Mercury Exposure In The Womb May Cause ADHD





 

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children may result from maternal exposure to mercury during pregnancy.


 

 

 

MERCURY EXPOSURE IN THE WOMB MAY CAUSE ADHD

Over the past 10 years, there has been a significant increase in the number of children diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  While the reasons behind this rising number of ADHD diagnoses continue to be debated, there is emerging clinical research data suggesting that maternal exposure to specific environmental toxins during pregnancy may significantly increase the incidence of ADHD among the children of these exposed mothers.

Previous studies have linked prenatal (“before birth”) exposure to lead, tobacco and mercury with a higher incidence of ADHD, but these studies have suffered from a significant limitation, in that they have relied upon surrogate measures of exposure to these toxins rather than direct, quantitative measures of exposure.  Now, a newly published clinical study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine has overcome the limitations of previous studies, and strongly suggests that prenatal exposure to mercury increases the risk of ADHD.

There are multiple sources of potential mercury exposure in the environment around us.  Indeed, more than half of all of the mercury introduced into the environment comes from manmade sources, including coal-fired power plants, steel plants, cement plants, mining operations, waste processing plants, battery manufacturing plants, and fluorescent bulb manufacturing plants, among other industrial sources.  (Almost half of the mercury in the environment actually comes from naturally-occurring processes including, of all things, volcanic eruptions.)  Once released into the environment, mercury then becomes concentrated, or “bio-amplified,” within the plants and animals that we eat, as well as in the water that we drink and the air that we breathe.  Once ingested, mercury is a known toxin, with adverse effects on the nervous system (including the brain), lungs, kidneys, and other vital organs.  As is the case with many environmental toxins, mercury is especially toxic to the unborn fetus, infants, and small children.

In this innovative new study, two groups of children were evaluated.  In the first group (421 children), hair samples collected from the mothers of these children at around the time of their birth were analyzed for mercury content.  In the second group (515 children), maternal hair samples were not available for testing, but maternal fish consumption (the most common source of mercury exposure) during pregnancy was evaluated, and this information was used to assess the impact of maternal fish intake on ADHD incidence in this second group of children.

The findings of this study were quite surprising.

The most important finding of this study was that increasing levels of mercury in the hair of mothers were significantly associated with a greater number of ADHD-related behaviors among their children.  In particular, impulsive and hyperactive behaviors were 70 percent more common among the children of mothers with hair mercury levels at or above 1 microgram per gram of hair, and attention-deficit (“inattentiveness”) behaviors were 40 percent more common among these same children. Another interesting observation was that the association between maternal hair mercury levels and ADHD symptoms was identified primarily in boys, and was not commonly seen in girls.

Given that the single greatest source of mercury ingestion for most of us is fish consumption, one would expect that higher levels of maternal fish consumption would be associated with an increased risk of ADHD if, indeed, prenatal mercury exposure can lead to ADHD.  However, this study actually found the opposite association between maternal fish intake during pregnancy and the risk of ADHD.  In this study, maternal fish consumption of more than 2 servings for week during pregnancy was actually associated with a lower incidence of ADHD among the children of these mothers, including a 60 percent lower incidence of impulsive and hyperactive behaviors.

Mercury is a known nerve poison (neurotoxin), and there is data suggesting that the prefrontal cortex of the developing fetal brain is especially sensitive to the effects of even low levels of mercury and other environmental neurotoxins.  As the prefrontal cortex (the “executive center” of the brain) is the area of the brain that exerts the greatest control on voluntary behavior, it is entirely reasonable to think that damage to this part of the brain could result in the inattentive and hyperactive behaviors that are the hallmarks of ADHD.

Based upon this study’s findings, it appears that maternal exposure to even relatively low levels of mercury (based upon maternal hair mercury content) during pregnancy may significantly increase the risk of ADHD-related behaviors in affected children.  At the same time, the finding of the more subjective half of this study, which assessed maternal fish intake during pregnancy as a risk factor for ADHD-related behaviors, is rather counterintuitive, as fish consumption is thought to be the greatest source of mercury exposure for most humans.  If, as this study suggests, increased maternal fish consumption during pregnancy is actually protective against ADHD-related behaviors, then environmental sources of mercury exposure other than fish must be involved in mercury-associated ADHD symptoms.

