Surgeon general issues new tobacco warnings

Cancer
Congrats to the new Surgeon General, for taking an even stronger stand on tobacco in her recent report, "How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease.: The Los Angeles Times and Orlando Sentinel write that the report has found that "ANY exposure" to tobacco smoke can cause immediate damage to the human body. "There is NO safe level of exposure to cigarette smoke," Surgeon General Regina Benjamin said. "Inhaling even the SMALLEST amount of tobacco smoke can also damage your DNA, which can lead to cancer." The report also finds almost NO difference between being a light smoker and a heavy smoker. "That's because of the inflammatory processes occur at very, very low doses," said cardiologist Dr. Stanton Glantz. The AP notes that the report "is the 30th issued by the nation's surgeons general…
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Should smokers get a screening CT scan?

Cancer
With the news that CT scans — or computerized tomography — can prevent lung cancer deaths, smokers and ex-smokers may wonder whether they should ask for a screening. USA TODAY did a nice job in asking experts for their advice: Q: How could a lung cancer screening help save lives? A: Like a mammogram, CT scans can find tumors when they're small and potentially curable, says the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which funded the $250 million study. Today, most lung cancers aren't found until people develop symptoms, such as a coughing or shortness of breath. At that point, the cancers are usually incurable. Q: Should everyone get a lung cancer screening? A: No. There is a risk of harm associated with the scans, so a patient's benefits must outweigh the…
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Heavy smoking more than doubles the odds of developing Alzheimer’s

Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
USA Today reports that, according to a study published by the Archives of Internal Medicine, "heavy smoking in midlife more than doubles your odds of developing Alzheimer's disease." For the study, researchers from Kaiser Permanente "evaluated the records of 21,123 men and women in midlife and continued following them, on average, for 23 years." They found that, "compared with non-smokers, those who had smoked two packs of cigarettes a day increased their risk of developing Alzheimer's by more than 157% and had a 172% higher risk of developing vascular dementia -- the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's." The Wall Street Journal reports that smokers who did not smoke so heavily still faced an increased risk for dementia. For example, even smokers who smoked just half a pack…
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Indulging in four unhealthy behaviors ages the average individual by 12 years

Heart Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
It is generally understood that being inactive, eating poorly, smoking, and drinking too much are bad – very bad – for your health. Now, a newly published study assesses and quantifies those behaviors. In short, "combine all of the above and you'll end up seeming 12 years older than people your age who do none of the above." That assertion is based on a study in which investigators "tracked nearly 5,000 British adults for 20 years," the AP reports. "Overall, 314 people studied had all four unhealthy behaviors." That is, they smoked tobacco, had "more than three alcoholic drinks per day for men and more than two daily for women," attained "less than two hours of physical activity per week; and" ate "fruits and vegetables fewer than three times daily."…
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Obesity Outweighs Smoking as Life Expectancy Threat

General Health, Medical Economics, Nutritional Health, Obesity
When I wrote my book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I predicted that if the obesity epidemic was not stemmed, that this generation of U.S. children would be the first in history to have a shorter life expectancy than their parent. Now, new population-level predictions show the importance of tackling obesity for the nation's health. In other words, the gains we are making in improved life expectancy from lower smoking rates, especially over the next decade, will be offset by a great degree by reductions in life expectancy based on the rise in obesity. This report, from MedPage, tells us that if obesity and smoking rates had held steady, the average 18-year-old would have seen a 2.98-year increase in life expectancy over a 15-year period. At…
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Nicotine patches and gum likely safe during pregnancy

Woman's Health
Nicotine patches and gum seem to be safe and effective in pregnant women, according to a new study. Such patches and gum have been shown to help non-pregnant adults stop smoking, study co-author Dr. Geeta K. Swamy told Reuters Health. However, women and their physicians have been uncertain about their safety and effectiveness during pregnancy. Reuters Health reports Dr. Swamy, from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues took another look at data on pregnant smokers who had participated in a study comparing psychological treatments with nicotine patches or gum to help them quit. Adding nicotine patches or gum tripled the number of women who quit, from 8 percent to 24 percent. However, almost a third, 31%, of the women who used the patch or gum had…
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Nicotine Patch Plus Lozenge Best Therapy for Smoking Cessation

Cancer, Heart Health, Men's Health, Woman's Health
MedScape is reporting "An important head-to-head study of smoking cessation therapies shows that combination treatment with a nicotine patch plus lozenge almost doubles the rate of abstinence at 6 months compared with placebo, new research suggests." "This is the first time that a head-to-head study has been done looking at all the different smoking cessation pharmacotherapies, and it's also one of the first times that combination therapies have been looked at in a large sample," said lead author Megan E. Piper, PhD, assistant professor, Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison. "When you get a 40% quit rate at 6 months in a group, that's really promising for smokers who are trying so hard to quit." The study was published in…
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Four lifestyle choices reduce risk of chronic disease 80 percent

Cancer, General Health, Heart Health, Medical Economics, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Woman's Health
What an interesting new study. It concludes that to dramatically reduce your healthcare costs, to lengthen your life, to improve the quality of your life, and, in short, to have a happier and more highly healthy life, you need to “only” do four things. More Information: (more…)
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Obesity associated with large losses in expected lifespan: Study indicates. What can you do for your family?

Cancer, Children's Health, General Health, Heart Health, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting, Woman's Health
  USA Today reports, "Weighing too much may take as much as a decade off your life, according a new analysis of studies that involved 900,000 people." What are the details? And, what can you do to protect your family and your children? More Information: (more…)
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