Science Races to Catch Up to E-Cigarettes' Popularity

By Leigh Cooper

SAN JOSE, California — Science has firmly labeled tobacco products hazardous to human health, but the consequences of using e-cigarettes are still hazy. While the popularity of these battery-powered devices that produce nicotine vapor explodes, scientists are hurrying to gather data on the use of e-cigarettes and their health effects. Meanwhile, e-cigarette companies and consumers are waiting for governments to create regulations using the limited science that is available. "E-cigarettes show tremendous promise as a tool for helping confirmed smokers that don't respond to other approaches to quitting smoking," said Wilson Compton, deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse during a 13 February press conference on the health effects of e-cigarettes at the AAAS Annual Meeting. "But for non-smokers and particularly adolescent non-smokers, e-cigarettes are not without some risks and concerns."

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Addiction: Our Compulsions and Brain Reward Systems

Organised by Wilson M. Compton, NIDA & Co-organised by Aidan Gilligan, SciCom Friday 14 February, 08h00 AM – 09h30 AM, Regency (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Annual Meeting 2014, 13-17 February, ChicagoMeeting Global Challenges: Discovery and InnovationSession Description

Wouldn't it be wonderful to attribute our compulsion for addictive damaging activities, such as overeating, taking illicit drugs or smoking, wholly to our genetic makeup? Then we could blame our parents for everything! We know it is bad for us but we still do it. Why? This session explores the latest scientific evidence behind compulsive behaviour. Personalised medicine provides plenty of research linking genetics and disease, but establishing a relationship between genetic variation and behaviour is trickier. How does over-consumption of high-fat food trigger addiction-like neuro adaptive responses in our brain-reward circuitry?Read more: Addiction: Our Compulsions and Brain Reward Systems

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