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Smoking Harms Immune System Years After Quitting

The harms of smoking are many, but new research delivers evidence of another troubling type of damage: Lighting up alters your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to disease and infections even years after quitting.

“Stop smoking as soon as possible,” study co-author Dr. Violaine Saint-André, a spec...

CDC Restarts National Anti-Smoking Campaign, With Focus on Menthols

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has resumed a national campaign that uses the stories of former smokers to warn Americans about the many health dangers of tobacco.

Known as the "Tips From Former Smokers" campaign, seven new people are featured in ads sharing their stories about how cigarette smoking damaged their health.

One tactic is new in this latest round of...

Study Confirms Link Between Smoking and ALS

New research is helping confirm smoking as a risk factor for the devastating brain illness amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

ALS affects roughly 31,000 Americans each year, with about 5,000 new cases diagnosed annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's a progressive, fatal illness that causes nerves cells controlling muscles to slowly die, leading...

High School Kids Who Use Weed, Alcohol Face Higher Risks for Suicidal Thoughts

High school students who smoke, drink or use weed are more likely to be emotionally troubled and have suicidal thoughts, a new study finds.

Teens who turn to nicotine, alcohol or marijuana are more likely to think about suicide, feel depressed or anxious, have psychotic episodes and exhibit inattention or hyperactivity, researchers report Jan. 29 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

American Lung Association Blasts Biden for Inaction on Menthol Cigarette Ban

The American Lung Association's annual report on smoking blasts President Joe Biden for failing to finalize rules that would end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars.

Last month, the Biden administration announced it was delaying until March a ban on menthol cigarettes that has been in the works for years.

In response, the lung association's “State of Tobacco Control...

Smoking Residue on Household Surfaces Can Harm Kids

Nearly half of homes tested in a new study contained toxic byproducts of cigarette smoke.

Known as thirdhand smoke, these tobacco byproducts remained on furniture, floors and bric-a-brac.

Researchers who tested homes of 84 children found nicotine on surfaces in every home, and nearly half had detectable levels of a tobacco-specific carcinogen called NNK.

"This is critically i...

U.S. Teen Smoking Rates Have Plummeted, With Less Than 1% Now Daily Smokers

The number of American teens who smoke or have even tried smoking has dropped dramatically compared to a generation ago, with less than 1% now saying they light up cigarettes daily.

Researchers tracked data on students in grades 9 through 12 from 1991 through to 2021. They report a 16-fold decline in daily cigarette use -- from 9.8% of teens saying they smoked daily in 1991 to just 0.6% b...

Biden Administration Delays Decision on Menthol Cigarette Ban Amid Pushback

The Biden administration has again delayed enacting a ban on menthol cigarettes following intense lobbying from the tobacco industry.

Along with that pressure, other critics of the ban have warned that it might anger Black smokers, who use menthol cigarettes at far higher rates than whites -- just as President Biden gears up to run for re-election, administration officials told the Wa...

Smoking Tobacco Plus Weed Greatly Raises Odds for Emphysema

Folks who smoke weed along with cigarettes are doing serious damage to their lungs, a new study warns.

People who do both are 12 times more likely to develop emphysema than nonsmokers, due to the damage they're doing to the lung's air sacs, researchers report.

“There is a common public misconception that marijuana smoking is not harmful,” said researcher

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 28, 2023
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  • Prediabetes Plus Smoking a Deadly Combo for Young Adults

    Young people who smoke and have prediabetes have triple the risk of suffering a stroke, a new study shows.

    Overall, hospitalized tobacco users with prediabetes had a 3.3 times higher risk that they were in the hospital due to a stroke, after researchers accounted for other risk factors.

    The findings “warrant early screening and prevention strategies for prediabetes in young tobacc...

    Smoking Undermines Human DNA That Would Normally Prevent Cancer

    Everyone knows smoking to be a major cause of cancer.

    Now, exactly how tobacco smoke triggers tumor development just got a bit clearer, thanks to new Canadian research.

    According to a team at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) in Toronto, smoking appears to prevent the formation of proteins that work to keep runaway cell development in check.

    According ...

    When California Banned Flavored Vapes, Many Just Shopped Online

    California banned menthol cigarettes and flavored vaping products in late 2022, based on concerns the flavors encouraged teens to get hooked on nicotine.

    But a new study finds many smokers simply shrugged and turned to online shopping for their flavored vapes.

    Online shopping for flavored cigarettes and vapes increased significantly in the weeks following the implementation of the b...

