Changing E-Cig Tastes

By Scott LaFee

June 3, 2020 6 min read

In November 2018, under pressure from the Food and Drug Administration, e-cigarette maker Juul announced it was pulling its fruit flavors and some of its sweet flavors (think cotton candy) from the market — an effort to reduce the attraction to younger consumers.

Tobacco, mint and menthol flavors remained for sale.

It appears consumers have simply switched tastes, with Juul reporting mint and menthol flavor sales rising from 16% to 22%. A competitor, Njoy, which didn't stop selling fruit flavors, said its fruit flavor sales went up $37 million in a single month.

Researchers who conducted the survey say voluntary removal of products may not be enough to curb sales, suggesting government regulation may be necessary.

COVID and Other Species

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is thought to have originated in bats and then jumped species. But early research suggests that other animals are not equally vulnerable. In a recent study of animals that often come in close contact with humans, researchers found that cats and ferrets appear susceptible to airborne transmission from an infected member of their species, but dogs, pigs, chickens and ducks are not hospitable hosts to the virus that causes COVID-19.

Body of Knowledge

The average tongue length of an adult man is 3.3 inches, an adult woman 3.1 inches. The current world record for longest tongue is held by Nick Stoebert at 3.97 inches.

Get Me That, Stat!

The average person, according to a survey by one toilet paper manufacturer, uses 57 sheets of TP per day (8.6 sheets per bathroom visit), or more than 20,000 sheets per year.

Counts

14: Percentage of black cancer patients who are more likely to have metastatic disease at time of diagnosis than other ethnicities

Source: JAMA Network

Stories for the Waiting Room

Our sense of smell is critical to enjoyment of food, so it's no surprise that obese mice lacking a sense smell lost weight. But here's the odd thing: The slimmed-down mice ate the same amount of fatty food as mice with unimpaired olfactory senses that ballooned to twice their weight. The findings, published by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, suggest that the odor of what we eat helps inform how the body deals with the calories. If we can't smell our food, we're more likely to burn the calories than store them.

Doc Talk

Aphthous stomatitis: benign, noncontagious mouth blisters, also known as canker sores.

Phobia of the Week

Arachibutyrophobia: fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.

Never Say Diet

The Major League Eating speed-eating record for red beans and rice is 39.5 10-ounce bowls in 8 minutes, held by Joey Chestnut. Warning: Most of these records are held by professional eaters, the rest by people who really should find something better to do.

Best Medicine

A man spots his doctor at a shopping mall and approaches him.

"Six weeks ago when I was in your office, you told me to go home, get in bed and not get out until you called. You never called," declared the man.

"I didn't?" responded the doctor. "Then what are you doing out of bed?"

Observation

"A shin is a device for finding furniture in the dark." — Colin Bowles

Medical History

This week in 1906, pathologist Howard T. Ricketts discovered that Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever was caused by an unusual microbe spread by ticks. Its symptoms are similar to typhus, except the rash starts at extremities and moves to the trunk. The disease typically results in 70% hospitalization and, untreated, has a mortality rate of roughly 7%.

Med School

Q: What kind of vision do newborns have?

A: Pretty terrible, at least in the beginning. Newborns have roughly 5% of the visual acuity of adults, but it improves quickly, and by six months old, they can see about as well as a grown-up. Interestingly, newborns can pick up on subtleties that older children and adults cannot. For example, in tests they can tell individual monkeys apart while older babies and adults cannot.

Curtain Calls

According to the ancient historian Diodorus Siculus, a Greek lawyer from Sicily named Charondas (c. late seventh to early fifth century B.C.) had successfully lobbied for a law that said anyone who brought weapons to the Assembly must be put to death.

One day, Charondas rushed to the Assembly seeking assistance to defeat some brigands in the countryside. He forgot he was still wearing a knife at his belt. In order to uphold his own law, he committed suicide.

To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: Matryx at Pixabay

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