Archive for February, 2010

Alcohol, Energy Drinks Add Up to Higher Intoxication Levels

Energy drinks, favored among young people for the beverages’ caffeine jolt, also play a lead role in several popular alcoholic drinks, such as Red Bull and vodka. But combining alcohol and energy drinks may create a dangerous mix, according to University of Florida research.

In a study of college-aged adults exiting bars, patrons who consumed energy drinks mixed with alcohol had a threefold increased risk of leaving a bar highly intoxicated and were four times more likely to intend to drive after drinking than bar patrons who drank alcohol only.

Eliminates Sedating Effects of Alcohol

The study appears in the April issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors.

“Previous laboratory research suggests that when caffeine is mixed with alcohol it overcomes the sedating effects of alcohol and people may perceive that they are less intoxicated than they really are,” said the study’s lead researcher Dennis Thombs, an associate professor in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions’ department of behavioral science and community health. “This may lead people to drink more or make uninformed judgments about whether they are safe to drive.”

Experts believe that among college drinkers, as many as 28 percent consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks in a typical month.

The UF study is the first of its kind to evaluate the effects of alcohol mixed with energy drinks in an actual drinking environment, that is, at night outside bars. Research on college student alcohol use in campus communities has traditionally relied on self-report questionnaires administered to sober students in daytime settings, Thombs said.

Data for the UF study were collected in 2008 from more than 800 randomly selected patrons exiting establishments in a college bar district between the hours of 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. Researchers conducted face-to-face interviews with participants to gather demographic information and details on participants’ energy drink consumption and drinking behavior. Participants also completed self-administered questionnaires that asked
about their drinking history and intention to drive that night. Next, researchers tested participants’ breath alcohol concentration levels. Participants received feedback on their intoxication levels and advice about driving risk.

Wide Awake Drunks

Bar patrons who reported drinking alcohol mixed with energy drinks — 6.5 percent of study participants — were three times more likely to be intoxicated than drinkers who consumed alcohol only. The average breath-alcohol concentration reading for those who mixed alcohol and energy drinks was 0.109, well above the legal driving limit of 0.08. Consumers of energy drink cocktails also left bars later at night, drank for longer periods of time, ingested more grams of ethanol and were four times more likely to express an intention to drive within the hour than patrons who drank alcohol only.

Consumers of alcohol mixed with energy drinks may drink more and misjudge their capabilities because caffeine diminishes the sleepy feeling most people experience as they become intoxicated. It’s a condition commonly described as “wide awake and drunk,” said study co-author Bruce Goldberger, a professor and director of toxicology in the UF College of Medicine.

“There’s a very common misconception that if you drink caffeine with an alcoholic beverage the stimulant effect of the caffeine counteracts the depressant effect of the alcohol and that is not true,” Goldberger said. “We know that caffeine aggravates the degree of intoxication, which can lead to risky behaviors.”

The study, funded by the University of Florida Office of the President, raises a lot of questions and suggests topics for future research, Thombs said.

Unsafe Levels of Caffeine?

“This study demonstrates that there definitely is reason for concern and more research is needed,” he said. “We don’t know what self-administered caffeine levels bar patrons are reaching, what are safe and unsafe levels of caffeine and what regulations or policies should be implemented to better protect bar patrons or consumers in general.”

Thombs’ study is a very valuable addition to the existing body of research on the association of energy drink consumption and alcohol-related consequences, said Dr. Mary Claire O’Brien, an associate professor of emergency medicine and public health sciences at Wake Forest University who has studied the relationship between energy drink cocktails and high-risk behavior.

“His approach is unique because it was conducted in a natural drinking environment — college bars,” O’Brien said. “His results clearly support the serious concern raised by previous research, that subjective drunkenness may be reduced by the concurrent ingestion of caffeinated energy drinks, increasing both the likelihood of further alcohol consumption, and of driving when intoxicated.”

February 22nd, 2010  in Alcohol, Drunk Driving No Comments »

More alcohol sales sites mean more neighborhood violence

More alcohol sales sites in a neighborhood equates to more violence, and the highest assault rates are associated with carry-out sites selling alcohol for off-premise consumption, according to new research released today (Feb. 21) by two Indiana University professors.

