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Gold Standard Articles of Interest for Prevention & Pre-Diagnosis

2020

"Large Study Confirms that HPV Vaccine Prevents Cervical Cancer." National Cancer Institute, October 15, 2020.

In what many global health leaders are calling a milestone study, researchers in Sweden have confirmed that widespread use of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine dramatically reduces the number of women who will develop cervical cancer.

Lou, Nicole. "In Fight Against COVID-19, Physical Activity Falls Off a Cliff." MedPage Today, June 30, 2020.

Fitness tracker data from around the world illustrated how each country's response to COVID-19 affected physical activity among residents.

In the first 10 days after the World Health Organization's March 11 declaration that COVID-19 was officially a global pandemic, smartphone users worldwide showed a 5.5% decrease in mean daily steps (287 fewer steps).

For the past decade, evidence has suggested that Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, could stem an epidemic of throat cancer. But it has also never received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for that use — and it was unclear if it ever would.

On Friday, the agency granted that approval, clearing the latest version of the vaccine, Gardasil 9, to prevent a cancer that affects 13,500 Americans annually. The decision was announced by Gardasil’s maker, Merck.

Walker, Molly. "Quarantine Brings up More Issues for Patients with Obesity." MedPage Today, June 10, 2020.

Patients with obesity not only reported more anxiety and depression, but the majority reported less exercise, more stress eating, and increased stockpiling of food due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, researchers found.

The American Cancer Society has updated its guideline for diet and physical activity for cancer prevention, with adjustments to reflect the most current evidence. The updated recommendations increase recommended levels of physical activity and have an increased emphasis on reducing the consumption of processed and red meat, sugar-sweetened beverages, processed foods, and alcohol. They also include evidenced-based strategies to reduce barriers to healthy eating and active living and to reduce alcohol consumption. The guideline is published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, the ACS’s flagship medical journal.

Firth, Shannon. "Vaccine Access, Hesitancy Amid COVID-19." MedPage Today, June 3, 2020.

Overcoming vaccine hesitancy and access issues has become even more critical because of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health experts argued at a recent webinar hosted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

As it became clear in March that the coronavirus was tearing through the U.S., federal health officials and cancer societies urged Americans to delay their routine mammograms and colonoscopies. The public has heeded those recommendations — and that’s helped lead to an apocalyptic drop in cancer screenings, according to a white paper released Monday by the electronic medical records vendor Epic.

Reinberg, Steven. "The Sooner Young Smokers Start, the Less Likely they are to Quit ." HealthDay, April 13, 2020.

Kids and teens who take up smoking are more likely to become daily smokers and find it harder to quit by their 40s, a new study finds.

"Based on our data coupled with a variety of other evidence, we found childhood smoking leads to adult smoking," said lead researcher David Jacobs Jr., a professor of public health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. "Cigarette smoking, even experimentally, among children of any age should be strongly discouraged."

Pavlik, MA CTTS, Jim; Chad Morris, PhD. "COVID-19: Tobacco Use and Health Disparities Populations." Behavorial Health & Wellness Program, April 13, 2020.

Smoking and vaping may lead to worse clinical outcomes following respiratory infections, which is particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many groups of Americans, such as persons living in poverty, individuals with behavioral health conditions, and persons involved with the criminal justice system, smoke and use other nicotine products at high rates and are at greater risk after contracting COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. 

Boyles, Salynn. "Smokers Face Greater Risk from COVID-19." MedPage Today, April 8, 2020.

It is a familiar public health message that has taken on new urgency in the time of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic: If you smoke, you need to quit.

The sooner, the better.

Tobacco users face an elevated risk for a long list of chronic diseases and malignancies, and there is growing evidence that smoking, and possibly vaping, also increase the risk for life-threatening complications and death from COVID-19.

Gretler, Corinne. "Smoking Helps Open Gateway to Coronavirus Infection, Study Shows." Bloomberg, April 8, 2020.

Smoking may raise the risk of Covid-19 by elevating enzymes that allow the coronavirus to gain access into lung cells, according to a new study.

Smokers and people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may have elevated levels of an enzyme called ACE-2, which helps the virus enter cells in their lungs, where it replicates, a study published in the European Respiratory Journal Thursday showed.

The news about the COVID-19 global pandemic has everyone concerned. Those who smoke or vape e-cigarettes, or care about someone who does, may be especially worried because the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 attacks the lungs and could be a particularly serious threat to tobacco users.

Jagat Narula, MD, PhD. "For Every 50 Smokers – One Non-Smoker Dies from Secondhand Smoke Exposure." JAMA Network Open, March 17, 2020.

These results could help policy makers to better understand the scale of harm inflicted by secondhand smoke and develop new measures that will protect non-smokers. This is especially important considering children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, and asthma. Even a low dose of secondhand smoke can damage the cardiovascular system and long-term exposure can lead to a 20-30 percent increase in risk for heart attack and lung cancer. 

More than one-third of parents did not follow the recommended vaccination schedule for their young children in 2014, opting for a different schedule that included delaying or skipping vaccines, researchers found.

King, PhD, Brian A., Christopher M. Jones, Dr. P.H., Grant T. Baldwin, PhD, Peter A. Briss, MD. "The EVALI and Youth Vaping Epidemics - Implications for Public Health." The New England Journal of Medicine, February 20, 2020.

Since entering the U.S. marketplace in 2007, e-cigarette, or vaping, products have evolved into a diverse class of inhaled aerosol devices. Earlier generations of these products were disposable, resembled conventional cigarettes in shape, and were designed to deliver nicotine to the user. Newer generations are rechargeable, don’t resemble conventional cigarettes, and can be used to deliver various substances, including nicotine and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana). The U.S. markets for both nicotine- and THC-containing vaping products have dramatically expanded. Recently, there has been an unprecedented increase in the use of nicotine-containing products by young people (see graph). Simultaneously, an increasing number of U.S. states have legalized marijuana use, a shift that coincided with changes in the public perception of risk, the availability of a wide variety of products containing THC or cannabidiol (CBD, a nonpsychoactive ingredient in marijuana), and increases in marijuana use among adults, especially young adults.

Oransky, MD, Ivan. ""Evidence That e-Cigs Cause Heart Attacks" Retracted." Medscape Internal Medicine, February 19, 2020.

A study published last year touted by its coauthor as "more evidence that e-cigs cause heart attacks" has been retracted, following intense criticism.

The article, in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA), was written by Dharma Bhatta, PhD, and Stanton Glantz, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, and concluded that, "Some‐day and every‐day e‐cigarette use are associated with increased risk of having had a myocardial infarction, adjusted for combustible cigarette smoking."

Jenkins, Kristin. "Evidence Grows for One-Dose HPV Vaccination." MedPage Today, February 11, 2020.

Even a single dose of the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (4vHPV) vaccine was associated with lower incidence of pre-invasive cervical disease compared with no vaccination in adolescent women, according to researchers.

In a large retrospective matched cohort study involving women age 15-19, risk of histologically confirmed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia II/III (CIN-II/III) was equivalent with one, two, or three doses of 4vHPV vaccine. The adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were 0.64, 0.72, and 0.66, respectively, all with statistical significance.

Outlines the latest science to help people quit smoking cigarettes

Siegel, Rachel. "U-Haul's no-smokers hiring policy tests the boundaries of corporate wellness." The Washington Post, January 22, 2020.

When U-Haul announced it would stop hiring nicotine users in the states where it could, the reactions were decidedly mixed.

“Good for U-Haul! Nicotine is a drug. … It just happens to be legal!” wrote one Facebook commenter.

“I’m not [a] smoker, but I don’t think being a smoker should keep you from employment,” wrote another.

One posted a simple, “Dream on!”

Nackerdien, Zeena. "Losing Weight after age 50 may lower breast cancer risk." MedPage Today, January 15, 2020.

In the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Lauren R. Teras, PhD, of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues found that women age 50 years or older who lost weight and kept it off had a lower risk of breast cancer compared with those whose weight stayed the same.

Amid the epidemic levels of youth use of e-cigarettes and the popularity of certain products among children, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today issued a policy prioritizing enforcement against certain unauthorized flavored e-cigarette products that appeal to kids, including fruit and mint flavors. Under this policy, companies that do not cease manufacture, distribution and sale of unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes (other than tobacco or menthol) within 30 days risk FDA enforcement actions.

A single-dose vaccination regimen for human papillomavirus (HPV) had similar efficacy against HPV infection compared with the recommended two- or three-dose series, although researchers caution that more research is needed.

Nackerdien, Zeena. "Obesity in America: Who is Most Affected?." MedPage Today, January 2, 2020.

Nearly half of U.S. adults will be obese by 2030 if current trends continue, with almost one-quarter projected to be severely obese, according to an analysis considered highly predictive that corrected for self-reporting bias.  Note that severe obesity is also likely to become the most common body mass index category among women, non-Hispanic black adults, and adults with low income.

