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Canada's Menthol Cigarette Ban Boosted Quit Rates: Would the Same Happen in U.S.?

Could banning menthol cigarettes be key to lowering smoking rates overall?

New research suggests it's possible, after finding that a ban on menthol cigarettes in Canada was linked to a large increase in the number of smokers who quit.

The impact of the menthol ban in Canada suggests that a similar ban in the United States would have even greater benefits since menthol cigarettes ar...

Most U.S. Adults Who Vape Want to Quit: Study

More than 60% of American adults who vape say they want to stop, a new study reports.

Some use electronic cigarettes to try to quit smoking traditional cigarettes, then end up vaping and smoking, the researchers found.

"While e-cigarettes may work for some people, they're hindering quit attempts for other people," said study first author Amanda Palmer, a postdoctoral fellow at the M...

Bored & Stressed, Smokers Smoked More  During Pandemic

Pandemic-related stress has prompted many smokers to light up more often, new research shows, while others smoked more because they could.

"Working at home allows me to smoke at will rather than being in a smoke-free environment for 8 hours per day," one study participant told researchers.

Whatever the reason, any increase in smoking could put these people at greater risk of depende...

Smoking Rates High Among Surgery Patients

U.S. surgery patients have a high rate of smoking, which could be one reason why some wind up on the operating table, researchers say.

A look at nearly 329,000 Michigan residents who had common surgical procedures between 2012 and 2019 found that nearly a quarter had smoked in the past year. In comparison, just over 14% of U.S. adults smoked in 2019.

The highest rates of smoking wer...

Secondhand Smoke Is Sending Kids to the ER

Nonsmokers usually try to avoid secondhand smoke, but many kids have no option, and now a new study finds tobacco smoke exposure puts them at higher risk of hospitalization.

Compared to other kids, those exposed to secondhand smoke were more likely to have had an urgent care visit over a one-year period, and to incur higher costs for such visits. They also were nearly twice as likely to b...

Switch to Vaping Helps Smokers With Schizophrenia Quit

Vaping high-strength nicotine can help adults with schizophrenia stop smoking traditional cigarettes, according to a new study.

Between 60% and 90% of people with schizophrenia smoke, compared to 15% to 24% of the general population, the researchers noted in the report published March 16 in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Smoking is the main reason for a 15- to 25-...

Smoking Makes a Comeback in the Pandemic

Katie Rodgers was just 15 years old when she started smoking, and in her early 20s when it became a more significant habit.

Rodgers found quitting tough, but she managed to kick the habit at age 33 during a global pandemic because she knew that smoking would increase her anxiety and put her at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.

Her achievement was unusual at a time...

Men Worldwide Have Shorter Life Spans Than Women

Why are men over 50 around the world 60% more likely than women to die early?

Two big reasons are higher rates of smoking and heart disease, according to a large new study.

The findings are based on an analysis of data from more than 179,000 people in 28 countries. Fifty-five percent were women.

Researchers examined how socioeconomic (education, wealth), lifestyle (smoking, al...

More Americans Would Get Lung Cancer Screening Under New Guidelines

The number of Americans recommended for routine CT scans to spot lung cancer just got a lot bigger.

People between the ages of 50 and 80 who don't have symptoms of lung cancer, but are at high risk for the disease due to their smoking history should have the annual screen to help detect the disease early, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concluded in new recommendations r...

COVID Lockdowns Got People Smoking More

The pandemic's spring lockdowns last year triggered an unwelcome side effect: New research shows more Americans turned to tobacco and nicotine as they struggled with boredom, anxiety and the disruption of regular routines.

Between April and May 2020, the study authors conducted telephone interviews with U.S. adults who use cigarettes or e-cigarettes.

During the survey period, nearly...

Vaping Pot Worse Than Vaping Tobacco for Teens' Lungs: Study

Teenagers who vape pot are more likely to wheeze and cough than those who smoke or vape nicotine, new survey data reveals.

Reports from U.S. kids 12 to 17 show they have a higher risk of wheezing, suffering from a dry cough, and having their sleep, speech or exercise impeded by wheezing if they vape marijuana products, according to results from the U.S. federally funded Population As...

Another Deadly Disease for Smokers: Pulmonary Fibrosis

Current and former smokers are at risk for a lung disease called pulmonary fibrosis, but many aren't aware of the threat, the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation says.

There is no cure for the disease, which affects more than 200,000 Americans.

A recent foundation survey found that more than 80% of smokers are unfamiliar with pulmonary fibrosis. This is a concerning statistic among a grou...

How Smoking Could Help Spur Breast Cancer's Spread

Here's one reason why past or current smoking may handicap you if you are battling breast cancer: New research suggests that nicotine promotes the spread of the disease to your lungs.

