Down in Smoke
Overall tobacco use among U.S. adults is in decline, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Though almost 1 in 5 people still use cigarettes, cigars, pipes or smokeless tobacco, that's a far cry from 1965, when the rate of use was 42%.
Electronic cigarette use, however, is rising, especially among youth. In 2018, more than 3.6 million U.S. youth, including 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students, said they used e-cigarettes.
A popular reason is the perception that e-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional tobacco cigarettes, but recent research has found that e-cigarettes alter the inflammatory state of multiple organ systems, including the brain, heart, lungs and colon.
Interestingly, the flavor of the e-cigarette appears to be a factor, with mint proving more harmful than mango in mouse studies.
Body of Knowledge
A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but your nostrils might not agree. Each nostril is tuned to detect some odors better than others, with the specialization moving back and forth. The differences are subtle. One nostril cannot pick up, for example, the odor of apples while the other is sniffing out oranges. It's more like one nostril detects specific chemicals and molecules more efficiently, often due to increased airflow in that nostril at that moment.
Get Me That, Stat!
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically altered visits to hospitals and outpatient clinics, as the SARS-CoV-2 virus forced a change in priorities and less-urgent care was postponed.
According to a new STAT analysis, with the exception of occasional surges, hospitals are reporting a return to pre-pandemic times. Hospitals registered more admissions, surgeries, emergency room visits and outpatient visits in 2021 than 2020, but last year's volumes were still slightly behind 2019.
However, people admitted in 2021 stayed in the hospital longer and were sicker, boosting health care revenues.