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BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 23 February 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:477
  1. Kristina Fister, associate editor (
  1. BMJ

    Smoking seems to be on the rise among young Indian urban teenagers

    A study from India reports that the prevalence of smoking among primary school students (aged 10-16) in two cities, Delhi and Chennai, is two to four times as high in sixth grade students than in eighth grade students. The cross sectional survey, with a response rate of over 90%, included more than 11 000 students from governmental and private schools. Overall, nearly 15% of students had ever used tobacco and almost 5% were current users. The prevalence was significantly higher among boys than girls (17% v 11%), governmental schools than private schools (17% v 11%), and sixth graders than eighth graders (25% v 9%).

    Young adolescents are particularly likely to internalise messages from society, say the authors. India is a leader in global tobacco control and prohibits all direct and indirect advertising of tobacco products, smoking in public places, sales of tobacco products to people under 18, and sales of tobacco products near educational institutions. The findings in this survey suggest, however, that young urban teenagers are starting to use tobacco at increased rates. Since early use of tobacco predicts greater likelihood of addiction, longer lifetime use, and higher rates of lung cancer, these findings are important to public health.

    Rimonabant can help treat obesity

    Rimonabant, a selective cannabinoid-1 receptor blocker, could be a novel aid in treating obesity. In the RIO-North America double blind controlled trial, researchers randomised 3045 overweight or obese people to placebo, 5 mg per day of rimonabant, or 20 mg per day of rimonabant for one year, all in addition to diet and exercise. After one year, people receiving rimonabant were randomised to placebo or continued with the same dose of rimonabant during year two.

    People who were taking 20 mg of rimonabant lost more weight than those in the control group (6.3 (SE 0.2) kg v 1.6 …

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