Suggested Citation: Jung, B.C. (2016 - 2017). Betty C. Jung's 2017 Public Health Blog (January - June).
Web document: http://www.bettycjung.net/Blog2017.htm
Please note that this page is a work in progress. Finalized entries are dated and posted on the What's New Page, and at the end of each month are returned here for archiving. So, unless an entry has a date it can still undergo metamorphosis! Thanks for your understanding.
January xxx, 2017 - Social Media Represents One-Quarter of Adult Women’s Total Media Time
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Graphic source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/online/social-media-represents-one-quarter-of-adult-womens-total-media-time-73699/attachment/nielsen-social-share-us-adults-media-time-jan2017/
January xxx, 2017 - GOES-16 Earth Images (NASA)
January xxx, 2017 - Majority of US Adults Live in Cell-Only Households
Search rankings studies have indicated that the impact of relevant content continues to grow, and a new survey [download page] from Ascend2 and its Research Partners finds that marketers largely agree. Some 57% of the 256 marketing influencers surveyed around the world rated relevant content creation as being among their most effective SEO tactics, topping the proportion feeling that way about keyword/phrase research (49%).
These top-2 tactics in effectiveness are unchanged from last year’s survey, though the gap between them has narrowed somewhat.
As with last year’s iteration of the survey, relevant content creation continues to be perceived as the most difficult SEO tactic, followed by external and internal linking. The easiest tactic to execute is meta description/tags, though this is seen as being among the most effective methods by few respondents to the survey.
On an encouraging note, marketers seem to have confidence in the effectiveness of their SEO strategies. Roughly 8 in 10 describe themselves as either very successful (34%) or somewhat successful (47%), and a similar proportion say that effectiveness is either increasing significantly (42%) or marginally (40%).
Perhaps they feel good about their content creation skills?
About the Data: The Ascend2 data is based on a survey of 256 marketing influencers around the world, three-quarters of whom come from companies with at least 50 employees and 64% of whom are primarily B2B (45%) or B2B and B2C equally (19%).
More than 3 in 4 American adults engage in social media in some way, finds a report from The Harris Poll. The study indicates that of those engaged in social media, passive reacting or posts and content is the most common form of engagement, with far fewer mostly creating and posting original content. Still, users typically post about some areas more than others.
Most commonly, adults post about their families, with about 1 in 3 saying they typically do so. Next up is humorous content such as memes, quizzes, lists and videos, with 3 in 10 typically posting such content. That fits with previous research indicating that humor is a key motivator of social sharing behavior.
Meanwhile, adults are about as likely to post about pets (17%) as they are about kids, travel and food (each at 18%). Even in the run-up to the election, few (11%) profess to typically posting about politics, though.
Unsurprisingly, these responses differ markedly by age and other demographic variables, as highlighted below:
For youth (18-34), humorous content is most commonly shared (by 43%);
The 35-44 bracket shares content about family the most, while also being more likely than other age groups to share about kids;
Affluent Americans post about travel (26%) more commonly than other income groups; and
Parents with kids under 18 in the household are more engaged with social media than those without kids in the household, and are equally or more likely to post about all the topics measured.
Also as expected, the 18-34 age group is the most engaged with social media, as almost 9 in 10 engage in some way. This age group is also the most likely to be exposed to multiple ads on social media and to count those ads as an influence on their purchases, per MarketingCharts study data.
Finally, a separate survey of Facebook users from Fractl indicates that men and women are equally likely to share funny videos or articles and news content. Results from the survey indicate that Millennials are the least likely to share political content and the most likely to share memes, with the opposite patterns true for Boomers.
As for the buzz-worthy employee advocacy trend? Just 7% of respondents to the Harris Poll say they typically post about work, with this most common among 35-44-year-old females (15%).
At the age of 30, more than 7 in 10 young adults were married, had a child, were not enrolled in school, and lived on their own. That was in 1975. Fast forward 40 years, and just 32% fit that picture, per a new analysis released by the US Census Bureau.
Young adults (30-year-olds) are putting off marriage and kids at far greater rather than they did 40 years ago. Indeed, as of last year, 57% had ever married, down from 89% in 1975. Likewise, less than half (47%) were living with a child, down from about three-quarters (76%) in 1975.
As of last year, 7 in 10 young adults (30-year-olds) lived on their own, according to the analysis, down from 90% in 1975. That follows an earlier assessment from the Pew Research Center, which revealed that for the first time on record, 18-34-year-olds are more likely to be living with a parent than having any other living arrangement.
