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Tue, 21 Aug 2018
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Smoking

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Genetic link tied to smoking addiction

WASHINGTON - Scientists have pinpointed genetic variations that make people more likely to get hooked on cigarettes and more prone to develop lung cancer - a finding that could someday lead to screening tests and customized treatments for smokers trying to kick the habit.

The discovery by three separate teams of scientists makes the strongest case so far for the biological underpinnings of nicotine addiction and sheds more light on how genetics and lifestyle habits join forces to cause cancer.

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Philip Morris Experimenting with GMO Tobacco

Scientists have genetically modified tobacco plants to knock out a gene that helps turns nicotine into one of the carcinogens in cured tobacco.

The Philip Morris-funded North Carolina State researchers say the work could lead to less cancer-causing chewing tobacco. In large-scale field trials, they compared the levels of N-nitrosonornicotine, a chemical known as NNN, between GM tobacco plants and a control group. They found a six-fold decrease in NNN and a 50 percent overall drop in a whole class of nasty substances known as tobacco-specific nitrosamines.

Comment: Perhaps Philip Morris should leave the natural product be, to focus attention on the many artificial chemicals added to cigarettes and other tobacco products?


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Antismoking Pill May Ease Depression ... Or Cause Suicidal Thoughts

Two drugs that act on nicotine receptors are now being tested as antidepressants -- offering hope to the millions of people who don't respond to traditional antidepressants.

chantix
©Rob Lee/Flickr
While anti-smoking drug Chantix can provide soothing feelings, its use has elicited suicidal thoughts in some people.

Comment: Quit smoking, that might actually benefit you, and get these drugs, that might or might not make you wanna kill yourself! Meanwhile, drug companies keep getting wealthier.


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US: Smog rule tightened - 345 counties fail

WASHINGTON - The air in hundreds of U.S. counties is simply too dirty to breathe, the government said Wednesday, ordering a multibillion-dollar expansion of efforts to clean up smog in cities and towns nationwide.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced it was tightening the amount of ozone, commonly known as smog, that will be allowed in the air. But the lower standard still falls short of what most health experts say is needed to significantly reduce heart and asthma attacks from breathing smog-clogged air.

Smog in the US
©(AP Photo/Adam Rountree, File)
Smog covers midtown Manhattan in New York in this July 10, 2007 file photo. Some of the biggest lobbying forces in Washington are waging an intense campaign to head off tougher regulations on smog that health experts blame for hundreds of premature deaths to asthma and other respiratory diseases. The EPA within weeks will decide whether it should further reduce the allowable amount of ozone, a precursor of smog, in the air. The tougher standard would require hundreds of counties across the country to find new ways to reduce the smog-causing emissions to meet the revised federal health standard. Groups representing manufacturers, automakers, electric utilities, grocers and cement makers, met with White House officials recently in a last ditch effort to keep the health standard unchanged.


Comment: Interesting how smoking is always blamed as the key cause for respiratory diseases. Coincidence?


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Thou shalt not smoke: WHO Launches Global Anti-Smoking Project

Tobacco could kill up to a billion people during the 21st century, as cigarette sales soar in poor and middle-income countries even as they drop in wealthier ones, says a report issued Thursday by the World Health Organization.

The report, financed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's foundation, suggests a six-point program for fighting the tobacco industry's influence.

Pills

Anti-Smoking Drug Chantix May Pose Psychiatric Risks

Washington - Government regulators said Friday the connection between Pfizer's anti-smoking drug Chantix and serious psychiatric problems is "increasingly likely."

Stop

Croatia to ban smoking in all public places by end of 2008

In July 2006. Renato Mittermayer, from the Croatian Ministry of Health and Social care, stated there would be changes in the law to ban smoking from all public places in Croatia, including restaurants, night clubs and bars; according to EU regulation.

"It is unacceptable for the assistant minister to make public statements on behalf of the ministry, especially when he is telling lies and conveying his personal opinions. Next time he should keep his private thoughts for himself!" - Prime Minister Sanader reacted at the time. He also adding that "cabinet is not considering any legal measures against smoking."

Syringe

Nicotine vaccine helps some people quit smoking

A vaccine aimed at helping people quit smoking by blunting the effects of nicotine doubled the number who could kick the habit but overall success remained small, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

Comment: Yep! Quit smoking and get vaccinated because that's healthier, right? You will also be helping the pharmaceutical companies become wealthier.


People

Anti-smoking agenda 'caused air pollution problem to be obscured'

Governments concealed the huge threat to public health caused by air pollution in the wake of the great London smog 50 years ago, and attempted to shift all the blame on to cigarette smoking, a medical historian will allege today.

Health

Tobacco Smoke Dispelled as Factor in MS Progression

GRONINGEN, Netherlands -- Smoking has been overrated as an important factor in spurring multiple sclerosis progression and disability, researchers here said.

Smoking was not associated with primary or secondary MS progression on any measures except for some weak associations with disability, found Marcus Koch, M.D., of the University Medical Center Groningen here, and colleagues, in a large cohort study in the Oct. 9 issue of Neurology.