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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 8, Issue 1 (January 2011), Pages 1-280

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Menthol Cigarettes on Smoking Initiation among Non-Smoking Young Females in Japan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 1-14; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010001
Received: 18 November 2010 / Revised: 17 December 2010 / Accepted: 22 December 2010 / Published: 23 December 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (267 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Japan presents an excellent case-study of a nation with low female smoking rates and a negligible menthol market which changed after the cigarette market was opened to foreign competition. Internal tobacco industry documents demonstrate the intent of tobacco manufacturers to increase initiation among
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Japan presents an excellent case-study of a nation with low female smoking rates and a negligible menthol market which changed after the cigarette market was opened to foreign competition. Internal tobacco industry documents demonstrate the intent of tobacco manufacturers to increase initiation among young females through development and marketing of menthol brands. Japanese menthol market share rose rapidly from less than 1% in 1980 to 20% in 2008. Menthol brand use was dominated by younger and female smokers, in contrast with non-menthol brands which were used primarily by male smokers. Nationally representative surveys confirm industry surveys of brand use and provide further evidence of the end results of the tobacco industry’s actions—increased female smoking in Japan. These findings suggest that female populations may be encouraged to initiate into smoking, particularly in developing nations or where female smoking rates remain low, if the tobacco industry can successfully tailor brands to them. The Japanese experience provides a warning to public health officials who wish to prevent smoking initiation among young females. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking: Public Health, Science and Policy)
Open AccessArticle Blocked Randomization with Randomly Selected Block Sizes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 15-20; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010015
Received: 22 November 2010 / Revised: 19 December 2010 / Accepted: 21 December 2010 / Published: 23 December 2010
Cited by 51 | PDF Full-text (82 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
When planning a randomized clinical trial, careful consideration must be given to how participants are selected for various arms of a study. Selection and accidental bias may occur when participants are not assigned to study groups with equal probability. A simple random allocation
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When planning a randomized clinical trial, careful consideration must be given to how participants are selected for various arms of a study. Selection and accidental bias may occur when participants are not assigned to study groups with equal probability. A simple random allocation scheme is a process by which each participant has equal likelihood of being assigned to treatment versus referent groups. However, by chance an unequal number of individuals may be assigned to each arm of the study and thus decrease the power to detect statistically significant differences between groups. Block randomization is a commonly used technique in clinical trial design to reduce bias and achieve balance in the allocation of participants to treatment arms, especially when the sample size is small. This method increases the probability that each arm will contain an equal number of individuals by sequencing participant assignments by block. Yet still, the allocation process may be predictable, for example, when the investigator is not blind and the block size is fixed. This paper provides an overview of blocked randomization and illustrates how to avoid selection bias by using random block sizes. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Murine Model to Study the Antibacterial Effect of Copper on Infectivity of Salmonella Enterica Serovar Typhimurium
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 21-36; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010021
Received: 6 November 2010 / Revised: 16 December 2010 / Accepted: 22 December 2010 / Published: 24 December 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (461 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated the effect of copper as an antibacterial agent on the infectivity of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. Mice were infected orally with a standardized dose of unstressed Salmonella Typhimurium and copper-stressed cells of Salmonella Typhimurium. Bacterial counts in ileum, blood, liver
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This study investigated the effect of copper as an antibacterial agent on the infectivity of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. Mice were infected orally with a standardized dose of unstressed Salmonella Typhimurium and copper-stressed cells of Salmonella Typhimurium. Bacterial counts in ileum, blood, liver and spleen were observed up to 168 h under normal aerobic conditions. Serum sensitivity, phagocytosis, malondialdehyde levels and histopathology were studied for both set of animals. A decreased bacterial count in the organs with mild symptoms of infection and a complete recovery by 48 h was observed in mice infected with copper-stressed bacteria. Histopathological examination of ileum tissue demonstrated regeneration of damaged tissue post-infection with copper-stressed bacteria and no malondialdehyde levels were detected after 24 h in ileum, spleen and liver. Exposure to copper sensitized Salmonella Typhimurium to the lytic action of serum and intracellular killing by peritoneal macrophages. It can be concluded that copper stress confers a decrease in the infectivity of healthy Salmonella Typhimurium in normal mice. This study highlights the significance of use of copper as an antibacterial agent against Salmonella Typhimurium in reducing the risk of incidence of Salmonella infections from contaminated water. Full article
Open AccessArticle Forage as a Primary Source of Mycotoxins in Animal Diets
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 37-50; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010037
Received: 10 November 2010 / Revised: 17 December 2010 / Accepted: 24 December 2010 / Published: 28 December 2010
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (717 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The issue of moulds and, thus, contamination with mycotoxins is very topical, particularly in connexion with forages from grass stands used at the end of the growing season. Deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEA), fumonisins (FUM) and aflatoxins (AFL) are among the most common mycotoxins.
