E-cigarettes popular among smokers with existing illnesses

Current and former smokers suffering from illnesses like chronic lung or cardiovascular disease are more likely to use e-cigarettes, reports the American Journal of Preventive Medicine

In the U.S. more than 16 million people with smoking-related illnesses continue to use cigarettes. According to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, current and former smokers who suffer from disease are more likely to have reported using an e-cigarette, meaning these patients may see e-cigarettes as safer or less harmful than combustible cigarettes and a way to reduce the risks posed by traditional smoking.

Use of electronic cigarettes has significantly increased in recent years. In 2010, only 2% of American adults had ever used an e-cigarette, but by 2014, that number had jumped to 12.6%. While most people see e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to traditional combustible smoking, many questions remain unanswered about their effects.

Full story of e-cigarettes and smokers with existing illnesses at Science Daily

Growing number of teens think getting heroin is ‘probably impossible’

Despite reports about the increase in heroin use, more teens believed it was “probably impossible” to get heroin in 2014 than in 2002, according to a Saint Louis University study.

“Overall it’s cautious good news,” said Michael Vaughn, Ph.D., professor of social work at Saint Louis University and the lead author of the paper. “It’s a nuanced picture. The use of heroin is still a problem, but what you see in the news is generally more applicable to adults and doesn’t apply uniformly across all populations. ”

Vaughn examined the records of more than 230,450 adolescents between ages 12 and 17, which were collected by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to estimate substance use and related behaviors. He found that in 2014, nearly 50 percent of the adolescents thought it was “probably impossible” to acquire heroin, compared to about 39 percent in 2002.

Full story of teens think getting heroin impossible at Science Daily

‘Hair of the dog’ won’t cure that hangover

In medieval Europe, when astrology and blood-letting were frequently employed in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, one therapy for rabies was to place some pieces of hair from the rabid dog onto the victim’s bite wound.

It didn’t work.

But it did give rise to the notion that “the hair of the dog that bit you” — a drink — can cure a hangover. This concept is rather ancient, too, having first appeared in print in 1546.

It doesn’t work, either.

“There’s no scientific evidence that having an alcoholic drink will cure a hangover,” said Laura Veach, Ph.D., director of screening and counseling intervention services and training in the Department of Surgery at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “It will, at best, postpone one.”

Full story of ‘hair of the dog’ and hangovers at Science Daily

One in four teen e-cigarette users have tried ‘dripping’

Yale researchers found in a study that one in four high schoolers who use electronic cigarettes are inhaling vapors produced by dripping e-liquids directly onto heating coils, instead of inhaling from the e-cigarette mouthpiece, possibly increasing exposure to toxins and nicotine.

This form of e-cigarette use, known as “dripping,” is gaining in popularity among youth, who report it produces thicker clouds of vapor, a stronger hit in the back of the throat when inhaled, and a more pleasurable taste, according to the study, published online Feb. 6 in the journal Pediatrics.

Applying the liquid directly to the battery-powered coil heats it at a higher temperature than inhaling from a cartridge or tank, possibly increasing exposure to harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein in the vapors, according to other existing research.

Full story of teen e-cigarettes and dripping at Science Daily

Do children inherit drug protection from parents exposed to nicotine or drugs?

A father’s nicotine use may have a significant impact on children’s risk of some diseases. In a study published in the online biomedical sciences journal eLife, Oliver J. Rando, MD, PhD, and colleagues at UMass Medical School, demonstrate that mice born of fathers who are habitually exposed to nicotine inherit enhanced chemical tolerance and drug clearance abilities. These findings offer a powerful framework for exploring how information about a father’s environmental exposure history is passed down to offspring.

“Children born of fathers who have been exposed to nicotine are programmed to be not only more resistant to nicotine toxicity, but to other chemicals as well,” said Dr. Rando, professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology. “If a similar phenomenon occurs in humans, this raises many important questions. For example, if your father smoked does that mean chemotherapy might be less effective for you? Are you more or less likely to smoke? It’s important to understand what information is specifically being passed down from father to offspring and how that impacts us.”

Full story on children inheriting drug protection from parents at Science Daily