Federal Government Misled Public on E-Cigarette Health Risk: CEI Report

A new report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute calls into question government handling of e-cigarette risk to public health, especially last week after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tacitly conceded that the spate of lung injuries widely reported in mid-2019 were not caused by commercially produced e-cigarettes like Juul or Njoy.

Rather, the injuries appear to be exclusively linked to marijuana vapes, mostly black market purchases – a fact that the Competitive Enterprise Institute pointed out nearly six months ago. The CDC knew that, too, but for months warned Americans to avoid all e-cigarettes.

“The Centers for Disease Control failed to warn the public which products were causing lung injuries and deaths in 2019,” said Michelle Minton, co-author of the CEI report.

“By stoking unwarranted fears about e-cigarettes, government agencies responsible for protecting the health and well-being of Americans have been scaring adult smokers away from products that could help them quit smoking,” Minton explained.

Now that the CDC has finally began to inform the public accurately, it’s too little too late, the report warns. The admission has done little to slow the onslaught of prohibitionist e-cigarette policies sweeping the nation, and the damage to public perception is already done.

Nearly 90 percent of adult smokers in the U.S. now incorrectly believe that e-cigarettes are no less harmful than combustible cigarettes, according to survey data from April 2019. Yet the best studies to-date estimate e-cigarettes carry only a fraction of the risk of combustible smoking, on par with the risks associated with nicotine replacement therapies like gum and lozenges. Meanwhile, traditional cigarettes contribute to nearly half a million deaths in the U.S. every year.

The CEI report traces the arc of CDC and FDA messaging and actions, starting in late June 2019, about young people hospitalized after vaping. Concurrent news reporting ultimately revealed, though virtually never in the headline, that the victims were vaping cartridges containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the key ingredient in cannabis, with many admitting to purchasing these products from unlicensed street dealers. Yet for months the CDC consistently refused to acknowledge the role of the black market THC in the outbreak, which had a ripple effect on news reporting and on state government handling of the problem.

By September 2019, over half of public opinion poll respondents (58 percent) said they believed the lung illness deaths were caused by e-cigarettes such as Juul, while only a third (34 percent) said the cases involved THC/marijuana.

The CEI report warns that federal agencies should not be allowed to continue misleading the public about lower-risk alternatives to smoking.

View the report: Federal Health Agencies’ Misleading Messaging on E-Cigarettes Threatens Public Health by Michelle Minton and Will Tanner.

This content was originally published here.

Our November Practice of the Month — Zammitti & Gidaly Orthodontics

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Congratulations to our November Practice of the Month — Zammitti & Gidaly Orthodontics!

This month we’d like to spotlight an absolute social media powerhouse practice, Zammitti & Gidaly Orthodontics! They’re using social media dental marketing to reach new audiences, strengthen relationships with current patients, and stand out in their community.

They also impressed us with their phenomenal reviews presence, with over 350 positive patient reviews across Facebook and Google.

We reached out to Michelle Camp, patient care and marketing coordinator of the practice, for some insight on how social media is growing their business and what’s been working for them. Take something from what their team has learned to apply in your own social media strategy!

Ready for a quick demo of our reviews service? Fill out the form below.

Q&A With Michelle Camp, Marketing Coordinator

(Responses edited for length and clarity.)

What has been the biggest surprise of social media marketing for you?

The biggest surprise of using social media in our practice is how fun and exciting it is creating the posts. Our staff has really loved getting involved in taking pictures, sharing their fun facts or just listening to our silly post ideas. Taking pictures of the staff and patients is a fun and quick way to break up the day/week and add some excitement to our patient’s visits.

Which of your team’s social media efforts have shown to be most effective?

The social media tool or tactic that has been most successful has been our “Fun Fact Friday”–where each staff member shares a little fact about themselves that our patients may not otherwise know. People love getting to know our staff and doctors through these posts. Our patients look forward to this post in particular because it is fun to see everyone’s unique answers while also thinking about what their answer would be for each week’s fun fact.

What has been the biggest challenge of using social media in your practice?

The biggest challenge of social media marketing has been staying fresh and current. We have a large multi-doctor, multi-location practice and it can be difficult to make sure all employees/doctors/locations are included while being sure we are not posting the same thing each week. My Social Practice has helped us with this challenge by providing interesting new content ideas.

What has been the biggest benefit to your patients since you started using social media?

The number one benefit of our social media for our patients is that it helps patients to develop a more intimate relationship with our practice. With our daily posts our patients get a little glimpse behind the scenes while also getting to know our employees and doctors more. Our patients can see that we are a family that works hard while having fun too.

