FOR YOUR HEALTH: If You’re Feeling Down, You’re Not Alone. It’s That Time of Year

You don’t have to let the dark days of winter get you down. Learn how to beat the blues and when to recognize it’s time to seek help.

(NAPSI)—You may have heard the terms—winter blues, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Depressive Disorder with a Seasonal Pattern. No matter what you call it, with approximately 17.3 million adults in the U.S. experiencing seasonal depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, feeling gloomy this time of year isn’t uncommon—but it can be overcome.

The Problem

Depressive Disorder with a Seasonal Pattern (formerly called SAD) can affect anyone of any age. Whether you’re a student returning to class, a busy working professional who’s always playing catch-up, or even newly retired with found time on your hands, the excitement of the holidays is long over and wintry dark days are here. While January and February are the typical peak months for the disorder, symptoms can persist through April, according to Mental Health America.

Doctor’s Advice

When that feeling of sadness persists for several weeks, it’s time to take action, according to Dr. Desreen Dudley, a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Behavioral Health Provider of Therapeutic Services for Teladoc Health. But, she points out, often the toughest thing for many is how to discern whether what they feel is temporary or something more serious.

“If someone has a few days of feeling low, that’s normal and typically nothing to worry about. It’s when the feeling lingers for weeks and people lose interest in daily activities and suffer persistent negative thoughts, that lend a stronger basis for Depressive Disorder with a Seasonal Affective Pattern diagnosis,” she says.

What To Watch For

Other symptoms she warns about are:

  • Change in appetite
  • Change in sleep pattern
  • Decreased energy
  • Decreased concentration
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • An inability to think, concentrate, or finish tasks at work or school
  • Thinking about suicide, self-harm, or death

Dr. Dudley contends individuals already struggling with depressive disorders are susceptible to SAD patterns. For older Americans, a Vitamin D deficiency can exacerbate low moods. On the other end of the spectrum, she has worked with newly independent college students who find SAD a heavy burden and say their new responsibilities of classes, exams and jobs can compound their depression. For some, not rising as early for classes as they did in high school means sleeping in more and further limiting their exposure to sunlight.

What To Do

In addition to considering therapy, such as virtual care, which is available on your terms and from any location you choose, Dr. Dudley recommends:

  • Avoiding or cutting back on alcohol and other addictive substances
  • Eating healthfully—more lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and eliminating sugar
  • Daily exercise at least 30 minute a day (walking counts)
  • Yoga or meditation
  • Learning about and trying light therapy
  • Regularly surrounding yourself with those you enjoy being around.

When To Seek Help

According to a recent global study conducted by Ipsos MORI for Teladoc Health, individuals often recognize when they’re struggling, but even so, over a third of the respondents who have had one mental health episode admitted to not seeking professional help. The reason? For many, it’s often the difficulty in finding mental health care.

“Thankfully, virtual care is becoming increasingly available as a source of convenient mental health care,” Dr. Dudley says. “It eliminates the traditional obstacles of in-person visits and has opened up access for anyone with a busy schedule, individuals who may have difficulty getting out of the house and students who may fear the stigma of walking into the campus mental health clinic.”

Learn More

For further information, visit

FOR YOUR HEALTH: A Quick Brush-Up On Children’s Dental Health

Getting kids into good dental habits early is a wise idea and easier than many parents realize.

(NAPS)—For most parents, happiness is seeing a smile on their child’s face—right from that first gummy grin. Instilling good dental hygiene habits early can help protect your child’s precious smile.

Your dentist can help. Most dental plans cover children, starting at birth. And since February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, now is a great time to brush up on the topic. Here are some hints that can help:

Baby Their Baby Teeth

Even though baby teeth eventually fall out, they still matter. Decay and other problems can set the stage for dental problems in adult teeth.

To help prevent decay in baby teeth, never put baby to bed with a bottle. Milk and juice break down into sugars, which can pool around their teeth and cause cavities.

