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Smoking Long or Ultralong Cigarettes Increases Risk of Lung Cancer

Smokers of Long or Ultralong Cigarettes Are at Greater Risk for Lung and Oral Cancer Than Smokers of Regular and King-Size Cigarettes, According to Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, Center for Global Tobacco Control

“We found that smokers of long or ultralong cigarettes have higher concentrations of tobacco specific carcinogens in their urine than smokers of regular or king size cigarettes,” said Constantine Vardavas, MD, senior research scientist, Harvard School of Public Health.

Vardavas and colleagues compared urine tests among 3,699 smokers of regular, king-sized and long or ultralong cigarettes using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) from 2007-2010. Smokers of king-sized cigarettes accounted for 53% of total smokers, smokers of long or ultralong cigarettes constituted 31.5%, and smokers of regular-sized cigarettes made up the remaining 15.4% of the smoker population. They found that smokers of long or ultralong cigarettes had significantly higher levels of NNAL — an indicator of tobacco-specific carcinogen — in their urine. In addition, researchers found that older smokers, non-Hispanic blacks, and females had a greater tendency to smoke long or ultralong cigarettes.

“While the significant risks of smoking are well known and accepted, very little information exists on the health risks of different sizes of cigarettes,” said Darcy Marciniuk, MD, FCCP and President of the ACCP. “This study indicates that there is an added risk to those smoking long and ultralong cigarettes.”

CHEST 2013 is the 79th annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held October 26-31 in Chicago, Illinois. The ACCP is the global leader in clinical chest medicine, representing 18,700 members who provide patient care in the areas of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine in the United States and throughout the world. The mission of the ACCP is to promote the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication, and research. For information about the ACCP, visit the ACCP website or follow the ACCP on Facebook and Twitter and the meeting hashtag, #CHEST2013.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Tobacco News

 

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New York: Smoking Ban at Playgrounds Takes Effect

The next time you take your kids to the park, you will not have to worry about smoke filling the air where they are playing. A new statewide law prohibiting smoking at playgrounds between took effect last week. It applies at all parks between sunrise and sunset when children under the age of 12 are there.

The law aims to protect children from secondhand smoke. “Children should be able to run around and play at playgrounds without being exposed to smoke that harms their health,” said Jackie Shostack, coordinator for Tobacco Free Onondaga County. “This law is a common sense measure that should help keep playgrounds safe, clean, and free of cigarette butts.”

The new law does not prevent local municipalities from adopting anti-smoking policies that are more rigorous than the new statewide law.

On Monday, a State Supreme Court Justice ordered New York parks officials to tear down their ‘No Smoking’ signs posted earlier this year. By siding with a smoker’s rights group, the judge ruled the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation exceeded its authority when it prohibited smoking at various parks, including popular beaches and all state parks within New York City. Even though the judge acknowledged that secondhand smoke is ‘deleterious to the health of non-smokers and especially children, it doesn’t mean a state agency is empowered to regulate the conduct of park patrons.’

State Parks and Recreation officials issued a statement saying they believe they do have the authority to regulate outdoor smoking and they were considering an appeal of the court’s decision.

Tobacco use remains the number one cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. Secondhand smoke is responsible for the deaths of more than 3,000 New Yorkers every year.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Tobacco News

 

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17 Chinese Cities Join Smoke-Free Program

17 Chinese cities have benefitted from a program launched by the Emory Global Health Institute – China Tobacco Control Partnership (GHI-CTP) to to curb tobacco use.

Since an initial 2009 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Tobacco-Free Cities Program has resulted in the adoption of smoke-free policies and significant social norm change in 17 cities across China. These cities include Anshan, Changchun, Hangzhou, Kelamayi and Qingdao.

In Hangzhou, the Four Seasons, Santai, and Sheraton hotel chains are now smoke-free, while in Kelamayi, policies for smoke-free public places, workplaces and government agencies have been implemented.

