Tag Archives: problem

The Puzzling Problem of Vaping

The Puzzling Problem of VapingSan Francisco – A 29-story office building at 123 Mission Street illustrates the policy puzzles that fester because of these facts: For centuries, tobacco has been a widely used, legal consumer good that does serious and often lethal harm when used as it is intended to be used. And its harmfulness has been a well-established and widely publicized scientific proposition for generations.The building is the headquarters of Juul, a large company that markets vaping products — electronic cigarettes — and that has been running full-page ads in major newspapers ostensibly attempting to limit sales of its product: "Youth vaping is a serious problem" that justifies "cracking down on underage sales at retail stores" and removing from stores "flavored products." Juul's flavors include mint, mango, fruit, and cucumber. Other companies' flavors have included "Unicorn Puke" and "Zombie Juice." The target audience is not mature.This city, Juul's host, recently banned such products from being sold in stores or online and delivered to city addresses. Its purpose is to limit cigarette smoking, the nation's foremost cause of preventable death. Well.In 2016, cigarette companies spent $ 8.7 billion advertising and otherwise promoting their products, 34 percent more than the total spending by all presidential and congressional campaigns ($ 6.5 billion) in the 2016 cycle. The companies claim that their primary aim is to enlarge market share, not enlarge the market by creating new smokers, and especially not young ones. However, the companies know that few people begin smoking after 21, so if there is to be a future market for the companies' products . . . Altria, maker of Marlboro and other brands, has invested $ 12.8 billion in Juul.Some smokers who cannot quit can transition to e-cigarettes, which deliver large doses of nicotine but are less harmful than inhaling smoke from burning tobacco. More people under 18 vape than smoke. For some, e-cigarettes will be a gateway to real ones: Data show that vapers are more likely than non-vapers to become smokers, but that although teen smoking has stopped declining, it remains at a historic low. More than 3 million high-school pupils (one in five) and half a million middle-school pupils vape. America is in a rapidly expanding mass experiment with a new product, and it will be a while before there is sufficient data to estimate whether it will be a net public-health benefit.In 1906 — 302 years after King James I called smoking "harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs," and 299 years after he planted Jamestown in Virginia, whose tobacco enhanced his treasury — a character in an O. Henry short story said, "Say, sport, have you got a coffin nail on you?" This was long before the surgeon general declared tobacco carcinogenic (1964) and addictive (1988). Today, cigarettes are stigmatized by common sense, social disparagement, and government, whose best cost-benefit ratio involves the dissemination of public-health warnings.When vaping among high schoolers increases 78 percent in one year (from 2017 to 2018), it has become a fashion fad that is flourishing in the absence of credible frightening information. But, then, after more than half a century of the aggressive dissemination of such information, 16 percent of American adults still smoke.In "The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer," Siddhartha Mukherjee, an oncologist, writes, "In the turbulent century between 1850 and 1950, the world offered conflict, atomization, and disorientation. The cigarette offered its equal and opposite salve: camaraderie, a sense of belonging, and the familiarity of habits. If cancer is the quintessential product of modernity, then so, too, is its principal preventable cause: tobacco."So, perhaps some causes of increased vaping resemble those of the current opioid epidemic, which echoes the alcohol crisis that accompanied the mass movement of Americans from farms to cities early in the 20th century. But while San Francisco anathematizes vaping, what Mukherjee says remains true: "One of the most potent and common carcinogens known to humans can be freely bought and sold at every corner store for a few dollars."More cigarettes might be sold because of bans on vaping products — because smokers cannot use e-cigarettes to stop smoking, or because teenaged vapers will move on to readily available cigarettes. Perhaps instead of bans California should revive the anti-smoking ads that three decades ago reduced the number of smokers 17 percent in three years: "I tried it once and I, ah, got all red in the face and I couldn't inhale and I felt like a jerk and, ah, never tried it again which is the same as what happened to me with sex."© 2019 Washington Post Writers Group



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Iran's Navy Has a Big Problem: A Track Record of Getting Crushed in Battle

Iran's Navy Has a Big Problem: A Track Record of Getting Crushed in BattleTensions have escalated in the Persian Gulf region in the aftermath of U.S. president Donald Trump’s decision unilaterally to withdraw the United States from the agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program.The U.S. military has implicated Iranian agents in several summer 2019 attacks on civilian ships sailing near Iran. The U.S. Navy sent the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and her strike group to the region. The U.S. Air Force deployed B-52 bombers and F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters.If war breaks out, American forces could target Iran’s small navy as well as the vessels belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps militia.The battle could be brief. Iran’s fleet has a long history of waging losing fights with the United States and other Western powers.During World War II, the Allied powers worried that Iran, while technically neutral, might sympathize with and aid the Nazis, potentially depriving the Allies of the country’s oil. On Aug. 25, 1941, Commonwealth and Soviet forces invaded.British and Australian warships steamed into Abadan Harbor as part of a surprise attack. HMS Shoreham opened fire first, striking the Iranian warship Palang. Soon virtually the entire Iranian fleet was in ruins and commander-in-chief Adm. Gholamali Bayandor lay dead.The British and Soviets divided up Iran and deposed its shah. In the two decades following the war, the new regime rebuilt the navy with mostly British-made ships, some of which remain in service today.The new Iranian navy fought hard during the bloody Iran-Iraq war between 1980 and 1988. Iran’s attacks on tanker ships—some strictly neutral, others admittedly supplying Iraq—incited international rage.



