Harm Reduction

Courtesy Richard Levine/Corbis Courtesy Richard Levine/Corbis

You might not picture Rolling Stone when you think of evidence-based health stories - they gave space to anti-vaccine crank Robert Kennedy Jr. after all - but they have published an informative discussion of the ongoing debate about the pros and cons of e-cigarettes and vapor products.

In a lengthy article, author David Amsden discusses the burgeoning "...

Courtesy: Janet Loehrke, USA Today Courtesy: Janet Loehrke, USA Today

A new report, Monitoring The Future, is the latest update of this annual survey, done by researchers affiliated with the University of Michigan and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

The survey asks teens in the eighth, 10th, and 12th grades about their use of alcohol, cigarettes, and legal and illegal drugs.

This latest data...

A new study finds that people with a particular version of a gene involved in the brain s reward system are more likely to succeed in quitting smoking. Compared with people who have other versions of this gene, those with the lucky DNA were also more likely to abstain from cigarettes. The study in Translational Psychiatry was a meta-analysis (a review of other studies) and supports a role for heredity, i.e., genotype, in the likelihood that someone will become a smoker and how difficult it will be, once starting to smoke, to eventually quit. The primary objective was to determine whether the variant DRD2/ANKK1 gene Taq1A has any effect on smoking cessation. ANKK1 happens to be next...

stop smokingJessica L. Muilenburg, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, in Athens GA, investigated how well adolescent and youth counselors were doing at helping teens and young adults deal with addiction to tobacco. Her results were cause for serious concern.

Rather than treating youth smoking the same way counselors would alcoholism or drug addiction, it was more like the equivalent of preaching abstinence instead of making protected sex possible...

NHIS 2014 SmokingA nationally representative survey over 36,000 adults in 2014 showed that one-eighth of all Americans had tried an e-cigarette (a nicotine vapor created from heated liquid rather than tobacco) at least once in their lifetime.

Nearly 48 percent of current smokers and 55.4 percent of recent former smokers had tried an e-cigarette, while 8.9 percent of long-term former smokers and 3.2 percent of adults who claim to have never smoked cigarettes had...

America is all about freedom but individual freedom has its limits, especially when it impacts society in general. And the health consequences of smoking have a huge impact on society. Since smoking skews more heavily toward poor people, that means the burden in an Obamacare world will be shouldered by taxpayers, the vast majority of whom do not smoke.

For that reason, it makes sense to wonder if raising the minimum age to buy cigarettes make sense. The American Academy of Pediatrics is...

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.06.58 PMIn a new study, Dr. Abigail S. Friedman from the Department of Health Policy and Management, Yale School of Public Health, has concluded that bans of electronic cigarettes to minors results in a higher rate of smoking deadly cigarettes.

Dr. Friedman subjected data on smoking rates as related to e-cigarette access to various statistical tests...

Credit: Science 2.0

The American Council is near to completing its peer-reviewed findings on concussions in athletes young and old and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is also issuing new recommendations to improve the safety of all players while on the field.

The reason is simple. There are over a million high school football players alone and around 250,000 youth football players. Many of them aspire to a career in sports and that means a lifetime of hits.

The Council is concerned about professional players and...

Most people are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, but do not realize that driving while drowsy can be just as fatal.

Similar to alcohol, sleep deprivation slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgement and increases the risk of crashing. A recent study presented at the 2015 Australasian Road Safety Conference stated that drivers under the age of 30 are more likely to get behind the wheel while drowsy, as compared to those that are drunk.

Being...

The town of Lemon Grove, California, has banned e-cigarettes in bars and restaurants and in public areas like parks, effective October 1st. If that seems a lot like cigarette rules, that is what they intended.

Critics argue conflating the two makes no sense. They both contain nicotine, but so do gums and patches. None of them contain tobacco smoke, which does have hundreds of dangerous chemicals and has been shown to be a risk factor for numerous diseases for over 50 years.

If the rationale is smoke, banning e-cigarettes is not evidence-based but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has instead argued both that they...