Health

8.26.14:  UN health agency: E-cigarettes must be regulated

 

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. health agency says electronic cigarettes should be regulated and banned from use indoors until the exhaled vapor is proven not to harm bystanders.

 

The World Health Organization also calls for a ban on sales to minors of the popular nicotine-vapor products, and to either forbid or keep to a minimum any advertising, promotion or sponsorship.

 

In a report Tuesday, the Geneva-based agency said the “apparently booming” $3 billion global market for more than 400 brands of e-cigarettes is increasingly becoming a competition between independent companies and transnational tobacco companies aggressively muscling for market share.

 

The report is to be discussed at a WHO conference on controlling tobacco in October.

 

The American Heart Association backs the battery-powered devices that vaporize nicotine as a last resort to help smokers quit.


7.22.14:   State child poverty up, teen deaths down

 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The annual Kids Count survey finds child poverty rates rising during 25 years of data-gathering while fewer teens are giving birth or dying.

 

The report released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation says Michigan ranks 32nd in overall child well-being nationally, down one slot since last year.

 

Michigan’s lowest ranking was in education, where children have struggled in math, reading and graduating on time. But since 1990, the state has seen significant improvements with its children attending preschool and having a parent or guardian with a diploma.

 

Michigan League for Public Policy says in a statement that “good public policy” has made a difference in some areas. But it’s “not acceptable” that Michigan ranks in the bottom half of the nation and more needs to be done.

 


6.17.14:  FDA says we are eating too much salt

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Food companies and restaurants could soon face government pressure to make their foods less salty. It’s a long-awaited federal effort to try to prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart disease and stroke.

 

The Food and Drug Administration is preparing to issue voluntary guidelines asking the food industry to lower sodium levels. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg says sodium is “of huge interest and concern” and she hopes the guidelines will be issued relatively soon.

 

The food industry has already made some reductions, and has prepared for government action since a 2010 medical journal report said companies had not made enough progress on making foods less salty.