Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"The problem with the hipster, as history has made clear, was that trading bourgeois earnestness for bohemian irony didn’t actually do anything to rectify the depredations of capitalism."

Act Naturally: Pretentiousness, Coolness, and Culture

"During the last 3 decades, teenage obesity has quadrupled."

New AAP Guidance on Avoiding Teen Obesity, Eating Disorders

"During the last 3 decades, teenage obesity has quadrupled. About 35% of teenagers may currently be overweight or obese, with Hispanic, American Indian, and African-American youth disproportionately affected, according to the authors. Although recent data suggest these rates may be stabilizing, they remain concerning, as obesity is associated with increased risk for later health problems, including diabetes and heart disease.
At the same time, eating disorders represent the third most common chronic problem in teenagers, after obesity and asthma."

Friday, August 19, 2016

More Evidence That 'healthy Obesity' May Be A Myth

More Evidence That 'healthy Obesity' May Be A Myth

"The term "healthy obesity" has gained traction over the past 15 years, but scientists have recently questioned its very existence. A study published August 18 in Cell Reports provides further evidence against the notion of a healthy obese state, revealing that white fat tissue samples from obese individuals classified as either metabolically healthy or unhealthy actually show nearly identical, abnormal changes in gene expression in response to insulin stimulation."

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Women's cancer risk rises with years spent overweight

Women's cancer risk rises with years spent overweight

"Beyond that, Gapstur said, a body of research supports the idea that excess weight itself influences cancer development.
For instance, extra body fat affects levels of "sex hormones," like estrogen, she said. This may be one reason excess weight is connected to breast and endometrial cancers.
Plus, Gapstur said, that extra weight can help feed chronic inflammation in the body, which is thought to contribute to a range of diseases, including various cancers."

"...the erosion of the 'right not to know' in the genomic age could have subtle yet profound consequences for family relationships."

 2016 Aug 15. doi: 10.1111/bioe.12272. [Epub ahead of print]

What can we Learn from Patients' Ethical Thinking about the right 'not to know' in Genomics? Lessons from Cancer Genetic Testing for Genetic Counselling.


This article is based on a qualitative empirical project about a distinct kinship group who were among the first identified internationally as having a genetic susceptibility to cancer (Lynch Syndrome). 50 were invited to participate (42 were tested; eight declined genetic testing). 15, who had all accepted testing, were interviewed. They form a unique case study. This study aimed to explore interviewees' experiences of genetic testing and how these influenced their family relationships. A key finding was that participants framed the decision to be tested as 'common sense'; the idea of choice around the decision was negated and replaced by a moral imperative to be tested. Those who did not follow 'common sense' were judged to be imprudent. Family members who declined testing were discussed negatively by participants. The article addresses what is ethically problematic about how test decliners were discussed and whether these ethical concerns extend to others who are offered genetic testing. Discussions showed that genetic testing was viewed as both an autonomous choice and a responsibility. Yet the apparent conflict between the right to autonomy and the moral imperative of responsibility allowed participants to defend test decliners' decisions by expressing a preference for or defending choice over responsibility. The 'right not to know' seemed an important moral construct to help ethically manage unpopular decisions made by close family who declined testing. In light of this research, the erosion of the 'right not to know' in the genomic age could have subtle yet profound consequences for family relationships.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Towards a structure of feeling: abjection and allegories of disease in science fiction 'mutation' films

 2016 Aug 10. pii: medhum-2016-010970. doi: 10.1136/medhum-2016-010970. [Epub ahead of print]

Towards a structure of feeling: abjection and allegories of disease in science fiction 'mutation' films.


This article considers differences between the representation of mutation in science fiction films from the 1950s and the present, and identifies distinctive changes over this time period, both in relation to the narrative causes of genetic disruption and in the aesthetics of its visual display. Discerning an increasingly abject quality to science fiction mutations from the 1970s onwards-as a progressive tendency to view the physically opened body, one that has a seemingly fluid interior-exterior reversal, or one that is almost beyond recognition as humanoid-the article connects a propensity for disgust to the corresponding socio-cultural and political zeitgeist. Specifically, it suggests that such imagery is tied to a more expansive 'structure of feeling', proposed by Raymond Williams and emergent since the 1970s, but gathering momentum in later decades, that reflects an 'opening up' of society in all its visual, socio-cultural and political configurations. Expressly, it parallels a change from a repressive, patriarchal society that constructed medicine as infallible and male doctors as omnipotent to one that is generally more liberated, transparent and equitable. Engaging theoretically with the concept of a 'structure of feeling', and critically with scientific, cinematic and cultural discourses, two post-1970s' 'mutation' films, The Fly (1986) and District 9 (2009), are considered in relation to their pre-1970s' predecessors, and their aesthetics related to the perceptions and articulations of the medical profession at their respective historic moments, locating such instances within a broader medico-political canvas.

