вторник, 28 августа 2012 г.

Adolescent smokers have artery damage

Early exposure to tobacco smoke is associated with various adverse health outcomes in children and adolescents, including low birth weight and impaired lung growth and function. Tobacco smoke is considered highly atherogenic in adults, but little is known about the impact of tobacco smoke exposure on cardiovascular health in adolescents. Children and adolescents are exposed to tobacco smoke through passive and active smoking. Atherosclerosis is a multi-factorial disease which begins in childhood and in utero. Tobacco smoke exerts its effects through toxic compounds which cross the placental barrier and alveolar wall of the lungs.

This leads to increased local and systemic inflammation. The Swiss Study on Air Pollution And Lung and Heart Disease In Adults (SAPALDIA) is a multicentre study of nearly 10,000 subjects. The SAPALDIA Youth Study included 351 offspring of SAPALDIA participants aged 8 -20 years. It investigated the cardiovascular risk profile and the association between active smoking and carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT), an early indicator of atherosclerotic changes in the vessel wall.

For the current study presented at the ESC Congress, 288 of the offspring underwent a clinical examination following a standardized protocol: anthropometry, blood pressure, ultrasound CIMT assessment, and blood tests for cardiovascular biomarkers. Subjects reported their level of physical activity, smoking status and exposure to passive smoking. Cotinine testing was used to validate smoking status and exposure to passive smoke.

New Research Claims Exercise May Help You Stop Smoking

Smokers who have tried to quit in the past using patches, gum, voodoo witchdoctor magic and other addiction propaganda may just want to step outside for a run the next time they feel the need to smoke,. A new study shows that exercise seems to overcome nicotine cravings. The study, which was recently published in the journal Addiction, was formulated using data from nearly 20 clinical trials that indicated exercise was a common denominator in helping reduce nicotine cravings in smokers who were trying to quit.

 “Certainly, exercise seems to have temporary benefits, and as such can be strongly recommended,” said study leader Adrian Taylor, a professor of exercise and health psychology at Britain’s University of Exeter. Researchers observed groups of smokers who were assigned to casual exercise like taking a brisk walking or biking, while others were assigned a lazy activity, such as watching a video or sitting quietly. What they found was that smokers had less interest in smoking after engaging in physical activity than they did before they started.

 While study experts admit they are not exactly sure why exercise leads to decreased cravings, some speculate that it is because physical activity might actually serve as a catalyst to making them feel better while decreasing their need to feel better from smoking. It is worth mentioning that none of the study participants were involved in any type of quit program using nicotine replacement products. Researchers say since the use of these products work to curb cravings, the effects of physical activity could be lost on those smokers who use them.

Big Tobacco conquers its new frontier

It was tipped to send tobacco companies' profits tumbling. The plain cigarette packaging High Court victory was hailed by the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, as an anti-smoking coup with global implications. Documentary: Sex, Lies and Cigarettes - How Big Tobacco is targeting kids in developing countries But the latest blow against cigarettes in countries like Australia needs some perspective: health experts warn that while the industry is beginning to lose its grip in developed nations, there is a humanitarian disaster looming in poorer countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific. The region is now the world's biggest tobacco market, with 6 million new smokers recruited in 2009 and another 30 million expected to be added by 2014, based on industry estimates.

The World Health Organisation calculates that of the 6 million people who will die from tobacco use this year, 80 per cent will be in the developing world. Mike Daube, a WHO tobacco adviser and president of the Australian Council on Smoking and Health, has accused cigarette companies of perpetrating a ''tobacco holocaust'' in poor nations. ''This is an industry absolutely without a moral radar. They are just wilfully imposing a pandemic on developing countries, and they've known for more than 60 years that smoking kills.

