cigarettes

Smoking on waking increase cancer risk

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com
Author: Malathy Iyer

It is well known that smoking is injurious to health, but what is now emerging is that smokers who light up first thing in the morning are more likely than other smokers to suffer from lung or oral cancer.

The research could serve as an eye-opener for India, where tobacco-related cancers claim over 1 million lives every year. The correlation between the time of the first smoke and cancer comes from a carcinogen found in cigarettes.

A new study from Penn University in the US has shown that smokers who consume cigarettes immediately after waking up have higher levels of a carcinogen called NNAL (a derivative of NNK (4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-[3-pyridyl]-1-butanone) throughout the day in comparison to others. Steven Branstetter, assistant professor at Penn University, said that other researches had shown that NNK induces lung tumors in several rodent species. His team hence believes that levels of NNAL in the blood can predict lung cancer risk in rodents as well as in humans.

The team examined data on 1,945 smoking adults and found that around 32 % smoked their first cigarette of the day within 5 minutes of waking; 31 % smoked within 6 to 30 minutes of waking; 18 % smoked within 31 to 60 minutes of waking; and 19 percent smoked more than one hour after waking. “Most importantly, we found that NNAL level was highest among people who smoked the soonest upon waking, regardless of the frequency of smoking and other factors that predict NNAL concentrations,” Branstetter said in a press release. The research has been published in the latest issue of medical journal named Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

April, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Best. Obit. Ever.

Source: News.Health.com

This funny, surprising obituary was written by Val Patterson before he died of throat cancer earlier this month. 

I was Born in Salt Lake City, March 27th 1953. I died of Throat Cancer on July 10th 2012. I went to six different grade schools, then to Churchill, Skyline and the U of U. I loved school, Salt Lake City, the mountains, Utah.

I was a true Scientist. Electronics, chemistry, physics, auto mechanic, wood worker, artist, inventor, business man, ribald comedian, husband, brother, son, cat lover, cynic. I had a lot of fun. It was an honor for me to be friends with some truly great people. I thank you. I’ve had great joy living and playing with my dog, my cats and my parrot. But, the one special thing that made my spirit whole, is my long love and friendship with my remarkable wife, my beloved Mary Jane. I loved her more than I have words to express. Every moment spent with my Mary Jane was time spent wisely. Over time, I became one with her, inseparable, happy, fulfilled.

I enjoyed one good life. Traveled to every place on earth that I ever wanted to go. Had every job that I wanted to have. Learned all that I wanted to learn. Fixed everything I wanted to fix. Eaten everything I wanted to eat. My life motto was: “Anything for a Laugh”. Other mottos were “If you can break it, I can fix it”, “Don’t apply for a job, create one”. I had three requirements for seeking a great job; 1 – All glory, 2 – Top pay, 3 – No work.

Now that I have gone to my reward, I have confessions and things I should now say. As it turns out, I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June, 1971. I could have left that unsaid, but I wanted to get it off my chest. Also, I really am NOT a PhD. What happened was that the day I went to pay off my college student loan at the U of U, the girl working there put my receipt into the wrong stack, and two weeks later, a PhD diploma came in the mail. I didn’t even graduate, I only had about 3 years of college credit. In fact, I never did even learn what the letters “PhD” even stood for. For all of the Electronic Engineers I have worked with, I’m sorry, but you have to admit my designs always worked very well, and were well engineered, and I always made you laugh at work.

Now to that really mean Park Ranger; after all, it was me that rolled those rocks into your geyser and ruined it. I did notice a few years later that you did get Old Faithful working again. To Disneyland – you can now throw away that “Banned for Life” file you have on me, I’m not a problem anymore – and SeaWorld San Diego, too, if you read this.

To the gang: We grew up in the very best time to grow up in the history of America. The best music, muscle cars, cheap gas, fun kegs, buying a car for “a buck a year” – before Salt Lake got ruined by over population and Lake Powell was brand new. TV was boring back then, so we went outside and actually had lives. We always tried to have as much fun as possible without doing harm to anybody – we did a good job at that.

If you are trying to decide if you knew me, this might help… My father was RD “Dale” Patterson, older brother “Stan” Patterson, and sister “Bunny” who died in a terrible car wreck when she was a Junior at Skyline. My mom “Ona” and brother “Don” are still alive and well. In college I worked at Vaughns Conoco on 45th South and 29th East. Mary and I are the ones who worked in Saudi Arabia for 8 years when we were young. Mary Jane is now a Fitness Instructor at Golds on Van Winkle – you might be one of her students – see what a lucky guy I am? Yeah, no kidding.

