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2023: New York City Makes It Illegal To Discriminate Against Weight And Height

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BRAND NEW YORK — Weight and height were added to the list of protected groups such as race, sex, and religion by New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Friday, making them off-limits to discrimination.

At a bill-signing ceremony held in City Hall, the mayor and other elected officials and weight-acceptance campaigners argued that people of all sizes should be afforded equal access to employment, housing, and public accommodations.

Adams, a Democrat who wrote a book on how he reversed his diabetes with a plant-based diet, praised the rule, saying it “will help level the playing field for all New Yorkers, create more inclusive workplaces and living environments, and protect against discrimination.”

This month, the city council passed an ordinance that makes exceptions for those whose height or weight would make it impossible for them to do their jobs.

When the council considered the bill, some business leaders spoke out against it, saying that complying would be too much of a hassle.

weight

At a bill-signing ceremony held in City Hall, the mayor and other elected officials and weight-acceptance.

“The extent of the impact and cost of this legislation has not been fully considered,” said Kathy Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.

San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Madison, Wisconsin, are just a few U.S. cities that have passed anti-discrimination measures protecting residents based on weight weight and physical appearance. New Jersey and Massachusetts are just two states where lawmakers have proposed size and height discrimination bans.

The president of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, Tigress Osborn, has stated that the anti-discrimination ordinance passed in New York City should serve as an example for the rest of the country and the world.

According to Osborn, the city’s decision to pass the new rule “will ripple across the globe” and prove that “discrimination against people based on their body size is wrong and is something that we can change.”

The ordinance’s effective date is November 22nd, 180 days from now.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Zyn Nicotine Pouches Are All Over TikTok, Sparking Debate Among Politicians And Health Experts

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Washington — The latest tobacco product selling online, Zyn, is a little pouch containing nicotine and flavours.

However, it has sparked a controversy among lawmakers, parents, and pundits, reflecting an increasingly complex picture in which Big Tobacco actively promotes alternative products while specialists grapple with their possible benefits and risks.

Zyn is available in mint, coffee, and citrus flavours and is marketed to adult tobacco users by Philip Morris International. However, videos of young people popping the pouches have received millions of views on TikTok and other social media platforms.

zyn

Zyn Nicotine Pouches Are All Over TikTok, Sparking Debate Among Politicians And Health Experts

Advocates are concerned that Zyn may become the newest nicotine product to entice underage kids, similar to how Juul sparked a years-long surge in vaping activity. Other scientists contend that the possibility of preventing people from using cigarettes and other traditional tobacco products, which result in 480,000 deaths each year in the United States, balances the risk.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result,” explained Dr. Jasjit Ahluwalia, an addiction specialist at Brown University. “That is how we’ve dealt with tobacco for decades. We’ve been all about abstinence, rather than promoting products that can prevent harm.”

Ahluwalia sees nicotine pouches and e-cigarettes as a means to assist smokers in reducing or quitting smoking.

That strategy is common in the United Kingdom, but it is not part of the medical mainstream in the United States, where only pharmaceutical-grade drugs such as nicotine gum and lozenges are officially allowed to assist smokers in quitting.

According to Ahluwalia, Zyn works like those products do: it releases modest quantities of nicotine, which are absorbed into the gums and reduce cravings. He emphasizes that the main distinction is that Philip Morris, the largest cigarette manufacturer in the world and a longtime foe of anti-smoking organizations, offers Zyn.

The Zyn debate has now spilt over into politics, pitting Democrats and Republicans in Washington against one another and sparking yet another conflict in the country’s culture war.

In late January, Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York urged regulators to look into Zyn, stressing its attraction to teenagers. Several House Republicans then warned residents that “Big Brother” planned to “ban nicotine.”

Tucker Carlson, a Zyn user, joined the fray, stating, “Zyn is not a sin,” praising its unverified benefits, such as “enhancing male vitality and mental acuity.”

Zyn users immediately evolved their online lexicon, which includes terms like “zynnies,” “zynner,” and “zynsky.”

Ollie Ganz, a tobacco and nicotine researcher at Rutgers University, said that there is a young male-led online subculture around Zyn, but much of that is not coming from the brand itself.

