Menthol cigarettes linked to greater difficulty quitting smoking
A new study finds that people who smoke menthol cigarettes are less likely to be successful in quitting. A separate report notes that Americans drank significantly more alcohol during the pandemic.
Statistics: Smokers of menthol cigarettes have a harder time quitting
A new study released Tuesday finds that smoking menthol cigarettes compared to unflavored cigarettes is associated with reduced success in quitting smoking in people who smoke almost every day. In recent years, the FDA decided to ban almost all flavored cigarettes and cigars, but menthol remained the only obstacle. Despite this, the agency proposed such a ban in April, and researchers say the new findings support that ban. (Lloreda, 7/6)
Axios: Americans drank more alcohol during pandemic
Americans have responded to the stress of the pandemic by drinking more – much more for some – and there is a risk that these habits will persist. Why it matters: Binge drinking is linked to a variety of health and social issues, but the increasing ubiquity of alcohol in everyday life can make it harder than ever to cut back. By the numbers: Americans started drinking more from the onset of the pandemic last year – Nielsen data showed a 54% increase in national alcohol sales year-over-year over the past year. week ending March 21, 2020. And as the pandemic dragged on, so did Americans’ alcohol consumption. (Walsh, 7/7)
In other public health news –
The Boston Globe: Recall of sleep apnea machines leaves many in the dark and worried
People with sleep apnea stop breathing several times during their sleep, only to be partially or fully awakened when their brain doesn’t get enough oxygen. It robs sufferers of restful sleep and is linked to a range of illnesses, including high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and liver dysfunction. The use of a machine known as a CPAP is the most widely used treatment for sleep apnea. Users wear a mask or nosepiece attached to the machine that provides a constant flow of pressurized air while they sleep. But Philips Respironics, the world’s largest manufacturer of CPAPs, last month issued an urgent recall of as many as 4 million of its machines, including Curran’s. (Murphy, 7/6)
The New York Times: Do we really need to take 10,000 steps a day for our health?
Fitness trackers often recommend that we take 10,000 steps a day. But the goal of taking 10,000 steps, which many of us believe is rooted in science, is actually based on coincidence and a sticky story rather than research. According to Dr. I-Min Lee, professor of epidemiology at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and expert in step count and health, the 10,000 step target became popular in Japan in the 1960s (Reynolds). , 7/6)
Philadelphia Inquirer: Temple Research Finds Tweaking CBD May Help Reduce Pain and Opioid Use in Mice
The next generation of cannabis-inspired drugs could be grown in test tubes instead of greenhouses. Researchers at Temple University have teamed up with Doylestown-based pharmaceutical company Neuropathix to develop a synthetic cannabidiol (CBD) molecule that can provide more potent pain relief than CBD itself. They are currently studying her for a type of chronic pain caused by nerve damage from chemotherapy. The CBD drug could offer an attractive alternative to addictive opioids and milder pain relievers to treat chronic pain. (Nathan, 7/6)
Politico: hidden abortion squad prepare to face post-Roe America
Supreme Court decision to review Mississippi’s strict abortion restrictions – putting Roe against Wade under its toughest stress test yet – seen as a call to action for the national community underground abortion activists. And they make it clear that they are prepared to defy any law banning abortion. (Tahir, 7/6)
Stat: 36 health and science books and podcasts to discover this summer
In this time of transition, we’re back with our annual list of health, medicine, and science books to check out this summer – and this time we’ve added podcasts as well. Read on for recommendations from Anthony Fauci, Rochelle Walensky, and Chelsea Clinton. Plus, STAT readers from New York to Sweden share their picks, in addition to our staff. Enjoy! (Mupo, 7/6)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of coverage of health policies by major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.