What has been the biggest benefit to your practice since you started using social media?

The #1 benefit social media has brought to our practice is the ability to always stay on people’s minds. Everyone is scrolling through Facebook and Instagram at some point throughout the day. When they scroll past our posts it helps people to think about us when they otherwise wouldn’t. If they are current patients it may be a reminder to tell a friend about our office. If they are not patients yet it may be that extra reminder to call our office to schedule a consultation. Social Media brings our practice into people’s homes and into their everyday conversations.

What kind of feedback have you gotten from patients about your social media?

Luckily, the feedback we have received from our patients about our social media efforts has been positive. We have had parents of patients and older patients themselves tell us how much they enjoy our posts. I personally have been able to use this feedback to get to know our patients more, asking them what they dressed up as for Halloween or what their least favorite food is.

What do you do in your office to promote your social media presence?

Right now our employees promote our social media presence in a low-key, laid-back manner. It may be as simple as mentioning a recent post or telling a patient to look for an upcoming post. Of course, taking pictures of patients and telling them to look for their photo on our social media is a great way to promote also! We don’t ever want a patient or parent to feel pressured or uncomfortable so something as simple as “check us out on Facebook/Instagram” has done the trick so far.

What advice would you have for a dental practice just starting to build their social media presence?

For a dental practice just starting out on social media I would tell them to stay true to their values and beliefs. Social media is an amazing platform that can reach a lot of people, it is important that what is being displayed on your practice’s social media is a great representation of who you are and what you believe in. Put your best qualities out there and let social media be another marketing platform that keeps you on people’s minds.

Which My Social Practice product or service has been the most help to you?

My Social Practice’s Engagement Boxes have been the biggest help for our practice. Each engagement box has included a great variety of fun and interesting tools/props/ideas to help our posts stay fun and fresh. Each engagement box has been filled with fun props along with well-made signs and ideas for each post. We have always been impressed with the content delivered within each box!

Thank you for sharing, Michelle! Your team really understands how social media grows dental practices, and we’ve loved watching your online presence grow!

Dental social media marketing is about growing practices through increasing your reach, enhancing your local reputation, and building relationships with patients and potential patients. My Social Practice has remained laser-focused on these key objectives for over a decade as we’ve built the perfect dental social media solution.

Even if you have no social media experience and no time to learn, My Social Practice can do all the heavy lifting for you—growing your practice while you focus on serving your patients.

and we’d love to show you step-by-step how we can make your practice shine online!

Ready for a quick demo of our social media service? Fill out the form below.

The post Our November Practice of the Month — Zammitti & Gidaly Orthodontics appeared first on My Social Practice – Social Media Marketing for Dental & Dental Specialty Practices.

This content was originally published here.

Tooth Decay or Cavity? Study Finds No Drill Dentistry Works | Healthy Home

Tooth Decay or Cavity? Study Finds No Drill Dentistry Works


Turns out that the research of Dr. Weston A. Price DDS from early in the last century wasn’t so far fetched after all.

No Drill Approach to Tooth Decay

Many holistic dentists already employ a no-drill approach to a lot of the tooth decay that presents in their offices.

However, most conventional dentists have been slow to get on board.

Now, with this new study, perhaps more will stop poo-pooing consumers who wish to be more conservative in the treatment of dental decay issues.

Wendell Evans, the lead author of the study published in the journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, had this to say about the findings:

It’s unnecessary for patients to have fillings because they’re not required in many cases of dental decay. This research signals the need for a major shift in the way tooth decay is managed by dentists… Our study shows that a preventative approach has major benefits compared to current practice. (1, 2)

The bottom line is that dental decay is not a rapidly progressing disease that most believe it to be.

Dental Decay vs Cavity

As it turns out, there is a big difference between simple tooth decay and a full-blown cavity.

Most importantly, Dr. Evans and his team found that dental decay does not always progress.

…  it takes an average of four to eight years for decay to progress from the tooth’s outer layer (enamel) to the inner layer (dentine). That is plenty of time for the decay to be detected and treated before it becomes a cavity and requires a filling. (3)

Evans suggests that developing a set of protocols called the Caries Management System (CMS) can prevent, stop and even reverse (YES REVERSE) tooth decay long before a drill is necessary. 30-50% of patients respond well to this approach.

