Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Smoking Children with Diabetes Increase the Risk of Heart Disease

Tobacco use is spreading among children and adults with diabetes and unfortunately few health workers are recommending then to stop smoking, according to a research.
Children and adults who have diabetes are already at an increased risk for heart disease before they start smoking, but several studies have analyzed the correlation between smoking and heart disease risk factors in children with diabetes.

Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Diabetes, researches analyzed smoking and heart disease risk factors of a group of 3,466 children and adults with diabetes aged 10 to 22 years.
They found out that 10% of children having first type diabetes and 16% of children with second type were currently using some tobacco product as: cigarettes, smokeless tobacco or cigars. Less than half of them stated that they had been advised by their health provider to stop smoking.

“We found that a significant proportion of young people with diabetes are current cigarette smokers, who greatly increase the risk for heart disease. Smoking is preventable, that is why adequate smoking prevention programs are needed in order to stop hear disease in young people with diabetes,” stated, Reynolds, PhD and research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research and Evaluation.

The study discovered that the prevalence of current tobacco use in young people with first type of diabetes constitutes 1.3 % of 10- to 14-year-olds, 14.9 % of 15- to 19-year-olds, and 27 % of those 20 years and older. Among young people with second type of diabetes, 4.4 % of 10- to 14-year-olds were currently smokers, 12.9 % of 15- to 19-year-olds were smokers, and 37.3 % in youth 20 years and older were smokers.
The researches also found incipient characters of heart disease among those individuals who smoke. Those young people who were past and current smokers had higher levels of such indices as: LDL and HDL (cholesterol levels) and more physical inactivity than those who do not smoke.

“Smoking is an absolutely preventable risk factor for cardiovascular and various other diseases. While this holds for all children, it is particularly true for children with diabetes,” stated study co-author Stephen R. Daniels, professor and chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Pediatrician at The Children’s Hospital in Denver.

The risk of hear disease is rather increased in adults who have diabetes in comparison to adults without diabetes, and smoking may greatly increase the risk. Approximately 90% of adult smokers began smoking before attain their majority. The American Diabetes Association underlines the importance of smoking prevention programs for those individuals.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Consuming Various Kinds of Fruits and Vegetables Lowers the Risk of Lung Cancer

Consuming various fruit and vegetables per day is the one of the best methods which many experts frequently advise for preventing cancer. A study of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) conducted by researches from 10 countries has proved that, in case of lung cancer, the most important thing is not only the quantity but also the variety of fruit consumed, which can lower the risk by 23%.

“The given study is analyzing deeply the relationship between dietary regime and lung cancer. Besides from the amount consumed, it is also relevant to consider the variety. A varied dietary regime lowers the risk of cancer, first of all in smokers” stated María José Sánchez Pérez, co-author of the study and director of the Granada Cancer Registry in Andalusia.

The results of this study have demonstrated that consuming more than eight sub-groups of vegetables lowers the risk by 23% if compared with eating less than four sub-groups. Also it was found out that the risk drops by 4% for each unit added to dietary regime from another sub-group.

An essential link was detected in smokers. For every two supplementary units of various kinds of fruits and vegetables in the dietary regime, the risk of lung cancer drops significantly by 3%. So in case smokers raise the variety of fruit or vegetables they consume they could have a reduced risk of developing this type of cancer.

(EPIC) includes 23 centres from 10 European countries as - Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. It is working with a sample of 500,000 European subjects, only 41,000 of whom are from Spain.
“Lung cancer continues to be the most widespread type of cancer in the majority of developed countries all around the world. That is why, despite the gratifying results of this study that the most effective method of stopping it continues to be lowering the prevalence of smoking rate among the population,” Sánchez Pérez stated.
The effect according to the type of cancerous tissue.

A broad spectrum in fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with a reduced risk of developing epidermoid carcinoma of the lung, with a supplementary two units of fruit and vegetable eating bringing to a 9% lessening in risk. The given result is evident among smokers (where the risk drops by 12%).

