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Special publication addresses effects of light, intermittent smoking

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON This month, Nicotine and Tobacco Research has released a special issue of its publication, focusing on the examination of light and intermittent smoking, which tends to be overlooked in traditional tobacco research.

Light and Intermittent Smoking, which was released this month, uncovers trends related to light smokers, those who smoke less than 10 to 15 cigarettes per day, and intermittent or occasional smokers, those who may not smoke every day.

According to the CDC, one-fifth of U.S. smokers are intermittent or occasional smokers. Yet, existing research and public health efforts have targeted moderate to heavy smokers.

All of the research was co-funded by the American Legacy Foundation, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. Each organization collaborated to address and examine smoking patterns, trends, addiction and health effects.

“This special issue is chapter one of a very important volume in the overall fight against tobacco,” said Cheryl G. Healton, Dr. P.H., president and CEO, American Legacy Foundation. “We are yet to fully understand the best ways to help these light smokers quit, a very important goal, as they represent an increasing percentage of the smoking population.”

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Diabetes Alert Day on March 24

BY Michael Johnsen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The American Diabetes Association is sponsoring its 21st Annual American Diabetes Alert Day next week on March 24. The Diabetes Alert Day is a one-day, “wake-up” call to inform the American public about the seriousness of diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association encourages people to take the Diabetes Risk Test and find out if they, or their loved ones, are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Already, 23.6 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes and nearly one-quarter of those do not know they have it. One in five Americans is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

For many, diagnosis may come seven to ten years after the onset of the disease. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.

Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. People who are overweight, under active (living a sedentary lifestyle), and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease. African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and people who have a family history of the disease are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

On Diabetes Alert Day, the American Diabetes Association will “Sound the Alert” about the dangers of diabetes. To help people better recognize their own risk for type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association encourages the public to take the Diabetes Risk Test which requires users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for diabetes. The Diabetes Risk Test shows users whether they are at low, moderate, or high risk for diabetes. If they are at high risk, they are encouraged to schedule an appointment with their healthcare provider.

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Rite Aid helps Americans breathe easier during allergy season

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology are again teaming up to help those affected find the best treatments for their symptoms.

As part of its annual focus on allergy, Rite Aid will be distributing a 12-page color Allergy Health Guide beginning March 29 at www.riteaid.com and in Rite Aid stores. Included in the reference: the tell-tale differences between allergies and the common cold or flu, both of which are still spreading in an unusually late season; potential complications of such untreated allergies as acute or chronic sinusitis; common treatments for allergies based on symptoms, a brief explanation of how they work and a breakdown of allergy products available at Rite Aid; nonseasonal allergies, such as pet dander, mold or dustmites; detailed instructions on how to reduce allergens within the home; information on reactions to nickel, latex and other nonbiological triggers; information on other breathing disorders, including asthma and exercise-induced asthma; and the possible connection between asthma and weight management.

Customers who spend $20 or more on select allergy-related products will receive a $5 to $25 Rite Aid Gift Card, depending on the amount of purchase, in the mail through Rite Aid’s Single Check Rebate Program. Products must be purchased between March 29 and May 30, when the program ends.

Rite Aid’s focus on allergy awareness is part of its yearlong commitment to health and wellness. Each year Rite Aid offers free information, answers and education on health and wellness topics including skin care, oral health, diabetes, weight management and heart health.

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