"Cancer is not giving you the luxury of time..."

Why Doctors Want A Computerized Assistant For Cancer Care

"Speed matters, given how fast cancer can spread. Information overload is a particular challenge.

"Cancer is not giving you the luxury of time," says Ajay Royyuru, the director of IBM's Healthcare and Life Sciences Research. And, he adds, there are "more papers published in each year than cancer researchers can read and remember."

In contrast, IBM's supercomputer Watson, famous for defeating former champions in Jeopardy! in 2011, is able to read "800 million pages per second ... from medical literature to patient records to doctors' notes," according to Christine Douglass at IBM Watson Health."

Anxiety and ritualization: Can attention discriminate compulsion from routine?

 2016 Jun 1;9(3):e1174799. doi: 10.1080/19420889.2016.1174799.

Anxiety and ritualization: Can attention discriminate compulsion from routine?

Author information

  • 1LEVYNA Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion, Department for the Study of Religions, Masaryk University , Brno, Czech Republic.
  • 2LEVYNA Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion, Department for the Study of Religions, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic; Department of Anthropology and CT Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA.
  • 3Religion Programme, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Otago , Dunedin, New Zealand.
  • 4Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava , Bratislava, Slovakia.
  • 5Department of Anthropology and CT Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA; Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.


Despite the wide occurrence of ritual behavior in humans and animals, much of its causal underpinnings, as well as evolutionary functions, remain unknown. A prominent line of research focuses on ritualization as a response to anxiogenic stimuli. By manipulating anxiety levels, and subsequently assessing their motor behavior dynamics, our recent study investigated this causal link in a controlled way. As an extension to our original argument, we here discuss 2 theoretical explanations of rituals-ritualized behavior and automated behavior-and their link to anxiety. We propose that investigating participant's locus of attention can discriminate between these 2 models.

"...China [is the] home to a third of the world’s diabetic population."

The looming public health crises threatening to take down China’s health care system

"In the 1980s diabetes was a rarity affecting just one percent of China’s population. Now, due to rapid economic development, and the subsequent growth in availability of high-calorie diets, cars and sedentary lifestyles, China has the highest number of diabetics in the world, totaling 109 million people in 2015—roughly 11 percent of the population. That makes China home to a third of the world’s diabetic population. The scale of this public health problem is huge, particularly because it comes at a time when the country’s health system as a whole is under reform, moving from a rudimentary socialist system to one that is open to private investment and ownership. Currently, access to health care varies greatly by location and economic status, but long lines outside hospitals are a common sight, in part due to a growing ageing population. The Chinese government recently allowed foreign companies to wholly own hospitals in an attempt to meet the needs of the country."

Partnerships between the faith-based and medical sectors: Implications for preventive medicine and public health

 2016 Jul 27;4:344-50. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.07.009. eCollection 2016.

Partnerships between the faith-based and medical sectors: Implications for preventive medicine and public health.

Author information

  • 1Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University, One Bear Place # 97236, Waco, TX 76798, United States.


Interconnections between the faith-based and medical sectors are multifaceted and have existed for centuries, including partnerships that have evolved over the past several decades in the U.S. This paper outlines ten points of intersection that have engaged medical and healthcare professionals and institutions across specialties, focusing especially on primary care, global health, and community-based outreach to underserved populations. In a time of healthcare resource scarcity, such partnerships-involving religious congregations, denominations, and communal and philanthropic agencies-are useful complements to the work of private-sector medical care providers and of federal, state, and local public health institutions in their efforts to protect and maintain the health of the population. At the same time, challenges and obstacles remain, mostly related to negotiating the complex and contentious relations between these two sectors. This paper identifies pressing legal/constitutional, political/policy, professional/jurisdictional, ethical, and research and evaluation issues that need to be better addressed before this work can realize its full potential.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

"...in the social sciences, intellectuals — be they professors, pundits, or policy wonks — tend to be both biased and unaware of their own bias."


