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Youth Tobacco Product Use in the United States

February 12, 2015 Comments off

Youth Tobacco Product Use in the United States
Source: Pediatrics

BACKGROUND: Noncigarette tobacco products are increasingly popular among youth, especially cigarette smokers. Understanding multiple tobacco product use is necessary to assess the effects of tobacco products on population health. This study examines multiple tobacco product use and associated risk factors among US youth.

METHODS: Estimates of current use were calculated for cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookah, e-cigarettes, pipes, bidis, kreteks, snus, and dissolvable tobacco by using data from the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey (n = 24 658), a nationally representative sample of US middle and high school students. Associations between use patterns and demographic characteristics were examined by using multinomial logistic regression.

RESULTS: Among youth, 14.7% currently use 1 or more tobacco products. Of these, 2.8% use cigarettes exclusively, and 4% use 1 noncigarette product exclusively; 2.7% use cigarettes with another product (dual use), and 4.3% use 3 or more products (polytobacco use). Twice as many youth use e-cigarettes alone than dual use with cigarettes. Among smokers, polytobacco use was significantly associated with male gender (adjusted relative risk ratio [aRRR] = 3.71), by using flavored products (aRRR = 6.09), nicotine dependence (aRRR = 1.91), tobacco marketing receptivity (aRRR = 2.52), and perceived prevalence of peer use of tobacco products (aRRR = 3.61, 5.73).

CONCLUSIONS: More than twice as many youth in the United States currently use 2 or more tobacco products than cigarettes alone. Continued monitoring of tobacco use patterns is warranted, especially for e-cigarettes. Youth rates of multiple product use involving combustible products underscore needs for research assessing potential harms associated with these patterns.

Government of Canada Reveals New Research on Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Use

February 6, 2015 Comments off

Government of Canada Reveals New Research on Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Use
Source: Health Canada

The Government of Canada published today the results of the 2013 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs Survey (CTADS), which demonstrate progress made in sustaining all-time lows in smoking rates, while also highlighting the need for continued attention to issues such as marijuana use among youth and prescription drug abuse.

The CTADS is a national general population survey of tobacco, alcohol and drug use among Canadians aged 15 years and older, with a focus on 15-24 year olds. More than 14,500 Canadians were interviewed for the survey, conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of Health Canada.

The survey includes the first national data on e-cigarette use, which will add to the growing body of knowledge Health Canada is gathering to determine next steps in regulating this product. Last fall, Minister Ambrose asked the Standing Committee on Health to study the potential risks and benefits of e-cigarettes and to seek the advice of a variety of health stakeholders. The Standing Committee report is expected to be released in early 2015.

Understanding trends in tobacco, alcohol and drug use is vital to the effective development and implementation of strategies, policies and programs. The CTADS data will contribute to sources of evidence as the Government of Canada continues to create policies and programs that respond to the needs of Canadians and protect health and safety.

This is the first release of the CTADS, which merged two previous survey tools – the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS) and the Canadian Drug and Alcohol Use Monitoring Survey (CADUMS), streamlining federal efforts and representing the first time that tobacco, drug and alcohol data has been reported together.

Vital Signs: Disparities in Nonsmokers’ Exposure to Secondhand Smoke — United States, 1999–2012

February 6, 2015 Comments off

Vital Signs: Disparities in Nonsmokers’ Exposure to Secondhand Smoke — United States, 1999–2012
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Background:
Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) from burning tobacco causes disease and death in nonsmoking children and adults. No risk-free level of SHS exposure exists.

Methods:
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 1999–2012 were used to examine SHS exposure among the nonsmoking population aged ≥3 years. SHS exposure among nonsmokers was defined as a serum cotinine level (a metabolite of nicotine) of 0.05–10 ng/mL. SHS exposure was assessed overall and by age, sex, race/ethnicity, poverty level, education, and whether the respondent owned or rented their housing.

Results:
Prevalence of SHS exposure in nonsmokers declined from 52.5% during 1999–2000 to 25.3% during 2011–2012. During this period, declines were observed for all population subgroups, but disparities exist. During 2011–2012, SHS was highest among: children aged 3–11 years (40.6%), non-Hispanic blacks (46.8%), persons living below the poverty level (43.2%), and persons living in rental housing (36.8%). Among children aged 3–11 years, 67.9% of non-Hispanic blacks were exposed to SHS compared with 37.2% of non-Hispanic whites and 29.9% of Mexican Americans.

Conclusion:
Overall, SHS exposure in the United States has been reduced by half since 1999–2000. However, 58 million persons were still exposed to SHS during 2011–2012, and exposure remains higher among children, non-Hispanic blacks, those living in poverty, and those who rent their housing.

Implications for Public Health Practice:
Eliminating smoking in indoor spaces fully protects nonsmokers from SHS exposure; separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air and ventilating buildings cannot completely eliminate exposure. Continued efforts to promote implementation of comprehensive statewide laws prohibiting smoking in workplaces and public places, smoke-free policies in multiunit housing, and voluntary smoke-free home and vehicle rules are critical to protect nonsmokers from this preventable health hazard in the places they live, work, and gather.

