PMI angry that leading scientist not allowed to speak at vapor forum

February 20, 2020

Philip Morris International (PMI) has taken Vital Strategies to task after the special interest group prevented Moira Gilchrist, one of PMI’s leading scientists, from participating in a forum about e-cigarettes.

“The world is home to more than 1 billion people who smoke today,” PMI wrote in a statement. “Can we at least talk about their right to better alternatives than continuing to smoke?”

The company says there is growing recognition among governments, scientists and public health experts that scientifically substantiated smoke-free alternatives—in combination with existing measures to prevent initiation and encourage cessation—can play an important role in addressing the global public health issue of smoking.

“What’s wrong with having an open, informed debate, with all sides involved?” PMI wrote. “We believe it’s OK to disagree, but we adamantly refuse to accept an honest debate is not possible—or necessary.”

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Study uses MRI to probe non-invasively inside a living brain

Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 18 2020

The wiring network of the brain is made up of billions of nerve fibers called axons. The thickness of axons - together with other properties - significantly impacts the way in which they conduct neural signals, and therefore the overall processing speed of connected neurons and brain areas. In addition, many neurodegenerative conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease, as well as conditions such as cancer, brain injury, and stroke, are known to exhibit axonal damage.

It is clear that axons are crucially important for the functioning of the brain, but they are also rather mysterious. They are so thin (mere micrometers in diameter) that probing them non-invasively inside a living brain has been, until now, impossible.

A new collaborative study by researchers working at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in the USA, Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Portugal and the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) in the UK, established a way to measure these microscopic wires using MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). Their results were published in the scientific journal eLife.

What was the breakthrough that led the team to overcome this long-standing challenge? Jelle Veraart, the first author of the study, explains that the key was to find a way to tease apart two types of signals: those originating from inside of the axons, and those arising from the surrounding tissue.

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Walk MS: Clarksville 2020 to be held April 18th - Clarksville Online

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February 15, 2020 |

 

Clarksville, TN – On Saturday, April 18th, 2020, Citizens are invited to join friends and neighbors for Walk MS: Clarksville 2020 in Liberty Park.

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Researchers Have Detected Widespread Inflammation in the Brains of Veterans with Gulf War Illness - Technology Networks

In a new discovery, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have detected widespread inflammation in the brains of veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Illness (GWI). These findings, published online in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity on February 3, could serve as a guidepost for identifying and developing new therapies for people with GWI, as well as many other chronic conditions that have recently been linked to inflamed brain tissue, or neuroinflammation.

About 30 percent of soldiers who fought in the 1991 Gulf War suffer from GWI. Veterans with GWI display a range of symptoms, including fatigue, chronic pain and cognitive problems such as memory loss. The cause of GWI is unknown, but several potential culprits are suspected. They include exposure to nerve gas, as well as medicine given to protect against this neurotoxin; exposure to pesticides; and the stress of extreme temperature changes, sleep deprivation and physical exertion during deployment

Many of the symptoms of GWI overlap with those of another condition, fibromyalgia, notes the senior author of the study, Marco Loggia, PhD, whose laboratory at MGH’s Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging focuses on understanding the brain mechanisms of pain and neuroinflammation in humans. Last year, Loggia and his colleagues showed in another study that fibromyalgia patients have extensive neuroinflammation. “So, we asked, Do veterans who have Gulf War Illness demonstrate evidence of neuroinflammation, too?”

To find out, Loggia and his team collaborated with the Gulf War Illness Consortium at Boston University, which helped them to recruit Gulf War veterans. The study included 23 veterans, of whom 15 had GWI, as well as 25 healthy civilian subjects. All study participants’ brains were scanned using positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging, which measured levels of a molecule called translocator protein that rises in the presence of neuroinflammation. The scans detected little evidence of neuroinflammation in the healthy controls and veterans who were free of GWI. By contrast, the study found extensive inflammation in the brains of veterans with GWI, “particularly in the cortical regions, which are involved in ‘higher-order’ functions, such as memory, concentration and reasoning,” says Zeynab Alshelh, PhD, one of two research fellows in Loggia’s lab who co-led the study. “The neuroinflammation looked very similar to the widespread cortical inflammation we detected in fibromyalgia patients,” says Alshelh.

What might cause neuroinflammation? The central nervous system has legions of immune cells that protect the brain by detecting bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful agents, then producing inflammatory molecules to destroy the invaders, explains Loggia. However, while this response can be beneficial in the short term, it may become exaggerated, says Loggia, “and when that happens, inflammation becomes pathological—it becomes the problem.”