My regret is that I felt invincible when young and smoked cigarettes when I knew they were bad for me. Now, to make it worse, I have robbed my beloved Mary Jane of a decade or more of the two of us growing old together and laughing at all the thousands of simple things that we have come to enjoy and fill our lives with such happy words and moments. My pain is enormous, but it pales in comparison to watching my wife feel my pain as she lovingly cares for and comforts me. I feel such the “thief” now – for stealing so much from her – there is no pill I can take to erase that pain.

If you knew me or not, dear reader, I am happy you got this far into my letter. I speak as a person who had a great life to look back on. My family is following my wishes that I not have a funeral or burial. If you knew me, remember me in your own way. If you want to live forever, then don’t stop breathing, like I did.

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

July, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

The FDA’s power over cigars

Source: www.latimes.com/health
Author: editorial

The 2009 federal law that required the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationto begin regulating cigarettes also gave it the option of regulating cigars. Now two bills, one in each chamber of Congress, would remove the agency’s authority over “traditional” cigars — the regular size that you’re used to, not the ones the size of cigarettes.

Customers of 2nd St. Cigars in Long Beach smoke cigars outside. According to the National Cancer Institute, cigars have higher levels of tar, toxins and carcinogens than cigarettes and cause cancers of the mouth, lips, throat and esophagus. (Los Angeles Times / June 5, 2012)

It’s true that cigarettes are the far bigger health scourge in the United States, accounting for nearly one in five deaths each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traditionally, cigars have not been popular among young people, which is significant because preventing smoking among youth is one of the key reasons for regulating tobacco.

But there’s nothing good to be said about the health effects of cigar smoking levitra de 20 mg xifaxan médicament. Even though cigar lovers don’t typically inhale the smoke, their lung cancer rates are higher than those of nonsmoking Americans — though lower than those of cigarette smokers. According to the National Cancer Institute, cigars have higher levels of tar, toxins and carcinogens than cigarettes and cause cancers of the mouth, lips, throat and esophagus. They also produce more secondhand smoke.

The rate of cigar smoking have been increasing for the last two decades, and cigars can now be found in fruit and candy flavors, including chocolate — the same kind of flavor tweaking that got many teenagers hooked on cigarettes. That was why the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act — the legislation that gave the FDA regulatory authority over tobacco products — banned flavoring in cigarettes. The new bills would prevent the FDA from doing the same for many types of cigars.

Last year, the state of Maryland found that while cigarette smoking was less popular among teenagers, cigar smoking had increased, a trend that state officials blamed on flavored cigars. Similar findings have been reported in other states over the last several years. True, those numbers include the very small cigars that would continue to be regulated by the FDA if the legislation passed, but they also include the larger ones. Many high school and college students mistakenly believe that cigars are not very dangerous.

It would be a shame to see the hard-fought battle against cigarettes undermined by increased cigar use. Whether in cigarettes, cigars or pipes, tobacco is a harmful product that kills and sickens many of the individuals who smoke it, and costs taxpayers enormous sums in treatment for smoking-related diseases. That’s why the FDA was given the power to regulate it, power that should not be weakened now.

Tobacco use and baseball

Source: www.quitsmokingforyou.com

Like cigarettes, smokeless tobacco (snuff and chewing tobacco), cause mouth cancer, gum disease, and heart disease. Yet many think that chewing tobacco is safe or less so than smoking. This is not true!

In 1986, the Surgeon normal closed that the use of smokeless tobacco “is not a safe substitute for smoking cigarettes. It can cause cancer and a whole of noncancerous conditions and can lead to nicotine addiction and dependence.” Since 1991, the National Cancer institute (Nci) has officially recommended that the group avoid and desist the use of all tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco. Nci also recognizes that nitrosamines, found in tobacco products, are not safe at any level.
Chewing tobacco and baseball have a long tight affiliation, rooted in the cultural confidence among players and fans that baseball players chew tobacco and it is just part of the grand old game. This mystique is slowing changing with campaigns by ballplayers who have had or have seen friends with mouth cancer caused by chewing tobacco use.

