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Higher legal age to buy tobacco in Cleveland reduced teen use; shift workers’ unusual sleep pattern puts them at risk for health problems: Health roundup for July 19, 2022

by Jul 19, 2022Health, Local News

Cleveland’s higher legal age to buy tobacco cut teen use, CWRU study suggests

Legislation raising the legal age to purchase tobacco nearly a decade ago in Cleveland from 18 to 21 substantially reduced tobacco use among teens, a new study from the case Western Reserve University School of Medicine indicates.

There was a decline in youth-reported tobacco use across every tobacco product category from 2013 to 2019, the study reports. CWRU researchers analyzed data from more than 12,600 high school students from Cleveland and the surrounding suburbs between 2013 and 2019. The data compared tobacco use among adolescents who lived in Cleveland, where the legal age to purchase tobacco was raised to 21, and surrounding areas where the legal age was 18.

The city of Cleveland raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 in 2016.Ohio increased 21 in 2019,  as the federal government did later the same year.

The Cleveland study looked at use of cigarettes, cigar products, flavored cigars and electronic cigarettes.

Between 2013 and 2015, Cleveland adolescent cigarette use increased from 7.6% to 9.1%. Cigar product use increased from 19.8% to 21.3%. But in the post-legislation period, cigarette use declined to 4.5% and cigar product use declined to 16.8%.

Results were published recently in JAMA Network Open.

Health issues caused by shift work can be long lasting, study suggests

Shift workers’ unusual sleep-wake cycle puts them at higher risk for diabetes, heart attacks, cancer, strokes and other health problems — and these health issues can be long lasting, a new study suggests.

Findings were recently published in the journal Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms.

Researchers found that the sleep-wake cycles of subjects on shift work schedules never truly returned to normal, even after subsequent exposure to a regular schedule.

Shift workers displayed persistent alterations of their sleep-wake rhythms, with periods of abnormal activity when sleep would have normally occurred, as compared to control study participants who kept a regular day-night cycle throughout the study period.

When participants on unusual shift-wake cycles had strokes, their outcomes were much worse than the control group, except women had more severe impairment and higher mortality than men.

Pregnant women exposed to phthalates at higher risk of preterm birth, study indicates

Pregnant women exposed to multiple phthalates — chemicals used in many personal care products — during pregnancy had an increased risk of having a preterm baby, proposes new research by the National Inatitutes of Health. 

Phthalates are chemicals used in personal care products, detergents, cosmetics, solvents and food packaging.

A research team pooled data from 16 studies conducted across the United States. They were able to access data from more than 6,000 pregnant American women who delivered between 1983-2018.

Women who delivered preterm comprised 9% of participants in the study. Phthalate metabolites were detected in more than 96% of urine samples, the study said.

Women with higher concentrations of several phthalate metabolites in their urine were more likely to deliver their babies preterm, which is defined as delivering three or more weeks before a mother’s due date.

Findings were published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

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