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'Cool' Factor Often Spurs Teens to Try E-Cigarettes

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 18, 2016 – E-cigarette makers say the products can help adults stop smoking, but new research suggests many teens use the devices because they seem cool, new and fun. "While e-cigarettes are frequently used as devices for smoking cessation in adults, we found most students in our survey [including 47.8 percent of those who recently smoked cigarettes] were motivated by the 'cool/fun/something new' features of e-cigarettes," the study authors wrote. Dr. Michael Khoury, a pediatric cardiology resident at Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton, Canada, led the research during a previous residency at The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto. The study involved nearly 2,400 students in Ontario, aged 14 and 15. The teens were asked about their e-cigarette use, including why they tried them and how often they used them. Seven out of 10 respondents, almost ... Read more

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1 in 5 Americans Uses a Tobacco Product

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 14, 2016 – Despite decades of declines in smoking rates in the United States, one in five Americans still smokes or uses hookahs, e-cigarettes or other tobacco products, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. Cigarettes remain the most popular, but the emergence of hookah and e-cigarette use, especially among younger adults, is cause for concern, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said. Findings from the 2013-2014 survey underscore the need "to educate the public about the potential harms of all tobacco product use, including risks associated with occasional use," CDC researcher Dr. Sean Hu and colleagues wrote. Noting that e-cigarettes were used most often by 18- to 24-year-olds, the study authors suggested advertising and misleading marketing claims are to blame. Patricia Folan, director of the Center for Tobacco Control at Northwell Health in ... Read more

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Smoking in Pregnancy May Be Under-Reported

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 7, 2016 – A significantly higher percentage of American women may be smoking while pregnant than researchers have previously believed, a new study suggests. The finding is based on urine tests that can measure nicotine exposure compared to what pregnant women report about their smoking habits. "We have long suspected that smoking status during pregnancy is under-reported," study senior author Dr. Jim Greenberg, director of the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, said in a hospital news release. "But now we know just how many women struggle to quit smoking when they are pregnant," he added. Smoking while pregnant boosts the risk for premature birth by as much as 25 percent, the study authors noted. Smoking is also associated with the three most common causes of infant death. It's also considered to be a risk factor for both sudden infant death syndrome ... Read more

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Mixing Pot and Tobacco Increases Dependence Risk: Study

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 5, 2016 – People who mix marijuana with tobacco are at greater risk for dependency and less motivated to find support to quit these drugs, researchers report. One billion people around the globe use tobacco and 182 million people smoke pot, making these two of the world's most popular drugs, according to the World Health Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Many people mix the two drugs together to save money. Tobacco also makes pot inhalation more efficient. This practice, however, may increase the likelihood that users become dependent, the researchers found. "Cannabis dependence and tobacco dependence manifest in similar ways, so it is often difficult to separate these out in people who use both drugs," said study lead author Chandni Hindocha. "Cannabis is less addictive than tobacco, but we show here that mixing tobacco with cannabis lowers ... Read more

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E-Cigs May Damage Cells in Mouth

Posted 1 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 30, 2016 – Many people think electronic cigarettes are a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes, but a new study suggests that's not the case. In laboratory experiments on cultured cells, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that toxic substances and nanoparticles in e-cigarette vapors caused 85 percent of the tested cells to die. They said it's possible these substances can kill the top layer of skin cells in the oral cavity. The oral cavity is the portion of the mouth behind the teeth and gums. The researchers believe that similar results would be found in tests on people, and said they're planning a human study to confirm their findings. If confirmed, the researchers said that e-cigarettes could increase users' risk of oral disease. "A small but significant portion of dental patients at UCLA Dental Clinics have used e-cigarettes, which ... Read more

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Southern States Lagging in Tough Smoking Bans, CDC Says

Posted 23 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 23, 2016 – Smokers in southern states can still find plenty of places to spread secondhand smoke to others, a new report finds. In fact, no states in the U.S. Southeast have comprehensive smoke-free laws to protect nonsmokers from tobacco fumes, a federal government report says. This type of law bans smoking in all indoor areas of workplaces, restaurants and bars. Dr. Tom Frieden directs the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We've made great progress in protecting many Americans from secondhand smoke exposure," he said, "but millions of Americans, especially those living in southeastern states, are still unprotected from this completely preventable health hazard." The number of states with comprehensive smoke-free laws rose from zero in 2000 to 26 by 2010, including the District of Columbia. But progress has stalled: Only two more states were added to ... Read more

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Report Faulty Tobacco Products to FDA

