Daily Archives: April 6, 2009

A New Gene can determine the Risk of COPD in Smokers

In our days researchers can determine whether a smoker is likely to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or not thanks to a gene called ADAM33.
COPD is a group of diseases of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed. This leads to a limitation of the flow of air to and from the lungs causing shortness of breath. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease also is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe, can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms.
The primary risk factor for COPD is chronic cigarettes smoking. In the United States, 80 to 90% of cases of COPD are due to smoking. Exposure to cigarette smoke is measured in pack-years, the average number of packages of cigarettes smoked daily multiplied by the number of years of smoking. Not all smokers will develop COPD, but continuous smokers have at least a 25% risk after 25 years. The likelihood of developing COPD increases with increasing age as the cumulative smoke exposure increases. Inhaling the smoke from other peoples’ cigarettes (passive smoking) can lead to impaired lung growth and could be a cause of COPD.
Only about a quarter of long-term smokers develop COPD, the researchers noted. ADAM33 has been shown in previous studies to be associated with asthma and over reactive airways. This relationship, however, has not been studied in tobacco smokers who are susceptible to COPD.
In the new study, the research team looked for small genetic changes or “polymorphisms” in ADAM33 in 880 long-term heavy smokers.
At the end of the study they found that two hundred eighty-seven of the study subjects had COPD and 311 did not. All of them were older than age 50 years and all had been smoking at least a pack of cigarettes each day for 20 years. And ninety-seven percent of the subjects were male.
Researchers also identified five genetic changes in ADAM33 that occurred more frequently in the COPD group than in the group of smokers without COPD.
This discovery may well open new therapeutic windows and also may prompt clinicians to take another look at how they assess health risk among smokers.

Every puff becomes even more expensive

“Friend, keep smoking to save a child.” This is one the most widespread jokes that can be heard everywhere as smokers prepare for April’s Fools Day. On April, 1, smokers are going to be the object of many jokes from the government that decided to hide the holes of the budget by imposing enormous taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.  The revenue from emptying the smokers’ pockets would go to Children Health Insurance Program. It is expected that almost $32 billion would be collected from the tax increase, which would provide medical insurance to 5 million minors.

Tobacco Use Among Students Aged 13-15 Years

In 2008, Iraq’s parliament ratified the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which obligates participants to establish tobacco use monitoring, surveillance, and evaluation systems. Lack of data on adolescent tobacco use in Iraq led the Ministry of Health (MOH) to conduct the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) in Baghdad in 2008. GYTS is a school-based survey of students aged 13-15 years that is self-administered in classes in selected schools. As in most Middle East countries, tobacco use in Iraq takes the form of cigarettes and shisha. Based on GYTS results, 7.4% of students aged 13-15 years reported having ever smoked cigarettes, 12.9% had ever smoked shisha, 3.2% currently smoked cigarettes, and 6.3% currently smoked shisha. Among never smokers aged 13-15 years, 13.0% reported they were likely to initiate cigarette smoking in the next year. Future declines in adolescent tobacco use in Iraq (and Baghdad) could be enhanced by expanding existing tobacco control programs to include prevention and cessation of the use of cigarettes and shisha, implementing measures that discourage adolescents who have never smoked from initiating tobacco use, expanding legislation to ban exposure to secondhand smoke in all indoor workplaces, and enacting legislation banning pro-tobacco advertising and sponsorship.

Contraband’s deadly combo

NANCY REAGAN once said that the illegal drug user is an accomplice to murder and that “there is a trail of death and destruction that leads directly to his door.”

Youth easy targets for illegal smokes

Emilie Howell is 16 but looks about two years younger. No one could ever legally sell cigarettes to this girl, but somehow she’s got one between her lips, puffing away with two teens just outside Holy Angels High School.

Mountie: Crime groups control smuggled smokes

Early in the morning of May 13, 2008, two black SUVs pulled up in front of the ranch-style home of Daniel Simonds in Stockholm, in rural upstate New York.

A disappearing machine

There are 81 licensed cigarette vending machines left in Arkansas, but a double punch of tax increases last month could push the species further toward extinction.

Draft law restricting smoking to be presented for consideration in parliament

A draft law restricting smoking is being preparing in the standing commission on social policy of Milli Medjlis, said deputy Musa Guliyev at today’s session of Milli Medjlis.

Smoking ban faces steeper hill in Senate

The proposed ban on smoking in restaurants and other businesses is now in the hands of the N.C. Senate, where it has the support of the powerful Democratic leader.