A Sad Lesson About COPD From Leonard Nimoy

March 3, 2015

Leonard Nimoy in 2013

by

Actor Leonard Nimoy — Mr. Spock to his legions ofStar Trek fans — has died at age 83 from a destructive lung disease called COPD, telling his fans in a poignant tweet last month: “Don’t smoke. I did. Wish I never had.”

His wife confirmed his death to the New York Times,saying the cause was end-stage COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

COPD is one of the most common lung diseases and the third leading cause of death in the U.S., causing nearly 135,000 deaths a year. There is no cure. COPD causes inflammation and damage to the lung tissue, making it increasingly difficult to breathe. Symptoms include a chronic cough, shortness of breath and frequent respiratory infections.

Read the rest of this entry »


E-Cigarettes Can Churn Out High Levels Of Formaldehyde

January 28, 2015

vaping_slide-e8037645339ea7e11639aa5954c5722c8b444d5b-s800-c85Vapor produced by electronic cigarettes can contain a surprisingly high concentration of formaldehyde — a known carcinogen — researchers reported Wednesday.

The findings, described in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine,intensify concern about the safety of electronic cigarettes, which have become increasingly popular.

The e-cigarette industry immediately dismissed the findings, saying the measurements were made under unrealistic conditions.

“They clearly did not talk to [people who use e-cigarettes] to understand this,” says Gregory Conley of the American Vaping Association. “They think, ‘Oh well. If we hit the button for so many seconds and that produces formaldehyde, then we have a new public health crisis to report.’ ” But that’s not the right way to think about it, Conley suggests.

E-cigarettes work by heating a liquid that contains nicotine to create a vapor that users inhale. They’re generally considered safer than regular cigarettes, because some research has suggested that the level of most toxicants in the vapor is much lower than the levels in smoke.

Some public health experts think vaping could prevent some people from starting to smoke traditional tobacco cigarettes and help some longtime smokers kick the habit.

But many health experts are also worried that so little is known about e-cigarettes, they may pose unknown risks. So Peyton and his colleagues decided to take a closer look at what’s in that vapor.

“We simulated vaping by drawing the vapor — the aerosol — into a syringe, sort of simulating the lungs,” Peyton says. That enabled the researchers to conduct a detailed chemical analysis of the vapor. They found something unexpected when the devices were dialed up to their highest settings.

“To our surprise, we found masked formaldehyde in the liquid droplet particles in the aerosol,” Peyton says.

He calls it “masked” formaldehyde because it’s in a slightly different form than regular formaldehyde — a form that could increase the likelihood it would get deposited in the lung. And the researchers didn’t just find a little of the toxicant.

And formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.

“Long-term exposure is recognized as contributing to lung cancer,” says Peyton. “And so we would like to minimize contact (to the extent one can) especially to delicate tissues like the lungs.”

Conley says the researchers found formaldehyde only when the e-cigarettes were cranked up to their highest voltage levels.

“If you hold the button on an e-cigarette for 100 seconds, you could potentially produce 100 times more formaldehyde than you would ever get from a cigarette,” Conley says. “But no human vaper would ever vape at that condition, because within one second their lungs would be incredibly uncomfortable.”

That’s because the vapor would be so hot. Conley compares it to overcooking a steak.

“I can take a steak and I can cook it on the grill for the next 18 hours, and that steak will be absolutely chock-full of carcinogens,” he says. “But the steak will also be charcoal, so no one will eat it.”

Peyton acknowledges that he found no formaldehyde when the e-cigarettes were set at low levels. But he says he thinks plenty of people use the high settings.

“As I walk around town and look at people using these electronic cigarette devices it’s not difficult to tell what sort of setting they’re using,” Peyton says. “You can see how much of the aerosol they’re blowing out. It’s not small amounts.”

“It’s pretty clear to me,” he says, “that at least some of the users are using the high levels.”

