Dartmouth Researchers Look at What We Know about E-cigarettes and Health

Smokers are turning to e-cigarettes to ease nicotine withdrawal while quitting, to vape in places where smoking is not allowed, and to avoid harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke. Young people are also trying these new devices, some to switch from smoking and others to see what it is all about.

In spite of increased use, we don't yet know whether smokeless vapor is safe: in fact, any long-term health risks from using e-cigarettes and other "vaping" devices will likely not be known for many years. The Food and Drug Administration recently proposed new regulations for e-cigarettes that will require health warnings for e-cigarettes and limit sales to those over 18, however it did not limit flavorings or advertising of e-cigarettes.

Web Ads, Direct Mail Coupons, and In-store Displays Reach 1 in 10 Teens and 1 in 4 Young Adults

More than 15 years ago, many states and tobacco manufacturers established restrictions to prevent youth exposure to the marketing of nicotine products. This follows regulations imposed 50 years ago that banned cigarette ads from TV. Despite these continued efforts, a new study by Dartmouth researchers reveals that not only are young people exposed to tobacco marketing, they are influenced by it. According to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, exposure to direct marketing is associated with increased use of tobacco.

Four people with paraplegia are able to voluntarily move previously paralyzed muscles as a result of a novel therapy that involves electrical stimulation of the spinal cord, according to a study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The participants, each of whom had been paralyzed for more than two years, were able to voluntarily flex their toes, ankles, and knees while the stimulator was active, and the movements were enhanced over time when combined with physical rehabilitation. Researchers involved in the study say the therapy has the potential to change the prognosis of people with paralysis even years after injury.

A newly identified immune protein influences each person’s response to vaccines and risk for autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis, according to a study published today by researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The protein, called a receptor and part of signaling pathways, also provides a new target for personalized therapies for patients with autoimmune diseases.

Increased vitamin D levels may prevent a wide range of diseases, according to recent studies. However, some previous studies led to a concern that vitamin D supplementation could increase an individual's risk of developing kidney stones.

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