Using crime statistics and alcohol outlet licensing data from Cincinnati, Ohio, to examine the spatial relationship between alcohol outlet density and assault density, Department of Criminal Justice professor William Alex Pridemore and Department of Geography professor Tony Grubesic found that off-premise outlets appeared to be responsible for about one in four simple assaults and one in three aggravated assaults.

Easier Alcohol Availability

The findings were released at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego, Calif.

“A higher density of alcohol sales outlets in an area means closer proximity and easier availability to an intoxicating substance for residents,” Pridemore said. “Perhaps just as importantly, alcohol outlets provide a greater number of potentially deviant places. Convenience stores licensed to sell alcohol may be especially troublesome in this regard, as they often serve not only as sources of alcohol but also as local gathering places with little formal social control.”

Using different suites of spatial regression models, the researchers found that adding one off-premise alcohol sales site per square mile would create 2.3 more simple assaults and 0.6 more aggravated assaults per square mile. Increases in violence associated with restaurants and bars were smaller but still statistically significant, with 1.15 more simple assaults created when adding one restaurant per square mile, and 1.35 more simple assaults per square mile by adding one bar.

“We could expect a reduction of about one-quarter in simple assaults and nearly one-third in aggravated assaults in our sample of Cincinnati block groups were alcohol outlets removed entirely,” Grubesic noted. “These represent substantial reductions and clearly reveal the impact of alcohol outlet density on assault density in our sample.”

Alcohol Sales and Crime

The study examined 302 geographic block groups that encompassed all of Cincinnati, with each block group containing about 1,000 residents. Block groups are subdivisions of census tracks and represent the smallest unit available for socioeconomic analysis using data from the Census Bureau.

Crime statistics from January through June 2008 provided by the Cincinnati Police Department found 2,298 simple assaults and another 479 serious assaults had occurred in the study area during that time. The location of each of these criminal events was geocoded to show the precise location where they occurred. The researchers, using data from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control for Hamilton County, Ohio, then used the same geocoding techniques to spatially aggregate the city’s 683 unique alcohol sales outlets into those block groups. The arithmetic mean, or average, density of assaults was 69 per square mile, while the average density of alcohol outlets per square mile was 20.

The researchers pointed to possible implications from the research on both public policy and on future research within the field of criminology. Pridemore said ecological studies of alcohol and violence similar to this one, while appearing more and more over the past 20 years in journals of disciplines like public health, geography and epidemiology, have been rare in criminology journals.

Alcohol and Violence

“We believe that alcohol outlets, as a source of community-level variation in levels of interpersonal violence, deserve greater attention in the criminological literature,” he said. “The nature of our findings should encourage further investigation of the nature of the ecological association between alcohol, violence and other negative outcomes within communities.”

Grubesic said explanations for crime ecological theories like collective efficacy, social disorganization and social cohesion rely on elements like poverty, ethnic heterogeneity, residential mobility, anonymity of community members and willingness to intervene on another’s behalf, are difficult to remedy through public policy. That is not the case with alcohol outlet density, he said.

“Alcohol outlet density, on the other hand, is much more amenable to policy changes,” Grubesic pointed out. “Unlike other negative neighborhood characteristics that often seem intractable, regulating the density of outlets, and to some extent their management, can be readily addressed with a mixture of policies by liquor licensing boards, the police and government agencies that regulate land use.”

February 22nd, 2010  in Alcohol No Comments »

Research on Secondhand Smoke Finds Significant Hazards

New research by the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center (OTRC) shows that concentrations of secondhand tobacco smoke inhaled in smoking rooms of restaurants and bars are exceptionally high and hazardous to health.

Hazardous Extremes

According to the study, which appears in the center’s new report “Tobacco Smoke Pollution in Oklahoma Workplaces,” the average particulate level measured in restaurant smoking rooms was beyond the hazardous extreme based on levels established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The level found in bars was even worse.

“These levels are exceptionally high and not healthy for the employees and patrons exposed to particles found in secondhand smoke,” said Heather Basara, M.D., an industrial hygienist and lead investigator on the research.

Tobacco smoke levels were evaluated based on measurements of very fine suspended particulates in the air, particles smaller than 2.5 microns, which come primarily from tobacco smoke.

Levels averaged 380 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter of air) in the restaurant smoking rooms tested, and 655 µg/m3 in the bars. Restaurants with no smoking averaged just 26 µg/m3.

