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Smoking Losing Its Cool With Kids, CDC Says

Posted 6 days ago by

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

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

Flavorings Boost Toxicity of E-Cigarettes in Lab Study

Posted 6 days ago by

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

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

Smoking Tied to Shorter Survival With ALS

Posted 6 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 – Smoking may speed progression of Lou Gehrig's disease and shorten the lives of those with the fatal illness, new research suggests. Also known as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), the disease damages nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. These cells control many vital muscle functions, including speaking, swallowing and breathing. Though no cure for ALS has been found, scientists have identified several risk factors, including genes, gender, age and underlying health issues. For this study, researchers explored the link between tobacco and development of ALS. They collected data on the smoking habits of 650 people diagnosed with ALS between 2007 and 2011 in northern Italy. They also looked at chronic lung disease (COPD) among these patients. Nearly 19 percent of the ALS patients were regular smokers when they were diagnosed. Researchers noted that 28 ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Smoking Leaves Lasting Marks on DNA: Study

Posted 7 days ago by

TUESDAY, Sept. 20, 2016 – Smoking cigarettes can leave a lasting imprint on human DNA, altering more than 7,000 genes in ways that may contribute to the development of smoking-related diseases, a new study says. Reviewing results from blood samples taken from nearly 16,000 people in 16 prior studies, the researchers also found that for those who stopped smoking, most genes "recovered" within five years of quitting. "Although this emphasizes the long-term residual effects of smoking, the good news is the sooner you can stop smoking, the better off you are," said study author Dr. Stephanie London. She is deputy chief of the epidemiology branch of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Even so, London's team found that some genetic changes remained, even 30 years after quitting smoking. London and her colleagues zeroed in on a process called DNA methylation – ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Diagnosis and Investigation

Annual Checkups Are Becoming Wellness Visits

Posted 7 days ago by

TUESDAY, Sept. 20, 2016 – Annual medical checkups are changing so that they'll be more beneficial for patients, according to a family medicine physician. Research suggests that getting a regular physical examination doesn't necessarily improve patient health. So, the annual physical is transforming into a wellness visit, said Dr. Bill Curry, from Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Instead of a short physical exam, a brief chat and some blood work, wellness visits include discussions about family history and lifestyle, medication reviews, checks of vital signs and scheduling preventive screenings and vaccinations. "When you look at me, my lifestyle factors and my family history, it will dictate something different for my care than someone else," Curry said in a medical center news release. Patients are encouraged to take a more active role in their health care. Curry ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Prevention of Fractures

Tourette Threat Surges for Babies When Mom Smokes in Pregnancy

Posted 12 days ago by

FRIDAY, Sept. 16, 2016 – Children born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy are at increased risk for Tourette syndrome and other chronic tics, a new study suggests. Tics are repeated twitches, movements or sounds that people are unable to control. For the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 73,000 births in Denmark. The investigators found that children whose mothers smoked 10 or more cigarettes a day during pregnancy had a 66 percent increased risk of developing a chronic tic disorder. Heavy smoking during pregnancy was also linked to a twofold to threefold increase in a child's risk for chronic tics in combination with other neuropsychiatric conditions, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). "Identifying environmental causes for chronic tic disorders and related psychiatric conditions is important because if we know specific risk factors, we can ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Tourette's Syndrome, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Kids With Bipolar Disorder More Likely to Abuse Drugs, Alcohol: Study

Posted 12 days ago by

FRIDAY, Sept. 16, 2016 – For some teens with bipolar disorder, the risk that they will abuse alcohol and drugs may increase as they get older, a new study suggests. The research included 105 young people with bipolar disorder and 98 without the illness (the "control" group). Their average age was 14 when they first enrolled in the study. Bipolar disorder causes unusual shifts in mood, energy and activity levels, and also affects the ability to carry out everyday tasks. Initially, 34 percent of the young teens with bipolar disorder also had "substance use disorder," which means they had a problem with drug or alcohol abuse. Only 4 percent of the kids in the control group abused alcohol or drugs, the study showed. In addition, the researchers found, almost one-quarter of kids with bipolar disorder smoked cigarettes, compared to just 4 percent of the comparison group. Five years after the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bipolar Disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Opiate Dependence, Opiate Withdrawal, Smoking, Mania, Smoking Cessation, Drug Dependence, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Alcohol Dependence, Substance Abuse, Alcoholism, Severe Mood Dysregulation, Cyclothymic Disorder, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Executive Function Disorder