More essential associations between fruit and vegetable eating and the risk of developing lung cancer were not detected for the different types of tissues affected.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Racial Discrepancies in Smoking-Related Morbidity

It was estimated that approximately 443,000 deaths in the United States happen each year because of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. All these deaths cost the nation $97 billion on lost productivity and $96 billion in health-care costs. Only in Missouri smoking lead to 9,600 deaths during 2000-2004. In order to restrict the dangerous health consequences of smoking, states decided to introduce comprehensive tobacco cessation programs which would detect inequalities among population and target those incommensurable affected by secondhand smoke.

The given report also compares the national health burden of smoking among whites and Afro-Americans in Missouri by evaluating the number of smoking related deaths in these population groups within 2003-2007. The data show that the average annual smoking related morbidity level in the state constituted 18% higher for Afro-Americans than for whites. The relative difference in smoking related morbidity levels between Afro-Americans and whites was higher for men – 28% than women 11%. For Missouri, these findings are an important criterion for estimating the success of tobacco control programs in lowering the consequences of tobacco use.

During 2003-2007, smoking lead to 9,377 deaths - 8,400 among whites and 853 among Afro-Americans. For instance in Missouri were registered 18% (51,856) of deaths among persons aged 35. Smoking caused 32% of deaths from cancer, 15% circulatory deaths, and 46 % of all respiratory deaths in Missouri within this time. For both Afro-Americans and whites, the major cause of smoking related deaths was cancer.

However smoking related mortality for Afro-Americans constituted only 9% of the total number of deaths, the same rate for Afro-Americans in Missouri was 18% higher than for whites. Also was registered a significant discrepancy, 28% of death among black men and 11% among Afro-American women.

The smoking – related years of potential life lost (YPLL) level for Afro-Americans also constituted 18%, this is higher than for whites and differed most for men. Afro-American men had an YPLL rate 25% higher than white men, and the same was for women.

Differences in smoking-related morbidity exist all over the world and happen because of variations in population demographics and smoking. Also differences in tobacco cessation programs, policies and tobacco industry occur in this field. Racial and ethnic discrepancies in smoking-related mortality are also associated with social status, levels of cigarette smoking and not the least but the last the differences in genetic factors.

Essential racial discrepancies in smoking-related morbidity existed in Missouri during 2003—2007, with a number of 52 per 100,000 more Afro-American dying each year from smoking.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Smoking Could Affect Sperm

Two newest researches give evidences that smoking may effect sperm-both in smoking men who may become fathers, and also in sons born to women who smoked while being pregnant.
Also according to the research both men and women who want to conceive should stop smoking.
“The results of this study show that smoking has a negative biological effect on spermatozoa DNA integrity,” stated the author of one study, Dr. Mohamed E. Hammadeh, head of the reproductive laboratory in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of the Saarland in Saar, Germany.

Research conducted by the Hammadeh and his colleagues showed that those men who are heavy smokers may have fertility problems being the result of a drop in levels of a protein that is crucial to sperm development, as well as damage to sperm's DNA.
The other research shows that women who smoke at the early stages of their pregnancy may eventually compromise their sons' reproductive health.

In the firs research conducted by the Hammadeh's team, the scientists compared sperm from 53 heavy smokers, who regularly smoke 20 cigarettes per day, against that of 63 nonsmokers.
After three to four days of sexual abstinence, a single semen sample was taken from all study participants, in order to measure the levels of two forms of a specific type of protein contained in sperm, called protamines.

As researches stated protamines, are the important players in sperm development that help to stimulate the process by which chromosomes are formed and packaged during cell division.
Dr. Hammadeh and his team found that in the smoking group, one form of protamine appeared at levels that were 14% below concentrations detected in the sperm of those men who do not smoke. These findings were enough to constitute a form of "protamine deficiency" and in turn increase risks fro infertility among the smokers.
Also was found that smoking-linked "oxidative stress" is related to the increase in harm to sperm DNA.
The second study was conducted by Dr. Claus Yding Andersen, a professor of human reproductive physiology at the University Hospital of Copenhagen in Denmark. It particularly was aimed on detection of the impact of maternal smoking during the first trimester of pregnancy upon the development of the make fetus.

After classifying the future mothers according to smoking habits, the scientist found that the number of "germ cells" that are developing into sperm and eggs in females were 55% lower in testes of embryos obtained from women who smoked.

