Public Health

If you want to stop Zika, start promoting GMOs

The Zika virus is scary. Zika infections during pregnancy have been linked to birth defects, including microcephaly. Because it is spread via mosquitoes, it can be difficult to …

Will the CDC let us drink in peace this Fourth of July?

As Independence Day approaches Monday, one wonders if the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will follow its recent pattern and release some scary anti-alcohol …

Finally, U.S. official admits that smoking deaths are declining

Dr. Phil Cole and I asserted in 2008 that smoking-related deaths in the United States were on the decline. Finally, this month, a Food and Drug Administration official …

Overweight and low mortality

Last week, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a meta-analysis documenting that being "overweight was associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality.” The study was authored by …

High school seniors’ tobacco use pales in comparison to alcohol

Smoking by teens has declined to record-low levels, according to the latest University of Michigan annual Monitoring the Future Study, which examines youth tobacco, alcohol and drug use …

FDA inaction strengthens cigarette market supremacy

Two weeks ago, Michael Felberbaum of the Associated Press published an interesting story, "FDA review of tobacco products grinds to a halt," about how the Food and Drug …

The e-cigarette revolution

Richard Craver, a writer for the Winston-Salem Journal, recently described the growing popularity of e-cigarettes.  Bonnie Herzog, a Wells Fargo security analyst who has followed the tobacco industry …

Snus is the leading smoking cessation aid for Swedish men and women

A Swedish population-based survey documents that "snus continues to be the most frequently reported cessation aid among male smokers” and “[u]se of snus at the latest quit attempt …

Big Tobacco advertising and promotion do not drive consumption

One of the longstanding fallacies promoted by the anti-tobacco movement is that tobacco use is solely driven by advertising and marketing by large multinational companies, also known as …

Secondhand smoke and mirrors

As I discussed over a year ago, claims that smoking bans result in enormous declines in hospitalizations for heart attacks (acute myocardial infarction, AMI) are largely based on …

Jane Brody and the New York Times: Counting smokers badly

Jane Brody falsely reported in her Nov. 12 New York Times “Personal Health” column that, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the smoking …

Tobacco trick or treat by Florida’s surgeon general

On Halloween, Dr. John Armstrong, Florida surgeon general and secretary of health, launched an attack on flavored tobacco, ostensibly to protect children (I expressed concern three years ago …

Nicotine levels in American smokeless tobacco products

Nicotine levels in smokeless tobacco products available in the U.S. in 2006 and 2007 were analyzed by scientists at RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co.  I previously discussed other analyses …

E-cigarettes prove effective for smoking cessation

The scientific foundation for tobacco harm reduction is well established.  My comprehensive reviews of the evidence in 2006 and 2011 were based on 279 articles published primarily in …

Low trace metal levels in American smokeless tobacco products mean no significant health risk

I previously discussed a comprehensive chemical analysis of smokeless tobacco products conducted by M.F. Borgerding and colleagues at RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. and published in Regulatory Toxicology and …

Louisville professor: Smoke-free option is one Oklahoma should consider to reduce tobacco harm

A quit-smoking strategy with “the potential to save millions of lives” will be the subject of an Oklahoma legislative hearing Wednesday. At issue will be tobacco harm reduction, …

Dual use and smoking suppression

Norway has proven that the Swedish tobacco experience can be duplicated in other countries where smokeless tobacco is used (discussed earlier here and here).  Karl Erik Lund, from …

An absorbing nicotine lesson

Nicotine uptake from snus, cigarettes and medicinal gum varies significantly, new research shows.   Helena Digard of British American Tobacco is lead author on the work, joined by colleagues from …

Snus prohibition in the EU

Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports that the European Commission’s health directorate has proposed a ban on the export of Swedish snus. Sweden’s government has been quietly urging the European …

What a difference the truth makes: Researchers say government needs to get smokers facts about smokeless tobacco

A new study reveals that telling smokers the truth about smokeless tobacco corrects their misperceptions and increases the likelihood of their trying smokeless products to quit smoking.   Lead author …

Pipe smoking and health

Health risks associated with cigar smoking are lower than those for cigarette smoking, reflecting a lower exposure to smoke toxicants (see my earlier post here).  The same holds …

E-cigarette awareness and use

American Legacy Foundation staff, led by Dr. Jennifer Pearson, reported two surveys gauging awareness, use and perceptions of e-cigarettes.  The research was published in the American Journal of …

Federal warnings undermine smokeless tobacco harm reduction messages

I recently discussed research showing that warnings on smokeless tobacco (ST or SLT) products discourage smokers from switching, while messages describing risk differentials between ST products and cigarettes …

The surprising economic effects of smoking and quitting

Anti-tobacco forces often argue that smokers are a burden on the American economy.  When Congress debated FDA tobacco regulation in 2009, the White House advised that tobacco use …

The health risks of cigar smoking

Cigarette smoking risks are well known, but cigars are also combustible tobacco products.  Do cigars present the same health risks as cigarettes?   Researchers from the Kaiser Medical Care Program, …

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