Health

E-cigarettes: What we know and what we don't

It's been a decade since e-cigarettes first gained popularity in the UK. Since then, the types of devices available and the number of people using them has risen sharply.

Health

Is raising the sales age of tobacco reducing youth smoking?

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in America and causes about 30% of all cancer deaths. That's why researchers with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center wanted to study the impact of a California law passed ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Quinn on Nutrition: Nutrition for lung disease

My sister started smoking in her early 20s. She thought it would help her lose weight. Knowingly or unknowingly, that decision opened the door for her lifelong battle with cigarette addiction. Years later, when she was diagnosed ...

Medical research

Amoeba biology reveals potential treatment target for lung disease

In a series of experiments that began with amoebas—single-celled organisms that extend podlike appendages to move around—Johns Hopkins Medicine scientists say they have identified a genetic pathway that could be activated ...

Health

Most US adults who vape want to quit, study finds

More than 60% of U.S. adults who vape are interested in quitting, according to a study published today in JAMA Network Open by MUSC Hollings Cancer Center researchers. And among those who vape to help them to quit smoking, ...

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Tobacco smoking

Tobacco smoking is the practice where tobacco is burned and the vapors either tasted or inhaled. The practice began as early as 5000–3000 BC. Many civilizations burnt incense during religious rituals, which was later adopted for pleasure or as a social tool. Tobacco was introduced to the old world in the late 1500s where it followed common trade routes. The substance was met with frequent criticism, but became popular nonetheless. German scientists formally identified the link between smoking and lung cancer in the late 1920s leading the first anti-smoking campaign in modern history. The movement, however, failed to reach across enemy lines during the Second World War, and quickly became unpopular thereafter. In 1950, health authorities again began to suggest a relationship between smoking and cancer. Scientific evidence mounted in the 1980s, which prompted political action against the practice. Rates of consumption from 1965 onward in the developed world have either peaked or declined. They however continue to climb in the developing world.

Smoking is the most common method of consuming tobacco, and tobacco is the most common substance smoked. The argicultural product is often mixed with other additives and then pyrolyzed. The resulting vapors are then inhaled and the active substances absorbed through the alveoli in the lungs. The active substances trigger chemical reactions in nerve endings which hightens heart rate, memory, alertness, and reaction time. Dopamine and later endorphins are released, which are often associated with reward and pleasure. As of 2000, smoking is practiced by some 1.22 billion people. Men are more likely to smoke than women, however the gender gap declines with younger age. The poor are more likely to smoke than the wealthy, and people of developing countries than those of developed countries.

Many smokers begin during adolescence or early adulthood. During the early stages, smoking provides pleasurable sensations and thus serves as a source of positive reinforcement. After an individual has smoked for many years, the avoidance of withdrawal symptoms and negative reinforcement become the key motivations.

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