Today at 5:17 am Comments (0)
The telecast for the Primetime Emmy Awards this year has already come to a close, but comedian and host Sarah Silverman isn’t out of the spotlight just yet.
Everyone who tuned in to the pre-awards red carpet show saw the stand-up comedian being interviewed by E! host Giuliana Rancic about the contents of her purse. Silverman then proceeded to empty out her clutch to expose a marijuana vaporizer pen. “This is my pot. It’s liquid pot,” Silverman said to Rancic.
Since then, the topic burned up social networking sites to discuss the controversial marijuana device. Vape pens have been in existence for quite some time now, and have become the go-to tool for people who want to use marijuana without taking it through traditional procedures. Vaporizers have been used by people who have a prescription for medical marijuana, based on some reports that vape pens lessen the adverse effects of the other compounds in marijuana as compared to simply smoking it.
Silverman admits to have a legal prescription of medical marijuana, and she chose to administer the drug through a vaporizer pen. In fact, she’s not afraid of using her Twitter account to declare her use of medical marijuana.
Today at 12:21 am Comments (0)
A little over a week after news broke of the hazards of e-cigarettes on airplane flights, the World Health Organization (WHO) is now calling for banning indoor use of electronic cigarettes.
According to a news story by AP as published on HealthDay, the United Nations health arm recommends regulation of these vapor-based cigarettes, on the basis that vaping has not yet been confirmed to be safe when people are exposed to the fumes, much like secondhand smoke in regular tobacco cigarettes. In addition, WHO is also pushing for its member nations to stop the sale of these electronic variants to minors.
The WHO recommendations come a day after the American Heart Association (AHA) issued a similar warning to the public. According to AHA, e-cigarettes should also be imposed with the same restrictions as tobacco variants. “Recent studies raise concerns that e-cigarettes may be a gateway to traditional tobacco products for the nation’s youth, and could renormalize smoking in our society,” said AHA CEO Nancy Brown.
To this day, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to issue a statement regarding its stand on electronic cigarettes. While regulations and laws are still pending, the e-cigarette business continues to profit from the emerging market, which has already gained roughly $3 billion around world as reported by WHO.
August 27, 2014 at 9:44 pm Comment (1)
Is medical marijuana the key to addressing prescription drug abuse deaths? A study conducted by a professor from Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health seems to conclude so.
Dr. Colleen L. Barry, an associate professor in the university’s Department of Health Policy and Management, released a team study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine that links lower deaths due to prescription drug abuse in states that legalize medical marijuana. “As our awareness of the addiction and overdose risks associated with use of opioid painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin grows, individuals with chronic pain and their medical providers may be opting to treat pain entirely or in part with medical marijuana, in states where this is legal,” Barry said in a news item.
The study revealed that states where medical pot has been legalized posted 25 percent lower mortality due to prescription medication overdose. The research used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) between the years 1999 and 2010, which showed that the rate of fatalities arising from opioid painkiller abuse shot up within that particular time frame.
Study lead author Dr. Marcus Bachhuber from the University of Pennsylvania shared the details of the research results. “In absolute terms, states with a medical marijuana law had about 1,700 fewer opioid painkiller overdose deaths in 2010 than would be expected based on trends before the laws were passed.”
Meanwhile, the study proponents urged for more studies related to this topic, noting that there is a need to determine the long-term effects of medical marijuana in “both overdose deaths and the health trajectories of individuals suffering from chronic pain.”
August 27, 2014 at 10:22 am Comments (0)
Ahead of International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31st, the federal government tightened restrictions on the prescribing of hydrocodone, the most common form of painkiller in the country.
Hydrocodone, is the most widely prescribed painkiller in the United States and is an ingredient in drugs like Vicodin.
The rule places hydrocodone in a tougher, more restrictive category. Doctors will no longer be able to call in prescriptions by telephone, and patients will not be allowed to get refills on the same prescription, but will have to return to a health care professional to get a new prescription. The drug will have to be kept in special vaults in pharmacies.
The Drug Enforcement Administration published the rule on Thursday and it will take effect in 45 days.
“This is substantial,” said Dr. Nathaniel Katz, assistant professor of anesthesia at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. “It’s a sign of a shift toward more cautious opioid prescribing. This will be an inconvenience to some, but policy is a machete, not a scalpel, and you have to figure out where to use it. I think people will be more helped than harmed.”
Abuse of painkillers now claims the lives of more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined, according to federal data, and the number of Americans who die from prescription drug overdoses has more than tripled since the late 1990s.
August 26, 2014 at 1:46 pm Comments (0)
New research has found that couples who frequently use marijuana are at a lower risk of intimate partner violence (IPV).
“More frequent marijuana use generally predicted less frequent IPV for both men and women over the first 9 years of marriage,” researchers from Yale University, University of Buffalo and Rutgers wrote in their study. Not only that, couples who both used marijuana frequently — compared to one spouse using it more than the other — had the lowest risk for partner violence.
Researchers hypothesize that the positive side effects of using marijuana may reduce conflict and aggression by blunting emotional reactions, which could in turn decrease violent or aggressive behavior between spouses.
The researchers conducted the study by recruiting 634 couples from 1996 to 1999 while they were applying for a marriage license in New York State.
