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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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State Laws Prohibiting Sales to Minors and Indoor Use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems — United States, November 2014

December 16, 2014 Comments off

State Laws Prohibiting Sales to Minors and Indoor Use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems — United States, November 2014
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and other devices such as electronic hookahs, electronic cigars, and vape pens, are battery-powered devices capable of delivering aerosolized nicotine and additives to the user. Experimentation with and current use of e-cigarettes has risen sharply among youths and adults in the United States (1,2). Youth access to and use of ENDS is of particular concern given the potential adverse effects of nicotine on adolescent brain development (3). Additionally, ENDS use in public indoor areas might passively expose bystanders (e.g., children, pregnant women, and other nontobacco users) to nicotine and other potentially harmful constituents (4,5). ENDS use could have the potential to renormalize tobacco use and complicate enforcement of smoke-free policies (1). State governments can regulate the sales of ENDS and their use in indoor areas where nonusers might be involuntarily exposed to secondhand aerosol (4,5). To learn the current status of state laws regulating the sales and use of ENDS, CDC assessed state laws that prohibit ENDS sales to minors and laws that include ENDS use in conventional smoking prohibitions in indoor areas of private worksites, restaurants, and bars. Findings indicate that as of November 30, 2014, 40 states prohibited ENDS sales to minors, but only three states prohibited ENDS use in private worksites, restaurants, and bars. Of the 40 states that prohibited ENDS sales to minors, 21 did not prohibit ENDS use or conventional smoking in private worksites, restaurants, and bars. Three states had no statewide laws prohibiting ENDS sales to minors and no statewide laws prohibiting ENDS use or conventional smoking in private worksites, restaurants, and bars. According to the Surgeon General, ENDS have the potential for public health harm or public health benefit (1). The possibility of public health benefit from ENDS could arise only if 1) current smokers use these devices to switch completely from combustible tobacco products and 2) the availability and use of combustible tobacco products are rapidly reduced (1). Therefore, when addressing potential public health harms associated with ENDS, it is important to simultaneously uphold and accelerate strategies found by the Surgeon General to prevent and reduce combustible tobacco use, including tobacco price increases, comprehensive smoke-free laws, high-impact media campaigns, barrier-free cessation treatment and services, and comprehensive statewide tobacco control programs.

Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults — United States, 2005–2013

December 5, 2014 Comments off

Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults — United States, 2005–2013
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, resulting in more than 480,000 premature deaths and $289 billion in direct health care expenditures and productivity losses each year (1). Despite progress over the past several decades, millions of adults still smoke cigarettes, the most commonly used tobacco product in the United States (2). To assess progress made toward the Healthy People 2020 target of reducing the proportion of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes to ≤12.0% (objective TU-1.1),* CDC used data from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to provide updated national estimates of cigarette smoking prevalence among adults aged ≥18 years. Additionally, for the first time, estimates of cigarette smoking prevalence were assessed among lesbian, gay, or bisexual persons (LGB) using NHIS data. The proportion of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes declined from 20.9% in 2005 to 17.8% in 2013, and the proportion of daily smokers declined from 16.9% to 13.7%. Among daily cigarette smokers, the proportion who smoked 20–29 cigarettes per day (CPD) declined from 34.9% to 29.3%, and the proportion who smoked ≥30 CPD declined from 12.7% to 7.1%. However, cigarette smoking remains particularly high among certain groups, including adults who are male, younger, multiracial or American Indian/Alaska Native, have less education, live below the federal poverty level, live in the South or Midwest, have a disability/limitation, or who are LGB. Proven population-based interventions, including tobacco price increases, comprehensive smoke-free policies in worksites and public places, high-impact anti-tobacco mass media campaigns, and easy access to smoking cessation assistance, are critical to reducing cigarette smoking and smoking-related disease and death among U.S. adults, particularly among subpopulations with the greatest burden (3).

Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems

December 2, 2014 Comments off

Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (PDF)
Source: WHO

The use of ENDS is apparently booming. It is estimated that in 2014 there were 466 brands and that in 2013 US$ 3 billion was spent on ENDS globally. Sales are forecasted to increase by a factor of 17 by 2030. Despite this projection, transnational tobacco companies are divided about the prospects of the growth of ENDS sales and some companies have reported a slowdown in sales in some markets. There are no data on ENDS use at the global level and for many countries. However, data mainly from North America, the European Union (EU) and Republic of Korea indicate that ENDS use at least doubled among both adults and adolescents from 2008 to 2012. In 2012, 7% of EU citizens aged 15 years and over had tried electronic cigarettes. However, only 1% of the total population used them regularly.1 In 2013, 47% of smokers and ex-smokers in the United States of America had tried e-cigarettes, but prevalence of established use was 4% in this group. Users report that the main reasons for using ENDS are to reduce or stop smoking and because they can be used in smoke-free places.

