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California Sues Juul for Targeting Teens

Juul, the top-selling maker of e-cigarettes in the United States, is being sued by California for allegedly targeting teens with it early marketing campaigns.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, also alleges that Juul’s website didn’t previously adequately verify customers’ ages, the Associated Press reported.

This is just one of many legal battles for Juul. It’s the focus of numerous state and federal investigations into whether its early marketing campaigns helped trigger the teen vaping crisis in the United States.

Juul denies that it marketed to teens and notes that it’s stopped advertising and taken most of its flavors off the market, the AP reported.

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Weight-Loss Surgery Often Overlooked for Kids, Teens

SUNDAY, Oct. 27, 2019 — Weight-loss surgery should be more widely used to treat severely obese children and teens, a leading pediatricians’ group says.

Severe obesity is a serious and worsening public health crisis among U.S. youngsters, and weight-loss surgery is one of the few effective ways of treating it, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in its new policy statement, published Oct. 27.

“Children with severe obesity develop health problems earlier than those with lesser degrees of obesity, including diabetes, high blood pressure, fatty liver disease, and sleep apnea,” said policy statement lead author Dr. Sarah Armstrong, a member of the executive committee of the AAP Section on Obesity.

“While lifestyle changes remain the mainstay of treatment, medical care is unlikely to significantly change the trajectory for most children with severe obesity,” she said in an academy news release.

Current rates of severe obesity are 7.9% in children, 9.7% among 12- to 15-year-olds, and 14% among 16- to 19-year-olds, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows.

Recent research suggests that weight-loss surgery is safe and effective in youngsters, but significantly underused, according to the AAP.

“The last decade of evidence has shown surgery is safe and effective when performed in high-quality centers, with the primary care pediatrician and family in a shared decision-making process,” said Armstrong.

“Unfortunately, we see significant disparities in which patients have access to weight-loss surgery. Surgery needs to be an option for all qualifying patients, regardless of race, ethnicity or income,” she said.

Studies have found that weight-loss surgery in youths leads to long-term reductions in weight and weight-related diseases. For example, a study that followed teens for up to 12 years after weight-loss surgery found an average 29% decrease in BMI (body mass index — an estimate of body fat based on height and weight) for those who had one type of surgery, and significant reductions in diabetes and high blood pressure.

The policy statement will also be presented Sunday at the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting, in New Orleans.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more on weight-loss surgery.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Boom in Pot ‘Concentrates’ Could Pose Addiction Risk for Teens

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Wax. Honey oil. Budder. Shatter. Dabs. Black glass.

These are some of the names given to extremely potent marijuana concentrates, and don’t be surprised if you overhear your teens mentioning them.

A startling number of teenagers are using these marijuana concentrates, a new study reports.

About one in four Arizona teens have tried a marijuana concentrate at least once, survey data shows.

More alarming, more than seven out of 10 kids who use marijuana say they also use marijuana concentrates, said lead researcher Madeline Meier, an assistant professor of psychology at Arizona State University, in Tempe.

Marijuana concentrates contain between 40% and 70% higher levels of THC, the compound in pot that produces a high, researchers said in background notes.

“It is concerning because we think higher doses of THC might increase a person’s risk for addiction” Meier said. “If these kids are already at high risk for addiction, that combined with their use of very high THC cannabis could increase that risk.”

For this study, Meier and her colleagues questioned nearly 50,000 students in grades 8, 10 and 12, who participated in the 2018 Arizona Youth Survey, about their pot use.

Marijuana concentrates are becoming more widely used across the United States, particularly in states that have legalized recreational and medical pot, Meier said.

For example, sales data from Washington state shows that concentrates accounted for 21% of all pot purchases in 2016, a 146% increase from 2014, the study authors said.

“More and more people are purchasing cannabis concentrates year after year. It’s making up a higher proportion of the market,” Meier said.

However, previous surveys examining pot use among teens have not asked them about concentrate use, she noted. Because of that, Meier’s team included specific questions about marijuana concentrates in the Arizona survey.

The researchers found that 33% of students said they’d tried some form of marijuana, and 24% had tried marijuana concentrate.

Of the one-third of kids who’d used marijuana, 72% had tried a pot concentrate, the findings showed.

Continued

“Most adolescents who’ve used cannabis have used a cannabis concentrate,” Meier said.

Parents might not know their kids are using these concentrates because they look nothing like leaf marijuana, she explained.

The concentrate can look like a soft wax or butter, or like hardened and brittle pieces of glass.

Concentrate also isn’t imbibed the same way as pot. The substance can be sprinkled across leaf marijuana in a bong or pipe bowl, but it also can be vaped in a modified e-cigarette device or “dabbed” — heated with a blowtorch to produce inhalable smoke.

“This concentrate does not look or smell like the flower, and parents might not know that what their kid has is a drug,” Meier said. “Try to be aware of the fact there are these new cannabis products that don’t look like marijuana, and kids might not be smoking it.”

Teens who reported using concentrates also had more risk factors for addiction, such as a low perceived risk of marijuana’s potential harm, substance abuse by their peers or parents, poor grades in school, and greater availability of drugs in their community. In fact, the teenagers who’d used concentrates were worse off on every addiction risk factor.

