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Entries from July 2010

Smokeless Tobacco Danger

July 30th, 2010 · No Comments

According to a study in the American Chemical Society’s monthly journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, smokeless tobacco damages DNA and key enzymes.

In addition to damage to the DNA, the study found that smokeless tobacco extracts alter the function of the so-called CYP-450 family of enzymes. “These products are used around the world but are most common in Northern Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Mediterranean region,” the report says. “Most of the users seem to be unaware of the harmful health effects and, therefore, use smokeless tobacco to ‘treat’ toothaches, headaches, and stomachaches. This false impression only promotes tobacco use among youth.

Smokeless tobacco has harmful effects on the mouth, which include an increased risk of gum disease and oral cancer. The potential carcinogens and other chemicals in chewing tobacco and other smokeless products are absorbed into the blood and travel throughout the body.

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Tags: Smoking - Nicotine Addiction

Drugs and High School Drop Outs

July 30th, 2010 · No Comments

Published online in July in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, the study “Childhood and Adolescent-onset Psychiatric Disorders, Substance Use, and Failure to Graduate High School on Time” found that 29 percent of students who used tobacco failed to complete high school on time. Twenty percent of teens who used alcohol and 24.6 percent of teens who used drugs dropped out.

Existing literature suggests that poor educational performance contributes to smoking. If this is true, then breaking the connection between smoking and education may be essential to further reduction in the prevalence of smoking.

The study also stated that 32.3 percent of students with the combined type of ADHD — which incorporates hyperactive and inattentive symptoms — drop out of high school. Fifteen percent of teens with no psychiatric disorder drop out.

“Understanding the factors that contribute to dropping out of high school has major public-health implications, given that a third of youth in this country do not complete high school on time. Supporting mental-health interventions for students may have a significant impact on reducing high school dropout,” said study author Elizabeth Miller, an assistant professor of pediatrics and an adolescent medicine specialist at UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

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Tags: Drug Abuse