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The issue of moulds and, thus, contamination with mycotoxins is very topical, particularly in connexion with forages from grass stands used at the end of the growing season. Deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEA), fumonisins (FUM) and aflatoxins (AFL) are among the most common mycotoxins. The aim of the paper was to determine concentrations of mycotoxins in selected grasses (Lolium perenne, Festulolium pabulare, Festulolium braunii) and their mixtures with Festuca rubra an/or Poa pratensis during the growing season as a marker of grass safety, which was assessed according to content of the aforementioned mycotoxins. During the growing season grass forage was contaminated with mycotoxins, most of all by DON and ZEA. The contents of AFL and FUM were zero or below the limit of quantification. Moreover, the level of the occurrence of mould was quantified as ergosterol content, which was higher at the specific date of cut. All results were statistically processed and significant changes were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Biology)
Open AccessArticle Spatio-Temporal Diffusion Pattern and Hotspot Detection of Dengue in Chachoengsao Province, Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 51-74; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010051
Received: 3 November 2010 / Revised: 20 December 2010 / Accepted: 21 December 2010 / Published: 29 December 2010
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (2214 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, dengue has become a major international public health concern. In Thailand it is also an important concern as several dengue outbreaks were reported in last decade. This paper presents a GIS approach to analyze the spatial and temporal dynamics of
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In recent years, dengue has become a major international public health concern. In Thailand it is also an important concern as several dengue outbreaks were reported in last decade. This paper presents a GIS approach to analyze the spatial and temporal dynamics of dengue epidemics. The major objective of this study was to examine spatial diffusion patterns and hotspot identification for reported dengue cases. Geospatial diffusion pattern of the 2007 dengue outbreak was investigated. Map of daily cases was generated for the 153 days of the outbreak. Epidemiological data from Chachoengsao province, Thailand (reported dengue cases for the years 1999–2007) was used for this study. To analyze the dynamic space-time pattern of dengue outbreaks, all cases were positioned in space at a village level. After a general statistical analysis (by gender and age group), data was subsequently analyzed for temporal patterns and correlation with climatic data (especially rainfall), spatial patterns and cluster analysis, and spatio-temporal patterns of hotspots during epidemics. The results revealed spatial diffusion patterns during the years 1999–2007 representing spatially clustered patterns with significant differences by village. Villages on the urban fringe reported higher incidences. The space and time of the cases showed outbreak movement and spread patterns that could be related to entomologic and epidemiologic factors. The hotspots showed the spatial trend of dengue diffusion. This study presents useful information related to the dengue outbreak patterns in space and time and may help public health departments to plan strategies to control the spread of disease. The methodology is general for space-time analysis and can be applied for other infectious diseases as well. Full article
Open AccessArticle Hotspot Analysis of Spatial Environmental Pollutants Using Kernel Density Estimation and Geostatistical Techniques
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 75-88; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010075
Received: 8 November 2010 / Revised: 24 December 2010 / Accepted: 28 December 2010 / Published: 30 December 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1413 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Concentrations of four heavy metals (Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn) were measured at 1,082 sampling sites in Changhua county of central Taiwan. A hazard zone is defined in the study as a place where the content of each heavy metal exceeds the corresponding
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Concentrations of four heavy metals (Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn) were measured at 1,082 sampling sites in Changhua county of central Taiwan. A hazard zone is defined in the study as a place where the content of each heavy metal exceeds the corresponding control standard. This study examines the use of spatial analysis for identifying multiple soil pollution hotspots in the study area. In a preliminary investigation, kernel density estimation (KDE) was a technique used for hotspot analysis of soil pollution from a set of observed occurrences of hazards. In addition, the study estimates the hazardous probability of each heavy metal using geostatistical techniques such as the sequential indicator simulation (SIS) and indicator kriging (IK). Results show that there are multiple hotspots for these four heavy metals and they are strongly correlated to the locations of industrial plants and irrigation systems in the study area. Moreover, the pollution hotspots detected using the KDE are the almost same to those estimated using IK or SIS. Soil pollution hotspots and polluted sampling densities are clearly defined using the KDE approach based on contaminated point data. Furthermore, the risk of hazards is explored by these techniques such as KDE and geostatistical approaches and the hotspot areas are captured without requiring exhaustive sampling anywhere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geostatistics in Environmental Pollution and Risk Assessment)