Very Unhealthy Levels

The EPA scale ranks outdoor levels of particulate pollution as “unhealthy” at 66-150, “very unhealthy”’ at 151-250, and “hazardous” at higher concentrations such as the levels found in the Oklahoma restaurant smoking rooms and bars tested for this report.

Robert McCaffree, M.D., Co-Director of OTRC, said, “Secondhand smoke exposure is a serious health hazard, accounting for approximately 700 deaths a year in Oklahoma, mostly from heart disease – including heart attacks – and lung cancer. Even brief exposure is harmful. Because this exposure is readily preventable, business owners and public policy makers would be well-advised to act as soon as possible to assure smokefree environments for all public places and all indoor workplaces.”

February 18th, 2010  in Tobacco No Comments »

Nicotine replacement therapy is over-promoted

Health authorities should emphasize the positive message that the most successful method used by most ex-smokers is unassisted cessation, despite the promotion of cessation drugs by pharmaceutical companies and many tobacco control advocates.

The dominant messages about smoking cessation contained in most tobacco control campaigns, which emphasize that serious attempts at quitting smoking must be pharmacologically or professionally mediated, are critiqued in an essay in this week’s PLoS Medicine by Simon Chapman and Ross MacKenzie from the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, Australia.

This overemphasis on quit methods like nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) has led to the “medicalization of smoking cessation,” despite good evidence that the most successful method used by most ex-smokers is quitting “cold turkey” or reducing-then-quitting. Reviewing 511 studies published in 2007 and 2 008 the authors report that studies repeatedly show that two-thirds to three-quarters of ex-smokers stop unaided and most ex-smokers report that cessation was less difficult than expected.

Pharmaceutical Influence

The medicalization of smoking cessation is fuelled by the extent and influence of pharmaceutical support for cessation intervention studies, say the authors. They cite a recent review of randomized controlled trials of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) that found that 51% of industry-funded trials reported significant cessation effects, while only 22% of non-industry trials did. Many assisted cessation studies—but few if any unassisted cessation studies—involve researchers who declare support from a pharmaceutical company manufacturing cessation products.

The authors conclude that “public sector communicators should be encouraged to redress the overwhelming dominance of assisted cessation in public awareness, so that some balance can restored in smokers’ minds regarding the contribution that assisted and unassisted smoking cessation approaches can make to helping them quit smoking.”

February 16th, 2010  in Tobacco No Comments »

Quitting smoking especially difficult for select groups

With the national trend toward quitting smoking flat, psychologists are finding some success with treatments aimed at helping smokers from underserved groups, including racial and ethnic minorities and those with psychiatric disorders.

Quit Smoking Help

In the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association, researchers report on several effective treatments that may help these smokers in an effort to increase national smoking cessation rates. The percentage of American smokers rose from 19.8 percent in 2007 to 20.6 percent in 2008, after a 10-year steady decline in smoking rates, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“One of the reasons smoking rates have remained stagnant is because these underserved groups of smokers have not been adequately targeted by research and treatment,” said the special section editor, Belinda Borrelli, PhD, who is with the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at Brown University Medical School. Underserved smokers include those who have a 10 percent higher smoking rate than the general population, have less access to treatments, and are more likely to be excluded from long-term treatments trials, according to Borelli.

In one article, researchers found that success in stopping smoking differed for different psychiatric disorders. For example, compared to smokers with no psychiatric disorders, smokers who had an anxiety disorder were less likely to quit smoking six months after treatment.

In the same article, researchers found that people’s barriers to quitting were directly related to what type of psychiatric disorder they had. For example, smokers who had ever been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder reported a strong emotional bond with their cigarettes while smokers ever diagnosed with a substance use disorder reported that social and environmental influences were especially likely to affect their smoking. “This information may help clinicians gauge relapse risk and identify treatment targets among smokers who have ever had psychological illnesses,” said lead author Megan Piper, PhD, from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Comparing Treatment

Evidence-based smoking cessation treatments are addressed in another article in this special section. Researchers from the University of Miami looked at the effect of intensive cognitive-behavioral therapy on African-American smokers. They placed 154 African-American smokers wearing nicotine patches into one of two six-session interventions. Participants in the group using cognitive-behavioral techniques were taught relapse prevention strategies and coping skills, along with other techniques. The other group participated in a health education series that explained general medical conditions that are associated with smoking, such as heart disease and lung cancer.

