More than 80% of adults who smoke begin to do so before age 18 years. The authors examined the relationship between exposure to tobacco in marketing materials and media and changes in adolescents' attitudes and use of tobacco. The 51 studies examined in this meta-analysis demonstrated that exposure to pro-tobacco marketing and media significantly increased the chance that youth would hold positive attitudes toward tobacco and that they would initiate tobacco use. These effects were observed over time, in different countries, and with different study designs. The results indicate that restriction exposure of adolescents to tobacco marketing materials and use of tobacco in the media may have an effect on smoking rates in both adolescents and adults.
Infants in their first 6 months of life have high susceptibility to respiratory infections, but have poor immunogenic response to some respiratory vaccines, such as influenza. One strategy is to immunize the mother during pregnancy to both boost passive protection of the infant as well as decrease the risk of infection in the mother. In this cohort study of 41 129 infants studied during a 6-year period, maternal influenza vaccination did not reduce the risk of an emergency department, physician, or inpatient respiratory illness visit for their infants, nor did it delay the onset of the first respiratory illness.
Nearly 90% of new users of alcohol are younger than age 21 years at initiation of alcohol use. Young and colleagues screened 41 482 males aged 18 to 20 years and identified 15% as risky drinkers. Risk of problem drinking increased as age of first alcohol use decreased, with those who started drinking by age 13 years at 5.5-fold increased odds of having risky drinking at age 18 to 20 years compared with those who began drinking after age 17 years. Individuals who were abused as a child or who grew up with a problem drinker in the home were also at increased risk of problem drinking. This study indicates a group at high risk of later alcohol problems, who potentially should be targeted with intervention even at earlier ages.
High doses of dextromethorphan may produce dissociative hallucinations, and its potential for abuse has been recognized for decades. This study examined the trends in dextromethorphan abuse in California and compares those trends with national data (Figure). There was a 10-fold increase in cases of dextromethorphan abuse between 1999 and 2004. Three fourths of these cases were among adolescents, with the highest frequency of abuse among 15- and 16-year-olds. The source of dextromethorphan was usually inexpensive, over-the-counter cough and cold medications. Measures to prevent abuse of this drug, such as requiring dispensing by a pharmacist, may be needed.
The proportion of California Poison Control System (CPCS), American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), and Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) dextromethorphan abuse cases compared with the total exposures reported to each database. Dextromethorphan DAWN data are unavailable for 2003 and 2004.
This Month in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(12):1202. doi:10.1001/archpedi.160.12.1202