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Handwashing with Water or Soap on Bacterial Contamination of Hands
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 97-104; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010097
Received: 24 November 2010 / Revised: 30 December 2010 / Accepted: 31 December 2010 / Published: 6 January 2011
Cited by 28 | PDF Full-text (195 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Handwashing is thought to be effective for the prevention of transmission of diarrhoea pathogens. However it is not conclusive that handwashing with soap is more effective at reducing contamination with bacteria associated with diarrhoea than using water only. In this study 20 volunteers
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Handwashing is thought to be effective for the prevention of transmission of diarrhoea pathogens. However it is not conclusive that handwashing with soap is more effective at reducing contamination with bacteria associated with diarrhoea than using water only. In this study 20 volunteers contaminated their hands deliberately by touching door handles and railings in public spaces. They were then allocated at random to (1) handwashing with water, (2) handwashing with non-antibacterial soap and (3) no handwashing. Each volunteer underwent this procedure 24 times, yielding 480 samples overall. Bacteria of potential faecal origin (mostly Enterococcus and Enterobacter spp.) were found after no handwashing in 44% of samples. Handwashing with water alone reduced the presence of bacteria to 23% (p < 0.001). Handwashing with plain soap and water reduced the presence of bacteria to 8% (comparison of both handwashing arms: p < 0.001). The effect did not appear to depend on the bacteria species. Handwashing with non-antibacterial soap and water is more effective for the removal of bacteria of potential faecal origin from hands than handwashing with water alone and should therefore be more useful for the prevention of transmission of diarrhoeal diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drinking Water and Health)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Nutritional Status and Longitudinal Recovery of Motor and Cognitive Milestones in Internationally Adopted Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 105-116; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010105
Received: 1 December 2010 / Revised: 30 December 2010 / Accepted: 6 January 2011 / Published: 10 January 2011
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (167 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Internationally adopted children often arrive from institutional settings where they have experienced medical, nutritional and psychosocial deprivation. This study uses a validated research assessment tool to prospectively assess the impact of baseline (immediately post adoption) nutritional status on fifty-eight children as measured by
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Internationally adopted children often arrive from institutional settings where they have experienced medical, nutritional and psychosocial deprivation. This study uses a validated research assessment tool to prospectively assess the impact of baseline (immediately post adoption) nutritional status on fifty-eight children as measured by weight-for-age, height-for-age, weight-for-height and head circumference-for-age z scores, as a determinant of cognitive (MDI) and psychomotor development (PDI) scores longitudinally. A statistical model was developed to allow for different ages at time of initial assessment as well as variable intervals between follow up visits. The study results show that both acute and chronic measures of malnutrition significantly affect baseline developmental status as well as the rate of improvement in both MDI and PDI scores. This study contributes to the body of literature with its prospective nature, unique statistical model for longitudinal evaluation, and use of a validated assessment tool to assess outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Malnutrition and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Constitutive, but Not Challenge-Induced, Interleukin-10 Production Is Robust in Acute Pre-Pubescent Protein and Energy Deficits: New Support for the Tolerance Hypothesis of Malnutrition-Associated Immune Depression Based on Cytokine Production in vivo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 117-135; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010117
Received: 3 December 2010 / Revised: 6 January 2011 / Accepted: 8 January 2011 / Published: 13 January 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The tolerance model of acute (i.e., wasting) pre-pubescent protein and energy deficits proposes that the immune depression characteristic of these pathologies reflects an intact anti-inflammatory form of immune competence that reduces the risk of autoimmune reactions to catabolically released self antigens.