Smoking Thickens Heart Wall, Leading to Heart Failure: Study

Posted 15 days ago by

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

Related support groups: Smoking, Heart Failure, Smoking Cessation, Congestive Heart Failure, Nicotine, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Habitrol, Nicotrol TD, Nicorelief, Nicorette DS, Left Ventriculography, Nicotrol NS, ProStep

Heart Docs: Never Expose Kids to Cigarette Smoke

Posted 15 days ago by

MONDAY, Sept. 12, 2016 – A new American Heart Association statement recommends a "zero tolerance" approach for children's exposure to secondhand smoke. "Parents should consider making their children's environment smoke-free because cigarette smoke exposure is harmful to children's long-term heart health and may shorten life expectancy," statement panel chair Dr. Geetha Raghuveer, a pediatric cardiologist, said in an AHA news release. "Children exposed to cigarette smoke may develop early heart disease as adults, due to poorly functioning, stiffer blood vessels. Some babies who were exposed to cigarette smoke while still in the womb may be at risk for sudden death during infancy," Raghuveer said. Along with damaging arteries, secondhand smoke has been linked to other heart disease risk factors such as obesity, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance, which is associated with type 2 ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Health Tip: Osteoporosis Affects Men, Too

Posted 16 days ago by

-- Osteoporosis, when bones thin and lead to greater risk of fracture, may be more common in women. But men also are affected. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says men should understand these risk factors: Being older than age 75. Having a low body mass index (BMI). Having lost at least 5 percent of your total body weight within the past four years. Being a smoker. Being sedentary. Having a male family member with osteoporosis. Read more

Related support groups: Weight Loss, Osteoporosis, Smoking Cessation

For Pot Smokers, Ambition May Go Up in Smoke

Posted 2 Sep 2016 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 2, 2016 – Are people less interested in work to make money when they're high on pot? That's the suggestion behind a new study, although the researchers said the effect seems to be temporary. When the study participants weren't high, long-term marijuana users were just as motivated as non-users, according to researchers at University College London in England. The researchers believe their study is the first reliable test of a common belief that marijuana makes people less motivated to work. To find out, the investigators led two studies. In one, 17 occasional pot users were asked to choose between an easy or more complex task to win money. When they were high, people usually went for the easy task, even though it paid less. A second study compared motivation levels of 20 long-term marijuana users to motivation levels of 20 people who used drugs other than marijuana (the ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Cannabis

Smokeless Tobacco May Contain Potentially Harmful Bacteria

Posted 2 Sep 2016 by

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

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

Smoking Linked to Higher Relapse Risk After Surgery for Crohn's

Posted 2 Sep 2016 by

THURSDAY, Sept. 1, 2016 – Smoking increases the risk that Crohn's disease patients will have relapses after bowel surgery, new research suggests. The study included 240 Crohn's disease patients in the United Kingdom who were followed for three years after bowel surgery. Crohn's disease occurs when the immune system attacks the lining of the gut and bowel, and causes severe inflammation, the study authors noted. This can result in diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and reduced appetite. Patients are usually initially treated with drugs to suppress their immune system. But the study authors said that more than half of Crohn's patients eventually have surgery to remove the affected section of their bowel. However, surgery does not cure Crohn's, and relapses are common. According to the researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, smokers were much more likely than nonsmokers to ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Smoking, Crohn's Disease, Smoking Cessation, Crohn's Disease - Maintenance, Crohn's Disease - Acute

Most Americans Don't Want Tobacco on Drug Store Shelves

Posted 1 Sep 2016 by

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

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

More U.S. Adults Using Marijuana Than Ever

Posted 1 Sep 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 31, 2016 – As perceptions of marijuana change, more American adults are using pot than ever before, and they're using it more often, a new study finds. Over 13 percent of adults surveyed in 2014 said they'd used marijuana in the previous year, up from roughly 10 percent in 2002. Also, daily or near daily use – five days or more a week – rose from less than 2 percent to almost 4 percent of adults during that time period. "This increase has corresponded with the legal and social acceptance of marijuana, and so it is not such a surprise," said lead study author Dr. Wilson Compton, deputy director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse. He pointed out that over the past 20 years, medical marijuana has been legalized in 25 states and the District of Columbia. However, noting that marijuana's potency has increased, Compton's team said education about the harms of pot ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Drug Dependence, Substance Abuse, Cannabis, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

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