Why professors, pundits, and policy wonks misunderstand the world


"The fact that we members of the intellectual professions are quite atypical of the societies in which we live tends to distort our judgment, when we forget that we belong to a tiny and rather bizarre minority. This is not a problem with the hard sciences.  But in the social sciences, intellectuals — be they professors, pundits, or policy wonks — tend to be both biased and unaware of their own bias."

Ending tuberculosis by 2030: can we do it?

 2016 Sep;20(9):1148-54. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.16.0142.

Ending tuberculosis by 2030: can we do it?

Author information

  • 1South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis, University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg, South Africa.
  • 2Operations Research Unit (LuxOR), Médecins Sans Frontières, Luxembourg.
  • 3International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France; Department of Clinical Research, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK.


The Sustainable Development Goals aim to end tuberculosis (TB) related deaths, transmission and catastrophic costs by 2030. Multisectorial action to accelerate socio-economic development, a new vaccine and novel diagnostics and medicines for treatment are key advances needed to end TB transmission. Achieving 90-90-90 targets for TB (i.e., 90% of vulnerable populations screened, 90% diagnosed and started on treatment, and at least 90% cured) will help accelerate progress towards reductions in mortality; however, passive case detection strategies, multidrug-resistant TB, human immunodeficiency virus coinfection and outdated pathways to care need to be overcome. Ending the catastrophic costs associated with TB will require expansion of health insurance coverage, comprehensive coverage of TB services, and limited indirect costs by vulnerable and poor populations.

"A diagnosis with esophageal cancer is very nearly a death sentence."

Understanding the deadly cancer that kills more than 90 per cent of its patients

"A diagnosis with oesophageal cancer is very nearly a death sentence.
Of the 1300 or so Australians diagnosed every year, fewer than 10 per cent survive.
The incidence of esophageal cancer increased more than 400 per cent in Australia in the three decades to 2010, with researchers directly linking it to an increase in obesity."

"Among 2 to 5 year olds, about 10 percent were obese..."

Children score low on cardiovascular health measures

"Not surprisingly, the effects of poor diet and physical inactivity affected body weight. Among 2 to 5 year olds, about 10 percent were obese based on their body mass index (BMI) — a measure of body weight based on height. In the 12 to 19 year-old age group, the percentage of obesity soared to between 19 percent and 27 percent. Among these older children, the rate of cigarette smoking was surprisingly high. In fact, approximately one-third of 12 to 19 year-olds reported trying a cigarette."

Blacks, especially women, suffer more disabilities in later years than whites do

Blacks, especially women, suffer more disabilities in later years than whites do

"Reasons for this racial disparity in old age are probably rooted in differences that began in youth, the authors said. For example, relative to whites, blacks are more likely to have been in worse health and uninsured earlier in life, and to have higher rates of obesity and cardiovascular risk factors.
For Americans in late years, disabilities curtail even routine activities and open a new phase of unmet needs. That experience arrives earlier for blacks and complicates independent living, researchers found."

"But for all their cynicism, the spin doctors and political technologists were, at this point, still trying to pull off an illusion of the truth."



Peter Pomerantsev

"But for all their cynicism, the spin doctors and political technologists were, at this point, still trying to pull off an illusion of the truth. Their stories were meant to be coherent, even if they were low on facts. When reality caught up – the audience caught on to the illusion in Moscow and the stories about Iraq broke down and the stock market crashed – one reaction has been to double down, to deny that facts matter at all, to make a fetish out of not caring about them. This has many benefits for rulers – and is a relief for voters."

Gain-of-Function Research: Ethical Analysis

 2016 Aug 8. [Epub ahead of print]

Gain-of-Function Research: Ethical Analysis.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. michael.selgelid@monash.edu.


