The latest medical research on Addiction Medicine
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Point-of-sale cigarette pricing strategies and young adult smokers' intention to purchase cigarettes: an online experiment.Tobacco Control
Point-of-sale tobacco marketing has been shown to be related to tobacco use behaviours; however, specific influences of cigarette price discounts, price tiers and pack/carton availability on cigarette purchasing intention are less understood by the tobacco control community.
We conducted discrete choice experiments among an online sample of US young adult smokers (aged 18-30 years; n=1823). Participants were presented scenarios depicting their presence at a tobacco retail outlet with varying availability of cigarette price discounts, price tiers and pack/carton. At each scenario, participants were asked whether they would purchase cigarettes. Generalised linear regression models were used to examine the associations between of cigarette price discounts, price tiers and pack/carton with intention to purchase cigarettes overall and stratified by educational attainment.
Participants chose to purchase cigarettes in 70.9% of the scenarios. Offering price discounts were associated with higher odds of choosing to purchase cigarettes. Reducing the number of cigarette price tiers available in the store was associated with lower odds of choosing to purchase cigarettes. Stratified analysis showed that offering discounts on high-tier cigarette packs increased odds of choosing to purchase cigarettes among young adult smokers with at least some college education, while offering discounts on medium-tier cigarette packs increased odds of choosing to purchase cigarettes among those with some college education or less (eg, with a 10% discount, adjusted odds ratio [AOR]some college=1.62, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.21 to 2.16; AOR≤high school=1.44, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.93).
Availability of cigarette price discounts, price tiers and pack/carton could potentially influence cigarette purchasing behaviours among young adult smokers. Regulating these marketing strategies may, therefore, reduce education-related smoking disparities.
E-cigarette-inclusive smoke-free policies, excise taxes, tobacco 21 and changes in youth e-cigarette use: 2017-2019.Tobacco Control
We examined whether the implementation of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) policies at the state level (e-cigarette-inclusive smoke-free (ESF) policies, excise taxes on e-cigarettes and raising tobacco legal purchasing age to 21 years (T21)) affected recent upward trends in youth e-cigarette use.
Data were from participants from 34 US states who completed the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) state surveys in 2017 and 2019 (n=278 271). States were classified as having or not having ESF policies, any e-cigarette excise tax and T21 policies by 1 January 2019. Participants reported ever, past 30-day and frequent (≥20 days) e-cigarette use; past 30-day combustible cigarette smoking; and age, sex and race/ethnicity. Weighted multivariable logistic regression models assessed whether changes in e-cigarette use over time differed by policy status, adjusting for participants' demographics and combustible cigarette smoking.
Prevalence of ever and past 30-day youth e-cigarette use in states with ESF policies decreased during 2017-2019, while the prevalence of these measures in states without ESF policies increased. States with T21 policies showed non-significant changes in prevalence of ever and past 30-day youth e-cigarette use, whereas states without T21 policies showed significant increases in ever and past 30-day youth e-cigarette use. States with ESF and T21 policies showed slower increases in youth frequent e-cigarette use. E-cigarette excise taxes were not associated with decreasing prevalence of youth e-cigarette use.
State-level ESF and T21 policies could be effective for limiting growth of youth e-cigarette use despite an overall national increase. Higher e-cigarette excise tax rates may be needed to effectively reduce youth e-cigarette use.
Measuring the illicit cigarette market in the absence of pack security features: a case study of South Africa.Tobacco Control
There are several ways to measure the illicit cigarette market. In South Africa, different methods were used to triangulate results. The aim of thi...
An estimation of the harm of menthol cigarettes in the United States from 1980 to 2018.Tobacco Control
Menthol cigarettes are thought to encourage smoking initiation among youths and young adults and make it more difficult for smokers to quit, thus increasing cigarette harm. However, no study to date has quantified the damage that menthol cigarettes have caused the US population.
To estimate the excess smoking prevalence, smoking initiation, and mortality in the US from 1980 through 2018 that can be attributed to menthol cigarettes.
Using a well-established simulation model of smoking prevalence and health effects and data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), we first reproduced the overall US adult smoking prevalence between 1980 and 2018 (pseudo-R2=0.98) and associated mortality. Then we re-ran the model, assuming that menthol cigarettes were not present in the market over the same period. Finally, we compared both scenarios to quantify the public health harm attributable to menthol over the 1980-2018 period.
From 1980 to 2018, we found that menthol cigarettes were responsible for slowing down the decline in smoking prevalence by 2.6 percentage points (13.7% vs 11.1% in 2018). Our results also show that menthol cigarettes were responsible for 10.1 million extra smokers, 3 million life years lost and 378 000 premature deaths during that period.
