Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, Tobacco Research / 07.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Isabella Lanza, PhD Associate Professor of Human Development California State University, Long Beach MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This is the first study to examine both nicotine vaping and cannabis vaping trajectories across adolescence and young adulthood, which allowed us to assess whether poly-substance vaping is common among adolescents and young adults. Poly-substance vaping (nicotine and cannabis vaping) was reported among a significant proportion of participants in the study (25% were identified as poly-substance vapers). For those that either escalated to frequent nicotine vaping use in adolescence or initiated frequent nicotine vaping use in young adulthood, the probability of engaging in cannabis vaping was very high (85%+). (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, Tobacco Research, UCSD / 25.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Davide Dulcis, PhD Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry, UCSD School of Medicine University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA 92093-0603 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies in humans have shown that pre-natal and early life exposure to nicotine can lead to altered children behavior and propensity for drug abuse, but the precise mechanisms involved are still unclear. In this pre-clinical study we showed how nicotine “primes” neurons of the mouse brain’s reward center for a fate they normally would not have taken, making them more susceptible to the effects of nicotine when the animals are again exposed to nicotine later in life, said Dr. Benedetto Romoli, first author of the research article. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Tobacco Research / 19.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Nicola Lindson PhD CPsychol Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group (TAG) Managing Editor & Senior Researcher Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: People have been using nicotine replacement therapy, otherwise known as NRT, to quit smoking for more than 20 years. NRT is available in a range of forms: skin patches, chewing gum, nasal and oral sprays, inhalators, and lozenges. We have good evidence that it is safe and that it helps more people to quit than trying to stop smoking using no medication. We carried out a systematic review to try and find out what the best ways are to use NRT to maximise a person’s chances of quitting successfully. We did this by looking at studies that compared at least two different types of NRT use, such as higher versus lower doses, or longer versus shorter use. The takeaway message from the review is that using more nicotine (in the form of nicotine replacement therapy, ) to aid quitting can help more people to stop smoking in the long-term. There is high quality evidence that using two forms of nicotine replacement at the same time – a patch as well as a faster-acting form such as gum - increases chances of quitting, and evidence also suggests that starting to use nicotine replacement before the day you give up cigarettes can help more people quit than beginning use on the day you stop. There is no evidence that using more nicotine replacement is harmful when used as directed. (more…)
Author Interviews, NEJM, Pediatrics, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco Research, University of Michigan / 30.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Richard Miech Ph.D Professor Principal Investigator, Monitoring the Future Institute for Social Research University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Every year Monitoring the Future conducts a survey to examine trends in adolescent substance use. We draw a random sample of schools from a list of all schools in the United States and conduct our survey in ~400 schools. Our survey is representative of U.S. 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students. In other words, our results are what you would find if you surveyed every single 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in the United States, within the bounds of a small sampling error of a few percentage points. An increase in vaping is the big news for 2018. In 10th and 12th grade the increase in nicotine vaping was the largest we've ever seen for any substance in the past 43 years. As a result of this increase in nicotine vaping, overall use of nicotine increased as well, which suggests that vaping is drawing youth into nicotine use. We also saw a significant increase in marijuana vaping. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco Research / 06.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, JAMA / 07.02.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lin Lu, M.D. Ph.D. Director/Professor, Institute of Mental Health and Peking University Sixth Hospital Director/Professor, National Institute on Drug Dependence, Peking University Beijing China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Nicotine addiction is the leading preventable cause of mortality, and causes over 6 million deaths each year. One fundamental mechanism that maintain smoking relapse in smokers is the persistence of memories of both nicotine reward and nicotine-associated conditioned stimulus (CS, e.g. ashtray,cigarette lighters, etc.).Preclinical studies suggest that the drug reward memories can be reactivated by nicotine-associated CS undergo an unstable stage, named memory reconsolidation, and that pharmacological or behavioral manipulations that interfere with reconsolidation inhibit subsequent drug relapse. However, most of the translational studies targeting reconsolidation stages of the drug reward memory have not been successful.One important reason is that when participants were exposed to nicotine-associated CS to induce memory reconsolidation, the pharmacological or behavioral manipulations only interfere with the reconsolidation of memories selectively associated with the reactivated CS, without affecting other CSs. However, in real life, smoking is associated with multiple CSs that vary across individuals. Thus, a key question is how to interfere with reconsolidation of multiple nicotine-associated memories . In the present study, we introduce a novel memory reconsolidation interference procedure in which we reactivated multiple nicotine reward memories in rats and human smokers by acute exposure to nicotine (the UCS) and then interfered with memory reconsolidation using the noradrenergic blocker propranolol, an FDA-approved drug. (more…)