2019

A total smoking ban will be enforced across all hospital grounds by April next year in a bid to make NHS sites smokefree.

The new guidelines, which follow a survey that was carried out as part of Public Health England's (PHE) Smokefree NHS campaign, will see all trusts across the country prohibit anyone from smoking on site.

Maloney, Jennifer. "U.S. Raises Tobacco-Buying Age to 21." Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2019.

New restriction, which also includes e-cigarettes, is part of spending bill passed by Senate and would take effect in September 2020.

Steinbuch, Yaron. "Over 20 percent of US high school seniors vaped marijuana in 2019: study." New York Post, December 18, 2019.

The number of teens using marijuana by vaping has increased dramatically in the past two years — with more than 20 percent of US high school seniors reporting the activity this year, according to a study.

Huizhi, Chen. "WeChat groups to help smokers quit." Shine News, December 18, 2019.

A free program for people wanting to quit smoking was launched on Wednesday by Shanghai Pilot Health Promotion Center, a Shanghai-based non-governmental organization focused on cancer prevention.

This week Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K – 12 classrooms nationwide, in partnership with CATCH Global Foundation, a public charity dedicated to the development and dissemination of evidence-based health programs, and the CVS Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of CVS Health, launched Be Vape Free, a nationwide initiative to provide standards-aligned, no-cost, e-cigarette prevention resources for educators teaching grades 5 – 12. Be Vape Free will serve to expand the use of CATCH My Breath, a proven effective vaping prevention program, to combat the growing vaping epidemic by arming educators, parents, and communities with easy-to-use tools that will help students make smart, informed, and healthy choices for life. The CVS Health Foundation is providing a $3 million commitment to fund this multi-year collaboration.

Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast have discovered that bacteria often found in the lungs became more harmful and caused increased inflammation when they were exposed to e-cigarette vape.

The results of the three-year study, published today (Wednesday 18 December) in Respiratory Research, show that  this increase in lung inflammation is due to  bacteria made more virulent by exposure to e-cigarette vapour.

Dr Deirdre Gilpin, researcher and lecturer from the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s University and lead author of the research explains: “There is currently a knowledge gap about whether vaping is harmful, or less harmful than smoking tobacco.

Rawson, Jeff. "I nearly died from vaping and you could too." The Boston Globe, December 16, 2019.

It seemed like food poisoning.

All weekend, I lay in bed with such abdominal pain that I cried, moaned, even yelled. It was the worst stomach bug I had experienced in my 40 years. By Sunday, I began to improve. I held down fluids, I ate a banana. But that night I grew sicker. No matter how much water and sports beverage I drank, my mouth dried out and my fever rose. Instead of immersive fever dreams, my dreams were of a single object, receding into the distance, emptiness all around me.

Von Drehle, David. "This vape craze should never have been allowed to happen." The Washington Post, November 29, 2019.

Todd White is superintendent of the Blue Valley School District in Johnson County, Kan. It’s an enviable position. The Blue Valley schools serve a relatively upscale population in the suburbs of Kansas City. On an average day, more than 95 percent of Blue Valley students are in school. The graduation rate is 97 percent. The dropout rate, less than 1 percent. Every student in grade three and above has a computer.

Yet White confessed recently that his prosperous district is in the midst of an epidemic. “In my 35 years in education, I’ve never seen anything that has been so rapid and devastating to the health and well-being of students, nor so disruptive to the daily work of teachers and administrators in educating our students,” he said of the crisis. What wreaks such havoc?

Vaping.

Rupp, Lindsey and Riley Griffin. "Duke University Was Built on a Cigarette Fortune. Now It May Ban Vaping On Its Campus." Bloomberg, November 23, 2019.

At Duke Unversity, at the epicenter of North Carolina’s tobacco country, a tense showdown over college vaping and its health risks is roiling the campus.

Fried, Ina; Mike Allen. "Apple to remove vaping apps from store." Axios, November 15, 2019.

Amid growing health concerns over e-cigarettes, Apple will remove all 181 vaping-related apps from its mobile App Store this morning, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The move comes after at least 42 people have died from vaping-related lung illness, per the CDC. Most of those people had been using cartridges containing THC, though some exclusively used nicotine cartridges.

NCI Staff. "Prescribing exercise as cancer treatment: a conversation with Dr. Kathryn Schmitz." National Cancer Institute, November 12, 2019.

On October 16, 2019, an expert panel convened by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) released updated guidance and recommendations on the role of physical activity and exercise in cancer prevention and survivorship. The panel was co-chaired by Kathryn Schmitz, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Department of Public Health Sciences at the Penn State College of Medicine, and Charles Matthews, Ph.D., of NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.

The recommendations, as outlined in three related publications, are the products of the panel’s comprehensive review of the scientific evidence on physical activity and cancer. In this conversation, Dr. Schmitz, immediate past-president of ACSM, discusses the research findings connecting physical activity with improved cancer outcomes and what these new guidelines mean for health care providers and survivors.

Lou, Nicole. "Vaping Worse for Heart than Cigarettes?." MedPage Today, November 12, 2019.

E-cigarette smokers were worse off than conventional cigarette smokers in terms of coronary microvascular vascular function, researchers found in a small study.

Raeke, Meagan. "E-cigarettes: Understandardized, under-regulated, under-studied - safety unknown." MD Anderson Cancer Center, November 4, 2019.

The recent outbreak of lung injury and death associated with e-cigarettes and vaping has led to a renewed scrutiny of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are leading an investigation into e-cigarette, or vaping, associated lung injury (EVALI), available data on the short- and long-term health effects of ENDS are limited, says Ernest Hawk, M.D., division head and vice president of Cancer Prevention & Population Sciences.  

A study recently published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society suggests that women who use e-cigarettes may face difficulties in becoming pregnant, and that exposure to vaping could cause permanent health complications for the fetus [1]. Dr. Mark Trolice, Director of Fertility CARE: The IVF Center, notes that smoking regular cigarettes is already contraindicated for women seeking to become pregnant, and that vaping should be as well. "E-cigarettes are probably just as harmful to pregnancy and fertility as traditional cigarettes because they both have similar amounts of nicotine," Dr. Trolice said. "There is a misconception that e-cigarettes are safe to use during pregnancy. Anyone on their fertility journey should avoid the use of nicotine altogether."

Megan Jacobs, MPH. "More companies starting to offer virtual support to parents with kids who vape." The ex Program, October 21, 2019.

As you’ve probably seen by now in the news, vaping rates among teenagers are increasing at an alarming rate. From 2017 to 2018, e-cigarette use among high school students increased a whopping 78%! In 2019, 27.5% of high school students—more than 1 in 4—are vaping.

E-cigarette use among middle school students also jumped 48% from 2017 to 2018. And, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Associatione-cigarette use among 18-24-year-olds increased 60% from 2017 to 2018.

Collins, Dr. Francis. "Panel finds exercise may lower cancer risk, improve outcomes." NIH Director's Blog, October 16, 2019.

Exercise can work wonders for your health, including strengthening muscles and bones, and boosting metabolism, mood, and memory skills. Now comes word that staying active may also help to lower your odds of developing cancer. 

After reviewing the scientific evidence, a panel of experts recently concluded that physical activity is associated with reduced risks for seven common types of cancer: colon, breast, kidney, endometrial, bladder, stomach, and esophageal adenocarcinoma. What’s more, the experts found that exercise—both before and after a cancer diagnosis—was linked to improved survival among people with breast, colorectal, or prostate cancers.

NEW ORLEANS—Vaping is not a low-risk substitute for smoking cigarettes, according to researcher Charlie Lin, MD, who authored a case study of a 34-year-old former smoker diagnosed with granulomatosis attributed to two months of electronic cigarette use. Dr. Lin will present his case study at the CHEST Annual Meeting 2019 in New Orleans.

“This case of granulomatosis secondary to electronic cigarette use exemplifies an unintended consequence of ‘vaping,’” Dr. Lin wrote. Granulomas destroy healthy tissue and inflame blood vessels, which can limit blood flow to organs including the lungs.

Electronic cigarettes vaporize liquids for inhalation to simulate the combustion of smoking traditional cigarettes. Until recently, e-cigarettes, with their lack of combustion-produced toxins, were thought to be lower risk than traditional cigarettes. Consequently, e-cigarettes have been heralded as having a perceived role in smoking cessation.

Rodriguez, Megan. "Texas A&M to implement tobacco-free campus policy in January." The Eagle, October 13, 2019.

Texas A&M University will implement a tobacco-free policy in January, using a $20,000 grant from the American Cancer Society to help fund the effort. 

Recently, I was approached on London Bridge by an attractive sales woman with samples of what looked like sweet containers. On closer inspection, they were not confectionary, but instead turned out to be nicotine vape samples. I was not asked if I was over 18 (I look young for someone in their mid-20s), and I was not asked if I was trying to quit smoking or had a previous history of substance abuse. I politely declined.