Even before the first tooth pops up, get in the habit of gently wiping baby’s gums with a clean, moist cloth after feedings and before bedtime, to prevent bacteria from growing.

Concerned about pacifiers and thumb-sucking? Both can contribute to an overbite. The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children stop all sucking habits by 36 months or younger. But pacifiers put less pressure on the teeth than thumb-sucking, and they’re an easier habit to break.

Year 1: First Toothbrush, First Dentist Visit

When that first tooth pops up, it’s time for baby’s first, soft-bristled toothbrush. Also, per the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, brush gently with plain water or just a drop of toothpaste with fluoride—no bigger than a rice kernel. Be sure to schedule your child’s first dental appointment soon after their first birthday, too. Early visits can help them become comfortable with your dentist and reduce anxiety down the road.

If your child is especially fearful or has special physical or developmental needs, consider a pediatric dentist. They have years of specialized training in child psychology and development.

Age 3 And Up: Make Brushing Fun

By age 3, kids can begin using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with fluoride. Make brushing and flossing a fun daily experience: once in the morning and once at night. Remember that it’s difficult for little hands to use a toothbrush correctly—and at a 45-degree angle. They’ll need your help for quite a while.

Try setting a timer for two-minute brushing sessions. You can brush together, have a special brushing song, and treat your kids to a colorful character toothbrush. With a little creativity (and much patience), brushing can be a positive, feel-good experience.

A “Silver Lining” For Cavities

A cavity or tooth decay can result when tooth enamel breaks down. Although most cavities are preventable, tooth decay is the most common childhood disease of children aged 6 to 19.

The good news? Dentists now have a painless way to deal with cavities. “An application of silver diamine fluoride can effectively slow or stop the tooth decay process in its tracks,” says Dr. Gregory Theis, Director, Dental Services, Delta Dental of Wisconsin.

Applying the antimicrobial liquid is quick and easy. And, because it can prevent the loss of a tooth, many dental plans cover two applications per year.

Teens’ Teeth Need TLC, Too

Teenagers are known for their big appetites and busy schedules. They often grab whatever food comes their way—including sticky sweets that tug on braces, and sodas or sports drinks that can erode enamel.

Do your best to offer healthier meal and snack options at home—and don’t let your teen skip dental or orthodontic appointments. If you’re weary of reminding your teens to wear their elastics or to stop chomping on ice and sticky sweets, give your dentist or orthodontist a heads up—and let them help reinforce healthy choices at the next appointment.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Protecting your ability to drive safely for as long as possible


(NAPS)—Driving a car means maintaining independence for many older adults. Driving allows you to shop, see friends and family, keep up with
medical appointments, and avoid social isolation. But sometimes staying safe behind the wheel as you age can be a challenge.

Age-related physical and mental changes can affect your ability to drive safely. If you’re alert to these changes and manage them carefully, you may be able to continue driving safely for some time.

To keep your skills as sharp as possible, consider following these suggestions from experts at the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), healthcare professionals dedicated to improving the health, independence, and quality of life of older people:

Check your eyesight to keep it as sharp as possible by getting a complete annual eye exam once you turn 60. Test yourself to monitor your vision:
  • Do you have problems reading street signs?
  • Are you having difficulty seeing road or pavement markings, curbs, or other vehicles or pedestrians, especially at dawn, dusk, and nighttime?
  • Is glare from oncoming headlights making it hard to see when driving at night?
Assess your physical fitness to drive by asking yourself:
  • Can I comfortably turn my neck to see over my shoulder when I change lanes?
  • Can I easily move my foot from the gas pedal to the brake? Can I easily turn the steering wheel?
  • During the past year, have I fallen one or more times?
  • Do I regularly walk more than a block a day?
  • Can I raise my arms above my shoulders?
Perform a reality check on your attention span and reaction time:
  • Are you overwhelmed by signs, traffic signals, and car and pedestrian traffic, especially at busy intersections?
  • Does it seem harder to merge into traffic on the highway?
  • Do you take any medications that make you sleepy, dizzy, or confused?
  • Do you feel less confident about driving at highway speeds?
  • Do you react slowly to cars entering your roadway, or to cars that have slowed or stopped in front of you?
Pay attention to changes and warnings:
  • Have friends or family members expressed worries about your driving?
  • Have you ever gotten lost on familiar routes or forgotten how to get to familiar destinations?
  • Has a police officer pulled you over to warn you about your driving?
  • Have you been ticketed for your driving, had a near miss, or a crash in the last three years?
  • Has your healthcare provider warned you to restrict or stop driving?

