Stories about: Tobacco

Five Ways Parents Can Help Stop Their Kids from Smoking

I read a startling fact from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the other day.  For every person who dies from smoking–about 1,200 a day—two youths or young adults become smokers.

Ninety percent of these “replacement” smokers have their first cigarette before they are 18 years old.  In fact, every day 1000 youth under the age of 18 start smoking on a daily basis.

One of them could be your kid.

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Fact or fiction: Today’s teenagers are more wild than ever

For decades, teenagers have gotten a pretty bad rap from the generations that came before them. The clothes, hairstyles and music may change, but the age-old notion of teenagers being wilder than ever before predates anyone old enough to have the thought. Complaining about wayward teens may be a parental cliché, but that’s only because it’s true, right?

Not so fast parents: According to a new study at the University of Michigan, today’s kids are actually a little more conservative than many of you were at their age.

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Marijuana use up among teenagers

Compared to 30 years ago, today’s teenagers are drinking and smoking less. If you’ve got a teenager those kinds of stats are encouraging news, but unfortunately it’s too early to let your guard down completely. According to a new study more kids are using marijuana than before and start smoking at a younger age. The cause of the spike is still unclear, but John R. Knight, MD, director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research(CeASAR), says mixed messages about pot’s dangers are likely to play a role.

Troubling Trend: Teen Pot Use: MyFoxBOSTON.com

Have you found drugs in your child’s room and are unsure what to do? Here’s more advice from Dr. Knight.

To learn more about how marijuana’s softening reputation could impact your kids, read this interview with Dr. Knight. If you are concerned about your child’s substance use, contact a member of Dr. Knight’s team for help in scheduling an appointment.

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Could better substance abuse screening during doctor visits reduce underage drinking?

In today’s busy medical environment, doctors are asked to do a lot in a short amount of time. The average well visit clocks in at somewhere around 12 minutes these days, which means pediatricians need to screen children for several potential problems in a very finite amount of time.

Because of these time restrictions there simply isn’t enough time to do all the screenings recommended as part of general health care. One area that often gets overlooked is substance abuse among adolescent patients.

Data suggests that many physicians do not routinely broach the topic of alcohol and drug use with their teen patients because there isn’t enough time to bring the subject up, or they don’t always know what to do when a screen suggests a patient may have a problem.

To make the process easier on time starved doctors, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Addiction (NIAAA) and the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) have both released screening and brief intervention guidelines that will help physicians choose valid screening tools and clearly explain when to suggest appropriate interventions for their patients.

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