The marketing for nicotine vapes around the world has been, by and large, poorly regulated, and it is commonplace in London to see teenagers with their hands on vapes blowing pillows of smoke. While 10 years ago it would have been more common to see teenagers experimenting with their first cigarettes under the cover of trees and park benches, the seemingly more accessible nature of vapes has started to replace this underage rite of passage with something more blatant. In the United States, the Federal Court has launched an investigation into Juul, a large nicotine vape producer. The global regulation of vaping, which contains nicotine, a substance found to be nearly as addictive as heroin, should be more common than it is now.

Boyles, Salynn. "Smoking Cessation Tx Highly Effective in Cancer Patients." MedPage Today, September 29, 2019.

Smokers with cancer who participated in a comprehensive tobacco cessation program achieved high sustained quit rates, and they were just as likely as patients without cancer to successfully stop smoking cigarettes, a new study finds.

"Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with E-Cigarette Use, or Vaping." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 19, 2019.
  • There are 530* cases of lung injury reported from 38 states and 1 U.S. territory. Seven deaths have been confirmed in 6 states.
  • CDC has received complete sex and age data on 373 of 530 cases.
    • Nearly three fourths (72%) of cases are male
    • Two thirds (67%) of cases are 18 to 34 years old
    • 16% of cases are under 18 years and 17% are 35 years or older
  • All reported cases have a history of e-cigarette product use or vaping.
  • Based on initial data from certain states we know: Most patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC. Many patients have reported using THC and nicotine. Some have reported the use of e-cigarette products containing only nicotine.
Saul, Jessie. "Your Boss Doesn’t Support a Smoke-Free Policy…Now What?." ex Program, September 17, 2019.

Not every business leader embraces a smoke-free policy or tobacco-free workplace. Surprised? Don’t be.

Today 20% of indoor workers in the U.S. are not yet covered by a 100% smoke-free policy. And if you work in certain industries, such as construction, agriculture, and transportation, your company is even less likely to have a workplace no-smoking policy.

Today, the Trump Administration announced that as part of its ongoing work to tackle the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use, the FDA intends to finalize a compliance policy in the coming weeks that would prioritize the agency’s enforcement of the premarket authorization requirements for non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, clearing the market of unauthorized, non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products. The FDA plans to share more on the specific details of the plan and its implementation soon.

Brennan, Troyen; Eileen Howard Boone. "Strengthening our commitment to help end tobacco use." US News, September 3, 2019.

FIVE YEARS AGO, WE decided to stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products in all CVS Pharmacy locations. It was the first step toward building an innovative health care company driven by a purpose — helping people on their path to better health. Since then, CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation announced a multi-year $50 million Be The First initiative to help create the first tobacco-free generation.

Jacobs, Megan. "6 Ways Tobacco Use Hurts Today's Retail Employees." The EX Program, September 3, 2019.

In the tight-margin industry of retail, innovating to contain employee healthcare costs is a must. But it isn’t the only thing that matters. Just ask retail giant Walmart—well-recognized both for its cost-effective use of healthcare resources and for prioritizing the employee healthcare experience.

Tobacco cessation is one example of a critical employee benefit that can help minimize healthcare spend—when it’s delivered in ways that employees want to use. So why isn’t it top of mind for all HR benefit leaders in retail companies?

Within days, Alexander Mitchell had gone from being a 20-year-old hiking enthusiast to being kept alive by two machines forcing air into and out of his lungs and oxygenating his blood outside of his body.

Chris Sweeney. "The problem with industry-sponsored vaping research." Harvard T.H. Chan, August 16, 2019.

Use of e-cigarettes and other vaping products including Juul is soaring, especially among youths. Between 2017 and 2018, the prevalence of current e-cigarette use among U.S. high school students increased from 12% to 21%. Andy Tan, assistant professor of social and behavioral sciences, recently co-authored a Lancetarticle examining how Juul is funding scientific research—and why this is problematic.

Sun, Lena; Lindsey Bever. "Mystery lung illness linked to vaping. Health officials investigating nearly 100 possible cases.." The Washington Post, August 16, 2019.

State and federal health officials are investigating almost 100 cases of mysterious lung illnesses linked to vaping and e-cigarette use in 14 states, many of them involving teens and young adults. A large number of those stricken ill have been hospitalized, with some in intensive care and on ventilators.

Jeff Minerd. "Obesity-Associated Cancers on the Rise in Younger Patients." MedPage Today, 8/15/19.

Obesity-associated cancers are affecting people at earlier ages in the U.S., a population-based study found.

The analysis of more than 2.6 million incident cases from 2000 to 2016 found that the percentage of new cases of obesity-associated cancer occurring in individuals 65 and older decreased over this interval, whereas it increased in those ages 50-64, said Siran Koroukian, PhD, of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, and colleagues.

Frieden, Joyce. "Vaping Companies Marketing to Teens, House Panel Told." MedPage Today, July 24, 2019.

WASHINGTON -- Children and teenagers should not be vaping, House members and witnesses agreed at a hearing Wednesday, but they disagreed on what government should focus on regarding e-cigarettes such as those made by JUUL: their potential as smoking-cessation aids for adults, or their role in creating a new generation of nicotine addicts.

Kempe, Yaabelle. "E-cigarette users seeking help in lonely struggle to quit vaping." Boston Globe, July 7, 2019.

Kyle, a rising senior at BU, has tried to quit vaping. His last attempt was unsuccessful and he found himself switching to Smok Novo (above) instead of Juul.

Connor hated feeling like a slave to the slender metal device in his pocket. That’s why the rising junior at Boston College recently wrote his first-ever Reddit post on the page “QuittingJUUL,” a virtual space populated by more than 800 others who are also battling e-cigarette addiction.

Loftus, Eileen Glanton. "Let's End HPV-related Cancers: A Congressional Briefing." American Association for Cancer Research, June 28, 2019.

Every two minutes, a woman somewhere in the world dies of cervical cancer.

That harrowing statistic, shared by Anna R. Giuliano, PhD, founding director of the Center for Immunization and Infection Research in Cancer at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, reflects a great frustration in public health. There is a vaccine that prevents infection with the virus that can cause cervical cancer and several other cancer types, yet worldwide, not enough people are taking advantage of it.

Boyles, Salynn. "Big Study to Explore Long-Term Impact of Vaping, Pollution." MedPage Today, June 21, 2019.

The long-term impact of vaping on the lungs and the impact of early-life air pollution exposures will be among the key focuses of a first-of-its kind federally funded, longitudinal study of lung health among millennials.

Researchers from Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, in partnership with the American Lung Association, plan to follow 4,000 healthy adults from the ages of 25 to 35 in an effort to gain further insights into the causes of chronic respiratory diseases common in later life.

When the 17-year-old boy arrived at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, his entire jaw was cracked and a chunk of the bone had been completely shattered. Several of his teeth were missing and there was a hole in his chin.

Glimcher, Laurie H.. "Ending the Long Reach of Tobacco." The Boston Globe, June 13, 2019.

Many of us know someone whose life was cut short by tobacco, and their stories are heartbreaking. What makes them even more so is that, in many cases, it didn’t have to happen. As the leading cause of preventable death, smoking causes 1 in 5 of all deaths in the United States, totaling more than 480,000 annually. Tobacco is also linked to about one-third of all cancers in the United States, including cancers of the pancreas, bladder, kidney, mouth, and throat, as well as the lung. Even with all of the recent advancements in cancer research and care, these remain some of the most lethal and difficult cancers to treat.

Bankhead, Charles. "More Evidence Links Body Fat with Prostate Cancer." MedPage Today, June 12, 2019.

Increasing body fat accumulation significantly raised men's odds of developing advanced and fatal prostate cancer, data from a large prospective study of men in Iceland showed.

Higher concentrations of visceral and thigh fat increased the odds of aggressive or fatal prostate cancer by 30%-40% as compared with leaner men. The prostate cancer risk associated with increased visceral fat accumulation carried over to men who had a lower BMI, reported Barbra A. Dickerman, PhD, of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues.

Collins, Frances. "Ultra-Processed Diet Leads to Extra Calories, Weight Gain." NIH Director's Blog, May 21, 2019.

If you’ve ever tried to lose a few pounds or just stay at a healthy weight, you’ve likely encountered a dizzying array of diets, each with passionate proponents: low carb, low fat, keto, paleo, vegan, Mediterranean, and so on. Yet most nutrition experts agree on one thing: it’s best to steer clear of ultra-processed foods. Now, there’s some solid scientific evidence to back up that advice.

One of lung cancer’s most lethal attributes is its ability to trick radiologists. Some nodules appear threatening but turn out to be false positives. Others escape notice entirely, and then spiral without symptoms into metastatic disease.

On Monday, however, Google unveiled an artificial intelligence system that — in early testing — demonstrated a remarkable talent for seeing through lung cancer’s disguises.

