City of Hopewell sues drug companies over opioid epidemic

HOPEWELL, Va. — The City of Hopewell has filed a lawsuit against a number of drug manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies connected to the opioid epidemic. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, June 11, alleges that the companies participated in “false, deceptive and unfair” marketing of prescription opioids and contributed to the opioid crisis by failing to stop suspicious orders of opioids. Virginia-based law firm Marks & Harrison is representing Hopewell in partnership with Weitz & Luxenberg in New York City. The law firm tells CBS 6 that the Hopewell lawsuit is part…

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Starting July 1, most Virginia teens won’t be allowed to buy tobacco and nicotine vapor

RICHMOND, Va. — A new law that raising the minimum age to buy tobacco, nicotine vapor, and alternative nicotine products in Virginia from 18 to 21 years old will go into effect July 1. The law however does not apply to all Virginia smokers and vapers. The new law allows active duty military aged 18 or older, with a valid military ID, to purchase nicotine products. The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority is reminding stores to replace signs reflecting the outgoing 18 and up law. “It’s important for nicotine product…

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Maine effectively legalizes assisted suicide

Some terminally ill patients in Maine will have the legal option to pursue medically assisted suicide after Democratic Gov. Janet Mills approved a bill on Wednesday permitting it. Once the new law takes effect, Maine will join seven other states and the District of Columbia in allowing medical aid in dying. The legislation says mentally competent patients over age 18 with terminal diseases that, “within reasonable medical judgment, produce death within 6 months” can request life-ending medication. It requires those patients to make two verbal and one written request for…

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You could be swallowing a credit card’s weight in plastic every week

Globally, we are ingesting an average of 5 grams of plastic every week, the equivalent of a credit card, a new study suggests. This plastic contamination comes from “microplastics” — particles smaller than five millimeters — which are making their way into our food, drinking water and even the air. Around the world, people ingest an average of around 2,000 microplastic particles a week, according to the study by the University of Newcastle, in Australia. These tiny particles can originate from a variety of sources, including artificial clothes fibers, microbeads…

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Changing your meat-eating habits could mean a longer life, study suggests

Mounting evidence continues to suggest that eating too much red meat — such as bacon and hot dogs — is linked with health problems. A new study finds that changes in your red-meat-eating habits can be tied to your risk of early death. An increase in red meat consumption of at least half a serving per day was linked with a 10% higher risk of early death in the study, published in the medical journal BMJ on Wednesday. Replacing red meat with other protein sources may help you live longer, the study…

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Ebola outbreak enters ‘truly frightening phase’ as it turns deadly in Uganda

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo made the long-feared jump across borders with three cases confirmed Wednesday in Uganda, including the death of a 5-year-old boy who had the virus. The World Health Organization and Ugandan health authorities said Tuesday the Congolese boy had traveled from Congo on Sunday, entered Uganda with his family and sought medical care. The other two confirmed cases are the boy’s 3-year-old brother and his grandmother, 50. They are being treated under isolation at the Bwera Hospital Ebola Treatment Unit, in the west of…

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Virginia sits in the ‘stonebelt’ when it comes to kidney stones

RICHMOND, Va. — Cassie Marshall has battled kidney stones since she was a teenager. She said the constant fatigue and pain have kept her from work and enjoying daily activities. “I have a really bad habit of just ignoring it and pushing through when it gets bad,” Marshall, 29, said. “It’s completely debilitating and I can’t do much.” Marshall recently opted for a more invasive surgery to remove the stones via an incision in her back. She said she believed her vegan diet may have made her stones more problematic.…

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Some breakfast cereals still contaminated by weed killer, environmental group says

Several popular breakfast foods, including Cheerios and Nature Valley products, continue to test positive for trace amounts of a controversial herbicide that may increase the risk of cancer, according to a report released Wednesday by an environmental advocacy group. The Environmental Working Group, which has links to the organics industry, found that all 21 of the products it tested had levels of glyphosate that were “higher than what EWG scientists consider protective for children’s health.” Manufacturers maintain that their foods are safe, and the findings aren’t unprecedented: The group also…

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Alabama governor signs chemical castration bill into law

Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill into law Monday that requires someone convicted of a sex offense against a child under the age of 13 to begin chemical castration a month before being released from custody. The law requires individuals convicted of such an offense to continue treatments until a court deems the treatment is no longer necessary. It says offenders must pay for the treatment, and they can’t be denied parole solely based on an inability to pay. “This bill is a step toward protecting children in Alabama,” Ivey…

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