Based on these data early in fetal growth, Anderson and his colleagues stated that the evident affect of smoking on cellular production could continue in male offspring carried to term. And thus it could mean a higher risk of deteriorated fertility in sons.

So, these findings should help both men and women to kick the habit for the sake of their future children.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Smoking Ban Significantly Improves Indoor Air Quality

Air quality inside several selected bars, restaurants and other public places in Madison County has improved significantly since June 2007 when the country’s Board of Health prohibited smoking in public places.

Invisible particles produced by smoking have been lowered by 94.5% in 11 locations selected for research, according to data presented by the Kentucky Center for Smoke-Free Policy and provided to the Madison County Board of Health on Wednesday evening.

Samples were taken carefully using a small, easily hidden quality control attachment in
2005 and then again between October 2009 and May 2010, stated Hillarie Sidney officer of the policy center. No one in these locations knew about this quality control attachment that is why there is no possibility that they could change their behavior in order to improve the received data, she stated.

The quality control attachment may detect even the smallest particles as for instance 2.5 microns in diameter. A micron is about 1/100th, which is the diameter of human hair, Sidney said.
Before the Madison County ban was adopted, the particle quantity averaged about 200 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Later on, it had dropped to 11. The average particle quantity for outdoor air is 35 per cubic meter.

The Madison County figures compare favorably to data in Lexington, where the quantity was 199 before a smoking ban was adopted and 18 later on.
”That we are a little bit better than Lexington is a considerably improvement,” stated Jim Rousey, director of the Board of Health.

In Louisville, the quantity was 338 before an indoor smoking ban came into force, and 9 later on.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no allowed level of second-hand smoke, Sidney declared.
One of Madison County’s supervised locations had a particle quantity of 54, which might be the result of several people smoking near a doorway, Sidney said.

The smoke-policy center has also supervised air quality in a hookah bar in Lexington and found that particle quantity was of 116 and 179, Sidney stated. Hookahs or also known as water pipes are most popular devices in the Middle East and southern Asia through which tobacco is smoked.
Both the Lexington and Madison County smoking bans permit smoking in businesses that principally sell tobacco products.

Sidney said Lexington toughened its regulations to permit smoking only in stores that gain 75 % or more of their profit from the sale of tobacco products, but the hookah bar there met that requirement.

In this early, the Madison County Board of Health dismissed a hookah bar application, stating that was provided inappropriate information, but the applicant has expressed his intention to apply again.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Smoking is Dangerous for Kids

There are a lot of studies which show how harmful cigarettes smoking can be for smoker and even for those around them.

For example a study of paternal smoking in Hong Kong observed that kids whose fathers usually smoke are ponderous at seven and 11 years old than among those who have non-smoking fathers. But another investigation of kids in Britain and Brazil found that mothers who use to smoke may influence the smoking behavioral problems in their children.

But in Hong Kong, researchers at the University of Hong Kong investigated a group of 6519 children born in 1997, for which health registers and information on family smoking was accessible. Among the group, more fathers than mothers light up, and children of smoking fathers showed a greater modification from their BMI than those whose fathers didn’t smoke.
Because as it is known, fathers in the Chinese culture have a minimal role in diet and lifestyle choices of their children than mothers. Scientists argued that the fathers' smoking habit affected their children's obesity via biological ways, through secondhand smoking exposure.

Another study, led by Marie-Jo Brion at the University of Bristol, intended to regulate for the entire usual factor that might affect children's mental and social health state. These involved factors such as depression in the parents, parental education, the family's social position and income, and of course parental alcohol consumption.

By comparing two kinds of populations, a middle class group in Britain and a lower income group in Brazil, where smokers’ rates are higher, then the scientists also expected to prevent smoking effects that are autonomous of socioeconomic status. If the effects of smoking continue to persist in both groups, they supposed that it would suggest a stronger possible causal relationship.
At the end of investigation researchers observed that mother’s smoking increased by an amount of 53% the risk that kids in both populations would be aggressive, break rules, bully, defraud or else display mischievous manner, compared to kids of non-smoking moms.