So Peyton hopes the government will tightly regulate the electronic devices. The Food and Drug Administration is in the process of deciding just how strict it should be.

Click Here to read the National Public Radio (NPR) story


Report Details Health Issues Linked to E-Cigs

January 28, 2015
January 26, 2015
PHOTO: The number of calls to poison-control centers about electronic cigarette incidents more than doubled last year, which has prompted the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to call on the Food and Drug Administration to finalize regulations. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. - See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2015-01-26/health-issues/report-details-health-issues-linked-to-e-cigs/a44120-1#sthash.EqPhAhuS.kvAsJAmH.dpuf

PHOTO: The number of calls to poison-control centers about electronic cigarette incidents more than doubled last year, which has prompted the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to call on the Food and Drug Administration to finalize regulations. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

WASHINGTON – The number of calls to poison-control centers about electronic cigarette incidents more than doubled last year compared with 2013, according to new data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Children under age six were the victims in more than half the cases.

The rise in calls has the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to finalize its proposed rule to regulate the products. Campaign vice president for communications Vince Willmore says the agency also needs to crack down on companies’ marketing and flavors, such as “gummy bear” and bubble gum.

“Given how they’re being marketed, and given these sweet flavors, it’s not surprising more kids are using e-cigarettes, and that they’re attracted to nicotine liquids and being poisoned by them,” Willmore says.

While there are no federal regulations to restrict the sale of electronic cigarettes and nicotine liquids, most states require that purchasers be 18 years of age. Willmore says his group wants the FDA to finalize and strengthen rules by the end of April.

Willmore says the colors and packaging of e-cigarettes also appeal to kids, yet nicotine is highly dangerous and not only because of potential addiction.

“Nicotine is a very toxic substance and exposure to even small amounts of nicotine, whether it’s through the skin or through ingestion, can cause vomiting and seizures,” he says. “Unfortunately, it can even be lethal.”

A 1-year-old child in New York died last month after swallowing liquid nicotine. Willmore says the FDA should require childproof packaging, and adults need to keep the devices and supplies out of sight and out of reach of children.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service – AZ

– See more at: http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2015-01-26/health-issues/report-details-health-issues-linked-to-e-cigs/a44120-1#sthash.EqPhAhuS.kvAsJAmH.dpuf


CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Work Highlights Smoking Cessation

January 9, 2015

MMWR News Synopsis for December 18, 2014

 

Smoking Cessation Among Users of Telephone and Web-Based Interventions — Four States, 2011–2012

 

Tobacco cessation services are available for free in every state. Smokers who use these services better their odds of successfully quitting smoking. Smoking causes 480,000 deaths a year in the United States. All states offer access to telephone or web based tobacco cessation services, and these services are freely available to people who want to quit smoking. Using these services, and in particular, using both services in combination, increases the chances of quitting successfully. States can help a greater number of people quit smoking by offering both telephone and web-based tobacco cessation services instead of offering only one.

 

Tetrodotoxin Poisoning Outbreak from Imported Dried Puffer Fish — Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2014

Health care providers who work in emergency departments or with persons from countries with a tradition of puffer fish consumption should be aware of the potential public health threat of puffer fish poisoning and should coordinate with their local poison centers and health departments to investigate any suspected cases. Puffer fish is a highly regulated product in the U.S. due to its potential toxicity yet is a delicacy in many cultures. Health care providers who work in emergency departments or with persons from countries with a tradition of puffer fish consumption should be aware of this potential public health threat and coordinate with their local poison centers and health departments to investigate any suspected cases of puffer fish poisoning to determine the source of the fish, whether it was legally imported, and whether additional contaminated product needs to be removed from commerce.

