Archive for Food and Drug Administration

Welcome To The Explosive World Of Vaping

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eCigs

A week ago, three U.S. congresspersons,  Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) wrote in a letter to the Food and Drug Administration. They complained that e-Cigarette companies are taking advantage of a “loophole” in current regulations that allows them to escape the type of oversight given to the rest of the tobacco industry.

Really. The tobacco industry is getting nervous. That can't be all bad. Remember, these are the peddlers of cancer sticks they call tobacco cigarettes.

What this trio of representatives is really complaining about isn't regulation of the product based on contents, health, or dangers. It's competition. Commerce. They're doing their dirty deeds under the guise of trying to protect children from vaping -- using eCigs.

First, I don't want to see kids smoking. Certainly not cigarettes. Yet the health hazards equated to eCigs and related vaporizing devices, according to the Daily Consumer Alert are not all that drastic.

A few of the benefits claimed from using the electronic cigarette:

No tar, tobacco, carbon monoxide, or ash.
Get the same amount of nicotine as a regular cigarette.
Each cartridge costs less than $2 and is equivalent to an entire pack of cigarettes.
Average consumer can expect to save over $1,000 each year.
You won’t “smell” like a smoker any longer.
Different flavors are available.
No more second-hand smoke.

bloomberg reports on eCigsYet because there is no tobacco in these products, they don't fall under the strict guidelines the FDA has set up for tobacco products. One of those restrictions has to do with access to anyone under 18.

Will kids start taking up eCig usage and vape? You bet, just like with regular cigarettes. But is this healthier for them? Probably, but that's what research is for.

Then the question becomes, before a product is deemed needing regulation, do kids need extra protection, just in case? Hesitantly I say, maybe. But I'm not sure yet of the motives of the people trying to bring parity with the tobacco industry regulations. I've got questions as to who's bidding these congresspeople are doing. Are they interested in the children, or is this a lobbyist attempt to help out what could be a dying cigarette industry?

Maybe if they want to bust open their books and return any money they've received in contributions in the past or currently, I might be inclined to be less dubious of their putting some "sin" in sincerity.

If vaping grows as rapidly as it looks to be doing, there's cause for tobacco to worry. Cigarettes won't die out forever, but they may becomes yesterday's news.

A year ago I didn't know anyone who had tried an eCig. Today I know a few. And those are all people used to smoke cigarettes. They don't anymore. I've asked if they enjoy the experience and unanimously they say yes.

Formerly, the cigarette smoker's clothes and even their bodies reeked of old cigarettes. Their breath wasn't fresh, and when they'd  taken a hit or two in my presence, I got a headache from the smoke smell. Not now. With the eCig usage I noticed nothing more than a light waft of soft, fragrant aroma. It's less than passing by mid-summer, night-blooming jasmine.

So maybe these congresspeople should cool their jets. Do some research. If eCigs require more regulation, it'll come. But after research.

Until then, check out the newest advertising for eCigs. An adult campaign isn't going to get kids to want to give vaping a try. See for yourself.

Hmm. You know what I wrote up above -- Never mind.

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Oreo Cookies, The Next Cocaine

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oreocookies"Put your hands up and step away from the cookie jar," could be bellowing you hear through a police megaphone in the near future. Stop and frisk will include pat downs for guns, drugs and Oreo Cookies. Yup, if the results of these recent tests are any indication. It's just a matter of time. If you adore those cream-filled treats, stock up on them before they become banned.

I can't vouch for the science or the quality of the test cookies or the cocaine, but I will ask this-- why did they have to use rats for their subjects and not humans. I know a few people from my college past who would gladly have volunteered to take this test. They'd even have brought their own testing materials. And they could verbally answer questions this test generates. And if my freedom to pick my poison exists, I want to exercise it. I want my Oreos.

Someone felt that Oreo cookies was posing a threat -- enough so that a research test was run. Could it be that Oreos are presenting society with something new to worry about? I could see if sugar side-affects were being measured or whether the inside of an Oreo Cookie could last for thousands of years as the legend goes, but is it addictive? Could it be a danger? Yikes.