[The CMS] showed that early decay could be stopped and reversed and that the need for drilling and filling was reduced dramatically. A tooth should be only be drilled and filled where an actual hole-in-the-tooth (cavity) is already evident. (4)

These pictures of reversed tooth decay serve as an easy example of what can be done at home with dietary intervention alone. For even more visuals, check out these photos of another patient who resolved issues with dental decay.


Does your dentist insist on drilling early decay right away without even attempting to reverse it first?

If so, your dentist might not be up on the current research which suggests an important difference between tooth decay and a cavity that truly requires a drill.

Perhaps it’s time to get a second opinion from a holistic natural dentist!

The picture above is the sign outside the office of my dentist Dr. Carlo Litano of Natural-Smiles.com – (727) 300-0044.

Call around in your community and see if they offer similar services for young children as well as adults.

If you live in the Central Florida area and decide to see Dr. Litano, be sure to tell him that you are a Healthy Home Economist reader and get 10% off your first visit!

(1) Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology (Volume 47, Issue 2)

Since 2002, Sarah has been a Health and Nutrition Educator dedicated to helping families effectively incorporate the principles of ancestral diets within the modern household.

Sarah was awarded Activist of the Year at the International Wise Traditions Conference in 2010.

Sarah received a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, her work has been covered by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.

Posted under: Oral Health

This content was originally published here.

Risque Utah-themed condoms, chosen by state health officials, are raising awareness of HIV

State health officials are distributing condoms with suggestive Utah-themed packaging as part of a new HIV awareness campaign.

The wrappers riff on various Utah memes, with labels such as “Greatest Sex on Earth,” “SL,UT,” an image of a highway sign that displays the number of miles to towns “Fillmore” and “Beaver,” and “This is the Place” over a drawing of a bed.

“It’s really just to destigmatize HIV in Utah, and get everybody talking about sexual health,” said Erin Fratto, of the Utah Department of Health’s Prevention Treatment and Care Program, in an interview. “If the condoms are fun, relatable, sex positive — people are more apt to talk about them, which we’ve already seen.”

The state began distributing the 100,000 condoms earlier this month as part of “The H is for Human” campaign for HIV awareness. HIV, a precursor of AIDS, is less prevalent than it once was in Utah but is not gone; there is one case of HIV diagnosed in the state every three days, or about 120 new infections diagnosed each year, officials said.

The awareness campaign will include billboards, commercials and social media posts promoting a new website, HIVandME.com. The site offers information, resources and support for those living with HIV, those at risk for HIV, or people trying to support someone living with the infection, officials said.

Jared Hafen, programming director at the Utah AIDS Foundation, said he thinks the campaign will be successful because it’s the first HIV messaging to be rolled out statewide, not just in a specific area, and because it’s targeting a more diverse population through billboards and radio ads.

And the bawdy condoms — he thinks those will help, too.

Hafen acknowledged that people who use condoms will continue to use them, and those who don’t, may still not. But, he said, “I think it will make more people apt to look into it. It’ll catch their eye.”

The state consulted with the AIDS Foundation in creating the campaign, he said.

The new state website has information about local clinics, prevention methods (including PrEP or PEP medications), testing, treatment and other resources. The goal is to help Utahns better understand the prevalence of HIV and clarify myths and stereotypes.

State health officials believe the campaign and the site will save lives, Fratto said in an earlier statement.

“We can end the HIV epidemic in Utah,” Fratto said. “With improved science and medicine, we can prevent new HIV infections and ensure those living with HIV live healthy and long lives.”

The Tribune will update this developing story.

Reporter Paighten Harkins contributed to this report.

This content was originally published here.

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Straighten Out Your Orthodontics Billing

Managing billing at your orthodontics practice can take up as much time as you spend with your patients. If your current payment software doesn’t integrate with other platforms like QuickBooks Online, you could be spending hours reconciling payments.

Integrated technology cuts through the red tape for orthodontic payment processing. Integrated payments means that your billing, credit card processing, customer management, and business analytics are all in one place. In this blog, we’ll explore how you can straighten out your orthodontics billing and save money with integrated technology.

Use ACH to Save on Fees

ACH, or “automated clearinghouse,” payments are great for invoicing patients. ACH payments are a secure, low-cost option, especially if you send invoices through a virtual terminal.

ACH costs less than $1 per transaction to providers, unlike credit cards that vary in percentages, usually between 3-4% per transaction. Those savings add up, especially if you’re billing a patient for a high-cost procedure. Once you send a patient an invoice, they can enter their bank account information and complete the payment. Patients can also set up autopay for recurring invoices so you don’t have to worry about late payments. You’ll get paid faster and at a much lower cost.