In my view, the findings of this study are very important, and, as an accompanying editorial notes, short of intentionally exposing children to mercury contamination for the sake of research, the hair analysis utilized in this study is as close as we are going to get to a “perfect” study of prenatal mercury exposure as a risk factor for ADHD.

Fortunately, there is an increasing awareness by public health experts regarding the potentially adverse health effects of environmental mercury.  However, the findings of this study suggest that more must still be done to reduce mercury levels in the food that we eat, the water that we drink, and the air that we breathe.

 

Give the gift of health during this Holiday Season.  My bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, is available in both print and digital formats from all major bookstores.  Help a loved one to begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

Links to Other Breaking Health News (New Feature)

Tamoxifen for 10 Years (Instead of 5 Years) Significantly Improves Breast Cancer Survival Rate

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Satisfaction with Life May Actually Increase with Age

Brain Changes in the Elderly May Increase Susceptibility to Being Scammed

“Talking” Therapy May Help Depression When Antidepressant Medications Fail

New Egg-Free Flu Vaccine

Graphic Cigarette Labels in Australia

Predicting Childhood Obesity at Birth

Inexpensive Power Foods

 


Dr. Wascher’s latest video:

Dark as Night, Part 1


Dark as Night, Part 1

Dark as Night, Part 1



At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is now more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.




Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


 

Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  Over the past 12 months, 2,017,594 pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious readers.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.



 



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Obesity, Alcohol, Smoking and Breast Cancer Risk

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”




OBESITY, ALCOHOL, SMOKING AND BREAST CANCER RISK

As I discuss in detail in my recent book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, there are several important lifestyle and dietary factors that have been linked to cancer risk by numerous high-level research studies. Moreover, breast cancer risk, as well as the risk of several other hormone-responsive cancers in particular, appears to be especially associated with potentially modifiable lifestyle and dietary factors, including obesity, alcohol intake, smoking, lack of physical activity, high-fat diets (and diets rich in animal-based foods, specifically), as well as other modifiable risk factors.

While certain lifestyle and dietary risk factors linked to breast cancer risk have been confirmed by numerous research studies, the underlying mechanisms whereby these risk factors increase breast cancer risk has not been entirely clear. Now, a comprehensive new review of 13 prospective breast cancer public health studies sheds important light on the important topic of breast cancer prevention, and provides much-needed insight into how our own personal habits may directly increase our risk of developing breast cancer. The findings of this new cancer prevention study are scheduled to appear in the next issue of theBritish Journal of Cancer.

Of the 13 prospective clinical research studies that were analyzed in this report, 7 were performed in the United States, 1 was performed as part of a multinational European study, and 1 each was performed in Australia, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Altogether, 6,291 women were evaluated in these 13 prospective public health studies.

As has been shown in many previous studies, this report confirmed that women with high levels of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone in their blood are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop breast cancer when compared with women who have low circulating levels of these hormones.

Among postmenopausal women, who make up the great majority of all new breast cancer cases, the single most significant risk factor for having elevated levels of estrogen in the blood was obesity, in this study. Although obesity has long been known to be a risk factor both for developing breast cancer and for experiencing a recurrence of a prior breast cancer, it has not been entirely clear how excess body weight actually causes breast cancer risk to increase. (Aromatase, an enzyme that is manufactured by fat cells, is known to increase the production of estrogen in overweight and obese women and men, and has long been suspected to contribute to breast cancer risk in obese women.) Perhaps the most important finding of this new report, therefore, is to confirm the long-suspected linkage between excess weight and elevated levels of estrogen in the blood. Increased estrogen levels, in turn, are known to increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

The findings of this report also indicate that, second only to obesity, regular alcohol intake and smoking were the next most significant lifestyle-related factors associated with an increased circulating level of estrogen and other sex hormones. (Both alcohol and smoking have previously, and consistently, been linked to breast cancer risk. Indeed, as I discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, women who consume 2 or more alcoholic beverages per day have been shown, by multiple studies, to experience a significant increase in breast cancer risk, as well as an increased risk of several other cancers.)

