North Carolina sues 8 e-cigarette companies, alleging marketing to children

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein filed eight lawsuits against eight separate e-cigarette companies on Tuesday, alleging that the companies are “unlawfully targeting children” and not requiring appropriate age verification when selling products. The companies included in the complaints are Beard Vape, Direct eLiquid, Electric Lotus, Electric Tobacconist, Eonsmoke, Juice Man, Tinted Brew and VapeCo, Stein said during a media conference call with reporters on Tuesday. “There is a vaping epidemic among high schoolers and middle schoolers in North Carolina and the United States,” he said. “I, as attorney general of North…

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Why cancer patients with once inoperable brain tumors have reason for optimism

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — At the age of 37, Sally Carlton is a wife and mother dealing with stage four melanoma that has metastasized to her brain. She was diagnosed last summer, four years after undergoing plastic surgery to remove an abnormal mole from her shoulder. After the surgery, doctors felt confident that the cancer was gone. “Everything looked good afterwards,” Carlton said. “Everything came back clear.” But shortly after her daughter’s first birthday, the symptoms of recurrent cancer started with severe and debilitating headaches. “I wasn’t even able to…

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Deaths from heart disease and these other conditions are on the rise, research suggests

Death rates in the United States due to cardiometabolic diseases — heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure — have either plateaued or climbed in recent years, new research reveals. The rates of death from those health conditions were declining but then hit a concerning inflection point in 2010, and either remained unchanged or increased thereafter, according to research published in the medical journal JAMA on Tuesday. “We are losing ground in the battle against cardiovascular disease. Understanding what is contributing to these alarming trends may help direct specific strategies for…

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Why the US throws away 3,500 donated kidneys every year

There are currently 93,000 people in the United States on a waiting list for a donated kidney, yet at least 3,500 donated kidneys are discarded every year, according to a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The lack of organs for kidney failure patients is a major public health problem and one that President Donald Trump addressed in July when he signed an executive order promising to transform kidney care in this country. More than 37 million Americans have chronic kidney disease and roughly 5,000 die each year while on the kidney waiting list.…

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More women should be assessed for BRCA mutations, new recommendations say

More women should be assessed for harmful mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that can increase risk of certain cancers, according to new recommendations. Previously, it was recommended for women who have a family history of breast, ovarian, tubal or peritoneal cancer to be assessed for harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. That recommendation was last made in 2013 by the US Preventive Services Task Force, a volunteer panel of national experts that makes evidence-based recommendations for the primary care community. Now the USPSTF is updating its recommendation for this…

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Oklahoma wins case against drugmaker in historic opioid trial

In a landmark decision, an Oklahoma judge on Monday ordered pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million for its role in the state’s opioid crisis. The verdict issued by Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman marks the end of the first state trial attempting to hold a pharmaceutical company accountable for one of the worst health epidemics in history. In his ruling, Balkman said the opioid crisis has “ravaged” the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma is one of dozens of states suing opioid drugmakers and this case is the…

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The US is throwing away at least 3,500 donated kidneys every year, study finds

There are currently 93,000 people in the United States on a waiting list for a donated kidney, yet at least 3,500 donated kidneys are discarded every year, according to a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The lack of organs for kidney failure patients is a major public health problem and one that President Donald Trump addressed in July when he signed an executive order promising to transform kidney care in this country. More than 37 million Americans have chronic kidney disease and roughly 5,000 die each year while on the kidney waiting…

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Virginia health officials confirm cases of severe lung illness possibly linked to vaping

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) confirmed Monday three cases of severe lung illness possibly linked to vaping and an investigation into additional potential cases. Virginia health officials report that all patients reported vaping in the weeks to months prior to illness. Virginia joins more than 20 other states that have identified cases of lung disease or injury that could be linked to vaping. As of Aug. 22, 2019, 193 potential cases of severe lung illness linked to e-cigarette product use had been reported by 22 states,…

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New Zealand teen with measles may have exposed hundreds at Disneyland and other tourist destinations

LOS ANGELES – A teenage girl traveling through Southern California may have exposed hundreds of people to the measles when she visited several popular tourist destinations, health officials said Friday. The girl, visiting from New Zealand, was contagious with the measles when she spent time at various Southern California attractions including Disneyland, Universal Studios and Madame Tussauds in Hollywood earlier this month, according to health alerts issued by Los Angeles and Orange counties. “We were notified that the tourist visited multiple Southern California locations and have been advised by Orange…

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