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Graphic Anti-Smoking Ads Can Backfire on Kids

Posted 2 days 12 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 14, 2017 – Graphic anti-tobacco posters intended to deter young people from buying cigarettes might actually have the opposite effect. New research suggests that the strategy of hanging these posters in convenience stores could backfire, prompting some teens to light up. The tobacco industry focuses much of its advertising efforts on convenience stores, which are popular with young people. Cigarette displays, other tobacco products and signs are usually placed on the wall behind the checkout counter. Some states have tried to counter these promotional displays with graphic posters depicting the effects of smoking-related diseases. For the study, researchers from the Rand Corporation created a replica of a convenience store to assess how teens responded to the disturbing images. The tobacco wall included a photo of a diseased mouth and the words "Warning: Cigarettes cause ... Read more

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

More Teens Vaping as Smoking Declines; Pot Use Holds Steady

Posted 2 days 18 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 14, 2017 – While fewer American teens are lighting up cigarettes, more of them are vaping instead, a new report shows. At the same time, marijuana use has held steady as it remains more popular than cigarettes and, in a piece of good news, misuse of opioid painkillers like OxyContin has actually dropped among adolescents. In 2017, more than 1 in 4 high school seniors said they've vaped during the past year – and most apparently don't know they're toying with a potentially addictive product. Nearly 28 percent of 12th graders reported trying an e-cigarette or other vaping device in 2016, according to results from the 2017 Monitoring the Future survey, sponsored by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). But when asked what they'd inhaled while vaping, about 52 percent of high school seniors responded "just flavoring." Only 33 percent said they'd inhaled vapor ... Read more

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Protecting Your Health From Wildfire Smoke

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 12, 2017 – Fire and smoke from the wildfires raging in Southern California aren't just destroying homes and lives, they're a serious health risk, as well. The smoke can irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs and can cause coughing, wheezing or breathing problems, according to the American Thoracic Society. The smoke can be especially dangerous to those with lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis, the organization said. It's also harmful to people with heart disease, pregnant women, seniors and children. People in those high-risk groups should ask their doctor about specific precautions, the society advised. For the general population, suggested actions to gain protections from the wildfire smoke include: Limiting physical activity. Staying indoors with the windows and doors closed. Reduce other sources of ... Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Smoking, Bronchitis, Smoking Cessation, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Acute, Bronchiectasis, Respiratory Tract Disease

Tried to Quit But Still Smoking? Help's On the Way

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 11, 2017 – When it comes to kicking the smoking habit, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says. To help encourage adult smokers to quit, the FDA is launching a new public education campaign called "Every Try Counts." It will target smokers aged 25 to 54 who've tried to quit smoking in the past year but haven't been successful. The campaign will feature messages of support that highlight the health benefits of quitting smoking. The Every Try Counts campaign begins next month in 35 markets nationwide and will include print, digital, radio and billboard ads. The FDA plans to focus its ads in and around retail locations, such as gas stations and convenience stores – places that not only sell cigarettes but are favorite targets of cigarette advertising. As part of the campaign, the FDA has teamed up with the U.S. National ... Read more

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Health Tip: 11 Harmful Effects of Smoking

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

-- Everyone knows that smoking is dangerous, increasing the risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease and stroke. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, it may cause many other health problems among women: Decreased bone density in post-menopausal women. Rheumatoid arthritis. Cataracts. Gum disease. Ulcers. Complications after surgery. Depression. Menstrual problems, including an irregular cycle and painful periods. Early menopause. Difficulty getting pregnant. Breathing problems. Read more

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Local Smoke-Free Laws Tied to Fewer Lung Cancer Cases

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 5, 2017 – Communities with strong smoke-free workplace laws have lower lung cancer rates than those with no smoke-free laws, researchers report. The new study was conducted in Kentucky, which has one of the highest lung cancer rates in the United States. University of Kentucky researchers examined 20 years of data on new lung cancer cases among state residents aged 50 and older. The investigators then looked to see whether those with lung cancer lived in communities with strong, moderate or weak smoke-free laws. The lung cancer rate was 8 percent lower in communities with strong smoke-free workplace laws than in communities without smoke-free laws, the findings showed. There were no differences in lung cancer rates between communities with moderate or weak smoking laws and those with no such laws. "Kentucky has one of the highest adult cigarette smoking rates and the ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Smokers 10 Times More Likely to Use Pot Daily

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 5, 2017 – A strong link exists between smoking and daily marijuana use, with U.S. smokers 10 times more likely to use pot every day, a new study says. And teen smokers are 50 times more likely than their nonsmoking peers to use pot daily, said researchers from Columbia University and City University of New York. "While we found that daily cannabis use and cigarette smoking were strongly linked among all subgroups, the most striking finding in daily cannabis use was among youths aged 12 to 17 years," said principal investigator Renee Goodwin. She's an epidemiologist at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health. "Nearly one-third of youth who smoke cigarettes reported using cannabis every day. In contrast, less than 1 percent of youth who did not use cigarettes reported daily cannabis use," Goodwin said in a university news release. "We are not aware of any previous ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Cannabis

For Teens, Vaping Today May Lead to Smoking Tomorrow

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 4, 2017 – The e-cigarette may not be just a "healthier alternative" to smoking for teens. New research shows that teens who vape may be more apt to use tobacco cigarettes later on. When teens smoked an e-cigarette during one month, they were up to seven times more likely to smoke tobacco in the future, researchers found. "Youth using e-cigarettes were consistently more likely to smoke," said study author Krysten Bold, an associate research scientist at Yale School of Medicine's department of psychiatry. But, she also noted, "We cannot determine cause and effect from these kinds of reports. There can be many reasons kids decide to smoke." Approximately 3 million U.S. teens currently use e-cigarettes, the researchers said. "E-cigarettes are commonly used by youth, and have many features that are appealing to kids," Bold explained. The study included more than 800 high ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation

Health Tip: Why Get a Cholesterol Test?