Financial concerns likely play a role. While 30-year-olds today are more likely to have at least a high school diploma (90% vs. 80%) and be in the labor force (81% vs. 71%), those advances haven’t translated into other socioeconomic aspects of life. Namely, only 55% have a moderate income (between 66% and 200% of the national median household income), a drop from 71% in 1975. And just 33% are homeowners, a steep decline from 56% some 40 years ago.
Financial instability has also changed the mindset of young parents, particularly as student debt has weighed heavily on the young population. Data contained in a recent MarketingCharts study on youth and financial services indicates that as of last year, 74% of parents aged 30-34 with children expected to attend college have started saving for that goal. In 2007, only 58% of parents of that age had started saving for their children’s college expenses. Part of that motivation seems to be an increased desire to not burden their children with student debt: 48% of young parents plan to pay for all college costs, triple the share (16%) from the earlier study period.
The findings are interesting in light of marketers’ strong focus on Millennials (of which there are many…). It’s worth keeping in mind that most of these youth are yet to “settle down,” at least in the traditional sense… As such, the attention paid to Millennials is likely more about capturing their loyalty (if that’s possible) rather than finding the highest-spending consumers.
Topics: Demographics & Audiences, Education, Real Estate, Traditional, Youth & Gen X
Source:How the Socioeconomic Characteristics of Young Adults Have Changed In the Past 40 Years http://www.marketingcharts.com/traditional/how-the-socioeconomic-characteristics-of-young-adults-have-changed-in-the-past-40-years-68788/
According to 1/3/2015's Sciencemag.org's "The simple math that explains why you may (or may not) get cancer":
"...most cancer cases are the result of biological bad luck.
Here’s how it works: Take the number of cells in an organ, identify what percentage of them are long-lived stem cells, and determine how many times the stem cells divide. With every division, there’s a risk of a cancer-causing mutation in a daughter cell.
Thus, Tomasetti and Vogelstein reasoned, the tissues that host the greatest number of stem cell divisions are those most vulnerable to cancer. When Tomasetti crunched the numbers and compared them with actual cancer statistics, he concluded that this theory explained two-thirds of all cancers.
Plotting the total number of stem cell divisions over a lifetime against the lifetime risk of cancer in 31 different organs revealed a correlation. As the number of divisions rose, so did risk.
Colon cancer, for example, is far more common than cancer of the duodenum, the first stretch of the small intestine. This is true even in those who carry a mutated gene that puts their entire intestine at risk. Tomasetti found that there are about 1012 stem cell divisions in the colon over a lifetime, compared with 1010 in the duodenum.
For Vogelstein, one major message is that cancer often cannot be prevented, and more resources should be funneled into catching it in its infancy. “These cancers are going to keep on coming,” he says.
Although the randomness of cancer might be frightening, those in the field see a positive side, too. The new framework stresses that “the average cancer patient … is just unlucky,” Clevers says. “It helps cancer patients to know” that the disease is not their fault."
"Today's retirees tell us in no uncertain terms that the number-one ingredient for a happy retirement is, by no small margin, having your health. Sure, other things are important, like being financially secure and having a loving family and friends, but a new study reveals that health trumps all as the key factor to having a happy and satisfying retirement." (Huffington Post's 9/15/14 article,"Study Reveals The #1 Key To A Happy Retirement"; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ken-dychtwald/retirement-planning_b_5800234.html)
According to "Health and Retirement: Planning for the Great Unknown": "Health is the most important ingredient for a happy retirement, according to 81% of retirees. Meanwhile, paying for health care costs is Americans' greatest financial concern."
Key insights from the study also include:
The double threat of health challenges to retirement financial security
Five critical health care conversations couples and families should be having—but often aren't
Important enhancements to our health care system needed to prepare for an aging population
Four unique "Boomer HealthStyles," defining different approaches boomers are taking to managing their health and preparation for health care expenses (http://www.wealthmanagement.ml.com/wm/Pages/Age-wave-Survey.aspx)
According to CDC's Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) (1999–2008) o students aged 13-15 years:
"Worldwide, 7% of girls surveyed smoke cigarettes and 8% use tobacco products other than cigarettes (such as pipes, waterpipes, smokeless tobacco, and bidis).
Cigarette use among girls is higher than 30% in 7 of the countries surveyed: Chile, Czech Republic, Latvia, Bulgaria, Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands.
