Wednesday, December 20, 2006

This Just In

A couple of news stories on the Today Show caught my ear this morning while I was getting ready for work. The first one I found to be incredibly timely since just yesterday I posted about my use (some might say misuse) of Advil when I run. Apparently ibuprofen (Advil), as well as other common painkillers, like acetaminophen (Excedrin and Tylenol), and aspirin, can cause serious problems, including liver damage, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney injury, and even death (which in my book is a serious problem) when taken regularly. Here’s a link to the entire article:

The other news item I heard on the Today Show, I only found in video form and I don’t have the correct version of Flash on my computer, so I’m just going to paraphrase. The story was about nicotine being used to help people quit smoking (like the “patch” or the “gum) and whether or not it’s safe since nicotine is more addictive than heroin. Well, I wasn’t really listening until I heard the anchor ask the reporter about whether or not smoking was on the rise again. Or something. I can’t quite remember. Whatever it was it caught my attention because I have been asking this question for months: When did everyone start smoking again? You see in Chicago you can still smoke in the bars. When I still smoked about a year and a half ago, I would go out to the bars and attempt to bum cigarettes… it was nearly impossible. This was nearing the end of my ten-year relationship with Marlboro and smoking had become socially unacceptable. That’s how it felt anyway. Nobody smoked. Except for me… because I was addicted.

Fast-forward to now. And maybe it’s because I’m frequenting different bars in a different neighborhood, but it seems like suddenly everyone is smoking again. Except me… because I have been brainwashed. Well, on Today Show this morning my question was finally answered. Yes, smoking is on the rise again. Smoking sharply decreased through the nineties into the early part of the millennium, leveled off, but began rising again the last few years.

Look at me with my finger on the pulse of the nation…

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