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Smoking Losing Its Cool With Kids, CDC Says

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 – U.S. teens seem to be losing interest in smoking cigarettes and cigars, a new federal report finds. The same can't be said of e-cigarettes. Fewer students reported trying cigarettes or cigars between 2012 and 2014, the new research showed. The report was a joint effort from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products. The report also found that fewer teens reported being curious about cigarettes or cigars. The same, however, can't be said of smokeless tobacco. The study found no change in teen use or interest in smokeless tobacco – such as chewing tobacco – during this two-year period. But, teens are still showing a worrisome level of interest in e-cigarettes. The CDC released a survey in June that found last year just 11 percent of high school students said they'd smoked ... Read more

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Flavorings Boost Toxicity of E-Cigarettes in Lab Study

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 – Flavorings used in e-cigarettes can increase the toxicity of the vapor that users inhale, a new laboratory study done with airway cells shows. E-cigarette vapor also becomes even more toxic if users boost their devices by increasing the battery output voltage, the researchers added. The toxins contained in e-cigarette vapor irritate and inflame cells lining the airways, and could cause or exacerbate breathing problems in some people, said senior researcher Maciej Goniewicz. He is an assistant professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. "Our findings raise some concerns about the safety of additives used in e-cigarettes," Goniewicz said. In the study, Goniewicz and his colleagues exposed airway cells to vapor generated from e-cigarettes. The researchers evaluated e-cigs filled with different flavors, including tobacco, pina colada, ... Read more

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Smoking Thickens Heart Wall, Leading to Heart Failure: Study

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 13, 2016 – Smoking leads to heart failure by causing thickened heart walls and reducing the heart's ability to pump, a new study shows. The research also found that smoking more and longer over a lifetime were associated with greater heart damage. Researchers assessed the hearts of 4,580 U.S. adults using echocardiography – ultrasound of the heart. The participants' average age was nearly 76. None had any obvious signs of heart disease. Even after accounting for factors such as age, race, body fat, blood pressure, diabetes and alcohol consumption, current smokers had thicker heart walls and reduced pumping function than nonsmokers and former smokers, the study showed. The study was published Sept. 13 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging. It's long been known that smoking is linked with heart failure, even in people without heart disease. But, health ... Read more

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Smokeless Tobacco May Contain Potentially Harmful Bacteria

Posted 2 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 2, 2016 – There's a new concern about smokeless tobacco – those products can harbor several species of potentially harmful bacteria, researchers warn. Two types in particular – Bacillus licheniformis and Bacillus pumilus – can cause inflammation of the lungs and opportunistic infections, the study authors said. Opportunistic infections are those that occur more frequently and are more severe in people with weakened immune systems. Other Bacillus species that occur in smokeless tobacco products also pose health risks, according to report co-author Steven Foley. He is a research microbiologist at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's National Center for Toxicological Research. "Some species have been identified as causative agents in spice-related outbreaks of diarrhea and vomiting," Foley said. "Additionally, they produce a mild toxin which, in large quantities, could ... Read more

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Most Americans Don't Want Tobacco on Drug Store Shelves

Posted 1 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 1, 2016 – Two-thirds of American adults think tobacco products don't belong on pharmacy shelves, including half of those who are smokers, a new survey shows. "People look to pharmacies to improve and support their health," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an agency news release. "Selling tobacco products, the leading preventable cause of death and disease, goes against the important and growing role pharmacies play in Americans' well-being," he added. The new research, from the CDC, came from an online survey of nearly 4,300 adults across the nation. They were asked: "Do you favor or oppose banning the sale of all tobacco products in retail pharmacy stores?" More than 66 percent of respondents said they were strongly or somewhat in favor of a ban. Only 14 percent strongly opposed such a ban. Survey respondents who ... Read more

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Many Teens 'Vaping' for Flavor, Not Nicotine

Posted 26 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 25, 2016 – Why are American teens tempted to try an e-cigarette? A new study suggests most are interested in the vaping product's flavoring, not nicotine. A team led by Richard Miech, of the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, tracked the responses of nearly 15,000 students who took part in a 2015 U.S. nationwide survey. More than 3,800 of the students – who were in grades 8, 10 and 12 – said they had used e-cigarettes at some point. Of those who had used e-cigarettes within the past month, more than 1,700 had done so at least once; nearly 1,100 had done so up to five times; and more than 600 had done so more than half a dozen times, the findings showed. Among the students who had ever used e-cigarettes, two-thirds used the device where a non-nicotine, flavored ingredient was used, the survey found. Nicotine came in at a distant second: Used by 13 ... Read more

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Doctors Divided on Safety, Use of Electronic Cigarettes

Posted 26 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 26, 2016 – Doctors disagree on the best way to answer patients' questions about electronic cigarettes, a new study finds. They also want more investigation of the devices – specifically, about the safety of e-cigarettes compared to traditional cigarettes, according to the Stanford University researchers. While traditional cigarettes deliver nicotine when the smoker inhales burning tobacco, e-cigarettes heat liquid nicotine until it vaporizes. Researchers analyzed more than 500 online discussions between doctors and patients about e-cigarettes. About 34 percent of patient questions were about the side effects and dangers of e-cigarettes; 27 percent were about general safety; and 19 percent about using e-cigarettes to stop smoking. Side effects and safety were also the most common topics that doctors raised. But doctors were more likely to raise concerns about nicotine ... Read more

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Fewer Cancer-Causing Chemicals in E-Cigs Than Regular Cigarettes: Study

