Good news for e-cigarettes

This HND piece once again covers e-cigs,and this time the good news is that a large study indicates that the devices do help people to quit smoking. Amazingly, officialdom has ignored the obvious for years, still clinging to its love of tobacco tax revenue—and in the case of NGOs—Pharma money.

The harm reduction community hopes that this new study will be the beginning of the end of official resistance. Even the so-called public health agencies cannot deny science forever.

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Hear ye, hear ye

This HND piece covers a bill being promoted by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), that would allow certain types of hearing aids to be sold, without the need for a professional consult. At first blush, this seems like a reasonable libertarian concept—coming strangely from a Leftist senator. Besides, a professional consult is necessary for best results.

As it happens, Medicare and most private insurance do not cover hearing aids, even though hearing loss affects 48 million Americans, most of whom are on Medicare. One wonders why Warren was not an avid supporter of the bills that would have forced Medicare to cover these devices.

It might be because the company that would benefit the most from OTC hearing aids is in her state.

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Unplugged: Updated for the connected generation

This HND piece examines the worrisome situation in which people—and not just youth—seem to be permanently attached to their devices. Notwithstanding the obvious physical ailments that excessive use of such products can bring, there are surely also mental consequences, including plain and simple addiction.

We take a look back at the notion of High tech/High touch, originally introduced by John Naisbitt in his blockbuster best-seller Megatrends. As it happens, this sort of thing leads into Zenlock, a product featured in the posting.

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A look at energy drinks

This HND piece traces the history of such beverages, long before they were even called "energy drinks." Do Roman gladiators take the concept far back enough for you? How about coffee itself, dating from the 15th century?

Then there's Coca-Cola, at one time containing plenty of sugar, caffeine, and cocaine—for good measure. We discuss the likely mechanism of how caffeine acts as a stimulant, along with its paradoxical effects on headaches and migraines. And, don't forget Jolt Cola.

We end up at a kinder, gentler, energy drink, that is gaining appeal, amidst the additive-laden competition.

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Water bottles, water bottles, everywhere

This HND piece riffs on a famous line from Coleridge, and suggests that the profligate use of bottled water has become an environmental issue in itself.

To be sure, purifying your own tap water at home—with charcoal filtration—is a popular option. We discuss what is actually meant by the term "activated charcoal," and why coconut shell activated charcoal is considered to be the best type.

Then, we get specific and highlight a new product from an innovative company in the field of hydration.

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A look at TENS

This HND piece provides an introduction—with some interesting historical perspective—on the widely-used pain relief technique known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

Those classifying TENS as "alternative medicine" are quite misinformed, unless not using drugs is the definition of "alternative." Ironically, TENS dates back to ancient Egypt, with various upgrades along the way to the present—based on contemporary technology.

Perhaps the best thing about TENS is that there are virtually no side effects or dangers, and the patient can self-treat. Home units range in price from $30 to $400, with excellent feature-rich units available for under $300.

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Demonizing formaldehyde for fun and profit

This HND piece discusses how an essential chemical can be maligned, for no reason other than to raise funds, or mindlessly increase regulatory power. Sadly, chemophobia is big business.

We start off with Bela Lugosi, who—believe it or not—has a role in this drama, and take it out to the present with EPA trying to gum up rigorous standards, already accepted by industry. Of course, there are a few interesting stops in between.

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Scaring people about e-cigarettes: A public health disgrace

Have you ever wondered why groups such as the American Lung Association and American Cancer Society are against e-cigarettes? This HND piece explains this seeming paradox...and a whole lot more.

As you might expect, it's all about the dollars, and falls nicely into the old "Bootleggers and Baptists" angle on prohibition. Indeed, the smoking prohibitionists line up on the same side as Big Tobacco and Big Pharma on this issue.

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