Consider Getting a Professional Driving Assessment

If you’ve experienced driving problems like these or are worried about your ability to be a safe driver, consider getting a professional assessment of your skills.

Occupational therapists trained as driving rehabilitation specialists can evaluate your driving skills and strengths, as well as any physical, visual, and cognitive challenges you may face. They can also evaluate your ability to operate a vehicle safely and, if needed, recommend ways to reduce your risks.

Driving rehabilitation specialists are trained to evaluate older drivers for:
  • Muscle strength, flexibility, and range of motion
  • Coordination and reaction time
  • Judgment and decision-making skills
  • Ability to drive with special devices that adapt your vehicle to your needs

The specialist may recommend ways for you to drive more safely after the evaluation. Suggestions may include getting special equipment for your car or helping you sharpen your skills.

Not sure how to find a driving rehabilitation specialist? Talk to your healthcare provider or contact the American Occupational Therapy Association for a directory. You can also visit the AGS’s public education website,, for more safe driving resources for older adults and caregivers.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Cracking the Code to Society’s Most Feared Disease

Medical researchers may have come up with a way to treat such dreaded conditions as Alzheimer’s disease, MS and spinal cord injuries.

(NAPS)—Even more than cancer, there’s one disease most people fear. The thought of falling prey to Alzheimer’s disease and to the inevitable desecration of the mind is something that can make even the bravest shudder.

After all, if you’re robbed of your sense of who you really are, you’re doomed to live your last days without the dignity that defines you and that you hold dear. Perhaps the ultimate horror of Alzheimer’s disease is that it is as indiscriminate, merciless, and devastating as a wind-swept wildfire.

As a result, a disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s disease has become a Holy Grail of sorts in the biotech industry. The disease is so ubiquitous, it casts a shadow over just about everyone’s family. At the same time, it exacts a devastating financial toll on society—perhaps even greater than cancer—with Alzheimer’s disease patients needing 24-hour care for an average of eight years and sometimes as many as 20 years.

The estimated cost for caring for Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is well in excess of a quarter of a trillion dollars per annum. This doesn’t even include unpaid caregiving. Also, Alzheimer’s disease is ranked as the third leading cause of death of seniors in the United States, surpassed only by heart disease and cancer. Approximately 6 million Americans have become its victims, and this number rises each year as lifespans increase due to advancements in medical science.

Progress From Pharmaceuticals

Fortunately, a few pharmaceuti­cal companies, including Biogen, AC Immune SA and NervGen Pharma, have come up with ways to potentially treat the condition and perhaps slow it down. NervGen’s medical researchers are working on what may become an important breakthrough for Alzheimer’s and other afflictions that are defined by nerve damage.

Could This Be Modern Medicine’s Holy Grail?

Until recently, NervGen’s focus has mostly been on developing nerve regeneration for the treatment of spinal cord injuries. In fact, some remarkable results have been achieved in preclinical trials, including one where the treated rodents regained substantial functionality in their legs after sustaining severe spinal cord damage.

Assuming it also works in humans, the medical science world will be paying very close attention because there are no known therapies that can stimulate human nerve regeneration now.

In addition, NervGen intends to commence a Phase 2 clinical trial for treating multiple sclerosis. The company’s drug candidate is expected to treat many of such debilitating symptoms as numbness, loss of sensation, chronic and debilitating pain, partial loss of movement, paralysis, and even incontinence due to additional mechanisms of action called “remyelination” and “plasticity.”

