Friday, August 10, 2012


Teens are more likely to turn down tobacco now than they were a decade ago, but rates of decline have slowed, government researchers said.
Between 2000 and 2011, use of tobacco among high schoolers fell from about 34% to 23%, and from 15% to 7% among middle schoolers, Rene Arrazola, MPH, of the CDC, and colleagues reported in the August 10 issue of Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.
But that downturn was nowhere near as dramatic as the one seen between 1997 and 2003, which saw a 40% decline, the researchers wrote.
"This report is further evidence that we need to do more to prevent our nation's youth from establishing a deadly addiction to tobacco," CDC director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, said in a statement, adding that most long-term tobacco use is established in adolescence.
That's a challenge, however, as states continue to face drastic budgetary cuts, which has played a role in the underfunding of tobacco control programs.
Cigarette smoking was the most common form of tobacco use, with a prevalence of 15.8% among high schoolers and 4.3% among middle schoolers.
Cigars were the second most common form of tobacco use among both groups (11.6% and 3.5%, respectively), and their use rose among black high schoolers between 2009 and 2011, from 7.1% to 11.7%, the researchers noted.
"This finding is similar to prevalence trends found using other national data, with increases in cigar smoking observed among black female high school students," they wrote.
They added that cigar use among high school boys is more than twice as high as it is among high school girls (15.7% versus 7.4%) and is comparable to the use of cigarettes among high school boys (17.7%).
But a wider gender gap exists among high schoolers for smokeless tobacco, the use of which among boys is eight times that of girls (12.9% versus 1.6%).
Arrazola and colleagues warned that cigars can be taxed at lower rates than cigarettes and aren't subject to FDA regulation. Manufacturers can also add flavorings and can label their products with "misleading descriptors such as 'light' or 'low tar,'" they wrote.
The data come from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, which involved 178 schools and 18,866 students.
The researchers cautioned that the data may be limited by recall bias, and they didn't distinguish between infrequent tobacco users and heavy users.

Lets stay after it and become SMOKE-FREE!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


The active chemical used in spray tans, dihydroxyacetone (DHA), has the potential to cause genetic alterations and DNA damage, according to a panel of medical experts who reviewed 10 of the most-current publicly available scientific studies on DHA for ABC News, including a federal report ABC News obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Six medical experts in areas ranging across the fields of dermatology, toxicology and pulmonary medicine said they "have concerns" after reviewing the literature and reports about DHA, the main chemical in the popular "spray-on" tan, which has conventionally been referred to as the "safe" alternative to tanning under ultraviolet lights.

None of the reviewed studies tested on actual human subjects, but some found DHA altered genes of multiple types of cells and organisms when tested in different labs by different scientists after the chemical was approved for use in the consumer market.

Click here to view a web extra video: "DHA Health Risk: Potential Lung Complications"

"I have concerns," said Dr. Rey Panettieri, a toxicologist and lung specialist at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. "The reason I'm concerned is the deposition of the tanning agents into the lungs could really facilitate or aid systemic absorption -- that is, getting into the bloodstream."
Panettieri, like all the experts ABC News consulted with, said more studies should be done. He emphasized the available scientific literature is limited. Still, he said, he has seen enough to say the warning signs of serious health concerns exist.

"These compounds in some cells could actually promote the development of cancers or malignancies," he said, "and if that's the case then we need to be wary of them."

The FDA originally approved DHA for "external" use back in 1977, when it was popular in tanning lotions. Those lotions, previously famous for turning skin orange, were never as popular as current products that produce better tans. In recent years, the use of DHA has exploded in the newer "spray" application of the product, which provides a more even tan for consumers.