesota. "The twin who didn't use marijuana showed as much IQ drop as the twin who did." These results suggest that people who think marijuana ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Cannabis

Smokers With Pneumonia at Risk for Lung Cancer: Study

Posted 14 Jan 2016 by

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

Related support groups: Smoking, Pneumonia, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Nicotrol Inhaler, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Commit, Habitrol, Nicotrol NS, Streptococcal Pneumonia, ProStep, Bronchogenic Carcinoma, Nicotrol TD, Nicorelief, Nicorette DS

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

Posted 14 Jan 2016 by

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

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

Health Tip: Help Keep Your Child From Smoking

Posted 13 Jan 2016 by

-- Talking to your kids about the risks of smoking can help them kick the habit before they start. The University of Michigan Health System advises parents to: Quit if you're a smoker. Learn more about the dangers of secondhand smoke and how to quit. Join a smoking cessation program and talk to your child about the importance of not smoking. Watch movies with your child and talk about tobacco when you see characters smoking. Check out credible resources for ways to talk with your child about tobacco use. Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation

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