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Concept: Tobacco


US tobacco control policies to reduce cigarette use have been effective, but their impact has been relatively slow. This study considers a strategy of switching cigarette smokers to e-cigarette use (‘vaping’) in the USA to accelerate tobacco control progress.

Concepts: Smoking, Tobacco, Cigarette, Nicotine, Cigar, Electronic cigarette, World Health Organization, Cigarettes


Dust and surfaces are important sources of lead and pesticide exposure in young children. The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate if third-hand smoke (THS) pollutants accumulate on the hands of children who live in environments where tobacco is used and if hand nicotine levels are associated with second-hand smoke (SHS), as measured by salivary cotinine.

Concepts: Asthma, Lung cancer, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, Nicotine, Soil contamination, Tobacco industry


Smoking is a major public health problem. As smokers age and die prematurely, the tobacco industry must continue to recruit new, young smokers. Survey data indicate that currently in the UK around 207 000 children aged 11-15 start smoking every year. We used local data on adult smoking rates to apportion national data on child smoking uptake to specific areas. The presentation of data for individual local authorities, which now have responsibility for public health, can be used to focus attention locally. For example, this analysis demonstrates that each day, 67 children, more than two classrooms full, start smoking in London.

Concepts: Age, Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, United Kingdom, Child, Ageing, Area, Local government


BACKGROUND TO THE DEBATE: Tobacco continues to kill millions of people around the world each year and its use is increasing in some countries, which makes the need for new, creative, and radical efforts to achieve the tobacco control endgame vitally important. One such effort is discussed in this PLOS Medicine Debate, where Simon Chapman presents his proposal for a “smoker’s license” and Jeff Collin argues against. Chapman sets out a case for introducing a smart card license for smokers designed to limit access to tobacco products and encourage cessation. Key elements of the smoker’s license include smokers setting daily limits, financial incentives for permanent license surrender, and a test of health risk knowledge for commencing smokers. Collin argues against the proposal, saying that it would shift focus away from the real vector of the epidemic-the tobacco industry-and that by focusing on individuals it would censure victims, increase stigmatization of smokers, and marginalize the poor.

Concepts: Tobacco, English-language films, Vector space, Proposal, Focusing, Limit, Limit of a sequence, Ryan Reynolds


Although electronic cigarettes (ECs) are a much less harmful alternative to tobacco cigarettes, there is concern as to whether long-term ECs use may cause risks to human health. We report health outcomes (blood pressure, heart rate, body weight, lung function, respiratory symptoms, exhaled breath nitric oxide [eNO], exhaled carbon monoxide [eCO], and high-resolution computed tomography [HRCT] of the lungs) from a prospective 3.5-year observational study of a cohort of nine daily EC users (mean age 29.7 (±6.1) years) who have never smoked and a reference group of twelve never smokers. No significant changes could be detected over the observation period from baseline in the EC users or between EC users and control subjects in any of the health outcomes investigated. Moreover, no pathological findings could be identified on HRCT of the lungs and no respiratory symptoms were consistently reported in the EC user group. Although it cannot be excluded that some harm may occur at later stages, this study did not demonstrate any health concerns associated with long-term use of EC in relatively young users who did not also smoke tobacco.

Concepts: Scientific method, Oxygen, Lung, Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, Cigarette, Nicotine, Electronic cigarette


Contemporary information on the fraction of cancers that potentially could be prevented is useful for priority setting in cancer prevention and control. Herein, the authors estimate the proportion and number of invasive cancer cases and deaths, overall (excluding nonmelanoma skin cancers) and for 26 cancer types, in adults aged 30 years and older in the United States in 2014, that were attributable to major, potentially modifiable exposures (cigarette smoking; secondhand smoke; excess body weight; alcohol intake; consumption of red and processed meat; low consumption of fruits/vegetables, dietary fiber, and dietary calcium; physical inactivity; ultraviolet radiation; and 6 cancer-associated infections). The numbers of cancer cases were obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute; the numbers of deaths were obtained from the CDC; risk factor prevalence estimates were obtained from nationally representative surveys; and associated relative risks of cancer were obtained from published, large-scale pooled analyses or meta-analyses. In the United States in 2014, an estimated 42.0% of all incident cancers (659,640 of 1570,975 cancers, excluding nonmelanoma skin cancers) and 45.1% of cancer deaths (265,150 of 587,521 deaths) were attributable to evaluated risk factors. Cigarette smoking accounted for the highest proportion of cancer cases (19.0%; 298,970 cases) and deaths (28.8%; 169,180 deaths), followed by excess body weight (7.8% and 6.5%, respectively) and alcohol intake (5.6% and 4.0%, respectively). Lung cancer had the highest number of cancers (184,970 cases) and deaths (132,960 deaths) attributable to evaluated risk factors, followed by colorectal cancer (76,910 cases and 28,290 deaths). These results, however, may underestimate the overall proportion of cancers attributable to modifiable factors, because the impact of all established risk factors could not be quantified, and many likely modifiable risk factors are not yet firmly established as causal. Nevertheless, these findings underscore the vast potential for reducing cancer morbidity and mortality through broad and equitable implementation of known preventive measures. CA Cancer J Clin 2017. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, Lung cancer, The Canon of Medicine, Obesity, Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, American Cancer Society


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.