Guide to Cigarette Litter Prevention

January 19, 2015 Comments off

Guide to Cigarette Litter Prevention
Source: Keep America Beautiful

A cigarette butt or cigar tip dropped to the ground seems insignificant. But follow that butt as it’s carried off by rain into storm drains and eventually to streams and rivers. It now adds up to a big impact on the places we live: In fact, 32% of litter at storm drains is tobacco products.

Cigarette butt litter creates blight. It accumulates in gutters, and outside doorways and bus shelters. It’s the number one most littered item anywhere. Increasing amounts of litter in a business district, along riverfronts, or recreation areas create a sense that no one cares, leading to more community disorder and crime.

Cigarette butts and cigar tips don’t disappear. About 95% of cigarette filters are composed of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic which does not quickly degrade and can persist in the environment. Cigar tips, too, are predominantly plastic.

Filters are harmful to waterways and wildlife. Litter traveling through storm drains and water systems, ends up in local streams, rivers, and waterways. Nearly 80% of marine debris comes from land-based sources. Cigarette butt litter can also pose a hazard to animals and marine life when they mistake filters for food.

Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2013

January 5, 2015 Comments off

Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2013
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States, and nearly all tobacco use begins during youth and young adulthood (1,2). Among U.S. youths, cigarette smoking has declined in recent years; however, the use of some other tobacco products has increased (3), and nearly half of tobacco users use two or more tobacco products (4). CDC analyzed data from the 2013 National Youth Tobacco Survey* to determine the prevalence of ever (at least once) and current (at least 1 day in the past 30 days) use of one or more of 10 tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes [e-cigarettes], pipes, snus, bidis, kreteks, and dissolvable tobacco) among U.S. middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students. In 2013, 22.9% of high school students reported current use of any tobacco product, and 12.6% reported current use of two or more tobacco products; current use of combustible products (i.e., cigarettes, cigars, pipes, bidis, kreteks, and/or hookahs) was substantially greater (20.7%) than use of other types of tobacco. Also, 46.0% of high school students reported having ever tried a tobacco product, and 31.4% reported ever trying two or more tobacco products. Among middle school students, 3.1% reported current use of cigars, and 2.9% reported current use of cigarettes, with non-Hispanic black students more than twice as likely to report current use of cigars than cigarettes. Monitoring the prevalence of the use of all available tobacco products, including new and emerging products, is critical to support effective population-based interventions to prevent and reduce tobacco use among youths as part of comprehensive tobacco prevention and control programs.

National and State Cost Savings Associated With Prohibiting Smoking in Subsidized and Public Housing in the United States

January 3, 2015 Comments off

National and State Cost Savings Associated With Prohibiting Smoking in Subsidized and Public Housing in the United States
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Introduction
Despite progress in implementing smoke-free laws in indoor public places and workplaces, millions of Americans remain exposed to secondhand smoke at home. The nation’s 80 million multiunit housing residents, including the nearly 7 million who live in subsidized or public housing, are especially susceptible to secondhand smoke infiltration between units.

Methods
We calculated national and state costs that could have been averted in 2012 if smoking were prohibited in all US subsidized housing, including public housing: 1) secondhand smoke-related direct health care, 2) renovation of smoking-permitted units; and 3) smoking-attributable fires. Annual cost savings were calculated by using residency estimates from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and cost data reported elsewhere. Data were adjusted for inflation and variations in state costs. National and state estimates (excluding Alaska and the District of Columbia) were calculated by cost type.

Results
Prohibiting smoking in subsidized housing would yield annual cost savings of $496.82 million (range, $258.96–$843.50 million), including $310.48 million ($154.14–$552.34 million) in secondhand smoke-related health care, $133.77 million ($75.24–$209.01 million) in renovation expenses, and $52.57 million ($29.57–$82.15 million) in smoking-attributable fire losses. By state, cost savings ranged from $0.58 million ($0.31–$0.94 million) in Wyoming to $124.68 million ($63.45–$216.71 million) in New York. Prohibiting smoking in public housing alone would yield cost savings of $152.91 million ($79.81–$259.28 million); by state, total cost savings ranged from $0.13 million ($0.07–$0.22 million) in Wyoming to $57.77 million ($29.41–$100.36 million) in New York.

Conclusion
Prohibiting smoking in all US subsidized housing, including public housing, would protect health and could generate substantial societal cost savings.

Use of alcohol, cigarettes, and a number of illicit drugs declines among U.S. teens

December 18, 2014 Comments off

Use of alcohol, cigarettes, and a number of illicit drugs declines among U.S. teens (PDF)
Source: University of Michigan Monitoring the Future Survey

A national survey of students in U.S. middle schools and high schools shows some important improvements in levels of substance use.

Both alcohol and cigarette use in 2014 are at their lowest points since the study began in 1975. Use of a number of illicit drugs also show declines this year.

These findings come from the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study, which tracks trends in substance use among students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades. Each year the national study, now in its 40th year, surveys 40,000 to 50,000 students in about 400 secondary schools throughout the United States.

See also: E-cigarettes surpass tobacco cigarettes among teens (PDF)

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