Health and Fitness

21 Challenges For 21st Century Outlined By Global Tobacco Report

A new American Cancer Society report outlines 21 challenges and needs for global tobacco control, covering the wide range of issues to be addressed and expertise needed to reduce the rising tide of tobacco use worldwide, particularly in the low- and middle-income nations that are the target of the multinational tobacco industry. The report is published early online and will appear in the January/February issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. The report's authors, led by Thomas Glynn, PhD, American Cancer Society director of Cancer Science and Trends, point out that the globalization of tobacco began with the European exploration of the New World more than 500 years ago. But it is only in the past 50 years that public health has responded to the death, disease, and economic disruption caused by tobacco use. Tobacco now has at least 1.3 billion users and kills more than 14, 500 people every day, while debilitating and sickening many times that number. The report lists activities, policies, and interventions that must be increased or in some cases decreased in order to be successful in reducing the rising tide of tobacco use.

Poor People Smoke More

Social status is intimately linked with health-related risk factors. In the current issue of Deutsches Arzteblatt International, Thomas Lampert, of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin, inquires to what extent smoking, physical inactivity, and obesity are associated with social status (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2010; 107(1-2): 1-7). The data for his investigation of social status-specific differences stemmed from the RKI's Telephone Health Survey. In interviews conducted with a total of 8318 individuals over a period of 18 years the RKI recorded interviewees' responses to questions regarding current smoking status, degree of physical activity, height, and weight. The subjects' social status was determined from their statements on education, occupation, and net household income. The analyses were also intended to reveal any age- and sex-specific variations. Evaluation of the data showed that men of low social status are more likely to be smokers, to be physically inactive, and to be obese.

African-Americans Bear Disproportionate Burden Of Smoking Costs In California

African Americans comprise six percent of the California adult population, yet they account for over eight percent of the state's smoking-attributable health care expenditures and 13 percent of smoking-attributable mortality costs, according to a new analysis by UCSF researchers. In order to provide an objective picture of the disproportionate economic burden of tobacco use for African American Californians, the UCSF team assessed data from 2002, including health care costs related to smoking and productivity losses from smoking-caused mortality. Study findings are published in the January 2010 issue of the American Journal of Public Health. "California has one of the most comprehensive tobacco control programs in the world, and smoking prevalence in the state has been declining steadily as a result. However, not all Californians have benefited equally from these efforts, " said lead author Wendy Max, PhD, professor-in-residence of health economics and co-director of the UCSF Institute for Health & Aging, School of Nursing.

Quitting Smoking Doubles Chance Of Survival For Lung Cancer Patients

A study published on bmj.com today reports that people diagnosed with early stage lung cancer can double their chances of survival over five years if they stop smoking compared with those who continue to smoke. This is the first evaluation of several studies that assess the effects of continued smoking after diagnosis of lung cancer. It indicates that it may be beneficial to propose smoking cessation treatment to patients with early stage lung cancer. Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer worldwide. In the UK, it accounts for around 39, 000 new cancer diagnoses annually and is second after breast cancer. Smoking increases the risk of developing a primary lung cancer. Lifelong smokers have a twenty-fold increased risk compared with non-smokers. But it is unclear whether quitting after a diagnosis of lung cancer has any benefit. In order to find out more, researchers at the University of Birmingham conducted an analysis of the results of ten studies. They measured the effect of quitting smoking after diagnosis of lung cancer on prognosis.

Study Finds Self-Control To Be Contagious

Before patting yourself on the back for resisting that cookie or kicking yourself for giving in to temptation, look around. A new University of Georgia study has revealed that self-control - or the lack thereof - is contagious. In a just-published series of studies involving hundreds of volunteers, researchers have found that watching or even thinking about someone with good self-control makes others more likely exert self-control. The researchers found that the opposite holds, too, so that people with bad self-control influence others negatively. The effect is so powerful, in fact, that seeing the name of someone with good or bad self-control flashing on a screen for just 10 milliseconds changed the behavior of volunteers. "The take home message of this study is that picking social influences that are positive can improve your self-control, " said lead author Michelle vanDellen, a visiting assistant professor in the UGA department of psychology. "And by exhibiting self-control, you're helping others around you do the same.