This is going to cause far more deaths than any wars we've ever seen.'' Last week, The Lancet reported ''alarming patterns'' of tobacco use in developing countries, where consumption is growing by more than 3 per cent a year. At a time when Australia's adult smoking rate - one of the lowest in the world at 16.6 per cent - continues to drop by about 1 per cent a year, in parts of Asia as many as two-thirds of men are smokers, and women and children are increasingly taking up the habit. In China, schools are sponsored by the state-run tobacco industry.

The biggest commercial player, Philip Morris, has seen net revenue soar in the Asia-Pacific region from $5.6 billion in 2007 to nearly $11 billion last year, and the company has set up production bases in Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia. In a statement to The Sun-Herald, a Switzerland-based media adviser for Philip Morris International outlined the market's potential: ''A home to over half of the world's population, the Asian region is very important for any global consumer goods company. In terms of tobacco products, tobacco has been used in Asia for centuries and most countries have long-standing local traditions.''

Tobacco consumption up by 7% in Uttar Pradesh: Survey

In a recent survey conducted by the union ministry of health and family welfare, it was found that there has been a 7% rise in prevalence of male tobacco in Uttar Pradesh. As per the latest Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) survey, 56% males consume tobacco in UP. The corresponding survey for 2010 revealed that 49% of state men consume tobacco in one form or the other. In Uttar Pradesh, 34 % men chew tobacco in different forms like plain tobacco, khaini, gutkha, pan masala while 22 % use cigarettes, hookah, chilam and bidis.

Not only this, two districts in the state have figured as one of the most tobacco consuming places. The health survey also confirmed that 13% of UP population is a smoker with most of them located in Sitapur district where every third man is a smoker. While in chewing tobacco, Banda is the leader where around 67 % men consume tobacco.

What calls for urgent attention is that most productive population of the state is in the grip of tobacco addiction. Thus, this major portion of population is not able to give its best output when it comes to increasing productivity. This could be one of the reasons that UP is still among the underdeveloped states in the country.

Punjab bans all tobacco products

Besides, any other food product containing tobacco or nicotine as ingredient, by whatsoever name available in the market, has also been banned. The State Government on Monday banned the sale, storage, manufacture and distribution of tobacco product — gutkha, pan masala etc in the State from the date of issuance of notification in this regard.

Already, the State Government has banned the sale and consumption of gutkha and pan masala in four districts, namely, Ropar, Mohali, Amritsar and Mansa. And the tag of 'tobacco free' will now not be restricted to the districts only as the entire state will now become 'tobacco-free State'. With this, Punjab is set to become the fifth State in the country to impose a ban on the sale of gutkha and pan masala. The States of Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar have already achieved the tag of 'tobacco-free States'.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had cleared the file on Monday morning approving the proposal of the State Health and Family Welfare department for banning gutkha and pan masala in the larger interest of public health. The Health department had proposed that tobacco products be banned across State as the chewing of gutkha, pan masala and other tobacco products was a potent health hazard. It was also responsible for deadly disease of cancer especially of the mouth and throat.

The ban was imposed following formulation of a policy on banning gutkha in consultation with the state cancer control. Also, the doctors of the School of Public Health and Department of Community Medicine of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh are assisting the government in overcoming the hurdles that could come in the way of enforcing the ban. As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, 2009-2010, 12 per cent people in the state consume tobacco and 6.5 per cent adults chew tobacco products.

Tobacco-free campus a possibility

Despite the warning signs plastered near the library’s entrance, whiffs of cigarette smoke still linger in the air. Those aromas, along with every other trace of tobacco, could eventually disappear from campus. The Student Health Center is now taking a stance in favor of making the University a tobacco-free campus, said Kathy Saichuk, Health Promotion Coordinator for the center. After remaining quiet about the smoking policy, the health center will now collaborate with other administrators, students, faculty and staff.

“I’d like to do it if we could, but it has to be carefully thought through,” said Interim Chancellor William Jenkins. Other colleges in the state like Louisiana Delta Community College, the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Nicholls State University, Southern University and Tulane University are already tobacco-free campuses. More than 700 campuses are smoke-free and 500 campuses are tobacco-free in the United States.

