Smokers in clinical studies who say they’ve quit often haven’t

A new US study published by the scientific journal Addiction has found that a high proportion of smokers enrolled in stop-smoking programs during a hospital stay report having quit when in fact they have not. The findings mean that in these kinds of study it is vital to check claims of having quit using an objective measure.

This nationwide study followed five large smoking cessation clinical trials in the US that enrolled smokers at hospitalization. At 6-month follow-up, 822 participants (out of 4,206 who completed the follow-up survey) reported they had not smoked in the past 7 days and provided a usable saliva sample for verification by testing for a chemical called ‘cotinine’. The liver converts nicotine in the body to cotinine and so this chemical is a very accurate measure of whether someone has smoked in the past few days. More than 40% of those 822 self-reported quitters failed the saliva test.

Full story 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

Commentary: Why Does One of the Hottest Teen Video Games Feature a Character Who Smokes?

Summer’s here and school is out, giving young people everywhere newfound freedom for their favorite pastimes. At the top of the list for many youth? Video games.

What these young people see when playing their favorite video games might surprise you: characters smoking tobacco.

Enter Overwatch, a multi-player game from Blizzard Entertainment that is being called “one of the hottest video game releases of the summer[1]” and in less than a month hit 10 million players[2]. While the game is being lauded in reviews for its refreshing approach and a diverse cast of heroes, tobacco use is front and center in the form of a lit cigar in the mouth of one of those heroes: bounty hunter and outlaw Jesse McCree. With a rating that says play is suitable for teenagers, the game’s tobacco-use imagery sends an influential and potentially harmful message to the young people who play the game.

Full story of teen video games and characters who smoke at

NIDA Will Award Money to Researchers Who Build Apps for Addiction Research

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will award $100,000 to researchers who develop apps for addiction research, according to Fortune. The apps must be built using Apple’s medical research framework.

NIDA’s challenge, called “Addiction Research: There’s an App for that,” is requiring that app developers use Apple’s ResearchKit, an open-source software kit designed for biomedical and health research that is accessed through an iPhone. In a news release, NIDA says the goal of the challenge is to “create an app to be used by addiction researchers in future studies which will help to improve the scientific understanding of drug use and addiction.”

NIDA hopes the challenge will create apps that help advance scientific research in areas of nicotine, opioids, cannabinoids (including marijuana), methamphetamines and prescription drug use, the article notes.

Full story of researchers who build apps for addiction research at

Kids’ Teeth Affected by Secondhand Smoke

In a study published in The BMJ today, researchers found that exposure to secondhand smoke as an infant as young as 4 months is associated with increased risk of tooth decay at age 3, according to Medical News Today.

Preventing tooth decay in young children tends to focus on restricting sugar, supplementing with oral fluoride and fluoride varnish. However, studies suggest that secondhand smoke plays a part in the development of cavities, which can result from a number of factors that include physical, biological, and environmental and lifestyle.

A big part of oral health is the acquisition of Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), that produce acids from the sugar one consumes, dissolving the hard enamel coating on teeth. The age of highest risk for these bacteria is at 19-31 months.

Full story of kids teeth health and secondhand smoke at