The findings were published online Aug. 26 in the journal Pediatrics.

Experts are concerned exposure to such high-potency pot products could make these teens more likely to fall into addiction in the future.

“The expansion of recreational products, from edibles to concentrates, continues to far outpace rigorous assessment and regulations,” said Dr. Harshal Kirane, medical director of Wellbridge Addiction Treatment and Research in Calverton, N.Y. “Importantly, the dramatic increase in teen vaping appears to be rapidly accelerating the uptake of cannabis concentrates.”

Dr. Scott Krakower, assistant unit chief of psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., said marijuana concentrates “have prompted public health concern due to increased rates of THC and subsequent risk of psychosis, medical comorbidities, cognitive [mental] deficits and dependence to the agent itself.”

And, Krakower added, “The younger the age of exposure may exacerbate the risk and may expose youth to additional substance use disorders.”

Kirane agreed. “High-potency cannabis is associated with concerning medical and psychiatric consequences, particularly in early brain development,” he said.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Madeline Meier, Ph.D., assistant professor, psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.; Scott Krakower, D.O., assistant unit chief, psychiatry, Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, N.Y.; Harshal Kirane, M.D., medical director, Wellbridge Addiction Treatment and Research, Calverton, N.Y.; Aug. 26, 2019,Pediatrics, online

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Pot Poisonings Among Kids, Teens Double After Medical Marijuana Law Passed

FRIDAY, Aug. 16, 2019 — Pot-related poisoning calls involving kids and teens more than doubled in Massachusetts after the state legalized medical marijuana, a new study reports.

Calls related to cannabis exposure increased 140% in the years after Massachusetts voted to legalize medical pot in 2012, according to data from the state’s regional poison control center.

This happened even though Massachusetts learned from the example of other states and placed tough packaging requirements to make pot products less enticing and harder to open for kids, said lead researcher Jennifer Whitehill. She’s an assistant professor with the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences.

“It was not the same as it was in Colorado, circa 2013, when there were products labeled to look like candy wrappers,” Whitehill said. “Nonetheless, even despite opaque and tamper-proof and child-proof packaging requirements, we still saw little kids getting into the products and having some bad experiences.”

The new report echoes previous studies showing an increase in marijuana-related medical problems following legalization in Colorado and Washington, the researchers noted.

For example, a March 2019 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that marijuana-related visits to emergency rooms more than tripled at one Colorado hospital between 2012 and 2016.

Based on that example, Massachusetts lawmakers adopted strict mandates for childproof packaging and warning labels on marijuana products, Whitehill said.

To see if those tougher requirements made any difference, Whitehill and her colleagues analyzed poison control center data from 2009 through 2016, four years before and after a ballot initiative legalized medical marijuana in the state.

During the study period, poison control received 218 calls from Massachusetts involving pot exposure in children and teens. The calls represented only 0.15% of all calls to poison control during that period related to kids.

But the incidence of pot-related calls leapt to 1.1 calls per 100,000 population after legalization, up from just 0.4 calls per 100,000 population prior to legalization, the findings showed.

“I had been hopeful that the stricter packaging laws that Massachusetts implemented would have prevented us from seeing some kind of increase,” Whitehill said.

Nearly four out of five calls came from health care facilities and involved exposures that resulted in moderate or minor health effects, the researchers said. There were only four cases with major effects, and no deaths were reported.

In one case, two teenage boys collapsed while playing sports hours after smoking what they thought was marijuana, the study says. The teens, 17 and 18, went into cardiac arrest but were successfully resuscitated.

About one-quarter of the cases were reported as unintentional ingestion, with nearly 20% of those involving children younger than 4.

The results provide parents a “good reminder to be thoughtful and cautious about where they store their cannabis, especially edible products,” Whitehill said.

Teens represented the largest number of cases reported to poison control, with ages 15 to 19 accounting for 82% of all calls related to marijuana.

Experimentation likely spurred most of those calls, Whitehill said.

“Teenagers are clever and crafty,” Whitehill said. “Parents for a long time have thought about where to store alcohol that isn’t easily accessible by their children. As the social norms around cannabis in people’s homes start to change, I think it’s well worth parents thinking about the safer storage of cannabis products.”

These results show that more can be done to keep legal pot out of the hands of children, said Linda Richter, director of policy research and analysis with the Center on Addiction, in New York City.

“Policymakers should ban marijuana edibles that look like regular food products — especially those that appeal to children, such as gummy bears, lollipops, other candy, chocolate or brownies,” Richter said. “In addition to child-resistant packaging, opaque and resealable packaging for marijuana edibles should be required to help prevent young children from being able to see or access the marijuana inside the package, even if it has already been opened.”

Manufacturers also should be required to package marijuana products in small doses so even if a child does get into a package, their exposure will be minimized, Richter said.

As far as teens are concerned, Richter urges parents to set a good example.

“What parents do is just as or more important than what they say to kids,” Richter said. “If they have a cavalier attitude about marijuana, extolling its benefits and conveying how much they need it to relax or have fun, that message comes across much more strongly to kids than any admonitions regarding its harms.”

The new study was published online Aug. 16 in JAMA Network Open.

