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Report claims risks of secondhand smoke inhalation on decline

BY Jenna Duncan

ATLANTA Even though there is still concern that almost half of the population of American nonsmokers still inhale some cigarette fumes, a government study released yesterday said that the rate has declined significantly since the 1990s.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the amount of found in bars, restaurants work sites and other public places has been lessened substantially, thanks to smoking bans in such areas.

There has also been a decline drop in number of Americans who smoke, the researchers concluded. According to the CDC’s 2007 data, the number of smokers is down to less than 20 percent of U.S. adults.

Amounts of nicotine were found in blood taken 46 percent of a group of nonsmokers blood-tested during dates between 1999 through 2004. This was a notable decline from the late 1980s and early 1990s when around 84 percent of nonsmokers were found with rates of nicotine around the same levels.

The CDC was not ready to call the decline in numbers of smokers and nonsmokers exposed to smoke a total victory, however. Specialists warn that smoking is still deadly, causing lung cancer among other illnesses in smokers, and nonsmokers, as well.

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Cargill moving forward with natural sweetener launch

BY Jenna Duncan

NEW YORK Cargill yesterday announced that it will begin its roll-out of Truvia, the zero-calorie, natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant. The company said that it will have Truvia on retailers’ shelves across the nation by this fall.

Truvia is a natural sweetening additive created from leaves of the stevia shrub, an herb that is native to Paraguay. Cargill and Coca-Cola have plans to use Truvia as a sweetener in foods and beverages from breakfast cereal, to soft drinks, yogurts and snack bars, company spokespersons said. Truvia is slated to bring heavy competition against other calorie-free sweeteners, such as Equal, Splenda and Sweet ‘N Low.

Truvia will be available at Manhattan chain D’Agostino first, and will then extend out to other nationwide grocers and big box retailers, Cargill’s Truvia vice president and business director, Steve Snyder, said.

Single-serving, green-and-white Truvia packets will be available in 40-count boxes with a suggested retail price of $3.99.

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Pepsi brands lemon-flavored NFL cola

BY Jenna Duncan

PURCHASE, N.Y. Pepsi Company has announced a specially branded version of its popular Pepsi soft drink to support the NFL. “Pepsi Lemon NFL Kickoff” cola is slated to hit retail shelves later this summer.

PepsiCo said that diet and regular versions of its limited-release, lemon-flavored soda will be available in 20-oz., two-liter and 12-packs of cans from August 11 through November. Pepsi Lemon NFL Kickoff colas will also support the Pepsi Stuff promotion, where consumers can collect points from codes found on product caps to redeem for coupons and sweepstakes entries.

Pepsi Lemon NFL Kickoff colas will be available across the United States and will have TV, print and online advertising runs, including a spot featuring quarterback Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys.

PepsiCo has not released the advertising budget for the Pepsi Lemon NFL Kickoff campaign, but Pepsi spent $27 million on ads at the same time last year, reports from Nielsen Monitor-Plus said.

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