Compared with general health education, participation in cognitive-behavioral therapy sessions more than doubled the rate of quitting at a six month follow-up, from 14 percent to 31 percent the researchers found. “We know cognitive-behavioral therapy helps people quit, but few studies have examined this treatment’s effect on African-American smokers,” said the study’s lead author, Monica Webb, PhD, of the University of Miami. “Hopefully, our findings will encourage smoking cessation counselors and researchers to utilize cognitive-behavioral interventions in this underserved population.”

Secondhand Smoke Study

Borrelli, the section editor, examined another minority group—Latinos. She measured the amount of second-hand smoke in participants’ homes and gave feedback to smokers about how much smoke their child with asthma was exposed to. For example, they were told that their child was exposed to as much smoke as if the child smoked ‘x’ number of cigarettes him- or herself during the week of the measurement – this was the experimental group. Smokers in the control group underwent standard cognitive-behavioral treatment for smoking cessation. Smokers in the experimental group were twice as likely to quit as the control group, Borrelli found. “The child’s asthma problems may provide a teachable moment for parents whereby they become more open to the smoking cessation messages,” Borrelli said. “Providing treatment that is focused on the health needs of the family, and delivered in a culturally tailored manner, has the potential to address health care disparities for Latino families.”

February 16th, 2010  in Tobacco No Comments »

Social factors affect alcohol misuse among seniors

Social factors have consistently been implicated as a cause of vulnerability to alcohol use and abuse. The reverse is also true, in that individuals who engage in excessive drinking may alter their social context. New research on drinking among older adults has found that older adults who have more money, engage in more social activities, and whose friends approve more of drinking are more likely to engage in excessive or high-risk drinking.

Results will be published in the April 2010 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

“Ours is one of the first studies to focus longitudinally on high-risk drinking among older adults,” said Rudolf H. Moos, senior research career scientist for the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Palo Alto, California, as well as corresponding author for the study, “and the first to have 10-year and 20-year follow-ups addressing this issue.”

Social and Financial Influences

Moos and his colleagues examined 719 (399 men, 320 women) 55 to 65-year-old adults at baseline (between 1986-1988), and then again 10 and 20 years later. At each contact point, participants provided information regarding their drinking, as well as their social and financial resources.

“Our findings show that, one, certain social factors may enhance the chances of an individual engaging in high-risk drinking and, two, once high-risk drinking has developed, social choices may be made to facilitate continuing this behavior,” said Moos.

More specifically, results showed that older adults who have more money, who engage in more social activities, and whose friends approve more of drinking are more likely to engage in what is considered high-risk drinking: more than three drinks per day or more than 14 drinks per week.

“These findings show that social contextual models of alcohol use apply to older drinkers,” observed Charles J. Holahan, a professor in the department of psychology at The University of Texas at Austin. “The findings undercut the assumption of a solely dispositional view of drinking among older adults, whose alcohol use might easily be assumed to be outside the sway of social influences after a lifetime of drinking. They also provide a textured picture of two processes that link social context and alcohol misuse in a reciprocal way—social causation, whereby social context shapes alcohol use, and social selection, whereby alcohol use in turn shapes social context.”

“Older adults who engage in high-risk alcohol consumption tend to select friends who are more likely to drink and to approve of drinking,” said Moos. “They may also experience a decline in the quality of relationships with extended family members, that is, high-risk drinking may impair some family relationships. Compared to older women, older men may be more vulnerable or susceptible to some social influences on drinking. Specifically, having more money, and friends who approve more of drinking, seem to be more closely related to high-risk drinking among older men than among older women.”

Alcohol Problems Don’t Go Away

“The findings serve to undercut a solely person-blame approach to later life drinking,” said Holahan. “They demonstrate that a spouse and friends can make a constructive difference in later life drinking. However, a spouse and friends can also unwittingly become caught up as facilitators in the process of later life drinking. The findings also encourage awareness that alcohol misuse does not go away with aging. Although alcohol consumption declined with aging, at the 20-year follow-up more than 20 percent of adults aged 75 to 85 still engaged in high-risk alcohol consumption.”