More information

The Center on Addiction has more about discussing marijuana with your teen.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: August 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Teens Are Getting Hooked on Leftover Prescription Meds

FRIDAY, Aug. 2, 2019 — Many American teens who misuse prescription drugs get them from a variety of sources, researchers report.

They conducted two studies; the first one involved more than 18,000 high school seniors. It found that about 11% of them said they misused prescription drugs in the past year, and of those, 44% had multiple sources for the drugs.

More than 70% of teens who got prescription drugs from multiple sources had a substance use disorder — prescription medications, other drugs and alcohol — within the previous year.

The national average of substance use disorder among teens is 5%, said researcher Sean Esteban McCabe, a professor in the University of Michigan’s School of Nursing.

McCabe said a “very concerning” finding is that 30% of prescription drug misusers took their own leftover medications, with girls more likely to do so than boys. Boys were more likely to get prescription drugs from friends or to buy them.

The second study, involving nearly 104,000 12- to 17-year-olds, found that the most common sources of prescription drugs were: getting them free from friends and relatives, physician prescriptions for opioids, and buying stimulants and tranquilizers illegally.

This is the first known research to look at teen misuse of leftover medications across these three prescription drug classes, according to McCabe.

“The implications from these two studies could not be clearer,” he said in a university news release.

“Parents, public health experts and clinicians must rally to address this problem. There is a critical need for clinical workforce training to support clinic and school-based education, screening, prevention and early intervention,” said McCabe, co-director of the university’s Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health.

“These adolescents are most in need of intervention to address their substance use and any other medical and mental health issues,” added study co-author Ty Schepis, an associate professor at Texas State University.

The two studies were published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

More information

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has more on teens and prescription drug abuse.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: August 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

But most teens have never sent or received a sex text, the new study found. It focused on about 5,600 students in American middle and high schools, ages 12 to 17.

By Kayla McKiski
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, July 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Parents of budding teens can breathe a little easier: A new study says adolescent “sexting” is not an epidemic.

On the other hand, it’s not disappearing, either, despite campaigns to curb it.

“Sexting is perceived as an epidemic because the news highlights extreme cases that involve tragic outcomes, and because it goes against standards of morality and decency that are historically entrenched,” said study author Sameer Hinduja, a professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University.

But most teens have never sent or received a sex text, the new study found. It focused on about 5,600 students in American middle and high schools, ages 12 to 17.

Of those, about 14% had ever sent a sexually or explicit image or had received one.

For this study, researchers defined sexting as the exchange of nude or semi-nude photos or videos via text or private messaging on social media.

Other researchers have included sexually suggestive or explicit texts. Hinduja said his team didn’t include those, because they can’t lead to sextortion, child pornography charges or related fallout.

About 11% of the students said they had sent a sext to a boyfriend or girlfriend — and about 64% did so when asked to, the study found. But only 43% complied with a request from someone who was not a current romantic partner.

Boys were much more likely to have sent and received a sext from a current partner, but boys and girls were equally likely to receive them from others.

About 4% said they had shared an explicit image sent to them with someone else, without permission — and about as many suspected this had happened to them.

Hinduja said though dishonest responses were removed from the findings, “it is possible that the frequency of sexting among middle schoolers and high schoolers across the United States may be underrepresented in our research.”

While teen sexting is not rampant, the numbers have remained steady over the years, prompting many to question the effectiveness of campaigns to prevent it.

Continued

“Teens sext for a variety of reasons — the most popular are sexual exploration, fun, flirtation and to communicate sexual intent,” said Michelle Drouin, a psychology professor at Purdue University-Fort Wayne in Indianapolis. “In some ways it is part of sexual exploration in a digital age. Many teens do it — it’s not a ‘bad kid’ issue.”

Nonetheless, sexting has been linked to psychological trauma among adolescents.

“The young adults I survey sometimes feel distress about the nude or nearly nude photos they have sent,” said Drouin, who wasn’t involved with the study. “I think the only way to curb teen sexting is through targeted education. Sexting should definitely be a standard component of sex education.”

Hinduja said efforts to discourage sexting should not aim to stifle sexual development. Instead, they should focus on the seriousness of potential consequences — legal, financial, reputational, social or otherwise, he said.

For future research, his team is interested in exploring the best ways to deter teens from sexting.

“Are there any messages that resonate more powerfully so that they second-guess taking and sending a nude?” Hinduja said. “Do the consequences they hear about concern them at all? Do they have an invincibility complex about these sorts of things?”

In the meantime, letting teens know that a relatively small proportion of their peers engage in sexting may be a deterrent, he said.

“It underscores that it is not as normal, commonplace, or widespread as they might believe,” Hinduja said in a Florida Atlantic University news release.

The study was published recently in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. It was co-authored by Justin Patchin, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Patchin and Hinduja are co-directors of the Cyberbullying Research Center.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D., professor of criminology and criminal justice and co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter; Michelle Drouin, Ph.D., professor, psychology, Purdue University-Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, and senior research scientist, Parkview Research Center, Fort Wayne;Archives of Sexual Behavior, July 15, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Sexting May Be Less Common Among Teens Than You Think

FRIDAY, July 26, 2019 — Parents of budding teens can breathe a little easier: A new study says adolescent “sexting” is not an epidemic.