In all regions, susceptibility to initiate smoking is higher than current smoking rates among girls. (i.e., although 7% of girls smoke, 19% of girls who never smoked reported they were susceptible to start smoking)."
(Lung cancer rates for women....)
A 2013 Gallup Poll found that 92% of successful ex-smokers did not use the nicotine patch, gum, Zyban, Chantix or Champix, that most quit smoking cold turkey.
"Most current smokers in the U.S. would like to give up smoking. Perhaps as a testimony to their desire to quit, 85% of smokers say they have in fact tried to quit at least once in their lifetime, including 45% who have tried at least three times.
The finding that smokers have tried on average 3.6 times to quit smoking over their lifetimes -- only to return to their habit -- is more understandable in light of the fact that 72% of smokers claim that they are "addicted" to cigarettes.
The quarter of Americans who have successfully quit smoking, when asked to name the strategies or methods they used to quit, are most likely to attribute their success to just deciding to quit "cold turkey." Smaller percentages of reformed smokers name willpower, support from family and friends and prayer, use of the nicotine patch, ceasing to be around people who smoke, using chewing gum or candy, and using an electronic cigarette.
Fewer former smokers say they quit because of the expense of smoking, because smoking was a bad or disgusting habit, or because of their family and friends.
Smokers on average are engaging in a habit they wish they didn't have, and, in fact, the average smoker has attempted to quit at least three times in their lifetime. The difficulty in quitting is attested to by the fact that more than seven in 10 smokers say they are addicted to cigarettes.
The majority of former smokers say their concern for their health was the main factor that caused them to quit smoking. This is an important finding, but given that 91% of smokers already admit that smoking is harmful to smokers' health and 79% admit that smoking is a cause of lung cancer, it is clear that the specter of bad health, disease, and death has not been enough in and of itself to get smokers to stop."
I love this graphic that shows how important collaboration is to addressing the tobacco problem. Tobacco is an environmental problem because of health effects associated with second-hand and third-hand exposures. Collaboration among government entities at various levels, along with coalition building among advocacy groups make for a more effective approach.
, 2014 - Third-hand smoke just as deadly as first-hand smoke
According to a University of California-Riverside report, "Third-hand smoke just as deadly as first-hand smoke":
"While first-hand smoke refers to the smoke inhaled by a smoker and second-hand smoke to the exhaled smoke and other substances emanating from the burning cigarette that can get inhaled by others, third-hand smoke is the second-hand smoke that gets left on the surfaces of objects, ages over time and becomes progressively more toxic.
Third-hand smoke is a potential health threat to children, spouses of smokers and workers in environments where smoking is, or has been, allowed. Contamination of the homes of smokers by third-hand smoke is high, both on surfaces and in dust, including children's bedrooms.
Re-emission of nicotine from contaminated indoor surfaces in these households can lead to nicotine exposure levels similar to that of smoking. Third-hand smoke, which contains strong carcinogens, has been found to persist in houses, apartments and hotel rooms after smokers move out.
(Mice studies have found:) In the liver, third-hand smoke was found to increase lipid levels and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a precursor to cirrhosis and cancer and a potential contributor to cardiovascular disease.
In the lungs, third-hand smoke was found to simulate excess collagen production and high levels of inflammatory cytokines (small proteins involved in cell signaling), suggesting propensity for fibrosis with implications for inflammation-induced diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.
In wounded skin, healing in mice exposed to third-hand smoke showed many characteristics of the kind of poor healing observed in human smokers who have gone through surgery."
Finally, in behavioral tests the mice exposed to third-hand smoke showed hyperactivity.
"More recently we have found that exposure to third-hand smoke results in changes that can lead to type II diabetes even when the person is not obese,"
Children in environments where smoking is, or has been allowed, are at significant risk for suffering from multiple short-term and longer health problems, many of which may not manifest fully until later in life."
Research has shown that children living with one or two adults who smoke in the home, where second- and third-hand smoke are abundant, are absent 40 percent more days from school due to illness than children who did not live with smokers."
According Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Norris Cotton Cancer Center's "Protect Children from Third Hand Smoke Exposure" Studies have shown that when just one cigarette was smoked in a bedroom with the door closed, it took two hours for particulates in the air to return to below the threshold for harm. Figure: Ott et al. 2003. J. Air & Waste Manage. Assoc.
"What happens when second hand smoke collects on our clothes, or in the car seats, furniture, carpets, and even the wallboard that surround us? The contamination that persists after second hand smoke has dissipated is called third hand smoke (THS).