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The tolerance model of acute (i.e., wasting) pre-pubescent protein and energy deficits proposes that the immune depression characteristic of these pathologies reflects an intact anti-inflammatory form of immune competence that reduces the risk of autoimmune reactions to catabolically released self antigens. A cornerstone of this proposition is the finding that constitutive (first-tier) interleukin(IL)-10 production is sustained even into the advanced stages of acute malnutrition. The IL-10 response to inflammatory challenge constitutes a second tier of anti-inflammatory regulation and was the focus of this investigation. Weanling mice consumed a complete diet ad libitum, a low-protein diet ad libitum (mimicking incipient kwashiorkor), or the complete diet in restricted daily quantities (mimicking marasmus), and their second-tier IL-10 production was determined both in vitro and in vivo using lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and anti-CD3 as stimulants of innate and adaptive defences, respectively. Both early (3 days) and advanced (14 days) stages of wasting pathology were examined and three main outcomes emerged. First, classic in vitro systems are unreliable for discerning cytokine production in vivo. Secondly, in diverse forms of acute malnutrition declining challenge-induced IL-10 production may provide an early sign that anti-inflammatory control over immune competence is failing. Thirdly, and most fundamentally, the investigation provides new support for the tolerance model of malnutrition-associated inflammatory immune depression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Malnutrition and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Fluoride Consumption and Its Impact on Oral Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 148-160; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010148
Received: 17 December 2010 / Accepted: 22 December 2010 / Published: 19 January 2011
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (218 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective. The purpose of this study was to evaluate caries and dental fluorosis among Mexican preschoolers and school-aged children in a non-endemic zone for fluorosis and to measure its biological indicators. Methods. DMFT, DMFS, dmft, dmfs, and CDI indexes were applied. Fluoride urinary
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Objective. The purpose of this study was to evaluate caries and dental fluorosis among Mexican preschoolers and school-aged children in a non-endemic zone for fluorosis and to measure its biological indicators. Methods. DMFT, DMFS, dmft, dmfs, and CDI indexes were applied. Fluoride urinary excretion and fluoride concentrations in home water, table salt, bottled water, bottled drinks, and toothpaste were determined. Results. Schoolchildren presented fluorosis (CDI = 0.96) and dental caries (DMFT = 2.64 and DMFS = 3.97). Preschoolers presented dmft = 4.85 and dmfs = 8.80. DMFT and DMFS were lower in children with mild to moderate dental fluorosis (DF). Variable fluoride concentrations were found in the analyzed products (home water = 0.18–0.44 ppm F, table salt = 0–485 ppm F, bottled water = 0.18–0.47 ppm F, juices = 0.08–1.42 ppm F, nectars = 0.07–1.30 ppm F, bottled drinks = 0.10–1.70 ppm F, toothpaste = 0–2,053 ppm F). Mean daily fluoride excretion was 422 ± 176 µg/24 h for schoolchildren and 367 ± 150 µg/24 h for preschoolers. Conclusions. Data from our study show that, despite values of excretion within an optimal fluoride intake range, the prevalence of caries was significant in both groups, and 60% of the 11- to 12-year-old children presented with dental fluorosis. In addition, variable fluoride concentrations in products frequently consumed by children were found. Full article
Open AccessArticle Energy Solutions, Neo-Liberalism, and Social Diversity in Toronto, Canada
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 185-202; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010185
Received: 22 December 2010 / Accepted: 14 January 2011 / Published: 19 January 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (270 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In response to the dominance of green capitalist discourses in Canada’s environmental movement, in this paper, we argue that strategies to improve energy policy must also provide mechanisms to address social conflicts and social disparities. Environmental justice is proposed as an alternative to