On the other hand, it’s not disappearing, either, despite campaigns to curb it.

“Sexting is perceived as an epidemic because the news highlights extreme cases that involve tragic outcomes, and because it goes against standards of morality and decency that are historically entrenched,” said study author Sameer Hinduja, a professor of criminology at Florida Atlantic University.

But most teens have never sent or received a sex text, the new study found. It focused on about 5,600 students in American middle and high schools, ages 12 to 17.

Of those, about 14% had ever sent a sexually or explicit image or had received one.

For this study, researchers defined sexting as the exchange of nude or semi-nude photos or videos via text or private messaging on social media.

Other researchers have included sexually suggestive or explicit texts. Hinduja said his team didn’t include those, because they can’t lead to sextortion, child pornography charges or related fallout.

About 11% of the students said they had sent a sext to a boyfriend or girlfriend — and about 64% did so when asked to, the study found. But only 43% complied with a request from someone who was not a current romantic partner.

Boys were much more likely to have sent and received a sext from a current partner, but boys and girls were equally likely to receive them from others.

About 4% said they had shared an explicit image sent to them with someone else, without permission — and about as many suspected this had happened to them.

Hinduja said though dishonest responses were removed from the findings, “it is possible that the frequency of sexting among middle schoolers and high schoolers across the United States may be underrepresented in our research.”

While teen sexting is not rampant, the numbers have remained steady over the years, prompting many to question the effectiveness of campaigns to prevent it.

“Teens sext for a variety of reasons — the most popular are sexual exploration, fun, flirtation and to communicate sexual intent,” said Michelle Drouin, a psychology professor at Purdue University-Fort Wayne in Indianapolis. “In some ways it is part of sexual exploration in a digital age. Many teens do it — it’s not a ‘bad kid’ issue.”

Nonetheless, sexting has been linked to psychological trauma among adolescents.

“The young adults I survey sometimes feel distress about the nude or nearly nude photos they have sent,” said Drouin, who wasn’t involved with the study. “I think the only way to curb teen sexting is through targeted education. Sexting should definitely be a standard component of sex education.”

Hinduja said efforts to discourage sexting should not aim to stifle sexual development. Instead, they should focus on the seriousness of potential consequences — legal, financial, reputational, social or otherwise, he said.

For future research, his team is interested in exploring the best ways to deter teens from sexting.

“Are there any messages that resonate more powerfully so that they second-guess taking and sending a nude?” Hinduja said. “Do the consequences they hear about concern them at all? Do they have an invincibility complex about these sorts of things?”

In the meantime, letting teens know that a relatively small proportion of their peers engage in sexting may be a deterrent, he said.

“It underscores that it is not as normal, commonplace, or widespread as they might believe,” Hinduja said in a Florida Atlantic University news release.

The study was published recently in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. It was co-authored by Justin Patchin, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Patchin and Hinduja are co-directors of the Cyberbullying Research Center.

More information

KidsHealth from Nemours has more advice for parents about teens and sexting.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: July 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Connected Teens Become Healthier Adults

FRIDAY, June 28, 2019 — Teens who feel connected with others at home and school have fewer serious health problems and risks as young adults, a new study suggests.

Young adults who had higher levels of connectedness — feeling engaged, supported and cared for at home and at school — when they were teens were as much as 66% less likely to have mental health problems, to experience violence, to take sexual risks, and to engage in substance use.

That included a 65% lower lifetime risk of prescription drug misuse and other illegal drug use, a 54% lower risk of ever having been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and a 51% lower risk of having been a victim of physical violence in the past 12 months.

“What happens in middle and high school doesn’t stay in middle and high school. What we experience as adolescents can set us up for success — including avoiding serious health risks like drug use and STDs,” said researcher Kathleen Ethier, director of the Division of Adolescent and School Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Given the significant and long-lasting protective effects connectedness can have, it is important to take steps to increase this feeling of belonging at home and at school among youth,” Ethier said in a CDC news release.

“Our nation’s youth are experiencing several public health crises at once — including STDs, drug overdose, and suicide,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STDs, and TB Prevention.

“It is encouraging to know that connecting with teens in the home and classroom can lead to a healthier, happier life for years to come,” he added.

These findings suggest a connection between teens’ experiences and some of the United States’ most significant public health issues, including record rates of STDs and sharp rises in drug overdoses and suicides, according to the researchers.

The study was published June 24 in the journal Pediatrics.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on teens’ emotional health.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: June 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Hispanic Teens Losing Sleep Over Trump’s Immigration Policies

MONDAY, June 24, 2019 — Hispanic teens are being driven to anxiety and sleeplessness over the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, even though they are U.S.-born citizens and face no threat of deportation, a new study shows.

Nearly half of a group of 16-year-old Hispanic children in the Salinas Valley region of California reported that they worry that U.S. immigration policy could tear their families apart, researchers found.

Those teens had five times higher levels of anxiety as kids without similar worries, the study shows. They also had poorer sleep quality.

“These are U.S. citizens and these are 16-year-olds, and kids who have this kind of high level of anxiety, it’s not fleeting,” said lead researcher Brenda Eskenazi, director of the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health at the University of California, Berkeley.

