Study shows role of depression in the ongoing tobacco epidemic

The prevalence of smoking has remained fairly stable over the past decade after declining sharply for many years. To determine whether an increase in certain barriers to successful cessation and sustained abstinence may be contributing to this slowed decline, researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health analyzed changes in the prevalence of depression among current, former and never smokers in the U.S. The team found that depression appeared to have significantly increased in the U.S. from 2005 to 2013 among smokers, as well as among former and never smokers. While the prevalence of depression is consistently highest among smokers, the rate of increase in depression was most prominent among former and never smokers. The full study findings are published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The research team, led by Renee Goodwin, PhD, in the Department of Epidemiology, analyzed data from the National Household Survey on Drug Use, an annual cross-sectional study of approximately 497, 000 Americans, ages 12 and over. The prevalence of past 12-month depression was examined annually among current (past 12-month), former (not past 12-month), and lifetime non-smokers from 2005 to 2013. The researchers further analyzed the data by age, gender, and household income.

Full story of depressions role in the tobacco epidemic at Science Daily

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Judge Rules Tobacco Label Change Does Not Create New Product

If a tobacco company changes a label for a product, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cannot consider it a new product for regulatory purposes, a federal judge ruled this week.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said changing the quantity of a product in packaging does make it a new tobacco product, and requires FDA approval, according to the Winton-Salem Journal.

The three biggest tobacco manufacturers, Altria, Lorillard and Reynolds-American, sued the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services in 2015 over new packaging rules.

Full story of tobacco label change at drugfree.org

FDA Will Extend Oversight to All Tobacco Products Including E-Cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday announced it is extending its oversight to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, Reuters reports. The agency will ban sales of e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah tobacco to people under age 18.

Companies will be required to submit all tobacco products to the FDA for regulatory review. They will have to provide the agency with a list of product ingredients and place health warnings on their product packages and in ads.

The move allows the agency “to improve public health and protect future generations from the dangers of tobacco use through a variety of steps, including restricting the sale of these tobacco products to minors nationwide,” the FDA said in a statement.

Full story of FDA extending oversight on tobacco and e-cigarettes at drugfree.org

Groups Call for Rule on Regulation of Tobacco Products, Including E-Cigarettes

Thirty health groups are urging President Obama to issue a final rule that would let the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes,The Hill reports.

The rule was first proposed almost two years ago. Groups including the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics wrote a letter to the president, saying they have seen an irresponsible marketing of e-cigarettes and cigars geared toward youth. As a result, e-cigarette use tripled between 2013 and 2014 among high school students, from 4.5 percent to 13.4 percent. E-cigarette use rose from 1.1 percent to 3.9 percent among middle school students.

“When you signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act into law in 2009, FDA finally was given the tools to significantly reduce the 480,000 deaths caused by tobacco products each year and the $170 billion in healthcare costs attributable to treating tobacco-caused disease,” they wrote. “Yet it is now seven years since the statute was enacted and your administration has yet to assert its regulatory authority over all tobacco products.”

Full story of regulation on tobacco products at drugfree.org