But the effect of paternal smoking was approximately half that of maternal smoking. So, researchers concluded that smoking effect on behavior is happening during pregnancy. Among both groups, an average of 18% of mothers continued to smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day during pregnancy, despite public health messages warning about the possible harmful effects of the smoking habit on the growing unborn child.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

E-cigarette maker agrees to halt sales in Oregon

A leading distributor of electronic cigarettes has agreed to halt sales in Oregon, Attorney General John Kroger announced Monday.

Kroger said Smoking Everywhere Inc. did not seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval and provides no evidence to support claims that its so-called "e-cigarettes" are a safe alternative to conventional tobacco products. He also expressed concern that the company geared it marketing toward young people.

Oregon last year became the first state to go to court to block the sale of the devices, some of which are designed to look like traditional cigarettes.

Smoking Everywhere's electronic cigarettes have a battery-powered heating element and a replaceable plastic cartridge that contains chemicals, including liquid nicotine. The heat vaporizes the liquid for inhalation.

In settling the suit, the Florida-based company admitted violating Oregon's Unlawful Trade Practices Act. Besides no longer selling its products here, the company agreed to pay more than $95,000 to the state Department of Justice. The company's president, Elico Taieb, will pay another $25,000 and is barred from doing any business in Oregon that involves tobacco, nicotine or electronic cigarettes.

Taieb did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Ray Story, a Smoking Everywhere owner who's in litigation against Taieb, did not approve of the settlement. "At the end of the day, he's made some very dumb mistakes, and he's continuing to make those," Story said.

The Food and Drug Administration has clashed with e-cigarette companies on the question of whether the product helps people quit smoking. If it's marketed as a medical device, then it needs FDA approval.

The agency banned the import of electronic cigarettes into the U.S. last year, but a federal judge overruled the action in January. The U.S. Court of Appeals takes up the matter next month.

Story contends Smoking Everywhere is a cigarette company and needs to act as such. That means not advertising on the radio and not selling the product over the Internet, where there's no guarantee it won't be delivered to a minor. Story said he and Taieb have disagreed on that point.

"That's where Smoking Everywhere has an issue, because they're selling it on the Internet."

Story said e-cigarettes are less harmful than conventional cigarettes and less intrusive to nonsmokers. He sharply criticized Kroger for keeping the product away from Oregonians.

"The attorney general there really doesn't know what he's talking about," he said. "A state cannot ban a product without it banning every product within that same category."

The attorney general last year got two travel store chains to stop selling e-cigarettes in Oregon and persuaded another e-cigarette company, Sottera Inc., to leave the state.

Smoking Everywhere declined a request to restrict its Oregon sales, leading to the lawsuit filed almost a year ago in Salem.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tobacco Control in Ontario Today

The health evidence which encouraged those addicted to tobacco to quit in large numbers began to emerge in the 1960s.
Tobacco industry products have no safe level of use and are highly addictive. They are also the only consumer products that kill when used as intended by those who make them, and kill half of their long-term users prematurely.
No other industry’s products have caused anywhere close to the number of deaths and cases of disease resulting from tobacco addiction—more than 13,000 annually in Ontario alone.
Ontario Medical Review • April 2010 1 severity of addiction of individuals in the 1960s to the 1980s, it is clear that large numbers quit with or without the benefit of legislation, high taxes, or cessation programs.
Beginning in the early 1990s, Ontario governments implemented increasingly comprehensive legislative, programmatic, and financial responses to tobacco addiction. Sales to youth under 19 were prohibited. Workplaces and public places were made smoke-free (a policy extended to vehicles transporting children under 16 in 2009). Retail tobacco advertising and displays were prohibited. In order to reduce addiction initiation,media and programinitiatives intensified targetedmessages to young people. Following the 1994 federal and provincial tobacco tax reductions in response to the smuggling crisis, provincial tobacco tax levels began to climb again. (Ontario’s stalled in 2006 as a result of the proliferation of contraband tobacco, discussion of which follows below.) These advances have led some in themedia and the government to ask whether tobacco control is in fact “done.” Others ask whether tobacco addiction should be categorized as simply one among many other chronic diseases and associated risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, physical inactivity, and alcohol and drug abuse.
The absolute number of Ontario smokers today—about 2.1 million — is a much smaller proportion of the population compared to past decades, but still remains relatively high. Some have asked if this can be due to recent immigration to the province from jurisdictions where smoking prevalence is high. In fact, recent survey research data show that:
• The large majority of Ontario smokers speak English at home (1.8million);
• Are white (1.6million);
• Are born in Canada (1.6million);
• Learned and understood English as their first language (1.5 million).