With millions of excess smoking initiators and thousands of smoking-related deaths due to mentholated cigarettes from 1980 through 2018, our results indicate that these products have had a significant detrimental impact on the public's health and could continue to pose a substantial health risk. Our findings can assist the Food and Drug Administration in evaluating potential regulatory actions for mentholated tobacco products.
Awareness and prevalence of e-cigarette use among Chinese adults: policy implications.Tobacco Control
To assess the awareness and prevalence of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and associated factors among Chinese adults (15 years and older).
This study examined data from Global Adults Tobacco Survey China Project, which was nationally representative and used stratified multiphase cluster randomised sampling design. Data were collected in 2018 through a household survey with in-person interviews using tablet computers. Complex sampling weighted analysis method was used.
48.5% of Chinese adults had heard of e-cigarettes. The proportions of Chinese adults who had ever used, had used in the last 12 months, and currently used e-cigarettes were 5.0%, 2.2% and 0.9%, respectively; people in the 15-24 years group showed the highest rates of ever use, last 12-month use and current use at 7.6%, 4.4%, and 1.5%, respectively. Among males, higher e-cigarette use was associated with 15-24 years age group, college/university or above education, and daily use of combustible cigarettes. Among all e-cigarette users, 90.6% also used combustible cigarettes. The most common reason for e-cigarette use was smoking cessation (46.2%) while among ever smokers, 9.5% of ever e-cigarette users had quit smoking and 21.8% of never e-cigarette users had quit smoking (adjusted OR 0.454, 95% CI 0.290 to 0.712).
Prevalence of e-cigarettes among Chinese adults had increased since 2015, especially among young people aged 15-24. The high level of dual use and lower quit rate among e-cigarette users indicated e-cigarettes had not shown cessation utility at the population level in China. Regulation of e-cigarettes is needed to protect youth and minimise health risks.
Self-reported exposure of Indonesian adolescents to online and offline tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS).Tobacco Control
To quantify tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS), self-reported exposure from online and offline platforms among adolescents in Indonesia.
A cross-sectional school-based survey was conducted in 2017. In total, 2820 students aged 13-18 years were recruited from 22 schools in seven cities. Respondents reported TAPS exposure on online (online news, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), and offline platforms (broadcast media, tobacco industry sponsored events and outdoor advertising). For outdoor advertisements, respondents reported the locations where they were exposed. We used multilevel analysis to assess TAPS exposure by age, gender, smoking status and city.
Online TAPS exposure was high on Instagram (29.6%), and relatively low on Twitter (7.3%). Offline TAPS exposure was high via television (74.0%), billboards (54.4%) and live music events (46.2%), but low on radio (6.9%). In all cities, outdoor advertising was seen particularly on the streets and in minimarkets. Overall, TAPS exposure was higher among older than younger adolescents, boys than girls, and smokers than non-smokers.
Overall TAPS exposure was high on both online and offline platforms. Banning online tobacco advertising, in addition to complete bans on outdoor and television advertising, is essential to adequately protect Indonesian adolescents from tobacco advertising.
Google shopping queries for vaping products, JUUL and IQOS during the E-cigarette, or Vaping, product use Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) outbreak.Tobacco Control
To assess whether the late 2019 US outbreak of pulmonary disease linked to vaping ('E-cigarette, or Vaping, product use Associated Lung Injury' (EVALI)) impacted online shopping queries for vaping products and the Philip Morris 'IQO' brand of heated tobacco.
We tracked online shopping queries for vape(s), JUUL and IQOS by analysing rates of Google queries indicative of shopping (eg, buy IQOS) after news of the outbreak was first reported (the week of 29 July 2019) until hospitalisations ceased (the week of 16 February 2020). We compared observed rates of shopping during the outbreak to counterfactual expected rates that were predicted using an autoregressive iterative moving average model fit to queries from 1 January 2014 to the week of 21 July 2019.
During the outbreak, vape shopping queries were 34% (95% CI 30% to 38%) lower than expected and JUUL shopping queries were 39% (95% CI 34% to 45%) lower than expected, translating into about 7.2 and 1.0 million fewer searches. IQOS shopping queries were 58% (95% prediction interval (PI): 34-87) higher than expected, translating into 35 000 more searches. Moreover, IQOS shopping queries reached a historic high the week they were discussed as a potentially safe alternative to vaping (the week of 29 September 2019), when they were 382% (95% PI: 219-881) above expected rates for the week.
These results suggest that unplanned events, such as the EVALI outbreak, can provoke changes in the epidemiology of product usage. Tobacco companies should be prohibited from using events such as disease outbreaks to position their products as less harmful without prior approval.