Smoking is known to increase the risk that breast cancer will spread, which lowers the survival rate by one-third at diagnosis. But the role of nicotine in the spread of breast cancer to the lungs has been l...

Smoking Raises Risk for Deadly 'Bleeding Strokes'

There's yet another reason to quit smoking: It increases the risk of deadly bleeding strokes, a new study warns.

Researchers focused on a type of stroke called subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), which occurs when a blood vessel on the surface of the brain ruptures and bleeds into the space between the brain and the skull.

This type of stroke mainly affects middle-aged adults and has hig...

Youth Vaping Triples Odds for Adult Smoking

Vaping may not be a way for kids to avoid the smoking habit, after all. A new study finds that teens who start vaping are three times more likely to smoke cigarettes in adulthood than those who never started with electronic cigarettes.

Although the number of teens who start smoking cigarettes in high school has declined, vaping has soared. From 2016 to 2019, the number of cigarette smoke...

Smoking Plus Vaping Just as Deadly as Smoking on Its Own: Study

Smokers who swap some traditional cigarettes for the electronic kind may not be doing anything to protect their arteries, a new study hints.

People who smoke sometimes use "e-cigarettes" in a bid to get a nicotine fix without inhaling tobacco. But little is known about the effects of e-cigarettes on the risk of heart disease -- the top killer of smokers.

That's because heart disease...

Even 'Light' Smoking Can Quickly Become Addictive

Think your 'light' smoking habit isn't really all that dangerous? A new study finds that people who are casual cigarette smokers can also be addicted to nicotine.

Those who smoke one to four cigarettes per day or fewer meet the criteria for nicotine addiction and should be considered for treatment, researchers say.

"In the past, some considered that only patients who smoke around 1...

5 Tips to Help Quit Smoking in 2021

Many smokers make a New Year's resolution to quit, so the American Lung Association offers advice to improve their chances of success.

Smoking is a risk factor for severe COVID-19, so quitting is more important than ever, the association noted.

But keep in mind: Switching to electronic cigarettes is not quitting, the lung association stressed. E-cigarettes are tobacco products that ...

Vaping May Addle the Adolescent Brain

Teenagers who use e-cigarettes may be at increased risk of "mental fog," a new study suggests.

The study, of thousands of U.S. teens, found that those who vaped were three times more likely than their peers to report problems with concentration, memory and decision-making.

The findings mirror those of a recent study of adults by the same research team: Men and women who used e-...

High Blood Levels of Cadmium May Be Tied to Worse COVID-19

Old age and chronic health conditions aren't the only risk factors for serious COVID-19 infection. Researchers say people with high levels of the heavy metal cadmium may also have higher odds of severe disease during the pandemic.

Cadmium is found in cigarettes and in contaminated vegetables. Previous research has shown that long-term exposure to cadmium, even at low levels, may weak...

Teen Smoking Rates Drop, E-Cig Use Rises: Study

American teens' use of tobacco cigarettes and smokeless tobacco has dropped to record lows, even as their use of electronic cigarettes increased, new research shows.

For the study, researchers analyzed nationwide data on tobacco product use among 8th-, 10th- and 12th-graders from 1991 to 2019.

Daily smoking rates among 12th-grade boys rose 4.9% a year between 1991 and 1998, but fell...

Quit Smoking, Your Bladder Will Thank You

If you smoke, you significantly increase your odds of developing bladder cancer, experts warn.

"Everyone knows smoking causes lung cancer, but they don't always know about bladder cancer," said Dr. Srinivas Vourganti, a urologist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago who specializes in treating bladder and other urinary tract cancers.

Smoking causes more than half of all case...

Vaping Lures Teens to Smoking: Study

Instead of being a safe alternative to smoking, vaping may serve as an enticing gateway to the cigarette habit for some teens, new research shows.

It's known that teens who use electronic cigarettes are more likely than their peers to take up the real thing. But the question of cause-and-effect has remained: Perhaps those same kids might have started smoking anyway?

But the new...

Smoking Bans Don't Work If Not Enforced, NYC Study Finds

Although New York City has banned smoking in its public housing, exposure to secondhand smoke hadn't declined a year later, a new study finds.

The reasons might include delays in promotion and enforcement, researchers said. These include not putting up signs, training building managers and reluctance to report violations. Also, lack of smoking cessation services may be a factor.

The...

'Heat Not Burn' Cigarettes Can Still Harm the Heart

"Heat-not-burn" tobacco products, created as an alternative to other types of smoking, may harm the user's heart, researchers report.

