Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis, Pediatrics, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco Research / 30.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48927" align="alignleft" width="120"]Joan S. Tucker, Ph.D.Senior Behavioral ScientistRAND CorporationSanta Monica, CA Dr. Tucker[/caption] Joan S. Tucker, Ph.D. Senior Behavioral Scientist RAND Corporation Santa Monica, CA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: In light of young adults’ expanding access to cannabis through legalization for recreational use, there has been growing interest in the co-use of cannabis with tobacco/nicotine products.  Although existing data show that young adults who use cannabis products also tend to use tobacco/nicotine products, little is known about how these products are typically used together. Existing research on co-use has mostly focused on combustible products, not accounting for the recent proliferation in cannabis and tobacco/nicotine product types and methods of use (e.g., vaping). Further, not much is known about whether there are important differences between types of co-use (e.g., using both products on the same occasion, one right after another, but not mixing them vs. using both products by mixing them in the same delivery device) in terms of heaviness of use, consequences from use, or associations with young adult functioning. This study was designed as an important first step toward understanding cannabis and tobacco/nicotine co-use behavior among young adults and addressing these gaps in the research literature.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Smoking, Tobacco Research / 29.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jidong Huang, PhD Associate Professor Department of Health Policy & Behavioral Sciences School of Public Health, Georgia State University Atlanta, GA 30303 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: The US tobacco market has been transformed in the past decade by a rapid increase in awareness and use of e-cigarettes among youth and adults. This transformation has been accelerated in recent years by the emergence of new generations of e-cigarettes, such as JUUL e-cigarettes. The exponential growth in e-cigarettes has prompted a renewed interest in the tobacco harm reduction approach, which aims to rapidly curbing the smoking epidemic by encouraging smokers to switch to low risk tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes. There is an ongoing debate about whether the scientific evidence on the health risks of e-cigarettes in comparison with combustible cigarettes has been accurately communicated to the public. Large representative surveys are needed to examine how the public perceives the health risk of e-cigarettes and how their perception change over time.
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Smoking, Tobacco / 22.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47612" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dennis Drayna, PhD Chief of the Laboratory of Communication Disorders and the Section on Genetics of Communication Disorders National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Part of the National Institutes of Health DR. Drayna[/caption] Dennis Drayna, PhD Chief of the Laboratory of Communication Disorders and the Section on Genetics of Communication Disorders National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Part of the National Institutes of Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the United States, there are striking racial differences in the rate of menthol cigarette use.  Tobacco use is a major preventable source of morbidity and mortality in the population, and menthol cigarette use by African Americans represents an important issue for attempts to address minority health disparities. There have been many studies that have documented the role of inherited factors that contribute to smoking or tobacco use.  However, no studies have examined the role of genetic factors specifically in menthol tobacco use.  The preference for menthol cigarettes among African Americans has previously been attributed to cultural factors or industry advertising practices directed at this group. In our study, we asked whether genetic factors could explain why African-American smokers choose menthol cigarettes over non-menthol cigarettes. Our initial hypothesis was that variation in genes that encode the known menthol receptors was important in this difference, although we designed our study to look at all 21,000 protein-coding genes in the genome.
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Smoking / 28.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_46740" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Sarah Dermody, PhD Assistant Professor School of Psychological Science Oregon State University Corvallis Oregon Dr. Dermody[/caption] Dr. Sarah Dermody, PhD Assistant Professor School of Psychological Science Oregon State University Corvallis Oregon  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Drinking alcohol is a risk factor for sustained smoking. In a sample of daily cigarette smokers receiving treatment for alcohol use disorder, we examined if reductions in drinking corresponded with reductions in nicotine metabolism as indexed by the nicotine metabolite ratio. The nicotine metabolite ratio is important because it is associated with smoking level and lapses. We found that for men, alcohol use and the nicotine metabolite ratio reduced significantly; however, for women, neither drinking nor nicotine metabolite ratio changed.
Author Interviews, Johns Hopkins, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco Research / 11.10.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: "Electronic Cigarette/E-Cigs/E-Cigarettes" by Chris F is licensed under CC BY 2.0Mohammadhassan (Hassan) Mirbolouk, MD American Heart Association Tobacco Regulation Center (A-TRAC) Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore, MD 21224. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: E-cigarettes were introduced first in US market as a less harmful method of nicotine delivery which potentially would help smokers to have a less harmful option. However, overtime e-cigarette found its niche of consumers in the younger/tobacco naïve population. Our study is amongst the first studies that describes those who use e-cigarette without any history of combustible-cigarette smoking. 
