KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Company Claims Heating, Rather Than Burning, Cigarettes Drastically Cuts Cancer Risk

But health advocates are skeptical, and are urging the Food and Drug Administration to carefully review the method before approving it. In other public health news: talcum powder and cancer, aging like an athlete and "mini organs."

The Hill: Tobacco Giant Asks The FDA To Approve 'Less Risky' Cigarette   
The nation’s biggest tobacco company wants to move smokers away from conventional cigarettes to a new product that’s heated rather than burned — but first it needs a green light from the government. Philip Morris International has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval to sell IQOS, which it calls a “less risky” smoke-free tobacco product, in the United States. (Wheeler, 8/23)

NPR: Does Baby Powder Cause Cancer? A Jury Says Yes. Scientists Aren't So Sure
If you're a woman, there's a good chance you've used Johnson's Baby Powder at some point. It smells good, and it can keep you dry. But is it dangerous? Dr. Daniel Cramer says yes. He's a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He says talc — the mineral in talcum powder — can cause ovarian cancer. "Overall, women may increase their risk in general by about 33 percent by using talc in their hygiene," Cramer says. (Kodjak, 8/22)

The New York Times: Age Like A Former Athlete
Being a world-class distance runner in your youth does not guarantee that you will be fit and healthy in retirement. But it helps, according to a new study that followed a group of elite American runners for 45 years. The study’s findings raise interesting questions about how we can and should age and the role that youthful activity might play in our health later in life. (Reynolds, 8/23)

The Associated Press: Lab-Made 'Mini Organs' Helping Doctors Treat Cystic Fibrosis
Els van der Heijden, who has cystic fibrosis, was finding it ever harder to breathe as her lungs filled with thick, sticky mucus. Despite taking more than a dozen pills and inhalers a day, the 53-year-old had to stop working and scale back doing the thing she loved best, horseback riding. Doctors saw no sense in trying an expensive new drug because it hasn't been proven to work in people with the rare type of cystic fibrosis that van der Heijden had. (8/23)

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