Archive for category Tobacco Abuse
If you think that switching to electronic cigarettes can help you quit smoking, think again.
A recent study conducted by researchers from the UC San Diego School of Medicine revealed that people who use e-cigarettes had a 49 percent less likelihood to minimize smoking of tobacco products compared to those who never used them. Meanwhile, the likelihood to quit smoking was 59 percent less in those who use electronic cigarettes than people who don’t.
Researchers were into the assumption that e-cigarettes could help kick the habit, but the study results proved otherwise. “Based on the idea that smokers use e-cigarettes to quit smoking, we hypothesized that smokers who used these products would be more successful in quitting… But the research revealed the contrary,” study co-author Wael Al-Delaimy said in a news report. One potential factor behind this occurrence is the presence of nicotine in electronic cigarettes. “One hypothesis is that smokers are receiving an increase in nicotine dose by using e-cigarettes,” Al-Delaimy added.
The study, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health, involved monitoring 1,000 smokers in California in one year.
Proponents of the study are hoping that their discoveries can help the U.S. Food and Drug Administration come up with sound guidelines in regulating e-cigarettes, which to this date has not yet been implemented.
The California Department of Public Health recently released two ads that target electronic cigarettes as the industry’s new addictive and highly toxic commodity. Two videos posted on the TobaccoFreeCA YouTube page highlights big tobacco as the primary driving force behind the rise in fame of e-cigarettes. Both ads claim that “there’s a lot the e-cig industry isn’t telling us about vaping.”
The first video ad entitled “Kids Aren’t Alright” shows how kids are being lured towards the seemingly innocent and ultra-trendy reputation of the electronic cigarette. Set to the tune of “Lollipop”, the ad reveals the exploitation of big tobacco companies on kids who don’t know any better.
Meanwhile, the second ad called “What Could Go Wrong” sends a strong message that e-cigarettes are backed up by the big tobacco industry.
The hazards of e-cigarette use have not been completely identified, but the Department of Public Health says that the chemicals inhaled through vaping can cause lung cancer as well.
If you think the warning signs on your cigarette pack aren’t effective enough to help you quit smoking, this new invention might be the answer: A teenager from Dubai created a cigarette pack that talks!
Dubai resident Achilles Ash, 14 years old, created a special flip-top cigarette box that activates an audio-recorded message that tells about the health risks of smoking. The mechanism is similar to a musical birthday card that plays a tune when the reader opens it. The teenager believes that his invention would leave a more lasting impact on the smoker than the printed warning ads. “It would be much more effective than the written warnings. They are also economically viable as I was able to get a chip from a card I bought for (2 Dirham),” Ash said.
The whole idea sprung up when he remembered how amused he was with musical cards. “Suddenly, this idea stuck me and I bought a new musical card and took out the chip and tried working with it… My father brought me an old cigarette packet. I also attached the red light from the card on to the cigarette packet. So when the packet is opened, the red light shines to warn the person, and the recorded message starts,” Ash added.
Ash began his personal quest against smoking when he experienced his first puff at age five. “I tried a puff and that was it. I started coughing and found it very hard to breathe,” the young inventor said.
[ Image source: The National UAE ]
In a bid to combat smoking and its adverse health effects at an early age, a senator from California pushed a bill to increase the legal age of smoking from 18 to 21.
State senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) introduced the proposal as an answer to youth smoking. “We can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines while big tobacco markets to our kids and gets another generation of young people hooked on a product that will ultimately kill them,” Hernandez said in a Reuters news item. The lawmaker heads the senate health committee.
The U.S. in general has posed the legal smoking age at 18, although some states have pegged the limit to 19. Meanwhile, Hawaii County and New York City have already implemented a legal smoking age of 21 within their respective jurisdictions.
Hernandez isn’t alone in this battle. Bob Ferguson, Attorney General for Washington state, recently filed a similar bill to place cigarettes and nicotine products on the same degree as alcohol and recreational marijuana, both legally procured and used at a minimum age of 21. In addition, Ron Chapman — director of Department of Public Health in California — declared that electronic cigarettes are addictive.
The latest report by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) reveals both good and bad news in terms of substance use by teenagers.
According to the annual teen tracking report by the government agency, teenage use of illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin has dropped this year. “Probably that relates to very aggressive campaigns for prevention,” said NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow in a news release.
In addition, the rate of teenage smoking using traditional cigarettes has also dropped significantly, as well as the rate of teenage binge drinking. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about e-cigarette use. What’s troubling for the agency is that the dangers of e-cigarettes have not yet been exposed completely. “One of the arguments has been that when you’re vaping nicotine you are not inhaling all the combustion products from tobacco leaves that you get from a regular cigarette… The problem has to do with the fact that if these e-cigarettes are improperly manufactured, then they can deliver toxins from leakage from paint or other materials that are used in their production,” Volkow said.
Illicit use of Adderall and other similar prescription stimulant drugs is also on the rise, according to the NIDA study. “The problem of using stimulant medication to study for tests is that stimulant drugs are addictive and actually they can be highly addictive,” the NIDA director added.
Despite several studies that serve as warnings, as well as alerts from health agencies, the use of electronic cigarettes by teenagers continues to rise.
This finding was revealed by a study by researchers from the University of Hawaii Cancer Center led by Dr. Thomas Wills. According to the study as published in a news release, 30 percent of students in Hawaii between 14 and 15 years of age were reported to be using e-cigarettes. This figure is quite alarming, considering that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2012 that 10 percent of teenagers use the alternative electronic sticks.
What’s troubling about this scenario is that e-cigarettes were advertised to lead people away from more harmful tobacco products, but researches have shown the exact opposite: e-cigarettes may promote smoking tobacco products. “The fact that e-cigarette only users were intermediate in risk status between non-users and dual users raises the possibility that e-cigarettes are recruiting medium-risk adolescents, who otherwise would be less susceptible to tobacco product use,” the researchers said.
The study involved a survey of close to 2,000 pupils who were asked about their use of tobacco cigarettes and the electronic variants, as well as marijuana and alcohol.
Wills emphasized the real issue of addiction to smoking, which is not easy to turn away from. “A lot of teens think it is easy to quit smoking but it isn’t true. It’s hard for anybody to quit,” Wills added.