Tobacco- December 5, 2014

Reports and Articles

Antismoking Story That Is Tailored to Native Alaskans
Michael George Patterson, a 59-year-old Native Alaskan, stood before a group of high school students on a recent morning and told them about his impending death. Sooner or later, he said, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or another complication of lung damage from years of smoking — starting when he was 9 — will kill him.

But he also could not help sometimes smiling broadly and happily as he spoke, and he talked about that, too. In facing death and finding he could perhaps make a difference in telling his story, he said, he had found new life, and a profound joy in the simple day-to-day experiences that had eluded him.

 E-Cigarette Use among Smokers with Serious Mental Illness
The harm reduction enthusiasts often point to the fact that people with mental illness have higher smoking rates than the general public and suggest that this group would particularly benefit from using e-cigarettes.
Jodi Prochaska and Rachel Grana examined the relationship between e-cigarette use and quitting cigarettes in people with serious mental illness enrolled in a clinical trial of different smoking cessation therapies (usual care, brief treatment, and extended treatment).  While the trial was not examining e-cigarettes as one of the interventions — the trial started before the e-cigarette market started growing rapidly — the investigators recorded e-cigarette use among participants.
They found that e-cigarette use grew over time, but was not associated with increased quitting or even greater cigarette consumption than people not using e-cigarettes.

Defense Authorization Bill Takes One Step Forward, One Step Back Toward Reducing High Rates of Tobacco Use in the Military
Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids
Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Dec. 3 2014
WASHINGTON, DC – The compromise 2015 National Defense Authorization Act now before Congress takes an important step to reduce tobacco use and its health and financial toll on our military by directing the Secretary of Defense to end discount sales of tobacco products at commissaries and exchanges. U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) has championed this policy change in a related Defense Department appropriations bill.

However, it is disappointing that the bill also preempts the Defense Department’s ongoing review of its tobacco policies by prohibiting “any new policy that would ban the sale of any legal consumer tobacco product category … within the defense retail systems or on any Department of Defense vessel at sea.”

Given the disproportionately high rates of tobacco use in the military and its impact on military readiness and health care costs, Congress should not limit the Defense Department’s ability to take effective action to reduce tobacco use.

The Real Cost Campaign Launches New Advertising 
FDA launched two new national advertisements last month as part of its dynamic media campaign, The Real Cost, to introduce new information, reinforce key messages, and keep teens engaged and informed about the dangers of tobacco.  “Contract” builds on the message platform of loss of control due to addiction, emphasizing that while cigarettes may give the illusion of control they are actually highly addictive. “The 7,000” is the first FDA advertisement to focus on the dangerous mix of chemicals in tobacco smoke, underscoring that every time you smoke you’re inhaling a toxic mix of more than 7,000 chemicals. For more information about the campaign, please visit our website.

Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults — United States, 2005–2013
November 28, 2014 / 63(47);1108-1112
The cigarette smoking rate among adults in the U.S. dropped from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 17.8 percent in 2013, according to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

That is the lowest prevalence of adult smoking since the CDC’s Nation Health Interview Survey (NHIS) began keeping such records in 1965. The report also shows the number of cigarette smokers dropped from 45.1 million in 2005 to 42.1 million in 2013, despite the increasing population in the U.S.

Smoking and Mental Health: Why Is It Harder for People with Mental Illness to Quit Smoking?
Smoking is a major health concern, especially for people living with mental health conditions. Fifty years after the Surgeon General’s groundbreaking report linking smoking to poor health outcomes, we still have a long way to go when it comes to smoking cessation.

Recent research shows that one-half of all premature deaths of people who live with serious mental illnesses are caused by 19 diseases directly connected to smoking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the general U.S. population, smoking rates over the past 50 years have dropped substantially—to about 18 percent. We have no similar improvement in the population of people living with mental illness; the rate of smoking for those with serious mental illnesses is 53 percent. This rate is higher than the smoking rate was in the general population in 1964, when the Surgeon General first warned of health harms associated with smoking. This is a public health crisis in our community, yet we also know that people are not getting the support they need to help them quit.

Cigarette use among high school students drops to 10.6 percent
Minnesota’s first e-cigarette survey finds 12.9 percent used or tried e-cigs during the past month
The 2014 Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey found that the percent of high school students who smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days dropped from 18.1 percent in 2011 to 10.6 percent in 2014.
This decline in cigarette smoking, the steepest ever recorded by the Minnesota youth survey, follows extensive efforts to curb cigarette smoking including a 2013 tobacco tax, bans on indoor smoking, and tighter restrictions on youth access to tobacco products. Minnesota also saw declines between 2011 and 2014 in the use of chewing tobacco and cigars, according to the survey


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