“These cities have created smoke-free hospitals, workplaces, schools, government buildings and more. In addition to these targeted achievements, three cities have legislated total bans on smoking in public places, and we expect three more to adopt smoke-free public places policies this year,” says Prof. Jeffrey Koplan, Emory University vice president for global health.

Education and media campaigns on Weibo, print, radio and television have also been elements crucial to the program’s success in changing social norms.

“Our goal is to decrease tobacco-related disease and death by changing the social norms around tobacco use,” says Pamela Redmon, GHI-CTP executive director. “In addition to the smoke-free policies, we have created specific programs targeting pregnant women and families, community programs, smoke-free weddings, and cessation competitions using an innovative ‘Text2Quit’ platform.”

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2013 in Tobacco News

 

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Study says smoking bans beneficial to state

Contrary to popular belief, indoor smoking bans have been good for West Virginia businesses, according to a recently released federal study.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest volume of Preventing Chronic Disease looked at the economic impact of smoke-free laws on restaurants and bars in eight states: Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.

In each of those states, smoke-free air laws are enacted and enforced locally, not statewide.

“Smoke-free air laws in restaurants and bars protect patrons and workers from involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke, but owners often express concern that such laws will harm their businesses,” the study’s authors wrote.

West Virginia counties with indoor smoking bans showed a 1 percent increase in restaurant employment as compared to those counties where smoking was allowed. The remaining eight states saw no significant association between smoke-free laws and employment or sales in restaurants and bars.

Nasandra Wright, sanitarian supervisor for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, said the smoking ban here was controversial at first, but that more people came to see its benefits over time.

“More people are interested in working in an environment with clean air,” she said. “There are a lot more health benefits. Tobacco use damages nearly every part of the body.”

Wright said smoking causes some $2.4 billion in total economic loss in West Virginia annually.

The county’s clean indoor air policy recently won an award and will be used as a kind of model nationally. The county first enforced a policy in 1995. In 2008, it was expanded to include bars. The current compliance rate is at 98 percent, Wright said.

“Initially, it wasn’t well-recepted, just like any change,” she said. “Initially, we had resistance from business owners. But over time, they’ve become very receptive. Once they learned the benefits of clean indoor air and saw there weren’t adverse reactions in terms of economics.”

Wright said she’s pleased with the exceptionally high compliance rate.

“We want to provide the residents in Kanawha County what is best for them,” she said. “People are very appreciative of the initiatives for health here in Kanawha County. We are trying to bring about awareness so people can understand the impact of secondhand smoke.”

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2013 in Tobacco News

 

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The Number of Smokers Among England’s Adults Dropped By 20%

Smoking prevalence among England’s adult population is set to drop below 20% for the first time in a century, it was revealed on Friday.

An ongoing survey of tobacco use is expected to show the turning point being crossed by the end of this year.

The proportion of smokers in England dipped as low as 20.1% in 2011, when the last yearly results from the survey were published.

Researchers plan to publish more figures at the end of this year. Barring a highly unlikely U-turn in the current trend, they will show that less than a fifth of people in England now smoke.

Prof Robert West, from University College London, who co-heads the Smoking Toolkit Study, said: “2013 is going to be, almost without doubt, the first year for a hundred years where we’re solidly below 20% smoking prevalence in England. It’s going to be a big year.

“We are making progress. It’s slow, and we’d like it to be quicker, but things are going in the right direction.”

The Smoking Toolkit Study tracks smoking habits in adults over the age of 16 every month and publishes the results online. Researchers conduct household surveys to collect information from about 1,800 people.

Currently, it shows that average smoking prevalence across England is 19.1%, with a marked difference between populations at the top and the bottom of the socio-economic scale.

Among those in the upper and middle A, B and C1 social brackets, only about 13% smoke. But tobacco is part of the lives of more than a quarter of people classified as C2, D and E.

It is extremely unlikely that the overall yearly figure will not end up below 20%, said West.

“It’s looking very promising,” he added. “We’re at a psychologically significant point. My guess is that the publicity around it will help to stop even more people smoking.”

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2013 in Tobacco Articles

 

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