Harm Reduction

A new study suggests that smokers who take up vaping may "relapse" to cigarettes. But this is more a problem of definitions than evidence that e-cigarettes don't promote smoking cessation.
As I have been arguing of late, the gist, the information, and the emotional components all play a role. A new study looks at the helpfulness of consumer reviews in guiding choice. The emotion they chose to consider – anger – is, unfortunately, around us 24/7/365.
Those are the words of Pliny the Elder (except for the COVID part). Coincidentally, he died while trying to save friends during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. As it turns out, today's home is also where COVID-19 comes to visit, brought in by household members.
The title here refers to a saying among surgeons. It applies not only to our reputation, how others view us but to how we view ourselves, at least for a little while. A new study suggests that the sentiment behind the saying also influences our subsequent few medical decisions.
We visit the dentist almost as much as we see physicians. But insurance coverage for dental care for many of us is non-existent. Congress is quietly, to this point, thinking of changing that situation.
The process of respiration – converting oxygen to carbon dioxide and energy – is what life is all about. This metabolic process, which humans and animals must do to live, changes the environment when we inhale air and release our breath back into the world. How does COVID-19 fit into this?
Many tobacco control advocates have attacked vaping by emphasizing the risk it poses to teenagers. While children should never use any nicotine product, there's a strong case to be made that the campaign against teen vaping has distracted us from tackling a critical public health threat: adult smoking.
Beauty and personal care products are a vast industry, for both women and men. In 2019, the personal care products industry generated sales of $49.2 billion in the U.S., and $380 billion globally. Women spend an average of $35/month, while men spend an average of $29/mo. Some believe these products pose significant risks to our health. Is this another case of a big fear and little risk?
The constant barrage of news, cloaked in attention-getting words and images, is playing havoc with instinctual behavior that is millions of years old. There is, for me, a direct connection between fight or flee, chronic stress, and how we have chosen to use the medium of digital communication. Digital media is an out-of-control fear machine.
Here's the news, straight from the headlines: “70% of fully vaccinated prisoners caught COVID-19 in a Texas Delta outbreak, the CDC says — but vaccines protected against severe disease.” This is not misleading; just incomplete. It was a choice to report the easy narrative, rather than digging deeper. Here's what information was overlooked.
The messaging on vaccination, now entering its booster phase, has been mismanaged. That said, was the decision by the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee “based” on science? Is it reasonable policy?
Madness is everywhere. This week in New York, a waitress was set upon by a group of Texas tourists for asking for proof of vaccination before they entered a popular tourist restaurant. Beaten. Beaten over a law that is no different in its legal base as requiring verification of age before being served liquor. The Internet is driving us mad. Not just mad in the sense of anger, but mad in the sense of unbalanced.