Hsiang, Esther Y.; Shivan J. Mehta; Dylan S. Small; Charles A.L. Rareshide; Christopher K. Snider; Susan C. Day; Mitesh S. Patel . "Association of Primary Care Clinic Appointment Time With Clinician Ordering and Patient Completion of Breast and Colorectal Cancer Screening." Jama Network, May 10, 2019.

Cancer is a leading cause of mortality in the United States.  Appropriate cancer screening can be effective in decreasing both morbidity and mortality by detecting and treating cancers at an earlier stage.  However, underuse of cancer screening tests is common.  For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that among patients who meet guideline recommendations, approximately 37% of adults have not been screened for colorectal cancer, and 28% of women have not been screened for breast cancer.

Jacobs, Megan. "Yes, You Still Have Smokers in Your Workplace." The EX Program, April 10, 2019.

Now that smoking is no longer the employee health issue it once was, companies can turn their attention to other wellness program strategies, right?

Unfortunately not.

Because smoking in the workplace today isn’t always obvious, that’s led some employers to believe this type of addiction isn’t a big issue anymore. Out of sight, out of mind, out of HR planning.

That misperception can be very costly on multiple levels—from direct productivity losses to higher healthcare expenditures. Even worse, it means those who do smoke won’t get the help they need.

McGinley, Laurie. "The Disturbing Links Between Too Much Weight and Several Types of Cancer." The Washington Post, April 14, 2019.

It’s not that often that you hear a top Trump official unabashedly blaming a US company for a health crisis. But that’s exactly what FDA chief Scott Gottlieb did Tuesday in an interview during his final week in office.

Boyles, Salynn. "Survey of Adults' Perceptions of E-Cig Safety Yields Surprise." Med Page Today, March 29, 2019.

Adults in the U.S. increasingly think electronic cigarettes are as harmful as combustible cigarettes, if not more so, according to findings from two multiyear national surveys.

Munarriz, Rick. "Disney Bans Smoking at Disney World and Disneyland." The Motley Fool, March 28, 2019.

It's going to be harder to get your smoke on at one of Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) domestic theme parks in a few weeks. Smoking will no longer be permitted inside Disney World and Disneyland theme parks and water parks starting May 1. The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida and Downtown Disney in California will also be participating in the ban. 

 

"Higher consumption of sugary beverages linked with increased risk of mortality." Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, March 18, 2019.

The more sugar-sweetened beverages(SSBs) people consumed, the greater their risk of premature death—particularly death from cardiovascular disease, and to a lesser extent from cancer, according to a large long-term study of U.S. men and women. The risk of early death linked with drinking SSBs was more pronounced among women.

Maloney, Jennifer. "FDA Sets Limits on Retail Sales of Flavored E-Cigarettes." Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2019.

Convenience stores and gas stations will effectively be banned from selling most flavored e-cigarettes under restrictions issued Wednesday by the Food and Drug Administration.

Cigarette smokers provided with electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes or vaping) and smoking cessation counseling had higher quit rates than smokers given nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches, gums, and lozenges, together with face-to-face smoking cessation counseling, results from a randomized clinical trial conducted in the United Kingdom (UK) show.

Incollingo, Beth Fand. "Sweet Surrender: Will Cutting Out Sugar Help You Prevent Cancer?." CURE, February 20, 2019.

The latest findings about the dangers of eating sugar and carrying extra body fat may spell bad news when it comes to dietary freedom, but being aware of them gives people the power to lower their cancer risk.

Recent studies confirmed that two diet-related culprits can contribute to the development of cancer: eating sugar, which increases the body’s production of insulin, and having excess body fat, which leads to inflammation. Perhaps surprisingly, these processes happen not only in those who are obese or overweight but also in people who are considered a normal size based on their body mass index (BMI).

 

"Public Health Plagued By Preemption." American for Nonmokers' Rights Foundation, February 14, 2019.

At ANR, we are no strangers to preemption. This tricky tactic was cultivated and perfected by the tobacco industry. We know the industry never quits, so we have never stopped tracking and defending against preemptive strikes.

Reference Refresh

A little rusty on the vocabulary? According to the National Policy and Legal Analysis Network, preemption occurs when a “higher” level of government eliminates or limits the authority of a “lower” level of government to regulate a certain issue. Preemption can take different forms: either explicitly spelled out in a statute, or implied, which is murkier and based on legislative intent. Implied preemption can result in a legal challenge to interpret what the law says, which is why our model language always recommends expressly stating that state laws do not preempt local action. An example of this industry interference trick is in the fact Pittsburgh, PA, Nashville, TN, and Oklahoma City are barred from enacting local smokefree laws.

Boyles, Salynn. "CDC: Youth Tobacco Use Increased in 2018, Erasing Long Decline." Med Page Today, February 11, 2019.

The dramatic rise in electronic cigarette use among middle- and high school students in 2018 is responsible for the largest single year increase in youth tobacco usage ever recorded, reversing a decades-long downward trend in use, the CDC confirms.

Last year, around 4.9 million middle and high school students were current users of tobacco products, up by more than a million users from the previous year.

Powell, Alvin. "A gathering to battle cancer." INDIA New England NEWS, February 5, 2019.

Amid alarming projections that global cancer rates will skyrocket, researchers from around the country gathered at Harvard on Monday to share their latest findings and to launch a center whose aim is to boost early detection and prevention.

By 2040, deaths due to cancer are expected to rise 60 percent in the U.S., 79 percent in China, and 106 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Timothy Rebbeck, Vincent L. Gregory Jr. Professor of Cancer Prevention at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and director of the School’s new Zhu Family Center for Global Cancer Prevention. The center was launched Monday on World Cancer Day.

Parents need to be aware of the dangers of e-cigarette use, including the fact that young people who use e-cigarettes are four times more likely to start smoking cigarettes. E-cigarette use among youth also puts them at risk for early nicotine addiction, which can harm brain development and make adolescent brains more susceptible to other addictive drugs.

Interviewer: Laurie Scudder, DNP, NP. "Vaping and e-Cigarettes in Kids: An Unprecedented Epidemic." Medscape, January 31, 2019.

An Interview With US Surgeon General Jerome Adams and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb

Facing youth e-cigarette epidemic, American Lung Association calls for federal government, states to put in place proven tobacco control policies to protect kids, save lives.

Charles, Shamard, MD. "Report finds 'disturbing failure' to stop underage smoking, vaping in U.S.." NBC News, January 30, 2019.

The legal age to buy tobacco should be raised to 21 and flavored e-cigarettes should be removed from the market, the American Lung Association says.

Boyles, Salynn. "Smokers With Cancer May Benefit From Longer Cessation Tx." Med Page Today, January 28, 2019.

Trial showed 24 weeks of Chantix led to better quit rates than 12 weeks of therapy

"Quitting e-cigarettes." truth initiative, January 19, 2019.

In the wake of the surgeon general declaring a youth e-cigarette epidemic, Truth Initiative® has expanded its quit-smoking resources to include a first-of-its kind e-cigarette quit program. This innovative and free text message program was created with input from teens, college students and young adults who have attempted to, or successfully, quit e-cigarettes.

The program is tailored by age group to give teens and young adults appropriate recommendations about quitting. The program will also serve as a resource for parents looking to help their children who now vape.

Fox, Maggie. "FDA chief threatens to take e-cigarettes off the market." NBC News, January 19, 2018.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb made his most direct threat yet against e-cigarette companies Friday, saying they face an “existential threat” if they don’t stop marketing to youth.

Fillon, Mike. "Tobacco Control Initiatives Cut the Number of Lung Cancer Deaths in California by 28%." CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians: Volume 69, Issue 2, January 15, 2019.

Convincing young people not to start smoking is one of the most effective ways to curb tobacco‐related illness and mortality.  Physicians and other health care practitioners play a vital role in helping patients who smoke pursue evidence‐based cessation options. Clinicians can—and should be encouraged to—engage in the policy advocacy process.

Kehren, Heather Carlson. "Mayo Researchers Find "Unacceptable Low" Cervical Cancer Screening Rates." Mayo Clinic, January 7, 2019.

The percentage of women who are screened for cervical cancer may be far lower than national data suggests, according to a Mayo Clinic study recently published in the Journal of Women’s Health (https://www.liebertpub.com/loi/jwh).  Less than two-thirds of women ages 30 to 65 were up-to-date with cervical cancer screenings in 2016. The percentage is even  lower for women ages 21 to 29, with just over half current on screenings. Those figures are well below the 81 percent screening compliance rate self-reported in the 2015 National Health Interview Survey (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/index.htm).

Quitting smoking after a cancer diagnosis is now recognized as a highly effective strategy for improving outcomes and survival in a large percentage of patients, but smoking cessation treatment remains uncommon in cancer care.

That may soon change, thanks to an initiative of the National Cancer Institute's "Cancer Moonshot" program, designed to jump-start smoking cessation treatment at NCI-designated cancer centers.