 

Perceptions of the Risk for Ebola and Health Facility Use Among Pregnant and Lactating Women and Community Health Workers — Kenema District, Sierra Leone, September 2014

 

During a complex humanitarian crisis such as the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, it is critical to consider the impact of the crisis on the delivery of routine health services and on health care seeking among vulnerable populations. Fear and misconceptions of Ebola were found to contribute to decreased health facility use in focus group discussions with health workers and pregnant and lactating women in Kenema District, Sierra Leone. In a country with the highest ratio of maternal deaths and fourth highest rate of newborn deaths in the world, use of routine maternal and newborn health care is essential to reduce the risk of adverse health outcomes. Infection prevention and control trainings were found to reduce fear among health care workers and may be an important strategy to increase women’s confidence in health facility safety. This information is being used to create messaging to encourage use of maternal and newborn health care services across Sierra Leone.

 

Notes from the Field:

 

Aseptic Meningitis Outbreak Associated with Echovirus 30 Among High School Football Players — Los Angeles County, California, 2014

 

 

Learn More>>

 

 

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Ironwood HS STAND Gets featured in Peoria Pulse

January 7, 2015

Capture

Click Here to download the Pulse


Sons of Anarchy Gets ‘Smoked Out’ on Ellen for GASO

December 18, 2014

As part of Great American Smokeout on Nov. 20th Ellen Degeneres Takes the Smoke Our of Sons of Anarchy.

 


County bans e-cigarettes: County buildings, vehicles now smoke and vapor free

December 16, 2014

File photoE-cigarettes, emitting a vapor, have been banned from all county buildings and vehicles.

File photo E-cigarettes, emitting a vapor, have been banned from all county buildings and vehicles

Joanna Dodder Nellans
The Daily Courier

Yavapai County supervisors agreed to a new countywide policy Monday that bans e-cigarettes in county buildings and vehicles.

They also agreed to a new Human Resources Department proposal to require all employee disciplinary action appeal hearings to be open to the public.

A new state law requires such hearings to be public if they relate to certain law enforcement positions, a county Human Resources memo explains. So HR is proposing a single policy that would make all such hearings open. Currently, county hearings to appeal disciplinary actions are automatically closed to the public unless employees ask for them to be public.

The county didn’t get any employee comments about the HR policy changes relating to appeal hearings and e-cigarettes, HR Director Wendy Ross said.

Supervisor Rowle Simmons cited a Sunday New York Times article about how China manufactures 90 percent of the world’s e-cigarettes, aka electronic cigarettes, personal vaporizers and electronic nicotine delivery systems.

The article states that the industry has little oversight, and studies have found tin particles and other metals in e-cigarette vapors that appear to come from the “solder joints” of e-cigarettes.

Supervisor Jack Smith said any kind of smoking in county vehicles could reduce their sale value.

“For me, there’s a zero tolerance on it,” Smith said.

The HR department will continue to work on revisions to a third policy after hearing employee comments, Ross said. A draft would ban the use of electronic equipment while county employees are driving, but it would allow them to use hands-free cell phones.

Ross said she’ll probably bring that draft policy to the supervisors in January.

Also at Monday’s meeting:

• Supervisor Chip Davis asked his fellow supervisors to vote against his proposal to donate $4,500 of his district’s park fund money to the City of Sedona to build a wildlife viewing platform at the Sedona Wetlands Preserve, where the city processes and cleans wastewater.

Davis explained that voters apparently don’t want non-essential services since the majority voted in November against doubling the county’s jail sales tax to build a new jail in Prescott.

“I’m going to take the first step and ask that we not honor that” request for $4,500, Davis said. “The citizens have spoken and nothing is sacred.”

• The supervisors approved using the remaining $30,463 in the Yavapai County Water Advisory Committee fund to collect hydrologic data in the Verde Valley.

Most of the remaining money, $27,500, was contributed by municipalities in the Verde Valley.

The committee hasn’t met since the summer, shortly after most of the supervisors said they wanted to dissolve the 15-year-old group. They stopped paying dues and also stopped paying for the committee’s long-time coordinator position.

It was the only organization that brought the county and all its municipalities and tribes together to discuss common issues.

Follow Joanna Dodder on Twitter @joannadodder