The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized the sale of the country’s best-selling e-cigarette. The agency’s decision only applies to several tobacco-flavored versions of the reusable product, sold as Vuse. In January 2023, the FDA rejected R.J. Reynold’s application for its more popular menthol flavor, but the company has challenged that ruling in court. Last month, the FDA granted competitor Njoy the first authorization for a menthol-flavored e-cigarette. That vaping brand is controlled by tobacco giant Altria. Despite the Vuse authorization, the FDA stressed that e-cigarettes are far from safe. “All tobacco products are harmful and potentially addictive,” the agency said in a new release announcing the decision. “Those who do not use tobacco products, especially young people, should not start.” In its decision, the agency noted that tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes do not hold the same appeal among youth that fruit- and candy-flavored vaping products do. “While FDA remains concerned about the risk of youth use of all e-cigarettes, youth are less likely to use tobacco‐flavored e-cigarette products compared to other flavors,” the agency said. “According to the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey, Vuse was among the most commonly reported brands used by middle and high school students currently using e-cigarette. However, only 6.4% of students who currently used e-cigarettes reported using tobacco‐flavored products.” To further discourage vaping among teens and adolescents, the FDA added that it…  read on >  read on >

4In a joint effort to curb the illegal sales of food products containing delta-8 THC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday they have warned five companies to stop marketing such products. Because the packaging for these THC edibles mimics that of popular snack foods, the FDA said it is concerned they can be easily mistaken for traditional foods, prompting accidental ingestion or overconsumption, especially by kids. “Inadequate or confusing labeling can result in children or unsuspecting adults consuming products with strong resemblance to popular snacks and candies that contain delta-8 THC without realizing it,” FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Dr. Namandjé Bumpus said in a news release on the warnings. Delta-8 THC is the psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis sativa plant, of which marijuana and hemp plants are two varieties. The FDA said it has given the companies 15 working days to address the violations and prevent future ones. Last summer, the agencies issued similar warnings to six other companies selling products containing delta-8 THC, and those companies no longer have such products in stock, the agencies noted. A spokesperson for Earthly Hemps, one of the companies issued a warning Tuesday, told CNN that it has not sold any of the products this year. The other companies did not respond to a request for comment. The threat these “copycat” products pose is real: From…  read on >  read on >

Seventeen women in nine states have fallen ill after getting fake Botox shots, with 13 of them landing in the hospital and one requiring a ventilator, a new report warns. In the report, published Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers provided alarming details of patients getting injections outside of a medical setting and then falling ill a few days later. In one instance, four women attended a gathering at a relative’s home in Tennessee to get Botox injected into their faces to smooth fine lines and wrinkles about three days before their symptoms began. An investigation later showed the injected product was counterfeit and was administered by a person who was not licensed to do so. “In some cases, providers were concerned about patients’ breathing to the point where they were admitting them to intensive care units to be able to monitor them more closely,” report author Dr. Christine Thomas, a medical director at the Tennessee Department of Health, told NBC News.  She called the situation a “perfect storm.” “We were seeing the injections happening in homes from people who weren’t licensed, and there was counterfeit product,” Thomas said. One of the most frightening cases detailed in the NBC News report involved a Colorado woman who got what she thought was Botox. Her vision soon blurred, and she became unusually…  read on >  read on >

Nearly 60 illnesses, including 30 hospitalizations, have now been linked to eating Diamond Shruumz edibles, U.S. health officials reported. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted in an update issued Tuesday that of the people who got sick after eating the recalled chocolate bars, cones and gummies, one patient has died. Those who fell ill reported seizures, agitation, abnormal heart rates and loss of consciousness. So far, 27 states have reported cases, but the CDC said it expects that number to grow. While the CDC hasn’t disclosed how many of the cases have involved youths, at least two children have been hospitalized in Arizona, a spokesperson for the Banner Health system told CBS News. Two more children were exposed to the product, but were deemed only “mild” cases. Banner Health was among the first to warn of the dangers posed by the Diamond Shruumz products, when patients were hospitalized after eating them, CBS News reported. “We’ve seen the same phenomenon of people eating the chocolate bar then seizing, losing consciousness and having to be intubated,” Steve Dudley, head of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, told CBS News. Late last month, the company that makes the edibles issued a full recall of all its products after discovering high levels of a mushroom toxin in the products. The recall was issued “because such products contain…  read on >  read on >

Few Americans understand the health risks of drinking raw milk, a new survey shows, so experts are redoubling efforts to get the word out on its dangers. The push dovetails with the discovery this spring of bird flu virus in milk from infected cows. The H5N1 virus is widespread in wild birds worldwide and causing outbreaks in poultry and U.S. dairy cows. As of June 21, four human cases of the H5N1 flu had been reported in the United States. “It is important that anyone planning to consume raw milk be aware that doing so can make you sick and that pasteurization reduces the risk of milk-borne illnesses,” said Patrick Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Health and Risk Communication Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. Milk from cows, sheep, goats and other animals that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful germs is called raw or unpasteurized. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says consuming unpasteurized milk and products made from it can expose people to germs such as E. coli, listeria and salmonella. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the commercial milk supply — which is pasteurized — is safe from the H5N1 virus, raw milk is another story. In June, before the four human cases of bird flu were reported, the Annenberg Institute surveyed 1,031 American adults online and…  read on >  read on >

Amid an ongoing outbreak of bird flu in dairy cows, a fourth case of H5N1 avian flu has been confirmed in another dairy worker, U.S. health officials reported Wednesday. The latest case was reported in Colorado, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a news release. “As with previous cases, the person is a worker on a dairy farm where cows tested positive for A[H5N1] virus,” the CDC said. “The person reported eye symptoms only, received oseltamivir [Tamiflu] treatment, and has recovered.” The first two human bird flu cases — the first in Texas and a second in Michigan — also involved only a brief discomfort of the eyes, linked to conjunctivitis, or “pink eye.” Both patients recovered. However, a third case, also reported in Michigan, was the first to present with more typical respiratory symptoms, the CDC noted in a recent health update. That patient has been treated and has since recovered. So far, H5N1 has not been easily passed between people, and all four farm workers became infected after prolonged contact with dairy cows. Despite the fourth case of human bird flu, “this infection does not change CDC’s current H5N1 bird flu human health risk assessment for the U.S. general public, which the agency considers to be low,” the CDC said. “However, this development underscores the importance of recommended precautions…  read on >  read on >