Many Teens Who Smoke Also Use Alcohol, Marijuana and Other Tobacco Products

Many Teens Who Smoke Also Use Alcohol, Marijuana and Other Tobacco Products
Many teens who smoke also use alcohol, marijuana and other tobacco products, a new study finds. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego studied 176 teen smokers and found 96 percent said they used at least two other substances besides cigarettes, HealthDay reports. The study found 16 percent of teen smokers said they used harder drugs, such as Ecstasy, cocaine or hallucinogens, or they misused prescription drugs. Most of the teens in the study smoked five or fewer cigarettes a day. “This tells us that multidrug use among adolescents may be more prevalent than we think, and that even kids who smoke only occasionally are likely to be doing other drugs,” said lead researcher Karma McKelvey. The findings appear in the journal Addictive Behaviors .
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Tobacco Smoke Changes Chemical Code on DNA

Tobacco Smoke Changes Chemical Code on DNA
A new study helps explain how tobacco smoke causes changes to DNA. Reuters reports researchers have found tobacco smoke changes a chemical code on DNA, which can sometimes alter gene activity. Some of the DNA changes reverse when a person quits smoking, but others do not, the researchers report in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics . “Many people think that after five years your health is mostly back to that of a nonsmoker, but that may not be the case,” lead study author Roby Joehanes of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston told Reuters.
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Majority of Americans Support Increasing Legal Age to Buy Tobacco

Majority of Americans Support Increasing Legal Age to Buy Tobacco
A new national survey finds a majority of Americans favor raising the legal age for purchasing tobacco. The survey found more support for increasing the age to 21, rather than 19 or 20. Support “seems to cross political lines, and it is one policy measure that the majority of those surveyed can agree on,” said lead researcher Dr. Adam Goldstein of the University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. The survey included more than 4,800 adults, HealthDay reports. A majority of people in all regions of the nation favored the idea of raising the legal age to purchase tobacco. About 73 percent of people in a four-state region in the South that included Texas and Louisiana favored the proposal, as did 59 percent of people in a seven-state Midwestern region that included Iowa and Kansas. In the South Atlantic region, which included North Carolina, seven other states and the...
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Online Searches Reflect Popularity of e-Cigarettes

Online Searches Reflect Popularity of e-Cigarettes
Americans are increasingly conducting online searches related to electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), a new study finds. Most of the searches are about how and where to get vaping products, not their health effects. Online users conducted about 8.5 million searches for ENDS information on Google in the United States in 2014, HealthDay reports. Searches are shifting from terms related to e-cigarettes, to vaping-related terms, the study found. This finding was especially true in coastal states and states where anti-smoking norms are stronger. Nationally, e-cigarette searches declined 9 percent during 2014 compared with 2013. In contrast, vaping searches increased 136 percent, even surpassing e-cigarette searches. The percentage of ENDS searches related to shopping (such as “vape shop”) nearly doubled in 2014. Searches related to health concerns (such as “vaping risks”) or cessation (such as “quit smoking with e-cigs”) were rare, and declined in 2014. Overall, searches about safety concerns accounted...
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More Than 100 Cities Have Raised Legal Age for Tobacco to 21

More Than 100 Cities Have Raised Legal Age for Tobacco to 21
This week Cleveland joined the list of more than 100 U.S. cities that have raised the legal age for purchasing tobacco products to 21. Other cities on the list include New York and Kansas City. Hawaii raised the legal smoking age to 21 this summer. More than 80 communities in Massachusetts have raised the legal age to 21, although the state requirement to purchase cigarettes is 18, Cleveland.com reports. There have been no legal challenges to the changes in Massachusetts so far, the article notes. In October, the American Academy of Pediatrics called on the U.S. government to raise the legal smoking age to 21 for both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Earlier that month, 10 U.S. senators proposed raising the nationwide smoking age to 21. The Tobacco to 21 Act would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure compliance. The legal age to purchase tobacco is 19...
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Increase in Cigarette Taxes May Contribute to Lower Infant Death Rate

Increase in Cigarette Taxes May Contribute to Lower Infant Death Rate
Increasing cigarette taxes may contribute to a drop in the infant death rate, a new study suggests. The higher price of cigarettes may discourage more women from smoking during and after pregnancy, the researchers report in Pediatrics . The study found each $1 per pack increase in the tobacco tax rate between 1999 and 2010 may have led to two fewer infant deaths each day. The effect was strongest among black babies, according to HealthDay . “Smoking in pregnancy can lead to poor outcomes like premature birth, the number one cause of death for infants in the first year of life,” said lead researcher Dr. Stephen Patrick of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. “As a neonatologist, I commonly see premature and low birth weight infants born to women who smoke, and we know that nearly one in five women smoke during pregnancy.” The researchers analyzed tobacco taxes and infant death rates...
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