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

-- Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty blood substance that your body needs to keep cells healthy. It's produced by your liver and also is found in animal-based foods. There are two kinds of cholesterol: "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Too much "bad" cholesterol can clog your arteries and raise your risk of heart attack and stroke. Your doctor may order a cholesterol test as a part of a routine exam or if you have at least one of these risk factors: High blood pressure. Type 2 diabetes. Tobacco use. Overweight. Insufficient exercise. A diet high in saturated fat. Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Smoking, High Cholesterol, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Pot May Alter Brain Function of Some With HIV

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 27, 2017 – Using marijuana when you have HIV could lead to problems with brain function if you also abuse alcohol or drugs, a new study finds. "People with HIV infection have many reasons to have cognitive dysfunction, from the virus itself to medications for HIV infection and related conditions, particularly as they age," said lead researcher Richard Saitz. He's a professor and chair of community health sciences at Boston University School of Public Health. "They also have symptoms like chronic pain and mental health symptoms, and use of marijuana, medically or recreationally, may seem like an option to consider," Saitz said in a university news release. "But at least among people with substance use disorders, it appears to have detrimental effects on cognitive function." Little research has been done on the combined effects that alcohol and marijuana have on the brain ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, HIV Infection, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, Substance Abuse, Cannabis, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse

Health Tip: Prevent Respiratory Infections

Posted 24 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Our lungs have a natural defense system that protects them from dirt and germs. But that isn't enough to prevent all cases of lung disease. The American Lung Association says here's what you can do to keep your lungs healthier: Don't smoke. If you do, quit. Avoid air pollution. On smoggy days, stay inside. Wash your hands often with soap and water. An alcohol-based sanitizer may be used in a pinch. Practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice daily and see your dentist at least every six months. Get the annual flu shot, and ask you doctor about whether the pneumoniavaccine is right for you. If you get sick, stay home from work or school until you're feeling better. Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Maintenance, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Acute, Respiratory Tract Disease, Reversible Airways Disease

1 in 4 U.S. Seniors With Cancer Has Had It Before

Posted 22 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 22, 2017 – For a quarter of American seniors, a cancer diagnosis signals the return of an old foe, new research shows. Even in cancer patients younger than 65, one in 10 cases involves people who've had the disease before, the study of nearly 741,000 people found. Depending on a patient's age or cancer type, the frequency of prior cancers ranged anywhere from about 4 percent to 37 percent, the researchers said, "and most prior cancers were diagnosed in a different cancer site." The trial was led by Caitlin Murphy of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, and published online Nov. 22 in JAMA Oncology. One oncologist said the findings are a logical consequence of advances in cancer care. "With improvements in medical treatments, including cancer therapeutics, patients are living longer and longer," noted Dr. Marc Smaldone. "Unfortunately, this ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Smoking, Breast Cancer, Smoking Cessation, Alcohol Dependence, Colorectal Cancer, Alcoholism, Cervical Cancer, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Face It: Drinking, Smoking Takes Toll on Looks

Posted 16 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 16, 2017 – Don't want to look old before your time? A new study suggests that heavy drinking and smoking – besides posing serious health risks – make people look older than they actually are. The research tracked more than 11,500 Danish adults, aged 21 to 93, for an average of nearly 12 years. Women consumed, on average, 2.6 alcoholic drinks a week, and men consumed 11.4 drinks a week. Smokers included 57 percent of the women and 67 percent of the men. Heavy drinking and smoking were associated with visible signs of physical aging and people looking older than their age. Specifically, signs of aging included earlobe creases; a grayish opaque ring around the cornea of both eyes; and yellow-orange plaques on the eyelids. Light to moderate drinking was not linked with visible premature aging, the researchers said. The study was published online Nov. 15 in the Journal of ... Read more

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Obamacare May Have Helped More Americans Quit Smoking

Posted 16 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 16, 2017 – States that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act saw a greater increase in low-income adults who quit smoking than did states that did not expand Medicaid, a new study found. Under the health care act, states that expanded Medicaid had to offer services to help people quit smoking. About 30 percent of low-income adults in the United States smoke cigarettes, which is double the national average. For the study, University of Pittsburgh researchers analyzed the responses of more than 36,000 low-income adults, ages 18 to 64, who took part in a federal government survey on health behaviors. In the 31 states that expanded Medicaid, 8.1 percent of newly covered low-income adults said they'd quit smoking in the past year, compared with 6 percent of low-income adults in states that did not expand Medicaid. The findings show that government policies meant to ... Read more

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

New 'Heat-Not-Burn' Cigarettes Harm Blood Vessels: Study

Posted 14 Nov 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 14, 2017 – Heat-not-burn "cigarettes" could be as harmful to your blood vessels as traditional smokes, a new animal study suggests. Tobacco giant Philip Morris is seeking U.S. approval for one of these smoking alternative products, called iQOS. The company claims it's safer than regular cigarettes. But rats exposed to vapor from the device experienced the same decrease in blood vessel function as those exposed to cigarette smoke, said study senior researcher Matthew Springer. Impaired blood vessel function increases the risk of heart attack or stroke, and can contribute long-term to hardening of the arteries, said Springer, a professor of cardiology with the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. "I would be frankly amazed if these products were just as harmful as cigarettes in every single way, but less harmful does not equal harmless," Springer ... Read more

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

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