Gain-of-function (GOF) research involves experimentation that aims or is expected to (and/or, perhaps, actually does) increase the transmissibility and/or virulence of pathogens. Such research, when conducted by responsible scientists, usually aims to improve understanding of disease causing agents, their interaction with human hosts, and/or their potential to cause pandemics. The ultimate objective of such research is to better inform public health and preparedness efforts and/or development of medical countermeasures. Despite these important potential benefits, GOF research (GOFR) can pose risks regarding biosecurity and biosafety. In 2014 the administration of US President Barack Obama called for a "pause" on funding (and relevant research with existing US Government funding) of GOF experiments involving influenza, SARS, and MERS viruses in particular. With announcement of this pause, the US Government launched a "deliberative process" regarding risks and benefits of GOFR to inform future funding decisions-and the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) was tasked with making recommendations to the US Government on this matter. As part of this deliberative process the National Institutes of Health commissioned this Ethical Analysis White Paper, requesting that it provide (1) review and summary of ethical literature on GOFR, (2) identification and analysis of existing ethical and decision-making frameworks relevant to (i) the evaluation of risks and benefits of GOFR, (ii) decision-making about the conduct of GOF studies, and (iii) the development of US policy regarding GOFR (especially with respect to funding of GOFR), and (3) development of an ethical and decision-making framework that may be considered by NSABB when analyzing information provided by GOFR risk-benefit assessment, and when crafting its final recommendations (especially regarding policy decisions about funding of GOFR in particular). The ethical and decision-making framework ultimately developed is based on the idea that there are numerous ethically relevant dimensions upon which any given case of GOFR can fare better or worse (as opposed to there being necessary conditions that are either satisfied or not satisfied, where all must be satisfied in order for a given case of GOFR to be considered ethically acceptable): research imperative, proportionality, minimization of risks, manageability of risks, justice, good governance (i.e., democracy), evidence, and international outlook and engagement. Rather than drawing a sharp bright line between GOFR studies that are ethically acceptable and those that are ethically unacceptable, this framework is designed to indicate where any given study would fall on an ethical spectrum-where imaginable cases of GOFR might range from those that are most ethically acceptable (perhaps even ethically praiseworthy or ethically obligatory), at one end of the spectrum, to those that are most ethically problematic or unacceptable (and thus should not be funded, or conducted), at the other. The aim should be that any GOFR pursued (and/or funded) should be as far as possible towards the former end of the spectrum.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Vital Importance of Fitness Before and During Retirement

The Vital Importance of Fitness Before and During Retirement

"I’ve taken care of hundreds of 55-year olds. Some are a picture of health; some are a picture of near-death. In some cases, bad health is due to bad luck. More often than not though, the conditions that plague the unhealthy 55-year old are preventable: obesity, smoking, untreated sleep apnea and hypertension, etc."

 - See more at: http://www.hcplive.com/physicians-money-digest/contributor/physician-on-fire/2016/08/the-vital-importance-of-fitness-before-and-during-retirement#sthash.PQSwFtuj.dpuf

Not even 1% of American children meet AHA’s definition of ideal heart health

Not even 1% of American children meet AHA’s definition of ideal heart health

"About 91 percent of U. S. children have poor diets, "because they're consuming sugary food and drinks." Only about half of young boys and a third of young girls between ages 6 and 11 are meeting the minimum recommended amount of physical activity per day of 60 minutes, according to the AHA. Those between ages 16 and 19 were even less likely to reach that goal."

Ethics Rounds: In the Eye of a Social Media Storm

 2016 Aug 5. pii: e20161398. [Epub ahead of print]

Ethics Rounds: In the Eye of a Social Media Storm.

Author information

  • 1Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and.
  • 2Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri.
  • 3Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and feudtner@email.chop.edu.


Social media, no stranger to health care environments, is increasingly used by patients, families, clinicians, and institutions to interact and engage in new ways. The ethical challenges related to the use of social media in the clinical setting are familiar, yet come with a novel twist, including the possibility of having a conflict "go viral". Health care clinicians and institutions must understand and embrace these technologies, while at the same time promoting policies and practices that ensure the ethically appropriate use of social media and address strategies for preventing and responding to a social media crisis.

"...those books, the enduring foundation stones of my humanistic education, sustained me through some very lean years. But they were lovely years as well..."

Holding On to What Makes Us Human

Defending the humanities in a skills-obsessed university

Gestational diabetes increases obesity risk by 53 per cent in children, study reports

Gestational diabetes increases obesity risk by 53 per cent in children, study reports

The researchers then calculated that the increased risk of obesity for children of mothers with gestational diabetes was 53 per cent, compared to mothers without the condition.