Online videos show young people chronicling their first Zyn experiences, comparing different taste combinations, and showcasing heaping stacks of used canisters.

“It’s concerning to see the countless Zyn-related memes and hashtags that are being amplified and normalized across social media,” said Kathy Crosby, CEO of the Truth Initiative, an anti-tobacco advocacy group.

Truth and other groups cite data indicating that nicotine can interfere with adolescent brain development.

The Food and Drug Administration’s responsible for balancing Zyn’s hazards to children with its potential to benefit adults.

According to an FDA representative, the government is monitoring underage use, with 1.5% of high school and middle school students reporting using pouches last year. That is well below the 10% who use e-cigarettes.

zyn

Zyn Nicotine Pouches Are All Over TikTok, Sparking Debate Among Politicians And Health Experts

The FDA has allowed Zyn to remain on the market while they assess Philip Morris’ marketing application, which has been waiting since 2020. If teen use continues low, the company may be able to obtain FDA approval for at least part of its products, which are available in several strengths and a dozen flavours.

In 2019, the FDA granted its first reduced-risk classification to a similar product: snus, a tobacco pouch popular in Sweden that has fewer carcinogens than cigarettes. The FDA stated that smokers who switch to snus lessen their risk of lung cancer, bronchitis, and other ailments.

Zyn eliminates the tobacco leaves contained in snus, leaving only nicotine, which Philip Morris claims boosts its attractiveness.

“People may be hesitant to switch to an oral tobacco product if they believe it is similar to traditional chewing tobacco,” business spokesman Corey Henry explained. “Consumer acceptability is a big part of Zyn.”

Henry says Philip Morris does not market Zyn through internet influencers or endorsements. The website is only available to people over the age of 21. Flavours such as cinnamon and peppermint are “familiar to adults,” Henry added.

Zyn launched in the United States in 2014, but sales have skyrocketed in the last year, producing $1.8 billion as shipments increased by more than 60% yearly.

On a November call with retailers, a firm executive described the rise as “gonzo” and “lights out.”

“I did not see this coming. “I don’t know anyone who did,” said Joseph Teller, the head of oral tobacco products.

zyn

Zyn Nicotine Pouches Are All Over TikTok, Sparking Debate Among Politicians And Health Experts

Zyn’s advertisements emphasize the pouches’ unobtrusive and convenient nature as a “smoke-free,” “spit-free” alternative for smokers “at work” or “on the move.”

However, to achieve the company’s claimed objective of a “smoke-free future,” Zyn will need to assist customers in completely quitting cigarettes rather than cycling between them.

There is limited research on switching, and preliminary findings show there may be better solutions than pouches.

Researchers at Ohio State University recently discovered that it took smokers 30 minutes to an hour to receive enough nicotine from Zyn to satisfy their cravings. Cigarette smokers achieved the same nicotine levels—and relief—in five minutes.

“The pouches we studied, especially those with lower nicotine concentrations, did not appear to meet the needs of smokers,” stated study leader Brittney Keller-Hamilton. “That being said, they didn’t totally flop either.”

For the time being, smokers who have found success with Zyn are hoping it remains available.

Last spring, while working as a bartender in Portland, Oregon, Justin Wafer, 39, was smoking one pack every day. On hectic days, he would vape instead of taking a smoke break.

But, when his reloadable electronic cigarette failed in May, he tried Zyn. He now pops a pouch every three to four hours and claims to have not smoked in over nine months.

“I don’t see how it’s any different from pharmaceutical solutions like lozenges or gum,” he said. “Except it’s easier to get and tastes better.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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2023: Oprah Winfrey To Leave Board Of Weight Watchers

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weight watchers

Oprah Winfrey is leaving the board of Weight Watchers, dealing a new blow to a firm trying to compete with the popularity of weight-loss medications.

The US star, who has served on the company’s board since 2015, has announced that she will not run for re-election at the next shareholder meeting in May.

weight watchers

Oprah Winfrey To Leave Board Of Weight Watchers

Ms Winfrey recently admitted that she used weight-loss medications as a “maintenance tool.”