“It’s likely to affect their ability to focus in school, stay in school, criminality, their health,” Eskenazi continued. “If you’re living with this level of anxiety, there are likely to be long-term consequences. It’s likely to affect other aspects of their life and well-being.”

Worse, this particular group of teenagers likely reflect only a hint of the ongoing fear that’s simmering in other parts of the nation, Eskenazi added.

The city of Salinas is promoted as a welcoming city nestled within the sanctuary state of California, researchers noted. Three out of four people in the Salinas Valley are Hispanic, and the percentage of undocumented immigrants likely exceeds 29%.

“These kids are living in a pretty exclusive environment. We’re not seeing a whole lot of ICE raids in this area. And yet, as U.S. citizens, they are experiencing effects,” Eskenazi said. “We may see more of this in kids around the United States who aren’t living in such a protective environment.”

There are an estimated 18 million children in the United States with at least one immigrant parent — 1 in every 4 kids, the researchers noted. Nearly 1 in 10 has at least one parent who’s an undocumented immigrant.

Just last week, U.S. President Donald Trump promised raids targeting about 2,000 in 10 major cities across the country.

Trump then announced Saturday that he was delaying the raids for two weeks, to put pressure on Democratic lawmakers to accept changes that would tighten the nation’s asylum laws.

Eskenazi and her colleagues are engaged in a long-term study of about 400 children born to Hispanic farmworker families in the Salinas Valley. The kids are U.S. citizens born to at least one parent from Mexico or Central America.

“We have been following them since they were in utero, at least half of these kids,” Eskenazi said.

By chance, these kids underwent a health assessment at age 14, just before the 2016 presidential election, and another at age 16 in the first year after the election.

The researchers realized this would give them a unique chance to see how anti-immigration policies are affecting the children of immigrants.

About 45% of the kids in the study said they worry at least sometimes about how U.S. immigration policy would affect them personally, or whether their families would be separated due to deportation.

Two in five said they worried about being reported to the immigration office, even though they are citizens.

The teens with immigration worries had much higher anxiety levels, and those levels nearly tripled between their pre- and post-election checkups, researchers calculated.

This anxiety appears to be affecting their sleep. One in five said it takes them a long time to get to sleep, 16% said they have fairly or very bad sleep quality, and 11% said they had trouble staying awake during the day.

Stress and sleeplessness can affect teens’ performance in school and increase their risks of future health problems like obesity and high blood pressure, said Dr. Elizabeth Dawson-Hahn, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle. She co-authored an editorial accompanying the study, published online June 24 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Kids dealing with anxiety also are at increased risk for substance abuse, and have poorer future job prospects, the researchers noted.

“It’s not setting them up for success or a healthy life ahead to add this additional stressor to their lives,” Dawson-Hahn said. “It’s important to recognize that policies do have public health impacts.”

These teens will likely need more help in the future. “At the very least we need to track these kids and we need to provide legal and mental health services,” Eskenazi said.

Health care professionals also can help by encouraging advanced care planning amongst these families, Dawson-Hahn said.

Families should make plans to determine with whom a teen would stay if one or both parents are arrested by immigration agents, and whether the teen would leave the country if their parents are deported or stay in the United States with a trusted adult, Dawson-Hahn said.

“This is a legitimate concern. The concern youth have about their parents potentially being deported, it is real,” Dawson-Hahn said. “We need to help families think through planning if they were to be deported, while acknowledging that we hope that is not the outcome for the family.”

More information

The American Psychological Association has more about teens and stress.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: June 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Another Vaping Danger: E-Cigarette Explodes in Teen’s Face

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A vape pen exploded in the face of 17-year-old Nevada boy, breaking his jaw and requiring multiple surgeries to repair the damage, according to a case report in the latest New England Journal of Medicine.

The 2018 incident highlights a little-known danger of e-cigarettes — the devices can unexpectedly blow up, causing burns and severe facial damage.

“He was [using] this vape pen, and it blew up in his face while he was [using] it,” said one of the doctors who treated him, Dr. Katie Russell, a pediatric surgeon at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

The e-cigarette blast was strong enough to break bones and blow out teeth.

“He broke his lower jaw, which takes a large amount of force,” Russell said. Doctors had to insert a two-inch plate on his lower jaw to stabilize the fracture.

“His jaw was wired shut for about six weeks,” she said. “He could only eat soft food for six weeks, until it healed, and then he had to come back and have another operation to get those wires removed.”

Although the boy has fully recovered from his injuries, he still has three or four teeth missing, because he’s lacked the insurance coverage to afford to have them replaced, Russell said.

“He’s still missing all those teeth, but he’s hoping to get them fixed this summer,” she added.

Between 2009 and 2016, there were 195 documented incidents of explosion and fire involving electronic cigarettes, according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA).

The incidents resulted in 133 injuries — 38 severe enough to warrant hospitalization, the USFA says.

In October 2016, doctors at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle reported treating 15 patients with injuries from e-cigarette explosions over a nine-month span, according to a letter they published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Injuries included flame burns, chemical burns and blast injuries to the face, hands, thighs or groin, the Seattle doctors said.

Dr. Hamad Husainy, a staff physician with Helen Keller Hospital in Florence, Ala., said, “It’s not so rare that we’re considering this a freak event that happens. This is a potential problem, and as these things become more and more popular, it’s probably going to become more prevalent.”