Despite high incidence of addiction in their countries of origin, the same survey found that 9% of South Asian Canadians, and 10% of Chinese Canadians, reported smoking behaviour levels of prevalence that are considerably below the general population average. The picture is different for Ontario’s aboriginals, whomake up 5%(or 106,500) of all Ontario smokers, with a 40% smoking prevalence rate. There are also signs that the impact of efforts tominimize tobacco’s effect on Ontario society may have begun to weaken.
Unlicensed cigarettemanufacturers in Ontario,Quebec, and New York State are distributing illegal cigarettes across Ontario, and have taken up an increasing share of the tobacco market. By 2009, between one in five and one in two cigarettes smoked in Ontario were classified as contraband.

Contraband also fosters an atmosphere of lawlessness and disrespect for authority in many communities where the trade flourishes. Finally, it undermines existing tobacco control programs and legislation. Contraband tobacco is much cheaper than licensed tobacco, is free of government taxes, warnings, and many retail restrictions. The cheapest and most prevalent form of contraband is clear plastic bags of 200 cigarettes. These are manufactured and packaged in a half dozen locations in Ontario, Quebec, and northern New York State

Ontario’s response to the tobacco problemtoday can thus be characterized both by success and the significant challenges that still must be addressed. Physicians face a similar duality: progress in the evolution of treatments and patient outcomes, but challenges with respect to treatment complexity and resources, as will be described in the next section. The simple fact is that there are still far toomany Ontarians suffering from entirely preventable tobaccoinduced illnesses.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beautiful women smoking cigarettes

Why do beautiful women have to smoke cigarettes?

A cigarette in a woman’s symbolize a certain air of success, mystery, and true femininity. A woman smoker is a like-minded person in the eyes of a man who is a smoker too. Let us take a closer look at female smoking as a means for showing off a woman smoker to advantage.
Female smoking looks very much like some kind of a ritual. A woman puffs at her cigarette to weave up a smoky disguise for the gamut of glances and gazes. A woman’s individuality can be brought to light if you pay attention to the way she inhales on her cigarette and exhales smoke. A woman is apparently in the state of confusion or she is eagerly awaiting something if she inhales rather abruptly and sends the smoke out right away. A woman must be in a thoughtful mood if you can see her cigarette sitting unattended in an ashtray, slowly burning away. You had better watch out if a woman seated at your table keeps her mouth open while exhaling smoke. The woman seems to let the smoke pour out freely. The woman is definitely on the make, and you may end up trapped in her net.
A woman’s character traits and emotions can be revealed through the way she shakes the ash off her cigarette. An intermittent and somewhat fidgety manner of dropping aches indicates a current state of uncertainty or general nervousness. A woman who looks at her hand while tapping on the cigarette with an index finger is most likely to be no stranger to sophisticated sensuality.
Many a time I found myself staring at the women who had cigarettes in their hands. To be honest, I like staring at pretty women without cigarettes too. As far as I am concerned, a woman and a cigarette agree like whiskey and soda. A woman looks sexier with a cigarette in her hand or mouth, for that matter. Smoking is just another way of exhibiting a woman’s fine hands, beautiful lips and a flair for perfect makeup. The method is rather simple yet it works.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cigarette Smoking More Dangerous for Sick Smokers

Everyone has known for decades that smoking can harm the people’s health, especially those with prostate cancer. For example a recent study after investigated 21, 600 men with prostate cancer found that cigarette smoking not only can raises the risk of generating prostate cancer, but it also intensify the risk of dying because of this dangerous disease.

Scientists explained that prostate cancer is the most frequent cancer in American men with 186, 000 diagnoses in 2008, and 28,000 deaths due to the disease, but the cause is not understood yet. That’s why anti-tobacco researchers continued their research.