“This information can be used to teach older adults, and family members and friends who care about and have some responsibility for them, about how to avoid or minimize ‘triggers,’ such as specific social activities or interactions with friends associated with heavy drinking,” said Moos. “While this type of information might be useful for brief interventions for older adults in primary care or community settings, there is no inherent reason why family members and friends of older adults who engage in excessive drinking could not use it.”

Cambridge SoundWorks

February 4th, 2010  in Alcoholism No Comments »

Teen Cocaine Use Increases Addiction Risk

Exposure to ecstasy or cocaine during adolescence increases the “reinforcing effects” that make people vulnerable to developing an addiction. This is the main conclusion of a research team from the University of Valencia (UV), which has shown for the first time how these changes persist into adulthood.

“Although MDMA and cocaine are psychoactive substances frequently used by teenagers, very few studies have been done to analyse the short and long-term consequences of joint exposure to these drugs”, José Miñarro, lead author of the study and coordinator of the Psychobiology of Drug Addiction group at the UV, tells SINC.

Long Lasting Changes

The study, published in the journal Addiction Biology, shows for the first time that exposure to these drugs during adolescence leads to long-lasting changes that increase the reinforcing power of ecstasy or MDMA, and which last until adulthood.

Miñarro’s team studied the joint consumption of different drugs in order to carry out an in-depth examination into the effects of this interaction. The scientists administered MDMA, cocaine and saline solution to mice over an eight-day period. “The animals exhibited an increase in vulnerability to re-establishing behaviour (relapse), showing a preference for certain environments previously associated with the pleasant effects of the drug”, explains Miñarro.

The results highlight that the so-called “reinforcing effects” are greater in adult mice treated with ecstasy or cocaine during adolescence than in adolescent mice not exposed to these drugs. “Adolescence is a critical stage in development, during which time drug consumption affects plastic cerebral processes in ways that cause changes that persist right through to adulthood”, adds the scientist.

Adolescence Polyconsumption

The results of various surveys, both national and international, show that one of the most common patterns of drug use is polyconsumption. Ecstasy is regularly consumed alongside other drugs such as alcohol, cannabis and cocaine. These same surveys show that 44% of cocaine users in Spain also take ecstasy, and this consumption takes place primarily during adolescence.

The State Study on Drug Use among Secondary School Students (ESTUDES 2007, Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs), showed that more than 75% of secondary school students who reported taking MDMA also said they used cocaine, while only 44.3% of cocaine users said they took ecstasy.

TigerDirect

February 4th, 2010  in Illegal Drugs No Comments »

Binge drinking youths find getting old a drag

Young men who believe that happiness declines with age are more likely to engage in risky health behaviors such as binge drinking. Their misguided negative view of the aging process may act as a disincentive to behave ‘sensibly’ and encourage them to make the most of the present in anticipation of ‘miserable’ old age. These findings1 by Dr. John Garry and Dr. Maria Lohan from Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, are published online in Springer’s Journal of Happiness Studies.

Although the harmful effects of excessive drinking, smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise are widely publicized, significant numbers of young people binge-drink, smoke, and avoid fruit and vegetables as well as regular exercise. Could it be that young people’s risky health behaviors are linked to their perception of declining happiness with advancing age?

Asked About Happiness

Garry and Lohan analyzed data from face-to-face interviews with over 1,000 citizens of Northern Ireland aged over 15 years. The participants were asked about their alcohol consumption, their fruit and vegetable intakes, whether or not they smoked, and how often they took part in vigorous exercise. The respondents were also asked to report how happy they currently felt, as well as to estimate how happy they expected to be at the age of 30 and 70. Those who were over 30 and/or 70 were asked to think back at how happy they were then. The authors also asked them to indicate how happy the average person of their age at age 30 is and how happy at age 70.

Young people wrongly believed that ageing is associated with a decline in happiness. Indeed, young people estimated that happiness declined with age, whereas in actual fact there was no difference between the self-reported happiness levels of young people and old people.

Just over half the respondents were categorized as binge drinkers – 59 percent of males and 45 percent of females. In particular, young men who were pessimistic about future happiness were more likely to binge-drink.

Risky Binge Drinking

The authors believe their findings could help inform health campaigns aimed at reducing risky health behaviors in young people. They conclude: “Our findings confirm, in the case of binge drinking by men, that risky health behavior in youth is associated with an underestimation of happiness in old age. It may be worthwhile to emphasize, to young men in particular, the positive impact on their lives of reducing alcohol and inform them about happiness in old age.”