While some breast cancer risk factors (such as gender, age, and family history) cannot be changed, this new report, and the research studies which it analyzes, confirms that women can significantly reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by making evidence-based changes in their lifestyle and diet. When it comes to cancer, an ounce of cancer prevention really is worth a ton of cancer treatment or cancer cure.



For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity



Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





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Tobacco, Smoking and Breast Cancer Risk

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


TOBACCO, SMOKING AND BREAST CANCER

Tobacco smoke is unquestionably the single greatest cause of preventable cancer cases.  However, the link between smoking (including passive exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke) and breast cancer has been rather unclear, so far.  Now, a newly published study, which appears in the current issue of the British Medical Journal, has strongly linked exposure to tobacco smoke with breast cancer risk.

More than 79,000 women (ages 50 to 79 years) enrolled in the enormous landmark, prospective Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study between 1993 and 1998.  (This is the very same study that confirmed the long suspected link between hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer risk.)  All participants in this huge clinical study provided detailed information regarding their history of both active and passive exposure to tobacco smoke.  Known risk factors for breast cancer were also assessed, and accounted for, when analyzing this study’s data.  During more than 10 years of follow-up, 3,520 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed within this very large group of women.

Compared with women who had never smoked, former smokers were 9 percent more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, while current active smokers were 16 percent more likely than never-smokers to develop breast cancer.  Women who had smoked for 50 years or more were at especially high risk of developing breast cancer (they were 35 percent more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer when compared to never-smokers).

Among women who had never smoked, women with 10 or more years of childhood exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, or 20 or more years exposure as an adult, had a 32 percent greater risk of developing breast cancer than never-smokers who had not been exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke.

Taken together, these new findings from the powerful WHI study significantly link both active exposure to tobacco smoke and exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke with large increases in the risk of developing breast cancer.  As if there were not already enough reasons to avoid tobacco, this very powerful prospective clinical research study’s findings confirm yet another life-threatening risk associated with tobacco (including exposure to secondhand smoke).

For a complete discussion of evidence-based approaches to cancer risk and cancer prevention, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.




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Diet and Lifestyle Habits that Decrease Colorectal Cancer Risk

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



DIET AND LIFESTYLE HABITS THAT

DECREASE COLORECTAL CANCER RISK

In the United States, approximately 106,000 people will be newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2010, and nearly 50,000 people will die of this disease.  Colorectal cancer remains the third most common cancer (excluding skin cancer) in both men and women, and the third most common cause of cancer death in men and women.  Unlike many other types of cancer, an effective method of screening for colorectal cancer is available, in the form of colonoscopy.  Fortunately, the incidence of this cancer has been gradually declining over the past 20 years, due in great part to the early detection, and removal, of precancerous polyps from the colon and rectum at the time of colonoscopy.

The links between specific lifestyle choices and the risk of developing certain types of cancer forms much of the basis of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.”  The risk of developing colorectal cancer, in particular, has been strongly linked to multiple dietary and other lifestyle factors.  Now, a newly published public health research study from Denmark puts a number on the effectiveness of commonly recommended cancer prevention lifestyle strategies in preventing colorectal cancer.

In this study, which appears in the current issue of the British Medical Journal, 55,487 men and women between the ages of 50 and 64 were prospectively followed for an average of 10 years.  Each of these Diet, Cancer and Health Cohort Study volunteers completed validated surveys regarding their social status, health status, reproductive history, and daily lifestyle habits.  They also completed a food frequency questionnaire that included, among its 193 items, foods known to be associated with colorectal cancer risk (including alcohol).  All study participants also underwent physical examinations that included measurements of their height, weight, and waist circumference.  During the course of this large prospective public health study, 678 participants were newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

All study volunteers were assessed in terms of 5 modifiable lifestyle and dietary factors that have repeatedly been linked to a reduction in colorectal cancer risk:  Increased levels of regular physical activity, avoidance of obesity, abstention from tobacco use, minimal intake of alcohol, and the observance of healthy diet habits (including increased fiber intake, decreased dietary fat content, decreased red meat and processed meat consumption, and increased fresh fruit and vegetable intake).  Based upon only these 5 simple colorectal cancer risk factors, the adoption of any one of these 5 colorectal cancer prevention factors was associated with a 13 percent decrease in the risk of developing colorectal cancer.  Among participants who generally observed all 5 lifestyle and dietary prevention factors, the risk of developing colorectal cancer was reduced by 23 percent.  (Of note, while this observed reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer was noted for both colon cancer and rectal cancer, this finding was only statistically significant for cancer of the colon, specifically.)