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MS: Dietary interventions may 'calm down the immune system' - Medical News Today

A study in mice has shown that a change in diet may slow diseases that involve the activation of the immune system, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Could the findings lead to improved treatments in humans?

Share on PinterestMeat and eggs typically contain the highest amounts of methionine.

In the United States, nearly 1 million people over the age of 18 are living with a diagnosis of MS, according to estimates.

MS is the most common of the inflammatory disorders with an autoimmune component, which refers to the immune system attacking and damaging healthy tissue.

In MS, the immune system attacks the myelin sheaths that protect the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, disrupting nerves’ messages to and from the brain.

The result can involve muscle weakness, numbness, trouble with balance and coordination, and cognitive decline, all of which get worse over time.

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Senior Planner - Chico Enterprise-Record

Senior Planner

CARD Senior Programs (call regarding cost and dates):

Lakeside Pavilion: 2565 California Park Drive, Chico, 895-4015.

CARD Community Center: 545 Vallombrosa Ave., Chico, 895-4711.

Pleasant Valley Recreation Center (PV): 2320 North Ave., Chico, 895-4719.

Chico Sports Club: 260-C Cohasset Road, Chico. 345-9427.

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Healing and purpose: Bike tour hosts remarkable individuals - San Benito News

By FREDDY JIMENEZ
Special to the NEWS

Early Birds
Cyclists are seen early in the morning before the start of the Chamber of Commerce’s 4th Annual Resaca City Bike Tour. (Photo by Chamber of Commerce)

For some, it’s about the thrill; for others, it’s about surpassing a goal. But for La Feria’s Jaime Jesus Flores, participating in San Benito’s 4th Resaca City Bike Tour this past Saturday, this was about purpose and gratitude. “I ride for those who can’t,” said Flores, minutes after getting off his bike at the event organized by the San Benito Chamber of Commerce.

The bike tour, for the fourth year now, brought in folks from around the region, state, and nation. According to Chamber of Commerce executive director Megan Treviño, the event proved successful. “We had a total of 198 riders this year, the most we have had participate so far,” she said.

The tour consisted of three routes: 20 miles, 40 miles, and 60 miles, with the first going from San Benito through Rio Hondo and back down through Sam Houston Blvd., while the second through the Resaca City, Rio Hondo, and close to the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, as well as crossing through the Rio Hondo Bridge.

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Events Calendar | Carson City Nevada News - Carson Now

Carson Mall, 1223 South Carson Street, in Carson City will host a series of Valentine events, Feb. 12-16, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The mall will feature vendors, free Valentine Photos by Magical Moments, and chocolate dipped strawberries.

From Feb. 12 through Feb. 14, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., visit inside the mall and make a Valentine for a loved one. Then, make another Valentine for a Senior that will be delivered to local retirement homes.

On Feb. 15 Carson Mall will host Family Bingo Night. Proceeds will benefit Carson High School’s Safe and Sober Grad Night.

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In Sickness and in Health: Love Story - KIIITV.com

BEEVILLE, Texas — Valentine's Day is the day we celebrate love, and for one Beeville couple, it was truly tested in sickness and in health.

"I started singing to her, and she looked at me, and she was smiling, and then it wasn't until I got down on one knee. You know she broke down. She broke down crying because she had no clue," Raul Perez said.

It didn't start that way for Michelle and Raul Perez.

"He realized I was new and introduced himself cause he's just lovely and kind and "Oh, hey, you're new here. I'm Raul, and I work in X-ray," Michelle said. 

The two from Beeville met at the hospital they worked at.

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Collector of military uniforms keeps memory of veterans alive ...north county events - The San Diego Union-Tribune

CARLSBAD

Free guitar concert Thursday

The Carlsbad Senior Center is hosting a free concert 12:30 to 2 p.m. Thursdayat 799 Pine Ave. Singer and acoustic guitar performer, Tony Cortina, will play fan favorites. Admission is free. Call (760) 602-4650.

Free tax help at senior center

AARP Tax-Aide’s free volunteer-run Tax Preparation Service, will assist in preparing federal and state tax returns for low to moderate income taxpayers, especially those 60 or older 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Carlsbad Senior Center, 799 Pine Ave until April 14th. For appointments, call (760) 602-4650.

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Woman suffering from MS says she hasn't heard from contractor for over a month as home remodel remains unfinished - KMOV.com

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Cheryl Whalen says her home has turned into a maze after a contractor ripped things apart and disappeared.

“It’s been very stressful,” Whalen said.

She said her contractor, James Randel with Randel Home Repairs, disappeared after she paid for a remodel. She said she hasn't seen or heard from him in a month. 

“I just know that every instance when he said he was going to show up to start working on what needed to be completed he has not,” she said.  

