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Health Highlights: Nov. 13, 2019

Health Groups Issue Ad Campaign Urging Trump to Ban All Flavored E-Cigs Baby Study Could Pinpoint Why People Hiccup Trump Wants Vaping Meeting, But Attendees Unclear

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Health Groups Issue Ad Campaign Urging Trump to Ban All Flavored E-Cigs

An ad campaign urging U.S. President Donald Trump to follow through on a commitment to ban all flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, has been launched by a number of public health groups.

"This campaign is in response to recent comments from the president and White House officials that appear to walk back a commitment that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would release and enforce comprehensive guidance to clear the marketplace of all e-cigarette flavors and proactively address the growing youth e-cigarette use crisis," the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Truth Initiative said in a news release.

"Any attempts to weaken this guidance will further fuel the public health epidemic that has resulted from FDA's delayed regulation of these addictive products and can only be seen as bending to the agenda of the profit-driven e-cigarette industry," the groups said. "Flavor carveouts or exemptions for certain retailers are simply unacceptable and will continue to allow e-cigarette manufacturers to hook a new generation of users by masking nicotine addiction behind flavored products," the groups said.

"The administration ... must protect our children and halt the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes. Our kids' health isn't for sale and the president should not cave," they urged.

Newly-released data show that the U.S. youth e-cigarette epidemic continues to grow. More than 5 million youngsters use e-cigarettes, with flavored products being a significant factor in that use, according to the heath groups.


Baby Study Could Pinpoint Why People Hiccup

Hiccups appear to help babies regulate their breathing, researchers say.

Their study of 13 newborns found that hiccupping triggered brain activity that might help infants "learn how to monitor the breathing muscles," eventually resulting in the ability to control breathing voluntarily, study senior author Lorenzo Fabrizi, University College London, U.K., said in a statement, CNN reported.

"When we are born, the circuits which process body sensations are not fully developed, so the establishment of such networks is a crucial developmental milestone for newborns," he explained.

The researchers noted that hiccuping is common among fetuses and newborns, and begins as early as nine weeks into pregnancy, CNN reported.


Trump Wants Vaping Meeting, But Attendees Unclear

It's not clear who's been invited to attend a meeting on e-cigarettes that was announced Monday by U.S. President Donald Trump.

In a tweet, he said the session would include medical experts and vaping industry and state representatives, and that "Children's health & safety, together with jobs, will be a focus!"

But CNN contacted two dozen leading experts, health and medical organizations, industry representatives and advocacy groups on both sides of the issue, as well as elected officials, and none of those who responded said they'd received an invitation.

The White House declined to comment, CNN added.

The Trump Administration has been developing a policy on flavored vaping products. Health and advocacy groups are concerned that it will back down from a previous announcement that it would ban all flavored vaping products.

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