This actual study is based on various studies which had the same theme. Sometimes risk factors are not evident in smaller studies only because they are small.
In this study researchers grouped the men into two groups: never smoke and ever smoked. But previous studies categorized them by packs per day. Researchers also did not factor if the men changed their smoking habits and did not look at changes in their disease status.

Eight of the previous studies that looked at over 8,000 men analysis did categorize the men by how many packs they smoked per day and the researchers of this last analyze concluded that the heaviest smokers had a 30% increased risk of dying from prostate cancer when compared to non-smokers.

This recent study also found that among men under age 55, those with a history of smoking were at higher risk of having cancer that had extended beyond the prostate. The risk of having such a disease is higher for current smokers than that for former smokers.

As breast and colon cancer, prostate cancer is more spread in developed states. All diseases appear because of various bad habits. For example, lifestyle factors such as exercise, alcohol consumption, and diet have been shown to be strongly associated with the risk of developing breast and colon cancer. So, the high risk of developing and dying of prostate cancer is bound with lifestyle factors like smoking.

Statistics show that tobacco use is thought to cause about 30% of all cancer deaths and a total of 440,000 premature deaths in the US each year.

Cigarette Smoking More Dangerous for Sick Smokers

Everyone has known for decades that smoking can harm the people’s health, especially those with prostate cancer. For example a recent study after investigated 21, 600 men with prostate cancer found that cigarette smoking not only can raises the risk of generating prostate cancer, but it also intensify the risk of dying because of this dangerous disease.

Scientists explained that prostate cancer is the most frequent cancer in American men with 186, 000 diagnoses in 2008, and 28,000 deaths due to the disease, but the cause is not understood yet. That’s why anti-tobacco researchers continued their research.

This actual study is based on various studies which had the same theme. Sometimes risk factors are not evident in smaller studies only because they are small.
In this study researchers grouped the men into two groups: never smoke and ever smoked. But previous studies categorized them by packs per day. Researchers also did not factor if the men changed their smoking habits and did not look at changes in their disease status.

Eight of the previous studies that looked at over 8,000 men analysis did categorize the men by how many packs they smoked per day and the researchers of this last analyze concluded that the heaviest smokers had a 30% increased risk of dying from prostate cancer when compared to non-smokers.

This recent study also found that among men under age 55, those with a history of smoking were at higher risk of having cancer that had extended beyond the prostate. The risk of having such a disease is higher for current smokers than that for former smokers.

As breast and colon cancer, prostate cancer is more spread in developed states. All diseases appear because of various bad habits. For example, lifestyle factors such as exercise, alcohol consumption, and diet have been shown to be strongly associated with the risk of developing breast and colon cancer. So, the high risk of developing and dying of prostate cancer is bound with lifestyle factors like smoking.

Statistics show that tobacco use is thought to cause about 30% of all cancer deaths and a total of 440,000 premature deaths in the US each year.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Household environmental tobacco smoke and risks of asthma

The reported prevalence of childhood asthma/wheeze is increasing around the world. The changing pattern of these diseases has not been fully explained, in part because of an incomplete understanding of its pathogenesis. The change has been too rapid to be accounted for by changes in gene frequencies. It is also unlikely that it can be totally accounted for by changes in either clinical diagnostic patterns or increased recognition of respiratory symptoms by the general population.
This shift does, however, suggest a role for environmental exposures in the etiology of this evolving epidemic. It is estimated that around 1.3 billion people worldwide smoke, and the number is predicted to increase in the coming years as smoking rates continue to increase among youth, primarily among young girls.
Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is common in children and causes substantial morbidity. Estimates of population attributable risk for household ETS exposure in children range from 9% for asthma prevalence to 25% for hospital admissions due to respiratory symptoms. The World Health Organization estimates that approximately half of the children in the world are exposed to ETS, mostly in their homes. In Taiwan, schoolchildren are not typically exposed in public due to the legislative ban on public smoking and regular health promotion campaigns; home exposure is likely the dominant source of ETS. It was reported that approximately 60% Taiwanese children under the age of 17 were exposed to household ETS, and therefore an estimated 3.3 million children were at risk for adverse health effects from this exposure.
Evidence of the effects of ETS exposure on childhood respiratory outcomes is inconsistent. Although an effect for paternal smoking has been reported, exposure to maternal smoking has consistently had the strongest association with adverse respiratory health effects. The strength of the association between maternal smoking and asthma/wheeze is in part due to larger ETS doses from maternal smoking than from other sources. Although there is evidence that maternal smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of asthma/wheeze in childhood, the effects of in utero exposure on the occurrence of respiratory symptoms have not been extensively studied or compared with other household sources of ETS.
The Taiwan Children Health Study (TCHS) offers an opportunity to investigate the effects of household ETS exposure on the occurrence of respiratory symptoms in Taiwanese children. At cohort entry, we used lifetime tobacco smoke exposure histories to investigate the relationships of multiple sources of ETS exposure with parental- reported respiratory outcomes. The individual and joint effects of parental smoking habits were also examined for associations with early-onset and late-onset childhood asthma.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