Author Interviews, JAMA, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco Research / 06.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_44259" align="alignleft" width="144"]Dorothy K. Hatsukami, Ph.D. Forster Family Professor in Cancer Prevention Professor of Psychiatry Associate, Director Masonic Cancer Center University of Minnesota Dr. Hatsukami[/caption] Dorothy K. Hatsukami, Ph.D. Forster Family Professor in Cancer Prevention Professor of Psychiatry Associate, Director Masonic Cancer Center University of Minnesota  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering a rule that would reduce nicotine in all cigarettes and possibly other burned tobacco products sold in the U.S. to minimally addictive levels.   Reducing nicotine in cigarettes does not make the cigarette safer, but because nicotine is the addictive chemical in tobacco, nicotine reduction would reduce the progression towards tobacco dependence and make it easier for smokers to quit smoking.  We recently published a study in JAMA that adds to the accumulating evidence to support reducing nicotine in cigarettes and addresses if a gradual reduction or a targeted immediate reduction in nicotine in cigarettes is the best approach. In a large clinical trial involving 1,250 smokers across 10 academic institutions, immediate reduction of nicotine was compared to a gradual nicotine reduction approach. These two groups were also compared to smokers who continued to smoke usual nicotine content cigarettes. Key findings showed that immediate nicotine reduction is likely to result in more rapid positive public health effects.  That is, smokers in the immediate reduction group experienced significantly less exposure to toxic cigarette smoke chemicals and reported smoking fewer cigarettes per day, less dependence on cigarettes and greater number of days that they were smoke-free compared to the other two groups. On the other hand, smokers in the immediate nicotine reduction group experienced more severe but transient withdrawal symptoms and greater drop-outs. 
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco Research, University Texas / 10.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “hookah” by Ksenia M is licensed under CC BY 2.0Cheryl L. Perry, Ph.D. Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences The Rockwell Distinguished Chair in Society and Health University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health, Austin, Texas MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There have been large changes in the social environment over the past 10 years that have affected tobacco use among youth and young adults. These include social media, e-cigarettes, and new regulations aimed at preventing use among youth. Historically, nearly all onset of tobacco use, particularly cigarettes, occurred prior to high school graduation by age 18. Some recent national cross-sectional data suggested that onset might be occurring among young adults. We decided to explore, with national and Texas data, whether onset of tobacco use was more likely to occur among young adults. We did this by analyzing data from 3 studies over one year.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Gender Differences, Lung Cancer, NEJM, Smoking, Tobacco Research / 24.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Woman smoking” by Pedro Ribeiro Simões is licensed under CC BY 2.0Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PHD Scientific Vice President, Surveillance & Health Services Rsch American Cancer Society, Inc. Atlanta, GA 30303 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Historically, lung cancer rates have been higher in men than women at all ages because of the substantially higher cigarette smoking prevalence in men. However, cigarette smoking prevalences over the past few decades have become similar between young men and women. Consistent with this pattern, we previously reported the convergence of lung cancer rates between young men and young women. In this paper, we examined the lung cancer incidence rates in young women versus young men in the contemporary cohorts. We found that the historically higher lung cancer incidence rates in young men than in young women have reversed in whites and Hispanics born since the mid-1960s. However, this emerging incidence patterns were not fully explained by sex difference in smoking prevalence as cigarette smoking prevalences among whites and Hispanics were not higher in young women than young men.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Smoking, Tobacco Research / 16.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “E-Cigarette/Electronic Cigarette/E-Cigs/E-Liquid/Vaping” by Vaping360 is licensed under CC BY 2.0Wei Bao, MD, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Although the health effects of e-cigarettes remains unclear, e-cigarettes have been marketed as an approach for smoking cessation. Previous studies have reported an increase in e-cigarette use in US people since 2010. The current study showed that from 2014 to 2016, there was an increase in ever use of e-cigarettes but decline in current use of e-cigarettes. 
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Smoking / 01.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Stop smoking!” by Emil_95 is licensed under CC BY 2.0Janina Markidan MS III, MD Student University of Maryland School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In a study of 1,145 young men, we found a strong dose-response relationship between the number of cigarettes smoked daily and the risk of ischemic stroke. We categorized the participants as never smokers, former smokers and current smokers. Current smokers were divided into groups based on the number of cigarettes smoked daily, 1 to 10, 11 to 20, 21 to 39, or 40 or more. We found that men who smoked were 88 percent more likely to have a stroke than men who never smoked. Among current smokers, men who smoked fewer than 11 cigarettes daily were 46 percent more likely to have a stroke than those who never smoked. But the heavier smokers, smoking at least two packs a day, were nearly 5 times (466%) more likely to have a stroke than those who never smoked. 