Tammy Millican, communication and grants manager for the Office of Facility Services, said the University follows city and state policies regarding smoking. The Baton Rouge Code of Ordinances states that smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of the entrance or exit of any public building or facility. The change could affect students, faculty and visitors on campus. Students and professors would be forced to leave campus to smoke, and game days would be tobacco-free as well.

пятница, 3 августа 2012 г.

Illegal tobacco worth £200k seized

A HUGE haul of illegal tobacco with an estimated street value of £200,000 has been seized as police smashed a sophisticated smuggling operation in the town. Officers from the Wiltshire Police Economic Crime Unit intercepted hundreds of 2.5kg packages of low-grade tobacco at a courier service in the town centre after a two-month investigation. In total, police have recovered around 600 parcels, which had been imported from China and disguised as tea.

A spokesman for the ECU, based at Gablecross police station, said it was the largest seizure of its kind in the county in at least 15 years. As well as the vaccum-packed bags, mostly seized in Swindon with some others found in Bristol, Bath and Chippenham, officers also discovered thousands of counterfeit pouches, marked as rolling tobacco brand Golden Virginia. A 39-year-old man was arrested in connection with the imports and has been bailed pending further inquiries, while a 28-year-old Chinese national is being held in custody pending immigration checks.

Arresting officer PC Billy Nutt said: “The packages comprised of tobacco that had been labelled as tea and had been smuggled from China through courier services, including China’s postal services, the UK postal service and courier firms, including one in Swindon. “We believe these individuals would create accounts with the couriers, either in their own names or business names, perhaps as restaurants and use that to get the tobacco in under the guise of Chinese tea.

 “They can track the packages and know when it has arrived. They then pick it up from the depot, take it away to be repackaged and rebranded before being sold on the street or to convenience stores. “The 50g pouches could sell for anything between £8 to £15 and I would estimate the value of this seizure to be around £200,000.” PC Nutt also warned the counterfeit tobacco that has flooded the market in Swindon in recent months can bring with it health risks.

 He said: “Tobacco is carcinogenic anyway but this is low-grade stuff and has other rubbish like sawdust mixed in with it to bulk it out, which can have serious consequences for your health. “The packaging itself may be counterfeit but top quality and it is impossible to know the difference but people should be aware of cheap tobacco. “Also in terms of advice for courier firms it is all about knowing your customer, asking questions and spotting suspicious activity if they want to avoid becoming inadvertently involved. If in doubt ring the police.”

Cigarette use down, other tobacco use up

Sharp increases in total adult consumption of pipe tobacco (used for roll-your-own cigarettes) and cigarette-like cigars since 2008 have offset declines in total cigarette consumption, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study, Consumption of Cigarettes and Combustible Tobacco -- United States, 2000-2011, published in this week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (August 3, 2012, Vol. 61:30, pp. 565-569), uses U.S. Department of the Treasury data to calculate consumption for all forms of smoked tobacco products.

Although total cigarette consumption continued an 11-year downward trend with a 2.5% decline from 2010 to 2011, dramatic increases in use of noncigarette smoked tobacco products have slowed the long decline in overall consumption of smoked tobacco products, according to the CDC. From 2000 to 2011, the largest increases were in consumption of pipe tobacco (482%) and large cigars (233%). The increase in cigars was due largely to tobacco manufacturers adding weight to many small cigars so they can be classified as large cigars and avoid higher taxes and regulation, while at the same time retaining a size and shape very similar to cigarettes.

According to the report, total consumption of all smoked tobacco products (including cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, pipe tobacco, and cigars) declined by 27.5% between 2000 and 2011. However, decline was minimal (0.8%) between 2010 and 2011. Despite the overall decline, the consumption of noncigarette smoked tobacco products increased by 123%. "The rise in cigar smoking, which other studies show is a growing problem among youth and young adults, is cause for alarm," said Tim McAfee, director of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health.