Researchers have identified significant amounts of toxins from third hand smoke in homes and cars of smokers even months after no smoking has occurred. Residual pollutants remain on surfaces and in dust; they re-emit as nicotine gas or as ultrafine particles; and they can collect in textiles and other materials to create a reservoir that emits gas over time. These pollutants can also react with other compounds in the environment, like ozone, to create secondary pollutants.
Even when parents understand the dangers of second hand smoke in the home, many think it is safe to smoke in a car if children aren't in it.
But smoking in the car creates an especially intense environment for third hand smoke exposure. The nicotine can combine with nitrous acid from exhaust to create cancer-causing tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) that settle into the dust on the dashboard, seats, and carpets. And these TSNA's can be absorbed through the skin—when you open a glove compartment or dust off the dash with your hand."
Scientific assessments such as dose effect curves seek to evaluate the health risk associated to second-hand smoke exposure.
"The Surgeon General released a report in 2006 regarding the dangers of secondhand smoke (SHS). One of the claims in the report is:
There is NO risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure, with even brief exposure adversely affecting the cardiovascular and respiratory system.
We know that secondhand smoke harms people's health, but many people assume that exposure to secondhand smoke in small doses does not do any significant damage to one's health. However, science has proven that there is NO risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Let me say that again: there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
Breathing secondhand smoke for even a short time can damage cells and set the cancer process in motion. Brief exposure can have immediate harmful effects on blood and blood vessels, potentially increasing the risk of a heart attack. Secondhand smoke exposure can quickly irritate the lungs, or trigger an asthma attack. For some people, these rapid effects can be life-threatening. People who already have heart disease or respiratory conditions are at especially high risk."
"The harmful effects of smoking do not end with the smoker. An estimated 88 million nonsmoking Americans, including 54% of children aged 3–11 years, are exposed to secondhand smoke. Even brief exposure can be dangerous because nonsmokers inhale many of the same poisons in cigarette smoke as smokers.
Secondhand smoke exposure causes serious disease and death, including heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults and sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more frequent and severe asthma attacks in children. Each year, primarily because of exposure to secondhand smoke, an estimated 3,000 nonsmoking Americans die of lung cancer, more than 46,000 die of heart disease, and about 150,000–300,000 children younger than 18 months have lower respiratory tract infections."
According to New York State Senator Liz Krueger's Blog:
"The tobacco industry spends $1.2 million every day across New York City and State marketing their deadly product. The more tobacco marketing kids see, the more likely they are to smoke. In fact, 90 percent of smokers begin smoking before age 18. In Manhattan alone, 4,000 public high school students smoke cigarettes; one-third will die prematurely as a direct result of smoking if they continue."
"An estimated 21% of all adults (45 million people) smoke cigarettes in the United States.
Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke, is a complex mixture of gases and particles that include smoke from the burning cigarette, cigar, or pipe tip (sidestream smoke), and exhaled mainstream smoke.
Secondhand smoke contains at least 250 known toxic chemicals, including more than 50 that can cause cancer.2 Secondhand smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults and a number of health conditions, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and respiratory infections, in children.
More than 126 million nonsmoking Americans continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke in homes, vehicles, workplaces, and public places. Most exposure to tobacco smoke occurs in homes and workplaces. Almost 60% of U.S. children aged 3–11 years—or almost 22 million children—are exposed to secondhand smoke."
"Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. Each year, an estimated 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and another 8.6 million live with a serious illness caused by smoking. Despite these risks, approximately 46.6 million U.S. adults smoke cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco, cigars, and pipes also have deadly consequences, including lung, larynx, esophageal, and oral cancers.
Coupled with this enormous health toll is the significant economic burden of tobacco use—more than $96 billion a year in medical costs and another $97 billion a year from lost productivity."
According to: 6/2015's "A study of pyrazines in cigarettes and how additives might be used to enhance tobacco addiction"
Background Nicotine is known as the drug that is responsible for the addicted behaviour of tobacco users, but it has poor reinforcing effects when administered alone. Tobacco product design features enhance abuse liability by (A) optimising the dynamic delivery of nicotine to central nervous system receptors, and affecting smokers’ withdrawal symptoms, mood and behaviour; and (B) effecting conditioned learning, through sensory cues, including aroma, touch and visual stimulation, to create perceptions of pending nicotine reward. This study examines the use of additives called ‘pyrazines’, which may enhance abuse potential, their introduction in ‘lights’ and subsequently in the highly market successful Marlboro Lights (Gold) cigarettes and eventually many major brands.