Posted 19 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, June 19, 2016 – If your water pipe, e-cigarette, hookah or smokeless tobacco is defective or causing a health problem, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to hear from you. To report problems related to these or any other tobacco products, you can use the agency's online Safety Reporting Portal (see below). "There is no known safe tobacco product, but FDA can play a role in helping prevent certain unexpected health consequences," said Dr. Ii-Lun Chen, of the agency's Center for Tobacco Products. Consumers are encouraged to report problems such as: cigarettes containing mold or foreign objects; a tobacco product that smells or tastes wrong; mislabeling; fires or burns caused by tobacco products, and unexpected health problems. These health issues might include accidental exposure of children to tobacco products; unusual reactions in long-time users, or allergic reactions ... Read more

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E-Cigarettes a Gateway to Smoking for Teens: Study

Posted 13 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 13, 2016 – Teens in the United States who use electronic cigarettes are six times more likely to move on to traditional cigarettes compared to kids who never use the devices, a new study reports. A survey of about 300 high school students found a troubling pattern, although some experts disagree with the conclusions. "Adolescents who had never smoked, but who had used e-cigarettes, were substantially more likely to begin smoking combustible cigarettes over the next year," said study lead author Jessica Barrington-Trimis. She is a postdoctoral researcher with the University of Southern California's Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science. "The increase in e-cigarette use, which may be followed by increases in cigarette use, could result in an erosion of the progress that has been made over the last several decades in tobacco control," Barrington-Trimis said. In recent years, ... Read more

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Teen Smoking Down, E-Cigarette Use Up

Posted 9 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 9, 2016 – It may seem like eye-rolling teens never listen, but a new U.S. government report finds many kids are getting some health messages loud and clear. Smoking among high school students is at an all-time low. Slightly more than one in 10 high schoolers used cigarettes in 2015. That's down from more than one in four in 1991, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday. However, use of e-cigarettes is up. Also on the good-news front: premarital sex is down, as is soda consumption and illegal use of prescription drugs. But distracted driving and sedentary lifestyles continue to be problems. The survey – called the National Youth Risk and Behavior Survey – included more than 15,000 high school students. A number of factors have contributed to the decline in smoking, according to Patricia Folan, director of the Center for Tobacco Control at ... Read more

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Gruesome Cigarette Pack Images Seem to Help Some People Quit

Posted 6 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 – Ghastly smoking-relating photos on cigarette packs do encourage smokers to quit, a new study finds. "This is the first top-quality evidence available that these warnings do change behavior," said lead researcher Noel Brewer. He is an associate professor of health behavior at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Such habit-changing images show smoke emerging from a hole (stoma) in the neck, smoke-ravaged lungs, badly stained teeth, or a patient near death. In a four-week trial, Brewer's team found that 40 percent of smokers who had these visual warnings were likely to try to quit, compared with 34 percent of those whose packs had only print warnings. By the end of the trial, nearly 6 percent of the picture-pack group had quit for a week, compared with about 4 percent of the others. Brewer said the labels worked because smokers couldn't get the pictures ... Read more

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Most Americans Support Rise in Legal Smoking Age

Posted 1 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2016 – Highlighting tobacco's growing unpopularity, a new survey finds most Americans support pushing the legal smoking age even higher. Across all regions of the United States, poll respondents gave an overwhelming thumbs-up to raising the legal age for buying tobacco products to 19, 20 or even 21. Support also "seems to cross political lines, and it is one policy measure that the majority of those surveyed can agree on," said lead researcher Dr. Adam Goldstein, of the University of North Carolina's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. His team asked more than 4,800 adults nationwide if they supported raising the minimum age for tobacco purchases to 19, 20 or 21. A majority of people in all regions of the country were in favor, the pollsters found. Support ranged from more than 59 percent in a seven-state Midwestern region that included Iowa and Kansas, to about ... Read more

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Most Smokers Don't Stick With E-Cigarettes

Posted 31 May 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 31, 2016 – Some smokers turn to e-cigarettes with the hope that the electronic nicotine delivery devices will help them give up regular cigarettes. But new research suggests that for most smokers, e-cigarettes aren't an acceptable alternative. The good news from the study is that e-cigarettes helped at least a small group of smokers quit tobacco cigarettes. Ideally, study lead author Terry Pechacek said, e-cigarettes would be both appealing and less dangerous than traditional cigarettes. "Even if they're only half as risky, there would be a huge public health benefit if we could switch 40 million smokers to them," he said. But the study suggests smokers who've tried them are saying "that's possible but we're not there yet," said Pechacek, professor and interim division director of Health Management and Policy at Georgia State University in Atlanta. For the study, the ... Read more

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Why Heavy Drinking Seems to Boost Desire to Smoke More

Posted 19 May 2016 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 9 May 2016 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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