The results of this large prospectively conducted public health study reaffirm the findings of previous studies, in that the risk of colorectal cancer can be significantly reduced by: Engaging in regular moderate exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight, avoiding tobacco use, minimizing alcohol consumption, and by reducing the intake of red meat and processed meats and fat, while simultaneously increasing the consumption of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and whole grain foods.  For a more detailed evidence-based guide to colorectal cancer prevention, order or download your copy of “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race” now.  

 

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For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer, and other types of cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people have logged onto Weekly Health Update so far this year!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 

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Smoking, Teenagers & Tobacco Company Advertising

April 25, 2010 by Robert Wascher  
Filed under Weekly Health Update

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers” 

SMOKING, TEENAGERS & TOBACCO COMPANY ADVERTISING

More than 40 years after the landmark United States Surgeon General’s report on smoking, cigarettes and other forms of tobacco continue to be the leading cause of preventable death around the world.  In the United States, alone, tobacco causes more than half a million unnecessary deaths every year from cancer and other tobacco-associated diseases.  In 2010, cancer will replace all other diseases as the single greatest cause of death, worldwide.  Most public health experts attribute the rising global incidence of cancer to the ongoing increase in the incidence of smoking in the developing world. 

In the United States, the incidence of smoking continues to slowly decrease (although, sadly, mostly among the male half of the population) as a consequence of increased public education efforts, as well as increasingly restrictive laws against tobacco advertising and public smoking.  In response to these public health policy efforts to reduce the incidence of smoking in the United States, tobacco companies have had to become more creative in their efforts to replenish the dwindling pool of smokers in America.  Thus, despite their energetic denials to the contrary, tobacco companies continue to target teens and very young adults in their advertising campaigns, because the harsh and unequivocal reality of the tobacco industry is that 80 to 85 percent of all smokers become addicted to tobacco during their pre-teen or teenage years.  Therefore, following the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, in which American tobacco companies agreed to stop directly targeting pre-teens and teens with tobacco advertisements, the Big Tobacco companies have had to become more nimble and more creative in their efforts to addict a new generation of pre-teens, teens, and young adults to their deadly products, while simultaneously circumventing the restrictions imposed upon them by the Master Settlement Agreement.

 

R.J. Reynolds, a huge player in the international tobacco trade, recently rolled out (no pun intended) a new brand of cigarette targeted at female smokers.  “Camel No. 9,” like other brands previously targeted towards teen and adult women, is distinctively packaged and designed with “feminine sensibilities” in mind.  In 2007, Camel No. 9 cigarettes joined the stable of prior and current cigarettes designed and marketed to appeal specifically to females, including the notorious Virginia Slims brand (produced and marketed by Phillip Morris), as well as the Capri and Misty brands.  While the Camel cigarette brand had previously been targeted at male smokers, Camel No. 9 was rolled out, 3 years ago, by R. J. Reynolds, with launch parties targeted specifically at women, at nightclubs and bars around the country.  These launch parties have often been described as “girls’ night out” parties for women smokers, and have included free massages, free hair styling, free gift bags containing cosmetics and jewelry and, of course, free samples of Camel No. 9 cigarettes.  Additionally, as with the Virginia Slims brand, and other cigarettes targeted to female smokers, full-page advertisements in glamour magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour have targeted the almost exclusively female readers of these magazines with advertisements for Camel No. 9 cigarettes.  These marketing campaigns are, of course, designed not only to gain new customers among women who are already addicted to tobacco, but also, and more importantly, to increase the ranks of smokers with new recruits among current nonsmokers, and in a setting (i.e., nightclubs and bars, where alcohol is also being consumed) where nonsmokers and “occasional smokers” can be targeted by R.J. Reynolds.

 

A newly published clinical research study, in the journal Pediatrics, reveals how tobacco companies continue to effectively target highly vulnerable pre-teens and teenagers in the United States.