Methods We conducted internal tobacco industry research using online databases in conjunction with published scientific literature research, based on an iterative feedback process.
Results Tobacco manufacturers developed the use of a range of compounds, including pyrazines, in order to enhance ‘light’ cigarette products’ acceptance and sales. Pyrazines with chemosensory and pharmacological effects were incorporated in the first ‘full-flavour, low-tar’ product achieving high market success. Such additives may enhance dependence by helping to optimise nicotine delivery and dosing and through cueing and learned behaviour.
Conclusions Cigarette additives and ingredients with chemosensory effects that promote addiction by acting synergistically with nicotine, increasing product appeal, easing smoking initiation, discouraging cessation or promoting relapse should be regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. Current models of tobacco abuse liability could be revised to include more explicit roles with regard to non-nicotine constituents that enhance abuse potential.
Graphic source: Adapted by BCJung, from http://www.treatobacco.net/en/page_79.php, Safety of Smoking Cessation Medications
, 2014 - Cardiovascular Toxicity of Nicotine
According to the 1997 "American College of Cardiology's Cardiovascular Toxicity of Nicotine: Implications for Nicotine Replacement Therapy 1"
"Cigarette smoking is well known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Nicotine affects cardiovascular function and could contribute to cardiovascular disease.
Nicotine binds to nicotinic cholinergic receptors, which are located in the brain, autonomic ganglia, the adrenals and neuromuscular junction. The main cardiovascular effect of nicotine is sympathetic neural stimulation. Sympathomimetic effects are mediated by several mechanisms. Central nervous system–mediated sympathetic stimulation can occur through activation of peripheral chemoreceptors, direct effects on the brain stem and effects on more caudal portions of the spinal cord. Intrapulmonary chemoreceptors may also contribute to brain-mediated sympathetic arousal. The site that appears to be most sensitive to low levels of nicotine is the carotid chemoreceptor. Peripheral mechanisms include catecholamine release from the adrenals and direct release or enhancement of release of catecholamines from vascular nerve endings.
Nicotine works primarily by enhancing the release of various neurotransmitters, including epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, acetylcholine, serotonin, vasopressin, glutamate, NO (60), calcitonin growth-related peptide (CGRP) (60) and beta-endorphin. Thus, in addition to catecholamine-mediated actions, some other of these effects, such as acetylcholine, serotonin, NO, CGRP or vasopressin release, may contribute to effects of nicotine on blood vessels."
Here is a graph that shows how different nicotine delivery methods affect the level of nicotine found in the blood. Though nicotine may be fast acting (it only takes 11 seconds for the nicotine to reach the brain), it's effects don't last long, which is why smokers end up smoking more and more over time.
, 2014 - Nicotine Dependence, By Age Group
Graphic source: Adapted by BCJung, from Tobacco and Health Effects Slides at http://www.treatobacco.net/en/page_111.php
Here is a bar graph that shows why it is so hard for long-term smokers to quit. Given that most smokers begin smoking in their teens, by the time they are in their 50s, 3/4s are addicted to the nicotine. An even worse statistic is by the time smokers are 26, 1/2 are already addicted to the nicotine! This is the reason why the sooner smokers stop, the better off they are.
, 2014 - The Relative Addictiveness of Nicotine
Relative Addictiveness of Nicotine
Graphic source: http://bigscaryideas.com/?p=160
Here is a bar chart that compares the relative addictiveness (0 to 100%) of a number of drugs. Those in blue are legal drugs, and those in red are illegal drugs. Somewhat scary to see that the two most addictive drugs are legal, of which nicotine is second only to oxycodone for addictiveness. This is a good reason to keep in mind when young children are lured into smoking without understanding what they are getting into. Before they realize it they are physically addicted to nicotine.
Ever think of nicotine as a drug? Well it is, and a very addictive psychoactive drug at that. In terms of addictiveness, nicotine is right up there with morphine. Even worse, nicotine is more addictive than cocaine, at a lower dose!
Starting October 1st (not soon enough), CVS stores will stop selling cigarettes. Well, it's a start. However, if you look at where cigarettes are usually bought and sold, gas stations may be the place to stem the sale of cigarettes, as they make up 48% of where people buy cigarettes.