2018

Flaherty, Ann; Quinn Owen. "Epidemic' of dangerous youth e-cigarette, vaping use, surgeon general declares." abc News, December 18, 2018.

The U.S. surgeon general on Tuesday issued a strong warning against e-cigarette use by young people, called it "unsafe" in any form and termed vaping an "epidemic."

The Gazette Editorial Board. "We must address teen vaping craze." Colorado Springs Gazette, December 19, 2018.

Teen consumption of nicotine vapor throughout the country rose 10 percent in the past 30 days over a similar period a year ago. Tuesday’s announcement by the National Institute for Drug Abuse marks the largest increase of any substance use in the agency’s 43 years of tracking.

The U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory Tuesday urging new local restrictions including taxes and indoor vaping bans to combat youth e-cigarette use, a pivotal development given the office's global stature on tobacco enforcement. 

"Surgeon General’s e-cigarette advisory brings necessary attention to ‘epidemic’ in youth." University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, December 18, 2018.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center supports the United States Surgeon General’s actions to inform youth, parents, teachers and health professionals about the “epidemic” rates of e-cigarette use among youth and the associated health risks for young people. In order to protect the health of future generations, MD Anderson is committed to programs and actions that prevent teens and young adults from using these products.

Young, Kelly. "Teen Nicotine Vaping Doubles in Single Year." New England Journal of Medicine, December 17, 2018.

Twice as many adolescents reported vaping nicotine in 2018 as in 2017, according to correspondence in the New England Journal of Medicine. The authors say it's the largest absolute increase ever recorded in the 44-year history of the study, which surveys 8th through 12th graders about substance use.

Carroll, Aaron E.. "Are You Sitting Down? Standing Desks Are Overrated." New York Times, November 19, 2018.

We know that physical activity is good for us, and that being sedentary is not. Some have extrapolated this to mean that sitting, in general, is something to be avoided, even at work. Perhaps as a result, standing desks have become trendy and are promoted by some health officials as well as some countries.

Research, however, suggests that warnings about sitting at work are overblown, and that standing desks are overrated as a way to improve health.

Lyles, Ashley. "National Exercise Guidelines Now Say 'Just Move' ." MedPage Today, November 12, 2018.

Any physical activity will help, more is better, and it helps for a wider range of health outcomes than previously noted, according to new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) guidelines.

Gov. John Hickenlooper took new steps Friday to curb the use of e-cigarettes by teenagers in Colorado, signing an executive order that, among other things, directs state regulators to increase checks of retailers to make sure they are not selling the devices to underage shoppers.

Reedy, Jill, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.. "Studying “Total Diet” and Its Impact on Health, Including Cancer Risk." National Cancer Institute, October 25, 2018.

Does what we eat and drink affect our risk of developing cancer?

We've all heard exercise helps you live longer. But a new study goes one step further, finding that a sedentary lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease.

"Texas A&M Leads an International Research Team in Testing a Software-based Intervention to get Workers Moving." Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health, October 16, 2018.

Fast forward 12 years and a research team led by Benden and Parag Sharma DrPH, a recent doctoral graduate of the School of Public Health, tested a new computer-based intervention aimed at increasing the number of position changes in a group of adults. Funded by OERC.org and other industry partners, the study was published in the journal Human Factors and used software that reminded users to change the position of their sit-stand desks and monitored their computer use time and desk position.

Agency seeks more information from companies as it continues to pursue its Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan amid evidence of sharply rising e-cigarette use among kids

Azar, Alex M. and Scott Gottlieb. "We cannot let e-cigarettes become an on-ramp for teenage addiction." Washington Post, October 11, 2018.

At the Department of Health and Human Services, we are deeply concerned about the risks that e-cigarettes pose for children, given how quickly teenage use of these products has accelerated. Using a small battery to heat a liquid that contains nicotine, e-cigarettes turn the liquid into an inhalable vapor. Since 2014, they have been the most popular nicotine product among American teenagers.

"FDA approves expanded use of Gardasil 9 to include individuals 27 through 45 years old." US Food and Drug Administration Press Release, October 5, 2018.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved a supplemental application for Gardasil 9 (Human Papillomavirus (HPV) 9-valent Vaccine, Recombinant) expanding the approved use of the vaccine to include women and men aged 27 through 45 years. Gardasil 9 prevents certain cancers and diseases caused by the nine HPV types covered by the vaccine.

Ghosh, Tista. "Vaping is tobacco’s new guise to target Colorado kids." The Denver Post, August 3, 2018.

Think tobacco use has disappeared as a threat to our children’s health? It hasn’t. About one in three Colorado high school students are using nicotine. Most of them don’t smoke cigarettes or use chew tobacco, they’re doing something new. It’s called vaping.

Anna Edney and Olivia Zaleski. "Juul in FDA's Sights as U.S. Rethinks Position on E-Cigarettes." Bloomberg, October 2, 2018.

U.S. public health officials are changing their stance on the upstart e-cigarette industry.

Berman, Jae. "Want to live a longer life? Research says you should do these five things.." The Washington Post, August 21, 2018.

There seems to always be a mad dash toward the next new thing when it comes to nutrition and fitness — whether it’s the latest exercise craze, superfood or diet regimen. But leaping from fad to fad isn’t exactly a well-reasoned strategy for improving our health. Nor is it a way to create changes that stick — which are the only ones that will have an impact.

If we’re going to generate enough motivation to create sustainable change, we need to have clear objectives and understand how and why our habits fulfill those objectives. That way, when relapses or difficult moments arise — and they always do — our deeper motivation and plan keep us anchored.

If your objective is to live a longer, healthier life, a new study conducted by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health lays out five practices, none of which needs to involve a fad.

The Food and Drug Administration is ramping up its teen tobacco-awareness campaign to include the dangers of vaping.

The agency has used its Real Cost campaign to dissuade teens from smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco, but the latest iteration is focused on the dangers of vaping. It is educating teens that many of the same dangers of cigarettes, like nicotine addiction, lung damage, and cancer, are present in e-cigarettes or other vapes. 

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, declared teen use of electronic cigarettes an "epidemic" and said the agency would be addressing the issue with "the largest coordinated tobacco compliance effort in FDA's history."

Actions being considered -- but not yet undertaken -- include the immediate removal of certain flavored e-cigarettes from the market and shortening the time to market review for most cigarettes now being sold.

Joseph, Andrew. "Seven U.S. states now have adult obesity rates of 35 percent or higher." STAT, September 12, 2018.

In its report, the CDC called for a comprehensive strategy to reduce obesity prevalence, with steps including healthy eating, better sleep, stress management, and physical activity.

"How Firms Can Convince Employees to Quit Smoking." The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, August 28, 2018.

Wellness programs are increasing in popularity as companies grow more determined to curb the soaring costs of providing health insurance for employees. To encourage healthy behaviors, firms are offering everything from free yoga classes to weight-loss support groups. While there have been some positive results from these programs, smoking cessation remains a particular challenge. But a recent study by two University of Pennsylvania experts found that cash can be a powerful incentive to help smokers quit. 

Jayne O'Donnell, Ken Alltucker and Josephine Chu. "Teens hooked by vaping: FDA weighing a ban on flavored e-cigarette liquids." USA Today, August 13, 2018.

Teen vaping is reaching epidemic levels and FDA is considering regulation to curb it. One proposal would be banning flavoring of e-cigarette liquids. USA TODAY

"E-cigarettes may help adults quit but get teens hooked." Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, August 10, 2018.

Makers of e-cigarettes say their products could save lives by helping adult smokers quit traditional cigarettes. But critics say that the electronic devices, which deliver nicotine via a heated aerosol and come in fruit flavors, are being marketed to teens and could put young people on the path to nicotine addiction.

"4 marketing tactics e-cigarette companies use to target youth." The Truth Initiative, August 9, 2018.

From introducing appealing flavors to offering college scholarships, manufacturers and sellers of e-cigarettes aggressively target young people.

Selig, Roni; Maddie Bender and Davide Cannaviccio. "Juul and the vape debate: Choosing between smokers and teens." CNN Health, August 9, 2018.

The teen vaping epidemic has made its mark in high schools.

To mark World Lung Cancer Day on August 1st, Cancer Network spoke with Dr. Alan Blum, Professor and Gerald Leon Wallace, MD, Endowed Chair of Family Medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, where he also directs the University’s Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society, which he founded in 1999. Dr. Blum is an expert on the history of tobacco use, tobacco industry marketing, and the anti-smoking movement. He is a renowned pioneer in creative physician-led public advocacy initiatives to counter the promotion of unhealthy products and lethal lifestyles. 

—Interviewed by Anna Azvolinsky

A new study suggests that U.S. businesses pay almost $6,000 per year extra for each employee who smokes compared to the cost to employ a person who has never smoked cigarettes.

