HEALTH

Alison Sweeney teams up with the APhA to help fellow allergy sufferers find relief

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The American Pharmacists Association and McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division on Thursday teamed with actress Alison Sweeney on the launch Behind the Counter Counts, a campaign designed to inform nasal congestion sufferers about pseudoephedrine treatment options located behind the pharmacy counter.

The new campaign features an online resource, www.BTCcenter.com, that features Sweeney’s personal tips, a tool to help people figure out if allergies or colds are causing their nasal congestion, and general information about PSE products.

“Congestion and other allergy symptoms can really get in the way when you’re juggling work, family and everyday life,” Sweeney stated. “I initially didn’t realize the medicines that I’ve relied on, Sudafed and Zyrtec-D … were located behind the pharmacy counter until I spoke with my pharmacist. That’s why I hope other allergy sufferers will do the same, because knowing what’s available and where to find it is the first step to finding the medicine that’s right for you.”

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HEALTH

Television star opens up about Type 1 diabetes in new book

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Television starlet Mary Tyler Moore is opening up about her battle with diabetes in a new memoir.

“Growing Up Again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes” highlights Moore’s 40-year struggle with Type 1 diabetes.

Moore discusses her worsening eyesight, described as “tunnel vision, which makes the world look like a perpetual journey by car through the Swiss Alps.” Moore also mentions that she walks in Manhattan with an aide who warns her about curbs and ramps.

Almost 24 million people in the United States are estimated to have diabetes. The main symptoms include tiredness, thirst, irritability and vision problems.

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Economy, cigarette tax may cause smokers to kick the habit

BY Michael Johnsen

PARSIPPANY, N.J. A new survey commissioned by GlaxoSmithKline found that the April 1 federal price increase on cigarettes and the current economy are big concerns for smokers and will change their current smoking habits.

The survey found that 70% of smokers say that the current price of cigarettes is already too expensive and is one of their main concerns about smoking, second only to health concerns. For survey respondents over 45 years old, the price of cigarettes was the most cited concern. Further, 56% of smokers say the April 1 price increase will prompt them to smoke fewer cigarettes and 72% say the price increase on cigarettes would increase their intention to quit.

Smokers also say the current economy is a big concern and it will prompt them to change their smoking habits — 47% of smokers say they would cut back on cigarettes because of the economy.

“Research shows that smokers are more likely to try to quit when the price of cigarettes goes up,” stated Frank Chaloupka, professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago and affiliate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. “Given the recent tax hike and the state of the economy, now would be a great time for smokers to re-evaluate how smoking affects their finances and calculate how much they could save by quitting. A typical pack-a-day smoker could be spending approximately $2,000 each year on cigarettes, but no matter how expensive it is to smoke, quitting smoking is a big challenge.”

The federal cigarette tax increased Wednesday by 62 cents to a total of $1.01 per pack, to fund the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program that was signed into law earlier this year.

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