"The Surgeon General's Report released this past March shows that getting young people to either quit smoking or never start smoking is the key to ending the tobacco epidemic, because 99% of all smokers start before they're 26 years old." The report explains there is a disparity between consumption of cigarettes and other forms of smoked tobacco because the federal excise tax on pipe tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco is lower than cigarettes. The difference led to a dramatic increase in the sale of pipe tobacco used to make roll-your-own cigarettes, a lower-priced alternative to manufactured cigarettes.

A provision in a measure signed into law in July, the transportation and student loan interest rate bill (HR 4348), could limit the advantage of this price difference. The difference in manufacturing and marketing restrictions between cigarettes and cigars also is a factor in the disparity. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibits the use of flavoring or descriptors such as "light" or "low tar" in cigarettes, there are no such restrictions on cigars and pipe tobacco, the CDC noted.

Governor makes all state buildings tobacco-free

Gov. John Kitzhaber has declared all state buildings to be tobacco free. Here's the release: Governor Kitzhaber Signs Executive Order for Tobacco-free State Properties Executive order will create a single, statewide policy requiring state properties to be tobacco-free. (Salem, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber signed an Executive Order that will establish most state-owned buildings and properties as tobacco-free while creating a single, statewide policy to transition state properties to tobacco-free status by 2014.

“Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Oregon. The human and financial costs are simply too high,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “By promoting a healthy environment for state employees, clients and visitors, we can create an environment that reduces tobacco use and protects health.” In 2009, tobacco cost Oregonians nearly $2.4 billion, with $1.25 billion in direct medical costs and almost $1.15 billion in lost productivity due to early death. At the state level, though only nine percent of state employees smoke, they cost the state more than $13 million each year in health care expenses and lost productivity.

Tobacco-free campuses and property not only support tobacco users trying to quit, they also protect people from exposure to the toxins in secondhand smoke. The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Resources are available for people considering quitting tobacco use. For state employees, the Public Employees Benefit Board provides benefits to help people quit.

Tobacco-Free Living awards four Lafayette organizations

The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) recently awarded approximately $67,000 in Community Advocacy Grants (CAGs) to four Lafayette area community organizations. In total, 30 Louisiana-based community based organizations received approximately $480,000 in one-year grant funding that began on July 1, 2012.

"Community Advocacy Grants are a part of TFL's efforts to promote smoke-free policies and decrease other tobacco use in Lafayette and throughout Louisiana," said Kelley Anderson, Regional Coordinator, Lafayette, for The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco - Free Living. "The grant recipients received this funding in an effort to build the capacity of individuals and organizations to advocate for tobacco-free policies that protect all Louisianans." 

The selected organizations include:
 * Louisiana State University, Eunice - $17,000
* Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation - $15,000
* Tipitina's Foundation (Region 4) - $15,000
* Outreach Community Development Corp. - $20,000

According to the Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults report from the U.S. Surgeon General earlier this year, more than 600,000 middle school students and 3 million high school students smoke cigarettes. In Louisiana alone, an estimated 15 percent of middle school and 23.6 percent of high school students smoke. Additionally, more than 1,200 people die daily due to smoking.

For every one of those deaths, at least two new youths or young adults become regular smokers, and 90 percent of these replacement smokers smoke their first cigarette before they turn age 18. In light of these increasingly startling statistics, TFL grantees will use their funding to support tobacco prevention and control programs that facilitate youth empowerment, promote advocacy, and engage special populations - including youth/college students, service industry employees, entertainers and bar/gaming facility employees - that are disproportionately impacted by tobacco and secondhand smoke.

Additionally, TFL recently launched its 2012 state-wide media campaign "_______ Stinks!" The campaign features an interactive concept targeted at creating a call-to-action for all Louisianans to advocate for stronger protections from secondhand smoke in bars and gaming facilities.