Researchers say the study is the first to take a comprehensive look at the financial burden for companies that employ smokers.

Santhanam, Laura. "Why aren’t more Americans getting screened for these cancers?." PBS News Hour, July 27, 2017.

Many Americans are not getting screened for cancer, putting them at risk of missing out on earlier intervention or receiving a late-stage diagnosis, according to a recent federal report.

Melnyk, Bernadette. "Buckeye Summit promotes healthy communities." The Ohio State University Alumni News, Summer 2018.

In April, members of the Ohio State community and thought leaders on health and wellness came together for Buckeye Summit, a biennial gathering that seeks to make a positive impact on a pressing issue. This year’s challenge: How can we create healthy communities?

McKay, Betsy. "Vaping Doesn’t Often Help Smokers Quit, New Study Finds." The Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2018.

Adult smokers who didn’t use electronic vaping devices were more than twice as likely to quit, according to the study.

Australia made it mandatory in 2011 for cigarettes to be sold in drab-looking packets that carry health warnings.

Seven years on, the WTO has rejected complaints from four nations that the laws violate international trade.

Unless there is a successful appeal, the decision is expected to hasten similar regulations around the world.

"Tobacco-Free Policies on the Rise Across US Colleges and Universities." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 21, 2018.

More than twice as many U.S. college and university campuses were smoke free or tobacco free in 2017 as in 2012, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF), published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Junqian , Xu. "CEOs Pledge to Stub Out Smoking." China Daily, June 21, 2018.

Senior executives of companies in Shanghai’s Lujiazui district, known as the “Wall Street of China”, pledged to create a smoke-free working environment last Wednesday. Initiated by NGO the CEO Roundtable on Cancer-China and supported by the World Health Organization, the national campaign aims to encourage as many enterprises as possible in the country to say no to smoking not only inside their offices, but also in factories, on campuses and other open spaces.

Remarks by Scott Gottlieb, M.D., at the Tobacco Regulatory Science Program Meeting. "FDA’s Nicotine and Tobacco Regulation and the Key Role of Regulatory Science." Food and Drug Administration, June 18, 2018.

I speak to you during a moment of extraordinary promise for tobacco regulation. The FDA is engaged in a profound dialogue about the best ways to improve public health through the agency’s tobacco regulatory approaches under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

"Parents See Cancer Prevention Potential as Best Reason for HPV Vaccination." American Association for Cancer Research, June 14, 2018.

Parents of adolescents believed that the potential to prevent certain types of cancer is the best reason for their children to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, whereas other reasons health care providers often give were far less persuasive, according to results published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Joint statement encourages parents, young adults and physicians to take advantage of vaccination to prevent future HPV-related cancers

Pearson, Anthony, MD. "E-Cigs: How Much Help vs How Much Harm? ." MedPage Today, May, 27, 2018.

Hooking kids on nicotine a steep price to pay for helping some smokers quit, says Skeptical Cardiologist.

Screening for colorectal cancer should begin at age 45 for people with an average risk, according to an updated clinical guideline from the American Cancer Society (ACS).

The recommendation lowers the age for the initial screening test by 5 years, which ACS officials acknowledged is in response to recent evidence that colorectal cancer (CRC) is occurring more often in younger people. Based on microsimulation modeling that showed a favorable risk:benefit ratio for screening at age 45, the recommendation comes with the "expectation that screening will perform similarly in adults ages 45 to 49 as it does in adults for whom screening is currently recommended."

A high body-mass index (BMI) as well as gaining large amounts of weight irrespective of starting BMI both contribute to obesity-related cancers, although not necessarily the same ones, a large epidemiological study from Norway suggested.

Michael D. Becker as told to Jo Cavallo. "HPV-Related Cancers Like Mine Are Avoidable, So Why Aren’t More Kids Being Vaccinated?." ASCO Post, May 10, 2018.

The latest news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about vaccination rates in the United States for human papillomavirus (HPV) is disappointing. It shows that in 2016, just 43.4% of adolescents (49.5% of females and 37.5% of males) were up-to-date with the recommended 3-dose HPV vaccination series,1 which is far below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2020 goal of 80% coverage.2 Each year, HPV causes about 41,000 cases of cancer in the United States,3 and I’m sorry to say I am among its victims.

"Sedentary Lifestyle Drastically Increases Risk of Dying from Cancer." Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, April 18, 2018.

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have once again identified a link between physical inactivity and an increased risk of mortality among cancer patients, emphasizing the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle and the importance of regular exercise as therapy for cancer patients both during and after treatment. The team is presenting the findings of their research today at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2018 in Chicago, Ill.

Data on e-cigarettes show that they are the most popular tobacco products among youth, with more than 11 percent reporting in 2016 that they currently use the devices. If that sounds concerning, consider this: there is good reason to believe that the numbers are underestimating the problem.

A third of U.S. adult smokers — 12 million people — looked online for quit-smoking information and resources in 2017, more than double the number from 12 years ago. As more smokers turn to the internet for help to quit, they can increase their chances of success with a few tips for making the most of online tools and resources.

Shockney, Lillie D., RN, BS, MAS, ONN-CG. "Obesity Is Tied to Increased Risk for Cancer Among the Young." Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators, April 9, 2018.

Evidence from more than 100 research publications has shown that obesity increases the risk for 13 different cancers in young adults. This meta-analysis describes how obesity has shifted specific types of cancers to younger age groups, and intensified cellular mechanisms that promote the disease.

"E-cigs pack a harmful punch." Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, April 4, 2018.

Although e-cigarettes may be a useful tool for people trying to quit regular cigarettes, they also contain harmful chemicals, including formaldehyde and diacetyl, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Joseph Allen.

Zernike, Kate. ""I Can't Stop": Schools Struggle with Vaping Explosion." The New York Times, April 2, 2018.

The student had been caught vaping in school three times before he sat in the vice principal’s office at Cape Elizabeth High School in Maine this winter and shamefacedly admitted what by then was obvious.

“I can’t stop,” he told the vice principal, Nate Carpenter.

Scott Gottlieb, MD. "Reducing the Burden of Chronic Disease." US Food & Drug Administration, March 29, 2018.

More than 630,000 Americans die every year from heart disease.

It’s followed closely by cancer as the second leading cause of death in America, with another 600,000 Americans dying annually from cancer.

While we’ve made progress in reducing deaths due to cancer and heart disease -- in part due to reductions in smoking -- some of that progress is now being offset by the increasing problem of obesity.

Multiple medical organizations have filed suit against the FDA, alleging that delays in the regulation of electronic cigarettes and cigars will unnecessarily expose children and teens to flavored, and other kid-friendly tobacco products, for years to come.

kahn, Tamar. "Michael Bloomberg and STOP have Big Tobacco in their sights." Business Day, March 7, 2018.

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is putting $20m into countering the tobacco industry’s attempts to undermine tobacco control measures, with the creation of a new global watchdog called Stopping Tobacco Organisations and Products (STOP) that will be run by his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Lyman, Stewart. "The HPV Vaccine: Preventing Cancer Beats Treating It." Lyman BioPharma Consulting, LLC, March 5, 2018.

You don’t have to be an oncologist to know that fighting cancer is tough. Nearly 1.7 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and about 600,000 will die from the disease. But here’s some good news: overall U.S. cancer deaths have been in a steep decline for over 25 years. Much of this reduction is tied to a decline in smoking, along with early detection of some cancers (e.g. colon), and more effective cancer therapies. While treatments against some particular types of cancer have advanced greatly, it’s still a disease no one wants to face. Fighting an opponent that you can never be really sure you’ve defeated challenges both the physical strength and mental fortitude of those who’ve been diagnosed. I know because I’ve been there.

 

Eighteen colleges and universities were awarded grants from Truth Initiative® to adopt a 100 percent tobacco-free campus policy, a move that will protect more than 100,000 students and employees across 17 states.

Levine, Hallie. "Want to Try and Prevent Cancer? Then Don't Fall for These 7 Common Myths About the Disease." Johnson & Johnson | Health and Wellness, February 12, 2018.

For National Cancer Prevention Month, we talked to a pair of top experts about common falsehoods about the disease—and what the latest science says about cancer prevention truths.

"Can Exercise Reduce the Risk of Cancer Recurrence?." Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, February 7, 2018.

Exercising, even at a moderate level, is one thing cancer survivors can do to lower the odds of cancer recurrence. The most consistent and largest number of studies looking at the links between exercise and cancer recurrence and overall survival have been reported for patients with breast and colorectal cancer, though increasingly other cancer types are also being studied.

Associated Press. "Anti-smoking plan may kill cigarettes — and save Big Tobacco." STAT, January 19, 2018.

Imagine if cigarettes were no longer addictive and smoking itself became almost obsolete; only a tiny segment of Americans still lit up. That’s the goal of an unprecedented anti-smoking plan being carefully fashioned by U.S. health officials.

