Wednesday October 17, 2018

Smoking may Shorten the Lifespan of HIV Patients more than the Virus itself

Smoking is especially dangerous for people living with HIV, putting them at high risk for heart disease, cancer, serious lung diseases, and other infections

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Smoking. Pixabay
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November 3, 2016: Among people living with HIV who smoke cigarettes, smoking may shorten their lifespan more than HIV itself, warns a study by an Indian-origin researcher.

“A person with HIV who consistently takes HIV medicines but smokes is much more likely to die of a smoking-related disease than of HIV itself,” explained study author Krishna P. Reddy of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

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The study suggests that making smoking cessation a priority and finding effective ways to help people with HIV quit can significantly improve their lifespan.

“Now that HIV-specific medicines are so effective against the virus itself, we also need to add other interventions that could improve and extend the lives of people with HIV,” Reddy noted.

In their study, the researchers used a computer simulation of HIV disease and treatment to project the life expectancy of people living with HIV based on their smoking status.

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For men and women with HIV who adhere well to HIV medicines, the study, published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, found that smoking reduces life expectancy by about twice as much as HIV.

“It is well-known that smoking is bad for health, but we demonstrate in this study just how bad it is,” Reddy said.

Smoking is especially dangerous for people living with HIV, putting them at high risk for heart disease, cancer, serious lung diseases, and other infections.

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“We actually quantify the risk, and I think providing those numbers to patients can help put their own risks from smoking in perspective,” Reddy noted. (IANS)

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Usage of E-Cigarettes In American Teens Have Reached ‘Epidemic Proportions’: FDA

Gottlieb slammed the e-cigarette makers for approaching the problem of underage use as "a public relations challenge.''

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Do you believe e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to smoking? Think again. Pixabay

American teens’ use of e-cigarettes has hit “epidemic proportions,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement released Wednesday.

In what it called the “largest coordinated enforcement effort in FDA history,” the agency issued written warnings and fines to 1,300 retailers for their role in selling the devices to children.

According to the data cited by the FDA, last year more than 2 million middle school and high school students used the devices, which deliver nicotine in an inhalable form.

In a speech at FDA headquarters, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said, “The disturbing and accelerating trajectory of use we’re seeing in youth and the resulting path to addiction must end.”

 

e-cigarettes
In this April 11, 2018, photo, an unidentified 15-year-old high school student uses a vaping device near the school’s campus in Cambridge, Mass. Health and education officials across the country are raising alarms over wide underage use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The devices heat liquid into an inhalable vapor that’s sold in sugary flavors like mango and mint — and often with the addictive drug nicotine. VOA

 

Until now, the FDA had eyed e-cigarettes as a powerful tool to help adults break their habit of using conventional tobacco products. But research has found little evidence of such products’ effectiveness.

Gottlieb admitted that the agency had neglected to take into account how attractive the flavored products would be to youths.

The commissioner said the FDA would continue to study e-cigarettes as a less harmful alternative for adult smokers, but “that work can’t come at the expense of kids.”

The FDA said it was giving the makers of Juul, Vuse, MarkTen XL, Blu and Logic, the five top-selling brands, 60 days to present the agency with a viable plan to prevent vaping among children. If they fail, it could order the products off the market.

The five brands account for more than 97 percent of U.S. sales, according to the FDA.

 e-cigarettes
Packages of flavored liquids for e-cigarettes are seen displayed at a smoke shop in New York City. VOA

Critics have long argued that the manufacturers of e-cigarettes are deliberately targeting children by offering their products in sugary flavors.

Also Read: Daily Cigarette Smokers Develop Greater Risk of Heart Attack, Says Study

Gottlieb slammed the e-cigarette makers for approaching the problem of underage use as “a public relations challenge.”

“I’m here to tell them today that this prior approach is over,” he said. (VOA)