This risk was 73 per cent for central obesity and 42 per cent for high body fat. The association with central obesity remained statistically significant after adjustments for BMI, but not with obesity and high body fat.

"The mechanisms by which exposure to diabetes in the wombincreases the risk of offspring obesity are not fully understood," said the researchers.

"Exposure to maternal diabetes is associated with excess fetal growth in utero, possibly mainly due to an increase in fetal fat mass and alterations in fetal hormone levels."

"There is significant misclassification of childhood asthma when the diagnosis relies solely on a clinical history."

 2016 Aug 9. doi: 10.1002/ppul.23541. [Epub ahead of print]

Misdiagnosis of asthma in schoolchildren.

Yang CL1,2Simons E3,4Foty RG3Subbarao P1,2,4To T3,4Dell SD1,2,3,4.

Author information

  • 1Division of Respiratory Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • 3Child Health Evaluative Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • 4Institute of Health, Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



A correct diagnosis of asthma is the cornerstone of asthma management. Few pediatric studies have examined the accuracy of physician-diagnosed asthma.


We determined the accuracy of parent reported physician-diagnosed asthma in children sampled from a community cohort.


Nested case-control study that recruited 203 children, aged 9-12, from a community-based sample. Three groups were recruited: asthma cases had a parental report of physician-diagnosed asthma, symptomatic controls had respiratory symptoms without a diagnosis of asthma, and asymptomatic controls had no respiratory symptoms. All participants were assessed and assigned a clinical diagnosis by one of three study physicians, and then completed spirometry, methacholine challenge, and allergy skin testing. The reference standard of asthma required a study physician's clinical diagnosis of asthma and either reversible bronchoconstriction or a positive methacholine challenge. Diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity and specificity were calculated for parent-reported asthma diagnosis compared to the reference standard.


One hundred two asthma cases, 52 controls with respiratory symptoms but no asthma diagnosis, and 49 asymptomatic controls were assessed. Physician agreement for the diagnosis of asthma was moderate (kappa 0.46-0.81). Compared to the reference standard, 45% of asthma cases were overdiagnosed and 10% of symptomatic controls were underdiagnosed. Parental report of physician-diagnosed asthma had 75% sensitivity and 92% specificity for correctly identifying asthma.


There is significant misclassification of childhood asthma when the diagnosis relies solely on a clinical history. This study highlights the importance of objective testing to confirm the diagnosis of asthma.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

"...our data did not support an elevated suicide risk among wounded service members..."

 2016 Aug 5. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12282. [Epub ahead of print]

Suicide Risk Among Wounded U.S. Service Members.

Author information

  • 1Joint Base Lewis McChord, National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2), Tacoma, WA, USA.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
  • 3Department of Veterans Affairs, Institute for Clinical Research, Washington DC VA Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.
  • 4Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Public Health, Post-Deployment Health Strategic Healthcare Group, Washington, DC, USA.


The association between suicide and combat injuries sustained during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was examined. A retrospective population-based cohort design was conducted using official military records to identify combat injuries (October 7, 2001, to December 31, 2007). Those who were injured during combat had higher crude suicide rates than those who deployed and were not injured (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.50; confidence interval [CI] = 1.06, 2.12), or never deployed (IRR = 1.46; CI = 1.04, 2.06). After adjusting for demographics, these findings were no longer statistically significant. Although our data did not support an elevated suicide risk among wounded service members, additional research is needed to examine the impact of injury severity.


"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Moving beyond "Obamacare," political activists are looking to state ballot questions to refocus the nation's long-running debate over government's role in health care.
This fall, California voters will decide whether to lower some prescription drug prices, while Coloradans will vote on a state version of a "single-payer" government-run health system, similar to what Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders proposed in his unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination."

"Fifty per cent of the stroke patients in the UAE are below the age of 45..."

Every hour, one person gets a stroke in the UAE

This is an alarming statistic and there is an urgent need for lifestyle changes, say experts

"Dubai: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) smart clinic is raising awareness about stroke prevention, which is the second leading cause of disability in the UAE, with 7,000-8,000 stroke patients a year. This means every hour, one person gets a stroke in the UAE.
Fifty per cent of the stroke patients in the UAE are below the age of 45, as compared to the global average, where 80 per cent of stroke patients are above the age of 65, said Dr Suhail Al Rukn, stroke and neurology consultant and head of stroke unit at Rashid Hospital.
“For the UAE, this is an alarming statistic and calls for urgent lifestyle changes and increase in awareness,” added Dr Al Rukn."

