Get Help Quitting Smoking for World No Tobacco Day on May 31!


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On May 31, you can join thousands of people who will begin their smoke-free journey on World No Tobacco Day! This annual event from the World Health Organization to "draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes." Need help quitting smoking? Enroll in Quitxt, a free English or Spanish text-message service that turns your phone into a personal “quit smoking” coach from UT Health San Antonio. To join Quitxt, text “iquit” (for English) or “lodejo” (for Spanish) to 844-332-2058. “On World No Tobacco Day, we’re excited to share Quitxt to provide real-time help with motivation to quit, setting a quit date, handling stress, and much more, all on your phone,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, director of the Salud America! ...

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Court: Graphic Health Warning Labels on Cigarette Packs Are OK



The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently unanimously upheld the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s mandate for graphic health warning labels on cigarette packs and advertising. The graphic health warning labels show written statements with photo-realistic color images depicting some serious health risks of cigarette smoking. Risks include impact to fetal growth, cardiac disease, diabetes, and more. In recent years, Salud America! members sent emails to FDA in favor of the labels. Now, the appeals court upheld the FDA requirement for the labels and rejected “arguments from R.J. Reynolds that the labels violate the First Amendment or take up too much space on packages,” according to the Public Health Law Center (PHLC). “In upholding the graphic ...

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What Is Thirdhand Smoke? How Can You Protect Against It?



Many know of the harms and health risks of smoking and secondhand smoke.   However, you may not have heard of thirdhand smoke, which is the chemical pollutants that linger and settle indoors after tobacco is smoked.   “The chemicals in thirdhand smoke include nicotine as well as cancer-causing substances such as formaldehyde, naphthalene and others,” according to the Mayo Clinic.  Policy gaps are failing to protect the public from thirdhand smoke, according to a recent study.  The study suggests that policies safeguard against thirdhand smoke even as they protect against secondhand smoke exposure by prohibiting indoor smoking in public places.  “While these measures have been instrumental in protecting public health, saving lives, and reducing health care ...

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The State of Cigarette Smoking and E-Cigarette Use in Latinos



Only 7.7% of Latino adults in 2021 smoked cigarettes, which is lower than the national prevalence of 11.5%, the Truth Initiative reports.  But the news isn’t all good.  While Latino adults have a lower usage rate of all tobacco products than adults overall, smoking prevalence differs widely within Latino subgroups and by gender.  Let’s explore Latino tobacco use and why it matters for health.  Cigarette Smoking Patterns in Latino Adults    Latinos in the U.S. that identify as Puerto Rican reported the highest current smoking prevalence at 17%. The lowest rates are among Latinos with Central or South American origin (6%), the Truth Initiative reports.  Latina women have a lower smoking rates (6%) than Latino men (12%).    In 2022, 7.8% of young Latino adults ...

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Get Help Quitting Smoking for the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 16!


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You don’t have to stop smoking in one day. Start with Day 1. On Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, you can join thousands of people who will begin their smoke-free journey with the Great American Smokeout. This annual event from the American Cancer Society encourages smokers to make a plan to stop smoking. Need help? Enroll in Quitxt, a free English or Spanish text-message service that turns your phone into a personal “quit smoking” coach from UT Health San Antonio. To join Quitxt, text “iquit” (for English) or “lodejo” (for Spanish) to 844-332-2058. “For the Great American Smokeout, we’re excited to share Quitxt to provide real-time help with motivation to quit, setting a quit date, handling stress, and much more, all on your phone,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, ...

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How Does Vision Rehabilitation Work for Latinos?



The National Eye Institute has provided educational tools and resources in both English and Spanish that focus on vision rehabilitation.   Let’s explore these resources and how they can be beneficial for Latinos.   What is Vision Rehabilitation?   Millions of people in the United States are living with visual impairments like blindness, glaucoma, cataracts, and other vision problems.   “A visual impairment can make it hard to do everyday activities like driving or reading,” according to the National Eye Institue. “A visual impairment can’t be fixed with glasses, contacts, or other standard treatments like medicine or surgery.”  Vision rehabilitation can help make the most of the vision you have and improve quality of life.   There are lots of different ...

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Latino Cigarette Consumption Rises with Language Acculturation



As Latino individuals become more acculturated to the English language and U.S. culture, their cigarette use tends to rise, according to a study on cigarette consumption behaviors among the Latino community.   The National Institute on Minority Health Disparities (NIMHD) -supported research found that this trend occurs particularly among Latino men, and that cigarette consumption also varies based on educational attainment.  Let’s dive into what the numbers look like for Latino smokers and what these study results mean for smoking prevention in this population.   Latinos and Language Acculturation    Acculturation is defined as “the process of two cultures blending, generally seen when an immigrant or minority culture acclimates with the dominant culture.”   For ...

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Can Texts Help Latino Young Adults to Quit Smoking?


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Dr. Patricia Chalela of UT Health San Antonio has received a new five-year, $2 million research grant to test the impact of Quitxt, a bilingual text messaging program that helps Latino young adults in South Texas to quit smoking. The grant is among $90 million for new cancer prevention and research projects from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). For the grant, Dr. Chalela and her team will recruit 1,200 Latino smokers ages 18-29 who agree to try to quit smoking. Half will receive Quitxt, a free texting service with culturally appropriate visual, video, and audio content fueled with evidence-based techniques to prompt and sustain smoking cessation. The other half will get abbreviated text messages and referral to the "Yes Quit" smoking cessation ...

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Make Quitting Smoking Part of Your New Year’s Resolutions



The 2023 New Year brings about new resolutions for many hoping to adopt a healthier lifestyle like eating healthier or exercising more. Quitting smoking could help, too. With several health problems stemming from smoking including cancer, heart disease, and respiratory infections, why not quit smoking as a resolution? Let’s dive into the facts and benefits of leaving smoking behind in 2022! Rates of Latino Smokers Over 32.4 million American adults still smoke cigarettes, according to the American Cancer Society. The CDC reports that cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. How does this impact Latinos? About 1 in 13 (8%) Latino adults in the U.S. smokes cigarettes, according to the CDC. Cigarette smoking ...

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