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September 30th, 2016:

Tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure in young adolescents aged 12–15 years

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Tonight with Tim Modise | A Billion Lives

Tobacco addiction has led to the deaths of millions around the world with South Africa is joining the cause to have smoking banned.

According to a new documentary, e-cigarettes and vaporizers are a solution to kicking addiction but they aren’t made accessible & this info is kept secret by large corporations because they st and to lose billions.

Tim Modise talks to Aaron Biebert, ‘A Billion Lives’ Film Director & Medical Expert, Dr Delon Human.

Philip Morris Boosts Cigarette Alternative Investments

The tobacco firm will expand sales of these products to more countries as well as increase its development of new products.

The head of Philip Morris International has his eyes on alternatives to cigarettes as a good investment strategy for his company. CEO Andre Calantzopoulos said that the company will shell out an additional $100 million in 2016 to develop next-generation tobacco products, Bloomberg reports.

“We are more confident than ever that these products have the potential to fundamentally transform our business,” he said. One product in particular has received more funding: the iQOS heat-not-burn tobacco device. Philip Morris forecasts the product will hit shelves in 20 markets by the end of 2016.

IQOS consists of a rechargeable electronic device that heats tubes of tobacco. These “HeatSticks” look like half a cigarette. According to the company, iQOS has already gained more than a million smokers in Italian and Japanese test markets. “We are still in very, very early days,” Calantzopoulos said.

Overall, Philip Morris predicts that worldwide, cigarette smoking declines between 2% and 2.5% annually. Analysts are closely watching the tobacco industry as competitors race to come up with the next big thing in tobacco products.

“It’s not clear which product or which category will ultimately win,” said Rupert Wilson, an industry analyst. “Someone will eventually bring a product out that’s a quantum leap.”

Schizophrenia linked to increased intensity of tobacco smoking, low smoking cessation rates: Study

Schizophrenia is linked to an increased intensity of tobacco smoking, with low smoking cessation rates among schizophrenic patients, compared to the general population. Researcher and lead author of the study Stéphane Potvin said, “Smoking is a real problem for people with schizophrenia. Their health and life expectancy are often undermined by this addiction, whose brain mechanisms were until now largely unknown.”

The researchers observed greater neuronal activation in schizophrenic smokers, compared to healthy controls, when presented images of cigarettes. Schizophrenic smokers also had more depressive symptoms, compared to the control group.

Potvin added, “These observations suggest that smoking has a greater rewarding effect in schizophrenia smokers. This corroborates the hypothesis already formulated of their increased vulnerability to this addiction, but also demonstrates the great difficulty for them when it comes to quitting smoking.”

Smoking prevalence is high among schizophrenics, and cessation rates are low. This puts schizophrenics at a higher risk for heart disease and other complications related to smoking. Potvin concluded, “It is necessary to explore avenues that will help people in their efforts to free themselves from smoking. That is why we want to continue our research into whether this activation of the ventro-medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is caused by the disease itself or by the effects of antipsychotics.”

Schizophrenia patients use nicotine to self-medicate symptoms and cognitive impairment associated with the disease. The study found that nicotine receptors are lower in schizophrenic patients than in healthy controls. Even though smoking is known to increase these receptors in all persons, this reaction was blunted in schizophrenic patients.

Instead, in schizophrenics, the increase in the levels of nicotine receptors was associated with lower levels of social withdrawal, blunted emotional and motivational responses, and better cognitive function.

Nicotine imitates acetylcholine, a natural chemical messenger that stimulates nicotine receptors in the brain. In the study, the researchers compared the levels of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (ß2*-nAChRs) in schizophrenia patients (both smokers and non-smokers) and healthy controls.

First author Dr. Irina Esterlis explained, “We found a blunted effect of tobacco smoking on the ß2*-nAChR system in individuals with schizophrenia. Furthermore, we found that lower receptor availability of ß2*-nAChRs in smokers with schizophrenia is associated with worse negative symptoms and worse performance on tests of executive function.”

“The data seem to suggest that smoking might produce some clinical benefits for some patients by increasing the availability of receptor targets for nicotine in the brain. This finding adds to evidence that brain nicotine-related signaling might play a role for new medications developed to treat schizophrenia,” added Dr. John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry.

Nicotine given independently from tobacco may ward off Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease

Nicotine given independently from tobacco may help ward off Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. It is a common knowledge that tobacco and tobacco products are bad for your health, but new research findings suggest that nicotine alone may offer protective properties to the brain.

The researchers added nicotine to the drinking water of the study animals. There were three different groups that received three different concentrations of nicotine similar to those received by occasional, low, and medium smokers.

There was also a control group that did not receive any nicotine.

The two groups that received low and medium dosages did not show any levels of the drug in their system. Nor did they experience any changes in their eating habits, body weight, or number of receptors in the brain where nicotine acts.

The group that had the highest dosage of nicotine ate less, gained less weight, and had more receptors, which means the drug gets into the brain and effect behavioral changes.

Lead researcher Ursula Winzer-Serhan said, “Some people say that nicotine decreases anxiety, which is why people smoke, but others say it increases anxiety. The last thing you would want in a drug that is given chronically would be a negative change in behavior. Luckily, we didn’t find any evidence of anxiety: Only two measures showed any effect even with high levels of nicotine, and if anything, nicotine made animal models less anxious.”

“I want to make it very clear that we’re not encouraging people to smoke. Even if these weren’t very preliminary results, smoking results in so many health problems that any possible benefit of the nicotine would be more than cancelled out. However, smoking is only one possible route of administration of the drug, and our work shows that we shouldn’t write off nicotine completely,” Winzer-Serhan cautioned.

Eating foods that contain small amounts of nicotine, like peppers and tomatoes, may reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Previous studies have shown that smoking and other tobacco plants reduced the risk of Parkinson’s disease, but whether nicotine in other components could offer similar benefits has not been yet confirmed.

The researchers recruited 490 newly diagnosed Parkinson’s disease patients and another 644 persons without neurological disease. Questionnaires were used to assess participants’ lifetime diets and tobacco use.

Vegetable consumption did not affect the risk of Parkinson’s disease, but the increased consumption of edible Solanaceae (a plant family which includes some edible sources of nicotine) was associated with a reduction in Parkinson’s disease risk. The best results were associated with pepper consumption.

Researcher Dr. Searles Nielsen concluded, “Our study is the first to investigate dietary nicotine and risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Similar to the many studies that indicate tobacco use might reduce risk of Parkinson’s, our findings also suggest a protective effect from nicotine, or perhaps a similar but less toxic chemical in peppers and tobacco.”