After an initial interview, the researchers followed the couples over the course of nine years using mail-in surveys to measure the effects of marijuana use on intimate partner violence (IPV), defined as acts of physical aggression, such as slapping, hitting, beating and choking, and it was measured by asking couples to report violence committed by them or toward them in the last year. The couples were also asked about their marijuana intake.
August 26, 2014 at 1:20 pm Comments (0)
Do you have a teenager who likes to sleep in? Well, here’s some good news for him or her: the American Academy of Pediatrics says school start times for teenagers should be pushed back so they don’t interfere with teens’ biological sleep rhythms.”
The physicians group has recommended that middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m.
High school days can start as early as 7 a.m. in some places and, according to the group, only 15% of American middle and high schools start after 8:30 a.m.
The problem, doctors say, is that teenagers are biologically programmed to feel sleepy later at night and thus, they have trouble going to bed early and then getting up early for school.
Other factors that contribute to sleepy teens include sports and activities and late-night technology use, the pediatricians say, but “a too-early start to the school day,” is a “critical contributor” to the problem.
A recent study from the University of Minnesota has concluded there were “clear benefits” for students when high schools started at 8:30 a.m. or later:
- They got more sleep,
- They ingested less caffeine.
- They had better attendance, grades and test scores.
- They were involved in fewer car crashes.
By advocating for later start times, the pediatric group says it hopes to share the scientific information on teens and sleep — and provide ammunition for those communities that might be rethinking school start times.
August 26, 2014 at 8:00 am Comments (0)
August 26 is National Dog Day, so give your canine cuddler a big hug.
We all want our pooch pals to be as healthy as they can and when it comes to doggie health, one of the best ways you can ensure your dog stays in top notch shape is to test them periodically. Many people don’t even know you can test your beloved pet for common ailments, but TestCountry carries a full line of pet testing kits for both dogs and cats. These tests become increasingly important as your pets age and become (like us) more susceptible to illness.
These tests can be done easily in your own home and cost much less than if you were to take your pet to a veterinarian to have the same tests done.
August 25, 2014 at 1:01 am Comments (0)
Diabetes patients and those who regularly check their blood sugar levels may look forward to the day when they won’t experience daily needle pricking anymore.
Photo credit: Frank Wojciechowski for the Office of Engineering Communications, Princeton University
A new procedure is being developed by a team of researchers from New Jersey’s Princeton University to use laser technology as a non-invasive way of extracting blood samples. The new device, which was recently presented in the journal Biomedical Optics Express, involves a laser beam pointed at a patient’s palm to measure the blood sugar level. The light beam will be absorbed by the sugar molecules in the skin’s dermal interstitial fluid, which is said to be a good indicator of blood sugar.
Sabbir Liakat, one of the study’s authors, said that the accuracy of its latest prototype is at 84 percent. This satisfies the industry standard for home glucose monitors to register at least 80 percent accuracy. Meanwhile, university professor Claire Gmachl emphasized the positive impact of the new technology on diabetes testing. “With this work we hope to improve the lives of many diabetes sufferers who depend on frequent blood glucose monitoring,” Gmachl said in a news item.
The existing prototype still needs work, as its current iteration is too bulky. The ultimate aim is to create a mobile version of their device in order to collect more data through clinic visits.
August 25, 2014 at 12:53 am Comments (0)
Amidst an early hypothesis that reducing the nicotine level in cigarettes could lead smokers to puff more sticks, a new study claims that it does not.
According to a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, people who smoke reduced-nicotine cigarettes did not increase the number of sticks that they consume. Research co-author David Hammond said that the participants of the study did not change their smoking habits as a result of the lower nicotine amount. “Our study suggests that smokers are unable or unwilling to compensate when there is markedly less nicotine in the cigarette and when the experience of smoking is far less rewarding,” Hammond said in a news release.
More than 70 people took part in the study, which required participants to be between the ages of 18 and 65, smoke not less that 5 cigarettes daily, and who don’t intend to stop smoking anytime soon. While regular cigarettes produce a nicotine emission level of 1.2 milligrams using nicotine and tobacco testing kits, the reduced-nicotine cigarettes contained as low as 0.05 mg.
The study proponents believe that the study could help the government establish tobacco policies and improve existing smoking ordinances to reduce the nicotine intake of smokers. “Our study may help regulators anticipate the possible consequences of mandatory nicotine reductions in cigarettes,” Hammond added.
August 19, 2014 at 6:55 pm Comments (0)
The debate on the effects of electronic cigarettes to human health may still be ongoing, but a recent airline incident may lead to the controversial item being labelled a “flight hazard”.
According to a New York Times report, a bag that heated up inside an Embraer 190 passenger plane at the Logan International Airport in Boston was traced to an e-cigarette inside the bag. Because of this, officials of the airport are now calling on the Transportation Department to include the e-cigarette as a hazard in flights.
Massachusetts Port Authority aviation chief Ed Freni expressed his sentiments on the hazards that the lithium-ion battery-powered cigarettes carry on flight. “The more you see these type of items sold out there, the more our industry has to take a closer look at them, as we’ve done with other hazardous materials,” Freni said.
Although reports are unclear whether the bag caught on fire, passengers were evacuated out of the plane. All checked-in bags were inspected, and the hot bag was sprayed with a fire extinguisher.
Many previous studies have looked into the dangers of e-cigarettes, with some saying that continued use of the electronic variants does not discourage people from kicking the habit. This new incident lists another risk factor for e-cigarettes: lithium-ion batteries.
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