Reducing Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke Exposure: Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs

November 17, 2014 Comments off

Reducing Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke Exposure: Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs
Source: Community Preventive Services Task Force

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends comprehensive tobacco control programs based on strong evidence of effectiveness in reducing tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. Evidence indicates these programs reduce the prevalence of tobacco use among adults and young people, reduce tobacco product consumption, increase quitting, and contribute to reductions in tobacco-related diseases and deaths. Economic evidence indicates that comprehensive tobacco control programs are cost-effective, and savings from averted healthcare costs exceed intervention costs.

Read the full Task Force Finding and Rationale Statement for details including implementation issues, possible added benefits, potential harms, and evidence gaps.

Combined impact of healthy lifestyle factors on colorectal cancer: a large European cohort study

October 16, 2014 Comments off

Combined impact of healthy lifestyle factors on colorectal cancer: a large European cohort study
Source: BMC Medicine

Background
Excess body weight, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and certain dietary factors are individually related to colorectal cancer (CRC) risk; however, little is known about their joint effects. The aim of this study was to develop a healthy lifestyle index (HLI) composed of five potentially modifiable lifestyle factors – healthy weight, physical activity, non-smoking, limited alcohol consumption and a healthy diet, and to explore the association of this index with CRC incidence using data collected within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Methods
In the EPIC cohort, a total of 347,237 men and women, 25- to 70-years old, provided dietary and lifestyle information at study baseline (1992 to 2000). Over a median follow-up time of 12 years, 3,759 incident CRC cases were identified. The association between a HLI and CRC risk was evaluated using Cox proportional hazards regression models and population attributable risks (PARs) have been calculated.

Results
After accounting for study centre, age, sex and education, compared with 0 or 1 healthy lifestyle factors, the hazard ratio (HR) for CRC was 0.87 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.44 to 0.77) for two factors, 0.79 (95% CI: 0.70 to 0.89) for three factors, 0.66 (95% CI: 0.58 to 0.75) for four factors and 0.63 (95% CI: 0.54 to 0.74) for five factors; P-trend <0.0001. The associations were present for both colon and rectal cancers, HRs, 0.61 (95% CI: 0.50 to 0.74; P for trend <0.0001) for colon cancer and 0.68 (95% CI: 0.53 to 0.88; P-trend <0.0001) for rectal cancer, respectively (P-difference by cancer sub-site = 0.10). Overall, 16% of the new CRC cases (22% in men and 11% in women) were attributable to not adhering to a combination of all five healthy lifestyle behaviours included in the index.

Conclusions
Combined lifestyle factors are associated with a lower incidence of CRC in European populations characterized by western lifestyles. Prevention strategies considering complex targeting of multiple lifestyle factors may provide practical means for improved CRC prevention.

Sleep Quality during Exam Stress: The Role of Alcohol, Caffeine and Nicotine

October 14, 2014 Comments off

Sleep Quality during Exam Stress: The Role of Alcohol, Caffeine and Nicotine
Source: PLoS ONE

Academic exam stress is known to compromise sleep quality and alter drug consumption in university students. Here we evaluated if sleeping problems and changes in legal drug consumption during exam stress are interrelated. We used the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) to survey sleep quality before, during, and after an academic exam period in 150 university students in a longitudinal questionnaire study. Self-reports of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine consumption were obtained. The Perceived Stress Questionnaire (PSQ-20) was used as a measure of stress. Sleep quality and alcohol consumption significantly decreased, while perceived stress and caffeine consumption significantly increased during the exam period. No significant change in nicotine consumption was observed. In particular, students shortened their time in bed and showed symptoms of insomnia. Mixed model analysis indicated that sex, age, health status, as well as the amounts of alcohol and caffeine consumed had no significant influence on global sleep quality. The amount of nicotine consumed and perceived stress were identified as significant predictors of diminished sleep quality. Nicotine consumption had a small-to-very-small effect on sleep quality; perceived stress had a small-to-moderate effect. In conclusion, diminished sleep quality during exam periods was mainly predicted by perceived stress, while legal drug consumption played a minor role. Exam periods may pose an interesting model for the study of stress-induced sleeping problems and their mechanisms.

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