On May 31, the Israel Cancer Association (ICA) along with the World Health Organization (WHO) will mark World No Tobacco Day. The purpose of this day is to emphasize the health risks related to smoking tobacco and nicotine and the effective strategic measures taken to reduce the number of smokers.
According to WHO, smoking kills about 8 million people a year, 1 million of which die of secondhand smoking. About 8,000 people die each year in Israel from the harmful effects of smoking, 800 of which have never smoked but have been hazardously exposed to smoking. Smokers are not the only victims of smoking-related cancer and morbidity. Exposure of non-smokers to secondhand (passive) smoking at home or in public spaces increases the risk of lung cancer.
Smoking in the car, at home or on the balcony does not protect the children from the harmful effects of smoking
Many smoking parents are aware of the hazardous risks of smoking to their children, but they mistakenly believe that they can protect their children if they only move their hand holding the cigarette far away from them, or smoke when they're alone in the car or on the balcony. Studies have shown that a nonsmoker is exposed to smoke even more than 9 meters away from someone smoking, including in open air, and his blood may contain carcinogens.
Smoking in a car that children ride in exposes them to toxic particles and carcinogens that remain in the environment after smoking. Those substances are absorbed in the upholstery of the car seats and gradually release back into the air. They are absorbed in hair, skin, furniture, curtains, walls, carpets, and clothing, so for example, when a smoking parent carries a baby on his body, the baby is exposed to the chemicals left on his or her clothes after smoking.
The hazards children of smokers are exposed to:
Moshe Bar-Haim, Israel Cancer Association CEO: "The fight against smoking is critical in expanding the current legislation as well as its enforcement. An effective, rigorous enforcement must be achieved for banning smoking in public places, in order to properly protect the health of the public's majority, who don't smoke, against the exposure to secondhand smoking. In order to reach a significant reduction in the rates of smoking and protect youth from taking up smoking, we must raise the prices of smoking products significantly – it is the most effective strategy for reducing smoking among youth."
A new research conducted in the U.S. found that secondhand smoking can cause respiratory problems in young adults. Data were collected from 2,097 young adults ages 17-21 in California with repeated annual surveys over 4 years. They used mixed effect logistic regression to evaluate the association between secondhand nicotine vape and respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, bronchitis (cough or phlegm) and shortness of breath.
Exposure to passive vaping was defined based on the participants' reports, if any family member around them vaped. Data was also collected about the use of vaping, tobacco or cannabis by the participants themselves in each phase of the study period. The prevalence of exposure to secondhand vaping by the participants increased during the study years: from 11.7% in 2014 to 15.6% in 2019. The prevalence of bronchitis was measured at 12.3%, bronchitic symptoms at 14.9-26% and shortness of breath at 16.5-18% during the study period.
Participants exposed to passive vaping were 40% more at risk of developing bronchitic symptoms and 53% more at risk of developing shortness of breath compared to participants who were not exposed to passive vaping.
There were no direct associations with wheezing and exposure to passive vaping. These results were valid even after controlling for vaping, active and passive exposure to tobacco or cannabis, and demographic characteristics (age, gender, race/ethnicity and parental education).
In conclusion, the researchers noted that they found secondhand nicotine vape exposure at home to be associated with increased risk of bronchitic symptoms and shortness of breath among young adults. Further studies are required to examine this conclusion.
The study was published in Thorax journal, January 2022 edition
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About 6 Billion Cigarette Stubs Contaminate the Soil and Ground Water in Israel
Smoking is severely hazardous to health, contaminates the planet and damages the climate
This year, the WHO focuses on raising awareness to the destructive effect of smoking on the environment and climate.
Aside from the terrible effects of smoking on the smoker and the people around him, it has a dramatic effect on polluting our planet and significantly damages the quality of the environment. According to WHO, despite efforts made by the tobacco industry to brand itself as environmentally friendly, its activity is obviously highly polluting and harmful to the environment.
Moshe Bar-Haim, Israel Cancer Association CEO: "The tobacco industry is responsible for damaging the health of millions of people around the world, as well as harming and polluting the planet. The fight against smoking touches all of us. In order to eradicate the smoking phenomenon, it is critical to expand the current legislation as well as enforce it."
What damages does the tobacco industry cause each year?
22,000,000,000 Liters of wasted water.
84,000,000 Tons of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. 600,000,000 Felled trees.