Continued

Husainy said his hospital saw two such cases in one week a couple of years ago, with e-cigarette explosions causing burns and breaking facial bones.

No one is exactly sure what causes e-cigarette explosions, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“I can’t tell you why it exploded,” Russell said of the teen she treated. “He said he was just [using] it like regular and it just exploded.”

Some evidence suggests that the lithium-ion batteries that power the devices might be at fault, the FDA noted.

To help prevent e-cigarette explosions, the FDA recommends that users:

  • Buy vape devices with safety features such as vent holes and protection against overcharging.
  • Replace e-cig batteries if they get damaged or wet.
  • Keep loose batteries in a case to prevent contact with coins, keys or other metal objects in your pocket.
  • Always charge a vape device with the charger that came with it, never on one meant for phones or tablets.
  • Don’t charge a vape device overnight, or leave it charging unattended.

According to Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, “The vast majority of vaping devices on the market carry the same fire risk as other products that use lithium-ion batteries, such as cellphones and laptops.”

Conley said, “Adults looking to use these products to quit smoking should not be discouraged by rare events like this, especially since most or all of the incidents linked to the injuries present here involve advanced ‘mechanical mod’ devices that likely represent less than 1 percent of American vaping product sales today.”

Mechanical mod devices contain no safety features such as an automatic shutoff, Conley said. If a battery in a mechanical mod overdischarges and the device lacks enough air holes to allow it to vent, there is a risk of explosion, he explained.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Katie Russell, M.D., pediatric surgeon, University of Utah, Salt Lake City; Hamad Husainy, D.O., staff physician, Helen Keller Hospital, Florence, Ala.;  June 20, 2019,New England Journal of Medicine

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });

Pagination

WebMD Health

Another Vaping Danger: E-Cigarette Explodes in Teen’s Face

THURSDAY, June 20, 2019 — A vape pen exploded in the face of 17-year-old Nevada boy, breaking his jaw and requiring multiple surgeries to repair the damage, according to a case report in the latest New England Journal of Medicine.

The 2018 incident highlights a little-known danger of e-cigarettes — the devices can unexpectedly blow up, causing burns and severe facial damage.

“He was [using] this vape pen, and it blew up in his face while he was [using] it,” said one of the doctors who treated him, Dr. Katie Russell, a pediatric surgeon at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

The e-cigarette blast was strong enough to break bones and blow out teeth.

“He broke his lower jaw, which takes a large amount of force,” Russell said. Doctors had to insert a two-inch plate on his lower jaw to stabilize the fracture.

“His jaw was wired shut for about six weeks,” she said. “He could only eat soft food for six weeks, until it healed, and then he had to come back and have another operation to get those wires removed.”

Although the boy has fully recovered from his injuries, he still has three or four teeth missing, because he’s lacked the insurance coverage to afford to have them replaced, Russell said.

“He’s still missing all those teeth, but he’s hoping to get them fixed this summer,” she added.

Between 2009 and 2016, there were 195 documented incidents of explosion and fire involving electronic cigarettes, according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA).

The incidents resulted in 133 injuries — 38 severe enough to warrant hospitalization, the USFA says.

In October 2016, doctors at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle reported treating 15 patients with injuries from e-cigarette explosions over a nine-month span, according to a letter they published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Injuries included flame burns, chemical burns and blast injuries to the face, hands, thighs or groin, the Seattle doctors said.

Dr. Hamad Husainy, a staff physician with Helen Keller Hospital in Florence, Ala., said, “It’s not so rare that we’re considering this a freak event that happens. This is a potential problem, and as these things become more and more popular, it’s probably going to become more prevalent.”

Husainy said his hospital saw two such cases in one week a couple of years ago, with e-cigarette explosions causing burns and breaking facial bones.

No one is exactly sure what causes e-cigarette explosions, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“I can’t tell you why it exploded,” Russell said of the teen she treated. “He said he was just [using] it like regular and it just exploded.”

Some evidence suggests that the lithium-ion batteries that power the devices might be at fault, the FDA noted.

To help prevent e-cigarette explosions, the FDA recommends that users:

  • Buy vape devices with safety features such as vent holes and protection against overcharging.
  • Replace e-cig batteries if they get damaged or wet.
  • Keep loose batteries in a case to prevent contact with coins, keys or other metal objects in your pocket.
  • Always charge a vape device with the charger that came with it, never on one meant for phones or tablets.
  • Don’t charge a vape device overnight, or leave it charging unattended.

According to Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, “The vast majority of vaping devices on the market carry the same fire risk as other products that use lithium-ion batteries, such as cellphones and laptops.”

Conley said, “Adults looking to use these products to quit smoking should not be discouraged by rare events like this, especially since most or all of the incidents linked to the injuries present here involve advanced ‘mechanical mod’ devices that likely represent less than 1 percent of American vaping product sales today.”

Mechanical mod devices contain no safety features such as an automatic shutoff, Conley said. If a battery in a mechanical mod overdischarges and the device lacks enough air holes to allow it to vent, there is a risk of explosion, he explained.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about e-cigarette safety.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: June 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Study: Less Sleep For Teens = More Unsafe Sex

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, June 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Parents, here’s another reason your teenager should get enough sleep: A new study suggests tired teens may be more likely to have unsafe sex.

