Mortality Rates Double for Women Smokers
Smoking-related cancers have become the number one killer of women, claiming 27,000 more lives than breast cancer, according to a report released by Surgeon General David Satcher on March 27. Women and Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General shows that women account for 39% of 400,000 smoking-related deaths per year in the United States—a figure that has more than doubled since 1965. The cited culprits are familiar—heavy tobacco advertising and lack of consumer awareness.

“We estimate that smoking prevalence among women varies markedly worldwide from as low as 7% in developing countries to 24% in developed countries,” says Jeffrey P. Koplan, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “The rise in smoking among women around the world has coincided with aggressive Western-style tobacco advertising. One of the most common themes used in developing countries is that smoking is both a passport to and a symbol of a woman’s emancipation, independence, and success.”

The report lauded antismoking campaigns in California, which resulted in a 4.8% decrease in lung cancer cases among women between 1988 and 1997, as opposed to a 13.2% increase in other regions of the country.

The Office on Women’s Health, Department of Health and Human Services, posted a section on quitting smoking on the National Women’s Health Information Center’s Web site at For the full text of the Surgeon General’s report, visit

imageWorld Scientists To Focus on Chronic Lung Diseases
Scientists from around the globe will gather in Paris this summer to discuss chronic lung diseases at the Euržconference sponsored by the Institut Pasteur. The conference, which takes place on June 27-29, 2001, will concentrate on nonallergic diseases such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and pulmonary fibrosis. Presenters will discuss disease pathogenesis, development of treatments, molecular basis of major symptoms, as well as genetic and environmental factors of the diseases. For more information, visit

CDC Releases Antibiotic Guidelines
More than 75% of antibiotics prescribed in outpatient settings are for respiratory infections. Of these, an estimated 50 million prescriptions are for illnesses such as the common cold or flu for which antibiotics offer no benefit, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC convened a panel of national health experts to develop treatment guidelines for adults with colds and acute upper respiratory infections that address appropriate antibiotic use. The guidelines, “Principles for Appropriate Antibiotic Use,” were released March 19 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The guidelines are part of the CDC’s plan to combat antimicrobial resistance, which is a risk of overused antibiotic treatment. For more information, visit sistance/actionplan/index.htm or [removed][/removed].

d03b.gif (1078 bytes)ALA Helps Asthmatic Kids Hit the Trail
This summer, children with asthma can pack their duffel bags and head to CHAMP Camp, a 5-day sleep-over camping experience put on by the American Lung Association of Los Angeles County. This year, camp takes place on August 19-24 at Camp Marston, Julian, Calif.

CHAMP, which stands for Children’s Health and Asthma Management Program, is open to children between the ages of 8 and 12 who live in Los Angeles County and suffer from moderate to severe asthma. Kids participate in swimming, hiking, arts and crafts, Camp Olympics, talent shows, rock climbing, and dances, while under the 24-hour supervision of Barlow Respiratory Hospital staff. A $25 administrative fee includes daily asthma management classes, which teach campers about what triggers asthma as well as how to control and prevent asthma episodes.

For asthmatic kids ages 5-12 looking for a day-camp experience, Breath Camp will take place on June 25-July 20 at California State University, Long Beach. The fee is $125. Scholarship opportunities are available for both camps. For more information about these camps, call (323) 935-5864; or visit

New Center Targets TB
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) launched its International Tuberculosis Center (ITC) in March. The ITC will conduct research, provide clinical services, and promote educational initiatives to combat the spread of TB.

“Alabama and the southeast United States have a good history of TB control,” says Nancy Dunlap, MD, ITC director, “so it may surprise some people that TB is still a threat. We see some 300 cases per year in this state.” Dunlap says one of the strengths of UAB’s program is its ability to identify a particular strain of TB using DNA analysis, or DNA fingerprinting. Dunlap says the center’s work to establish better ways to identify and treat an at-risk population could be applied worldwide.