    Experts Widen Criteria for Those Who Should Get Lung Cancer Screening

    The American Cancer Society has expanded its recommendations for who should get lung cancer screening.

    The updated guidance now says annual screening should start at a younger age and among those who smoke less, and it should continue regardless of how many years ago a former smoker may have quit.

    "If you are a person who formerly smoked, once 15 years had elapsed since your cessati...

    Restricting Access to Vapes Might Drive People to Cigarettes

    While U.S. policymakers have restricted flavored vapes to make e-cigarettes less appealing to young people, that plan may be backfiring.

    A new study found that for every 0.7 milliliters of “e-liquid” for e-cigarettes that isn't sold because of flavor restrictions, an additional 15 traditional cigarettes were sol...

    FDA Moves Closer to Banning Menthol Cigarettes, Flavored Cigars

    A proposed rule from federal regulators that would ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars has been sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget for final review.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration first announced the

    As Menthol Ban Nears, Big Tobacco Is Adding Synthetic Version to Cigarettes Instead

    Cigarette makers are using synthetic menthol substitutes in what appears to be an effort to skirt a looming federal menthol ban, researchers say.

    The menthol flavor appeals to younger and newer smokers, according to investigators at Duke Health in Durham, N.C., and Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

    These new “non-menthol” cigarettes are being introduced in states that have alr...

    Coffee Won't Raise Preemie Birth Risk, But Smoking Certainly Will: Study

    Smoking during pregnancy is a significant risk factor for premature births, but drinking coffee is not, new research suggests.

    Women who smoked during pregnancy were 2.6 times more likely to give birth prematurely compared to nonsmokers, a risk that was double that of previous estimates, the University of Cambridge scientists found.

    “We've known for a long time that smoking during...

    FDA Must Crack Down on Retailers Selling Tobacco to Teens: Report

    A new government report finds that federal regulators need to do more to help in the battle to keep kids and teens off tobacco.

    Among the report's findings were that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration needs to get tough on retailers selling tobacco to youth and should improve its oversight of online retailers.

    The FDA should also work with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm...

    Millions Are Exposed to Secondhand Smoke and Don't Know It

    A lot of people who think they don't have secondhand smoke exposure actually do, according to a new study that compared survey answers with blood tests.

    According to the results of sensitive blood tests, more than half of American adults in the study had recently been exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke. Most were not aware of it.

    “There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposu...

    Depression Risk Rises in Folks Who Use Both Marijuana & Tobacco

    Using both tobacco and marijuana is tied to significantly higher odds for depression and anxiety, a new study suggests.

    Among nearly 54,000 U.S. adults, those who used both substances experienced anxiety or depression at nearly twice the rate of nonusers, researchers found.

    "Smoking weed and tobacco does not help to deal with anxiety and depression, and may exacerbate mental h...

    Boys Who Smoke Could Be Harming Their Future Children's Health

    Smoking may not only harm the smoker and those who breathe in the secondhand fumes, but also their future children.

    New research suggests that boys who smoke in their early teens risk passing on harmful genetic traits to future children. The study probed the genetic profi...

    Tobacco Company Coupons Raise Odds Ex-Smokers Will Light Up Again

    Coupons for tobacco products appear to have a big impact on relapse rates for smokers who have recently kicked the habit, researchers report.

    A study of more than 5,000 former smokers who participated in a national survey found double the relapse rate for those who received cigarette coupons by direct mail or email.

    "We hypothesized that people who received coupons would be more lik...

    Does Smoking Change the Teenage Brain?

    Teens' desire to start smoking, and later to keep smoking, may be linked to differences in gray matter in their brains, a new study reveals.

    Researchers found that reduced gray matter in the left frontal lobe was found in kids who started smoking by age 14. This area is involved in decision-making and rule-breaking.

    Once they started smoking, they also had reduced gray matter in th...

    More Americans Than Ever Believe Marijuana Smoke Is Safer Than Cigarette Smoke. They're Wrong

    As cannabis use has become legal in many U.S. states for medical or recreational use, Americans' views on the drug may have gotten rosier.

    In fact, a new report finds that over 44% of adults now believe smoking weed each day is safer than inhaling tobacco smoke.

    That perception is counter to the science, however, and could have a serious impact on public health.

    “The resear...

    Millions of Smokers May Have a Tough-to-Diagnose Lung Disease

    Millions of American smokers suffer from a potentially serious lung disease that's not technically chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a new study finds.