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In response to the dominance of green capitalist discourses in Canada’s environmental movement, in this paper, we argue that strategies to improve energy policy must also provide mechanisms to address social conflicts and social disparities. Environmental justice is proposed as an alternative to mainstream environmentalism, one that seeks to address systemic social and spatial exclusion encountered by many racialized immigrants in Toronto as a result of neo-liberal and green capitalist municipal policy and that seeks to position marginalized communities as valued contributors to energy solutions. We examine Toronto-based municipal state initiatives aimed at reducing energy use while concurrently stimulating growth (specifically, green economy/green jobs and ‘smart growth’). By treating these as instruments of green capitalism, we illustrate the utility of environmental justice applied to energy-related problems and as a means to analyze stakeholders’ positions in the context of neo-liberalism and green capitalism, and as opening possibilities for resistance. Full article
Open AccessArticle Toxicity of Neurons Treated with Herbicides and Neuroprotection by Mitochondria-Targeted Antioxidant SS31
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 203-221; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010203
Received: 31 December 2010 / Revised: 13 January 2011 / Accepted: 17 January 2011 / Published: 19 January 2011
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (562 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to determine the neurotoxicity of two commonly used herbicides: picloram and triclopyr and the neuroprotective effects of the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant, SS31. Using mouse neuroblastoma (N2a) cells and primary neurons from C57BL/6 mice, we investigated the toxicity of
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The purpose of this study was to determine the neurotoxicity of two commonly used herbicides: picloram and triclopyr and the neuroprotective effects of the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant, SS31. Using mouse neuroblastoma (N2a) cells and primary neurons from C57BL/6 mice, we investigated the toxicity of these herbicides, and protective effects of SS1 peptide against picloram and triclopyr toxicity. We measured total RNA content, cell viability and mRNA expression of peroxiredoxins, neuroprotective genes, mitochondrial- encoded electron transport chain (ETC) genes in N2a cells treated with herbicides and SS31. Using primary neurons from C57BL/6 mice, neuronal survival was studied in neurons treated with herbicides, in neurons pretreated with SS31 plus treated with herbicides, neurons treated with SS31 alone, and untreated neurons. Significantly decreased total RNA content, and cell viability in N2a cells treated with picloram and triclopyr were found compared to untreated N2a cells. Decreased mRNA expression of neuroprotective genes, and ETC genes in cells treated with herbicides was found compared to untreated cells. Decreased mRNA expression of peroxiredoxins 1–6 in N2a cells treated with picloram was found, suggesting that picloram affects the antioxidant enzymes in N2a cells. Immunofluorescence analysis of primary neurons revealed that decreased neuronal branching and degenerating neurons in neurons treated with picloram and triclopyr. However, neurons pretreated with SS31 prevented degenerative process caused by herbicides. Based on these results, we propose that herbicides—picloram and triclopyr appear to damage neurons, and the SS31 peptide appears to protect neurons from herbicide toxicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Neurotoxicology)
Open AccessArticle Usage Patterns of Stop Smoking Medications in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States: Findings from the 2006–2008 International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 222-233; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010222
Received: 11 December 2010 / Revised: 14 January 2011 / Accepted: 15 January 2011 / Published: 20 January 2011
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Varenicline is a new prescription stop smoking medication (SSM) that has been available in the United States since August 1, 2006, in the United Kingdom and other European Union countries since December 5, 2006, in Canada since April 12, 2007, and in Australia
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Varenicline is a new prescription stop smoking medication (SSM) that has been available in the United States since August 1, 2006, in the United Kingdom and other European Union countries since December 5, 2006, in Canada since April 12, 2007, and in Australia since January 1, 2008. There are few population-based studies that have examined use rates of varenicline and other stop smoking medications. We report data from the ITC Four Country survey conducted with smokers in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia who reported an attempt to quit smoking in past year in the 2006 survey (n = 4,022 participants), 2007 (n = 3,790 participants), and 2008 surveys (n = 2,735 participants) Respondents reported use of various stop smoking medications to quit smoking at each survey wave, along with demographic and smoker characteristics. The self-reported use of any stop smoking medication has increased significantly over the 3 year period in all 4 countries, with the sharpest increase occurring in the United States. Varenicline