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Iran says saving nuclear deal not its problem, EU warns no alternative

Iran says saving nuclear deal not its problem, EU warns no alternativeU.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal last year, inflaming tensions between Tehran and Washington that led to Iran shooting down a U.S. drone last week. Trump ordered retaliatory air strikes but called them off at the last minute. Under the deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear program most U.N. and western sanctions on Iran were lifted, however the United States has imposed new sanctions that it says are designed to force Iran back to the negotiating table.



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Boeing faces liabilities as CEO Dennis Muilenburg acknowledges 'apparent' 737 Max problem

Boeing faces liabilities as CEO Dennis Muilenburg acknowledges 'apparent' 737 Max problemBoeing CEO's acknowledgment that a new maneuvering system contributed to two fatal 737 Max crashes could leave company exposed to financial liability.



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Biden’s Problem Is His Ego

Biden’s Problem Is His EgoJoe Biden wants us to believe that all his touching speaks to how deeply he cares about other people.It’s really a testament to how much regard he has for himself.As everyone has always known, Biden is prone to weird and wildly overfamiliar interactions with women, which are extensively on the record and have been the subject of jocular commentary over the years.The MeToo era has put his grabby style in a different light, and now he’s had to tweet out a video saying he gets it.Biden’s conduct is obviously different and less blameworthy than the men caught up in MeToo: It’s not furtive, but out in the open; not sexual, but affectionate. He doesn’t stand accused of cruelly manipulating anyone or creating a hostile workplace.No, his fundamental offense is not realizing that some people might not be as into Joe Biden as Joe Biden is into Joe Biden. He has an ego, not a libido, problem.Biden lost all self-awareness somewhere in the Senate chamber about 40 years ago.It’s not just that Biden’s a figure from a different era; he’s been in the bubble, deferred to and adored as a matter of course, for decades. He won his first Senate race at age 29. He served with Barry Goldwater, William Fulbright, Adlai Stevenson, and Sam Ervin. He was in the Senate for 36 years before moving to the even more rarefied air of the vice presidency.So, he’s clueless in the way that old Washington hands who refer to themselves in the third person and consider themselves living legends always are — only more so.To use Biden’s own term, he believes his own malarkey.He really thinks that he’s the most charming man in the room and a master at human interaction. In his view, he’s doing everyone a favor by giving them a warm bath of Biden.It’s truly never occurred to him that some women might not want to be grabbed, smelled, held, nuzzled, Eskimo-kissed, whispered to and generally handled by their great champion and defender, Joe Biden.We’re hearing new stories almost every other day because Biden has done this hundreds and hundreds of times — it was part of his shtick.The former vice president always assumed that he and his adoring fans had the same dynamic going for them as Willie Brown described in his line about his affair with Kamala Harris: “She loved me, I loved me. It was the perfect relationship.”Very often Biden was probably right, but not all the time. His indiscriminate touchiness — just like his indiscriminate talking — shows a fundamental lack of consideration for others and of self-control.In his video, Biden noted how he has helped people get through tragedies, but that wasn’t the circumstance of most of the women who have complained about his behavior. Biden was in the habit of squeezing and smelling people he randomly encountered out on the campaign trail.In our era, we are finding new ways to work around to old concepts like common courtesy and propriety. In pledging to respect people’s personal space, Biden is promising to be more gentlemanly, although he could never use that term. The use of a handshake as a greeting is a good place to start.With Donald Trump in the White House, no one can say lack of manners is a bar to high office, and Biden’s grabbiness shouldn’t be disqualifying.The controversy is a symptom of something else that should give Biden pause, though: The peril of being at the center of politics in Washington is that your political instincts aren’t sharpened, they are worn down. This is why we tend to elect newcomers rather than experienced Washington politicians, let alone people who have been around for 40 years.If Biden’s going to run, he should do it fully aware that it’s a new party — and his effect on people isn’t necessarily what he thinks.© 2019 by King Features Syndicate



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New solutions for the old problem of illegal massage parlors

New solutions for the old problem of illegal massage parlorsBOSTON (AP) — They're nestled amid bustling downtowns and tucked into nondescript strip malls across quiet suburbs. Brothels posing as massage parlors and Asian spas have been part of the American landscape for decades, hidden in plain sight.



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A global look at the Catholic Church's sex abuse problem

A global look at the Catholic Church's sex abuse problemVATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis' high-stakes sex abuse prevention summit is meant to call attention to the crisis as a global problem that requires a global response.



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A global look at the Catholic Church's sex abuse problem

A global look at the Catholic Church's sex abuse problemVATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis' high-stakes sex abuse prevention summit is meant to call attention to the crisis as a global problem that requires a global response.



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Mom to man annoyed with toddler on flight: 'The problem wasn't with us, it was with you'

Mom to man annoyed with toddler on flight: 'The problem wasn't with us, it was with you'Having a crying child on your flight might seem like a nuisance, but one mom made sure to let everyone know it's even more nerve-wracking for parents.



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The Problem With Savannah Guthrie's Nicholas Sandmann Interview

The Problem With Savannah Guthrie's Nicholas Sandmann InterviewSandmann's MAGA hat and presence at an anti-abortion protest were acts of political speech. As a journalist, Guthrie had a responsibility to press him about those politics. Instead, she took him at his word.



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