Jeff Bagwell
Jeff Bagwell, retired first baseman with the Houston Astros and Joe Garagiola, a previous baseball player and commentator, campaign against tobacco use among children and addicted adults. In 1993, when Bagwell was 25-years-old, his dentist discovered leukoplakia, a whitish pre-cancerous sore in his mouth where he continually located chewing tobacco. About 5% of leukoplakias institute into cancer. Fortunately this did not happen to Jeff Bagwell due to the early detection by his dentist.

Rick Bender, The Man Without a Face
In 1988 Rick Bender, a 25 year old minor league baseball player advanced a large sore on the side of his tongue that would not go away for months. He began using ‘spitting tobacco’ when he was 12. After finding his dentist and then a biopsy by a specialist, he was diagnosed with mouth cancer.

Surgeons successfully removed the cancerous cells from Bender’s mouth and throat, taking a chunk of his tongue and the lymph nodes on the right side of his neck in the process. But removing the cancer also caused nerve damage that puny the use of his right arm, his throwing arm, which ended his baseball career. Later an infection occurred to the right side of Bender’s jaw after radiation therapy. As a result, it deteriorated and doctors had to remove his right jaw.

As a follow Rick Bender calls himself “the man without a face” and lectures on the dangers of ‘spitting tobacco’ throughout the nation. Bender visits schools and colleges over the country to dispel what he sees as the myths about chewing tobacco. He also addresses major and minor league baseball players each year at spring training.

Robert Leslie
Sonoma County has it own tragic baseball related, smokeless tobacco, and mouth cancer story. In June of 1998, Robert Leslie died at the young age of 31 from mouth cancer after years of chewing smokeless tobacco. He had been diagnosed four years prior and had bravely counseled youths against the use of smokeless tobacco after that point. Leslie, who was a star pitcher at Rancho Cotate High School, turned to coaching after a brief attempt at playing expert baseball. He was a popular coach at Casa Grande High School. He believed, rightly so, that the cancer had resulted from years of stuffing wads of smokeless tobacco between his gums and lower lip. He advocated against the use of chewing tobacco prior to his death. He is missed.

History Of Tobacco Use and Baseball
Tobacco has a long association with baseball. From the earlier beginnings of baseball in the late 1800′s, baseball players chewed tobacco to keep their mouths moist in dusty dirt parks of that era. Drinking water was thought to make one feel too heavy. Players also used tobacco spit to soften leather gloves and to give the spitball its wild gyrations canada viagra.

Chewing tobacco’s popularity among baseball players rose and fell with the times, most often trading places with cigarettes and cigars. The wrongful confidence that chewing tobacco caused the spread of tuberculosis lead to its reduction in use during the end of the nineteenth century. during the beginning of the twentieth century, it again rose to major use until after Wwii when cigarettes became more popular in the U.S.

During the 1950s, cigarettes reached their most prominence when teams legitimately had sponsored brands. For example, Giant’s fans (New York Giants that is) smoked only Chesterfield Cigarettes to show their team loyalty. during this era, baseball cards were often packaged with cigarettes. As a kid, I remember having my Dad buy Lucky Strikes so I could get the baseball cards.

In 1962, the Surgeon General’s record highlighted the cause and follow between smoking and heart disease and smoking and cancer. Believing that chewing tobacco was a safer product, baseball players took up smokeless tobacco again. Since then, smokeless tobacco has dominated the sport of baseball, from the major leagues down to the high school level. And similar to the targeted cigarette marketing of the 1950s, smokeless tobacco producers have promoted tobacco chewing straight through baseball players, even providing free samples in major and minor league clubhouses.

All tobacco, including smokeless tobacco, contains nicotine, which is addictive. The whole of nicotine absorbed from smokeless tobacco is 3 to 4 times the whole delivered by a cigarette. Nicotine is absorbed more slowly from smokeless tobacco than from cigarettes, but more nicotine per dose is absorbed from smokeless tobacco than from cigarettes. Also, the nicotine stays in the bloodstream for a longer time.

By giving players free samples of chew tobacco, the smokeless tobacco manufacturers were getting players hooked to the addictive drug nicotine in a tobacco goods that contains 28 cancer-causing substances. Even today, I saw a full-page magazine ad from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. With a free coupon for Camel Snus. It was advertised as “Spitfree” and “Sold Cold” in large bold print, while in small print a warning stated, “this goods may cause gum disease and tooth loss.”