Whalen battles Multiple Sclerosis and said she started prepping her family home to be sold after her father died in 2018.

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Wing man survives fall - The Andalusia Star-News - Andalusia Star-News

On January 21, Wing local Jason Barrow’s life changed forever after falling 10 feet out of a hunting stand, landing on his crossbow and breaking his back in two places.

“We had just gotten home and he told me that he was going to get his crossbow and go to the back of the property,” Barrow’s wife Nan said. “He got into his tripod stand and when he said he was getting out of the tripod stand, he said he looked back to see where he was going, grabbed the safety rail and it broke loose. He then grabbed the safety rail on the other side and it also broke loose and he landed on his crossbow.”

After their house catching on fire in November, Barrow said they were staying in an R.V. on their property.

“He texted me right away,” N. Barrow said. “He didn’t lose consciousness. I was out to him in about three minutes. I found him and he had already called 911.”

The ambulance took 22 minutes to reach their land in Wing from Crestview, but they could not bring the ambulance exactly to where Barrow was.

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See the latest open-label extension data for Ocrevus


Examine 2 years of controlled and 3+ years of open-label extension efficacy and safety data.











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Brain inflammation in veterans with Gulf War illness

In a new discovery, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have detected widespread inflammation in the brains of veterans diagnosed with Gulf War Illness (GWI). These findings, published online in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity on February 3, could serve as a guidepost for identifying and developing new therapies for people with GWI, as well as many other chronic conditions that have recently been linked to inflamed brain tissue, or neuroinflammation.

About 30 percent of soldiers who fought in the 1991 Gulf War suffer from GWI. Veterans with GWI display a range of symptoms, including fatigue, chronic pain and cognitive problems such as memory loss. The cause of GWI is unknown, but several potential culprits are suspected. They include exposure to nerve gas, as well as medicine given to protect against this neurotoxin; exposure to pesticides; and the stress of extreme temperature changes, sleep deprivation and physical exertion during deployment

Many of the symptoms of GWI overlap with those of another condition, fibromyalgia, notes the senior author of the study, Marco Loggia, PhD, whose laboratory at MGH's Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging focuses on understanding the brain mechanisms of pain and neuroinflammation in humans. Last year, Loggia and his colleagues showed in another study that fibromyalgia patients have extensive neuroinflammation. "So, we asked, Do veterans who have Gulf War Illness demonstrate evidence of neuroinflammation, too?"

To find out, Loggia and his team collaborated with the Gulf War Illness Consortium at Boston University, which helped them to recruit Gulf War veterans. The study included 23 veterans, of whom 15 had GWI, as well as 25 healthy civilian subjects. All study participants' brains were scanned using positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging, which measured levels of a molecule called translocator protein that rises in the presence of neuroinflammation. The scans detected little evidence of neuroinflammation in the healthy controls and veterans who were free of GWI. By contrast, the study found extensive inflammation in the brains of veterans with GWI, "particularly in the cortical regions, which are involved in 'higher-order' functions, such as memory, concentration and reasoning," says Zeynab Alshelh, PhD, one of two research fellows in Loggia's lab who co-led the study. "The neuroinflammation looked very similar to the widespread cortical inflammation we detected in fibromyalgia patients," says Alshelh.

What might cause neuroinflammation? The central nervous system has legions of immune cells that protect the brain by detecting bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful agents, then producing inflammatory molecules to destroy the invaders, explains Loggia. However, while this response can be beneficial in the short term, it may become exaggerated, says Loggia, "and when that happens, inflammation becomes pathological -- it becomes the problem."

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3 most common vision problems in MS and how to cope

