Study: Quit Smoking Now, No Matter Your Age.

9 December, 2016| By: Kevin Trieu

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A new study revealed that no matter your age, a person can see benefits from quitting smoking. “…participants who quit smoking as recently as in their 60s were 23 percent less likely to die during follow-up than those that continued to smoke into their 70s.” said researcher Sarah Nash, lead researcher from the US National Cancer Institute (quote from article). Nash conducted a six year study looking at the affects of smoking on death. Smokers in their 70s were three times more likely to die within the six year study than those who did not smoke. The study also highlighted that smoking earlier in life, has an affect on someone’s health later in life, which essentially reinforces CASAP’s mission.

This study is nothing new in the Prevention world, but rather is further example of the benefits of quitting smoking. We have known for a long time that when someone stops smoking, they see benefits of that, starting right away. This is also further proof about why CASAP’s work is so important. Death from smoking and drug use are one of the most preventable causes of deaths out there. I think we have an opportunity to really make an impact on this matter, and end drug related deaths in the very near future.

What do you think if this new study? Comment Down Below.

Link to the story can be found here.

CASAP is actually hosting a Informational session of a Tobacco Cessation program, on Monday 12 December at the Chinatown Library from 3-4 PM in their community room. If you are interested in quitting or would like to help someone quit smoking please come to the session.

Philip Morris Tries to Put Cigarettes Behind Them

2 December, 2016| By: Kevin Trieu

Phillip Morris, one the world’s largest Tobacco retailers, states that there is a possibility that they could get out of producing cigarettes completely, and move on to alternative tobacco products. Faced with stricter regulations, a growing concern with the health implication of cigarette use by outside entities, and lower profits from tobacco sales, the tobacco industry is looking for new ways to generate a profit. “We certainly see a future where Phillip Morris no longer will be selling cigarettes in the market,” said Mark Inkster managing director of Philip Morris UK and Ireland, who told Reuters.

At the center of Philip Morris’ strategy are devices called “IQOS,” which seems to have no origin to its name, but act very similarly to how an e-cigarette works, by electronically heating tobacco to form a vapor. They are also looking into carbon-tipped vaporizers which look very similar to traditional cigarettes and can be thrown away after use. Other tobacco companies have looked towards alternatives such as “glo” tobacco devices and inhalers. The whole point being to attract different segments of the population with a diverse selection of products.

However, the International Health Community, CASAP included, would like to remind everyone to remain cautious and hesitant to these products. While they may look attractive, they are still tobacco products at the end of the day, and more research still needs to be done on these new products in order to truly vet their benefits.

What do you think of all these new tobacco products in development? Comment down below.

For another story on Philip Morris I did a while ago, please click here.

For a story on the International Tobacco scene, please click here.

Link to original article can be found here.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

23 November 2016| By: Kevin Trieu

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Hey There! No story this week, but I wanted to wish all those out there a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your turkey or whatever your thanksgiving holiday traditions are. Until Next Week!

Kevin Trieu                                                                                                                                               CASAP Coordinator                                                                                                                                         180 W Washington St #1000                                                                                                           Chicago, IL 60602

In Armour Square, an Opportunity to Grow… Trees

18 November 2016| By: Kevin Trieu

The Nature Conservancy and Morton Arboretum just released a report on the which Chicago neighborhoods have the most amount of tree cover and the least amount of tree cover. They concluded that Sauganash on the far North Side, Beverly, and North Park were the top three neighborhood, respectively, with the most amount of tree coverage. The Loop and the surrounding neighborhoods were ranked the worst for tree coverage with less than 10% of their land covered by trees. Both Armour Square and Bridgeport, which we consider Chinatown, had also less than 10% tree coverage, but the article also stated one area who could benefit most with more tree coverage is Armour Square.

CASAP would love to see Armour Square and Chinatown covered in more trees. Not only would the shade be much appreciated in the dog days of summer, but trees can be a great sight to see in the urban jungle of Chicago, especially in Armour Square with all the connecting highways and roads. Trees can help with mental health and help clean up the air from pollution and cigarette smoke. Also, Chinatown is already a very beautiful place in Chicago, adding more trees would make it much more beautiful.

Having gone to Seattle to visit, recently during the Fall, and seeing a city really push to have as much green space as possible, I think it would be great to see Chicago do the same. There are so many young people that live in this neighborhood, with so many schools around us, and with a lot of talk about violence in the city of Chicago, I think that having trees, can provide a bit of comfort to many kids who are faced with an environment of danger.