Author Interviews, BMC, Pediatrics, Tobacco / 17.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Summer Sherburne Hawkins, PhD, MS Associate Professor School of Social Work Boston College Summer Sherburne Hawkins, PhD, MS Associate Professor School of Social Work Boston College MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Increasing cigarette taxes has been a major policy driver to decrease smoking, including adolescent smoking, while taxes on other tobacco products have received less attention. Taxes on cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and cigars are all fiscal policies, but they are not all equal. While state taxes on cigarettes have increased substantially over the past decade, there has been little change in policies governing alternative tobacco products. Realsitcally, everyone wants to pay as little tax as they can, which is why Tax software deals are so great for helping people pay the right amount. The aim of our study was to evaluate the impact of chewing tobacco and cigar taxes, cigarette taxes, and the enactment of smoke-free legislation on adolescent male and female use of smokeless tobacco and cigars.
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cannabis, NIH, Pediatrics, Smoking / 17.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Checking your phone and vaping as you do” by Alper Çu?un is licensed under CC BY 2.0Richard Allen Miech, PhD Research Professor, Survey Research Center Institute for Social Research University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Monitoring the Future conducts annual, nationally-representative surveys of ~45,000 adolescents every year to assess trends in substance use. We track which drugs are gaining traction among adolescents and which are falling out of favor. The survey draws separate, nationally-representative samples of 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students from about 400 total schools every year. Once a recruited school agrees to participate, a field interviewer travels to the school to administer the paper-and-pencil survey, typically in classrooms. The project is funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and is carried out by the University of Michigan. More details on the project's survey design and survey procedures can be found in chapter 3 here: http://monitoringthefutu re.org/pubs/monographs/mtf- vol1_2016.pdf
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Tobacco Research / 15.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_37467" align="alignleft" width="149"]Abbas Mohajerani BsEng, MsEng, PhD, FIEAust, MAGS. MACI Senior Lecturer School of Engineering, Civil and Infrastructure Engineering RMIT University Melbourne Victoria  Australia Dr. Mohajerani[/caption] Abbas Mohajerani BsEng, MsEng, PhD, FIEAust, MAGS. MACI Senior Lecturer School of Engineering, Civil and Infrastructure Engineering RMIT University Melbourne Victoria  Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: I knew about the harmful chemicals in cigarette butts and was not happy to see them everywhere in the environment, in our footpath, parks, and rivers. Cigarette butts (CBs) contain a large number of toxic to highly toxic chemicals and stay in the environment for a long time. Decomposition of CBs can take from a couple of months to many years depending on the environmental factors. Cigarette butts are one of the most common types of waste found around the world. Currently about 6 trillion cigarette butts per year are deposited somewhere in the environment. This is equivalent to an estimated mass of over 1.2 million tonnes of Cigarette butts each year. And this is expected to increase significantly by 2025, mainly due to an increase in the world population. In 2005, I started to think about different ways to recycle CBs in construction materials, and the first idea which struck me was to recycle them in fired clay bricks. After several years of research, we came up with a proposal, that if every brick manufacturer were to produce 2.5% of their bricks with 1% Cigarette butts incorporated, all CBs produced worldwide could be recycled. A 1% CB content would have very little effect on the physical and mechanical properties of the brick. And the estimated firing energy saved by incorporating 1% CBs into clay bricks is about 10%. That is a very significant reduction in the firing energy. This proposal was published in the journal of Waste Management in May 2016.
Author Interviews, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Smoking / 19.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_36987" align="alignleft" width="112"]Filippos Filippidis MD MPH PhD Lecturer in Public Health School of Public Health Imperial College London London Dr. Filippidis[/caption] Filippos Filippidis MD MPH PhD Lecturer in Public Health School of Public Health Imperial College London London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Smoking kills millions of people every year. It is well established that increasing tobacco prices is the most effective way to reduce tobacco consumption and hence mitigate the devastating effects of tobacco on health. Taxation on tobacco products is high in the European Union, which makes cigarettes less affordable. However, transnational tobacco companies are known to manipulate prices, ensuring that cheap or ‘budget’ cigarettes are still available. This is particularly important for younger smokers and those of low socioeconomic status who are more sensitive in price increases. Smoking during pregnancy, as well as exposure of pregnant women and babies to cigarette smoke increase infant mortality. There is also evidence that increasing tobacco prices is associated with lower infant mortality. However, researchers typically use average or premium cigarette prices. We analysed 54 million births from 23 European Union countries to see if the differential between average priced and budget cigarettes (i.e. the availability of cigarettes much cheaper than average priced ones) is associated with infant mortality. We found that increasing average cigarette prices by 1 Euro per pack was associated with 0.23 fewer deaths per 1,000 live births in the same year and an additional 0.16 fewer deaths per 1,000 live births in the following year. A 10% increase in the price differential between budget and average priced cigarettes was associated with 0.07 more deaths per 1,000 live births the following year. This means that 3,195 infant deaths could potentially have been avoided in these 23 countries if there was no price difference between cigarette products over the 10-year study period.
