Education

U.S. Anti-Smoking Campaign On e-Cigs

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is featuring an e-cigarette smoker for the first time in its latest “Tips From Former Smokers” ad campaign.

The campaign usually focuses on  Americans who have faced serious health issues from smoking traditional tobacco products. Often the ads are explicit. On March 30, the first e-cigarette ad aired.

The ad features 35-year-old Kristy, a mother from Tennessee. According to the CDC, Kristy was a smoker for 20 years and suffered from smoker’s cough and shortness of breath.

“I tried e-cigarettes, but I just ended up using both the electronic kind and my regular brand,” she says in the ad.

The narrator adds: “Eventually, Kristy quit e-cigarettes and went back to just smoking cigarettes. A few months later, Kristy’s right lung collapsed. She spent 2 weeks in the hospital on pain medicine while doctors inserted chest tubes and did surgery to repair her collapsed lung. Kristy’s doctors also found early COPD, a lung disease that makes it harder and harder to breathe. COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. That was when Kristy stopped smoking cigarettes completely.”

E-cigarettes continue to be the subject of a national debate. For some lifelong smokers, switching to e-cigarettes can serve as a bridge to quitting, some studies have found.  But the medical community and the public have gotten mixed signals from various studies.  A study published last year found that smokers who wanted to quit were about 60 percent more likely to be successful if they used e-cigarettes as opposed to other products, such as nicotine patches or gum.

However, the American Lung Association and other critics, counter that e-cigarettes have not been found conclusively to serve as a smoking cessation tool. A study released last month by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that e-cigarettes generate some of the same dangerous chemicals found in traditional tobacco products.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration expects to publish its first and much-anticipated regulations for e-cigarettes in June, as the products continue to surge in popularity.

The American Heart Association last year called for strong new regulations to prevent access, sales and marketing of e-cigarettes to youth, and for more research into the product’s health impact.

In 2014, the CDC’s national quit-smoking hotline got 80 percent more calls when the agency’s anti-smoking ads were on the air. Since 2012, the ads have generated more than 500,000 additional calls.

The ads encourage smokers to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.cdc.gov/tips.

“Nationally, about 3 in 4 adult e-cigarette users also smoke cigarettes,” the CDC says in a statement. “If you only cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke by adding another tobacco product, like e-cigarettes, you still face serious health risks.”

Read other articles on e-cigarettes and the health hazards of smoking:

 Confirmed Measles Case in International Traveler to Miami and Orlando

The Florida Department of Health has confirmed that there has been one case of measles in an international adult traveler in Miami, Orlando and other parts of the state during March.

The traveler attended a conference March 16-17 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, according to state health officials.

“Most of the traveler’s time was spent in Osceola County; however, the traveler also spent time in Miami-Dade, Orange and Sarasota during the infectious period of March 14-20, 2015. The traveler was hospitalized between March 20-24 in Miami and after recovery left Florida by plane on March 25.”

Statement from Florida Department of Health.

State officials say that while in Florida, the traveler did not visit any theme parks. Months ago in California, a visitor to a theme park lead to a measles outbreak involving 147 people in seven states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC)

To track down those in Florida who may have been exposed to measles, state health officials are working with healthcare professionals and other organizations.

“The department is also working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the organizer of the international conference to notify all conference attendees as well as all other establishments the traveler visited while infectious to identify potentially exposed individuals,” according to a statement from Florida Health officials.

The Department also encourages residents “to remember vaccination is the best protection.”

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