American Cancer Society to Manage New Effort Against Tobacco in Africa

ATLANTA -The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given a grant of $7 million over five years to the American Cancer Society to lead and coordinate the African Tobacco Control Consortium, a global coalition of public health-oriented organizations focusing on using evidence-based approaches to stem the tobacco epidemic in Africa. In addition to the Society, the consortium includes the Africa Tobacco Control Regional Initiative (ATCRI), Africa Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA), Framework Convention Alliance (FCA), Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union).

In a part of the world that is notably affected by HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other infectious diseases, cancer is emerging as a serious public health threat. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, much of the rise can be attributed to widespread tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the world, and according to the World Health Organization, if current trends continue, tobacco use will cause one billion deaths worldwide during this century.

As the managing organization, the Society will collaborate with consortium partners to implement an ambitious tobacco control program across the 46 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The overall goal will be to reduce tobacco use in these countries by implementing proven strategies at the national and local level. The consortium will:

  • assist national governments and civil society to implement policies such as advertising bans, tobacco tax increases, graphic warning labels, and the promotion of smoke free environments that are in line with the requirements of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the world’s first public health treaty;
  • advocate for further tobacco control resources in the region;
  • protect existing laws from tobacco industry efforts to overturn them and halt crucial progress;
  • conduct research to improve/inform future tobacco control work.

“We are excited to be part of this important new effort,” said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., the organization’s chief executive officer. “Tobacco companies have begun to target developing countries as tobacco control efforts in high-resource countries have yielded tough restrictions, and we will make sure that the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have the information and tools to protect their citizens from preventable diseases and death caused by tobacco.”

“This development will be instrumental to help achieve a coordinated response to the rising rate of tobacco consumption and looming tobacco epidemic in the Africa Region,” said ATCRI’s Acting Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi of Nigeria.

As part of its ongoing efforts to save lives and help people stay well, get well, find cures, and fight back against cancer, the American Cancer Society has expanded its efforts around the world. In December 2009 several leaders attended the largest-ever gathering of health and government leaders in Africa for a conference on preventing a projected cancer epidemic in Africa. The Society also funds more than 75 tobacco prevention and cancer control grants in African countries, and has conducted workshops to educate journalists and advocates about tobacco and cancer control issues. It is also a leading voice in the Global Smokefree Partnership, which recently published a report calling for greater protection of Africans from secondhand smoke, and exposing the efforts of tobacco companies to fight against tobacco control progress in African countries.

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit more information on our global programs, now in more than 20 countries, visit