    They would benefit from a clear diagnosis, though, and the new findings demonstrate a major gap in care for people with a history of tobacco use, the researchers said.

    Among folks who smoked at least one pack of cigaret...

    Canada to Become 1st Country to Mandate Warning Labels on Individual Cigarettes

    Smokers in Canada will soon see health warnings on each and every cigarette they light up..

    The country will be the first in the world to print these warnings directly on individual cigarettes.

    “This bold step will make health warning messages virtually unavoidable, and together with updated graphic images displayed on the package, will provide a real and startling reminder of the...

    U.S. Smoking Rate Hits All-Time Low

    Fewer U.S. adults are smoking cigarettes, as rates dropped again last year, according to federal health officials.

    In all, 1 in 9 American adults smoked cigarettes last year, an all-time low, and a significant change from the 1960s when 42% smoked.

    The results weren't all positive, the Associated Press reported, as vaping rose to about 1 in 17 adults. For 2022, use of elect...

    Vaping Might Make Smoking Habit More Likely in Teens

    Young teens who vape and smoke cigarettes may be setting themselves up to be heavy smokers by the time they are older teens, a new study suggests.

    The researchers chalked it up to what they called the "entrenchment hypothesis."

    "There has been a lot of attention on restricting e-cigarettes, so that they do not serve as a pathway into tobacco initiation," said senior study author

    Juul Reaches $462 Million Settlement With Six States, D.C.

    Juul Labs on Wednesday reached a $462 million settlement with several states over the aggressive marketing of its electronic cigarettes to minors.

    This latest settlement includes New York, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Mexico.

    Juul

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 13, 2023
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  • Menthol Vapes Could Be Even More Toxic to Lungs

    Adding menthol flavoring to electronic cigarettes may damage your lungs more than regular e-cigarettes do, a new study reveals.

    The common mint flavoring helps deliver lots more toxic microparticles, compared with e-cigarette pods that don't contain menthol. It's those microparticles that damage lung function, researchers say.

    "Beware of additives in the e-cigarettes," said senior r...

    Secret Weapon for Quit-Smoking Campaigns: Pets

    Put out that cigarette for the health of your four-legged friend.

    When smokers search social media for anti-tobacco information, they tend to engage most with posts about the risk of secondhand smoke on their pets, a new study reveals.

    Posts with new information about harmful chemicals also receive high engagement, researchers found.

    “Our results show that people respond to ...

    Black Patients Fare Worse With Deadly Lung Disease Pulmonary Fibrosis

    Black patients are dying of pulmonary fibrosis, a devastating disease marked by progressive scarring of the lungs, at significantly younger ages than white patients.

    A new study probes factors contributing to earlier onset of disease, hospitalization and death in Bl...

    Smoking Plus Mental Illness Can Send Caffeine Intake Soaring

    One group of Americans drinks more caffeinated beverages than all others.

    That's people who smoke cigarettes and also have serious mental illness, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, according to new research.

    While Americans overall are drinking more caffeinated beverages than ever, this group consumes the highest amount and also has the highest risk of negative health ...

    Smoking or Vaping? The DNA Damage May Be the Same

    A new study builds upon earlier evidence that vaping isn't any healthier than smoking.

    In analyzing epithelial cells taken from the mouths of vapers, smokers and people who had never vaped or smoked, researchers found that vapers and smokers had more than twice the amount of DNA damage as found in non-users.

    Those who vaped or smoked more frequently had higher DNA damage.

    Ep...

    Vaping Could Raise Teens' Odds for Severe COVID

    Healthy young people who vape or smoke may be putting themselves at greater risk for developing severe COVID, new research finds.

    Both smoking tobacco and vaping electronic cigarettes may predispose people to increased inflammation, future development of severe COVID-19 and lingering cardiovascular complications, said lead study author

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 10, 2023
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  • Is Vaping Any Healthier Than Smoking?

    There's been plenty of scientific debate about whether vaping is safer than tobacco, and whether it may help some people stop smoking.

    According to a recent Cochrane Review analysis of 78 studies, electronic cigarettes show more success in helping people quit smoking than traditional...

    Smoking in Pregnancy Has Declined by a Third Since 2016

    There's good news for American mothers-to-be and their newborns: Rates of smoking during pregnancy have fallen by 36% since 2016, a new report finds.

