Posts Tagged ‘
Friday, December 14th, 2012
Teenaged girls who smoke cigarettes have been found to develop bone mineral density more slowly than non-smoking girls, putting them at higher risk for disease like osteoporosis and other musculo-skeletal issues. The study is limited because the sample had a lower calcium intake than the national average. Regardless, The New York Times reports that the findings should give pediatricians another issue to raise with teen patients who smoke:
“The scientists studied 262 healthy girls ages 11 to 19, using questionnaires and interviews to assess their smoking habits. The researchers also measured the girls’ bone density at the hip and lumbar spine three times at one-year intervals.
Smokers entered adolescence with the same lumbar and hip bone density as nonsmokers, but by age 19, they were about a year behind on average. After adjusting for other factors that affect bone health — height, weight, hormonal contraceptive use and more — the researchers found that even relatively low or irregular rates of smoking were independently associated with lower bone density.”
Image: Teen girl smoking, via Shutterstock
Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Tweens and teenagers are so vulnerable to messages they receive in movies that any film that depicts a character smoking should automatically earn an “R” rating, a new study suggests. CNN.com has more:
PG-13 films account for nearly two-thirds of the smoking scenes adolescents see on the big screen, according to the two-year study, which surveyed roughly 5,000 children ages 10 to 14 about the movies they’d seen and whether they’d ever tried a cigarette.
Smoking in PG-13 films — including background shots and other passing instances — was just as strongly linked with real-world experimentation as the smoking in R-rated films. For every 500 smoking scenes a child saw in PG-13 movies, his or her likelihood of trying cigarettes increased by 49%. The comparable figure for R-rated movies was 33%, a statistically negligible difference.
Assigning an R rating to all movies portraying smoking would lower the proportion of kids who try cigarettes at this age by 18%, the authors estimate. (Children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult to buy a ticket for an R-rated movie.)
“The movie industry [should] treat smoking like it treats profanity and sex and violence,” says lead author Dr. James D. Sargent, a cancer-prevention specialist and professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School, in Lebanon, New Hampshire. “If saying the ‘F’ word twice gets you an R rating, certainly something as important as smoking should get you an R rating.”
Image: Teenagers at the movies, via Shutterstock.
Friday, June 8th, 2012
A new survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that more American teenagers smoke marijuana than cigarettes.
Twenty-three percent of the high school students who were surveyed about a number of risky behaviors said they recently smoked marijuana, while 18 percent said they had smoked nicotine cigarettes. According to MSNBC.com, some experts attribute the difference to the perception that marijuana is less dangerous than niccotine.
Image: Smoke, via Shutterstock.
Friday, March 9th, 2012
One in five high school students smokes, and 9 out of 10 current smokers started the habit before age 18, a new report from the U.S. surgeon general’s office has found. The report has led Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin to declare that youth smoking has reached epidemic proportions.
The report criticizes the tobacco industry for spending an estimated $27 million each day marketing to teens, and calls for greater measures to prevent teens from starting a dangerous habit that will likely last their whole lives.
MSNBC.com has more:
“Today, more than 600,000 middle school students and 3 million high school students smoke. We don’t want our children to start something now that they won’t be able to change later in life,” Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin said in the report, which details the scope, health consequences and influences that lead to youth tobacco use.
An estimated 3,800 kids pick up their first cigarette every day and 9 in 10 current smokers started before the age of 18. Some 99 percent of all first-time tobacco use happens by the age of 26, exposing young people to the long-term health effects of smoking, such as lung cancer and heart disease.
Smoking kills more than 1,200 people every day, and every tobacco-related death is replaced by two new smokers under the age of 25, the report said.
Image: Smoking cigarette, via Shutterstock.
Monday, October 31st, 2011
More than 100 playgrounds across the city of Boston are about to receive signs prohibiting smoking on the grounds. The signs read, “Children at Play, No Smoking,” and they are intended, The Boston Globe reports, to protect children from the harmful effects of second hand smoke, including asthma attacks, respiratory infections, lung cancer, and heart disease.
The signs are not legally binding; there are no new laws or city ordinances that prohibit smoking at playgrounds. But Boston’s mayor says the signs will empower parents to keep smokers at a distance from play areas.
“I know that nothing we put on the law books could be as strong as a parent who is trying to protect their kids from secondhand smoke and cigarette debris,’’ Mayor Thomas M. Menino said.
Similar initiatives are under way in 570 countries nationwide, the Globe reported.
Boston’s Public Health Commission cited studies suggesting that sitting outdoors a mere 3 feet from a smoker can expose a child to the same amount of second-hand smoke as sitting indoors in the same room with someone who is smoking. Other studies reported incidents of children being burned because lit cigarettes are held at a child’s eye level while they are running around a playground.
(image via: http://www.palmarsh.kent.sch.uk/)