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January 27th, 2017:

Dundee smokers needed for university’s vaping study

Smokers in Dundee are being recruited for a new study that will examine the potential health risks of vaping.

Researchers at Dundee University are looking for 135 volunteers who have been smoking for at least two years and who smoke more than 15 tobacco cigarettes a day, or the equivalent amount of rolling tobacco, for the vital research.

The effects of smoking on blood vessels will then be compared to the blood vessels of those who use e-cigarettes.

The VESUVIUS study is being funded by the British Heart Foundation who say more work is needed to understand the potential impact of vaping on heart and circulatory health.

Smokers who sign up for the study will be put into one of three possible treatment groups: continuing with tobacco cigarettes, switching to e-cigarettes with nicotine or e-cigarettes without nicotine.

Dr Jacob George, who is leading the study, said: “Many people are using e-cigarettes to help them stop smoking and they are sold on the principle that they’re a much safer alternative to traditional cigarettes because they don’t contain harmful substances like tobacco and tar.

“But just like traditional cigarettes, most of the do contain nicotine, which can be harmful to blood vessels.

“So it’s essential to know how much safer they really are, compared to tobacco cigarettes.”

Participants will have to make two visits to Ninewells Hosptial, four weeks apart. There, they will provide blood and breath samples as well as receiving a blood pressure check and undergoing a non-invasive ultrasound examination of blood vessels in their arm.

British Heart Foundation Scotland director James Cant said: “We all know that smoking tobacco raises our risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease.

“E-cigs have been hailed by some as a great way to help smokers quit but little is actually known about their impact on our heart and circulatory system. That’s why we’re delighted to funding this important research.”

Anyone who wants to take part should contact trial manager Pippa Hopkinson on 01382 383195 or 07850 540230.

New Study on Mental Illness and Cigarette Use

40% of smokers in the U.S. have been diagnosed with mental illness

Taking a drag or just a quick smoke break could be hazardous.

According to recent data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, cigarette use continues to be the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.

“We have a tendency sometimes to not think of it as being as dangerous as things like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, when in reality it kills more people than any illicit drug,” says treatment coordinator for the Northeast Delta Human Services Authority, Jean Hartzog.

In West Monroe, a tobacco summit was held as different groups gathered to search for new ways to end the addicting habit.

“We are an area that has a lot of need for this sort of thing, and it’s good to see all of these people coming together,” says cardiologist, Mark Napolli.

Organizers share important facts, saying 40% of smokers in the U.S. have been diagnosed with mental illness.

“Individuals with mental health difficulties die on the average, 25 years earlier than the general population, that’s a lot of years to give up,” says Hartzog.

E-cigs seem to be the popular alternative for smoking cigarettes, but specialists agree there has not been enough research to determine the dangers of this device. However, they do comment on the dangers of nicotine.

“The main active ingredient in the e cigarettes and the vaping is nicotine, and that is the same chemical that is in tobacco which is addicting and which can cause a lot of vascular complications as well as brain development impairment in younger people, says Napolli.

Organizers say, they hope to improve tobacco treatment through policy change and coalition building.

They leave one simple message for residents.

“76% of Louisianians don’t smoke, and you need to join them,” says Hartzog.

Whether it’s in treatment facilities, in the work place, or at home, organizers encourage everyone to stomp the habit for good.

Neuhaus signs Tobacco 21 legislation

Orange is the first county in the Hudson Valley to enact such a law, which takes effect June 1

Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus signed legislation on Friday, Jan. 27, to enact a law that would increase the minimum age for purchase of cigarettes and other tobacco products in the county from 18 to 21.

The Orange County Legislature unanimously approved the proposal in December. Legislator James DiSalvo, R-Highland Falls, introduced the law a month earlier.

DiSalvo’s father, Mike, a member of the American Heart Association’s Executive Leadership Team, represented him at the signing. Neuhaus was joined at the event by Legislator Barry Cheney, Deputy Commissioner of Health Chris Ericson and representatives from the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Action Network, and the American Lung Association.

“I am pleased to take this proactive step toward keeping cigarettes out of the hands of young people,” Neuhaus said. “I want all Orange County residents to be healthy. As a parent of three, with another child on the way, I want to do all we can to reduce access to cigarettes.”

The Tobacco 21 law takes effect on June 1. Retailers who sell tobacco to someone under 21 could be fined $300 to $1,000 for a first offense and between $500 and $1,500 for further violations.

There are currently nine other counties in New York State where the minimum age for buying tobacco products is 21: Albany, Schenectady, Chautauqua, Suffolk and the five counties that make up New York City.

In Onondaga and Nassau counties, the minimum age is 19. In all other counties the minimum age remains 18.

“We want all county residents to live longer, healthier and more productive lives,” James DiSalvo said. “This measure will help to reduce Medicare and Medicaid tobacco related costs in the future. I am thankful this legislation received bi-partisan support and appreciate everyone who assisted in getting this accomplished.”

3,200 first-time young smokers each dayAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if smoking continues at the current rate among youth in this country, 5.6 million of today’s Americans younger than 18 will die early from a smoking-related illness.

Approximately nine out of 10 cigarette smokers first tried smoking by age 18. Each day in the U.S., according to the CDC, more than 3,200 youth aged 18 years or younger smoke their first cigarette, and an additional 2,100 youth and young adults become daily cigarette smokers.

Proof ‘we can work together’“This legislation is proof of the good work we can do when we work together,” Chairman of the Legislature Steve Brescia said. “I see this as a model of how we can advance serious, substantive legislation going forward.”

Added Commissioner of Health Dr. Eli Avila: “This is a proactive move in public health and another important step to keep our younger population from becoming addicted to tobacco products.”

For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845-291-3255 or