Erik Befrits – Nicotine and Science Media Update December 11th 2014

America’s public health establishment, including big nonprofit organizations and many academics, is playing a shameful role in fighting our nation’s most important health scourge: cigarette smoking. Without exception, our health leaders have proven reluctant to help smokers quit; although three-quarters of smokers wish to do so, only one in twenty succeed in any given year.


The trade union of tobacco industry workers has organised a full-day demonstration for Dec. 15 in Budapest against the government’s new measures affecting the industry, the organisers said. Some 1,200 employees in tobacco sales and logistics positions will be affected by the government’s amendments which seek to place a middleman between retailers and wholesalers on the market with a monopoly of state-licenced tobacco retailers.


The use of electronic cigarettes in England is largely confined to smokers and ex-smokers, according to a government-backed survey, the latest report to suggest that e-cigarettes were not attracting new smokers. The Health Survey for England found that among men who were not smokers, only 1 percent had ever tried e-cigarettes, while 29 percent of smokers and 6 percent of ex-smokers said they had.


Every day, 5500 children in India start using tobacco. If they continue the habit, as many do, the illnesses brought about by tobacco addiction will kill about half of them. In the meantime, Big Tobacco is allowed to continue glamorising the habit through fancy packages that appeal to youngsters. Nearly half of all males in India use tobacco in some form. In total, about 275 million people use tobacco.


When it comes to measuring teen smoking trends, many public health agencies rely too heavily on reports of monthly cigarette use, a broad statistic that makes it difficult to draw conclusions about current habits and historical changes in behavior, according to a new study. The figure often used to describe current use of cigarettes among high school seniors is derived from a survey question asking about smoking behavior over the past 30 days.


To study e-cigarette dependence, the researchers developed an online survey, including questions designed to assess previous dependence on cigarettes and almost identical questions to assess current dependence on e-cigarettes. “We found that e-cigarettes appear to be less addictive than tobacco cigarettes in a large sample of long-term users,” said Jonathan Foulds, professor of public health sciences and psychiatry at Penn State College of Medicine. […]



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