Both e-cigarette companies and users have touted vaping as a healthy alternative to smoking that could help people quit, but according to a new study the exact opposite is happening for U.S. teens.
According to research from 2011 and 2012, fifty percent of teen e-cigarette users were also current smokers, which was defined as using at least 100 cigarettes in a month. A survey of teens found that adolescents using e-cigarettes were more likely to have experimented with traditional cigarettes than teens that did not use e-cigarettes.
Not only are e-cigarettes being used by teens who smoke anyway, but teens who vape are also less likely to quit smoking regular tobacco. Teens who reported having used at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime were 40 percent less likely to quit smoking for 30 days.
"These results suggest that e-cigarette use is aggravating, rather than ameliorating, the tobacco epidemic among youths," the researchers wrote in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
Unfortunately, due to the time frame in which the researchers polled the teens, the researchers were unable to discern whether the subjects started with tobacco or electronic cigarettes first, and therefore were not able to determine if e-cigarettes acted as a gateway or vice versa. Either way, researchers concluded that "e-cigarettes may contribute to nicotine addiction and are unlikely to discourage conventional cigarette smoking among youths."
Some partiers may have been looking forward to Livr (pronounced "liver"), a social network that can only be accessed by drunk people, but unfortunately it was only a very convincing hoax.
The fake promotional video promised users a social network that could only be accessed by drunk people, which would have been verified by a smartphone breathalyzer. The "founders" of Livr even sent out a convincing press release to tech sites yesterday:
LIVR acts as a biometric bouncer to a global party. Before gaining access, users first must blow into a plug-in breathalyzer and demonstrate a minimum BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). All users on the network must achieve a minimal level of intoxication thereby guaranteeing that all users logged into LIVR at a given time are in a similar state of mind. As a user metabolizes their alcohol, they must drink more and re-check in.
Their trademarked "Drunk Dial" feature would allow users to freely drunk dial another random Livr user instead of a work colleague or significant other, as well as allow users to upload photos that only other Livr users could see. A "Truth or Dare" function promised drunken antics by connecting "users to crowd sourced activities daring them to accomplish a task, earning LIVR points when they do." The app also claimed to be able to map nearby bars according to how many people were there as well as their level of intoxication, allowing users to choose an appropriate venue for what kind of night they wanted to enjoy.
Their promotional video even featured a "Blackout Button" that would have completely erased all evidence of their night out with the press of a button.
"The beauty of the Blackout Button is that it encourages anybody using Livr to just go nuts, to have a real good time, to be their true selves, to not censor themselves because at the end of the night if they feel they've gone too far they can always black it out," said creator Avery Platz.
Despite Gizmodo confirming that the names are fake and the "founders" in the faux promotional video are actors, the story has been picked up as truth by Elite Daily, Pocket Lint, The Next Web, the Daily Mail, the Daily Dot, and Endgadget because the promotional ad, website, Twitter, and Instagram were thoroughly convincing.
See if you would have fallen for the promotional ad below:
Like driving drunk, the state of Colorado views driving under the influence of marijuana as serious offense. But a new ad campaign set to be released next week actually pokes fun at the problem.
Spearheaded by the Colorado Department of Transportation, the “Drive High, Get a DUI” campaign will spend $1 million on television ads that take a humorous approach to preventing drivers from getting behind the wheel stoned. The ads are centered around stoners unable to effectively perform regular activities like playing basketball or hanging a flat-screen TV properly. One ad shows a backyard cook trying to light a grill without realizing he’s missing the propane tank and features the tagline, “Grilling high is now legal. Driving to get the propane you forgot isn't.”
"Enforcement is very important when it comes to impaired driving, but education is equally important," said Bob Ticer, the police chief of Avon, CO and the chairman of Colorado's Interagency Task Force on Drunk Driving.
It remains uncertain, however, just how serious a problem driving high has been or will be in the state, since the Colorado State Patrol just began keeping track of stoned drivers this January. But of the 61 impaired drivers arrested so far, 31 were found to be under the influence of marijuana. Colorado’s companion in legalizing recreational pot, Washington, has been keeping track and saw more than 1,300 drivers test positive for marijuana last year – a 25 percent increase from 2012. And that’s before their legal weed law has been implemented.
Colorado will also air a Spanish language ad that features the line, “When you use marijuana, don’t drive.” Meanwhile, dispensary owners have played a part in getting the word out by hanging “Drive High, Get a DUI” posters in their stores.
The state’s $1 million ad campaign was funded with a federal grant from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Watch a local news report on the new campaign:
A study conducted by doctors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Medicine Association Internal Medicine has debunked the long-held theory that abusers obtain their drugs from sources outside of a doctor’s office, such as family or friends. Researchers initially culled their information from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, but found that several pieces of key information were in direct conflict.
