Electronic cigarette makers are getting bold with their advertising, using provocative new print ads and celebrity endorsements on TV. But public health advocates say these images are luring kids to hook them on nicotine.
Colorado opened its first pot stores in January, and adults in Washington state will be able to walk into a store and buy marijuana this summer. But this legalization of recreational marijuana is taking place without much information on the possible health effects.
The teenager's brain has a lot of developing to do: It must transform from the brain of a child into the brain of an adult. Some researchers worry how marijuana might affect that crucial process.
"Actually, in childhood our brain is larger," says Krista Lisdahl, director of the brain imaging and neuropsychology lab at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. "Then, during the teenage years, our brain is getting rid of those connections that weren't really used, and it prunes back.
About a year ago, pediatric otolaryngologist Blake Papsin went into a patient's room at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He was surprised by the roar of a sleep machine the parents had brought to help their child conk out amid the beeps and buzzes of the hospital.
Concerns about drug risks have led 28 state attorneys general to ask the Food and Drug Administration to reverse its approval of Zohydro, a long-acting narcotic painkiller, before the medicine is even put on the market.
You may have one in your household, perhaps you're one yourself. We're talking about picky eaters, people who just won't try new foods. For the past month cookbook author Sally Sampson has been investigating what's behind fussy eating habits and blogging about her findings on The New York Times website.
On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
The Affordable Care Act will change the way millions of Americans think about their jobs. That's essentially what the Congressional Budget Office has said in its assessment of the law's effect on the economy. They think the law will give some people the option to retire early and others the flexibility to work less.
As NPR's John Ydstie reports, this is already happening.
Kevin Counihan, the CEO of Access Health CT, is walking through the 15th floor of a downtown Hartford office building that houses Connecticut's health insurance marketplace. He passes the legal department, the IT folks and the consultants, then stops in front of three large, wall-mounted computer screens.
Strokes sounds like an old folks' problem, but they hit young people, too. And they don't all shake it off. One-third of people who had a stroke before age 50 are struggling with disability and loss of function nine years later.
Many of those people aren't able to live independently or need help with everyday tasks, such as managing their finances or personal care, a study of young stroke survivors finds. About 1 in 8 wasn't able to live independently.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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We've been hearing about the Food and Drug Administration's proposed makeover of the Nutrition Facts Panel, the box on food packages that tells us how much fat, sodium and other things are a product. Today, the first lady introduced the redesigned label at a White House event.
Born in a tiny pueblo south of Madrid, Esperanza Puente arrived in the Spanish capital fresh out of high school. It was the late 1980s, and Spain was reveling in newfound freedoms after its military dictator Francisco Franco died and democracy took hold.
"The end of the 1980s was a wild time in Madrid β alcohol, drugs, nightlife, sex without commitment. When I arrived from a small village, I ate it up, like it was the end of the world!" recalls Puente, now 43, smiling. "But I ended up pregnant, and my boyfriend suddenly didn't want anything to do with me."
The plastic additive has been vilified by environmental advocacy groups. But the chemical had no effect on rats fed thousands of times the amount a typical person ingests, government scientists are reporting in the journal Toxicological Sciences.
Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:57 am
Everybody's supposed to get screened for colon cancer starting at age 50, but many of us haven't gotten around to it. That's especially true in the Latino community, where about half of people are up to date on screening, compared to 66 percent of non-Latino whites.
A panel of government advisers has expressed serious concerns about a controversial proposal to allow scientists to try to make babies using eggs that have been genetically altered to include DNA from another woman.
Members of the Food and Drug Administration panel said they were worried that not enough research has been done to know whether the experiments would be safe.
To shop for health care, it would help to know what childbirth or a CT scan will cost ahead of time. But is it possible to actually list prices for medical procedures? And will patients armed with the information look for bargains when they seek care?
Massachusetts is trying to find out. Since Jan. 1, hospitals and doctors there have been required to tell patients how much things cost, if they ask. It's part of the state's health care cost control law. We set out to run a test.
Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:26 am
If Dr. Majella Doyle is your surgeon, it means that something very bad or very good has just happened to you.
Doyle is a liver transplant specialist. For years that meant she had her bag packed, ready to fly or drive to wherever an organ donor lay on life support. That could easily mean eight hours of travel. And that was just the start.
It's hard to imagine a more devastating diagnosis than ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's disease. For most people, it means their nervous system is going to deteriorate until their body is completely immobile. That also means they'll lose their ability to speak.
So Carl Moore of Kent, Wash., worked with a speech pathologist to record his own voice to use later β when he can no longer talk on his own.