Author Interviews, JNCI, Lung Cancer, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco Research / 22.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Peter G. Shields, M.D. Deputy Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center James Cancer Hospital Professor, College of Medicine Julius F. Stone Chair in Cancer Research The Ohio State University Columbus, OH MedicalResearch.com: What do we know about the health effects of cigarette filters?  Response:  The issue is that the design of the filters makes a cigarette even more dangerous, which can be regulated by the FDA. The issue is not about having a filter, but how they are made. And now we are changing the dialogue to the design of virtually all cigarettes. The holes on the filter are likely one reason the cigarettes of today are more dangerous.
Author Interviews, JAMA, Tobacco / 22.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_34776" align="alignleft" width="200"]Reto-Auer.jpg Prof. Reto Auer[/caption] Reto Auer, MD, MAS Institute of Primary Health Care (BIHAM), University of Bern, Bern, Department of Ambulatory Care and Community Medicine University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: When the tobacco industry began to promote new “heat-not-burn” (HNB) tobacco cigarettes as a “safer” alternative to traditional cigarettes, we wanted to find out if their claims were true. Philip Morris International (PMI) created an HBN called IQOS® (I-Quit-Ordinary-Smoking). IQOS® uses tobacco sticks soaked in propylene glycol, which are inserted into a holder and heated to a maximum of 350°C. PMI claims that because its HNBs don’t combust, they emit far fewer harmful chemicals than conventional cigarettes. We decided to test their claims.
Author Interviews, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco Research / 24.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32358" align="alignleft" width="200"]Jennifer M. Polinski PhD Senior Director, Enterprise Evaluation and Population Health Analytics, CVS Health CVS Caremark Corporation Harvard School of Public Health Dr. Jennifer Polinski[/caption] Jennifer M. Polinski PhD Senior Director, Enterprise Evaluation and Population Health Analytics, CVS Health CVS Caremark Corporation Harvard School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Nearly three years ago, we removed tobacco products from all CVS Pharmacy locations to help our customers on their path to better health. While there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that restricting access to tobacco helps reduce its use, we wanted to understand if our decision to remove tobacco had a nationwide impact on our customers’ purchasing behavior and presumed smoking habits. In fact, our research findings, published in the American Journal of Public Health, show that CVS Health’s decision to remove tobacco from all CVS Pharmacy stores reduced the number of cigarette purchases across all other retail settings, including gas stations, convenience stores, and other outlets. In addition, customers who exclusively purchased cigarettes at CVS Pharmacy were 38 percent more likely to stop buying cigarettes, and those who purchased three or more packs of cigarettes per month at a CVS Pharmacy were more than twice as likely to stop buying cigarettes altogether.
Author Interviews, Occupational Health, Smoking / 22.09.2014

MedicalResearch.com: Interview with: Girija Syamlal MBBS, MPH , Epidemiologist Division of Respiratory Disease Studies National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health CDC, Morgantown, West Virginia CDC/NIOSH/DRDS Morgantown,WV 26505 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Syamlal: During 2004–2011, of the 141 million U.S. adults, 20.7% were current cigarette smokers. Smoking prevalences were higher among men (22.8%) than women (18.3%). In both men and women, cigarette smoking prevalence varied widely by occupational group. In certain occupations, the prevalence of smoking was three times greater than the Healthy People 2020 goal that aims to reduce cigarette smoking prevalence to 12%.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Tobacco Research / 30.08.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:  Michelle Scollo Senior policy adviser, Tobacco Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Answer:  Each November the Cancer Council Victoria conducts a survey asking smokers about their tobacco purchasing habits and smoking attitudes, intentions and behaviours. This study compared what smokers said about where and what they purchased in:
  • November 2011, a year before the introduction of world-first legislation mandating standardized packaging of tobacco products throughout Australia
  • In November 2012, while the new plain packs were being rolled out onto the market and
  • In November 2013 one year later.
The tobacco industry had strenuously opposed the legislation, but—contrary to the industry predictions and continuing claims in other countries contemplating similar legislation—we found: 1.       No evidence of smokers shifting from purchasing in small independent outlets to purchasing in larger supermarkets 2.       No evidence of an increase in use of very cheap brands of cigarettes manufactured by companies based in Asia and 3.       No evidence of an increase in use of illicit unbranded tobacco.