Pay more, smoke less: Possible effects of raising tobacco taxes across the EU


Raising tobacco taxes to increase cigarette prices could reduce cigarette consumption and smoking-associated deaths (SADs) in all 28 EU countries, according to a new study. In higher income countries, raising tobacco taxes could increase revenues that could be spend on prevention and control programs, while in lower income countries tax revenues may be negatively affected, researchers suggest.

The body's own fat-metabolism protects against the harmful effects of sugar


Researchers have discovered that the fat-metabolism in the cells takes place simultaneously with a detoxification of the harmful substances from the blood sugar, which can avert the damage that can in turn lead to age-related diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. This indicates that we have a detoxification system which we were not previously aware of.

Thirdhand smoke exposure effects on liver and brain found to worsen over time


Thirdhand-smoke results when exhaled smoke and smoke emanating from the tip of burning cigarettes gets on surfaces such as clothing, hair, homes, and cars. Using a mouse model, researchers have found that thirdhand-smoke exposure has a significant effect on health, specifically the liver and brain, as early as one month after initiation of exposure — an effect that worsens with time.

Reversing the negative effects of adolescent marijuana use


Researchers have identified a specific mechanism in the prefrontal cortex for some of the negative mental health risks associated with adolescent marijuana use. By demonstrating that adolescent THC exposure modulates the activity of a neurotransmitter called GABA in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain, they were also able to identify a mechanism to reverse those risks.

Contrasting long-term cognitive effects of psychiatric drugs in schizophrenia


A long-term study has found that low cumulative exposure to benzodiazepine and antidepressant medications does not seem to affect cognition in schizophrenia. However, long-term high-dose use of antipsychotic drugs seemed to be associated with poorer cognition, whereas a relatively long break in antipsychotic use was associated with better cognitive functioning.

New vaccine could someday fight the effects of opioid combinations


Substance abuse is a continuing problem in the US, to the point of being an ‘epidemic.’ Treatments exist, but far too often patients relapse with devastating impacts on themselves and those around them. Now, scientists report that they have made progress toward a vaccine against the effects of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, in combination with heroin.