Government Of Canada Announces Project That Will Help Pregnant Women Quit Smoking

Nina Grewal, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood - Port Kells, today announced on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, just over $245, 000 in funding to the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women's Health for a project that will help encourage tobacco cessation among pregnant women. "The Government of Canada remains committed to protecting all Canadians from the proven health hazards associated with tobacco use, " said Minister Aglukkaq. "Today's funding will give health professionals the tools to help pregnant women stop smoking." Funding from today's announcement will go towards a project entitled "Knowledge translation on Smoking Reduction and Cessation Interventions for Pregnant and Postpartum Girls and Women." The goal of this project is to provide evidence of effective approaches and develop practical tools for health professionals to help pregnant women and new mothers to quit smoking. "This funding demonstrates the federal government's commitment to working with stakeholders on evidence-based cessation and smoking prevention activities, " said MP Nina Grewal.

Government Of Canada Announces Project That Engages Youth In Tobacco Control Initiatives

Mike Wallace, Member of Parliament for Burlington, today announced on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, just over $230, 000 dollars in funding to the Student's Commission of Canada to develop initiatives that will engage youth in tobacco use reduction. "The Government of Canada remains committed to protecting all Canadians, including youth, from the proven health hazards associated with tobacco use, " said Minister Aglukkaq. "Today's funding will help ensure that we are engaging youth in our tobacco use reduction initiatives." Funding from today's announcement will go towards a project entitled "Youth Action Committee and Young Adult Advisory Committee." The goal of this project is to engage youth in tobacco use reduction initiatives. In addition to coordinating the Youth Action Committee, this project will establish a new national young adult action committee. This will result in the development of a well-informed network of youth and young adults who can provide ongoing advice and feedback to Health Canada on relevant policies and programs.

Study Examines Smoking Practices And Attitudes Among Anesthesiologists In China, The Country With The Highest Population Of Smokers

The statistics are frightening: one-third of the world's smokers (300 million) live in China, and chronic diseases caused by smoking are a growing burden to public health there. Current projections estimate that the number of tobacco-related deaths in China will increase to 2 million annually by 2025. A new study in the February issue of the journal Anesthesiology looks at whether Chinese anesthesiologists are willing to help their patients quit smoking, and ultimately help reduce these projected tobacco-related deaths. Because patients in the U.S. are advised to abstain from smoking for as long as possible both before and after surgery, the study's lead author believes it represents a golden opportunity for people to take action to quit, and he is committed to supporting the campaign across the globe. "Every year, in the United States, we care for up to 10 million smokers in surgery. (1, 2 ) We continue to work to reduce the number of patients who enter surgery as smokers. There's a tremendous need in China to do the same.

Women At Higher Risk Of Significant Bone Loss On Injectable Birth Control Identified By UTMB Study

Nearly half of women using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), commonly known as the birth control shot, will experience high bone mineral density (BMD) loss in the hip or lower spine within two years of beginning the contraceptive, according to researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The study, reported in the January 2010 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was the first to show that women on DMPA who smoke, have low levels of calcium intake and never gave birth are at the highest risk for BMD loss. The researchers also found that high risk women continued to experience significant losses in BMD during the third year of DMPA use, especially in the hip - the most common facture site in elderly women. DMPA is an injected contraceptive administered to patients every three months. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, more than two million American women use DMPA, including approximately 400, 000 teens. DMPA is relatively inexpensive compared with some other forms of birth control, has a low failure rate and doesn't need to be administered daily, which contributes to the contraceptive's popularity.

Diet May Protect Against Gene Changes In Smokers

Leafy green vegetables, folate, and some multivitamins could serve as protective factors against lung cancer in current and former smokers, according to a study that is a first step in understanding a complex association. The study was supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The study appeared online Jan. 12, 2010, in Cancer Research. Researchers, led by Steven Belinsky, Ph.D., Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, N.M., examined cells that were coughed up by current and former smokers. Upon careful study of the cells and by comparing those cells with profiles of smokers' dietary intake of leafy green vegetables, folate, and some multivitamins, they found that those particular substances could influence the prevalence of cellular gene methylation. Gene methylation is a chemical modification used by the cell to control gene expression. The addition of methyl groups, which are simple four atom molecules, to DNA can affect whether the gene is expressed, i.

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