Tobacco Asia

Volume 19, Number 2

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68 tobaccoasia CLOSING NEWS 卷尾新闻 WHO SAID WHAT? US Hookah Use Up A new study entitled "Correlates of Hookah Use and Predictors of Hookah Trial in U.S. Young Adults," found that in 2013, almost a quarter of the US young adults aged 18-24 had used hookah. Six months later, 8% of the young adults who had never used hookah reported trying hookah. A third of those who reported hookah initiation at the six-month follow-up reported that they considered hookah less harmful than cigarettes. The study is part of a unique ongoing Legacy-sponsored longitudinal survey that observes participants aged 18-34 years every six months. For this study 1,555 participants aged 18-24 were surveyed in July 2013 and 74% (1,150) were surveyed again 6 months later. The data were weighted to offset non-re- sponse bias and produce nationally representative estimates. The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, is the first to examine predictors of hookah use in a national longitudinal sample of young adults and it has been released at the same time as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Youth Tobacco Survey showing hookah use almost doubling among high school students. The study found that among college attendees, marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco users, those who perceived hookah as the same or less harmful than cigarettes were likely to have tried hookah. "Appealing ways to smoke tobacco, like hookah and cigars, are increasingly popular in young adults and "The CDC should really be jumping for joy at the fact that smoking rates are declining. This is a huge success. Instead, they are using this as another opportunity to demonize e-cigarettes." - Prof. Michael Siegel, tobacco control specialist at Boston University's School of Public Health. may be undermining the gains we have made in reducing youth cigarette use," said Andrea Villanti, director for regulatory science and policy at the Schroeder Institute at Legacy, and lead author on this study. "Until recently, the uptake of hookah in young people has been flying under the radar." US Louisana to Sell Deal Rights In a continuation of a story Tobacco Asia ran a few issues back, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is moving ahead with a plan to sell the state's remaining share of the huge tobacco settlement, despite criticism the move would waste a valuable asset for a quick fix to budget problems. A board that oversees the settlement agreed to the idea, though several more approvals will be needed before a sale. Treasurer John Kennedy objected, saying the plan is driven by desperation to find money for a budget deep in the red. As Jindal has stuck to a pledge against raising taxes, he and lawmakers have refused to match the state's spending to its revenue. They have plugged budget holes with short-term financing like money from property sales, legal settlements and trust funds, creating shortfalls year after year. Kennedy called the tobacco plan more of the same maneuvering, as the state faces a US$1.6 billion budget gap next year. Kristy Nichols, the commissioner of administration, said the Jindal proposal did not involve a one-year cash infusion, but $750 million that could be spent over eight years, mainly to pay for Louisiana's free college tuition program. The state sold 60% of its settlement to investors for US$1.2 billion in 2001. UAE Doctors Pooh-Pooh E-cigs Doctors have backed a ban on e-ciga- rettes, saying it was still not proven that the devices were a safe alternative to smoking tobacco. But some former smok- ers say e-cigarettes have been useful in helping them kick the tobacco habit. E-cigarettes are banned by the country's ministry of health because scientific evidence has not conclusively shown they are a safe alternative to smoking. In spite of this fact, they remain on sale in parts of the emirates. The use of e-cigarettes was one of the topics under discussion at the 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health. Dr Abdul Razzak Al Kaddour, a consultant physician in cardiology at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, urged caution in using e-cigarettes. He said: "They are a nicotine-delivery system. It has nicotine, so that's the number one reason why they are so addictive." He said e-cigarettes deliver the nicotine into the lungs by a mix of e-liquids made up of glycerol and glycol. He also said he had heard of cases of young people becoming addicted to nicotine through e-cigarettes. He said there were safer ways of quitting tobacco, such as nicotine-replacement gum and patches. "We reduce the dose over time. But with e-cigarettes we don't know the dosage, so we don't know the concentra- tion and we don't know what the vaporizer system is doing to the lungs." However, some people, like Nadine Ahmad, 28, a New Zealander who lives in Abu Dhabi, say they had managed to quit tobacco through e-cigarettes. Nadine had smoked for nine years, before quitting for a couple of years. But when she moved to the UAE she began again. Then, during a stay in Canada, she quit by using e-cigarettes. "I completely stopped smoking once I converted to e-cigarettes," she said. "It was, for me, the perfect method to quit. After I bought the e-cigarettes I couldn't stand the taste or smell of cigarette smoke. I haven't touched a real

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