According to the NEW YORK POST:

Lab rats who ate “America’s favorite cookie” formed an equally strong association as they did when injected with cocaine or morphine, student researchers at Connecticut College claim.  Neuroscience Professor Joseph Schroeder, who led the study.

The research was the brainchild of neuroscience major Jamie Honohan, who wanted to see if the prevalence of high-fat and high-sugar food in low-income neighborhoods contributed to the US obesity epedemic.

“We chose Oreos not only because they are America’s favorite cookie, and highly palatable to rats, but also because products containing high amounts of fat and sugar are heavily marketed in communities with lower socioeconomic statuses,” she said.

I guess if we're going to run a link connection between pleasure (eating) and potential outcome (death) we might want to see if a product should be regulated or even outlawed. I mean who doesn't enjoy an Oreo once in while? And nobody seemingly wants to die. Obesity and diabetes are potential side-effects from devouring that great little cookie in vast amounts.

Dr. Schroeder, who will present the research next month at the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego, told reporters he hasn’t touched an Oreo since finishing the experiment.

A rep for Nabisco, which makes Oreos, could not immediately be reached.

The nexus has been made. Never before has anyone drawn the conclusion that they are addictive, as much so as cocaine or morphine. And now those results have been the published. I'm sure  more studies will be done, but it certainly does make you think, doesn't it? Doing a few Oreos or snorting a few lines of cocaine? Scientists, please... !!!

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VIDEO: Safety of alternative meds vs. conventional meds reminiscent of George Carlin's "Baseball vs. Football"

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george carlin baseball v football

Maybe it's because I've been feeling like a truck ran over me for the past week or so, or maybe it's because I was raised by a superb internist who regularly gave me insight into this very subject, but a Sunday L.A. Times op-ed stuck out like a sore thumb... a sore thumb that shouldn't be treated with unregulated meds.

It starts out with a comparison to one of my all time favorite George Carlin routines, "Baseball vs. Football" (a must-watch video if you've never seen it before) in which he says, "Football has hitting … and unnecessary roughness and personal fouls. Baseball has the sacrifice... in baseball, the object is to go home! And to be safe!"

These days, at least as it relates to the political priorities of all too many lawmakers, safety is vastly underrated:

Some might say the same can be said for conventional and alternative remedies. Conventional medicine has chemotherapy; alternative medicine has aromatherapy... Orthopedists operate; chiropractors adjust.

Then it gets to the heart (literally) of the matter. Please take a moment to read the entire piece, because too many people don't seem to be aware of many of the dangers associated with remedies that are not subject to government oversight. For example:

Unfortunately, because of the 1994 Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act, dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so companies are under little obligation to support their claims or admit their harms.

For example, blue cohosh can cause heart failure; nutmeg can cause hallucinations; comfrey, kava, chaparral and valerian can cause inflammation of the liver; monkshood and plantain can cause heart arrhythmia; wormwood can cause seizures; stevia leaves can decrease fertility; concentrated green tea extracts can damage the liver; milkweed seed oil and bitter orange can cause heart damage; thujone can cause neurological damage; and concentrated garlic can cause bleeding.

In 1992, one of the worst dietary supplement disasters in history occurred when about 100 people developed kidney failure from a "slimming" mixture that contained the plant Aristolochia. At least 70 people required kidney transplants or dialysis; many later developed bladder cancers.

Memo to GOP: Regulation exists for a reason, and that reason is to keep us safe in any number of ways. "Big government" isn't always a bad thing (forced trans-vaginal ultrasounds being one major exception), and the insistence by some conservatives that corporate profit should trump the health and welfare of Americans is as absurd as it is dangerous.

More from George Carlin (with whom I had a few awesome personal encounters):

Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life.
Football begins in the fall, when everything's dying. [...]

Baseball has no time limit: we don't know when it's gonna end - We might have extra innings.
Football is rigidly timed, and it will end even if we've got to go to sudden death.

In the world of medicine, it should be obvious to our elected officials that sudden death is something we should go out of our way to avoid, not encourage via willful negligence.

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