Myers, Mathew L., and Robin Koval. "Commentary: Philip Morris Says It Wants to Quit Cigarettes. But It’s Just Blowing Smoke.." Fortune, January 5, 2018.

Philip Morris International (PMI)—the giant cigarette manufacturer operating in most countries excluding the U.S.—claims it wants a smoke-free future, placing advertisements in major United Kingdom newspapers earlier this week with a New Year’s resolution: “We’re trying to give up cigarettes.”

2017

Kanski, Alison. "FDA campaign reframes quitting for smokers." PR Week, December 19, 2017.

Every Try Counts, which will launch in January, is the FDA’s first smoking cessation campaign targeting adults. The FDA wants to reframe quitting smoking for this audience as a process that often takes more than one attempt.

"Decline in teen smoking offset by rising popularity of vaping." Truth Initiative, December 14, 2017.

New data from the 2017 Monitoring the Future study show a decline in teen smoking rates — including a first-ever drop below 10 percent for 12th graders — but may hide the true rates of vaping due to misperceptions.

"First Generation." The Rhode Island Spotlight, December 7, 2014.

Although smoking rates among college students have decreased dramatically over the past 15 years, other forms of tobacco have grown in popularity. The University of Rhode Island is one of more than 100 colleges and universities nationwide working toward becoming totally tobacco-free, getting help from Rhode Island-based non-profit CVS Health Foundation, along with The American Cancer Society. This month Jim Hummel travels to ACS headquarters in Atlanta to learn more about the program- and to Kingston, where he finds out about what’s going on locally.

Communities with strong smoke-free workplace laws have lower lung cancer rates than those with no smoke-free laws, researchers report. The new study was conducted in Kentucky, which has one of the highest lung cancer rates in the United States.

Croyle, Robert, PhD: Michele Bloch, MD, PhD. "An Important Moment in Tobacco Control." National Cancer Institute, November 28, 2017.

This past Sunday, November 26, 2017, marked a unique moment in the history of public health in the United States. On this day, in major newspapers (online and print), the three major US tobacco companies issued the first in what will be a series of five "corrective statements" about their products.

Smoking rates have decreased substantially in the United States over the past several decades. But, unfortunately, too many smokers who are diagnosed with cancer don’t quit smoking.

Healthier beverage choices are becoming more popular among the U.S. population, a new study found.

Brody, Jane E. "The Growing Toll of Our Ever-Expanding Waistlines." New York Times, November 13, 2017.

Many cancer deaths were averted after millions quit lighting up, but they are now rising because even greater numbers are unable to keep their waistlines in check.

"tobacco nation: the deadly state of smoking disparity in the u.s.." The Truth Initiative, October 4, 2017.

Smoking in the U.S. has dramatically declined in the last two decades, particularly among the country’s youngest residents. In 2000, 23 percent of teens smoked cigarettes. By 2016, the number had fallen to just 6 percent. While there is much to celebrate in the reduction, the average national rate hides a significant variation found within the country. A collection of 12 contiguous states stretching from the upper Midwest to the South undermines this national achievement. In the region of the country we’ve termed “Tobacco Nation,” smoking prevalence exceeds not only the national average, but that of many of the most tobacco-dependent countries in the world.

A.W. "Smoking rooms are disappearing from hotels." The Economist, November 2, 2017.

To the list of endangered travel facilities—which includes pay phones, communal aeroplane screens and concierges—there is one more to add: smoking rooms. Even a few years ago, guests were routinely asked whether they would prefer a smoking room or not. But today fewer hotels are offering smoking rooms and those that do have a vanishingly small supply.

Close to 33 million working adults in the United States -- or roughly 20% -- regularly smoke cigarettes, vape, or use some other tobacco product, the CDC reported.

"Are e-cigarettes ‘safer’ than regular cigarettes?." UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine Newsroom, October 20, 2017.

UNC School of Medicine researchers lead new study showing that e-cigarettes trigger unique and potentially damaging immune responses in human airways.

Treible, Amanda. "Temple studying how to be a tobacco-free campus." The Temple News, October 17, 2017.

The university is partnering with Thomas Jefferson University, which has been tobacco-free since 2014.

CVS Health. "By the Numbers: Addressing Tobacco Use on College Campuses." CVS Health, September 18, 2017.
Hancock, Katherine. "Texas A&M Becomes a Living Laboratory for Workplace Health." Vital Record - News from Texas A&M Health Science Center, September 6, 2017.

The Ergonomics Center at the Texas A&M School of Public Health is studying if there’s a way to disrupt one of the 21st century’s health epidemics—sedentary work environments—and using volunteers at their own university as test subjects. Researchers have recruited employees of the Division of Student Affairs at Texas A&M University to see if standing desks and software prompts can improve not just their health, but their productivity, too.

Two scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will receive the 2017 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for their significant research leading to the development of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. 

Wan, William. "New ads accuse Big Tobacco of targeting soldiers and people with mental illness." Washington Post, August 24, 2017.

Truth Initiative, a leading tobacco-control nonprofit, has bought TV ads to run this Sunday during MTV’s Music Awards that accuse tobacco companies of purposely targeting mentally ill people and U.S. soldiers.

Levitan, Dave. "Can CT Lung Screening Improve Smoking Cessation Rates?." Cancer Network, August 7, 2017.

Computed tomography (CT) screening for lung cancer can lead to increased rates of smoking cessation in a high-risk population, according to a study of participants in the United Kingdom Lung Cancer Screening (UKLS) pilot trial. This “teachable moment” was particularly strong among those with a positive scan result, though it extended to those with negative results as well.

Smoking, and tobacco use of any kind, continues to be an issue of focus due to its detriment on health and the well-being of any community. This impact can be felt throughout every facet of life up to and including the cost of healthcare as a result of tobacco use. And, despite great strides in lowering the rate of tobacco use and its health consequences, certain groups have not benefitted from this progress. Chief among them have been persons with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders, collectively known as the behavioral health population.

Agency to pursue lowering nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels and create more predictability in tobacco regulation

Associated Press. "No longer the hot new thing? Teen vaping falls, study says." STAT, June 15, 2017.

Teen vaping, which has been skyrocketing, fell dramatically last year in the United States.

Tipperman, Doug, MSW. "Smoking Cessation May Improve Behavioral Health Conditions." NIH Collaborative Research on Addiction, May 10, 2017.

Cigarette smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, responsible for over 480,000 deaths a year. Even though smoking has been decreasing overall, the smoking rate for persons with behavioral health conditions (mental and/or substance use disorders) is about twice that of the rest of the population. The rate is even higher for persons with serious mental illness or who have been in substance use disorder treatment in the past year.

Public Law Center. "Tobacco use as a Health Equity Issue." Public Law Center, Legal Update, Spring Issue.

Despite a decline in tobacco use among U.S. adults over the past several decades, tobacco-related health disparities in both cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke have increased. This Legal Update highlights the disproportionate impact of tobacco use on vulnerable populations, including individuals suffering from behavioral health and substance use disorders, low socioeconomic populations, and other groups.

Terry, Michael, John Seffrin, Ph.D., K. Michael Cummings, Ph.D., Allan Erickson, and Donald Shopland. "Ending Cigarette Use by Adults in a Generation is Possible." March 2017.

Chronic exposure to tobacco smoke is the single largest cause of preventable illness and premature death in the United States today. In spite of significant progress in tobacco control over the last half century, tobacco use is still the cause of nearly one in every four deaths daily in America.

Purdy, J. McAvoy, H. Cotter, N. and Mitchell, E. "Smoke-free spaces on the the island of Ireland." The Institute of Public Health in Ireland., March 2017.

Reducing second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure has become a central component of tobacco control policies across the island of Ireland. The expansion of smoke-free spaces directly reduces exposure of children and adults and further denormalises tobacco use in a variety of social contexts. 

The decision by CVS Health CVS to stop selling cigarettes contributed to a drop in tobacco purchases for all retailers, new data from the drugstore giant shows.

Kelly, Amanda. "Walk This Way! How 5-Minute Strolls at Work Can Boost Your Mood and Cut Cravings." Johnson & Johnson, January 4, 2017.

The research has become impossible to ignore: All this sitting we’re doing is doing us in. And while we know staying glued to our office chairs is bad for our health (and our mindset), what’s the alternative?

A recent study supported by Johnson & Johnson found that when people integrated short bursts of walking into a 6-hour day of simulated office work, they felt more energized than when they simply took bathroom breaks.

2016

Regynolds, Gretchen. "Work. Walk 5 Minutes. Work.." The New York Times, December 28, 2016.

Stuck at your work desk? Standing up and walking around for five minutes every hour during the workday could lift your mood, combat lethargy without reducing focus and attention, and even dull hunger pangs, according to an instructive new study.

Haigh, Gideon. "Why Big Tobacco has reason to fear the waking divestment giant." The Conversation, August 2, 2016.