While statistics show that the number of cigarettes sold is declining, the tobacco industry still stands to make $230 billion in 2013. That's a lot of cigarettes sold.
July 10, 2014 - People Smoke Where Cigarettes Are Cheap
Annual age-adjusted rate* of tobacco-related cancer† cases (2009–2013) and trends§ in rates (2004–2013), by state — National Program of Cancer Registries, and Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, United States
"The Department is proposing in this NPRM to explicitly ban the use of electronic cigarettes on aircraft as there has been some confusion over whether the Department's ban on smoking of tobacco products includes a ban on use of electronic cigarettes. We see no reason to treat electronic cigarettes any differently than traditional cigarettes. The purpose behind the statutory ban on smoking aboard aircraft and the regulatory ban in part 252 on smoking tobacco products was to improve air quality within the aircraft, reduce the risk of adverse health effects on passengers and crewmembers, and enhance aviation safety and passenger comfort. Electronic cigarettes are generally designed to look like and to be used in the same manner as conventional cigarettes. Although a vapor, rather than smoke, is produced, the products require an inhalation and exhalation similar to smoking cigarettes. We are unaware of sufficient studies on the health impact on third parties from these vapors to conclude that they would not negatively impact the air quality within the aircraft and/or increase the risk of adverse health effects on passengers and crewmembers.
Each e-cigarette consists of three parts: The replaceable cartridge, which most often contains liquid nicotine but may contain other chemicals, the atomizer or heating element, and the battery and electronics. See Sottera Inc. v. Food & Drug Administration, 627 F.3d 891, 893 (D.C. Cir 2010). Theatomizer or heating element vaporizes the liquid inside the cartridge, and the battery and electronics power the atomizer and monitor air flow. Id. When the user inhales, the electronics detect the air flow and activate the atomizer, the liquid nicotine is vaporized, and the user inhales the vapor. Id.
Some electronic cigarette companies have claimed that their products are safe because they reportedly do not contain carcinogens or tar or produce second-hand smoke, as there is no combustion in their use. According to these arguments, while the vapor looks and feels, and may taste, like smoke produced by burning traditional tobacco products, its chemistry differs from the smoke produced from burning conventional tobacco products. The principal liquid ingredient is propylene glycol, which is widely used as a moistening food additive and an aid to vaporization. However, some research, conducted on non-asthmatic people, has shown that exposure to propylene glycol mist from artificial smoke generators may cause acute ocular and upper airway irritation, and in a few cases people reacted with cough and slight airway obstruction. See G Wieslander, D Norbäck, and T Lindgren, “Experimental exposure to propylene glycol mist in aviation emergency training: Acute ocular and respiratory effects,”Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2001; 58:649-655. Further, in a recent New England Journal of Medicine article, “E-Cigarette or Drug-Delivery Device? Regulating Novel Nicotine Products,” it was noted that the safety of inhaling propylene glycol has not been studied in humans. 365;3: 193-95.
November , - Cigarette Smoking Status* Among Current Adult E-cigarette Users,† by Age Group — National Health Interview Survey,§ United States, 2015
* Adults were asked if they had smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and, if yes, whether they currently smoked cigarettes every day, some days, or not at all. Those who smoked every day or some days were classified as current cigarette smokers. Adults who had not smoked 100 cigarettes were classified as never cigarette smokers. Adults who had smoked 100 cigarettes but were not smoking at the time of interview were classified as former cigarette smokers. Percentages are shown with 95% confidence intervals.
† Current e-cigarette use was based on responses of“every day”or“some days”to the question,“Do you currently use electronic cigarettes every day, some days, or not at all?”asked of adults who had ever tried an e-cigarette, even one time.
§ Estimates are based on household interviews of a sample of the noninstitutionalized U.S. civilian population aged ≥18 years and are derived from the National Health Interview Survey sample adult component.
In 2015, 3.5% of U.S. adults were current e-cigarette users. Among adult e-cigarette users overall, 58.8% also were current cigarette smokers, 29.8% were former cigarette smokers, and 11.4% had never been cigarette smokers. Among current e-cigarette users aged ≥45 years, 98.7% were either current or former cigarette smokers, and 1.3% had never been cigarette smokers. In contrast, among current e-cigarette users aged 18–24 years, 40.0% had never been cigarette smokers.
Among adults who had never smoked cigarettes, the percentage who had ever tried an e-cigarette, even one time, was highest for those aged 18–24 (9.7%) and declined as age increased (Figure 5).
