The good news: Cigarette sales are down by about a third over the past decade. Not so for little cigars and cigarillos. Their sales more than doubled over the same time period, in large part owing to the growing popularity of these little cigars among teenagers and 20-somethings.
The appeal among young people has lots to do with the large variety of candylike flavors in the little cigars, according to Jennifer Cantrell, director of research and evaluation at the anti-tobacco Legacy Foundation.
When the drug company Merck Animal Health announced plans to suspend sales of its Zilmax feed additive last week, many observers were shocked.
Yet concern about Zilmax and the class of growth-promotion drugs called beta agonists has been building for some time. In an interesting twist, the decisive pressure on Zilmax did not come from animal welfare groups or government regulators: It emerged from within the beef industry itself, and from academic experts who have long worked as consultants to the industry.
Research intended to help people with muscle-wasting diseases could be about to launch a new era in performance-enhancing drugs.
The research has produced several muscle-building drugs now being tested in people with medical problems, including muscular dystrophy, cancer and kidney disease. The drugs all work by blocking a substance called myostatin that the body normally produces to keep muscles from getting too big.
The FDA said Saturday it would step up its surveillance of "green leafy products" from Mexico, after a rare parasite linked to a lettuce supplier there caused illness in more than 400 people in 16 U.S. states.
The parasite, known as cyclosporiasis, was first identified at Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants in Iowa and Nebraska and has since been discovered in Texas and numerous other states.