Is the E-Cigarette Trend Actually an Epidemic?


Cigarette smoking has seen huge declines in the last few decades, only to be replaced by an alarming alternative: e-cigarettes. Marketed as safer, these battery-operated devices allow users to inhale aerosols, which frequently contain nicotine. New data from the Centers for Disease Control suggests that over nine million American adults regularly vape or smoke e-cigarettes. Perhaps more alarmingly, these products are a hit among teenage smokers — and they often serve as a gateway drug to cigarettes or cigars. Experts worry that e-cigarette use has reached epidemic proportions — are their fears overblown? The Dangers of E-Cigarettes While users largely…

Read More

Thinking of Getting a Hoverboard for Your Child? Think Again…


Since hitting the market in 2015, the self-balancing scooters commonly called hoverboards have been seeing their reputation worsen almost by the day. Most of us have heard the reports of some of these products spontaneously catching fire or exploding due to overheating lithium batteries, prompting several airlines and transit authorities to ban them completely. As recently as last November, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued yet another recall on numerous brands of hoverboards over fire dangers. However, fire isn’t actually the biggest threat a hoverboard poses to your child—at least from a statistical point of view. It’s injury due to…

Read More

Medical Implant Devices and the FDA: User Beware? (part 2)


We previously discussed an ongoing public health concern where the FDA’s approval process for medical devices appears to be dangerously lacking—to the point that many devices get released to market without a clinical trial. What does this truth mean for you or your loved ones who might need an implanted medical device? What steps can you take to stay safe? Do Your Own Research If your doctor recommends a certain medical device, you don’t have to assume it’s safe because your doctor says so. Find out about the device—not just what it is and what it does, but who makes…

Read More

Medical Implant Devices and the FDA: User Beware? (part 1)


When the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approves a medical device designed to improve your health, can you assume the device is safe? Not so fast, according to some critics. Modern medicine relies more and more on implantable medical devices to help certain patients—from artificial hips and knees to coronary stents and pacemakers, from cataract lenses to breast implants. Yet remarkably, as author/reporter Jeanne Lenzer points out in a recent interview, less than 1 percent of FDA-approved medical devices even undergo clinical trials. (By comparison, drugs must go through at least two trials prior to approval.) Even devices considered…

Read More