Big League Chew, a chewing gum aimed at children, is a goods that uses the deep association between baseball and chewing tobacco. Introduced in 1980, Big League Chew consists of shredded bubble gum, which resembles loose chewing tobacco. It is packaged in an aluminum foil pouch, similar to the containers of chewing tobacco, with the cartoon image of a baseball player on the outside. While candy cigarettes, other symbolic tobacco goods aimed at children, fell out of favor years ago, Big League Chew continues to be popular with kids.

Luckily, the love affair between baseball and smokeless tobacco seems to be subsiding. In 1993, minor league baseball banned all use of tobacco products among its teams. As follow fewer major leaguers are now coming up from those ranks using tobacco products. Campaigns are manufacture headway discouraging tobacco use and encouraging substitute habits like chewing gum or munching on sunflower seeds. Remember previous Giants employer Dusty Baker, setting an example for young players by stopping tobacco use and chewing sunflower seeds in the dugout?

Still an estimated 7.6 million Americans age 12 and older (3.4 percent) have used smokeless tobacco in the past month, and smokeless tobacco use is most common among young adults ages 18 to 25.

So if you use tobacco, please stop. It is the best thing you can do for your health. There are many tobacco cessation programs and nicotine change treatments. And make sure to have regular cancer screening examinations with your dentist. Early detection is indispensable for preventing mouth cancer.

Tobacco Makers Must List Ingredients, Prove Safety Claims

Source: Businessweek.com

Tobacco companies will have to begin reporting the amount of unsafe chemicals in their products and prove their so-called lower-risk alternatives to smoking such as snuff are actually safer, U.S. regulators said.

The Food and Drug Administration moved today to implement pieces of a 2009 law giving the agency the authority to regulate tobacco products. The FDA released preliminary guidelines for the industry that it says can educate consumers on exactly what is in cigarettes, such as ammonia and formaldehyde, and police claims that certain tobacco products may be safer than others.

The agency will share information on chemical amounts with the public within a year, Lawrence Deyton, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said in a telephone call with reporters. On the issue of less-risky tobacco items, the draft guidelines set up two categories: one with a higher evidence standard that lets companies claim less harm than cigarettes; and another with a lower standard that permits companies to market products as reducing exposure to unsafe ingredients.

“We are forging new territory to ensure that tobacco companies provide accurate information and do not mislead American consumers,” FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said in a statement. “We are committed to stopping such practices that may cause people to start or continue using tobacco products that could lead to preventable disease and death.”

93 Chemicals

The FDA released a list of 93 chemicals that tobacco makers would have to report the quantity of in their products. The FDA is studying how best to disseminate the information publicly.

“Most people do understand tobacco use is harmful,” Deyton said. “There are also studies that people don’t really understand why to the extent the various chemicals in tobacco are harmful.”

The agency said in the draft on reduced-risk products — which include electronic cigarettes, tobacco lozenges, snuff and snus — that it’s asking for scientific information, including research findings related to a manufacturer’s claim, and may request data comparing the product with cigarettes.

Products in the two categories will be asked to show reduced risk and a benefit to the health of tobacco and non- tobacco users before companies can market them as safer, according to the draft guidelines. The companies also could advertise the products as offering less exposure to harmful ingredients if they prove that future studies may reveal a reduction in disease and death when compared with cigarettes.

Snuff Warnings

Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) (RAI) and its American Snuff unit asked the FDA in July to change labels on smokeless products to: “WARNING: No tobacco product is safe, but this product presents substantially lower risks to health than cigarettes.” Current labels say the product isn’t a safe alternative to cigarettes.

Altria Group Inc. (MO) (MO), which owns Philip Morris USA and brands including Copenhagen and Skoal, wrote the agency “there is overwhelming scientific, medical and public health consensus that moist smokeless tobacco products” such as snuff or snus, “are substantially less hazardous than cigarettes.”

Snuff and snus are moist powder tobacco that goes under the lip either loose or in a packet.

Shares of Richmond, Virginia-based Altria gained less than 1 percent to $30.87 at the close in New York, while Winston- Salem, North Carolina-based Reynolds increased 1.2 percent to $41.46. Star Scientific Inc. (CIGX) (CIGX) fell 2.4 percent to $3.28.

Scientific Evidence

Star Scientific filed an application with FDA in February 2011 to market its snuff product Stonewall Moist-BDL. Star, based in Glenn Allen, Virginia, said in a statement then that it was the first FDA application for approval of a tobacco product.