Among adults aged 45 and over who had never smoked cigarettes, 1% or less had ever tried an e-cigarette even once.
Current cigarette smokers who had tried to quit smoking in the past year were more likely than smokers who had not tried to quit to have ever tried an e-cigarette (Figure 4).
Current cigarette smokers who had tried to quit in the past year (20.3%) were almost twice as likely as cigarette smokers who had not tried to quit (11.8%) to currently use e-cigarettes.
Almost one-half of current cigarette smokers (47.6%) and more than one-half of recent former cigarette smokers (55.4%) had ever tried an e-cigarette, compared with 8.9% of long-term former smokers and 3.2% of adults who had never smoked cigarettes (Figure 3).
About one in six current cigarette smokers (15.9%) and nearly one in four recent former cigarette smokers (22.0%) currently used e-cigarettes, compared with 2.3% of long-term former cigarette smokers and 0.4% of adults who had never smoked cigarettes.
Current use of e-cigarettes was about the same for men and women (Figure 2).
Current e-cigarette use was higher among non-Hispanic AIAN adults (10.7%) and non-Hispanic white adults (4.6%) than among Hispanic (2.1%), non-Hispanic black (1.8%), and non-Hispanic Asian (1.5%) adults.
Men were more likely than women to have ever tried an e-cigarette (Figure 1).
More than 20% of adults aged 18–24 had ever tried an e-cigarette, with use declining steadily as age increased.
Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN) adults (20.2%) and non-Hispanic white adults (14.8%) were more likely than Hispanic (8.6%), non-Hispanic black (7.1 %), and non-Hispanic Asian (6.2%) adults to have ever tried an e-cigarette.
According to the April 4, 2014 MMWR Report, "Calls to Poison Centers for Exposures to Electronic Cigarettes — United States, September 2010–February 2014"
"E-cigarettes accounted for an increasing proportion of combined monthly e-cigarette and cigarette exposure calls, increasing from 0.3% in September 2010 to 41.7% in February 2014. A greater proportion of e-cigarette exposure calls came from health-care facilities than cigarette exposure calls (12.8% versus 5.9%) (p<0.001). Cigarette exposures were primarily among persons aged 0–5 years (94.9%), whereas e-cigarette exposures were mostly among persons aged 0–5 years (51.1%) and >20 years (42.0%). E-cigarette exposures were more likely to be reported as inhalations (16.8% versus 2.0%), eye exposures (8.5% versus 0.1%), and skin exposures (5.9% versus 0.1%), and less likely to be reported as ingestions (68.9% versus 97.8%) compared with cigarette exposures (p<0.001).
Calls about exposures to e-cigarettes, which were first marketed in the United States in 2007, now account for 41.7% of combined monthly e-cigarette and cigarette exposure calls to PCs. The proportion of calls from health-care facilities, age distribution, exposure routes, and report of adverse health effects differed significantly between the two types of cigarette."
According to 4/16/2015's "Use of E-Cigarettes Rises Sharply Among Teenagers,"
"High-School Tobacco Use
Among high school students, e-cigarette use is growing rapidly, while the use of more traditional forms of tobacco, like cigarettes and cigars, is declining.
Use of the devices among middle- and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014, according to federal data released on Thursday, bringing the share of high school students who use them to 13 percent — more than smoke traditional cigarettes. The sharp rise, together with a substantial increase in the use of hookah pipes, led to 400,000 additional young people using a tobacco product in 2014, the first increase in years, though researchers pointed out it fell within the margin of error. About a quarter of all high school students and 8 percent of middle school students — 4.6 million young people altogether — used tobacco in some form last year.
In interviews, teenagers said that e-cigarettes had become almost as common at school as laptops, a change from several years ago, when few had seen the gadgets. But opinions were mixed on why they had caught on. A significant share said they were using the devices to quit smoking cigarettes or marijuana, while others said they had never smoked but liked being part of the trend and enjoyed the taste — two favorite flavors were Sweet Tart and Unicorn Puke, which one student described as every flavor Skittle compressed into one.”
The rise of e-cigarettes, which was captured in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual youth tobacco survey of about 20,000 schoolchildren, prompted an outcry from anti-tobacco advocates. They warned that e-cigarettes were undoing years of progress among the country’s most vulnerable citizens by making the act of puffing on a tobacco product normal again, and by introducing nicotine, an addictive substance, to a broad population of teenagers.