Use Practice Management Software to Track Your Payer Mix

Your payer mix is crucial to your practice’s cash flow. A payer mix is the total distribution of how your patients pay for their care. They can pay through private insurance, government-funded options, or completely out of their own pocket. Having a good balance between the three creates a steady cash flow for your practice. For instance, if your payer mix leans towards federal insurance programs like Medicaid, changes in regulations can upset your cash flow and revenue.

You can track your payer mix through practice management software like OrthoTrac. You can even check the status of insurance claims and reimbursement so you get paid faster. To stay competitive, you should assess your payer mix and make adjustments as necessary, like accepting more forms of insurance. And to work even more efficiently, choose a payment processor like Fattmerchant that integrates seamlessly with OrthoTrac and other practice management software.

Sync Your Data to End Reconciliation

Integrated technology means you don’t have to stop using the tools you already love, like QuickBooks Online. Integrated technology will work with other tools to create a seamless experience. You can manage patients, their insurance information, payments, and outstanding invoices all without needing to log into separate tools.

Fattmerchant integrates with practice management software like OrthoTrac and DentalXchange, plus 200 other applications and platforms. You can manage the most vital aspects of your orthodontic practice’s billing from one platform. Plus, with our 2-way sync with QuickBooks Online, your data is automatically transferred between the two platforms, making reconciling a thing of the past.

See how integrated payment technology can help your orthodontics practice.

The post Straighten Out Your Orthodontics Billing appeared first on Fattmerchant.

This content was originally published here.

“I’m just worried about your health” and Other Bullshit Fat Shaming

Jillian Michaels made the news for throwing shade about Lizzo’s body, suggesting those that admire her are “glorifying obesity” and it’s just one more example of the concern trolling bullshit that people of any size that isn’t 00 have to endure. Frankly, it comes off as the desperate plea of someone whose pockets are lined by the insecurities of others.

Lizzo is a badass whose shows are feats of athleticism. She knows how to bring it. Jillian Michaels should be THANKING Lizzo. Lizzo is out there showing that high-performance feats of endurance and badassery aren’t exclusive to a specific size and fitness and movement belong to everyone.  She should consider how many people look at Lizzo and say, “She can move and so can I!” For a “fitness guru” she should really be grateful that maybe her workout videos will sell to a broader range of people because people might start to believe they can be fit if Lizzo can.

Lizzo drips empowerment and joy and delight. Empowerment is so important. You can’t hate yourself into a smaller body so all this ableist “fat people can’t” bullshit isn’t helpful. It does, conveniently, stir up feelings of shame and desperation which are important when you are selling “guilt shakes” I guess.

What would happen to the diet industry if we stopped giving a shit what judgmental skinny women in lycra thought about the size of our asses? I would happily roast marshmallows over the fire generated by an inherently abusive industry which perpetuates itself based on the number of people who gain back more than they lose. They impose ridiculously unsustainable restrictions and buy yachts with the spoils of the rebound effect provided by basic physiology and psychology.

Bodies come in all sizes. I’ve been fat and I’ve been emaciated but when I’ve felt the most unwell has been when I tried so hard to carry the weight of other people’s expectations dressed up as concern for my health. Healthy isn’t a size. A lot of women seriously harm themselves in pursuit of the perfect body and being skinny doesn’t mean healthy.

Skinny can mean a lot of things. I lost a lot of weight and people congratulated me not knowing it was from deep depression. “Thanks for noticing my ass is smaller, yes, I’m very sad.” You can’t tell just by looking at someone how healthy they are. Obese women may be starving themselves. Skinny women may be running on coffee fumes and haven’t seen a vegetable in weeks.

Weight gain can mean a lot of things. On the sliding scale of possible reactions to life’s devastations, emotional eating is preferable to suicide, it might be more manageable than developing an addiction and it might be safer than pursuing numbing anonymous sex from strangers on the internet. We all make choices as to how we handle things.

The bottom line though is that your body is nobody else’s business. Fat, skinny,  socially acceptable, whatever, it’s your body and it doesn’t need a disclaimer, an explanation or a goal to be something different. We don’t have to be skinny people in waiting to be valid. I choose for my cardio to be enthusiastically flipping anyone off who says otherwise. And if you have a problem with that, you can burn a lot of calories kissing my ass!

This content was originally published here.

CA Gov. Newsom wants to fund health care for illegal immigrant seniors

Last year, California passed a law that will offer government-subsidized health benefits for undocumented immigrants under the age of 26. The expansion took effect New Year’s Day and will cost $98 million in the upcoming fiscal year.

