January 28, 2020 by Ana Belzarena Genovese M.D.
Roundup: Some Flavored e-Cigs Banned; Intermittent Fasting Update; Exercise & Cancer Risk; and Texting-While-Driving Law
FDA Bans Certain Flavored Vaping Products to Curb e-Cig Use by Youth
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is banning e-cigarettes containing “fruit and mint flavors” that have been blamed for getting millions of teens hooked on e-cigs, or vaping devices.
Under the new U.S. policy issued this week, e-cig makers that don’t cease the “manufacture, distribution and sale of unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes” — other than tobacco or menthol — within 30 days could be sanctioned by the FDA.
“The United States has never seen an epidemic of substance use arise as quickly as our current epidemic of youth use of e-cigarettes,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alez Azar in a statement. “… Our action today seeks to strike the right public health balance by maintaining e-cigarettes as a potential off-ramp for adults using combustible tobacco while ensuring these products don’t provide an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for our youth.”
The most recent move by the FDA will effectively take off the market all cartridge-based flavored vaping products, except those that taste like tobacco or menthol. The FDA will allow flavored e-liquids to continue to be sold for refillable open-tank devices, which are available in so-called vape shops.
Separately, several states and cities have made the move to curb or ban some flavored vaping products.
Intermittent Fasting Can Help Fight Chronic Diseases, Researchers Say
Intermittent fasting has become increasingly popular, although such a dietary plan is not for everyone. Anyone attempting a plan involving long stretches of time without eating should consult with their primary care physician, especially if they have diabetes or other metabolic condition that may include elevated blood sugar levels, also known as “prediabetes.”
Nonetheless, a new paper was published in the New England Journal of Medicine that found intermittent fasting can have “broad-spectrum benefits” in combating major health issues, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, neurological disorders. and cancer.
Those benefits — including the bolstering of “mental and physical performance, as well as disease resistance” — appears to be the result of the body flipping a “metabolic switch” during fasting. The switch involves moving away from using glucose, or sugar, as the body’s primary source of energy, and toward using the body’s byproduct from fat.
During periods of fasting, a person depletes his or her sugar “fuel” stored in the body. As a result, “the liver converts fatty acids to ketone bodies, which provide a major source of energy for many tissues, especially the brain, during fasting,” researchers wrote.
By eating three meals a day and snacks between meals, the body never goes through this metabolic switching, says lead author Mark Mattson, adjunct professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“The evidence is accumulating that this metabolic switch triggers a lot of signaling pathways in cells and various organs that improve their stress resistance and resilience,” Mr. Mattson told Today. com.
- Can Diabetics Benefit from Planned Intermittent Fasting?
- More From Dietitians: ‘Plant-Based’ vs. ‘Vegan’ Diets, Intermittent Fasting, and Cooking with Olive Oil
Regular Exercise Linked to Lower Risk of Some Cancer, New Study Affirms
The benefits of regular exercise in combating chronic diseases and improving overall health have been long established. A new study reaffirms that physical activity — at least the U.S.-recommended amount of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise — is linked to lower risks of seven types of cancer.
The researchers cautioned that their findings do not definitively show that exercise directly causes cancer risk to drop. That’s because there may be various other factors at work.
Nonetheless, the study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology involved data on more than 750,000 adults in the U.S., Europe and Australia. It found that recommended amounts of physical activity was linked to lower risks of these cancer types: colon, breast, kidney, myeloma, liver, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and endometrial. The potential benefits ranged from a 6-10 percent lower risk of breast cancer to an 18-27 percent lower risk of liver cancer.
U.S. health officials recommend that adults get at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, or a comparable combination of the two every week.
Researchers found that with some cancers, most of the associated lower risk was seen with the recommended amounts of physical activity. But with other cancers, they found that regular exercise above the current recommendations could correlate with the lowest risk levels for some cancers.
Texting-While-Driving Now A Primary Offense; Violators Will Be Ticketed
On July 1, 2019, texting while driving became a primary offense in Florida, meaning police officers can pull over drivers who are seen using their smartphones. But enforcement of the law became effective on Jan. 1, 2020.
Until the new year, police were only issuing warnings. A first offense under the new law is punishable by a $30 fine, with a second costing $60. Court costs and fees also might apply.
Florida has banned texting while driving for years, but it had been enforced as a “secondary” offense — meaning motorists could only be cited for texting if they were stopped for other reasons, such as speeding. But the new law makes texting and driving a primary offense for the first time in the state.
The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) says distracted driving is a dangerous and growing trend, fueled in part by using a smartphone to text, or check one’s email or social media account. Distracted driving killed 3,166 people in vehicle accidents in 2017, according to the NHTSA’s latest data.