Andrew Becker
Director, Media Relations
American Cancer Society

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The tobacco industry

“More people smoke today than at any other time in human history. One person dies every ten seconds due to smoking-related diseases. Research evidence in the past five years shows a bleaker picture of the health danger of smoking than previously realised. Tobacco is the biggest killer, much bigger in dimension than all other forms of pollution.
Children are the most vulnerable. Habits start in youth. The tobacco industry knows it and acts accordingly. This is a medical challenge, but also a cultural challenge. Let us all speak out: tobacco is a killer. It should not be advertised, subsidised or glamourised. Adolescents should not be allowed to mortgage their lives to the seductive advertisements of the industry.
Girls and women are being targeted all over the world by expensive and seductive tobacco advertising images of freedom, emancipation, slimness, glamour and wealth.
Tobacco companies should be accountable for the harm caused by tobacco use. The day I took office I launched the Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) to spearhead the struggle to reverse the worsening trends in health caused by tobacco and to add momentum to a critical public health struggle.
The initiative aims at heightening global awareness of the need to address tobacco consumption. It also seeks to build new partnerships and strengthen existing partnerships for action against tobacco; to commission policy research to fill gaps; and, to accelerate national and global policy to implement strategies. The way it works illustrates the way we wish WHO to work in the future making the most of our own resources and knowledge and drawing heavily on the knowledge and experience of others.
Our goals are to:
• build “a vibrant alliance” between WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, and “partnerships with a purpose” with non governmental organisations, the private sector, academic/research institutions and donors.
• try to get more people to work on and support tobacco control activities and ensure that more resources are committed to tobacco research, policy and control.
• develop the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the world's first public health treaty. The treaty will only be effective if it works in conjunction with, and builds upon, sound domestic interventions. The good news is that the epidemic does not have to continue this way. There is a political solution to tobacco – a solution routed through ministries of finance and agriculture as well as health and education. We know that tobacco control measures can lead to a reduction in smoking as witnessed among some member states. WHO, the World Bank and public health experts have identified a combination of the following as having a measurable and sustained impact on tobacco use:
• increased excise taxes;
• bans on tobacco advertising, sponsorship and marketing;
• controls on smoking in public places and workplaces;
• expanded access to effective means of quitting;
• tough counteradvertising;
• tight controls on smuggling. These must all be implemented if the predicted expansion of the epidemic as outlined in this atlas is to be prevented. The picture is far from bleak. Globally, we have seen a sea change over the past few years. A groundswell of local, national and global actions is moving the public health agenda ahead.

A message from
Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland
World Health Organization

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tobacco use - cause of illness

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and illness in the United States, causing more than 443 000 deaths each year. The consequences of tobacco use include harms to the health of the fetus, such as low birth weight and sudden infant death; harms to children from tobacco use and secondhand tobacco-smoke (SHS) exposure, including respiratory illness, infection, and decreased lung function; the uptake and establishment of tobacco use and nicotine addiction by the next generation; fires attributable to smoking; the economic costs of purchasing tobacco and tobacco-use materials; litter and debris from tobacco products; additional cleaning and maintenance of facilities in which tobacco is used; the health care and emotional costs of diseases associated with tobacco use and SHS exposure; and the costs to families and society because of poor health and lost productivity.

Most tobacco users (80%) started using tobacco products before 18 years of age.Initiation of tobacco use is often instigated by exposure to tobacco use by parents or peers, depiction in movies and other media, advertising targeting children and adolescents, and other environmental and cultural factors. The connection between children and tobacco use is so strong that the commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration declared tobacco use a “pediatric disease” in 1995.

Tobacco use is a pediatric disease because of the extent of harms to children caused by tobacco use and SHS exposure, the relationship of pediatric tobacco use and exposure to adult tobacco use, the existence of effective interventions to reduce tobacco use, and the documented underuse of those interventions. This statement provides guidance for providers of pediatric services, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its members, and summarizes other AAP policies that have addressed tobacco use and control. Because tobacco use has significant effects on children and families, its management has been reviewed in many AAP policies and official documents.

The information and recommendations described in this statement are consistent with recommendations in the other AAP publications cited as well as with tobacco policies from other clinical professional membership organizations, including the Academic Pediatric Association, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, the American Academy of Family Practice, 21 the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Medical Association. The policy is accompanied by 2 technical reports: “Secondhand and Prenatal Tobacco Smoke Exposure” and “Tobacco as a Substance of Abuse.”The AAP recognizes the dangers of tobacco use and SHS exposure to children’s health. Tobacco control was named a strategic priority by the AAP in 2005, and the Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence ( richmondcenter), dedicated to the elimination of children’s exposure to tobacco and SHS, was established in 2007 to foster tobacco-control initiatives at the AAP.