Researchers analyzed data collected from 1,850 teens in Southern California between 2013 and 2017. The participants were 16 in 2013.

Teens who consistently did not get enough sleep at any time during the week were nearly twice as likely to engage in unsafe sex — such as not using condoms or having sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs — than those who slept an average of 3.5 extra hours on weekends.

The study was published June 3 in the journal Health Psychology.

“Teens who were short weekday [average of 6.35 hours a night] and short weekend sleepers [average of 7.8 hours a night] were not getting adequate sleep during the school week and were not catching up on sleep on the weekends, and thus were chronically sleep-deprived,” said study author Wendy Troxel in a journal news release. She’s a senior behavioral and social scientist at RAND Corp., a nonprofit research institution.

“Insufficient sleep may increase the potential for sexual risk-taking by compromising decision-making and influencing impulsivity,” Troxel added.

Sleep quality had no effect on risky sexual behavior, according to the study.

The study findings add to growing evidence about a link between teens’ sleep and risky behaviors, according to the researchers, though it only found an association.

“Sexual risk-taking in adolescence poses serious health concerns, such as an increased potential of getting sexually transmitted infections, including HIV,” Troxel said.

“Teens by and large are not getting the recommended eight to 10 hours of sleep a night, due to a number of reasons, including biological changes in circadian rhythms, early school start times, balancing school and extracurricular activities and peer social pressures,” Troxel noted.

She said teen sleep is a difficult challenge for parents, clinicians and policymakers.

“On one hand, we should encourage sleep routines for teens because regularity is important for maintaining healthy sleep and circadian rhythms,” Troxel said.

“However, for most U.S. teens, whose weekday sleep opportunities are constrained due to early school start times, maintaining consistency in sleep-wake schedules throughout the week may not only be unrealistic, but also may be unhealthy if it perpetuates a pattern of chronic sleep deprivation,” she added.

“Our recommendation is for parents and teens to find a middle ground, which allows for some weekend catch-up sleep, while maintaining some level of consistency in sleep-wake patterns,” Troxel said.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE:Health Psychology, news release, June 3, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });
WebMD Health

Opioids Still Often Prescribed to Teens, Young Adults

By Amy Norton

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Even amid an epidemic of abuse, opioid painkillers are still commonly prescribed to teenagers and young adults for conditions like tooth and back pain, a new study finds.

Researchers found that between 2005 and 2015, opioids were prescribed to teens and college-age adults at nearly 57 million visits to doctors’ offices and emergency departments in the United States.

It was particularly common in the ER: 15% of those visits ended with an opioid prescription — with only a small decline over the 10-year study period.

The reasons for the prescriptions ranged from bone fractures and sprained ankles to dental problems and low back pain, the study authors said.

It’s not clear how often those prescriptions were appropriate or inappropriate, said Dr. Todd Callahan of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

“What we can say is that opioids are still commonly prescribed to adolescents and young adults,” he said. “And this study gives us some clear signals about which diagnoses are most related to those prescriptions.”

Callahan wrote an editorial published with the study in the June issue of Pediatrics.

Dr. Joel Hudgins, lead researcher on the study, agreed that it’s not clear what the prescription rates “should be.”

“But for some of these conditions, the rates are too high,” said Hudgins, who practices emergency medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital.

For problems like dental pain and aching backs, it’s recommended that non-opioid pain relievers be tried first, Hudgins said.

Yet, the study found, about 60% of emergency visits for “dental disorders” ended with an opioid prescription. And among young adults, the drugs were prescribed at 38% of emergency visits for low back pain.

That’s concerning because teens and young adults are at increased risk of abusing opioids after receiving a legitimate prescription, according to Hudgins.

“This is a high-risk population,” he said, “so we should be particularly thoughtful when making the decision to prescribe an opioid.”

More than 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Illegal opioids, like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, have become the biggest concern in recent years. Still, prescription opioids — like OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet — were involved in 35% of opioid overdose deaths in 2017, government figures show.

Continued

And most heroin abusers started out with prescription opioids, according to the NIDA.

For the current study, the researchers used two national databases to track patterns of opioid prescriptions to patients aged 13 to 22.

Not surprisingly, young people were much more likely to get those prescriptions in the emergency department than at an office visit. About 15% of ER trips involved an opioid prescription, compared with less than 3% of outpatient clinic visits.

When teenagers were prescribed an opioid in the emergency department, it was most often for a dental problem, a fractured collarbone or a broken ankle. For young adults, the most common reasons were dental pain, low back pain and neck sprains.

Emergency department prescriptions for the drugs did dip between 2005 and 2015 — but only by 4%, the findings showed.

Hudgins said that “hopefully” the decline has continued in more recent years. It’s also possible, he said, that there have been changes in the duration of prescriptions — which this study couldn’t examine.

Experts now say that when opioids are prescribed, it should be at the lowest dose, and for the shortest time possible.

Callahan added, “We should be cautious about prescribing opioids and about prescribing the appropriate amount.”

Both he and Hudgins said that parents and young adults should ask questions any time an opioid is being recommended. Ask whether it’s necessary, and if it is, ask about how to dispose of any extra pills safely.