Concepts: Central nervous system, Nervous system, Tobacco, Cigarette, Nicotine, Drug addiction, Addiction, Withdrawal


Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States; if current smoking rates continue, 5.6 million Americans aged <18 years who are alive today are projected to die prematurely from smoking-related disease (1). Tobacco use and addiction mostly begin during youth and young adulthood (1,2). CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed data from the 2011-2015 National Youth Tobacco Surveys (NYTS) to determine the prevalence and trends of current (past 30-day) use of seven tobacco product types (cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes [e-cigarettes], hookahs [water pipes used to smoke tobacco], pipe tobacco, and bidis [small imported cigarettes wrapped in a tendu leaf]) among U.S. middle (grades 6-8) and high (grades 9-12) school students. In 2015, e-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among middle (5.3%) and high (16.0%) school students. During 2011-2015, significant increases in current use of e-cigarettes and hookahs occurred among middle and high school students, whereas current use of conventional tobacco products, such as cigarettes and cigars decreased, resulting in no change in overall tobacco product use. During 2014-2015, current use of e-cigarettes increased among middle school students, whereas current use of hookahs decreased among high school students; in contrast, no change was observed in use of hookahs among middle school students, use of e-cigarettes among high school students, or use of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipe tobacco, or bidis among middle and high school students. In 2015, an estimated 4.7 million middle and high school students were current tobacco product users, and, therefore, continue to be exposed to harmful tobacco product constituents, including nicotine. Nicotine exposure during adolescence, a critical period for brain development, can cause addiction, might harm brain development, and could lead to sustained tobacco product use among youths (1,3). Comprehensive and sustained strategies are warranted to prevent and reduce the use of all tobacco products among U.S. youths.

Concepts: Smoking, Tobacco, Cigarette, Nicotine, Middle school, High school, Electronic cigarette, Youth


Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States; nearly all tobacco use begins during youth and young adulthood (1,2). Among youths, use of tobacco products in any form is unsafe (1,3). CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed data from the 2011-2016 National Youth Tobacco Surveys (NYTS) to determine recent patterns of current (past 30-day) use of seven tobacco product types among U.S. middle (grades 6-8) and high (grades 9-12) school students. In 2016, 20.2% of surveyed high school students and 7.2% of middle school students reported current tobacco product use. In 2016, among current tobacco product users, 47.2% of high school students and 42.4% of middle school students used ≥2 tobacco products, and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were the most commonly used tobacco product among high (11.3%) and middle (4.3%) school students. Current use of any tobacco product did not change significantly during 2011-2016 among high or middle school students, although combustible tobacco product use declined. However, during 2015-2016, among high school students, decreases were observed in current use of any tobacco product, any combustible product, ≥2 tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and hookahs. Among middle school students, current use of e-cigarettes decreased. Comprehensive and sustained strategies can help prevent and reduce the use of all forms of tobacco products among U.S. youths (1-3).

Concepts: Tobacco, Cigarette, Nicotine, Middle school, High school, Electronic cigarette, College, Youth


Exposure to secondhand smoke from burning tobacco products causes premature death and disease, including coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer among nonsmoking adults and sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, exacerbated asthma, respiratory symptoms, and decreased lung function in children (1,2). The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke (1). Previous CDC reports on airport smoke-free policies found that most large-hub airports in the United States prohibit smoking (3); however, the extent of smoke-free policies at airports globally has not been assessed. CDC assessed smoke-free policies at the world’s 50 busiest airports (airports with the highest number of passengers traveling through an airport in a year) as of August 2017; approximately 2.7 billion travelers pass through these 50 airports each year (4). Among these airports, 23 (46%) completely prohibit smoking indoors, including five of the 10 busiest airports. The remaining 27 airports continue to allow smoking in designated smoking areas. Designated or ventilated smoking areas can cause involuntary secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmoking travelers and airport employees. Smoke-free policies at the national, city, or airport authority levels can protect employees and travelers from secondhand smoke inside airports.

Concepts: Cancer, Pulmonology, Asthma, Heart, Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, Passive smoking, Sudden infant death syndrome