Archive for July, 2015
If you are using electronic cigarettes and support e-cigarette devices, there’s a big chance that the teenagers that you know will also use them.
This was discovered through a study from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, after analyzing data from more than 2,000 adolescents who took part in the Southern California Children’s Health Study. One of the biggest factors for e-cigarette use by teenagers is the approval of their peers, with more than 90 percent of the survey respondents confirming that their friends approve of their use of electronic cigarette devices.
The study revealed that social acceptance of e-cigarettes have inclined more teenagers to use the product. According to the analysis of the survey data, “Reactions categorized as ‘very friendly’ were associated with 37 times the odds of current e-cigarette use, compared with nine times the odds of current traditional cigarette use,” as cited in a news article. “These results raise the possibility that the generally more favorable social perceptions of e-cigarettes could contribute to the ‘renormalization’ of tobacco products generally,” the authors of the study said.
One surprising discovery was that the use of traditional cigarettes was not an overwhelming factor that leads to e-cigarette use by adolescents. Results revealed that 41 percent of teenagers who used e-cigarettes at least once in their lifetime have not tried using tobacco cigarettes.
Results and other details of the research were published in the journal Pediatrics.
[ Image from TBEC Review ]
Here’s a bit of good and bad news: today’s teenagers use alcohol and cigarettes less, but are found to use marijuana increasingly.
This is according to a study conducted by Penn State’s The Methodology Center. Although the recent findings point to a successful campaign against tobacco, this may have caused the interest of adolescents to shift towards marijuana. “Our analysis shows that public health campaigns are working — fewer teens are smoking cigarettes… However, we were surprised to find the very clear message that kids are choosing marijuana over cigarettes,” said study co-author Stephanie Lanza in a news release.
The study looked into data from the project entitled Monitoring the Future, where close to 600,000 high school seniors from 1976 to 2013 were asked to participate in a survey. The questions were targeted towards checking the students’ use of three substances: alcohol, marijuana and tobacco.
Results showed a significant decrease in use of cigarettes, most notably in white adolescents. Marijuana, on the other hand, was used more as years went by, especially in black teenagers. Meanwhile, alcohol consumption by teenagers has steadily dipped over the years, with white teens drinking more than their black counterparts. A correlation was also noticed between marijuana and cigarette use, citing that those who smoked cigarettes were more likely to use marijuana than teenagers who did not use tobacco products.
Details of the study were published July 20 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
If you’re finding it hard to reach out to your kids and protect them from drugs, try emoji.
Some of you might not be familiar with this, but emoji is a icon-based language used in text messages and websites. It has been an effective medium of communication for teenagers, and that’s why the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids believes it’s a good way to reach out to the young generation to talk about drugs.
The campaign is called #WeGotYou, an initiative that makes use of emojis and smileys to communicate with teenagers and display information about drugs. The campaign includes print ads, outdoor billboards, and mobile messages. Its focus on mobile aims to grab the attention of gadget-loving teenagers. “We knew we wanted to be on a peer-to-peer level, so let’s do something in their language,” said Hill Holliday ad agency copywriter Amanda Roberts in a news item.
The mobile ads and bright yellow billboards display emojis that spell out campaign slogans, with the hope that adolescents will get the message. “It’s not about saying drugs are bad. It’s about saying drugs are not for me,” said Partnership for Drug-Free Kids CMO Kristi Rowe. The campaign wants to lead teens away from drugs, not by punishing them but by supporting them despite their drug use in the past.
Part of the campaign is the mobile-only site wegotyou.life, which allows teens to make their own emoji messages. “We want kids to go to the mobile site and interact with the codes and share them with their friends, but also take that next step to change behavior and strike up conversations that they didn’t feel comfortable having in the past,” according to Hill Holliday senior VP Jeff Nowak.
A recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry discovered that adolescents are receiving an increasing amount of antipsychotic medication in recent years.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Mark Olfson of New York’s Columbia University reviewed prescription data from U.S. retail pharmacies to check the trend in antipsychotic prescriptions over the years. While children 12 years old and below were issued fewer drugs for psychosis from 2006 to 2010, antipsychotic prescriptions for teenagers from 13 to 18 years of age rose by 1.19 percent. Meanwhile, people aged 19 to 24 were prescribed 0.84 percent more than in previous years. “In older teenagers and young adults, a developmental period of high risk for the onset of psychotic disorders, antipsychotic use increased between 2006 and 2010,” the researchers said in a news release.
The study proponents conclude that the differences in data for each age group may have something to do with the need to address their respective concerns. “Age and sex antipsychotic use patterns suggest that much of the antipsychotic treatment of children and younger adolescents targets age-limited behavioral problems,” the team added.
Furthermore, the research team believes that prescribing antipsychotic drugs should involve more responsibility. “Clinical policy makers have opportunities to promote improved quality and safety of antipsychotic medication use in young people through expanded use of quality measures, physician education, telephone- and Internet-based child and adolescent psychiatry consultation models and improved access to alternative, evidence-based psychosocial treatments.”