Vision problems are often the first symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis for many people and one of the most common invisible symptoms. Fortunately, many vision problems associated with Multiple Sclerosis are temporary and the prognosis for recovery is good.
However temporary vision problems may be, they are still inconvenient, uncomfortable and downright annoying. Below are some common vision problems for people with Multiple Sclerosis and suggestions for how to cope with them.
Photo courtesy of iStock
Optic neuritis
One of the most common visual problems associated with MS is optic neuritis — inflammation of the optic (vision) nerve. During a flare up, a blurred or dim spot (scotoma) may occur in the center of your visual field, leaving your peripheral vision unaffected. You may experience aching pain with eye movement, blurred vision, dim vision, loss of vision, or dimming or loss of color vision. Optic neuritis usually occurs in only one eye however it is possible for you to experience it in the other eye at some time in the future.
While the effects of optic neuritis are frightening and uncomfortable, in most cases your vision will return once inflammation subsides. Residual symptoms are possible and include dimming or blurring of vision when you are fatigued, stressed or overheated.
How to cope: In most cases, optic neuritis will resolve on its own, but in persistent cases, you may consider talking with your doctor about high doses of glucocorticoids, such as intravenous methylprednisolone or prednisone pills to help accelerate recovery. If you are prone to flare ups, consider taking regular breaks throughout the day to rest your eyes and avoid unnecessary strain.
Photo courtesy of iStock
Diplopia
Diplopia, or double vision, occurs when the nerves that control eye movement are inflamed or damaged. Normally, the muscles work in a coordinated way sending one image of what you’re seeing to your brain, but when diplopia occurs, muscles on one side may be weak from nerve damage making your eye movements no longer coordinated. When this happens you to see two side by side images or one image on top of another.
How to cope: Diplopia can be temporary or persistent and may resolve without treatment. When diplopia is a new symptom, it may be part of a relapse of MS and a brief course of corticosteroids may be helpful. You may also consider patching one eye while driving, reading or completing other short tasks. Special eyeglass lenses known as prism lenses may also be helpful for persistent diplopia as they help align the two images into one.
Photo courtesy of iStock
Nystagmus
Nystagmus, or “dancing eyes,” is an involuntary and uncontrolled movement of the eyes that can impair vision. Movement is usually rapid and can be up and down, side to side or rotating. Nystagmus may occur when you look straight ahead or when you move your eyes up and down or side to side. It can make you feel like the world is moving and cause you to feel dizzy or nauseous.
How to cope: Nystagmus may come and go or may be persistent. At times when your eyes are “dancing”, try tilting your head at an angle as it may help to lessen eye movement. Using magnifying glasses, adequate lighting, large-print reading materials, tinted glasses or a hat can reduce glare and improve vision. Treatment for nystagmus is limited and may include off-label use of medications such as gabapentin.
To learn more about vision problems in MS, visit the Society’s resource page on Vision Problems.
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The women of WeAreILLmatic portray a powerful MS community

by Brandie Jefferson

 
Victoria Reese has created a community where women living with MS can learn about the disease, ask questions, give advice and meet people who face similar challenges. Photo by Joseph Gray
Victoria Reese gets things done.
When she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at 25, a few months after moving to Los Angeles, she returned home to Detroit for a week, “to deal,” she says, then headed back to California.
When working for someone else didn’t allow her to flex her creative and entrepreneurial muscles, she went into business for herself, starting her own brand management company, Victor Group LA.
“If I can’t flex my muscles,” she says, “you’re not going to see me shine.”
And when she didn’t see many people who looked like her in campaigns and organizations that support people with MS, she started her own, launching WeAreILLmatic with the blessing of the music superstar from whose album the campaign’s name is derived—legendary rapper Nas.

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WeAreILLmatic has morphed into a community where young black women living with MS can learn about the disease, ask questions, give advice and meet people who face similar challenges.
“If I know about a problem,” Reese says, “maybe I can help solve it.”
A lack of research
In 2012, Reese had a problem of her own. She visited her primary care physician after experiencing numbness in her legs. “The doctor said, ‘It’s your job. You’re stressed.’” Then came the migraines and facial paralysis. Maybe it was depression, her doctor said. Reese was prescribed antidepressants. The diagnosis, however, just didn’t seem right.
She was referred to a neurologist, and later that same year Reese was diagnosed with MS.
“I started to do my own research and didn’t see many [scholarly] articles about black people with MS and the ones I found were outdated,” she says. Brochures insisted that MS was a disease found most often in young women of northern European descent, and imagery often reflected that. “I thought, ‘Am I that rare?’ I didn’t see anything specifically geared toward me.”      
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People with MS should avoid dairy in their diet

By: Lucy Noble - 

Replacing Dairy Products in your Diet

There are so many dairy-free options available that avoiding dairy doesn't need to mean that you miss out on the food you love.

OMS strongly advises that people with MS avoid dairy in their diet because research shows a high correlation between MS and dairy products, specifically because of particular proteins in cow’s milk. Here you can read an easy list of foods to enjoy and avoid on the OMS recovery program
There are plenty of dairy alternatives to enjoy, and the options keep on growing. 

Dairy-free Milk Options

While soy products offer the highest protein and are better for baking, some people think almond or rice milk taste better on cereal.Check the ingredients as some alternative milks contain oils which are restricted on the OMS Program. 

Here's some pros and cons of some of the dairy-free milk options. 