Now Governor Gavin Newsom indicates he wants to expand the plan to include illegal immigrant seniors.

Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a $222 billion state budget Friday that he said represents a snapshot of his priorities for California, including boosting funding for homelessness programs, paying for health care for undocumented-immigrant seniors and closing a state prison.

He repeatedly portrayed those plans as a rebuke of a federal government that he said is increasingly unwilling to help the state tackle its most pressing problems, as well as of “a California derangement syndrome going on in the popular media — that somehow our best days are behind us, that somehow California’s not hitting on many cylinders.”

“I’m very proud to be a Californian,” Newsom said during a news conference at the state Capitol. “I’m proud of this state, and I’m proud of the budget that we are presenting today, because I am not naive about the areas where we’re falling short.”

I would argue that he is clearly naive. Inasmuch as homelessness is still at crisis levels, we are threatened with serious public health issues, and our state’s infrastructure is pitiful. Giving away free stuff to non-citizens actually makes all of these situations worse.

However, supporters of this proposal are excited about the possibility. Read their explanation of support, and see where you can find the flaw in their logic tree:

Supporters of the expansion say covering seniors is the logical — and less costly — next step toward universal healthcare coverage, a policy goal central to Newsom’s campaign platform. One of the largest groups of uninsured Californians is immigrants in the U.S. illegally, with an estimated 1.5 million adults eligible based on income but excluded because of their immigration status.

The administration estimated last year that expanding Medi-Cal to all income-eligible adults regardless of age or immigration status would cost $2.4 billion a year.

These immigrants are not “Californians,” but citizens of another country who are here illegally. The good news is that the rest of the nation doesn’t have to pay for this travesty because the Affordable Care Act prohibits the use of federal dollars for covering such immigrants.

Wiser analysis concludes that this move will speed the exodus from California by the middle class.

“The state has taken numerous steps over the years to accommodate people who are in the country illegally,” says Ira Mehlman from the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

He says the program will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

“In Sacramento they continue to make choices that will further discourage the middle-class from remaining in California and further encourage more people to come and settle illegally,” says Mehlman.

Perhaps when enough taxpayers leave the state, Newsom will realize that he was fixing the wrong problems.

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Interest in vampires boosts the fang trade – Dentistry for the undead

VAMPIRES HAVE been a boon for Maven Lore’s bottom line. Once a graphic designer by trade, Mr Lore now makes fangs full-time in New Orleans. He attributes an increase in demand for his prosthetic vampire teeth to a growing interest in the undead. The popularity of vampire-themed films, novels and television programmes has helped create a customer base with a growing taste for fangs.

Halloween is now a billion-dollar industry in America. The National Retail Federation expected consumers to spend $8.8bn this year. Yet unlike candy corn or spider-web decorations, fangs have become a year-round phenomenon. Most of Mr Lore’s clients wear their fangs—which can cost as much as $1,200—regularly. Ninety percent of his customers are women between the ages of 20 and 40. They tend to be active in the vampire subculture of people who identify as or at least behave like vampires. Other customers want pointier teeth or simply think fangs will help them express their personalities better—“like jewellery”, Mr Lore says.

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A “fangsmith” in industry parlance, Mr Lore begins making vampire teeth by examining a client’s face and smile. He then tries to match the shade of the client’s human teeth to one of six acrylic tones. Next, he rolls two small balls of putty between his fingers and places each shaped fang on the tooth it is meant to cover—either the canine or the incisor, depending on the style. Finally, Mr Lore asks clients to hold their lips up for about five minutes as the acrylic sets.

Ninety percent of the time the fit is so precise that the fangs—which are otherwise removable—remain in place without glue. Unless, that is, they are being fitted on dentures, in which case they require a bit of adhesive.

Among Mr Lore’s most popular fangs are his Classic Canines, which look friendly, as fangs go. The Daywalkers are a double set covering the canine and the lateral incisor teeth that mimic fangs appearing in films such as “Underworld” and “The Vampire Diaries”.

Teresia Lischewski (pictured) bought a pair of Mr Lore’s fangs last Halloween and wears them “as often as humanly possible”. She says she gets regular use out of her fangs by attending vampire balls, comic-book conventions and events in the world of cosplay, in which humans dress up as characters from cartoons or video games. Ms Lischewski’s vampire teeth have been so well received that her human husband is even saving up for a pair of his own.

This content was originally published here.