Smokeless tobacco can cause mouth cancer, oral health diseases and nicotine addiction, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 3.5 percent of U.S. adults used smokeless tobacco in 2009. Skoal held 25 percent of the market share the same year, followed by Copenhagen with 24 percent, according to the CDC.

Independent third parties should be required to assess the health effects of modified-risk tobacco products before companies submit applications for review to the FDA, the Institute of Medicine in Washington, which advises the nation on health matters, recommended in a December report.

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

April, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

CDC to launch new, graphic anti-smoking campaign

One of the ads by the Centers for Disease Control shows Shawn Wright who had a tracheotomy after being diagnosed with head and neck cancer.

ATLANTA — Tobacco taxes and smoking bans haven’t budged the U.S. smoking rate in years. Now the government is trying to shock smokers into quitting with a graphic nationwide advertising campaign.

The billboards and print, radio and TV ads show people whose smoking resulted in heart surgery, a tracheotomy, lost limbs or paralysis. The $54 million campaign is the largest and starkest anti-smoking push by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its first national advertising effort.

The agency is hoping the spots, which begin Monday, will persuade as many as 50,000 Americans to stop smoking.

“This is incredibly important. It’s not every day we release something that will save thousands of lives,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a telephone interview.

That bold prediction is based on earlier research that found aggressive anti-smoking campaigns using hard-hitting images sometimes led to decreases in smoking. After decades of decline, the U.S. smoking rate has stalled at about 20 percent in recent years.

Advocates say it’s important to jolt a weary public that has been listening to government warnings about the dangers of smoking for nearly 50 years.

“There is an urgent need for this media campaign,” Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a statement.

The CDC was set to announce the three-month campaign on Thursday.

One of the print ads features Shawn Wright from Washington state who had a tracheotomy after being diagnosed with head and neck cancer four years ago. The ad shows the 50-year-old shaving, his razor moving down toward a red gaping hole at the base of his neck that he uses to speak and breathe.

An advertising firm, Arnold Worldwide, found Wright and about a dozen others who developed cancer or other health problems after smoking for the ads.

Federal health agencies have gradually embraced graphic anti-smoking imagery. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved nine images to be displayed on cigarette packages. Among them were a man exhaling cigarette smoke through a tracheotomy hole in his throat, and a diseased mouth with what appear to be cancerous lesions.

Last month, a federal judge blocked the requirement that tobacco companies put the images on their packages, saying it was unconstitutional.

Graphic ads are meant to create an image so striking that smokers and would-be smokers will think of it whenever they have an urge to buy a pack of cigarettes, said Glenn Leshner, a University of Missouri researcher who has studied the effectiveness of anti-smoking ads.

Leshner and his colleagues found that some ads are so disturbing that people reacted by turning away from the message rather than listening. So while spots can shock viewers into paying attention, they also have to encourage people that quitting is possible, he said.

The CDC campaign includes information on a national quit line and offers advice on how to kick the habit, CDC officials said.

CDC unveils graphic anti-smoking ads. Click here to view the video: http://cnn.com/video/?/video/health/2012/03/15/early-cdc-anti-smoking-ads.cnn

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

March, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Oral HPV infection affects 7% of the US population

Source: www.onclive.com
Author: Ben Leach

Approximately 7% of Americans are infected with oral human papillomavirus (HPV), and men are 3 times as likely to be infected as women, according to an analysis that helps define a leading factor in the rise of oropharyngeal cancer.

The findings of the HPV prevalence study were presented at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Symposium in Phoenix, Arizona, in January and concurrently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.1

The cross-sectional study was based on samples taken from 5579 men and women between the ages of 14 to 69 years that were obtained at mobile examination centers as part of the National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2009-2010. The samples were obtained through an oral rinse and gargle, with subsequent DNA samples used to determine HPV type. Demographic data were obtained using standardized interviews.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV prevalence in the overall study population was 6.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.7%-8.3%). HPV type 16, which accounts for 90% of HPVpositive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas, was the most common form, affecting 1.0% of the study population (95% CI, 0.7%-1.3%).