has become the second most used stop smoking medication, behind NRT, in all 4 countries since being introduced. Between 2006 and 2008, varenicline use rates increased from 0.4% to 21.7% in the US, 0.0% to 14.8% in Canada, 0.0% to 14.5% in Australia, and 0.0% to 4.4% in the UK. In contrast, use of NRT and bupropion remained constant in each country. Males and non-whites were significantly less likely to report using any SSM, while more educated smokers were significantly more likely to use any SSM, including varenicline. Our findings suggest that the introduction of varenicline led to an increase in the number of smokers who used evidence-based treatment during their quit attempts, rather than simply gaining market share at the expense of other medications. From a public health perspective, messages regarding increased success rates among medication users and the relative safety of stop smoking medications should be disseminated widely so as to reach all smokers of all socioeconomic classifications equally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking: Public Health, Science and Policy)
Open AccessArticle Socio-Economic Variation in Price Minimizing Behaviors: Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Four Country Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 234-252; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010234
Received: 1 December 2010 / Revised: 14 January 2011 / Accepted: 15 January 2011 / Published: 20 January 2011
Cited by 40 | PDF Full-text (283 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines how socio-economic status (SES) modifies how smokers adjust to changes in the price of tobacco products through utilization of multiple price minimizing techniques. Data come from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Four Country Survey, nationally representative samples of
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This paper examines how socio-economic status (SES) modifies how smokers adjust to changes in the price of tobacco products through utilization of multiple price minimizing techniques. Data come from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Four Country Survey, nationally representative samples of adult smokers and includes respondents from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Cross-sectional analyses were completed among 8,243 respondents (7,038 current smokers) from the survey wave conducted between October 2006 and February 2007. Analyses examined predictors of purchasing from low/untaxed sources, using discount cigarettes or roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco, purchasing cigarettes in cartons, and engaging in high levels of price and tax avoidance at last purchase. All analyses tested for interactions with SES and were weighted to account for changing and under-represented demographics. Relatively high levels of price and tax avoidance behaviors were present; 8% reported buying from low or untaxed source; 36% used discount or generic brands, 13.5% used RYO tobacco, 29% reported purchasing cartons, and 63% reported using at least one of these high price avoidance behaviors. Respondents categorized as having low SES were approximately 26% less likely to report using low or untaxed sources and 43% less likely to purchase tobacco by the carton. However, respondents with low SES were 85% more likely to report using discount brands/RYO compared to participants with higher SES. Overall, lower SES smokers were 25% more likely to engage in at least one or more tax avoidance behaviors compared to their higher SES counterparts. Price and tax avoidance behaviors are relatively common among smokers of all SES strata, but strategies differed with higher SES groups more likely to report traveling to a low-tax location to avoid paying higher prices, purchase duty free tobacco, and purchase by cartons instead of packs all of which were less commonly reported by low SES smokers. Because of the strategies lower SES respondents are more likely to use, reducing price differentials between discount and premium brands may have a greater impact on them, potentially increasing the likelihood of quitting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking: Public Health, Science and Policy)
Open AccessArticle Tobacco Use among Emergency Department Patients
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 253-263; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010253
Received: 10 December 2010 / Revised: 14 January 2010 / Accepted: 19 January 2011 / Published: 21 January 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (155 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This is the first study to systematically track the tobacco use prevalence in an entire emergency department (ED) population and compare age-stratified rates to the general population using national, provincial, and regional comparisons. A tobacco use question was integrated into the ED electronic