Tobacco packages to carry health warning

A health warning, comprising a text and images, about the harmful effects of tobacco and tobacco products will be made compulsory from August 9 on all packages of such items sold in Qatar in an initiative supported by the Supreme Council of Health. The move aimed at curbing the growing consumption of tobacco in the country is being enforced as part of implementing the Gulf Standard Specifications for labelling of tobacco product packages, authorised by the board of directors in August last year.

Dr Mohamed Saif al-Kuwari, Assistant Under Secretary for Laboratories and Standardisation Affairs, has told local Arabic daily Arrayah that the import of all tobacco products that do not have such warnings in accordance with the Gulf-Qatari Standard Specification will be stopped starting from August 9. He indicated that many workshops and forums had been held to prepare for the application of such standards. The SCH will be in charge of implementing the decision and making sure that tobacco products that do not have such warnings are banned from entering the country.

He also said that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) had been notified about this decision. In the meantime, a grace period of three months will be granted to finish the existing stock in the country that does not comply with the new specifications. Yet, any new non-compliant product would be banned from entering the country. He said that this measure was aimed at spreading awareness about the adverse health effects of consuming tobacco in all its types, especially among young people. According to the specifications, “the area of the warning image must not be less than 50% of the main display area (including the frame) at the bottom of both the front and back panels of the package.”

The warning text will be written in Arabic and English. The text of the Arabic warning must be written in black on a white background using the Simplified Arabic font. The text of the English warning must be written in the Times New Roman font. The font size of the text in both languages must be not less than 12 points and in bold style. The warnings shall be written in such a way that it is difficult to remove them in any way, and so that the text is not hidden or concealed or overlapping with other text or image, and so that it is not affected by opening the package. Both warnings must be surrounded by a black frame that is 1 mm thick.

 Further, the following information also must be written on tobacco package labelling: Product name and trademark, number of cigarettes or the equivalent, or the weight of tobacco products at the time of packaging, production date in month and year format, percentage of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide, batch number, country of origin, manufacture, or packaging, the statement “For sale in the Gulf Co-operation Council Countries”. The rule is applicable to any product that consists wholly or partially of tobacco leaves as a raw material, manufactured for the purpose of smoking, chewing, snuffing, or sucking . The GCC Standardisation Organisation is a regional body whose membership includes the national specifications and standards agencies of the Gulf countries. Among the organisation’s tasks is the formulation of standard specifications for the Gulf countries through specialised technical committees.

State steps up tobacco ban

Oregon is stepping up its campaign against tobacco on several fronts, but one place not following suit is Linn-Benton Community College. In Corvallis, Oregon State University announced Wednesday that it will ban smoking all over the campus starting Sept. 1 “to protect health interests of the campus community.” And the Oregon Health Authority says on its website that Gov. John Kitzhaber has ordered a complete ban of any tobacco use on all state properties, with the first phase taking effect Jan. 1, 2013.

 Smoking already is banned in Oregon workplaces and outdoors within 10 feet of any door or window. OSU said it would hold a public forum on its expanded ban from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. The university also said its ban would be enforced by the campus police, with emphasis on “education and remediation.” But it said that in case of “egregious” violations, students could face punishment under the student conduct code and employees may be disciplined under OSU employment policies.

 Di Saunders, a spokeswoman for the Oregon University System, wasn’t sure how the OSU ban compared to no-smoking policies on other campuses. “All campuses have no smoking within facilities, and others have a total ban on property or 50 feet from buildings or some variation on that,” she emailed. The smoking ban on state properties publicized by the Health Authority — which also covers smokeless tobacco and even electronic cigarettes — presumably would cover the universities regardless of their own rules.

 The statewide ban on all state property is to be phased in, starting on Jan. 1 on all wholly owned state properties. “Shared properties” have until July 1, 2013, and Department of Corrections and Youth Authority properties have until the end of 2014 to carry out the ban. At Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, however, officials have considered a complete smoking ban but decided against it, said Jim Huckestein, vice president of finance and operations. He said the community college continues to have outdoor smoking shelters on the edges of the campus.