Back of pack health warnings make little impact on teen smokers

Sep. 4, 2013 — Back of pack picture or text warnings depicting the dangers of smoking, make little impact on teen smokers, particularly those who smoke regularly, suggests research published online in Tobacco Control.Pictorial warnings work better than text alone, but if positioned on the back of the pack are less visible and less effective, say the researchers.In 2008 the UK became the third European Union country to require pictorial health warnings to be carried on the back of cigarette packs.In only five out of the 60 countries worldwide that have introduced this policy do these pictorial warnings cover more than 75% of the main surface areas of a pack, and no European country has adopted the World Health Organization standard of warnings covering half the surface area.The researchers base their findings on the responses of more than a thousand 11 to 16 year olds in the UK, in two waves of the Youth Tobacco Policy Survey in 2008 (1401) and 2011 (1373).The same text warnings appeared on the front and back of packs at both time points, with the only difference being the display of images on the back of packs to support the text warnings in 2011.The teens were quizzed about the visibility and impact of the warnings; how well they served as visual cues; how easy they were to understand and believe; and how persuasive they were. Their responses were scored on a sliding scale from 1 to 5.Most of the respondents in both waves (68-75%) had never smoked; 17-22% had experimented with cigarettes; and around one in 10 were already regular smokers, defined as smoking at least one cigarette every week.Half the respondents in both waves said they had ‘often’ or ‘very often’ noticed the warnings, and around one in five had very often read or looked closely at them. But the percentage of regular smokers who noticed them fell from 77% in 2008 to 66% in 2011.Overall, only one in 10 teens said they thought about the warnings when the pack was not in sight, although never smokers were significantly more likely to think about warnings ‘often’ or ‘very often.’At both time points, most (85%+) teens found the warnings credible, but in 2011 never smokers were less likely to find them easy to understand, while experimental smokers were more likely to find them truthful and believable.And while the proportion of teens who thought the warnings were capable of putting them off smoking and make them less likely to smoke increased between 2008 and 2011, this only applied to never and experimental smokers. There was no change among the regular smokers.Recall of text warnings on the pack front fell between 2008 and 2011, from 58% to 47% (Smoking Kills) and from 41% to 25% (Smoking seriously harms you and others around you), while recall of three images on the back of packs, depicting diseased lungs, rotten teeth and neck cancer, all increased.However, recall of the other back of pack images remained below 10%, and the three text warnings on the back of packs with no supporting images were recalled by less than 1% at either time point.The proportion of teens who said they hid the cigarette pack from others increased significantly between 2008 and 2011, but there was no increase in other avoidant behaviours. And among regular smokers, the proportion who said that the warnings stopped them from having a cigarette fell from 32% to 23%.”As warnings need to be salient to be effective, positioning pictorial warnings only on the less visible reverse panel limits their impact,” write the authors. “While recall was high at both waves for pack-front warnings, it was low (below 10%) for the pictorial warnings on the pack reverse, fear-appeal pictures aside,” they add.The fact that the UK has used the same pictures since 2008 may also have increased the “wear out” factor, particularly for regular smokers, say the authors.”Positioning pictorial warnings only on the back of packs may have had a deterrent effect on never and experimental smokers, but for most measures no significant differences were observed. The impact on regular smokers was negligible,” they conclude.

Read more

Short-term smoking cessation reverses endothelial damage

Aug. 31, 2013 — Eight weeks of smoking cessation reverses the endothelial damage caused by smoking, according to research presented at the ESC Congress today by Dr. Yasuaki Dohi from Japan. Serotonin remained elevated, suggesting eight weeks of cessation is insufficient to reverse the risk of myocardial infarction.Dr Dohi said: “Smokers are twice as likely to have a heart attack as people who have never smoked. Quitting smoking is the most important thing people can do to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. But until now, studies have not examined whether the increased risk caused by smoking is completely reversed after smoking cessation.”The current study investigated how the vascular system is altered by smoking and whether the changes can be normalised by smoking cessation. The researchers focused on the effects of smoking and smoking cessation on arterial endothelial function and circulating serotonin concentration.Both endothelial dysfunction and serotonin contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Serotonin released from platelets induces platelet aggregation, which initiates blood coagulation and contractions in arteries especially those with damaged endothelium.Smoke from cigarettes contains toxic molecules including nicotine, carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide which may cause and promote atherosclerosis via endothelial dysfunction and increased activity of blood coagulation.The study included 27 apparently healthy male smokers aged 40±8 years and 21 age-adjusted non-smokers (40±7 years). Endothelial function was assessed by flow mediated dilation and peripheral arterial tonometry (PAT). Both methods assess endothelial function as the ability to dilate arteries through the release of endothelium-derived relaxing factors.Dr Dohi said: “As expected, smoking damaged arterial endothelial function and increased plasma serotonin levels.”Only 21 subjects agreed to stop smoking for 8 weeks. …

