FDA expands investigation of illegal e-cigarette marketing to kids

Michael Nedelman

The FDA recently sent letters to 21 e-cigarettes companies in an effort to discover if they are marketing products illegally and outside of the agency’s compliance policy. This investigation is a part of the FDA’s larger effort to combat the epidemic of e-cigarette use among youth. The FDA has said that teen nicotine use is dangerous to young people’s health and brain development.


Quitting Junk Food Causes Withdrawals Like Drug Addiction

Brian Mastroianni

A study published in a recent issue of Appetite is the first to look into the experience of withdrawal symptoms when people stop eating junk food. The authors’ 231 participants reported sadness, cravings, fatigue, and irritability when they stop eating junk foods. These are similar to the symptoms associated with cutting down on nicotine or cannabis.


Nearly 800 dietary supplements contained unapproved drug ingredients, study finds

Susan Scutti

Last Friday, researchers announced that nearly 800 dietary supplements contain unapproved drug ingredients, according to their study. The inclusion of prescription drugs at unknown concentrations means these supplements could cause adverse side effects due to accidental misuse or overuse. Many of the supplements in question contained sibutramine, which was removed from the market in 2010 due to associated cardiovascular risks. More than 50% of adults use dietary supplements.


Policy Levers That States Can Use to Improve Opioid Addiction Treatment And Address The Opioid Epidemic

Emma Sandoe, Carrie E. Fry, and Richard G. Frank

This article posted by Health Affairs explores new policy levers that state health departments can use to address the opioid epidemic in their state. These include Naloxone coverage, parity laws, medicaid expansion, and workforce licensing.


Cannabis in Canada: Who wins and who loses under new law

Jessica Murphy

Beginning on October 18th, Canada will allow the sale and consumption of recreational marijuana. This will open up a lucrative industry, as some analysts estimate that the market value of consumer marijuana will go up to $8.7 billion dollars in the next year. Already, one Canadian producer, Aurora Cannabis, has begun discussing the possibility of partnering with Coca-Cola to sell marijuana-infused beverages.


‘Typhus zone’: Rats and trash infest Los Angeles’ skid row, fueling disease

Dennis Romero and Andrew Blankstein

Homeless encampments are becoming nesting  grounds for rats in Los Angeles’ skid row and this could  be why Los  Angeles has seen its typhus cases rise  to 92 since the summer. With typhus infections causing  symptoms such  as high fever, chills, and even  meningitis or death in  rare  cases, mayor Eric Garcetti has created a  task force dedicated to cleaning up ‘typhus zone’ areas like skid  row. How  will  this  new  initiative affect the homeless population in  downtown  Los Angeles? Will this clean up process displace homeless people from skid row?

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