HEALTH

Report: San Francisco supervisors OK tobacco sales ban at pharmacies

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN FRANCISCO San Francisco’s board of supervisors voted for an expansion of the city’s anti-tobacco law, according to published reports.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday that the supervisors gave preliminary approval to a law to expand a law passed in 2008 to ban tobacco sales at drug stores to include all retailers that operate pharmacies, including mass merchandisers and supermarkets.

The original law had attracted opposition from Walgreens and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores on the grounds that it discriminated against drug stores. Supporters of the law asserted that its purpose was to rectify what they saw as the contradictory nature of a healthcare institution, such as a pharmacy selling an unhealthful product.

Asimilar law was enacted in Boston around the same time as the San Francisco law, though the Boston law banned tobacco sales at all retailers that operate pharmacies.

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Kaz launches ‘Cold and Flu Central’ Facebook page

BY Michael Johnsen

SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. Kaz, the maker of Vicks, Honeywell and Braun wellness devices, recently launched a new Facebook fan page named Cold and Flu Central, created to help inform families about some of the best defenses against colds and the flu.

 

The page includes doctor-approved tips, third-party expert advice and links, product giveaways, drug store availability information, discussions and polls.

 

 

Jennifer Trachtenberg, chief pediatric officer for RealAge.com, is the featured pediatrician on the site. In addition, two other experts will be providing tips to fans on how to stay healthy this winter: Jim McDevitt, an instructor at the Harvard School of Public Health and certified as an industrial hygienist by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene; and Ted Myatt, a senior scientist at Environmental Health and Engineering. Myatt also is the biological safety officer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard Institute of Medicine in Massachusetts.

 

 

To help drive interest in the site, Kaz will be giving away one Vicks Cool Mist humidifier, Vicks digital thermometer or Braun ThermoScan ear thermometer each week.

 

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Lobbyists respond to Senate’s delay to review food safety bill

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON A coalition of lobbying groups urged the Senate on Monday to review and pass pending food safety legislation before November elections.

The Food Marketing Institute, which backed the bipartisan bill, issued a statement Monday that the organization was "disappointed" that the Senate elected not to review the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act before the midterm elections. The bill passed in the House of Representatives last year.

 

"The most important goal of America’s food retailers and wholesalers is to provide nutritious, safe, high-quality and affordable food," said FMI president and CEO Leslie Sarasin. "We all have a responsibility to work together to improve the safety of our food supply. We believe the focus should be on trying to prevent problems before they occur by providing the FDA the necessary resources and authority to help the agency protect our food supply."

 

 

Similarly, the Grocery Manufacturers Association said on Capitol Hill Monday that “the [FDA Food Safety Modernization] Act is too important to delay its passage any further,” noting that the bill’s passage would provide the FDA “with the resources and authorities the agency needs to help strengthen our nation’s food safety system by making prevention the focus of our food safety strategies,” said Scott Faber, GMA VP federal affairs.

 

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act will enhance public health and safety by requiring all food companies to develop a food safety plan, adopting a risk-based approach to inspection and improving the safety of imported food and food ingredients.

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