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This is the first study to systematically track the tobacco use prevalence in an entire emergency department (ED) population and compare age-stratified rates to the general population using national, provincial, and regional comparisons. A tobacco use question was integrated into the ED electronic registration process from 2007 to 2010 in 11 northern hospitals (10 rural, 1 urban). Results showed that tobacco use documentation (85–89%) and tobacco use (26–27%) were consistent across years with the only discrepancy being higher tobacco prevalence in 2007 (32%) due to higher rates at the urban hospital. Age-stratified outcomes showed that tobacco use remained high up to 50 years old (36%); rates began to decrease for patients in their 50’s (26%) and 60’s (16%), and decreased substantially after age 70 (5%). The age-stratified ED tobacco rates were almost double those of the general population nationally and provincially for all but the oldest age groups but were virtually identical to regional rates. The tobacco use tracking and age-stratified general population comparisons in this study improves on previous attempts to document prevalence in the ED population, and at a more local level, provides a “big picture” overview that highlights the magnitude of the tobacco-use problem in these communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking: Public Health, Science and Policy)
Open AccessArticle An Integrated Approach for Assessing Aquatic Ecological Carrying Capacity: A Case Study of Wujin District in the Tai Lake Basin, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 264-280; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010264
Received: 3 December 2010 / Revised: 10 January 2011 / Accepted: 11 January 2011 / Published: 24 January 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (798 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aquatic ecological carrying capacity is an effective method for analyzing sustainable development in regional water management. In this paper, an integrated approach is employed for assessing the aquatic ecological carrying capacity of Wujin District in the Tai Lake Basin, China. An indicator system
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Aquatic ecological carrying capacity is an effective method for analyzing sustainable development in regional water management. In this paper, an integrated approach is employed for assessing the aquatic ecological carrying capacity of Wujin District in the Tai Lake Basin, China. An indicator system is established considering social and economic development as well as ecological resilience perspectives. While calculating the ecological index, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is extracted from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) time-series images, followed by spatial and temporal analysis of vegetation cover. Finally, multi-index assessment of aquatic ecological carrying capacity is carried out for the period 2000 to 2008, including both static and dynamic variables. The results reveal that aquatic ecological carrying capacity presents a slight upward trend in the past decade and the intensity of human activities still exceeded the aquatic ecological carrying capacity in 2008. In terms of human activities, population has decreased, GDP has quadrupled, and fertilizer application and industrial wastewater discharge have declined greatly in the past decade. The indicators representing aquatic ecosystem conditions have the lowest scores, which are primarily attributed to the water eutrophication problem. Yet the terrestrial ecosystem is assessed to be in better condition since topographic backgrounds and landscape diversity are at higher levels. Based on the work carried out, it is suggested that pollutant emission be controlled to improve water quality and agricultural development around Ge Lake (the largest lake in Wujin District) be reduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geostatistics in Environmental Pollution and Risk Assessment)

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview Smoking Related Diseases: The Central Role of Monoamine Oxidase
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 136-147; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010136
Received: 3 December 2010 / Revised: 24 December 2010 / Accepted: 6 January 2011 / Published: 14 January 2011
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (606 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Smoking is a major risk factor of morbidity and mortality. It is well established that monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity is decreased in smokers. Serotonin (5-HT), a major substrate for MAO that circulates as a reserve pool stored in platelets, is a marker of