What do you think? Comment down below.

Link to full article here.

Link to Tree Report here.

Opioid Poisoning on the Rise among Kids

11 November 2016 | By: Kevin Trieu

From 1997 to 2012, 13,052 children and teens ages 1-19 have been hospitalized due to prescription opioid poisoning. 176 of them have died. Children ages 1-4 were, more than likely, hospitalized due to accidental ingestion after their parents left pills in an easily accessible place, and teens over the age of 15 were hospitalized likely due to a suicide attempt. It is also important to keep in mind that a good portion of these teens were hospitalized due to overdosing after using recreationally.

Critics have tried to draw criticism on both doctors and parents. Parents for not storing their medications properly, and doctors for over-prescribing and not providing information on how to dispose of patient-prescribed medication.

I would like to believe that this story serves as a follow up to my John Oliver Story two weeks ago where John Oliver himself talked about America’s Opioid Epidemic in very much the same context.Now, we just have data and a reputable news source (not me) to back it up. The numbers are disheartening, but not irreversible. There are several things that we as a society can do to make sure that overdose will never happen to one of our kids anymore.

  1. Make sure that all opioids prescribed to you are stored in a hard to reach area and in a hard to open container to protect your 1-4 year old.
  2. Ask your doctor about proper disposal of extra pills in your cabinet, and dispose of your pills properly.
  3. Talk to your kids about opioid use and addiction.

What do you think about this story? Comment down below.

Link to the full story here.

Link to John Oliver story here. 

For a story on the Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy’s, groundbreaking open letter to all US Doctors about opioids click here.

 

 

 

 

WHO seeking to Quit Big Tobacco

4 November 2016| By: Kevin Trieu

The World Health Organization is set to host a Tobacco Control Conference in India, and before it, United Nation leaders are proposing that Big Tobacco stays out.

For the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, many countries such as Vietnam and China send Tobacco industry delegates as part of their delegation. You can see the problem with this as an international conference set to promote tobacco-free lifestyles can be influenced by the companies that control tobacco production.

And boy do they control tobacco production…

China National Tobacco Corp, a state-owned corporation, controls 98% of China’s tobacco market, contributes 7% of the state’s tax revenue, and employs half a million directly and 20 million indirectly. You really can not get any bigger than this.

Since these tobacco companies are state-owned and drive up huge revenues for China,  Government officials are having trouble delivering a message of prevention. With that conflict of interest in mind, we applaud the UN for attempting to ensure that the influences of tobacco profits do not get in the way of the overall health of a country.

What are your thoughts on the UN hopefully banning Big Tobacco Delegates at their Conference? Comment below.

And Congrats Cubs! #flytheW

Full story can be found here.

For a story of a former Speaker of the House joining the Board of a Big Tobacco company, click here.

For a story about the strength of Big Tobacco in Asia, click here. 

John Oliver Takes on Opioids

28 October 2016 | By:Kevin Trieu

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In his most recent segment, John Oliver shines a light on an issue near and dear to a Preventionist’s heart right now: the opioid epidemic in America. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), and estimated 4.3 million Americans used prescription painkillers in the last month for non-medical purposes (in 2014). I have also written extensively about the opioid epidemic, even though opioids are not an issue that we see in the Chinatown community, but it has been a large national story, and has even been a part of the election cycle this year. Though, the issue of the opioid epidemic has been on a lot of people’s minds lately, it rarely creeps into the realms of pop-culture. A few weeks ago, Rapper Macklemore, with a little help from President Barack Obama, released a documentary on MTV investigating the issues of opioids and heroin. This was probably the last and only time that this issue has been able to reach into the pop-culture world, so to have John Oliver raise awareness in a thoughtful, smart, and ultimately humorous way, is a wonderful sight.

However, John Oliver did not just talk about opioids and heroin in the context of addiction, but more talked about how pharmaceutical companies played a large roll in fueling the epidemic. This is a key part in the issue and something that very, very few people talk about.

John Oliver also gives a little shout out to SAMHSA and US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. You can find the video clip here. WARNING: the video is a bit not safe for work, so watch at your own employment/ education peril!

What do you think of all this attention that opioids and heroin are getting? Comment below.

Story can be found here.

We covered the issue of heroin and opioids a lot on our website. Links to those stories can be found below:

Story on Fentanyl

US Surgeon General Sends a letter to all US Doctors

Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act get signed.