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Monthly Archives: May 2013

NY Cancer Society says sweet smokes aimed at kids

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — They come in brightly colored, shiny packages in fun flavors like chocolate, blueberry, gummy bear, wine and pink berry. But the American Cancer Society says the little cigars and packages of loose tobacco are aimed at kids and are just as deadly as cigarettes.

The American Cancer Society is pushing to make New York the first state to enact a comprehensive restriction on the sale of candy- and fruit-flavored cigarillos, chewing tobacco and tobacco used in water pipes. Its proposal would restrict the sale of all fruit- and candy-flavored tobacco products to tobacco shops, banning those products from convenience stories.

Maine bans the sale of larger “premium” flavored cigars and other states including Maryland have proposed laws, according to the University of Maryland Law School. New York City and Providence, R.I., also have restricted the sale of flavored tobacco.

“If New York acts, it would be the first state in the nation, and turbocharge efforts nationally,” said Blair Horner, vice president of advocacy at the American Cancer Society and Cancer Action Network of New York and New Jersey.

The little cigars, chewing tobacco and loose tobacco for use in water pipes are sold individually for as little as 99 cents or in packs and avoid stiff cigarette taxes aimed at dissuading young people from smoking.

“I couldn’t believe this when I saw it,” Horner said. “Lawmakers may not even know about them … this ease of access of cheap, tasty, and deadly tobacco.”

New York law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under age 18. But anti-smoking advocates say restricting sales to adults-only smoke shops would […]

By |May 31st, 2013|blogs|0 Comments

Bacteria Without Borders: The Fight Against TB & Malaria

In this series on superbugs—meaning bacteria that are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics—we’ve looked at germs on a national level. But you probably already know that bugs don’t respect borders: Drug resistance is definitely a global problem. And there are two particularly troubling examples when it comes to global drug resistance to bacteria: tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. We’ll take a look at each here:


The Size of the Problem: In 2011 alone there were roughly 8.7 million new cases and 1.4 million deaths caused by TB. According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global TB Report 2012, about 40 percent of the world’s TB cases can be found in India and China; and 24 percent occur in Africa.

How Infection Happens: Tuberculosis is caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium and is transmitted via air droplets: An infected person puts contaminated droplets into the air by speaking, coughing, or sneezing. Not everyone who breathes in tuberculosis becomes sick, though. People with latent TB have it living in their bodies but they don’t get sick and they can’t infect others. Others do become sick with TB disease because their bodies cannot stop the bacteria from growing—and they spread the disease.

What an Infection Looks Like: Signs of TB include persistent cough, chest pains, fever, weight loss, and coughing up blood or sputum (a fancy term for mucus). TB not only typically attacks the lungs, it can infect the brain, spine, or kidneys. Without proper treatment, TB can be fatal.

How It’s Treated: Tuberculosis treatment takes six to nine months and involves different phases. In the first two-month phase, TB that can be weakened by […]

By |May 31st, 2013|blogs|0 Comments

No rise in cancer seen from Japan’s nuclear disaster: U.N.

By Fredrik Dahl

VIENNA (Reuters) – The evacuation of tens of thousands of people helped prevent rising cancer rates and other health problems after Japan‘s Fukushima nuclear disaster, the world’s worst in 25 years, U.N. scientists said on Friday.

Radiation exposure following the reactor meltdowns more than two years ago did not cause any immediate health effects, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) said after its annual meeting.

That would be in contrast to Chernobyl, the 1986 Soviet reactor explosion which sent radioactive dust across much of Europe and is believed to have caused thyroid cancer in some children.

A magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, killed nearly 19,000 people and devastated the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, spewing radiation and forcing about 160,000 people to flee their homes.

Actions to protect inhabitants in the area, including evacuation and sheltering, significantly reduced the exposure to radioactive substances, the scientific body said after the session to prepare a report for the U.N. General Assembly.

“These measures reduced the potential exposure by up to a factor of 10,” said senior UNSCEAR member Wolfgang Weiss.

“If that had not been the case, we might have seen the cancer rates rising and other health problems emerging over the next several decades,” he said in a statement.

Weiss, who chairs work on UNSCEAR’s Fukushima report, told reporters that dose levels were “so low that we don’t expect to see any increase in cancer in the future in the population”.

UNSCEAR’s findings appeared to differ somewhat from a World Health […]

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EU agency calls for curbs on GSK, Valeant epilepsy drug

By Jethro Nededog LOS ANGELES ( – LuAnn de Lesseps is returning to Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York City” after all. According to an individual with knowledge of the negotiations, de Lesseps is in the final stages of signing her contract to resume filming on Season 6. But contrary to other reports, the individual told TheWrap that she isn’t signing on for a lesser role on the season. Bravo declined to comment on negotiations. Earlier this month, de Lesseps and her castmates held the production hostage while it negotiated for higher salaries. …

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Arthritis Walk set for Saturday at TU

Arthritis Walk set for Saturday at TU

By NOUR HABIB World Scene Writer on May 31, 2013, at 1:52 AM  Updated on 5/31/13 at 3:57 AM