The Smoking Wars: Menthol, Minors, and More Smoking Bans

Tweet In case you thought that the war against smoking was in our rear-view mirror, it’s not.  On Monday, I had a guest blog on Scientific American concerning electronic cigarettes, which provoked a lot of heat and discussion. I’ll put it up on this blog over the weekend. I learned a lot after posting and

Warning Signs No. 2: Metal-on-Metal Hips,
Lung Cancer Death Rates, Ecigarette and Food Safety

Tweet It’s a new year and here’s another segment on warning signs. I am glad to see that this month, the hazards of metal-on-metal hips, covered in the first warning signs issue, are being examined. 40% Failure Rate of Johnson and Johnson’s Metal-on-Metal Hip People contemplating a joint replacement should take a close look at

Metal-on-Metal Hips: A Tale of Harm, Weak
Medical Device-Approval, and Lax Postmarket Scrutiny

Tweet Nearly 1 million metal-on- metal hips have been implanted in patients in the United States, making the US the world’s largest consumer of the implants. According to a BMJ/BBC Newsnight Investigation released today, the “risks associated with these devices have been known for decades, yet patients have been kept in the dark about their

Inattention to Drug Safety in the Elderly
Leaves Generations At Risk

Tweet This post originally appeared in a slightly different form in Scientific American’s guest blog on June 30, 2011. My frail, 92-year-old mother was prescribed 80 mg of the cholesterol-lowering drug, or statin, simvastatin (Zocor) for years, possibly decades. She fell four times in the last four years of her life: the last fall was

Conservative Drug Prescribing:
A Plea for Principles and Action

Tweet Does the concept of “conservative drug prescribing,” where doctors evaluate your medical history, examine you thoroughly, and think of ways to help you, without reaching for the latest new pill, mean much to you? If your experience is anything like mine—and I am in basically good health with no serious conditions, I have seen