“Letting a prescription sit around in the medicine cabinet increases the chances it will be misused,” Callahan said.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Joel Hudgins, M.D., assistant in medicine, division of emergency medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, and instructor, pediatrics and emergency medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; S. Todd Callahan, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of pediatrics, division of adolescent and young adult health, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tenn.; May 28, 2019,Pediatrics, online

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });

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WebMD Health

Does Taking Screens Away Help Sleep-Deprived Teens?

MONDAY, May 27, 2019 — Cutting teens’ evening screen time can improve their sleep in just one week, a new study finds.

Research shows that exposure to too much light in the evening — particularly blue light from smartphones, tablets and computers — can affect the brain’s clock and production of the sleep hormone melatonin, resulting in reduced sleep time and quality.

It’s believed to be a bigger problem among kids and teens than among adults. This study by researchers in the Netherlands zeroed in on how screen time affects teens’ sleep.

On average, teens who spent more than four hours a day looking at a screen took 30 minutes longer to fall asleep, woke up 30 minutes later and had more signs of sleep loss, including moodiness, fatigue and poor concentration, than teens with less than an hour a day of screen time, the study found.

Researchers then assessed how blocking blue light with glasses and forbidding screen time during the evening affected sleep patterns of 25 frequent screen users.

After just one week, the teens had fewer signs of sleep loss — and they were falling asleep and waking up 20 minutes sooner.

“Here we show very simply that these sleep complaints can be easily reversed by minimizing evening screen use or exposure to blue light,” study author Dirk Jan Stenvers said in a society news release. “Based on our data, it is likely that adolescent sleep complaints and delayed sleep onset are at least partly mediated by blue light from screens.”

He’s a clinical fellow in the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Amsterdam UMC, a medical and research center.

The next step is to determine whether reducing screen time improves sleep over the long term, and whether adults get the same benefits.

“Sleep disturbances start with minor symptoms of tiredness and poor concentration but in the long-term we know that sleep loss is associated with increased risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease,” Stenvers said. “If we can introduce simple measures now to tackle this issue, we can avoid greater health problems in years to come.”

The study was presented May 19 at the European Society of Endocrinology’s annual meeting in Lyon, France. Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The National Sleep Foundation has more on teens and sleep.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: May 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Nearly Half of Juul Twitter Followers Are Teens, Young Adults: Study

MONDAY, May 20, 2019 — Juul became the dominant brand of e-cigarettes in the United States by targeting teens with its clever use of social media, a new study suggests.

Nearly 70% of U.S. e-cigarette sales are Juul products, and most vapers are teens and young adults. The study determined that nearly half of Juul’s Twitter followers are under age 18, with the majority of followers 24 and under.

“The rise of e-cigarettes and the lack of regulation around marketing with its appeal to youth is now addicting a whole generation of youth on nicotine,” said lead researcher Annice Kim of the Center for Health Policy Science and Tobacco Research in Research Triangle Park, N.C., who noted that nicotine is not healthy for developing brains.

She said Juul’s initial marketing aimed to corral a group of influencers on Twitter and other platforms to push its flavored vaping system to teens and young adults. More needs to be done, Kim added, to limit exposure of age-restricted products to underage youth.

Juul said in a statement that it voluntarily shut down its Facebook and Instagram accounts last year. Its Twitter account no longer contains promotional material, the statement added, only such information as study results, executive hires and the company’s support for policies to reduce youth access to tobacco products.

“We don’t want youth using our product,” the company said. “As a result, we share the researchers’ stated interest in restricting underage engagement with our limited social-media activities.”

Kim said Juul’s previous social media marketing has had an effect.

For the study, her team collected data on people who followed Juul on Twitter. Of nearly 10,000 individual Twitter followers, researchers estimated that 45% were 13- to 17-year-olds and 44% were 18- to 24-year-olds. Under 12% were 21 or older.

In its statement, Juul questioned the study’s methodology. It said the findings differ “significantly from data Twitter made available to us,” which show that 13- to 17-year-olds made up 3.9% of the company’s followers on the platform in May 2018.

But Vince Willmore, a spokesman for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said the study is further evidence that Juul’s social media marketing helped fuel the youth e-cigarette epidemic. He said the company did too little, too late to stop it.

“Young customers continue to do the marketing for them through their social media posts,” Willmore said.

He called on social media platforms to prohibit marketing of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, and for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to develop regulations to prevent their marketing on social media to young people.

Meanwhile, Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, said e-cigarette makers have responded to the marketing backlash by targeting adults. Unfortunately, he added, they have already gotten their youth message across.

“It’s like they set a forest fire, they don’t need to keep going around lighting trees,” Glantz said. “They’re continuing to addict kids — without fingerprints.”

Glantz called on the FDA to make Juul and other e-cigarette makers to submit the products for approval. The FDA has said it will begin enforcing the requirement in 2022, but a federal court in Maryland last week told the agency to start now. Experts expect that ruling to be appealed.

Rather than waiting for the FDA to act, some states and cities are already restricting sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to kids, he said.

The report was published online May 20 as a letter in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

More information

The Center on Addiction has more about e-cigarettes.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: May 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews