Artery damage seen in some teenage smokers, drinkers

Teenagers who smoke or who binge on alcohol have signs of artery damage by age 17, a recent study shows. Researchers found that 17-year-olds who had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime or who drank more than 10 drinks on a typical drinking day had stiffer walls in their arteries. In the long … Continue reading “Artery damage seen in some teenage smokers, drinkers”

Teenagers who smoke or who binge on alcohol have signs of artery damage by age 17, a recent study shows.

Researchers found that 17-year-olds who had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime or who drank more than 10 drinks on a typical drinking day had stiffer walls in their arteries.

In the long term, stiffer arteries can increase the risk for cardiovascular events, dementia, and death.

"Injury to the blood vessels occurs very early in life as a result of smoking and drinking and the two together are even more damaging, Dr. Marietta Charakida, who carried out the research at UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science but is now at King's College London, said in a statement.

SMOKERS 'MUCH MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP DEMENTIA,' DOCS WARN

As reported in the European Heart Journal and at a major cardiology meeting, Charakida and colleagues analyzed data collected from 2004 to 2008 on 1,266 adolescents enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Participants reported their smoking and drinking habits at ages 13, 15 and 17.

To assess the stiffness of the teens' artery walls, the researchers used a noninvasive device to measure the speed at which a pulse from the heart travels between the carotid artery in the neck and the femoral artery in the leg.

That speed is called the pulse wave velocity. A slower velocity is a good sign; it means the arterial walls are more elastic.

In 17-year-olds who had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime, the average pulse wave velocity was 3.7 percent faster than in teens who had smoked less than 20 cigarettes.

Teenagers who tended to binge drink, or drink more than 10 drinks in a typical drinking day with the aim of becoming drunk, had an average pulse wave velocity that was 4.7 percent faster than kids who drank no more than 2 drinks in a typical drinking day, the study showed.

Furthermore, the authors report, the combination of binge-drinking habits and smoking was linked to even greater arterial damage compared to heavy drinking and smoking separately. In these kids, the pulse wave velocity was 10.8 percent higher than in teens who smoked less and didn't binge drink.

PATIENT DEVELOPS 'BLACK HAIRY TONGUE' FROM MEDICATION

But while smoking in youth was associated with increased arterial stiffness, stopping during adolescence could restore arterial health. Seventeen-year-olds who had smoked in the past but were not current smokers had arterial health similar to never-smokers.

"Existing research suggests that regular binge drinking during the teen years can damage the developing brain," Dr. Aaron White, a senior scientific adviser at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, told Reuters Health in an email.

"Findings from the current study suggest that the negative health effects of alcohol during adolescence could extend to the cardiovascular system," White said, adding that the findings are consistent with existing evidence that even a single night of binge drinking in adults can temporarily injure the heart.

An observational study like this one can only show associations; it can't prove that smoking or alcohol exposure actually caused arterial changes in these youngsters, the authors acknowledge. Also, they note, the data were reported by the teenagers themselves and might not always have been accurate.

Despite these limitations, they conclude, "Smoking exposure even at low levels and intensity of alcohol use were associated individually and together with increased arterial stiffness. Public health strategies need to prevent adoption of these habits in adolescence to preserve or restore arterial health."

Man suffers third-degree burns after vape pen explodes in pocket

A Florida man underwent surgery Monday after his vape pen exploded in his pants causing second- and third-degree burns on his legs. The victim, who is being identified only as “Mike,” had just sat down in his office at Euro-Wall when the explosion occurred, Fox 13 Tampa Bay reported.

“There was smoke in the office. He had opened the door. He was in shock,” Brant Julius, a witness, told the news outlet. “You could see the chemical burns are a little different, and seeing it fresh like that, literally I could smell the difference between flesh burning.”

 MAN'S BEER BELLY WAS ACTUALLY 77-POUND TUMOR

Mike was airlifted to Blake Medical Center and while his co-workers don’t know what caused the device to explode, the state’s fire marshal’s office is investigating.

North Port Fire Chief Scott Titus said users should follow device guidelines and “make sure that it’s covered” so that it doesn’t come into contact with any metal.

NICU NURSES DONATE MEGA MILLIONS WINNINGS TO COLLEAGUES IN NEED

“He’s very lucky,” Julius told the news outlet. “He could have lost his hand. He could have had it up by his face. You’ve seen reports like that it would have been devastating for him and his family.”

It was not clear what type of device Mike had purchased.

John Stossel: Is vaping e-cigarettes really a health crisis?

E-cigarettes let people get a hit of nicotine without burning tobacco.

Avoiding burning tobacco is the single greatest preventative health measure human beings can take, given the diseases conventional cigarettes cause.

Unfortunately, our government and media now act as if vaping e-cigarettes is the health crisis.

“Your kids are not an experiment! Protect them from e-cigarettes,” warns former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy in a CDC PSA.

My former employer, ABC News, which never finds a risk it doesn’t hype, has run more than a dozen scare stores on vaping. A “Nightline” reporter warned about kids “addicted to nicotine before they even graduate from middle school!”

Yet compared to regular cigarettes, e-cigarettes are “extraordinarily less harmful,” says Michelle Minton of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. In my new newest video she says, “We should really be encouraging people to use vaping.”

Calling vaping safer than smoking doesn’t mean the risks are zero. Vapor contains harmful chemicals, too. But scientists say it’s far less harmful than smoking. If smokers switched to e-cigarettes, that would save millions of lives.

Nicotine is what makes both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes addictive. But nicotine itself isn’t that bad. Like caffeine, it’s a stimulant.

“On the spectrum of drugs that you can become addicted to,” says Minton, “nicotine and caffeine are very similar.”

The big health risks come from the 7,000 other chemicals generated by burning tobacco leaves.

By contrast, e-cigarette smoke is mostly just flavored vapor, which is less likely to harm anyone.

It doesn’t even smell as bad as cigarettes. “Somebody who’s vaping a huge cloud of Vanilla Cherry Blast, or whatever they’re vaping, is way more pleasant than standing next to somebody exhaling smoke from a combustible cigarette,” observed Minton.

Full disclosure, Minton’s think tank received some money from companies that make e-cigarettes. Nevertheless, she’s right. Vaping is a much safer alternative.

“While there are a few lunatics who say e-cigarettes are more harmful — based on zero evidence — every legitimate scientist who’s investigated this issue has said, ‘We don’t know all the risks, but we can say they are less harmful than smoking.’”

Nonetheless, America’s health police have gone to war against vaping.

Some cities want to ban vaping. The CDC funds ads that say, “Young people should never use these kinds of products!”

But kids will. Kids experiment with all sorts of things. Far better that they vape than smoke.

Actually, CDC data show kids had been vaping a little less since 2014, but recently there was a spike.

“The only explanation I can come up with,” said Minton, “is that the CDC and FDA have advertised these products by talking about them so much! The CDC telling children you shouldn’t do this is not necessarily going to make many of them say no. Maybe it makes it more attractive to them.”

Minton acknowledges that it’s bad if kids become addicted to nicotine but says that’s a risk worth taking.

“Do we want children to become addicted to anything? No. But keeping a small percent of teenagers from trying e-cigarettes is not worth sacrificing adults whose lives could be saved.”

About half of teens who take up regular cigarettes will never quit. About a third of those users will die from smoking-related illnesses. Smoking is America’s leading preventable cause of death.

So banning alternatives is not a wise move for public health. Minton points to the example of snus, a moist tobacco chew popular in Sweden. Snus is not completely harmless, so the rest of Europe banned it. But “Sweden currently has the lowest smoking and lung cancer rates of any EU country.”

Banning snus in Europe was a public health tragedy. Now the U.S. is doing something similar with e-cigarettes.

Minton says that in “states that enacted (age restrictions) on e-cigarettes, teenage smoking rates go up because when teens who want to do something like smoking can’t get ahold of e-cigarettes, they just go to smoking.”

Thanks to government’s paranoid warnings and media hype, Americans who might make the rational choice to pick e-cigarettes over burning tobacco are now more likely to be killed by conventional cigarettes.

John Stossel is the author of “No They Can’t! Why Government Fails — But Individuals Succeed.” Click here for more information on John Stossel.

Artery damage seen in some teenage smokers, drinkers

Teenagers who smoke or who binge on alcohol have signs of artery damage by age 17, a recent study shows.

Researchers found that 17-year-olds who had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime or who drank more than 10 drinks on a typical drinking day had stiffer walls in their arteries.

In the long term, stiffer arteries can increase the risk for cardiovascular events, dementia, and death.

"Injury to the blood vessels occurs very early in life as a result of smoking and drinking and the two together are even more damaging, Dr. Marietta Charakida, who carried out the research at UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science but is now at King's College London, said in a statement.

SMOKERS 'MUCH MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP DEMENTIA,' DOCS WARN

As reported in the European Heart Journal and at a major cardiology meeting, Charakida and colleagues analyzed data collected from 2004 to 2008 on 1,266 adolescents enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Participants reported their smoking and drinking habits at ages 13, 15 and 17.

To assess the stiffness of the teens' artery walls, the researchers used a noninvasive device to measure the speed at which a pulse from the heart travels between the carotid artery in the neck and the femoral artery in the leg.

That speed is called the pulse wave velocity. A slower velocity is a good sign; it means the arterial walls are more elastic.

In 17-year-olds who had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime, the average pulse wave velocity was 3.7 percent faster than in teens who had smoked less than 20 cigarettes.

Teenagers who tended to binge drink, or drink more than 10 drinks in a typical drinking day with the aim of becoming drunk, had an average pulse wave velocity that was 4.7 percent faster than kids who drank no more than 2 drinks in a typical drinking day, the study showed.

Furthermore, the authors report, the combination of binge-drinking habits and smoking was linked to even greater arterial damage compared to heavy drinking and smoking separately. In these kids, the pulse wave velocity was 10.8 percent higher than in teens who smoked less and didn't binge drink.

PATIENT DEVELOPS 'BLACK HAIRY TONGUE' FROM MEDICATION

But while smoking in youth was associated with increased arterial stiffness, stopping during adolescence could restore arterial health. Seventeen-year-olds who had smoked in the past but were not current smokers had arterial health similar to never-smokers.

"Existing research suggests that regular binge drinking during the teen years can damage the developing brain," Dr. Aaron White, a senior scientific adviser at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, told Reuters Health in an email.

"Findings from the current study suggest that the negative health effects of alcohol during adolescence could extend to the cardiovascular system," White said, adding that the findings are consistent with existing evidence that even a single night of binge drinking in adults can temporarily injure the heart.

An observational study like this one can only show associations; it can't prove that smoking or alcohol exposure actually caused arterial changes in these youngsters, the authors acknowledge. Also, they note, the data were reported by the teenagers themselves and might not always have been accurate.

Despite these limitations, they conclude, "Smoking exposure even at low levels and intensity of alcohol use were associated individually and together with increased arterial stiffness. Public health strategies need to prevent adoption of these habits in adolescence to preserve or restore arterial health."

Artery damage seen in some teenage smokers, drinkers

Teenagers who smoke or who binge on alcohol have signs of artery damage by age 17, a recent study shows.

Researchers found that 17-year-olds who had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime or who drank more than 10 drinks on a typical drinking day had stiffer walls in their arteries.

In the long term, stiffer arteries can increase the risk for cardiovascular events, dementia, and death.

"Injury to the blood vessels occurs very early in life as a result of smoking and drinking and the two together are even more damaging, Dr. Marietta Charakida, who carried out the research at UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science but is now at King's College London, said in a statement.

SMOKERS 'MUCH MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP DEMENTIA,' DOCS WARN

As reported in the European Heart Journal and at a major cardiology meeting, Charakida and colleagues analyzed data collected from 2004 to 2008 on 1,266 adolescents enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Participants reported their smoking and drinking habits at ages 13, 15 and 17.

To assess the stiffness of the teens' artery walls, the researchers used a noninvasive device to measure the speed at which a pulse from the heart travels between the carotid artery in the neck and the femoral artery in the leg.

That speed is called the pulse wave velocity. A slower velocity is a good sign; it means the arterial walls are more elastic.

In 17-year-olds who had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime, the average pulse wave velocity was 3.7 percent faster than in teens who had smoked less than 20 cigarettes.

Teenagers who tended to binge drink, or drink more than 10 drinks in a typical drinking day with the aim of becoming drunk, had an average pulse wave velocity that was 4.7 percent faster than kids who drank no more than 2 drinks in a typical drinking day, the study showed.

Furthermore, the authors report, the combination of binge-drinking habits and smoking was linked to even greater arterial damage compared to heavy drinking and smoking separately. In these kids, the pulse wave velocity was 10.8 percent higher than in teens who smoked less and didn't binge drink.

PATIENT DEVELOPS 'BLACK HAIRY TONGUE' FROM MEDICATION

But while smoking in youth was associated with increased arterial stiffness, stopping during adolescence could restore arterial health. Seventeen-year-olds who had smoked in the past but were not current smokers had arterial health similar to never-smokers.

"Existing research suggests that regular binge drinking during the teen years can damage the developing brain," Dr. Aaron White, a senior scientific adviser at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, told Reuters Health in an email.

"Findings from the current study suggest that the negative health effects of alcohol during adolescence could extend to the cardiovascular system," White said, adding that the findings are consistent with existing evidence that even a single night of binge drinking in adults can temporarily injure the heart.

An observational study like this one can only show associations; it can't prove that smoking or alcohol exposure actually caused arterial changes in these youngsters, the authors acknowledge. Also, they note, the data were reported by the teenagers themselves and might not always have been accurate.

Despite these limitations, they conclude, "Smoking exposure even at low levels and intensity of alcohol use were associated individually and together with increased arterial stiffness. Public health strategies need to prevent adoption of these habits in adolescence to preserve or restore arterial health."