Read more

Maternal smoking during pregnancy associated with offspring conduct problems, study suggests

July 24, 2013 — Research led by University of Leicester examines relationship between maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring conduct problems among childrenSmoking during pregnancy appears to be a prenatal risk factor associated with conduct problems in children, according to a study published by JAMA Psychiatry, a JAMA Network publication.Conduct disorder represents an issue of significant social, clinical, and practice concern, with evidence highlighting increasing rates of child conduct problems internationally. Maternal smoking during pregnancy is known to be a risk factor for offspring psychological problems, including attention deficits and conduct problems, the authors write in the study background.Professor Gordon Harold and Dr. Darya Gaysina, of the University of Leicester, with colleagues in the United States and New Zealand, examined the relationship between maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring conduct problems among children raised by genetically related mothers and genetically unrelated mothers.Three studies were used: The Christchurch Health and Development Study (a longitudinal cohort study that includes biological and adopted children), the Early Growth and Development Study (a longitudinal adoption-at-birth study), and the Cardiff IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) Study (an adoption-at-conception study among genetically related families and genetically unrelated families). Maternal smoking during pregnancy was measured as the average number of cigarettes per day smoked during pregnancy.According to the study results,a significant association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring conduct problems was observed among children raised by genetically related mothers and genetically unrelated mothers. Results from a meta-analysis affirmed this pattern of findings across pooled study samples.”Our findings suggest an association between pregnancy smoking and child conduct problems that is unlikely to be fully explained by postnatal environmental factors (i.e., parenting practices) even when the postnatal passive genotype-environment correlation has been removed.” The authors conclude, “The causal explanation for the association between smoking in pregnancy and offspring conduct problems is not known but may include genetic factors and other prenatal environmental hazards, including smoking itself.”

Read more

Smoking in the entrances to bars increases the presence of nicotine inside

June 14, 2013 — The protection provided by the smoking ban decreases when people can still smoke outside the venue.For the first time, a study has analysed the effects of the modification to the Spanish tobacco control law, implemented in 2011 in hospitality venues in Spain. The findings show that smoking on terraces and in the entrances to bars and restaurants increases the concentration of nicotine and particulate matter, which affects clients and hospitality professionals alike.Smoke in bars would appear to be a thing of the past. However, Spanish scientists have analysed the reduction of nicotine in hospitality venues since the implementation of the 2011 smoking ban, and have found that smoking outside diminishes such protection.”Having studied hospitality venues in Madrid, Galicia and Catalonia, we found a 90% decrease in the presence of nicotine and particulate matter in suspension, attributable to the regulations that have been in place for the last two years,” explained Maria José López, the main author of the article and researcher at the Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB).This latest research, published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, detected more nicotine and increased presence of particles in bars where clients smoked outside, which acts as a warning to experts on risks associated with incomplete protection for employees and customers.The results compare the situation in the same establishments before and after the change to the law that took place in January 2011, based on 351 nicotine measurements carried out and a total of 160 samples of particles under 2.5 µ.The mean concentration of nicotine in the atmosphere in venues with smokers outside was 1.13 µg/cubic meter (m3), while in those where this option is not available there were only 0.41 µg/m3.The authors also recorded other factors such as the presence of ashtrays, people smoking, and whether there were remnants of cigarette butts in the venue.An overall decreaseThe authors confirm that the 90% reduction in the presence of nicotine and particulate matter corresponds to the findings of similar studies in other European countries, such as Scotland and Ireland.”The same occurred in Uruguay, where implementation of the law led to a 91% reduction in the presence of secondary smoke in catering venues,” López affirms.The previous law in 2006 did not protect customers from second-hand smoke exposure, and even created inequalities, allowing hospitality workers to remain exposed to high levels of toxins and carcinogens.”The 2011 modification of the law represents an extraordinary step forward in the protection of workers’ and clients’ health,” López concludes. Although she insists that “the levels of exposure in outside areas should be studied in more detail and the potential need to establish consumption restrictions in certain places should be considered.”This study, undertaken by a work group on Nicotinism at the Spanish Society of Epidemiology, was made possible by the financial backing of the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, the Department of Health of the Regional Government of Catalonia, and the National Centre for Epidemiology (Carlos III Health Institute).The authors wish to extend a special mention in memory of Manel Nebot, the driving force behind research on nicotinism in Spain, who passed away last October in Barcelona.

Read more

Utilizzando il sito, accetti l'utilizzo dei cookie da parte nostra. maggiori informazioni

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close