"During the invasion of Poland more than a few ordinary German soldiers objected to the massacring of enemy civilians, especially women and children. By the time of Barbarossa such objections had become rare."

Germany and the Concept of Collective Guilt

Do only psychopaths commit horrible mass crimes, or are we all more responsible than we are willing to admit? Two new histories of the Nazi war machine examine their leaders—and their soldiers.

Why take part in personalised cancer research?

 2016 Aug 10. doi: 10.1111/ecc.12563. [Epub ahead of print]

Why take part in personalised cancer research? Patients' genetic misconception, genetic responsibility and incomprehension of stratification-an empirical-ethical examination.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.
  • 2Department of General Practice, University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.


Therapeutic misconception is a well-known challenge for informed decision-making for cancer research participants. What is still missing, is a detailed understanding of the impact of "personalised" treatment research (e.g. biomarkers for stratification) on research participants. For this, we conducted the first longitudinal empirical-ethical study based on semi-structured interviews with colorectal cancer patients (n = 40) enrolled in a biomarker trial for (neo)adjuvant treatment, analysing the patients' understanding of and perspectives on research and treatment with qualitative methods. In addition to therapeutic misconception based on patients' confusion of research and treatment, and here triggered by misled motivation, information paternalism or incomprehension, we identified genetic misconception and genetic responsibility as new problematic issues. Patients mainly were not aware of the major research aim of future stratification into responders and non-responders nor did they fully acknowledge this as the aim for personalised cancer research. Thus, ethical and practical reflection on informed decision-making in cancer treatment and research should take into account the complexity of lay interpretations of modern personalised medicine. Instead of very formalistic, liability-oriented informed consent procedures, we suggest a more personalised communication approach to inform and motivate patients for cancer research.

Student group takes over a corner store to protest nutrition taxes and warnings

Student group takes over a corner store to protest nutrition taxes and warnings

"The project comes after documents obtained by The Canadian Press showed the federal government has weighed the possibility of a tax on soft drinks.

"We're looking to have people come by the store and get a glimpse of what it's like if the government is going to hold your hand through life, over-tax, over-regulate, over-ban everything that's bad for your health," said the group's co-ordinator, David Clement. 
"The point is to ask Canadians (whether) we need a nanny state or big government telling us how to live our lives or should adults be free to choose when it comes to what they put in their own bodies, what they eat, what they drink."
The group is the Canadian arm of an international network of libertarian students, and Clement said it comprises around 1,000 members at universities in Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia."

"...there is a risk of lung cancer from inhalational marijuana as well as an association between inhalational marijuana and spontaneous pneumothorax, bullous emphysema, or COPD."

 2016 Aug 9. pii: respcare.04846. [Epub ahead of print]

A Systematic Review of the Respiratory Effects of Inhalational Marijuana.

Author information

  • 1University of Tampa, Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance, Tampa, Florida. MMartinasek@ut.edu.
  • 2University of Tampa, Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance, Tampa, Florida.


This systematic review focuses on respiratory effects of inhalational marijuana. The systematic review of the literature was conducted using a comparative method between 2 researchers. Abstracts were reviewed for inclusion of respiratory effects related to inhalational marijuana. Relevant abstracts were collected, and full text articles were retrieved for review. Articles were removed if they did not contain burning marijuana; were animal studies; or were editorials, systematic reviews, commentaries, non-English language, or non-respiratory-related articles. Forty-eight articles were collected and categorized by respiratory effects. In particular, lung cancer, bullous emphysema/COPD, and other respiratory symptoms were the primary categories. Articles were noted by study population country, sample size, age distribution, and findings that were pertinent to respiratory health. The research indicates that there is a risk of lung cancer from inhalational marijuana as well as an association between inhalational marijuana and spontaneous pneumothorax, bullous emphysema, or COPD. A variety of symptoms have been reported by inhalational marijuana smokers, including wheezing, shortness of breath, altered pulmonary function tests, cough, phlegm production, bronchodilation, and other symptoms. It is important to stay current with research findings to educate patients on this smoking behavior.