Youth around the world take up smoking and use tobacco products at high rates. Young people may not grasp the long-term consequences of tobacco use, although tobacco consumption and exposure has been shown to have significant negative health effects. Youth use a variety of tobacco products that are smoked, chewed, or sniffed, including machine-manufactured cigarettes, cigars, bidis, kreteks, sticks, and snuff. Prevention efforts have focused on countering those aspects that are believed to contribute to smoking uptake, such as tobacco industry advertising and promotion, and access to tobacco. There are many aspects of tobacco promotion through the media that have been more difficult to control, however, such as product placement within popular cinema movies. Once a youth has taken up tobacco, he or she is more likely than an adult to become addicted and should be offered treatment for tobacco cessation. Although there is not yet sufficient evidence to prove efficacy, the same treatments are suggested for youth as are recommended for adults, including nicotine replacement products. Given the severity of the tobacco epidemic worldwide and the devastating health effects on an individual and population basis, there are currently many efforts to curtail the tobacco problem, including the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsored Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. It is through comprehensive and collaborative efforts such as this that the global hazard of tobacco is most likely to be overcome.
"Adolescence is a period of marked hormonal change that is associated with an apparent vulnerability to smoking initiation. Additionally, adolescents, particularly female adolescents, seem to progress more rapidly to nicotine dependence after initial use than adults (SAMHSA 2007) and show higher rates of dependence, even though adolescents report smoking fewer cigarettes than do adults (Tanski et al. 2004; Storr 2008). Despite these findings, and the fact that smoking generally begins during adolescence, most animal studies have focused on adult males (but see McQuown et al. 2007; Shram et al. 2008a; b; Levin et al. 2007; Adriani et al. 2003). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine sex differences in sensitivity to nicotine's reinforcing effects during adolescence, a hormone transition phase characterized by rapid and marked changes in levels of gonadal hormones. Male and female rats were trained to self-administer nicotine (5 or 10 microg/kg/infusion) under a fixed-ratio 1 schedule beginning on postnatal day 30. Following acquisition, responding was assessed under a progressive-ratio schedule until postnatal day 45 with blood sampling occurring prior to the first 5 sessions in order to determine the relationship between gonadal hormones (i.e., estradiol and progesterone in females and testosterone in males) and responding for nicotine. Under low dose conditions, a greater percentage of females than males acquired nicotine self-administration. Under progressive-ratio testing conditions, although adolescent females and males initially responded at similar levels, by the end of the adolescent testing period, females responded at higher levels than males to obtain nicotine infusions. Levels of responding under the progressive-ratio schedule were negatively associated with progesterone and positively associated with the ratio of estradiol to progesterone. These findings demonstrate an enhanced sensitivity in adolescent females as compared to adolescent males to nicotine's reinforcing effects with evidence implicating circulating hormone levels as modulating this sensitivity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Moist snuff is the most popular form of orally-used smokeless tobacco in North America and parts of Europe. Because moist snuff use conveys lower risks for morbidity or mortality than does cigarette smoking, its use has been proposed as a tobacco harm-reduction strategy. This article critically reviews new and published epidemiologic evidence on health effects of moist snuff and its patterns of use relative to smoking in the United States, Sweden, and Norway. The available evidence suggests that: (1) moist snuff is a human carcinogen and toxin, (2) increased promotion of moist snuff has led to increased sales in those countries, (3) the uptake of moist snuff in these three countries during the past several decades has occurred primarily among adolescent and young adult men, (4) increased prevalence of snuff use has not been associated consistently with a reduction in smoking initiation or prevalence, (5) moist snuff use apparently plays a very minor role in smoking cessation in the U.S. and an inconsistent role in Sweden, (6) U.S. states with the lowest smoking prevalence also tend to have the lowest prevalence of snuff use, (7) there are no data on the efficacy of snuff as a smoking-cessation method, (8) the prevalence of cigarette smoking is relatively high among people who use snuff, and (9) snuff use is more consistently associated with partial substitution for smoking than with complete substitution. The evidence base for promotion of snuff use as a public health strategy is weak and inconsistent.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine 01/2008; 33(6 Suppl):S387-97. DOI:10.1016/j.amepre.2007.09.009 · 4.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Graphical tobacco product labelling is a prominent source of health information and has an important position among tobacco control initiatives. However, little is known about its effectiveness among adolescents. With this above in mind, we aimed to research into how adolescents perceive the proposed EU graphic tobacco product warning labels as an effective means of preventing smoking initiation in comparison to the current EU text-only warning labels.
Five hundred seventy four adolescents (13-18, 54% male) from Greece were privately interviewed, with the use of a digital questionnaire and randomly shown seven existing EU text-only and proposed EU graphic warning labels. Non-smoking respondents were asked to compare and rate the warnings effectiveness in regard to preventing them from smoking on a 1-5 Likert type scale.
Irrespective of the warning category shown, on all occasions, non-smoking adolescents rated the suggested EU graphic labels as more effective in preventing them from smoking in comparison to the existing EU text-only warnings. Controlling for gender, age, current smoking status and number of cigarettes smoked per month, younger adolescents were found to opt for graphic warnings more often, and also perceive graphic warning labels as a more effective means of preventing them from smoking, in comparison to their elder peers (P < 0.001).
The proposed EU graphic warning labels may play an important role in preventing of smoking initiation during the crucial years of early adolescence when smoking experimentation and early addiction usually take place.
The European Journal of Public Health 02/2009; 19(2):212-7. DOI:10.1093/eurpub/ckp015 · 2.59 Impact Factor
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