When San Francisco voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure banning the sale of flavored tobacco products in 2018, public health advocates celebrated. After all, tobacco use poses a significant threat to public health and health equity, and flavors are particularly attractive to youth.
But according to a new study from the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH), that law may have had the opposite effect. Analyses found that, after the ban’s implementation, high school students’ odds of smoking conventional cigarettes doubled in San Francisco’s school district relative to trends in districts without the ban, even when adjusting for individual demographics and other tobacco policies.
The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics on May 24, is believed to be the first to assess how complete flavor bans affect youth smoking habits.
“These findings suggest a need for caution,” said Abigail Friedman, the study’s author and an assistant professor of health policy at YSPH. “While neither smoking cigarettes nor vaping nicotine are safe per se, the bulk of current evidence indicates substantially greater harms from smoking, which is responsible for nearly one in five adult deaths annually. Even if it is well-intentioned, a law that increases youth smoking could pose a threat to public health.”
You really might call this the – so what else is new – post.
Each cigarette smoked a day by heavier smokers increases the risk of contracting some diseases by more than 30 per cent, according to a new international study published today.
The Australian Centre for Precision Health based at the University of South Australia led the study, which links heavier smoking* with 28 separate health conditions, revealing a 17-fold increase in emphysema, 8-fold increase in atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) and a 6.5-fold higher incidence of lung cancer.
The findings, published in EClinicalMedicine, analysed hospital data and mortality statistics from more than 152,483 ever* smokers in the UK Biobank to look how heavier smoking affects disease risks.
As if smoking weren’t bad enough for you, it seems the new coronavirus likes it, too.
The lungs of people who smoke may contain more of the receptors that the new coronavirus uses to invade cells. This could explain why people with the virus who also smoke appear to be particularly vulnerable to severe illness.
The majority of people who acquire SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, experience mild-to-moderate symptoms and will fully recover without hospital treatment.
However, several studies suggest that people who smoke are significantly more likely than people who do not to develop a severe form of the illness.
For example, according to a recent study of COVID-19 cases in hospitals in mainland China, 11.8% of people who smoked had a nonsevere form of the disease, while 16.9% had severe disease.
To break into cells and start replicating itself, the virus latches onto a protein receptor called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is present in the cells’ membranes.
As if smoking per se weren’t bad enough, now, it turns out that smoking significantly worsens COVID-19, according to a new analysis by UC San Francisco of the association between smoking and progression of the infectious disease.
In a meta-analysis of studies that included 11,590 COVID patients, researchers found that among people with the virus, the risk of disease progression in those who currently smoke or previously smoked was nearly double that of non-smokers. They also found that when the disease worsens, current or former smokers had more acute or critical conditions or death. Overall, smoking was associated with almost a doubling of the risk of disease progressing.
Misleading portrayals of the safety of tobacco use are widespread on YouTube, where the viewership of popular pro-tobacco videos has soared over the past half-dozen years, according to research by the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania.
Photo by Ike louie Natividad on Pexels.comIn an article published in the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, APPC researchers found that from 2013 to 2019, different kinds of popular tobacco-themed YouTube videos saw “dramatic increases in views per day, especially for tutorials about vaping products.”
The research follows up on a 2013 content analysis done by APPC which identified five major categories of pro-tobacco videos on YouTube. For example, among instructional or “how-to” videos, the highest-performing video in 2013 was on how to use a pipe, with just over 62,000 total views or 47 views per day. But in 2019, the most-viewed instructional video was on “the art of vape,” which had logged over 40 million total views or over 68,000 per day.
Another category is managing risk, in which videos claim that the risks of tobacco use can be managed by various fixes, without offering scientific evidence. In this category, the top-performing 2013 video concerned cigarette smoking, with 85,000 total views or 63 views per day. In 2019, the top-viewed video in this category was on vaping, which had over 3.5 million views or over 1,600 per day.
“The easy access of such material suggests that YouTube is a fertile environment for the promotion of tobacco products despite its banning of tobacco advertising,” the researchers said.
Scientists from the Uniformed Services University (USU), Emory University and the University of Vermont have found that cigarette smoking is linked to increased lesions in the brain’s white matter, called white matter hyperintensities. White matter hyperintensities, detected by MRI scan, are associated with cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. These findings may help explain the link between smoking and increased rates of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline.
Younger women are having more heart attacks, says a recent study. Researchers were surprised to find that while the heart attack rate has decreased among older adults, it’s risen among those ages 35-54, especially women. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study reviewed more than 28,000 hospitalizations for heart attacks in four cities.
“This observational study found a trend in young women,” says Virginia Colliver, M.D., cardiologist with Johns Hopkins Community Physicians-Heart Care in Bethesda, Maryland. “But the research doesn’t provide insight into why the uptick in heart attacks is happening to younger people. I suspect it has to do with more people having risk factors for heart disease at an earlier age.”
