‘Emerging’ tobacco products gaining traction among young, CDC survey finds

The percentage of middle-school and high-school students using so-called emerging tobacco products is increasing even as their rate of tobacco use in general is remaining relatively constant, federal scientists reported Thursday.

Last year, 6.7% of middle-school students and 23.3% of high-school students said in a survey reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that they had used a tobacco product at least once in the previous 30 days.

Last year’s overall rate of tobacco use differs little from what it was in 2011, when 7.5% of middle school students and 24.3% of high school students said they had used a tobacco product.

One in seven (14.0%) said last year that they smoked cigarettes, down from 15.8% in 2011.

But the surveys found a bigger change when they asked about hookahs, snus, dissolvable tobacco and e-cigarettes.

E-cigarette use nearly doubled between 2011 and 2012 for middle-school students, from 0.6% to 1.1%, and the use of hookahs by Latinos rose from 1.7% to 3.0%.

Full story of teens using tobacco products at CNN Health

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

California Legislators Debate Whether to Include E-cigarettes in Smoking Bans

California lawmakers are debating whether to include e-cigarettes in bans on smoking in public places, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The state has outlawed cigarette smoking in most public places. The California Senate recently approved a bill that would ban e-cigarettes from every place smoking is already banned. The state Assembly has not yet taken up the measure.

E-cigarettes are designed to deliver nicotine in the form of a vapor, which is inhaled by the user. They usually have a rechargeable, battery-operated heating element, a replaceable cartridge with nicotine or other chemicals and a device called an atomizer that converts the contents of the cartridge into a vapor when heated. E-cigarettes often are made to look like regular cigarettes.

People who use e-cigarettes object to prohibitions on the devices in public spaces, arguing they don’t emit smoke. They inhale and exhale vapor that contains flavored liquid nicotine. Proponents of the ban on using e-cigarettes in public say the effects of the devices and their vapor are still untested and unknown.

Full story of e-cigarette smoking ban at DrugFree.org

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Addiction to Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco Most Common Mental Health Problem in Teens

Addiction to drugs, alcohol and tobacco are the most common mental health problems in teenagers, a new government report concludes. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed problem overall in youth ages 3 to 17, NBC News reports.

The findings, from a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found almost 7 percent of children under 18 are diagnosed with ADHD, while 3.5 percent have behavioral problems and 1.1 percent have autism.

An estimated one million teenagers abuse drugs or alcohol, and more than 695,000 are addicted to tobacco, the CDC found. The agency found during 2010-2011, a total of 4.2 percent of teens were dependent on or abused alcohol in the past year. An estimated 4.7 percent of teens had an illicit drug use disorder in the past year.

Full story of teen addictions at DrugFree.org

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Teens who text and drive more likely to take other risks

High school students who acknowledge texting while driving are more likely to engage in other risky behaviors, such as riding with a driver who has been drinking alcohol; not wearing a seat belt; or drinking and driving themselves, according to a new study.

“This suggests there is a subgroup of students who may place themselves, their passengers and others on the road at elevated risk for a crash-related injury or fatality by engaging in multiple risky MV (motor vehicle) behaviors,” wrote the authors of the study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

The study

Researchers analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2011 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which asked high school students whether they had texted while driving in the 30 days previous. Nearly half of the 8,505 students aged 16 or older who answered that question reported doing so. The survey also queried participants on behaviors such as wearing a seat belt or riding in a car with a driver who had been drinking.

Full story of teens taking risks at CNN Health

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Teenage Smoking Behavior Influenced by Friends’ and Parents’ Smoking Habits

The company you keep in junior high school may have more influence on your smoking behavior than your high school friends, according to newly published research from the University of Southern California (USC).

The study, which appears in the April 12 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, identifies how friends’ and parental influence on cigarette smoking changes from junior high to high school.

The research indicates that intervention targets to counteract friends’ influence may have more of an effect in junior high than in high school, and that parents remain influential on smoking behavior through high school, indicating another possible intervention target, the researchers said.

“Based on social developmental model research, we thought friends would have more influence on cigarette use during high school than junior high school,” said first author Yue Liao, M.P.H., Ph.D., a student in the department of preventive medicine’s Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research (IPR) at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “But what we found was friends have greater influence during junior high school than high school. We think the reason may be that friends’ cigarette use behavior may have a stronger influence on youth who start smoking at a younger age. During high school, cigarette use might represent the maintenance of behavior rather than a result of peer influence.”

Full story of smoking influences at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education