Analysing the trend of illicit tobacco in the Philippines from 1998 to 2018.Tobacco Control
Tobacco taxation is the most effective measure to reduce cigarette consumption and consequently improve public health outcomes. It is also an impor...
Tobacco retail licencing systems in Europe.Tobacco Control
Tobacco retailer licencing has been recommended as an effective tobacco control strategy. In most European countries, however, retailers do not nee...
Herbal smoking products: a systematic content analysis and mapping of the e-retail market.Tobacco Control
To assess the online availability and e-marketing strategies of herbal smoking products (HSPs).
Google, Yahoo and Bing were searched using relevant keywords related to HSPs. The first 50 records were retrieved and duplicates were removed. Two trained and calibrated authors screened the records according to the eligibility criteria and extracted data from each selected retail-webpage as per the pre-tested data extraction form.
Out of the initial 1044 records obtained, 73 retail webpages were finally included. Most of the webpages about HSPs hailed from India followed by the USA. The results showed 24 brands with about 189 flavour variants that are readily available online to all age groups including minors, with price per pack (20 sticks) of herbal cigarettes ranging from INR (₹) 51 to 1830 (median 588). There are no regulations regarding the sale and marketing of HSPs concerning age restrictions and display of health warnings.
HSPs are readily available online at affordable prices and attractive variants for customers of all ages. The flavour appeal and the health benefit appeal is being used to target minors and young women. There is an urgent need for some regulations on the sale and e-marketing of such products that have an enormous potential to be used as a gateway to tobacco smoking.
Changes in cigarillo availability following implementation of a local flavoured tobacco sales restriction.Tobacco Control
Providence, Rhode Island (RI) was among the first US jurisdictions to enact a policy (effective 3 January 2013) restricting the retail sale of non-cigarette tobacco products with a characterising flavour other than the taste or aroma of tobacco, menthol, mint or wintergreen. We used scanner data to assess the impact of this sales restriction on retail availability of cigarillos, flavoured and otherwise, in Providence and a rest-of-state (ROS) comparison area.
Every unique cigarillo product-each indicated by a universal product code (UPC)-available for sale in RI from January 2012 to December 2016 was assigned to an exclusive flavour-name category (tobacco; explicit or concept flavour; or menthol/mint) based on characteristics in the scanner dataset and, as necessary, information from online websites. We calculated weekly unique cigarillo UPC counts and market share by flavour category and used difference-in-difference regression to assess prepolicy and postpolicy changes in counts and share in Providence relative to ROS.
The prepolicy to postpolicy decrease in the number of unique cigarillo products available in Providence was 28.64 (±5.83) UPCs greater than the comparable decrease in ROS (p<0.05). The prepolicy to postpolicy increase in the number of unique concept-named flavoured cigarillo products in Providence was 6.08 (±2.31) UPCs greater than the increase in ROS (p<0.05). The postpolicy market share of concept-named flavoured cigarillos was higher in Providence (27.32%, ±1.77) than ROS (12.67%, ±1.67) (p<0.05).
After policy implementation, Providence consumers were exposed to fewer cigarillo UPCs but a greater variety and proportion of concept-named flavoured cigarillos in the retail marketplace.
Heated debates on regulations of heated tobacco products in South Korea: the news valence, source and framing of relative risk/benefit.Tobacco Control
We analyse news representations of the regulation of heated tobacco products (HTPs) in South Korea, the country where HTP use is among the highest in the world despite conflicts between the government and the HTP manufacturers.
We analysed a total of 571 print and TV news covering HTP regulations, published between 2017 and 2018, the time period when HTPs were introduced to the country and various regulations of HTPs were proposed and implemented. We assessed the prevalence and associations among specific types of HTP regulations that were discussed, valence towards regulation, sources, framing of the relative health risks/benefits of HTPs compared with conventional cigarettes.
Taxation (55.2%) and warning labels (25.7%) were two regulation topics covered the most. Almost equal proportions of pro-regulation (2.5%) and anti-regulation valence (2.2%) were found in taxation-related news, while pro-regulation valence appeared more frequently for other restrictions, including warning labels (pro=9.5% vs anti=1.4%), marketing restrictions (pro=6.9% vs anti=0%) and integration of HTPs into smoke-free policies for cigarettes (pro=8.7% vs anti=0%). The government (59%), followed by the tobacco industry (39.4%), was the source cited most often across news stories while the presence of tobacco control advocates was low (4.9%). As for framing, there was no significant difference in the prevalence of stories mentioning reduced harm (31.7%) and equal or more harm (33.6%) of HTPs compared with cigarettes.
We provide implications for governments and tobacco control advocates on building consensus for applying cigarette equivalent taxes and pictorial warning labels to HTPs.