Damage to land and deforestation
Tobacco growing destroys about 3.5 million dunams (about 860,000 acres) of agricultural land each year. This includes 200,000 dunams (about 172,000 acres) and about 600 million of felled trees. 90% of tobacco manufacturing takes place in developing countries that need this land for agriculture.
The Tobacco Industry's Carbon Footprint
The globalization of the supply chain means that the tobacco industry relies largely on high resource transportation. With considerable contribution to greenhouse gases, the tobacco industry adds to climate change, waste of resources and damage to ecosystems.
Pollution by Cigarette Waste
About 4.5 trillion cigarette stubs are tossed to the ground worldwide, creating about 800 million tons of toxic waste that releases thousands of chemicals into the soil, ground water and water sources. Each year, about 6 billion cigarettes tubs are tossed outside trashcans in Israel. It takes a cigarette stub about 15 years to biodegrade.
Environmental pollution by e-cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes, marketed as an alternative to cigarettes, also contribute to environmental pollution. Their manufacturing re4quires metals, plastic and batteries. The liquid in e-cigarettes contain large quantities of toxic chemicals. E-cigarettes' waste is not biodegradable, and a pods tossed away or disposable devices break into micro plastic and chemicals that contaminate the soil and water sources.
Association of E-Cigarettes with Erectile DysfunctionSmoking is known to be associated with erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. Nicotine inhibits the expansion of blood vessels, reduces blood flow, affects erectile function and aversely influences men's sexual functioning. However, the association between ENDS use and erectile dysfunction has not been examined until now.
In a first of its kind study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on January 1, 2022, researchers from New York University, Yale University and others examined the association of ENDS (vaping) use with erectile dysfunction in men. The study consisted of a full sample of 13,711 American males 20 years and older, some with cardiovascular disease, who responded to a smoking habits and erectile dysfunction questionnaire. 4.8% of the men reported using ENDS and 2.1% reported daily usage.
The study also examined a restricted sample of 11,207 males 20-65 with no history of cardiovascular diseases – 5.6% reported vaping, 2.5% of them on a daily basis. 20.7% of the males in the general group reported difficulty achieving erection versus 10.2% of the males in the group with no cardiovascular disease.
The researchers found that the risk of male participants reporting erectile dysfunction from the full sample who vaped on a daily basis was 124% higher than those who didn't vape. The risk of male participants reporting erectile dysfunction with no cardiovascular diseases who vaped daily was 141% higher. That is, even after restricting factors such as history of cardiovascular diseases, overweight, high cholesterol and diabetes, a significant association was found between vaping and erectile dysfunction.
The researchers noted that the new generation of ENDS contain high levels of nicotine, at times even more than regular cigarettes. While ENDS remain under evaluation for harm reduction and smoking-cessation potential, ENDS users should be informed about the possible association between ENDS use and erectile dysfunction.
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Secondhand nicotine vaping linked to respiratory symptoms in young adults
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Do children exposed to passive and "thirdhand" smoking suffer more dental problems?
A new research conducted in the U.S. examined the association between exposure to tobacco smoking and dental and oral health in children.
Researchers examined National Survey of Children's Health data from 32,214 children aged 1 through 11 years. The children were categorized into three study groups: no home tobacco smoke exposure (did not live with a smoker), thirdhand smoke) exposure (lived with a smoker who did not smoke inside the home), or secondhand smoke and tobacco smoke exposure (lived with a smoker who smoked inside the home).
4,000 of the children were exposed to secondhand smoke, and 429 were exposed to secondhand and thirdhand smoke.
Children who were exposed to secondhand or thirdhand smoke were 59% more at risk of suffering chronic difficulty with 1 or more oral health problem, and 74% more at risk of carious teeth or caries, compared to children who were not exposed to any type of smoking.
The researchers explained that thirdhand smoking occurs when children inhale or swallow particles containing tobacco that remain as dust at home on surfaces and in the air long after smoking. These particles contain heavy metals, including Cadmium, a risk factor known to cause caries.
It was further found that parents in families where children were exposed to secondhand or thirdhand smoke, gave their children's oral health a lower rating than parents in nonsmoking homes. Still, the chances these children will receive the necessary oral health care is 2.22 lower compared to children not exposed to passive smoking at all. The researchers conclude that tobacco smoke exposure in children is associated with caries and inadequate oral health care visits.
The study was published in Journal of American Dental Association, April 2022 edition