Category Archives: Smoking

Ramping up e-cigarette voltage produces more formaldehyde: study

ID-100265931Smoking e-cigarettes at a higher voltage can can people to have more exposure to formaldehyde, according to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers from Portland State University took flavored nicotine liquid made by Halo Cigs and tested it in a personal vaporizer from Innokin. The vaporizer allows consumers to adjust the voltage from 3.3V to 5.0V. The higher the voltage the greater the nicotine kick, but also the greater the amount of formaldehyde. Inhaled as a gas, formaldehyde has been linked to an increased risk of nasopharyngeal cancer and leukemia. Researchers concluded that the life-time risk of developing formaldehyde-related cancer was roughly 1 in 200 for high-voltage e-cigarettes versus 1 in 1,000 for cigarettes – at least five times higher. They found no increased risk for people smoking at a low voltage. What are you thoughts on smoking cigarettes vs. e-cigarettes? How often do you counsel patients about e-cigarettes?

For more information, please click here.

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Sugar Accelerates Aging Process as Much as Smoking Does, U.S. Study Says

canned-10080125According to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health, drinking sodas has been found to be linked to a fast aging process. By analyzing stored DNA from more than 5,300 healthy Americans in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from some 14 years ago, researchers have revealed that drinking a 20-ounce bubbly beverage every day is linked to 4.6 years of additional aging. Interestingly, these results are similar to those that are linked to smoking. However, the cause-effect relationship has not been established yet. The studies regarding to the danger of sodas are continuously growing, what are your thoughts about the best way to decrease their consumption?

For more information, please visit National Post.

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Study finds brain changes in young marijuana users

MarijuanaAs a growing number of states legalize marijuana for recreational and medicinal use, the negative effects are beginning to surface in research. A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience scanned the brains of forty young adults from Boston University who smoked marijuana. Results of the brain scans revealed that among those who smoked more, a portion of their brain was structurally altered; the part that is involved with decision making, motivation, and emotional behavior. It is important that results of this small study cannot be generalized, however, it serves as a foundation for further research on marijuana smoking and potentially permanent cognitive abnormalities. How will the findings of this study influence the acceptance of recreational versus medical marijuana?  What recommendations would you give to your patient seeking marijuana?


For additional information, please visit The Boston Globe

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A Longitudinal Analysis of Electronic Cigarette Use and Smoking Cessation

dstockzlaja-i-pedjaset2pedja-no-2stock-4-100229272The latest Journal of American Medical Association published a longitudinal analysis evaluating the smoking cessation rates in close to 1600 current smokers using electronic cigarettes. The authors stated that the study did not achieve statistical power, but contributed to the building evidence that e-cigarettes do not increase smoking cessation rates, as often suggested by manufacturers. What is your experience with e-cigarettes – personally or with your patients? Would your current recommendations change after reading this survey?

For additional information, please see JAMA.

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States Urge Retail Giants With Pharmacies to Stop Selling Tobacco Products

Grant CochraneLetters were sent from more than twenty attorneys general representing 28 states and territories to five of the country’s largest retailers: Rite Aid, Walgreens, Kroger, Safeway, and Walmart, encouraging retailers to discontinue selling tobacco products in stores that contain pharmacies. The leaders of the group of attorneys general, Eric T. Schneiderman and Mike DeWine, are urging the other retailers to follow the example CVS Caremark set forth in February to stop selling tobacco products. Drugstores and pharmacies are marketing themselves as a place for providing community health care and services, by selling tobacco products retailers are contradicting their own message. What are your thoughts about retailers discontinuing the sale of tobacco products to promote better health?

For additional information, please see The New York Times.

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Plain cigarette packs spur quit-line calls: study

ID-10015306In October 2012 a new legislation was implemented in Australia requiring packaging of every cigarette brand to be changed to plain olive with a large quit-smoking helpline number prominently displayed. The study, conducted by Jane Young at the Sydney School of Public Health, compared call volume to helpline before and after enforced packaging change and showed a 78% increase in calls from 363 to 651 calls a week. The standardized packaging decreases the visual appeal while displaying the warning. How do you feel about other countries following Australia’s example by passing a similar legislation?  What possible obstacles do you foresee?

For additional information please see Reuters.

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List of Smoking-Related Illnesses Grows Significantly in U.S. Report

ID-10075526Dr. Boris D. Lushniak, the current surgeon general and leading spokesperson on issues of public health, is releasing a report today declaring that cigarette smoking causes diabetes, colorectal and liver cancers, erectile dysfunction, ectopic pregnancy, vision loss, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, weakened immune function and cleft palates in offspring of women who smoke. Smoking has been recognized to be connected with these diseases and illnesses in the past, but the report is the first time the federal government established that smoking causes them.

Other than nicotine replacement therapy, what are your recommendations to patients to aid in smoking cessation?

For more information visit NY Times

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World Watches as Colorado Marijuana Law Takes Effect


ID-10050138Just over a week has passed since the law to legalize recreational use of marijuana came in to effect in Colorado. Although January 1st, 2014 anticpated by many, the long lines and hype seem to have dissapated from the variousmarijuana stores that have popped up recently throughout the state. This is most likely due to the fact that the Marijuana Law has many retrictions, including no public smoking, no indoor smoking where cigarettes are banned, cannot be taken out of state, must be 21 or older, Colorado residents can purchase no more than 1 ounce at a time and non-state residents can purchase no more than a quarter ounce.Legislators are still concerned about use in younger population, safety while driving and safety of ingredients. What are your thoughts on current restrictions?What do you think the restrictions on recreational marijuana use should be?

For more information please visitWebMd

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Pregnant smokers may quit with exercise

A study published in the Journal of Addictive Behaviors this month presents new insight into the baby brain of pregnant mothers. It has been thought that pregnant women would have a harder time quitting smoking due to their increased metabolism which may intensify triggers and withdrawal symptoms. This study set out to see if 20 minutes of mild-to-moderate intensity exercise would reduce the desire to smoke and withdrawal symptoms amongst pregnant women. Women included in the study were on average 25 years old, in their second trimester of pregnancy and smoked more than 5 cigarettes per day. They reported clear reductions in their desire to smoke post exercise as well as improvements in mood in relation to withdrawal symptoms. How do you counsel pregnant women attempting to quit smoking?

For more information, click here

E-Cigarettes Equal Nicotine Patches for Quitting?

Sigarette02_copiaE-Cigarettes are in the news again!  The Lancet published a new 6 month study which included 657 smokers to assess the effectiveness of e-cigarettes, nicotine patches, and fake e-cigarettes (no nicotine) on smoking cessation. Researchers concluded that e-cigarettes are as effective as nicotine patches in helping smokers cut down. In those who did not quit smoking however 57% of the e-cigarette group reduced their daily consumption of cigarettes by at least half as opposed to 41% in the nicotine patch group. Also, 90 % of e-cigarettes users reported that they would recommend it to family and friends making it more popular than nicotine patches. Have you noticed an increase in the use of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation?  Have you received questions about this from your patients?

For more information, please click here.

Image Courtesy of [Salvatore Vuono ]