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Health Highlights: April 25, 2019

Last Updated: April 25, 2019.

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Juul Use Much Higher Among Teens Than Adults: Study

The use of Juul brand flash drive-shaped electronic cigarettes is three times higher among American teens ages 15-17 (6.1%) than among adults (2%), a new study finds.

It also found that in 2018, only 7.9% of adults had ever used any type of flash drive-shaped e-cigarettes, including 25.7% of current smokers and 45.9% of current e-cigarette users.

Younger adults were more likely than older adults to have said they had ever used e-cigarettes, and former and current smokers were more likely to have ever used e-cigarettes than never smokers.

The 2% percent of adults who used e-cigarettes in 2018 included 6.8% of current cigarette smokers and 34.3% of current EVP users.

Among ever users of e-cigarettes, delivery of nicotine was the top reason for use (30.2%), followed by "friend or family member used them" (30.2%), to try to quit other tobacco products (22.6%), other reasons (22.1%), and to deliver marijuana or cannabis (18.7%).

The study was published April 25 in the journal Tobacco Control.

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Trump Says Battle Against Opioid Abuse Will Continue Until 'Job is Done'

The battle against opioid abuse in the United States will continue "until our job is done," President Donald Trump said Wednesday, but at least one expert says Trump has done little to improve the situation.

About 2 million people in the U.S. are addicted to opioids, which legal prescription pain medications and illegal drugs such as heroin. In 2017, there were nearly 48,000 opioid-related deaths in the U.S., the Associated Press reported.

"My administration is deploying every resource at our disposal to empower you, to support you and to fight right by your side," Trump said at an annual conference of health, law enforcement, elected and other officials who fight drug abuse and addiction.

"We will not solve this epidemic overnight but we will stop. ... There's just nothing going to stop us, no matter how you cut it," Trump said.

There has been some progress, including a decline in the number of prescriptions for opioid painkillers, according to the AP.

While some states have regressed, other states and communities are making headway, but not because of action by Trump, said Keith Humphreys, a drug policy adviser to presidents from both political parties.

Trump's declaration of opioid addiction as a public health emergency in 2017 did not lead to significant concrete action, Humphreys told the AP.

Instead, members of Congress "figured out they were going to have to do it themselves -- and they did," he said.

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America's Stress Levels Soar: Survey

Levels of stress, anger and worry among Americans are at the highest levels in a decade, and Americans are among the most stressed people in the world, a new survey finds.

The annual Gallup poll was conducted last year and included more than 150,000 adults worldwide, 1,000 of them from the United States. All were asked about their negative or positive feelings on the day before being interviewed, The New York Times reported.

About 55% of U.S. respondents said they'd felt stress "a lot of the day" before, compared with just 35% worldwide. That puts the United States on par with Greece, which has led the stress rankings since 2012.

About 45% of Americans said they felt "a lot" of worry the day before the survey, compared with a global average of 39%. About 22% of Americans said they felt "a lot" of anger the day before, which was the same as the global average, The Times reported.

Being younger than 50, having a low income, and disapproving of President Trump's job performance were all associated with negative emotions among Americans, according to the survey, released Thursday.

"What really stood out for the U.S. is the increase in the negative experiences," Julie Ray, Gallup's managing editor for world news, told The Times. "This was kind of a surprise to us when we saw the numbers head in this direction."

There was some good news in the survey. About 64% of Americans said they had learned or had done something interesting the day before, compared with 49% globally.

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No More Than 1 Hour of Screen Time a Day for Young Kids: WHO

Screen time for children younger than 5 should be limited to one hour a day, and those younger than 1 year should get no screen time at all, new World Health Organization guidelines say.

The WHO's first guidelines on the topic are similar to recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Video chats should be the only screen time allowed for children younger than 18 months, according to the AAP.

It also recommends that children younger than 2 view only "high-quality programming" with educational value that can be watched with a parent to help children understand what they're seeing, the AP reported.


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