Weight Watchers International shares plunged 27% in extended New York trading.

Ms. Winfrey stated that she will continue collaborating with Weight Watchers “in elevating the conversation around recognizing obesity as a chronic condition.

“The prominent talk show host and businesswoman also stated that she would donate all of her shares in the company to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Ms Winfrey is one of the companies largest stockholders, with a stake of roughly 10%.When Ms

weight watchers

Oprah Winfrey To Leave Board Of Weight Watchers

Winfrey began working for the company about a decade ago, she joined the Weight Watchers program and shared her experiences with other members. She had previously spoken publicly about her struggles with weight.

Her decision to leave the board comes as the company grapples with a significant shift in the weight-loss industry with the introduction of anti-obesity medications such as Wegovy and Saxenda.

The company also released its most recent financial results on Tuesday, which revealed a net loss of $88.1 million (£69.6 million) for the last three months of 2023, more than double the previous year’s number.

weight watchers

Oprah Winfrey To Leave Board Of Weight Watchers

In March 2023, the firm stated that it would acquire digital health company Sequence “as a natural step” given “advances in chronic weight management medications.”

Sequence touts itself as a weight loss programme that provides various services to its users. In addition to assistance from fitness trainers and dietitians, it can prescribe medications like Ozempic and Wegovy.

Weight Watchers CEO Sima Sistani said the $132 million deal would benefit members from the company’s approach to “nutrition and behavior change” and prescription drugs.

SOURCE – (BBC)

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What Is Alaskapox? Recent Death Brings Attention To Virus Seen In Small Animals

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alaskapox

NEW YORK (— Alaska health officials have been aware of a unique virus producing rare, mild diseases in the Fairbanks region for nine years. However, a recent incidence in another section of the state, which resulted in the death of a man, has re-focused attention on the so-called Alaskapox virus.

Here is some background about the virus.

alaskapox

WHAT IS ALASKAPOX?

Alaskapox is part of a family of brick-shaped viruses that can infect both animals and humans. These bugs, known as orthopoxviruses, produce skin sores, sometimes known as pox. Each has unique qualities, and some are deemed more dangerous than others.

Smallpox is likely the most well-known of the family members, but others include camelpox, cowpox, horsepox, and mpox, previously known as monkeypox.

Alaskapox was detected in 2015 in a lady living in Fairbanks, Alaska. It has primarily been found in tiny animals, such as red-backed voles and shrews. However, health officials warn that pets like dogs and cats may also transmit the infection.

In the last nine years, seven persons, all living in Alaska, have been infected.

alaskapox

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ALASKAPOX?

Alaskapox patients experience one or more skin lumps or bumps, joint or muscular discomfort, and swollen lymph nodes.

Almost all patients had minor ailments that were cured independently within a few weeks. However, people with compromised immune systems risk developing more serious illnesses.

alaskapox

HOW DOES ALASKAPOX SPREAD?

Officials believe that Alaskapox spreads through interaction with diseased animals.

There is no reported instance of it spreading from one person to another. However, other viruses in the same family can be transmitted when one person touches another’s lesions. Therefore, Alaska health officials advise anyone with an Alaskapox lesion to cover it with a bandage.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LATEST CASE?

Alaska health officials are aware of seven persons infected with Alaskapox since the virus was discovered, but the most recent case is its first documented death.

The older man, who lived on the Kenai Peninsula, was being treated for cancer and had a reduced immune system due to the medications. In September, he discovered a red sore under his right armpit and visited doctors for the next two months due to exhaustion and burning. He was hospitalised in November and died last month, according to a statement issued last week by Alaska public health officials.

The man lived in a secluded, forested location and did not travel. According to officials, a stray cat that hunted small animals had frequently scratched him, and one of the scratches was close to the man’s armpit.

How Can I Protect Myself and My Pets?
According to health officials, Alaskapox is a rare illness with often mild symptoms.

However, wildlife can provide an infectious risk. According to health officials, the best way to keep pets and family members safe is to maintain a safe distance and wash your hands after being outside. Also, do not try to keep wildlife as pets.

SOURCE – (AP)

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