    The percentage of pregnant women who smoked was already low in 2016 compared to decades past: 7.2%. But by 2021, that rate had fallen to just 4.6%. That's according to the latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), pa...

    Smoking in Pregnancy Greatly Raises Odds for SIDS in Newborns

    Infants exposed to maternal smoking during pregnancy are more than five times more likely to die unexpectedly compared to babies of nonsmokers, a new study says.

    "The message is simple. Smoking greatly elevates the risk of sudden unexpected infant death," said lead study author

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 30, 2023
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  • Gum Disease Treatments Lose Their Punch in Heavy Smokers

    Treatments for gum disease may have little benefit for heavy smokers, new research shows.

    The study findings suggest the need to rethink treatment of the common gum disease periodontitis, according to researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark.

    “To our surprise, we could see that the diseas...

    Herbal Cigarettes: Are They Really Any Healthier?

    Herbal cigarettes: They carry a certain "coolness factor" and sound like they might be a healthier alternative to tobacco, but are they really safer to smoke?

    Not really, experts say.

    “Even herbal cigarettes with no tobacco give off tar, particulates and carbon monoxide, and are dangerous to your health,” according to the

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 5, 2023
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  • Smokers More Prone to Memory Loss by Middle Age

    If you need another reason to quit smoking, researchers have one: your mid-life brain health.

    Not only does smoking harm lung and heart health, but it increases the chances of middle-aged memory loss and confusion, a new study shows.

    The likelihood of mental ("cognitive") decline is lower for those who quit — even if they did so only recently, according to researchers at Ohio Sta...

    Vaping Won't Help Smokers Quit, Another Study Finds

    So much for vaping as a smoking-cessation tool: New research finds most folks who use both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes are likely to continue smoking rather than quit, a new study finds.

    How much is most? Only 10% quit vaping and smoking.

    "As used by the general population, e-cigarettes have not contributed to substantial smoking cessation," said lead researcher

    Smoking, Vaping Both Bad for Your Teeth & Gums: Study

    For those who care about their teeth, a new study sounds a pretty clear alarm: using tobacco in any form — including the increasingly popular practice of vaping — is a recipe for a dental nightmare.

    The warning comes from the U.S. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), after scientists analyzed several years of tracking data that looked at associations between...

    Banning Flavored Vapes Didn't Spur Folks to Quit

    When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned fruit-flavored vaping products in early 2020, the idea was to reverse the rapid rise in electronic cigarette use among youths.

    Now, a new survey of adult e-cigarette users finds that instead of quitting e-cigarettes, most vapers switched to flavored products not covered by the ban, or even went back to smoking traditional cigarettes.

    Smoking Weed Could Be Tougher on Your Lungs Than Cigarettes: Study

    While marijuana legalization in some U.S. states and Canada may send a message that weed is harmless, that's not necessarily so, according to a new study that found lung damage was more common in marijuana smokers than tobacco users.

    Research into marijuana's impact on the lungs is just getting started, because weed wasn't legal in many places until recently, but early indications are tha...

    California Voters Ban Flavored Tobacco, and a Cigarette Maker Is Suing

    Only one day after California voters approved allowing a state law banning flavored tobacco products to take effect, a tobacco giant has sued to prevent it.

    R.J. Reynolds on Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit challenging Propositio...

    Over 3 Million U.S. School Kids Now Vaping or Smoking

    Despite continued efforts by health advocates and U.S. public health officials, a huge number of middle and high school students are still using addictive tobacco products, most often vaping products.

    A new study released by two federal agencies on Thursday estimated a total of 3.08 million ...

    Low-Nicotine Cigarettes Won't Leave Smokers Agitated, Study Finds

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed limiting the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to minimally addictive levels, but there's been concern that the drop in nicotine could exacerbate anxieties in smokers who might already battle mood issues.

    However, a...

    Pregnancy May Have Women Cutting Back on Smoking Before They Know They've Conceived

    Pregnancy can be a big motivator for women to stop smoking. Now a new study suggests that at least some pregnant smokers start cutting back even before they know they've conceived.

    The findings, researchers say, suggest there may be biological mechanisms during pregnancy that can bl...

    Menthols Make Up 40% of U.S. Cigarette Sales; Ban Could Have Huge Impact

    A proposed ban on menthol cigarettes could have a significant impact on smoking rates, especially among minorities, new U.S. research suggests.

    Adult smokers who are younger, have mental health problems and are from racial/ethnic minority groups are more likely to use menthol cigarettes than other groups, according to a study from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Th...