Archive for category Tobacco Abuse

Hiding Cigarettes From Store Shelves Reduces Tobacco Use By Teenagers

A recent study suggests that the power of vision can help steer teenagers away from tobacco products.

menthol-cigarettesNon-profit group RAND Corporation revealed that hiding tobacco products from the sight of teens in convenience store shelves can significantly decrease the likelihood of adolescents in using cigarettes in the future. This was determined through a simulation of a convenience store replica to assess the impact of the missing tobacco products on 241 teenage participants.

The teens involved in the study visited one of three replica convenience stores — the first had its tobacco products displayed prominently on the “power wall: behind the cashier, the second placed its cigarette products near a sidewall, while the third one hid its tobacco items behind a screen. After the simulated store visit, the participants were given a survey questionnaire to ask about their likelihood of trying a cigarette.

The study, published in the journal Tobacco Control, showed that the susceptibility of teens to smoke in the future was reduced by 11 percent when the tobacco products were hidden from view. “These findings suggest limiting the visibility of tobacco displays in retail stores may reduce the number of young people who try cigarettes,” said RAND senior behavioral scientist William Shadel in a news release.

Results of the study could prove significant especially in the current market, where tobacco companies are starting to move away from traditional print advertising and into a more direct point-of-sale approach in selling their products.

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Substance Abuse Treatment Does Not Address Teen Smoking Problem, Says Study

Teen substance abuse continues to be a worldwide issue, affecting the lives of millions of families. Although treatment procedures are effective in pulling adolescents away from drugs and alcohol, a recent study suggests that this isn’t the case with teen smoking.

teen woman smokingThis was revealed by a research team from the University of Georgia, as they looked into 22 substance abuse centers in the U.S., and studied their treatment procedures for teenagers. Results showed that many of the treatment centers do not introduce smoking cessation to their patients.

Study lead author Jessica Muilenburg shared via a news release the reason behind the study. “[Tobacco] changes the chemistry of your brain and makes you crave whatever your drug of choice is, which is why kicking the tobacco habit with the rest of your addictions is important… It’s a drug, but it’s not treated in the same capacity and with the same urgency as other drugs. We are saying to treat it with the same urgency, because relapse is less likely if you treat the nicotine as well,” Muilenburg said.

Unfortunately, the researchers saw that most treatment centers don’t put much weight on tobacco smoking. “Their primary goal is getting them off of alcohol and other drugs, but if we can get them off of all drugs, including tobacco, it will be more beneficial for them in the future,” Muilenburg added.

Reports from the Department of Health and Human Services said that about 2.6 million teenagers are engaged in cigarette smoking.

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Alarming Percentage of Young Adults Use E-Cigarettes, Says CDC

More than one in every five adults between 18 and 24 years old have tried using electronic cigarettes, according to a recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings were presented as part of the agency’s National Health Interview Survey in 2014, and reported in this news article.

teen e-cigarette useThe survey was conducted on close to 37,000 adults, who were asked if they have tried using e-cigarettes at least once in their lifetime, and if they are currently using the smoking device. Results revealed that about 13 percent of U.S. adults have tried e-cigarettes, while 4 percent have admitted to be using them at the present.

What troubles the agency, though, is the disparity in the usage per age group. While the members of the older generation (i.e. at least 65 years old) have tried the device at least once, the figure for young adults aged 18 to 24 was at 22 percent. In terms of current use, more than 5 percent of young adults admit to use electronic cigs now, significantly higher than the one percent of elders.

Despite the conduct of the survey on an annual basis, this marks the first time that questions on e-cigarette use were asked. “This was the first year that the NCHS has even asked these questions. So we can only speculate as to why, as we watch to see how the trends unfold over time,” said study co-author Charlotte Schoenborn, who also works at the CDC’s U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.

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CDC Releases Data on Teenage Drug Use: Less Smoking, More Marijuana

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a statement saying that 30 percent of teenagers – regardless of ethnicity — engage in smoking cigarettes or marijuana. This was based on data comparing teenage smoking figures between 1997 and 2013.

teen smokingIn specific substances, the rate of smoking tobacco cigarettes in teenagers decreased from 20.5 percent to a little over 7 percent. While this may sound like good news, the figures for teen marijuana use isn’t pleasant. From only 4 percent of teenagers engaged in marijuana use in 1997, it has since shot up to 10 percent by 2013. In addition, the rate of teenagers smoking both cigarettes and marijuana has increased from 51 percent to 62 percent.

CDC Office on Smoking and Health director Dr. Tim McAfee emphasized the misinformation on marijuana as one of the probable causes behind this alarming figure. “Over the last 10 or 15 years, there has been a change in public perception of marijuana… There is the idea that marijuana is not something you need to worry about,” McAfee said in a news article.

Despite the increase in marijuana use, there is still reason to celebrate, particularly in terms of curbing cigarette use by teenagers. “This study reminds us that we know exactly what to do to further reduce smoking: increase tobacco taxes, enact smoke-free laws, fund effective prevention programs and implement hard-hitting mass media campaigns. These proven strategies must be continued and strengthened,” said Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids VP for communications Vince Willmore.

Details of the study were published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report by CDC.

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Children Exposed To E-Cigarette Hazards Due To Lack of Parental Awareness

As the world continues to debate on the benefits and dangers of e-cigarette use, a recent study sheds light into the importance of parental intervention in the issue.

teen e-cigarette useAccording to researchers from St. Louis’ Washington University School of Medicine, many children are exposed to the potential risks of electronic cigarettes because parents are unaware of the possible health problems. “These are largely avoidable risks, but because e-cigarettes are relatively new, many people – including pediatricians – aren’t aware of the dangers or the steps that should be taken to protect children from them,” according to study first author Jane Garbutt in a news release.

In their research published in the journal Academic Pediatrics, close to 660 parents and legal guardians were asked to answer a survey to determine their e-cigarette use and know-how. Results showed that majority of them are aware of electronic cigarettes, with about 20 percent having experienced using it, and 1 out of 8 declared that it’s being used by a family member on a regular basis.

Results revealed further that 36 percent of respondents who use e-cigarette do not deliberately keep the products away from children. This lack of security may be in the form of failure in keeping e-liquid refill bottles or childproofing them. In fact, 34 percent of respondents said that they store e-liquid containers in a cupboard, while 22 percent keep their liquids in a bag.

In addition, only 15 percent of the population were able to tell their children’s pediatrician about e-cigarette use in the household. The researchers believe that parents should inform their kids’ doctors from the get-go. “We strongly encourage pediatricians to ask parents about nicotine use, including e-cigarettes, and to discuss the risks of exposure,” Garbutt added.

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Teen E-Cigarette Use More Likely With Peer Approval

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.

teen e-cigarette useThis 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 ]

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