Almond Milk

✔ Nutty flavour, which can taste nice in cereal or hot chocolate but doesn't work for every recipe.
✔ You can buy sweetened or unsweetened almond milk
✔ Good in coffee and hot drinks.
✔ Low in fat and calories.
X Often more expensive than other milks - watch out as cheaper versions bulk out with thickeners and have low almond content. 
X Can also split when heated. 

Oat Milk

✔ A versatile option.
✔ Sweet.
✔ Lowers cholesterol.
✔ Heats well and doesn't curdle.
✔ Good for smoothies, soups and cereal. 
✔ Good in a cup of tea as it doesn't have a strong flavour and doesn't curdle. 
X Lower in protein 

Rice Milk

✔ Thinner and more watery.
✔ Good in desserts if you want a thickening agent. 
✔ Nice refreshing drink on its own. 
 Higher in sugar 
 Low levels on arsenic - the Food Standards Agency advises against children under four-and-a-half having it at all


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Soy Milk

✔ Widely available option.
✔ Can get sweetened or unsweetened
✔ Best for baking due to higher protein content.
✔ Found to be the more nutritious plant milk. 
X Can be a common allergen. 
X Watch out for added oils in some brands. 
X Can split in hot drinks 
Click here to read about Hemp, Cashew and Hazelnut milks, plus more of this article


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An important clue on the role of diet in MS?

An important clue on the role of diet in MS?
New research from a team of researchers from McGill University, Canada, have made a link between reducing the amount of methionine (an amino acid found in animal products) in a person's diet and development and progression of MS and other disorders.

The very fact that you are reading this likely means that you have heard about and/or are interested in the role of lifestyle interventions as a way of managing MS
Dating back to the pioneering research of Prof. Roy Swank in the 1940’s on the role of fats in MS progression, corroborated by more recent large-scale studies from around the globe, not to mention Prof. Jelinek’s vital work at the NEU, we know that diet and lifestyle play an enormous part in the prevention and the progression of this condition.
Further papers, published in the past two years have begun to unpick the key mechanisms behind diet qualityfasting, obesity and blood lipid levels and their effects on MS relapse rates and disability progression. 
But yet, there is still much work to be done. There is conflicting evidence on which, if any, dietary strategy works best to prevent and treat MS, and doctors generally remain extremely skeptical of lifestyle-based interventions. One of the issues is that the fundamental mechanisms underpinning this disease still evade us, and it can sometimes feel (from the outside at least) like scientists are feeling around for that elusive key in the dark.

Perhaps though, they have now found one? 

A team of researchers from McGill University, Canada, have just published a paper demonstrating a potential pathway for the essential amino acid (meaning it cannot be made by the body, but rather must be consumed in our diet) methionine in the management of MS

Methionine is a key building block of many proteins in the body and is known have a significant role in regulation of the immune system (an important clue!). T-cells (a type of white blood cell known to be involved in the immune attack of myelin in MS) require high levels of the amino acid to activate and to change into the types of cell that then seek out and attack a target.  The theory then would be that reducing consumption will reduce the levels of methionine in the blood available for T-cells, which in turn would reduce the inflammatory response. 

“Ok, makes sense,” I hear you say, "but will it actually work?" 


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Health Canada investing ad for violation of Tobacco and Vaping Products Act

February 10, 2020

Health Canada and its Quebec counterpart are investigating a vaping ad by Imperial Tobacco to see if it violates advertising laws, reports CBC.

The ad warns of “an epidemic of disinformation” and “hypocrisy” surrounding vaping.

The Tobacco and Vaping Products Act states that it is illegal to “promote a vaping product, including by means of the packaging, by comparing the health effects arising from the use of the product or from its emissions with those arising from the use of a tobacco product or from its emissions.”

Imperial’s “Facts not Fear” website appears to violate that section of the law on the home page and at least seven times on the three pages accessible from the main site, according to Health Canada.

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Survey: Teenage vaping epidemic concern could be ‘overblown’

February 9, 2020

“How Juul hooked a generation on nicotine” was a New York Times headline from 2018 on the new addiction apparently sweeping the youth of the US. It wasn’t the only media outlet to cover the rise in e-cigarettes, as a US government survey from that year showed that vaping among teenagers was on the rise, according to an article on newscientist.com.

But the full figures from this survey have now been newly analysed and they suggest that the original coverage didn’t give the whole picture – in some ways, the results could even be seen as good news for teenagers’ health.

E-cigarettes are meant to be a safer way for people to inhale nicotine without taking in the multiple harmful substances produced by smoking tobacco, like tar and carbon monoxide, the story states.

There have always been worries that, as well as helping smokers quit, they might lure in non-smokers. But in the past few years, concerns have spiralled in the US over small vaping devices branded Juul that deliver a high hit of nicotine, with a choice of flavours.

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