December 2016 Newsletter

This month we are following trends in a few different areas.  While e-cigarettes are showing huge gains as cigarette smoking levels drop, Hispanic youngsters are using actual cigarettes more.

November is American Diabetes month and our blog this month reports on the connection of diabetes with tobacco and how this addictive drug exacerbates the disease in many ways.

Teens Using Candy-Flavored E-Cigs Show High Interest in Smoking

Are flavored vaping products gateways to youth smoking? - November 07, 2016

Flavored electronic cigarette use among children and teens was associated with a decreased perception of the dangers of smoking and an increased likelihood of becoming a smoker, according to findings from a large CDC survey of middle- and high-school students.

The overall perception of smoking was high in 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS)respondents, with more than 90% "agreeing" or "strongly agreeing" that tobacco products are dangerous. But flavored e-cigarette use was associated with a lower odds of perceived tobacco use harm (adjusted OR 0.5; P<0.0001), the researchers reported online in Pediatrics.

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Of the survey respondents who reported e-cigarette use within the last 30 days, 60.9% reported using flavored cigarettes. More than half (55.6%) of the middle- and high-school students who smoked e-cigarettes but not traditional cigarettes, and 68.4% of respondents who were both vapers and smokers, reported a preference for flavored vaping products.

November is American Diabetes Month

Observed every November, American Diabetes Month is an important element in the American Diabetes Association's efforts to focus our nation's attention on the disease and the tens of millions of people affected by it.

Our 2016 theme is This Is Diabetes. We'll showcase real-life stories of friends, families and neighbors managing the day-to-day triumphs and challenges of the disease. Join as we salute the 29 million Americans with diabetes — as well as their loved ones — to raise awareness and to create a sense of urgency about this growing public health crisis.

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The campaign invites people to submit their own stories to capture the authenticity of those who understand this disease best. Please use these materials to bring #ThisIsDiabetes to life in your organizations and communities.

Cigars, cigarettes and cigarillos: How each affects health

Obama lifts ban on cigars

Obama lifts ban on cigars.

Despite all the known health hazards of smoking – cancer and respiratory and heart disease high among them – cigars are making a quiet comeback. In recent years, the U.S. has seen a startling shift in tobacco product consumption. Even as cigarette smoking declined by 40 percent in the general population between 2000 and 2015, cigar consumption doubled, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

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What's more, a 2015 nationwide survey found nearly 1.3 million high school students and about 180,000 middle-school students said they had smoked a cigar within the past month. For African-American high school students, cigars were the most common tobacco product used.

Hispanic Kids More Open to Smoking, Study Finds

The appeal of smoking for children and teens may be tied at least in part to their race or ethnicity, a recent U.S. study suggests.

Plenty of previous research has found disparities in smoking habits, with white and Hispanic youth more likely to start smoking and develop a daily habit than black kids, said lead study author Sherine El-Toukhy of of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, part of the National Institutes of Health. Black children who start smoking by age 14, though, are more likely to carry the habit into adulthood.

"The current study looks at smoking susceptibility, which precedes smoking behavior," El-Toukhy said by email.

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The researchers looked at survey data collected from 1999 to 2014 from almost 144,000 non-smoking youth aged 9 to 21. Children who said they had tried even a single cigarette were excluded from the study.

All of the kids were asked how likely it was that they would try cigarettes soon, within the next year, or if a friend offered them one to smoke.

Research links secondhand smoke exposure during pregnancy to developmental delays in children, adolescents

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have long documented the health consequences of secondhand smoke. Now, a new study by FIU criminal justice professor Ryan Meldrum links prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke to lower levels of self-control in children and adolescents.

Low self-control is one of the strongest known causes of delinquent and criminal behavior in adolescents and adults and researchers have devoted considerable attention to identifying potential causes of low self-control.

“Most studies have focused on the social causes of low self-control, particularly parenting practices, but an emerging group of scholars has started to consider the early-in-life biological and neurological causes of low self-control,” Meldrum said.

In a study published recently in the Journal of Developmental and Life Course Criminology, Meldrum and co-author J.C. Barnes of the University of Cincinnati found a link between prenatal exposure to secondhand smoke and lower self-control during childhood and adolescence.

The more frequently a non-smoking mother reported being around smokers during her pregnancy, the lower the developmental trajectory of self-control was for her child between ages 4 and 15.

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The connection was found even when researchers accounted for other factors, such as maternal IQ, maternal self-control, maternal education and family income.

Their conclusions were drawn from data collected on a sample of 750 non-smoking mothers and their children who participated in the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, a 15-year study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Tobacco Prevention Participant Writes a Heartfelt, Personal Reflection

Often, our participants relate personal stories in their forums or assignments in the course.  In this case, we have a Miami-Dade educator that has shared his remarkable memory of a relative that died of cancer from his life-long addiction to smoking.  This story is one of many, but as told in his own words, makes us all realize just how delicate and fragile life is.  Reprinted with thanks by permission from the author, Dr. Juan Cespedes

The Un-American Lie:

Methods Through History Used to Distort Facts and Promote Tobacco Products Through Channels That Would Be Unacceptable Today

As an avowed free-marketer, the instincts of this writer as a young twenty-something was that all advertising, including cigarette advertising, should be left to the market forces of supply and demand. As Dr. Monica Barratt (2016) might ask, “What if you live on top of a bakery and you like cakes?” It follows that you should eat as much cake as you like and is available. That was until Uncle Jack died a prolonged and miserable death from throat cancer. Jack started smoking a young teen in Cuba, a habit that he continued when he came to the United States (see appendix “A”: The Cuban Tobacco Connection). He found American cigarettes milder than the Cuban brands he was accustomed to. It followed that they were somehow “

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better” or “not as bad” (Uncle Jack’s own words). Jack was unaware of the ingredients baked into the “cake” he was inhaling. Uncle Jack had been a smoker for most of his life, and although he had quit the addictive habit when he was in his early fifties, its effects came back to kill him by the time he was in his sixties. For the purposes of this paper, the writer will focus on the cigarette merchandizing during the decades of the 1930s to the 1960s.