Prevalence of HPV was significantly higher in men versus women (10.1% [95% CI, 8.3%- 12.3%] for men compared with 3.6% [95% CI, 2.6%- 5.0%] for women; P < .001]). Sexual contact was identified as a major factor in the rate of infection, with 7.5% of those who had experienced any form of sexual contact (95% CI, 6.1%-9.1%) infected, compared with 0.9% (95% CI, 0.4%-1.8%; P < .001) of those without a history of any form of sexual contact.

“This study of oral HPV infection is the critical first step toward developing potential oropharyngeal cancer prevention strategies,” Maura Gillison, MD, PhD, lead author of the study, said during a press conference at the symposium. “This is clearly important because HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer is poised to overtake cervical cancer as the leading type of HPV-caused cancers in the US. We currently do not have another means to prevent or detect these cancers early.”

Prevalence of HPV Infection
in the US Population, 2009-20101

Characteristic Number in Study
(With Infection)
HPV Prevalence
(%)
Sex
Male 2748 (295) 10.1
Female 2753 (113) 3.6
Age
14-17 656 (16) 1.7
18-24 792 (45) 5.6
25-29 463 (32) 7.1
30-34 436 (39) 7.3
35-39 461 (31) 5.4
40-44 495 (30) 6.3
45-49 482 (37) 7.3
50-54 474 (50) 8.3
55-59 381 (47) 11.2
60-64 498 (55) 11.4
65-69 363 (26) 4.2

Further analysis identified risk factors for infection: HPV prevalence in men and women who had more than 20 sexual partners in their lifetime was 20.5% (95% CI, 17.4%-23.9%); among those who smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day, HPV prevalence was 20.7% (95% CI, 12.6%-32.0%).

Although cigarette and alcohol use have classically been associated with the disease, Gillison said that this study suggests that oral HPV is predominantly sexually transmitted. As to why men had a higher overall rate of HPV prevalence than women, the study authors suggested factors such as sexual behavior (ie, does a higher probability of transmitting HPV through oral sex on women compared to men exist?) and hormonal differences affecting the duration of infection.

Overall, the incidence of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers increased by 225% between 1988 and 2004, according to National Cancer Institute research. There were an estimated 6700 cases of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers in 2010, up from 4000 to 4500 in 2004.

Gillison said that the study was not necessarily designed to be used to advocate for vaccinating boys and girls before they become sexually active. However, Gillison said that large, prospective studies on the effectiveness of HPV vaccinations should be the next step in determining whether the vaccinations should be made mandatory at a national or global level.

“It’s difficult to make public policy recommendations based on a hope or a speculation,” Gillison said.

Notes:
1. Gillison ML, Broutian T, Pickard RK, et al. Prevalence of oral HPV infection in the United States, 2009-2010. JAMA. 2012; 307(7):published online ahead of print January 26, 2012. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.101

March, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Test Markets Reveal Women Choose Dissolvable Tobacco

Source: Convenience Store News

WINSTOM-SALEM, N.C. — Since starting a second round of testing, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s dissolvable tobacco products are proving popular among women.

The product line — Camel Sticks, Camel Strips and Camel Orbs –do not require spitting, which could be a deciding factor among female tobacco users. According to a report in the Winston-Salem Journal, females represented 45 percent of all adult smokers who bought Camel Sticks, Camel Strips and Camel Orbs during September and October. Of all adult tobacco users, 31 percent were women.

By comparison, the news outlet reported that adult males make up 85 percent of moist snuff and Camel Snus users.

R.J. Reynolds’ dissolvable line is currently being sold in Denver and Charlotte, N.C. The first round of testing took place in Columbus, Ohio Indianapolis and Portland, Ore.

“We have seen a noticeable appeal and interest of the dissolvable products with adult female tobacco consumers,” Reynolds spokesman David Howard told the newspaper.

Stephen Pope, an industry analyst and managing partner of Spotlight Ideas in England, said Reynolds may have discovered a niche with adult female tobacco users. “Clearly the figures for the dissolvable products make for fascinating reading and actually show that here could be a product that, if handled correctly, could well offer an opportunity for a special female-targeted product that could be as significant as Virginia Slims was for Philip Morris,” he said.

The dissolvable products “could prove to be the first viable smokeless tobacco products for females,” stated Bonnie Herzog, an analyst with Wells Fargo Securities LLC.

Reynolds has not said when a national rollout of the products will occur.

