Thursday, May 31, 2018
Doctors Perspective
Cigarette manufacturers target underage users

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
For years cigarette manufacturers have denied the fact that they knew that cigarettes were addictive. However, old memos clearly showed they knew that fact very well. One would think things have changed over the years, however, that is not the case. They are at it again. They know that a significant amount of their business comes from underage users. You would think they would take steps to discourage that. However, now comes the JUUL, an e-cigarette which has become so popular that it now makes up more than half of the e-cigarette market. Teens have even created a new verb - to JUUL - which means to smoke one of the e-cigarettes. The manufacturers deny the fact that they are targeting teens, however, the evidence suggests otherwise. A JUUL is built to look like a computer thumb drive. It is the same size, shape and color. Thus someone that holds it will look like they have an innocent computer device, which allows underage smokers to hide it in plain sight. The JUUL also comes in flavors that arent very adult like mint, mango and creme bržlŽe. The manufacturers indicate that this is just a coincidence. They dont intend for underage smokers to use it. Surveys of young people between the ages of 15 and 24 have yielded some interesting findings. The first is that 25 percent of them know what a JUUL is when they see a photo. A similar 25 percent know that using the device is called JUULing. Thus the manufacturers have already created good brand recognition. However, there are some things they do not know. The first is that the nicotine content of a JUUL is much higher than what other e-cigarettes have. Each unit contains the same amount of nicotine as a full pack of 20 cigarettes. The same survey asked the 15 to 24 year age group if they knew about the nicotine content. A full 63 percent admitted that they did not. In addition, despite the fact that these devices are supposed to replace cigarettes, users are more likely to become cigarette smokers. The manufacturer claims they are opposed to underage use and they tell retailers not to sell to underage patrons. I am sure that particular strategy is really effective - not. Of course the FDA has weighed in on the e-cigarette industry. They will fully regulate the industry by 2022. I wonder how many more young nicotine addicts the JUUL manufacturers can create in the interim?

Childbirth classes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital hosts childbirth classes on Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in the Ground Floor Conference Room. The class will meet for five weeks four weeks related to childbirth education and the fifth week will be a breastfeeding class. 2018 dates: May 31, June 7, 14; July 5, 12, 19, 26, Aug. 2; Aug. 30, Sept. 6, 13, 20, 27; Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1; *Nov. 13, 20, 27, Dec. 4, 11 (*Tuesdays). The maternity education classes are designed to offer information, counseling, support, and hands-on experience to help prepare for a new family member. They will cover pregnancy in general, information to prepare the expectant mother for labor and delivery, and will include a tour of Nanticokes Mother & Baby Care Center. A refresher course is also available for those who have previously taken childbirth classes. The cost of the childbirth course is $50, and the cost for the refresher course is $25. Mothers are encouraged to bring their partner or support person for all courses. Pre-registration is required for either class. To register or for more information, call 629-6611, ext. 2540.

Bariatric Support Groups Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery hosts free bariatric support groups three times a month at the Nanticoke Training Center in Seaford. These support groups provide education and support to patients before and after their bariatric weight loss surgery and are open to the public. Support group meetings consist of guest speakers and presentations to provide information about nutrition, supplements, exercise and behavior modifications. Patients and their spouses, family members or friends are welcome to attend. Registration is not required. The general bariatric support group is open to all bariatric patients before and after their surgery and is held the first Tuesday of each month from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The post-op bariatric support group is designed for post-op bariatric patients and is held on the second Tuesday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. The nutrition-focused bariatric support group is designed to provide nutritional support to bariatric patients and is held the fourth Monday of each month from 6 to 7 p.m. For more information about these support groups or other services provided by Nanticoke Weight Loss & General Surgery, visit or call 536-5395.

Diabetes support group Nanticoke Memorial Hospital hosts free diabetes support groups on Mondays four times a year from 5 to 6 p.m., in the Medical Staff Conference Room. Pre-registration is required. 2018 schedule- June 18 The ABCDs of Diabetes with Medicare with Lakia Turner, community relations officer, State of Delaware September 17 Move with Jonathan with Jonathan Souder, MS, fitness director, Manor House December 3 The Dish on Diabetes - Learn food preparation skills for simple, savory diabetic dishes. For more information or to register, contact Nanticokes Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2288.

Grants for addressing addiction The Next Generation of Southern Delaware (Next Gen South) of the Delaware Community Foundation is accepting applications for its 2018 competitive grant cycle. Next Gen South supports programs addressing addiction in Kent and Sussex County, including, but not limited to, treatment services, addiction prevention and education, mental health services, and to support families who have experienced addiction. The merits and execution of each program will determine grant selection. Application closes June 1. Since its inception in 2012, Next Gen South has awarded more than $85,000 in support of initiatives that address the underlying social challenges facing vulnerable Delawareans in Kent and Sussex. For more information and to apply, visit

Alzheimers Programs Easter Seals, 22317 N. DuPont Blvd. in Georgetown, is hosting a series of educational programs presented by Jamie Magee, coordinator for the Alzheimers Association. The following free programs are being offered: Wednesday, June 6, 10 a.m. Noon - Effective Communication Strategies. Register by June 2. Friday, June 8, 10 a.m. Noon - Understanding and Responding to Dementia Related Behaviors. Register by June 5. Friday, June 22, 10 a.m. Noon - Healthy Living for your Brain and Body. Register by June 15. To register, call 800-272-3900 or email Sharon Jarnette at