In this nationwide prospective study, 1,036 adolescents between the ages of 10 and 13 years were prospectively followed between 2003 and 2008.  Five sequential telephone interviews were conducted during the course of this study, which included discussions of the teens’ impressions of their favorite cigarette advertisements.  The fifth and final interview was conducted after R.J. Reynolds’ roll-out of their 2007 campaign on behalf of the new Camel No. 9 brand of cigarettes.

A total of 72 percent of the teenagers participating in this public health study completed all 5 telephone interviews.  Not surprisingly, the teens who reported having one or more favorite cigarette advertisements were 50 percent more likely to take up smoking during the 5-year duration of this clinical study when compared to the teens who did not have any favorite tobacco advertisements.  Among the boys participating in this study, the percentage of teenagers who identified any favorite cigarette advertisements remained stable throughout the 5 sequential interviews, including the fifth interview in 2008 (after Camel No. 9 was introduced by R.J. Reynolds).  However, while the percentage of girls reporting a favorite cigarette advertisement also remained stable throughout the first 4 telephone interviews, this percentage jumped by a significant 10 percentage points after the marketing campaign for Camel No. 9 was unleashed by R.J. Reynolds, at the time of the fifth and final interview.  Moreover, this 10 percent increase in teenage girls reporting a favorite cigarette advertisement was almost completely associated, specifically, with advertisements for the Camel No. 9 brand. 

Taken together, the results of this important public health study reveals two very concerning findings:  (1) Adolescents who express a preference for any specific cigarette advertisements are at least 50 percent more likely to take up smoking during their teen years, and (2) teenage girls (but not teenage boys) appeared to be significantly impacted by R. J. Reynolds’ 2007 advertising campaign for its new “feminine” Camel No. 9 cigarette brand. 

 

One does not have to be a lawyer, or a public health expert, to put “2 and 2 together, and come up with 4,” with respect to the findings and conclusions of this important public health study.  In order to maintain and replenish their customer base of active smokers, tobacco companies must continuously recruit new smokers from the most vulnerable segments of our population: pre-teens, teenagers, and very young adults.  Although Big Tobacco companies claim to be following the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement’s restrictions on advertising targeted to children and teens, the economic reality is that as older smokers die off (and, very often, due to tobacco-associated diseases…), these merchants of death must continually replace their shrinking pool of potential and active customers with newly-addicted young customers.  As the troubling findings of this clinical research study demonstrate, the advertising campaign for Camel No. 9 has not only been effective in recruiting new female converts to this brand among current smokers, but also in attracting the essential new converts from among the tobacco companies’ prime recruiting demographic: pre-teen, teenage, and young adult females.  We should not delude ourselves, therefore, by the frequent protestations of tobacco companies, that they are following both the rules and the intent of legal restrictions on advertising to pre-teen and teenage boys and girls, as their continued existence as commercially viable companies mandates that they continue to addict pre-teens and teenagers (and young adults) to their deadly products.

In addition to their ongoing efforts to addict American pre-teens and teenagers to tobacco, American and multinational tobacco conglomerates have also ramped up the same aggressive and deceptive advertising campaigns that worked so well for decades in the United States, and these Big Tobacco companies are now applying these same effective (and expensive) marketing campaigns throughout the developing world, where vast numbers of potential new and existing smokers can be targeted without significant legal restrictions against such advertising (and where little or no emphasis is placed upon public health and disease prevention by local government officials, in many cases).

 

To learn more about the surprising effectiveness of Big Tobacco’s campaigns to specifically target teenagers, and adult women, and the tragic public health consequences of these campaigns, look for the publication of my new landmark evidence-based book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” in the summer of this year.





Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Tdv7XW0qg



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would like to take this opportunity to thank the nearly 120,000 new and returning readers who visited our premier global health information website last month.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can. 


In view of the extreme devastation and human misery brought about in Haiti and Chile by the recent earthquakes, Weekly Health Update asks our tens of thousands of caring readers to give generously to established charities that are currently working in those countries to assist the injured, the ill, and the homeless.  There are many such legitimate charities, including the following two:

http://www.redcross.org/

http://www.imcworldwide.org/haiti 


 

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