Posted 19 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 19, 2016 – Smokers who switch to electronic cigarettes get the same levels of nicotine, but lower levels of toxins and cancer-causing chemicals, new research shows. "This study suggests that smokers who completely switch to e-cigarettes and stop smoking tobacco cigarettes may significantly reduce their exposure to many cancer-causing chemicals," said lead author Maciej Goniewicz, an assistant professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. The researchers recruited 20 daily-smoking adults who had smoked for an average of 12 years. For two weeks, they used e-cigarettes instead of tobacco cigarettes. During that time, their urine was analyzed for levels of nicotine and 17 "biomarkers" of toxins and carcinogens. Significant declines in 12 of the 17 biomarkers were noted during those two weeks. The declines were similar to those seen when people quit ... Read more

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This Key Neighborhood Factor May Help Smokers Quit

Posted 15 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 15, 2016 – The inconvenience of having to walk farther to the nearest cigarette vendor might be enough to help smokers quit, a new study suggests. Researchers in Finland tracked data on almost 21,000 current and former smokers. The investigators wanted to see how changes in the walking distance from home to the nearest tobacco shop affected smoking behavior. The result: For every added one-third of a mile the smoker had to walk, there was a 20 to 60 percent increase in his or her odds of quitting the habit, the study found. Increasing the distance needed to buy cigarettes had no impact on whether a former smoker would resume the habit, however. And the study couldn't prove cause-and-effect, it could only point to an association. The research was led by Anna Pulakka of the University of Turku, and published online Aug. 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine. One expert at helping ... Read more

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Starting Monday, FDA Banning E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

Posted 8 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 8, 2016 – The sale of e-cigarettes to minors will be banned starting Monday, as part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's long-awaited plan to extend the agency's regulatory powers across all tobacco products. The new rules halt the sale of e-cigarettes and any other tobacco product to anyone younger than 18. The regulations also 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 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, opponents contend that the nicotine-laden e-cigarettes actually ... Read more

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Why Teens Choose E-Cigarettes

Posted 8 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 8, 2016 – Teenagers try e-cigarettes the first time for very teen-related reasons – they're curious, friends use them, and there are lots of different flavors that taste good. But the teens most likely to keep using e-cigarettes do so for very practical reasons, a new study suggests. The low cost of the devices and the promise they can help teens quit smoking tobacco are the two strong predictors of continued use, said senior researcher Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin. She is a professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. Teens who initially tried e-cigarettes because of their low cost had significantly stepped up their use of e-cigarettes by the time researchers checked in six months later. In addition, teens who tried e-cigarettes to quit smoking were more than 14 times more likely to keep using e-cigarettes than those who did not consider ... Read more

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Quitting Smoking While Pregnant: What Works

Posted 28 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 27, 2016 – Use of nicotine patches or the drug Zyban helps pregnant women quit smoking before and after they give birth, a new study says. "In public health terms, these results are significant because one in five pregnant women smokes," said study author Anick Berard, a professor with the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Montreal. "We already know that smoking during pregnancy increases the chances of miscarriage as well as low birth weight, premature birth and birth defects – events that are linked to health problems in children," Berard said in a university news release. However, the study authors added that pregnant women or those looking to become pregnant should check with their doctor before taking any medication. The new study results will give pregnant women evidence-based options to quit smoking, Berard said. They'll "also give data to health care ... Read more

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Is Pot Harder on the Heart Than Tobacco?

Posted 27 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 27, 2016 – Smoking pot might harm your heart health and that of the people around you – perhaps even more than cigarettes, a new animal study suggests. Lab rats experienced a severe reduction in their blood vessel function after a minute's exposure to secondhand smoke from either tobacco or marijuana, researchers said. But it took the rats three times longer to recover from a minute of secondhand marijuana smoke, compared with tobacco smoke, the researchers found. "If people think marijuana smoke is somehow exempt from the harmful effects of tobacco and many other kinds of smoke, this is evidence that it is not," said study senior author Matthew Springer, a professor of medicine in the division of cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco. The rats' arteries carried blood less efficiently for at least 90 minutes following exposure to marijuana smoke, ... Read more

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E-Cig Liquid Nicotine Containers Often Mislabeled

Posted 27 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 27, 2016 – Containers that hold liquid nicotine for electronic cigarettes may not be labeled with the correct amount of nicotine, a new study says. And as many as two-thirds of these containers may not be child-resistant, the researchers found. Consuming even small amounts of liquid nicotine can harm a child, the scientists said. "Mislabeling of nicotine in e-liquids exposes the user to the harmful effects of nicotine," said study author Kelly Buettner-Schmidt, an associate professor of nursing at North Dakota State University. "In areas without child-resistant packaging requirements, children may be exposed to harmful nicotine," she said in a university news release. The researchers checked 93 e-cigarette liquid containers from 16 stores in North Dakota. They found that 70 were labeled containing nicotine amounts ranging from 3 to 24 milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL). ... Read more

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E-Cigarettes Emit Toxic Vapors: Study

Posted 27 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 27, 2016 – All electronic cigarettes emit harmful chemicals, and levels of those toxic compounds are affected by factors such as temperature, type and age of the device, a new study finds. The findings could be important to both makers of e-cigarettes and regulators who want to reduce the health threat posed by the devices, according to researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. "Advocates of e-cigarettes say emissions are much lower than from conventional cigarettes, so you're better off using e-cigarettes," study corresponding author Hugo Destaillats said in a Berkeley news release. "I would say, that may be true for certain users – for example, long-time smokers that cannot quit – but the problem is, it doesn't mean that they're healthy. Regular cigarettes are super unhealthy. E-cigarettes are just unhealthy," he explained. In ... Read more

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