First, the survey stated for the period of 2008 through 2011, prescription drug abuse had reached a level of stasis, but overdose deaths and admissions to emergency rooms and treatment centers had experienced a sharp rise. In addition, the survey’s statistics on how users obtained their drugs were pooled from a wide variety of interviewees, from casual to chronic users. This less specified demographic named family and friends as the most common source for prescription drugs.
But when the study’s researchers focused their analysis solely on the responses of individuals who identified as chronic abusers – i.e., those who took prescription medications on at least 200 occasions over the course of a calendar year, and who used drugs for the “feeling or experience” and not for medical reasons – the results showed that doctors were identified as the most common source of misused drugs in 27.3 percent of the cases. Friends and family ran a close second at 26.4 percent, while dealers ranked last at 15.2 percent.
The study concluded that greater focus was needed on doctors who were regarded as “problem prescribers” – those who prescribed drugs without taking full note of the risks involved in providing high doses of medication to patients, as well as a minority of doctors who used their professional status as a license to sell drugs. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, said that law enforcement authorities could obtain greater information on problem prescribers by using prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs).
“There is a coalescing recognition of what’s going to be important,” Frieden said. “One is clearly going to be PDMPs - [which are] mandatory, real time and actively monitored so that the folks running them can identify problem patients and problem doctors.”
Death rates from prescription drug overdoses have more than tripled in the last two decades, and claim more than 100 people per day.
The underworld of Mexican drug cartels has made its way to southern Mississippi. Hundreds of kilograms of Mexican meth, otherwise known as “ice,” found in the area over the last couple of years have been linked back to Mexican drug cartels and their “super labs.” Roughly 20 cartel members scattered throughout South Mississippi have been arrested in crystal meth investigations conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
"Drug cartels are trying to infiltrate different states and are setting up cell heads as distributors,” said Daniel Comeaux, agent in charge of the DEA's Gulfport office. "That's what we are seeing here."
A 2010 Mississippi law that outlawed decongestants containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient used to make meth, has drastically changed how meth is being made throughout the state. The mom-and-pop meth labs or bathtub labs that once flourished were replaced by shake-and-bake operations, which allowed meth makers to mix the ingredients in a plastic soda bottle and then shake it before letting it "cook" wherever they wanted to make it. Reports of home meth labs and dump sites have also decreased dramatically; only six of these sites were reported to the El Paso Intelligence Center in 2012, compared to 912 sites in 2010.
The ice found on the streets in South Mississippi typically comes from Mexican “super labs” that can make as much as 10 pounds of the drug in 24 hours. A gram sells for about $150-200 on the market, with several drug runners prosecuted in the past year reporting to drug agents that they were paid $3,000 to $5,000 to deliver shipments of ice to South Mississippi. An ounce provides about 30 hits of the drug and each dose lasts about six hours, resulting in difficulty sleeping for several days afterward.
A New Jersey teenager has sued her parents for financial support after running away from home last October and accusing her mother of causing her eating disorder.
Rachel Canning, 18, has filed the lawsuit against her parents, Elizabeth and Sean, for “abandoning” her when she ran away from home and said she is entitled to $654 per week in child support based on their current annual income. Canning also asked for private school payments and legal fees.
For the last several months, Canning has been living with the family of her high school friend, Jamie Inglesino, and the girl’s parents are paying her legal fees since her father is an attorney. “I have been subjected to severe and excessive verbal and physical abuse by my mother and father,” she wrote in court documents. “My mother was always demeaning to me. She called me ‘fat’ and ‘porky.’ In my sophomore year, I developed an eating disorder…In my junior year, I was down to 92 pounds. My father was angry that I wasn’t going to be able to play basketball and said I needed to gain weight.” Canning also accused Sean of “inappropriate affection” towards her and once waking her up “at 2 a.m. to come down and play beer pong with him.”
The parents have denied the allegations and Elizabeth claims Rachel’s anger started after they set down rules that included receiving treatment for bulimia. “Upon our return from vacation last year...I went through Rachel’s room and pulled out two extra-large garbage bags filled with vomit,” said Elizabeth. “I brought her to various therapists, who diagnosed her with anorexia and bulimia. I was and am her biggest supporter in trying to get her treated. Because of Rachel’s eating disorder and my determination to get her healthy, Rachel developed hatred towards me.” New reports have also surfaced that Canning got so drunk off vodka at the home of the millionaire attorney paying her legal fees that she threw up on the sidewalk.
Elizabeth and Sean said they have no interest in publicly airing their family drama in court, but feel they are left with no other choice. "We're heartbroken," said Sean. "But what do you do when a child says 'I don't want your rules, but I want everything under the sun and for you to pay for it?'"