“This is a really bad thing,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the C.D.C., who noted that research had found that nicotine harms the developing brain. “This is another generation being hooked by the tobacco industry. It makes me angry.”
But the change had a bright side.. The decline in cigarette use among teenagers accelerated substantially from 2013 to 2014, dropping by 25 percent, the fastest pace in years. The pattern seemed to go against the dire predictions of anti-tobacco advocates that e-cigarettes would become a gateway to cigarettes among youth, and suggested that the devices might actually be helping, not hurting. The pattern resembled those in Sweden and Norway, where a rise in the use of snus, a smokeless tobacco product, was followed by a sharp decline in cigarette use."
According to the April 4, 2014 MMWR Report, "Calls to Poison Centers for Exposures to Electronic Cigarettes — United States, September 2010–February 2014"
Electronic nicotine delivery devices such as electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine, flavorings (e.g., fruit, mint, and chocolate), and other chemicals via an inhaled aerosol. E-cigarettes that are marketed without a therapeutic claim by the product manufacturer are currently not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (1).* In many states, there are no restrictions on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Although e-cigarette use is increasing among U.S. adolescents and adults (2,3), its overall impact on public health remains unclear. One area of concern is the potential of e-cigarettes to cause acute nicotine toxicity (4)."
Given the rapid increase in e-cigarette-related exposures, of which 51.1% were among young children, developing strategies to monitor and prevent future poisonings is critical. Health-care providers; the public health community; e-cigarette manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and marketers; and the public should be aware that e-cigarettes have the potential to cause acute adverse health effects and represent an emerging public health concern.
Six factors measured by age 50 were excellent predictors of those who would be in the "happy-well" group--the top quartile of the Harvard men--at age 80: a stable marriage, a mature adaptive style, no smoking, little use of alcohol, regular exercise, and maintenance of normal weight. At age 50, 106 of the men had five or six of these factors going for them, and at 80, half of this group were among the happy-well. Only eight fell into the "sad-sick" category, the bottom quarter of life outcomes. In contrast, of 66 men who had only one to three factors at age 50, not a single one was rated happy-well at 80. In addition, men with three or fewer factors, though still in good physical health at 50, were three times as likely to be dead 30 years later as those with four or more.
To age well physically, the single most important choice was to avoid heavy smoking before age 50, or to quit at a young age. However, alcohol abuse, which Vaillant has also studied extensively (see "Deep Cravings," March-April 2000, page 60), is an especially pernicious influence that not only damages the body but, as he says, "takes you in precisely the opposite direction from maturity. Alcohol is a cause, rather than a result, of life's problems. Very few bad marriages [in the study] led to alcoholism, but in many cases a man developed an alcohol problem and had his marriage fall apart." The data on "social supports"--the quality and strength of relationships, including marriage, family, friends, and community involvements--indicated that "...the etiology of social supports and physical health are often quite different," Vaillant writes. "Only alcohol abuse destroys both health and happiness."
"National Women's Health Week is an observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health. The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority. National Women's Health Week also serves as a time to help women understand what it means to be well.
What does it mean to be a well woman?
It's a state of mind. It's being as healthy as you can be. And, most importantly, it's about taking steps to improve your physical and mental health:
Visit a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings.
Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, texting while driving, and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet."
Happy Mother's Day to all women who believe in the power of nurturing! On this day, take a moment to reflect on how important it is to take care of ourselves so we can continue to nurture those we love!
May 13, 2017 - May 14 - 20, 2017 is National Prevention Week
Graphic source: SAMHSA
May 12, 2017 - Global Female Alcohol Prevalence, 2004
While on the topic of women taking care of themselves, here is a "Pregnancy and Vaccination Pocket Guide" developed by the Minnesota Department of Health. It's always best to keep up with vaccines and get them at the appropriate time. However, exposure to potential pathogens may warrant getting some vaccines while pregnant. Important to keep in mind that some may be contraindicated. Check with your health care provider.
It is hard to believe that it has been 16 years since I published the first webpages that turned into this Web site. Many thanks to the thousands of visitors who contributed millions of hits during the past 15 years, and for all the nice comments along the way. I will continue to strive to make this Web site a worthwhile place to spend your time and find credible public health and health information. Thank you so much!
October 17, 2014 - October is Health Literacy Month
For Health Literacy Month, the Healthliteracymonth.org is accepting stories from any person who or organization that addresses health literacy in their work. There is a listing of those who have submitted their stories.