E-cigarettes haven’t made teen smoking cool again: study

Images show two of nine cigarette warning labels from the US Food and Drug Administration. (AP)
Updated 02 April 2019

E-cigarettes haven’t made teen smoking cool again: study

  • Research on nearly 100,000 adults in the United States — presented at a major conference last month there — showed that e-cigarette use increases the likelihood of heart attacks

PARIS: The rapid spread of e-cigarette use among young teenagers has not slowed the decline in smoking in the same age group, much less reversed it, according to a new study.
Nor has vaping caused 13-to-15 year olds canvassed in Britain to see tobacco use in a more positive light, researchers reported Tuesday.
The findings, published in the BMJ journal Thorax, are the latest to conclude that nicotine-delivering electronic cigarettes are not, as once feared, a gateway drug for tobacco.
“Our research does not support the hypothesis that e-cigarettes ‘renormalized’ youth smoking during a period of growing but largely unregulated use in the UK,” the study concluded.
But neither did it alleviate growing concern about the health consequences of vaping, which remain largely unknown in part because the practice is so new.
It took decades, experts point out, to determine that smoking tobacco — which accounts for more than seven million premature deaths worldwide every year — is truly dangerous.
Research on nearly 100,000 adults in the United States — presented at a major conference last month there — showed that e-cigarette use increases the likelihood of heart attacks, coronary artery disease and depression by 34, 25 and 55 percent respectively.
Rates of these conditions were far higher among smokers.
Another study from February, published in the Nature Journal Scientific Reports, linked chemicals used in 90 percent of vaping systems to impaired lung function.
“We must take aggressive steps to protect our children from these highly potent products,” the US Surgeon General said in a rare public advisory in December, warning of the harmful impact of nicotine on still-developing brains.
The new findings looked at changes in behavior and attitude among a quarter of a million young teens in Britain from 1998 to 2015.
During that period, they found, the percentage of 13-to-15 years olds who had smoked at least once fell from 70 to 27, and the share of regular smokers dropped from 19 to five percent.

Perceptions changed as well. Only 27 percent of young teens in 2015 said it was “OK to try a cigarette,” compared with 70 percent 15 years earlier.
Crucially, the rate at which these shifts took place barely slowed, if at all, from 2011 to 2015, the period when e-cigarettes were taking off.
“Favourable perceptions of regular smoking among this age group also fell at a faster rate after the proliferation of e-cigarettes, which would not be expected if smoking was in the process of being ‘renormalized’,” the authors concluded.
Figures from the rest of Europe and North America suggest similar trends.
The use of e-cigarettes in the United States jumped by more than 75 percent in 2018 compared with the year before, prompting the US Food and Drug Administration to call last fall tighter regulations.
Teens in every age bracket are today more likely to vape than to smoke cigarettes, according to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Nearly 10 percent of 13-to-14 year olds said they had vaped within the last month, but less than four percent had lit up a cigarette, the NIDA reported in November.
For 17-to-18 year olds, the gap closed, but the number of smokers was still 50 percent lower than users of e-cigarettes.
In the United States today, one in 20 adults — or more than 10 million people — use e-cigarettes, while three times as many are smokers.

Expert advice for dealing with stressed-out skin

Updated 21 October 2020

Expert advice for dealing with stressed-out skin

DUBAI: If you felt like as soon as lockdown hit, your typically flawless complexion went haywire, you’re not alone. The effects of the current situation can affect more than just your mental health — it can also take a toll on your complexion. “Stress affects the skin in many ways,” said Dr. Costi, cosmetic dermatologist and FOREO brand partner, to Arab News. “Stress causes our body to produce more cortisol, the stress hormone, which can lead to several skin issues.” 

The increase of cortisol not only causes our body to produce more oil, which leads to breakouts, but it also increases inflammation. Costi explained, “Stress reduces our immune system causing inflammation to flare up. So if you already had a skin condition like psoriasis, eczema or dermatitis, it will get worse.” Furthermore, by causing inflammation in the dermis, stress directly affects the skin’s natural aging cycle, leading to premature wrinkle formation.

To deal with stress-related skin issues, the doctor suggests maintaining a healthy skin regimen by paring back our routines, thoroughly cleansing the dermis and exfoliating regularly. “Clean your skin diligently, followed by an adequate moisturizer for your skin type,” he said.

Costi also stressed (excuse the pun) the importance of regular exercise. “By staying active and sweating regularly, you are releasing toxins from your body and stimulating your blood circulation, which has the biggest effect not only on stress but also on your overall wellbeing,” he said. And don’t forget to incorporate a healthy diet into your daily life. “Drink plenty of water, limit your caffeine intake and eat a varied and seasonal diet of fruits and vegetables,” suggested the doctor. 

Here are more expert tips for dealing with stress-related skin concerns.


Acne and oily skin are the most common side effects of stress. “Breakouts are often the result of pollution and clogged pores, which have only one solution: A very good cleansing, toning and exfoliation treatment, morning and night,” expalined Costi, suggesting formulas with salicylic acid. “You can opt for a sonic brush, such as Foreo’s Luna 3, to blast away any dirt or makeup residue,” he added.


According to Costi, “dry skin can lose its glow and look wrinkled.” Those who have dry skin should look for products with AHA and retinol to soften fine lines and boost collagen. Just don’t forget to apply sunscreen when using these products as they can make the dermis more sensitive to the sun. 



Those who have irritated, sensitive and flushed skin need to be gentle with their dermis. The doctor suggests paring the skincare routine way back and sticking to natural and soothing products like niacinamide and squalene.  He also swears by the Foreo UFO 2 facial treatment, which offers a Cryo-Therapy option. “It’s heaven for irritated skin,” he proclaimed.


Should your skin need a little boost, El-Habr suggests reaching for a vitamin C-infused serum followed by a hyaluronic acid moisturizer. “Apply a hydrating mask at least twice a week,” he said.