Haigh’s report details the recent decision of AXA, the world’s second biggest insurance company to sell €200m of tobacco shares and to start divesting €1.6 billion worth of tobacco bonds after interaction with King. She now heads an International Union Against Cancer project to spread it globally, and her work has all the momentum of a brakeless train.

Singer, Dinah S., Tyler Jacks, Elizabeth Jaffee. "A U.S. “Cancer Moonshot” to accelerate cancer research." Science Magazine, September 9, 2016.

In January 2016 President Obama announced a “Cancer Moonshot” to “accelerate our understanding of cancer and its prevention, early detection, treatment, and cure”. A Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP) of scientific experts was convened to make recommendations to the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB), the adviser to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), on research opportunities uniquely poised for acceleration.

 Representatives from each of The University of Texas System’s 14 institutions met last week at the “Eliminate Tobacco Use Summit” to discuss creating a system-wide tobacco-free culture.

Donohue, Thomas J. "Business Community All In on Cancer Moon Shot." US Chamber of Commerce, August 15, 2016.

In 1969, America put a man on the Moon, a breathtaking achievement that many said couldn’t be done. The great challenge of our lifetime is putting an end to cancer. This single disease kills an estimated 600,000 people every year. As with the Moon Shot, the nation must come together again, overcome the odds, and achieve the impossible.

MchPerson, Susan. "Two Years After The Ban: How CVS Continues To Take On Tobacco." Forbes, July 6, 2016.

When CVS announced its plans to ban cigarette sales in 2014, the media took note. It was one of the most widely covered corporate social responsibility stories in recent memory – and for good reason. CVS’s choice was bold, risky and scrutinized by many. Two years later, CVS’s commitment to curbing tobacco use hasn’t wavered – quite the contrary, in fact. The company recently launched Be The First, a $50 million initiative to help deliver the first tobacco-free generation.

NCI Press Release. "Increased Physical Activity Associated with Lower Risk of 13 Types of Cancer." NIH: National Cancer Institute, May 16, 2016.

A new study of the relationship between physical activity and cancer has shown that greater levels of leisure-time physical activity were associated with a lower risk of developing 13 different types of cancer.

Nather, David; Dylan Scott. "FDA issues sweeping regulations for e-cigarettes for first time." STAT, May 5, 2016.

The FDA issued a sweeping set of tobacco rules that would regulate e-cigarettes for the first time.

Silverman, Rachel Emma. "Employees Get Apple Watch for $25 (But There's a Catch)." The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2016.

Employees at a handful of companies will soon get a sweet deal: an Apple Watch for just $25. But there is a catch—they must meet monthly fitness goals over two years or pay the full price.

2015

Benz, Edward J., Jr., MD. "How We Can Reduce Cancer Risk and Lower Health Costs." Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: Insight, December 18, 2015 | Updated May 22, 2017.

Yesterday, the Boston Board of Health approved a policy raising the minimum age for buying tobacco from 18 to 21. This is great news. As a former smoker, I know how easy it was to pick up the habit at age 18. I know how quickly nicotine becomes addictive, and I know how hard it was to finally quit smoking at age 37. As a physician and president of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, I see daily the heartbreak and havoc that tobacco wreaks on patients, families and health care costs.

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today marked the first anniversary of ending tobacco sales at CVS/pharmacy by releasing new data showing a measurable reduction in cigarette purchases over the past year. The company also announced it is renewing its commitment to creating a tobacco-free generation througha joint initiative between CVS Health, its Foundation and Scholastic to launch a schoolbased tobacco-prevention program.

Implementing comprehensive tobacco policies in the workplace can rapidly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, gradually reduce the additional risk for cancers, improve worker productivity and therefore reduce the direct and indirect medical costs of tobacco use.

Gittelson, Celia. "A Field in Motion: Fighting Cancer with Exercise." Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - On Cancer, July 21, 2015.

Using an approach that spans basic and clinical science, exercise scientist Lee Jones, Director of the Cardio-Oncology Research Program (CORP), and his team are designing and testing the effects of individually prescribed exercise training to prevent or minimize the adverse cardiovascular side effects of cancer therapy. They’re also working to answer this potentially paradigm-shifting question: Can exercise be an effective treatment for cancer itself? Here, Dr. Jones talks about some of this work.

2014

Richtell, Matt. "Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes." NY Times, March 23, 2014.

A dangerous new form of a powerful stimulant is hitting markets nationwide, for sale by the vial, the gallon and even the barrel. The drug is nicotine, in its potent, liquid form — extracted from tobacco and tinctured with a cocktail of flavorings, colorings and assorted chemicals to feed the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.

Viehbacher, Christopher; Martin Murphy, DMedSc, PhD, FASCO. "Colorado has taken a bold step." The Gazette, March 23, 2014.

Personal lifestyle is usually risky territory for leaders even when there is compelling medical evidence supporting public action and policy. Eliminating tobacco use and promoting physical activity and healthy nutrition are important ways to prevent disease and improve health - it is evidence based.

Sherry, Mike. "KC employers urged to help fight cancer." Kansas Health Institute, February 13, 2014.

Fighting the nation’s second leading cause of death is a smart move for companies because it helps keep their workers fit and productive, a top U.S. health official with area connections told a business audience Tuesday at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center.

The bad news for smokers goes well beyond CVS’s CVS, +1.06%   announcement Wednesday that it will stop selling all tobacco products. It turns out smoking cigarettes can be even deadlier than previously thought. And, according to a report released by the U.S. surgeon general, smokers could be paying for the added risks in more ways than one.

2013

Schroeder, Steven A., M.D. "New Evidence That Cigarette Smoking Remains the Most Important Health Hazard." New England Journal of Medicine, January 24, 2013.

Everyone knows cigarette smoking is bad for you. Most people in the United States assume that smoking is on its way out. But the grim reality is that smoking still exerts an enormous toll on the health of Americans, as documented in two articles in this issue of the Journal. Both articles review mortality trends over time for men and women according to smoking status, and both confirm that smoking remains a huge threat to the public's health.

2012

Viehbacher, Christopher; Martin Murphy, DMedSc, PhD, FASCO. "Encouraging, lauding steps to reduce cancer risks." The Oklahoman, March 18, 2012.

Public officials find it difficult to lead when personal lifestyle is involved, including choices about smoking, exercise and diet. Yet such prevention initiatives remain important levers for reducing disease. That's why we should be especially proud of Oklahoma's “CEO,” Gov. Mary Fallin, and her decision to prohibit tobacco use on state property. 

2009

Daily, Linda. "Creating a Tobacco-Free Campus." National Association of College and University Business Officers, August 2009.

Banning tobacco use on campus is gaining momentum. In Pennsylvania, such a ban has taken the form of a law, which took effect in September 2008, prohibiting smoking anywhere on state-owned higher education campuses. According to the American Lung Association of Oregon, 146 colleges and universities in other states, including the University of North Dakota (UND), Grand Forks, have instituted policies calling for 100 percent tobacco-free campuses.

While the time may have come for prohibiting tobacco use on U.S. campuses, adopting effective policies requires considerable effort, wide outreach, and ongoing oversight, as UND's journey illustrates. The university adopted a formal policy in October 2007, but its efforts to support a tobacco-free environment began in 2000.

Heinen, Luann and Helen Darling . "Addressing Obesity in the Workplace: The Role of Employers." National Business Group on Health, 2009.

This article describes the employer’s perspective on the cost impact of obesity, discusses current practices in employer-sponsored wellness and weight management programs, provides examples from U.S. companies illustrating key points of employers’ leverage and opportunities, and suggests policy directions to support the expansion of employers’ initiatives, especially for smaller employers.

2008

"Obesity Costs U.S. Companies as Much as $45 Billion a Year." The Conference Board Press Release, April 9, 2008.

The rate of obesity in the United States has doubled in the last 30 years, and those extra pounds weigh on companies’ bottom lines, according to a new report from The Conference Board. Today, 34 percent of American adults fit the definition of “obese.” Obese employees cost U.S. private employers an estimated $45 billion annually in medical expenditures and work loss. 

2007

"To Avoid the Big C, Stay Small." The Economist, November 1, 2007.

EVERY day there are new stories in the tabloids about the latest link, sometimes tenuous, sometimes contradictory, between cancer and some aspect of lifestyle. If this is a recipe for confusion, then the antidote is probably a weighty new tome from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF). It is the most rigorous study so far on the links between food, physical activity and cancer—and sets out the important sources of risk.

Hirschman, Carolyn. "Going for Gold." Employee Benefit News, September 17, 2007.

At $1 an apple, there weren't many takers at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's cafeterias. The center's wellness team got the price lowered to 75 cents to encourage diners to eat more fresh fruit. Count it as one small step in the battle against cancer.

Min, Shirley. "Tobacco Free Company a Big Hit." WNCN-TV, August 6, 2007.

Since going totally tobacco-free last month, Quintiles says its new policy has actually helped scores of employees put cigarettes out for good.