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  • Give A Big Applause To CVS

    CVS Caremark, the country’s largest drugstore chain in overall sales, announced in February that it planned to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products by October 2014. The company estimated that its decision would shave an estimated $2 billion in sales from customers buying cigarettes and other products, including incidental items like gum that might also be purchased. The company’s move was another sign of its metamorphosis from being a largely retail business into more of a health care provider, with stores offering mini-clinics and health advice to customers visiting its pharmacies. As of January 2014, at least 1,182 college or university campuses in the U.S. have adopted 100% smoke-free campus policies that eliminate smoking in indoor and outdoor areas across campuses including residences. This number has doubled in size in the past few years and is expected to continue to climb as a result of the growing social norm supporting smoke-free environments and support from the academic community for policies supporting campus health and well being. Curbing tobacco influence on campuses could prevent a new group of lifetime smokers. Students are leading efforts by refusing tobacco industry sponsorship, grants, donations and other gifts. The uptick is also due to the efforts of the American College Health Association (ACHA) which adopted a Statement on Tobacco, as well as the social norm change about when and where people smoke as a result of city- and state-wide smoke-free laws. In fact: The majority of the U.S. population does not smoke. 49.1% of the U.S. population is protected by a 100% smoke-free workplace, restaurant, and bar laws. Most local and state laws do not include college campuses as they are considered private property, although some states include state schools in their smoke-free workplace laws. The tobacco industry continues to market and advertise to young adults in order to remain profitable; the statistics regarding the prevalence and rise in tobacco use for young adults demonstrates that their plan is having its desired effect. Simply look at promotions held in bars near campuses across the country in order to realize how important 18-24 year olds are to the tobacco industry. Since being introduced to the U.S. market in 2007, the electronic cigarette (E-cigarette) has become one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S.  According to E-cigarette industry reports, sales are smoking hot, set to hit $1.7 billion. They have also become popular among 18-25[READ MORE…]

  • Low Testosterone Medication

    Low testosterone can dim a man’s sex drive, energy, and motivation. Medication to cure low testosterone can have harmful effects. When needed, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can boost T levels back to normal and return a man to full vigar. Still, there are also risks to TRT,  and the long-term safety isn’t clear. A consumer advocacy group is calling on the Food and Drug Administration to add a bold warning label to popular testosterone drugs for men in light of growing evidence that the hormone treatments can increase the risk of heart attacks. The group Public Citizen says the agency should immediately add a “black box” warning — the most serious type — to all testosterone medications and require manufacturers to warn physicians about a higher risk of heart attack, stroke and death with the treatments. The FDA announced last month that it was reviewing the safety of drugs like the blockbuster testosterone gel, AndroGel, in light of two recent studies that showed higher rates of cardiovascular problems in men. Treating low T can strengthen a man’s bones and help prevent osteoporosis. Some evidence also suggests that treatment can also aid blood sugar control, which is important for the prevention and control of diabetes. Lower testosterone levels have been linked to higher risk of cardiovascular problems. Again, it’s not clear if low testosterone levels actually cause heart problems, testosterone therapy can dramatically affect a man’s quality of life. Besides its sexual benefits, TRT can improve a man’s mood and energy level while reducing irritability and anger. Testosterone therapy can raise a man’s red blood cell count. This can lead to a thickening of the blood, which may make stroke and clotting more likely. Finally, there’s the question of prostate cancer risk. Research over the past few decades has shown little evidence of a link between testosterone replacement therapy and prostate cancer. However, the question has not been entirely laid to rest. In January, a federally funded study of 45,000 men suggested testosterone therapy could double the risk of heart attacks in men 65 and older. In addition to the boxed warning, Public Citizen wants the agency to delay an approval decision on an experimental, long-acting testosterone injection called Aveed. The agency is scheduled to make a decision on the Endo Pharmaceuticals drug by Feb. 28 2014. Public Citizen’s petition comes amid a marketing blitz for testosterone gels, patches and injections[READ MORE…]

  • Potential Risk In Using Baby Powder

    Nothing is more refreshing than a warm shower followed by a little sweet smelling powder. Whether you use a generic baby powder or a name brand perfumed brand, you probably have never considered that you could be putting yourself at risk for cancer. Powder in the United States used to contain asbestos; asbestos is a substance that is known to cause cancer, especially in the lungs, but talcum powder has not contained asbestos since the 1970s.  Many powders do contain talc, a natural derived mineral made up of magnesium, silicon and oxygen. Talc is used in many adult and baby powders as well as facial powders. Recently, scientists have begun investigating whether women who regularly apply powder to their genital area have an increased risk of ovarian cancer. In October of 2013, a federal jury found that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers of link between ovarian cancer & talc-based body powder for feminine hygiene products but also determined that the product was not defective without the warning and ruled that Johnson & Johnson was not liable for the plaintiff’s ovarian cancer and therefore awarded no damages. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics  has requested that Johnson & Johnson as well as other cosmetic companies such as Avon and Proctor & Gamble remove all carcinogens and other toxic chemicals from its baby and adult products. Investigations by state officials continue and while the product may not be removed it is hoped that these cases and consumer boycotts will force manufacturers including John & Johnson to place warning labels on their products. The American Cancer Society website has published results of some of the research being conducted on the possible link between talcum powder and cancer of the ovary. While studies seem to suggest that the overall increase in risk is small, because talc is used in a variety of products including sanitary and some birth control products, research continues to determine the overall lifetime risk. If you wish to avoid any possibility of increasing your risk you may wish to avoid or limit your exposure to talc based powder and opt instead for cornstarch-based cosmetic products instead.      


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