One-Fourth of U.S. Teens Report Exposure to Secondhand E-Cigarette Vapors

One-Fourth of U.S. Teens Report Exposure to Secondhand E-Cigarette Vapors
One in four American teens say they have been exposed to secondhand e-cigarette vapors, according to a new government study. Secondhand smoke from e-cigarette vapors can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, the researchers report in JAMA Pediatrics. The 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey found students exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke were much more likely to be exposed to secondhand e-cigarette vapors, HealthDay reports. “To protect youth from both secondhand smoke and secondhand aerosol, smoke-free policies can be modernized to include e-cigarettes,” said lead researcher Teresa Wang of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “These policies can maintain current standards for clean indoor air, reduce the potential for renormalizing tobacco product use, and prevent involuntary exposure to nicotine and other emissions from e-cigarettes.”
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Border Officers Seizing Record Number of Pill Presses Used to Make Fake Drugs

Border Officers Seizing Record Number of Pill Presses Used to Make Fake Drugs
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are seizing a record number of pill presses used to make counterfeit drugs, CNN reports. Pill presses allow someone to take powder and press it into a pill. Most of the pill press machines come from China, the article notes. Much of the illegal fentanyl that is coming into the country also comes from China. The presses are being used to mix fentanyl with drugs such as oxycodone or Xanax. These counterfeit pills can be deadly. “People have died from ingesting what they think is a legitimate painkiller, (but really) it’s a counterfeit pill that contains fentanyl,” said John Martin, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s San Francisco division. “To the naked eye, you can’t tell the difference. If you have counterfeit pills, you can’t make them without pill presses.”
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Pill Disguised as Xanax Has Killed Nine People in Florida County

Pill Disguised as Xanax Has Killed Nine People in Florida County
Pills that look like Xanax but contain the powerful opioid fentanyl have been linked to nine deaths in Pinellas County, Florida in recent weeks. The pills are killing people within minutes, WFLA reports. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said, “You don’t have to take a handful of them. All you gotta do is take one, and you’re dead.” Authorities do not know who is making the pills or where they are coming from. The pills are selling for $5 each, the article notes. According to Dr. Raafat Hanna, an emergency room physician at Northside Hospital in Pinellas County, fentanyl is 80 to 100 times as strong as morphine and about 40 to 50 times more times as strong as street heroin. “It’s easy to get overdosed [sic] on a very small dose,” he said.
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Bleak Job Outlook for Less-Educated Whites Leads to Death by Drugs, Alcohol, Suicide

Bleak Job Outlook for Less-Educated Whites Leads to Death by Drugs, Alcohol, Suicide
A new study concludes a lack of steady, well-paying jobs for whites who don’t have college degrees has led to an increase in deaths by drugs, alcohol and suicide. The mortality rate for whites ages 45 to 54 without a college degree increased by a half-percent each year from 1999 to 2013, NPR reports. Whites with college degrees have not seen the same loss of life expectancy, Princeton University researchers report in Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. Researcher Ann Case told NPR, “The rates of suicide are much higher among men [than women]. And drug overdoses and alcohol-related liver death are higher among men, too. But the [mortality] trends are identical for men and women with a high school degree or less. So we think of this as people, either quickly with a gun or slowly with drugs and alcohol, are killing themselves. Under that body count there’s a lot of...
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Opioid Use Among Teens Decreasing, Studies Suggest

Opioid Use Among Teens Decreasing, Studies Suggest
Opioid use is declining among high school seniors, a new study suggests. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, looked at prescription opioid use nationwide among high school seniors from 1976 to 2015. Teens were asked whether a doctor had ever prescribed them opioids, and how often they had taken prescription opioids without a doctor’s instruction. About one-fourth of seniors said they had used opioids at least once for any reason, NPR reports. The study found opioid use in this age group rose in the 1980s, decreased in the 1990s and increased in the early 2000s, before dropping again starting in 2013. “It is our hope that these declines are due to careful prescribing practices and enhanced monitoring of prescription opioids among adolescents that will eventually translate to a reduction in negative opioid-related consequences, such as overdoses,” said lead author Sean Esteban McCabe of the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research...
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