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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...

Survived a Heart Attack? Long Work Hours Raise Your Odds for Another

Sometimes it's best to say no to overtime: A new Canadian study finds that working too hard after a heart attack could boost your odds for a repeat.

Their new study found that people who work more than 55 hours a week after a heart attack are twice as likely to have another, compared with those who work 35 to 40 hours a week.

"The magnitude of the effect of working long hours after ...

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...

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...

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...

Breast Cancer Surpasses Lung Cancer as Leading Cancer Diagnosis Worldwide

Breast cancer has surpassed lung cancer as the world's most commonly diagnosed cancer.

In 2020, there were an estimated 19.3 million new cancer cases and nearly 10 million cancer deaths worldwide, according to the Global Cancer Statistics 2020 report from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Overall, 1 in 5 people get cancer during t...

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...

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-...

Youth Vaping Rates Have Plunged During Lockdown: Study

Vaping among teens and young adults has decreased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, with two-thirds of e-cigarette users reporting that they've either cut back or quit, a new study says.

About 32% of e-cigarette users said they quit this year and another 35% reported cutting back, according to survey results published Dec. 3 in JAMA Network Online.

Concerns about l...

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...

MS Has Mixed Impact on Patients' Cancer Risk: Study

How does having multiple sclerosis (MS) affect a person's odds for cancer? The answer may depend on the type of cancer, new research shows.

The study found that MS patients do have much greater odds of developing bladder cancer compared to people without the illness. But there was good news, too: Their risk of breast and colon cancer is no higher than for people who don't have MS, accordi...

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...

'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 ...

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...

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 ...

Obesity in Youth Could Be Big Risk Factor for MS

High rates of child and teen obesity could play a growing role in people's risk for multiple sclerosis (MS), British researchers say.

Prior research has suggested that 53% of MS risk is directly attributable to environmental factors. For example, up to 1 in 5 cases could be attributed to smoking, the research team noted.

Increasingly, obesity is also a big risk factor fo...

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...

What Puts You at High Risk of Midlife Mental Decline?

Your thinking skills may be at risk of declining in midlife if you smoke or have high blood pressure or diabetes, a new study suggests.

Heart disease risk factors -- especially high blood pressure and diabetes -- have become more common in midlife, the study authors noted.

"We found those two risk factors, as well as smoking, are associated with higher odds of having accel...

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...

New Guidelines Could Double Number Eligible for Lung Cancer Screening

CT scans have been proven to help spot lung cancer early and save lives. Now, updated expert recommendations could double the number of Americans who are eligible for the yearly screening.

The recommendations -- from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) -- would expand the definition of "high risk" for lung cancer. That's expected to not only increase the number of people ...

Preterm Birth Ups Mom's Long-Term Heart Disease Risk: Study

Over a lifetime, women who've had a preterm delivery have a higher risk of heart disease, new research suggests.

The findings point to the fact that doctors should include a woman's reproductive history in assessments of heart disease risk, according to the researchers.

"Preterm delivery should now be recognized as an independent risk factor for IHD [ischemic heart disease] ...

Ad Displays in Stores Boost Teen Vaping Rates: Canadian Study

Canadian provinces that allow retail displays promoting e-cigarettes had nearly three times the teen vaping rate, a new study found.

Until May 2018, e-cigarettes weren't widely available in Canada and it was illegal to advertise those containing nicotine. When the law changed, Quebec and Manitoba adopted their own restrictions, including bans on retail displays and ads for e-cigarett...

There's No Healthy Alternative to Smoking Except Quitting: Study

Smoking is terrible for your heart and lungs, and simply switching to e-cigarettes won't do much good, a major new analysis finds.

That's especially true now amid the COVID-19 pandemic, experts added.

The only truly healthy way out for nicotine addicts is quitting, said a team led by Thomas Münzel, a cardiologist at University Medical Center in Mainz, Germany. His team...

What Behaviors Will Shorten Your Life?

Smoking, drinking too much and divorce are among the social and behavioral factors most strongly linked to dying early, a new study says.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 13,600 U.S. adults between 1992 and 2008, and examined 57 social and behavioral factors among those who died between 2008 and 2014.

The 10 factors most closely linked with dying were: being a curren...

Loneliness May Make Quitting Smoking Even Tougher

Being lonely may make it harder to quit smoking, a new British study suggests.

Using genetic and survey data from hundreds of thousands of people, researchers found that loneliness makes it more likely that someone will smoke. This type of analysis is called Mendelian randomization.

"This method has never been applied to this question before and so the results are novel, b...

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.

Vaping's Popularity Soars as New Data Points to Heart Risks

E-cigarette use is rising, putting more Americans at risk of blood vessel damage and heart disease, according to three new studies.

In the first study, researchers found that nearly 1 in 20 adults use e-cigarettes.

"Our study may have important public health implications and ramifications for educational strategies aimed at targeting various population segments to inform t...

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...

Young People Have No Idea How Much Nicotine They Vape: Study

Many U.S. teens and young adults have no idea much nicotine is in the vaping products they use, a new study says.

Researchers asked 445 17- to 24-year-olds in California about their tobacco and nicotine use, especially the use of pod-based e-cigarettes, such as Juul. The devices, which resemble computer thumb drives, consist of a plastic pod of nicotine-infused fluid that snaps into a...

Vaping Videos Soaring on YouTube

YouTube is awash in misleading videos touting the safety of tobacco and vaping, a new study finds.

Researchers found that from 2013 to 2019, views of smoking-themed YouTube videos dramatically increased, particularly those with instructions on vaping.

"The easy access of such [video] material suggests that YouTube is a fertile environment for the promotion of tobacco produ...

Living Healthier Can Help Shield You From A-fib: AHA

From weight loss to physical activity, lifestyle changes are effective, yet underused strategies to manage atrial fibrillation, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA).

Atrial fibrillation -- also known as a-fib or AF -- is an abnormal heart rhythm affecting more than 2.7 million Americans.

In a-fib, the heart's upper chambers beat ...

Dirty Air Cuts Millions of Lives Short Worldwide: Study

Worldwide, air pollution may be shortening people's life expectancy by an average of three years, according to new estimates.

Researchers calculate that air pollution actually has a bigger impact on life expectancy than tobacco smoking, HIV/AIDS or violence.

While that might sound surprising, it reflects the ubiquity of air pollution, said study co-author Jos Lelieveld of th...