Democratic Senators Dick Durbin, Chris Dodd, Jack Reed and Frank Lautenberg joined Matt Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, at a press conference this morning to discuss the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The legislation will give the Food and Drug Administration legal authority to regulate the sale, distribution and advertising of cigarettes in order to stop tobacco companies from targeting children and misleading the public. "For years, tobacco companies have been given a free ride to peddle one of most deadly products in the world, " Durbin said. "Those days will soon come to an end. The Family Smoking and Prevention Act will make big tobacco play by the same rules as everyone else and reduce the terrible toll tobacco has taken on families around the country.
Cigarette smoking induced COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a disease that results in severe breathing difficulty. According to World Health Organization (WHO) it is the fourth leading killer worldwide. However the mechanisms responsible for some smokers developing COPD and others evading the disease have not been well understood. Dr.Manuel Cosio from the McGill University Health Centre, in collaboration with Italian and Spanish scientists, reports in the New England Journal of Medicine that an autoimmune mechanism, compounded by genetic predisposition in COPD, would explain the progression of the disease in some smokers and the evasion in others.
Despite the efforts of college students to quit smoking, recent research conducted by Joyce M. Wolburg at Marquette University suggests that an extended trial and error period is necessary. Given that most college students begin smoking in high school, another study by faculty at HEC Montreal and University of Texas at San Antonio provides insights into how graphic cigarette warning labels impact intentions of American and Canadian teens. Both studies appear in the Summer 2009 issue of the Journal of Consumer Affairs. The Wolburg study reveals that, despite good intentions to quit smoking after college, multiple strategies (and multiple attempts) are typically necessary to be successful at smoking cessation.
A new study has identified a specific class of pharmaceutical drugs that could be effective in treating babies vulnerable to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), because their mothers smoked during pregnancy. According to researchers at McMaster University, exposure of the fetus to nicotine results in the inability to respond to decreases in oxygen - known as hypoxia - which may result in a higher incidence of SIDS. In the same study on rats, they found that the diabetic medication 'glibenclamide' can reverse the effects of nicotine exposure, increasing the newborn's ability to respond to hypoxia and likely reducing the incidence of SIDS.
It's common knowledge that smoking raises risks of lung cancer. And yet researchers haven't known whether continued smoking by lung cancer patients would increase the risk of the cancer's spread. Researchers at West Virginia University studying the relationship between death rates from lung cancer and how much a person smoked have found that smoking intensity in fact predicts how the disease will progress. Patients who smoked two packs a day had a 58 percent higher risk of their lung cancers returning or spreading compared with nonsmoking patients. Smoking intensity is one of only two factors found to predict lung-cancer mortality, according to the study published in the May issue of the journal Lung Cancer.
More than a decade after Harvard researchers first revealed that life and health insurance companies were major investors in tobacco stocks - prompting calls upon them to divest - the insurance industry has yet to kick the habit, they say. A new article on insurance company holdings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that U.S., Canadian and U.K.-based insurance firms hold at least $4.4 billion of investments in companies whose subsidiaries manufacture cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and related products. Tobacco products currently contribute to the deaths of 5.4 million people worldwide annually, according to the World Health Organization.