These tobacco products -- think IQOS from Philip Morris -- are billed as substitutes for e-cigarettes or traditional smokes. But a new review finds they may be tied to heart and blood vessel harms.

Researchers found the inhalants were linked ...

Reduced Drinking May Improve Veterans' Chronic Pain

Cutting back on booze may reduce chronic pain and use of other substances among U.S. veterans who are heavy drinkers, according to a new report.

The study included about 1,500 veterans who completed annual surveys between 2003 and 2015, and reported heavy drinking in at least one of those surveys.

"We found some evidence for improvement of pain interference symptoms and subs...

Parents Often in the Dark When Kids Take Up Vaping

Parents are often clueless when their kids start smoking e-cigarettes, a new study finds.

On the other hand, Mom and Dad usually can tell if their children take up traditional smoking, said researchers from the University of California, San Francisco.

Having strict household rules against any form of tobacco is the best form of prevention, researchers found. And those rules ...

Smoking Reduces Survival Odds After Bladder Cancer Surgery

Patients who have surgery for bladder cancer fare worse if they smoke, new research shows.

"This study is important because while it is known that tobacco smoking is the leading cause of bladder cancer, this is the first study to suggest that smoking puts bladder cancer patients at risk after diagnosis," said study co-author Dr. Giovanni Cacciamani. He's an assistant professor of res...

Smoking Ups Your Risk of a Fatal Brain Bleed

Smokers have a significantly raised risk of dying from a bleeding stroke, a new study warns.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from over 16,000 same-sex twin pairs in Finland. The twins were born before 1958 and followed for about 42 years (between 1976 and 2018).

During the follow-up, there were 120 deaths from subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). This is a type of bleedin...

Even 'Social Smokers' Up Their Odds of Death From Lung Disease

Even light smokers are much more likely to die of lung disease or lung cancer than nonsmokers, a new study warns.

"Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, but it's easy to assume that if you only smoke a little, the risks won't be too high," said study co-leader Pallavi Balte, of Columbia University Irving Medical Center, in New York City.

The new study shows how wrong ...

Quit Smoking to Cut Risk of Death From A-Fib

Smokers with the most common type of heart rhythm disorder can reduce their risk of stroke and death by giving up cigarettes, a new study says.

"Smoking precipitates blood clots that could lead to a stroke, which may be why giving up lowers risk," said study author So-Ryoung Lee of Seoul National University Hospital in South Korea.

But even former smokers had higher odds for...

Women Smokers Less Likely to Get Cancer Screenings

Women smokers already have one bad habit. A new study finds another: They're less likely than others to go for cancer screenings.

Moreover, they're more likely to have spreading cancer when diagnosed, according to findings.

For the report, researchers collected data on more than 89,000 postmenopausal women who took part in a long-running U.S. study.

More than hal...

Smoking Raises Aneurysm Risk for Women

Smoking significantly increases a woman's risk of potentially deadly brain aneurysms, a new study warns.

An aneurysm is a weakened, bulging section of an artery. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can cause fatal bleeding.

The study included 545 women, aged 30 to 60, who had brain scans at five large teaching and research hospitals in the United States and Canada between 2016 and 2...

Flavored-Cigarette Ban Led to Smoking Decline Among Young Americans

Banning flavored cigarettes led to a large decline in smoking among U.S. teens and young adults, a new study suggests.

The U.S. ban on flavored cigarettes (other than menthol) took effect in September 2009. To find out how it affected teens and young adults, researchers analyzed data from the 2002-2017 U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

They found a 43% decline...

Under 50 and Had a Heart Attack? Quit Smoking, and You'll Live Longer

If you're a smoker under 50 and you suffer a heart attack, new research suggests kicking the habit may be the best thing you can do to still be around years later.

"These results are definitive: among young people who have had a heart attack, quitting smoking is associated with a substantial benefit," said corresponding author Dr. Ron Blankstein, from the division of cardiovascular me...

Ban Menthol Cigarettes, Lower Smoking Rates?

Want to make smoking less attractive to young people? Try taking menthol cigarettes off the market, a new analysis suggests.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned flavors in cigarettes in 2009 because flavors appeal to youth and young adults, and the agency recently announced that it also intends to ban menthol in cigarettes.

To assess what effect a ban on menthol cig...

Up to 60% of Teens in Some U.S. Schools Used E-Cigs: Study

More than 1 in 10 middle and high school students in the United States used e-cigarettes within the last month, according to a University of Michigan study that found the rate in some schools is as high as 60%.

It also found that vaping is highest in schools with a higher percentage of white students and where more students smoke traditional cigarettes. Rates are also higher in th...

Ex-Smokers Who Take Up Vaping Are More Prone to Relapse: Study

Far from helping them avoid cigarettes, longtime ex-smokers who try vaping are taking a big risk that they'll relapse, a new study finds.