As the popularity of dissolvable tobacco grows, tobacco companies are sure to draw the attention of advocacy groups. Jeff Middleswart, portfolio manager for the Vice Fund of USA Mutuals, said having the Camel and Marlboro brands in dissolvable products is likely to intensify the debate among advocacy groups. One set says that smokeless tobacco products serve as gateways for teenagers to cigarettes; the other set sees the products as a way to reduce the risk of tobacco use compared with cigarettes.

“Anything tobacco will create criticism — it’s just the way of the world,” Middleswart said. “A new product that has the potential to gain market share is going to be a target.”

John Spangler, a professor of family and community medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, said he found it “disturbing that any smokeless tobacco product is now becoming popular among women.” His concern is that the dissolvable products may encourage women to use smokeless tobacco for the first time.

Dissolvable tobacco products have caught the eye of the Food and Drug Administration. The agency gained the authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of tobacco products under the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The FDA’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) took up the issue at its July meeting, the first step toward issuing regulations.

Colorado state officials have also put dissolvable tobacco products under the microscope. Just a few weeks after the TPSAC members began to take a closer look, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment held a hearing to begin their investigation into the products and their possible dangers, as CSNews Online previously reported.

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

November, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Kentucky Cancer Center Urges Smokers to Switch to Smoke-Free Tobacco. But is it Really a Better Option?

Source: Yourlife.USAtoday.com

In the smoker-heavy state of Kentucky, a cancer center is suggesting something that most health experts won’t and the tobacco industry can’t: If you really want to quit, switch to smoke-free tobacco.

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center and the University of Louisville are aiming their “Switch and Quit” campaign at the city of Owensboro. It uses print, radio, billboard and other advertising to urge smokers to swap their cigarettes for smokeless tobacco and other products that do not deliver nicotine by smoke.

Supporters say smokers who switch are more likely to give up cigarettes than those who use other methods such as nicotine patches, and that smokeless tobacco carries less risk of disease than cigarettes do.

“We need something that works better than what we have,” said Dr. Donald Miller, an oncologist and director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, which supports the effort along with the University of Louisville. “This is as reasonable a scientific hypothesis as anybody has come up with and it needs to be tried.”

The campaign runs counter to the prevailing opinion of the public health community, which holds that there is no safe way to use tobacco. Federal researchers, however, have begun to at least consider the idea that smokers might be better off going smokeless.

The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health says on its website that the use of all tobacco products “should be strongly discouraged,” and that there is “no scientific evidence that using smokeless tobacco can help a person quit smoking.” But this year it approved funding for a study that might provide some of that very evidence.

“Switch and Quit” is directed by Brad Rodu, a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville. He analyzed the 2000 National Health Interview Survey and found that male smokers who switched to smokeless tobacco were more likely to quit smoking than those who used nicotine patches or gum.

“Americans are largely misinformed about the relative risks. … They think smokeless tobacco is just as dangerous,” Rodu said. “This level of misinformation is an enormous barrier to actually accomplishing tobacco-harm reduction because if people believe that the products have equal risk, there’s not a real incentive.”

The program is funded through Rodu’s research money, which includes grants from the tobacco industry. Grants through the University of Louisville are unrestricted, which the program says “ensures the scientific independence and integrity of research projects and activities.”

“There’s absolutely no influence whatsoever,” Rodu said. “I decide, along with my colleagues, how we use the money, for what projects, and this is entirely the case. I would not have a situation where there was some control over the kind of projects I undertake.”

Tobacco companies want to market more smokeless tobacco and other cigarette alternatives to make up for falling cigarette sales. Some have introduced “snus” — small pouches like tea bags that users stick between the cheek and gum — and dissolvable tobacco — finely milled tobacco shaped into orbs, sticks and strips.

But they’re barred by federal law from explicitly marketing them as less risky than cigarettes — at least for now. That means the “Switch and Quit” program can do something the tobacco industry itself cannot: claim that smokeless tobacco has a health benefit when compared to smoking.

The program says smoking kills about 220 adults a year in and around Owensboro. The state of Kentucky, a leading tobacco grower, has the nation’s highest smoking and lung cancer rates.

Owensboro and the surrounding area consume about 3 million cigarettes a week, according to the program. That amounts to well over a pack for every man, woman and child in the community of about 115,000 people.

Owensboro resident Vernon Goode had smoked for about 10 years before he recently traded his Marlboros for dissolvable tobacco tablets. The campaign didn’t inspire him to quit, but he said he thought it was a good idea.

