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Juul Halts Sale of Fruit, Dessert Vape Flavors

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Juul, which makes the top-selling brand of electronic-cigarettes in the United States, said Thursday it will no longer sell fruit or dessert flavors of its products.

The company’s decision comes as it faces widespread criticism that its flavored nicotine products are hooking a generation of teenagers on nicotine and vaping, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

The company faces multiple investigations by Congress, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and several state attorneys general. Juul is also being sued by adults and underage vapers who allege they became addicted to nicotine by using Juul’s products, the wire service said.

The Trump administration has also proposed banning nearly all e-cigarette flavors.

The flavors dropped by Juul will be mango, creme, fruit and cucumber, which account for 10% of its sales. The company will continue to sell its most popular flavors: mint and menthol, the AP reported.

Juul’s decision to continue selling mint and menthol shows “it isn’t serious about preventing youth use,” said Matthew Myers, from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

“Juul knows that 64% of high school e-cigarette users now use mint or menthol flavors, and this number is growing all the time,” Myers said in a statement.

His group and others say the Trump administration should ban all vaping flavors except tobacco, the AP added.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that the number of severe lung illnesses continues to climb: There are now 1,479 cases reported in 49 states. Seventy-eight percent of those cases involved products that contained THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Seventy percent of these patients were male, and 79 percent were under the age of 35.

The death toll also went up, hitting 33 deaths in 24 states. The median age of patients who have died is 44, the CDC added.

Products containing the marijuana chemical THC seem to be a main driver behind the illnesses.

While THC is a main suspect in the CDC’s investigation, a recent study suggested other chemicals might play a role.

Continued

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic Arizona conducted an examination of 17 cases involving vaping-linked lung injury — including lung biopsies. All of the patients examined had severe forms of the illness, and two had died.

“Based on what we have seen in our study, we suspect that most cases involve chemical contaminants, toxic byproducts or other noxious agents within vape liquids,” said lead researcher Dr. Brandon Larsen. He’s a surgical pathologist at the Mayo Clinic Arizona, in Scottsdale.

Those findings were published Oct. 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

While THC does seem to figure prominently in many cases, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, has stressed that nicotine-containing vaping products without THC cannot be ruled out as a potential cause of harm. Because of that, the CDC recommendation for everyone to stop vaping stands.

What is clear is that the illnesses that are affecting vapers can be sudden and severe. Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath and chest pains. Some patients have had so much trouble breathing that they wind up on oxygen, and in extreme cases are placed on a mechanical ventilator.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release,  Oct. 17, 2019;  Oct. 3, 2019 media briefing with: Anne Schuchat, M.D., principal deputy director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;Associated Press; Oct. 17, 2019, statement, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

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Porn producer to recall DVDs punning on Ben & Jerry’s flavors

NEW YORK | Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:45am EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A movie studio has agreed to recall pornographic DVDs whose titles and packaging mimic those of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Caballero Video also agreed to stop marketing and to destroy materials used to make 10 titles in its “Ben & Cherry’s” X-rated film series while a lawsuit against it is pending.

Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc, a unit of London-based Unilever Plc, had sued Caballero on September 5 for trademark infringement.

It complained that DVD titles such as “Boston Cream Thighs,” “Chocolate Fudge Babes,” “Peanut Butter D-Cups” were too similar to its ice cream flavors Boston Cream Pie, Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Peanut Butter Cup.

Ben & Jerry’s also said Caballero’s packaging played off its own with images of puffy white clouds and grazing cows, just as the slogan, “Porno’s Finest,” punned on “Vermont’s Finest.”

Terms of the recall and other restrictions were set forth in a consent injunction signed by Caballero’s president, Tomer Yoffe, and approved on Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.

Kaplan last Thursday had temporarily halted the DVD sales, though his order did not require a recall.

Caballero’s formal name is Rodax Distributors Inc. The North Hollywood, California, company did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Wednesday, nor did a lawyer for Ben & Jerry’s.

Ben & Jerry’s is based in South Burlington, Vermont, and said it has sold about 45.6 million gallons of ice cream in the last three years.

The case is Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc et al v. Rodax Distributors Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-06734.

(Editing by Martha Graybow and Prudence Crowther)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Could Food Flavors Act Like Mood-Stabilizing Drugs?

SUNDAY Aug. 19, 2012 — The notion that eating certain foods when feeling blue is a form of self-medicating is gaining traction after scientists identified some ingredients very similar chemically to a widely used prescription mood-stabilizing drug.

The research, scheduled for presentation Sunday at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia, builds on a large body of evidence reporting mood-boosting effects from chocolate, teas, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and other comfort foods.

“The tendency to depression in its many forms has increased due to our stressed society, [and] antidepressants are effective for only 50 percent to 60 percent of patients,” said study author Karina Martinez-Mayorga, who initiated the study while at the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, in San Diego. Martinez-Mayorga is now a research scientist at the Chemistry Institute at the National Autonomous University in Mexico.

“All this suggests the need for creative and new strategies,” she added. “I’d like to emphasize that our primary interest is in flavors for enhancing mood in normal, healthy people during ‘down times’ not [associated with] clinical depression.”

Study funders included Robertet Flavors, Inc., which manufactures flavor compounds and other products.

Martinez-Mayorga and her team used “chemoinformatics,” which utilizes computers to screen the chemical structures of more than 1,700 food flavor ingredients for similarities to approved antidepressants, marketed drugs and substances with established antidepressant effects. She did not identify specific ingredients or flavors, since the study is ongoing, but reported that some bear a striking chemical similarity to the prescription drug valproic acid.

Also used to treat seizures, valproic acid helps stabilize manic symptoms — such as an abnormally excited mood — associated with bipolar disorder, which is marked by periods of depression alternating with mania. The drug is sold under brand names such as Depakote, Depakene and Stavzor.

Food industry research on mood modulators has focused on less-severe mood changes, she noted, and patients taking prescribed antidepressants should continue to do so.

But her team’s future research may result in dietary recommendations or new nutritional supplements with positive mood effects, she said.

Sharon Zarabi, a nutritionist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said she wasn’t surprised by the study, given an ever-growing supplement market that seeks to identify key nutrients and duplicate them in pill or extract form.

But Zarabi pointed out that it’s well established that various food groups have mood-modulating effects. For example, protein from meat, fish, poultry and eggs is known to increase levels of “feel-good hormones” affecting alertness and energy, she said, and unrefined carbohydrates raise levels of a brain neurotransmitter that diminishes pain and increases calmness.

“I personally believe everything you eat affects the way you feel,” she said, adding that she encourages her patients to seek key nutrients from whole foods. “We don’t need supplements and pills … we need food for fuel, so if we look to our food to give us energy to perform throughout the day, at the same time we’ll be getting the proper nutrients for neurotransmission.”

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about valproic acid.

Posted: August 2012

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