Heart Attack Risk Factors for Women
There are several factors that increase your chance of developing heart disease. Almost 50% of all Americans have at least one of three major risk factors for the condition: Continue reading →
Cigarette butts pile up in parks, beaches, streets and bus stops, places where all types of littering are frowned upon. Best estimates are that over five trillion butts are generated by smokers each year worldwide, and concern about their environmental impact has prompted studies of how they affect water and wildlife habitats. But despite their prevalence, almost no one has studied the airborne emissions coming off these tiny bits of trash. Continue reading →
Life expectancy — the average number of years a newborn can expect to live — increased in the U.S. by almost 10 years between 1959 and 2016, from 69.9 years to 78.9 years. However, it declined for three consecutive years after 2014, driven largely by a higher mortality rate in middle-aged people of all racial groups.
In the NIA-supported study, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University analyzed data from the National Center for Health Statistics, the U.S. Mortality Database, and CDC Wonder. They found that from 1999 to 2010, the number of deaths per 100,000 people decreased for all age groups. This decline is attributable to reduced death rates from several specific causes, including heart attacks, motor vehicle injuries, HIV infection and cancer.
I have written repeatedly about the dangers of smoking cigarettes. Now, it appears that what was once considered a ‘less unhealthy’ practice has some negative impacts on our lungs.
E-cigarette vapor may have similar effects to cigarette smoke on bacteria associated with smoking-related illness such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, according to a study published in Respiratory Research.
Although e-cigarettes are perceived as a safer alternative to cigarettes, recent research has suggested that acute lung disease may be associated with the use of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, as well as conventional cigarettes. A team of researchers at the School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast, UK compared the effects of cigarette smoke and e-cigarette vapor on bacteria known to be associated with smoking-related chronic lung disease. Continue reading →
I have written about quitting smoking and the damage smoking does for several years. You can go to my Page – How many ways does smoking harm you ?to read further on it. To be honest I have a hard time understanding how anyone who is able to read can still be a smoker, but, clearly, there are still millions of them/you. The following tips are from Rush University Medical Center.
There is no arguing about the glamor of smoking.
When you’re ready to quit, these strategies can help:
Quitting smoking for good can be a challenge, but your health and lifestyle will reap the rewards:
Just 20 minutes after you quit, your heart rate and blood pressure both drop.
Within two to three months, your heart attack risk begins to drop and your lung function starts to improve.
Within nine months, you’ll be coughing less and experience less shortness of breath.
Five to 15 years after quitting, your stroke risk will be the same as a nonsmoker’s.
I feel very strongly about the dangers of smoking and have written about them repeatedly. It seems that some folks have switched over to vaping as a less unhealthy alternative. The more we learn about it, the less that seems to be true. Don’t smoke. Here is my Page on smoking – How many ways does smoking harm you?
Science hasn’t yet caught up with electronic cigarettes, leaving health care providers and users with many unknowns. But a new review of the research so far finds growing evidence that vaping can harm the heart and blood vessels.
Federal and state public health agencies are urging people to avoid vaping after a rash of related respiratory illnesses have resulted in 18 deaths and 1,080 lung injury cases across the United States. There have been 25 reported cases in Connecticut and one person has died from a vaping-associated lung injury. Here’s what you need to know about vaping-associated lung injury (also called vaping-related lung injury) and what you should do if you or a loved one develops worrisome symptoms.
Vaping is the act of inhaling the vapor created by liquid-filled cartridges used in battery-powered smoking devices called electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). Vaping-associated lung injury is damage to the lungs related to use of these vaping products. Continue reading →
I have written about the dangers of smoking regular cigarettes for years. Smoking E-cigarettes is widely believed to reduce the damage to our systems compared with that of tobacco smokes. However, the tank-style ones may actually be more harmful.
A team of scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has found the concentration of metals in electronic cigarette aerosols — or vapor — has increased since tank-style electronic cigarettes were introduced in 2013.
Electronic cigarettes, which consist of a battery, atomizing unit, and refill fluid, are now available in new tank-style designs, equipped with more powerful batteries and larger capacity reservoirs for storing more refill fluid. But the high-power batteries and atomizers used in these new styles can alter the metal concentrations that transfer into the aerosol.
“These tank-style e-cigarettes operate at higher voltage and power, resulting in higher concentrations of metals, such as lead, nickel, iron, and copper, in their aerosols,” said Monique Williams, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Molecular, Cell, and Systems Biology, and the first author of the research paper that appears today in Scientific Reports. “Most of the metals in e-cigarette aerosols likely come from the nichrome wire, tin solder joints, brass clamps, insulating sheaths, and wicks — components of the atomizer unit.”Continue reading →
The World Health Organization (WHO) has decreed that today is World No Tobacco Day
Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
Around 80% of the world’s 1.1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
Leading cause of death, illness and impoverishment
The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 8 million people a year. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
Around 80% of the 1.1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest.
Tobacco users who die prematurely deprive their families of income, raise the cost of healthcare and hinder economic development.
In some countries, children from poor households are frequently employed in tobacco farming to provide family income. These children are especially vulnerable to “green tobacco sickness”, which is caused by the nicotine that is absorbed through the skin from the handling of wet tobacco leaves.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 34.3 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes and that more than 16 million live with a smoking-related disease, many of which affect the cardiovascular system. Continue reading →