“I was just wanting to quit because, you know, I could feel it in my lungs,” Goode said. “I’ll smoke a cigarette every once in a while, but not very often. I want to quit altogether and I’m just using this right here as I guess what you’d call a stepping stone.”

The Owensboro program has raised concerns among some in the public health community who say organizers are claiming smokeless tobacco is a healthier alternative to smoking without approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

A 2009 law gives the FDA authority to evaluate health risks of tobacco products and approve those that could be marketed as safer than what’s currently for sale. None have been given the OK yet. The FDA also plans to regulate electronic cigarettes, battery-powered plastic and metal devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution in a disposable cartridge, creating vapor that users inhale.

Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, called the program “a giant experiment with the people of Owensboro without rules or guidance designed to protect individuals from experimental medicine.”

Smokeless tobacco isn’t a safe alternative to cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health warnings on the products required by the FDA state the same thing.

However, some studies, including a 2007 report from the Royal College of Physicians in London titled “Harm Reduction in Nicotine Addiction,” suggest that some smokeless tobacco products are about 90 percent less harmful than cigarettes.

“The worst that you can say about smokeless tobacco is that it’s the lesser of two evils,” said Dr. Randall Thomas, an oncologist with the Owensboro Medical Health System. The health system, the community’s largest employer, is going smoke-free in 2013 and is offering Rodu’s program as one of a variety of quit-smoking tools for its employees.

“I don’t think we have any problem in telling a person that drinks a six-pack a day that if they could cut it back to two beers a day or two drinks a day that their health risks are greatly reduced,” Thomas said. “Finding a way to let people have their nicotine that carries less risk, it’s the realistic solution.”

The Owensboro program doesn’t suggest pharmaceutical nicotine replacement gum or patches. That’s because they are regulated to provide very small doses of nicotine and are recommended for only a short period of time, while smokeless tobacco can be used as long as a smoker needs, Rodu said.

Myers, of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said more research is needed before anyone should suggest that the nation’s 46 million smokers would be better off using smokeless tobacco. In the meantime, he said, there are a host of FDA-approved products that can help people give up smoking.

“There’s a right way and a wrong way to determine whether smokeless tobacco can and should be marketed as a way to help people quit,” Myers said.

The National Cancer Institute approved funding earlier this year for a nationwide 1,250-person study to look at whether being given a snus product changes the habits of smokers who are not motivated to quit.

The tobacco industry sees smokeless tobacco as its future, said Matthew J. Carpenter, a psychology professor at the Medical University of South Carolina who is conducting the yearlong study.

Carpenter said the snus study will examine what smokers do when given smokeless tobacco. He won’t look at the health effects, or advise smokers to use the snus to quit.

“They are probably safer than conventional cigarettes, if for no other reason than you’re not burning anything, you’re not smoking anything, you’re not inhaling any smoke,” he said.

“If you compare it to conventional cigarettes, they’re probably a little bit better. If you compare it to quitting, they’re absolutely worse.”

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

October, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Packet Helps Smokers Hide Graphic Warnings

Source: tvnz.co.nz

Sticky seals in the packets of one brand of cigarettes are helping smokers cover up graphic health warnings. Graphic images of illnesses like gangrene, mouth cancer and lung disease must be printed on every packet of cigarettes to cover 30% of the front and 90% of the back of the pack.

ONE News looked at a range of cigarettes from a number of companies. Dunhill was the only product found with a seal inside the packet that can be stuck on the outside. It is labelled “exclusively Dunhill”. The sticky ‘reloc’ seal is just the size to cover health warnings. Michael Colhoun of Action on Smoking and Health says nothing about a tobacco packet is accidental and the sticky seals have been included deliberately. “This seems to be a brand marketing exercise,” he said.

Fresh-seal stickers are used to cover graphic warning images

Manufacturer British American Tobacco says its design is not intended to undermine the law. “We do not condone the practice of using one part of the pack designed for a particular purpose to hide those warnings,” the company said. It said the seal is simply for keeping cigarettes fresh.

One smoker said the sticker is “sneaky”. Some smokers said they will continue using the sticker to hide the images. Quitline says since the graphic images first appeared in 2008, numbers of calls to its helpline have increased. But there are websites and even how-to videos dedicated to showing smokers how to cover the pictures up.

This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

October, 2011|Oral Cancer News|