Good Carbs, Bad Carbs, No carbs? Get the Answer! With NutriSystem scrambled eggs, lasagna, burger, and pretzels

February 4th, 2010  in Alcohol 1 Comment »

Adolescent smokers prone to drug abuse

It is common knowledge that smoking is a health risk but why do teens become addicted to smoking more easily than adults? In an evaluation for Faculty of 1000 Biology, Neil Grunberg looks into why adolescents are more prone to substance abuse.

Grunberg describes the study, published by Natividad et al. in Synapse journal, as “fascinating” and suggests it “may have implications to help understand why adolescents are particularly prone to drug abuse”.

Nicotine increases the level of dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of pleasure and wellbeing. The study looked at dopamine levels in adolescent and adult rats after nicotine withdrawal. The authors found that the withdrawal signs (physical and neurochemical) seen in adolescent rats were fewer than those observed in adults.

The study provides previously unknown mechanisms as to why there are differences in nicotine withdrawal between adolescent and adult rats. The key here, as stated by Grunberg, is “age alters [neurological] systems and interactions relevant to nicotine”.

Increased Sensitivity to Drugs

The reason that adolescents are prone to drug abuse (in this case, nicotine) is that they have increased sensitivity to its rewarding effects and do not display the same negative withdrawal effects as adults do, due to an underdeveloped dopamine-producing system.

Since rats are not subject to cultural influences, “rat studies of nicotine … have provided valuable insights that have led to practical behavioural and pharmacological interventions”, says Grunberg.

The results of this study may not stop at nicotine. Grunberg continues, “these findings might also be relevant to other addictive and abuse drugs”.

Tech Depot - An Office Depot Co.

February 3rd, 2010  in Substance Abuse, Tobacco No Comments »

Nursing students twice as likely to smoke

Public health experts are calling for urgent steps to reduce the number of healthcare professionals who smoke, after a survey of over 800 new nursing students found that more than half were current or former smokers.

The Italian study, published in the January issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing, surveyed 812 students who were just starting their University course. They found that 44% of them were still smoking – twice as many as in the general population – and a further 12% were former smokers.

Three-quarters of the smoking students had at least one parent who smoked and almost half had at least one brother or sister who smoked.

“Smoking prevention is an important issue and healthcare professionals, especially physicians and nurses, can play a major role in helping people to understand the consequences that smoking can have on their health and their lives” says Professor Anna Maria Tortorano from the Department of Public Health at the University of Milan, Italy.

“However when health professionals smoke it makes it more difficult for them to encourage patients to stop.”

Key findings of the study included:

  • 87% of the students agreed to take part in the survey. 63% were female and 85% were native Italians, with the rest coming from developing countries like Peru, Albania and Ecuador.
  • The Italian students were much younger than the immigrant students – averaging 23 and 31 respectively for the males and 23 and 28 for the females.
  • 39% of the female students and 53% of the male students smoked, giving an overall average of 44%. 37% smoked up to five cigarettes a day and 4% smoked more than 20.
  • Students were much more likely to be current or former smokers if their parents smoked. 75% of smokers had a least one smoking parent, compared with 54% of those who had never smoked and 22% came from homes where both parents smoked, compared with 14% of those who had never smoked.
  • The smoking habits of the fathers made little difference, with 33% of smokers having just a father who smoked, compared with 31% of non-smokers. However, smokers were twice as likely to have just a mother who smoked (20%) than non-smokers (10%).
  • 47% of current and former smokers had siblings who smoked, compared to 25% of those who have never smoked.

“Figures from the World Health Organization show that approximately 35% of men and 22% of women in developed countries are daily smokers, together with 50% of men and 9% of women in developing countries” says Professor Tortorano, who carried out the study with research associate Dr Emanuela Biraghi.

“Figures for the general Italian population show that 22% of people over the age of 14 smoked in 2007.

“However the figure of 44% reported by nursing students who took part in our study is much higher than the 25% observed for medical students at the same University. It is also twice as high as the general Italian population.

“We believe that smoking cessation programmes should be incorporated into nursing studies as high levels of smoking among healthcare professionals undermine the credibility of non-smoking campaigns aimed at the general public.”


February 3rd, 2010  in Tobacco No Comments »