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Smoking is a major risk factor of morbidity and mortality. It is well established that monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity is decreased in smokers. Serotonin (5-HT), a major substrate for MAO that circulates as a reserve pool stored in platelets, is a marker of platelet activation. We recently reported that smoking durably modifies the platelet 5-HT/MAO system by inducing a demethylation of the MAO gene promoter resulting in high MAO protein concentration persisting more than ten years after quitting smoking. The present data enlarges the results to another MAO substrate, norepinephrine (NE), further confirming the central role of MAO in tobacco use-induced diseases. Thus, MAO could be a readily accessible and helpful marker in the risk evaluation of smoking-related diseases, from cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases to depression, anxiety and cancer. The present review implements the new finding of epigenetic regulation of MAO and suggests that smoking-induced MAO demethylation can be considered as a hallmark of smoking-related cancers similarly to other aberrant DNA methylations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking: Public Health, Science and Policy)
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Open AccessReview Lysyl Oxidase, A Critical Intra- and Extra-Cellular Target in the Lung for Cigarette Smoke Pathogenesis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 161-184; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010161
Received: 23 November 2010 / Revised: 22 December 2010 / Accepted: 12 January 2011 / Published: 19 January 2011
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (813 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cigarette smoke (CS), a complex chemical mixture, contains more than 4,800 different compounds, including oxidants, heavy metals, and carcinogens, that individually or in combination initiate or promote pathogenesis in the lung accounting for 82% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) deaths and 87%
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Cigarette smoke (CS), a complex chemical mixture, contains more than 4,800 different compounds, including oxidants, heavy metals, and carcinogens, that individually or in combination initiate or promote pathogenesis in the lung accounting for 82% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) deaths and 87% of lung cancer deaths. Lysyl oxidase (LO), a Cu-dependent enzyme, oxidizes peptidyl lysine residues in collagen, elastin and histone H1, essential for stabilization of the extracellular matrix and cell nucleus. Considerable evidences have shown that LO is a tumor suppressor as exemplified by inhibiting transforming activity of ras, a proto oncogene. CS condensate (CSC), 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) and cadmium (Cd), major components of CS, down-regulate LO expression at such multiple levels as mRNA, protein and catalytic activity in lung cells in vitro and in vivo indicating LO as a critical intra- and extracellular target for CS pathogenesis in the lung. In view of multiple biological functions and regulation characteristics of the LO gene, molecular mechanisms for CS damage to lung LO and its role in emphysema and cancer pathogenesis are discussed in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking: Public Health, Science and Policy)
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Open AccessCase Report Four Polygamous Families with Congenital Birth Defects from Fallujah, Iraq
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 89-96; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010089
Received: 27 October 2010 / Revised: 3 December 2010 / Accepted: 21 December 2010 / Published: 31 December 2010
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (216 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since 2003, congenital malformations have increased to account for 15% of all births in Fallujah, Iraq. Congenital heart defects have the highest incidence, followed by neural tube defects. Similar birth defects were reported in other populations exposed to war contaminants. While the causes
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Since 2003, congenital malformations have increased to account for 15% of all births in Fallujah, Iraq. Congenital heart defects have the highest incidence, followed by neural tube defects. Similar birth defects were reported in other populations exposed to war contaminants. While the causes of increased prevalence of birth defects are under investigation, we opted to release this communication to contribute to exploration of these issues. By using a questionnaire, containing residential history and activities that may have led to exposure to war contaminants, retrospective reproductive history of four polygamous Fallujah families were documented. Our findings point to sporadic, untargeted events, with different phenotypes in each family and increased recurrence. The prevalence of familial birth defects after 2003 highlights the relevance of epigenetic mechanisms and offers insights to focus research, with the aim of reducing further damage to people’s health. Full article

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