People who've spent a year off smokes are nearly four times more likely to start lighting up again if they experiment with vaping, compared with those who don't, according to findings published June 5 in JAMA Network Open.

"Even sam...

COVID-19 Is More Severe in Smokers

COVID-19 hits smokers much harder than nonsmokers, according to a new review.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), analyzed 19 studies that included data on smoking and severity of COVID-19 among nearly 11,600 patients in the United States, China and Korea.

Most patients were hospitalized, but two studies also included outpatients. Just over 6...

E-Cigarettes as Bad for Arteries as Regular Smokes, Study Finds

Electronic cigarettes are touted by some as safer than smoking tobacco. But a new study finds they damage blood vessels just like traditional cigarettes do.

Among hundreds of healthy young adults, researchers found that vaping and smoking cigarettes cause the same harm to arteries that leads to heart attacks, strokes and heart disease.

"The evidence is growing that e-cigar...

Smokers, Vapers in Special Danger From Coronavirus

Smokers and vapers who get COVID-19 are more likely to have complications, so this might be a good time to quit, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons says.

An early study from China looked at 78 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Researchers found those with a history of smoking had 14 times the risk of needing a higher level care, requiring a ventilator, and/or dying.

COVID-19 dea...

The Sooner Young Smokers Start, The Less Likely They Are to Quit

Kids and teens who take up smoking are more likely to become daily smokers and find it harder to quit by their 40s, a new study finds.

"Based on our data coupled with a variety of other evidence, we found childhood smoking leads to adult smoking," said lead researcher David Jacobs Jr., a professor of public health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. "Cigarette smoking, eve...

In Nonsmokers, COPD May Up Lung Cancer Risk

Nonsmokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have a greater risk for lung cancer, a new study indicates.

In fact, their risk is similar to that of smokers without chronic lung disease, researchers found.

COPD includes respiratory conditions that narrow the airways, such as bronchitis and emphysema. Smoking is the leading cause of both COPD and lung cancer.

Asthma, COPD Raise Odds for Severe COVID-19, Lung Experts Warn

People with asthma and other lung diseases are at increased risk for serious complications from COVID-19, caution experts from the American Lung Association.

"Everyone's health is at risk from COVID-19, and those living with a lung disease or who are immunocompromised may be more vulnerable to the impacts of the virus," said Dr. Albert Rizzo, the association's chief medical officer.

COVID-19 Infection Likely Worse for Vapers, Smokers

Smokers and vapers who get COVID-19 can probably expect a more severe infection, health experts warn.

Many advisories have focused on the risk facing older people, those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, and people with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients. But doctors also caution that users of electronic cigarettes and tobacco are more in danger from the new ...

New, Graphic Health Warnings Coming for U.S. Cigarette Packs

Graphic new health warnings must appear on cigarette packages and in cigarette ads beginning next year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says.

As of June 18, 2021, the 11 new warnings must be displayed prominently, filling the top half of cigarette packages on both front and back and at least 20% of the area at the top of ads.

The warnings include text and pho...

Global Study Calculates Deadly Toll of Secondhand Smoke

For every 52 smokers, secondhand smoke claims the life of one nonsmoker, an international study reports.

"We hope that attributing harm directly to smokers will help influence public opinion against secondhand smoke exposure and enthuse governments to enforce stringent anti-tobacco control," said co-author Dr. Jagat Narula in a Mount Sinai news release. He is a professor of medicine a...

Don't Wait, for Your Baby's Sake: Quit Smoking Before You're Pregnant

Even if a pregnant woman quits smoking in the first trimester, her baby is still at risk for a smaller body and head, a new study warns.

Researchers analyzed data from 1.4 million mother-child pairs in Finland to assess how smoking during pregnancy affects newborns.

"The most important finding of our study is that although quitting smoking in the first trimester reduces the ...

U.S. Kids Waiting a Little Longer to Try Alcohol, Drugs

It's never good news that kids are using drugs and alcohol, but fewer U.S. teens are starting before their 16th birthday, a new study finds.

Researchers found that between 2004 and 2017, the age at which teens started drinking alcohol and smoking rose from 16 to 17 years. The age for trying heroin went from 17 to 18, and for cocaine it increased from 18 to 19 years. For crack cocaine...

Healthy Heart in Your 20s,  Healthier Brain Decades Later

A healthier heart in early adulthood could mean fewer thinking and memory problems later in life, a new study suggests.

"These results indicate that people need to pay close attention to their health even in their early 20s," said study author Dr. Farzaneh Sorond, of Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago.

Sorond and her team conducted a 30-year study of 189 p...