The research team also believes that the same nerve-rejuvenating biotechnology can be adapted to treat Alzheimer’s disease, not just mitigate its symptoms due to its truly novel and innovate approach.

The essence of this technology is that it unlocks a damaged nervous system’s natural ability to repair itself. Proprietary molecules “unstick” nerves and prevent new ones from getting stuck by interfering with synaptic-like connections so the nerves can regrow in places that are normally highly inhibited by scar tissue.

The co-inventor of NervGen’s technology, Dr. Jerry Silver, is one of the world’s most foremost neuroscience researchers of spinal cord injury. Dr. Silver, who is also Professor of Neurosciences at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine, has been working this unique approach to nerve rejuvenation biotechnology since the early ’90s by focusing on a protein called CSPG that inhibits the body’s natural ability to grow and regenerate.

Heretofore, no drugs have been approved anywhere in the world for nerve regeneration and remyelination, as well as improved plasticity in damaged nerves. Additionally, existing treatments are not considered very effective. So, the stakes are especially high for NervGen to create a blockbuster drug candidate that promises to even outshine any other Alzheimer’s disease drug. This is a wonderful opportunity to pioneer nerve repairing drug therapies that target some of the most devastating and pervasive diseases known to humankind.

Learn More

For further facts and figures about NervGen Pharma, go to

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Hollywood Legends Recruit Military Caregiver Champions

(NAPSI)—Academy Award winner Tom Hanks is rallying the nation behind America’s military caregivers with help from the legacy of a legend, Bob Hope. Hanks launched the Military Caregiver Champion program with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to fund resources for the 5.5 million Americans voluntarily caring for a loved one who was wounded, made ill or injured through military service. Hope’s daughter, Linda Hope, was the first to join the campaign, donating $1 million on behalf of the Bob and Dolores Hope Foundation.

“My dad, Bob Hope, dedicated so much of his life to connecting members of our military to the nation they served and their loved ones waiting at home. He would be so proud to join another passionate entertainer like Tom Hanks in making that same connection between America’s military caregivers and the country that owes them such a debt of gratitude and support,” said Hope.

Military caregivers provide $14 billion of unpaid care to veterans every year. They devote their lives to their loved ones, often sacrificing their own health, jobs and financial security.

“As Senator Elizabeth Dole says, our military caregivers are hidden heroes and I am honored to have the spirit of Bob Hope helping us support them,” said Hanks. “There has never been, nor will there ever be, a greater ambassador between the military community and us Americans than Bob Hope.”

All Americans are invited to become Caregiver Champions. Supporters will receive a Caring Tag, which reimagines the honored symbol of the military dog tag and includes the name and story of a military caregiver.

All administrative costs have been sponsored. One hundred percent of donations will support the Elizabeth Dole Foundation’s resources for caregivers.

“We cannot take away the injuries or the illnesses but we can ensure our caregivers do not walk this difficult journey alone,” said Hanks.

To become a Caregiver Champion, visit

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Healthy Eating and Physical Activity For Life

(NAPSI) — No matter what stage of life you’re in—whether you’re an adult, an older person, a pregnant woman or a parent—consuming healthy foods and beverages, combined with getting regular physical activity, stress relief and adequate sleep, may help you or your children stay healthy for life!

The recently updated National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases’ (NIDDK) Healthy Eating & Physical Activity for Life series offers tips for developing and maintaining healthy habits for many stages of life.

Health Tips for Adults

Reaching and maintaining a healthy body weight as an adult may help prevent future health problems. Some tips to follow include making healthier food choices, being aware of food portions and the kinds of foods and beverages you consume, and how often you have them.

It’s also important to engage in regular physical activity. Try to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as biking or brisk walking. Aim for at least two days a week of muscle-strengthening activities, such as heavy gardening. If your time is limited, work in small amounts of activity throughout your day.

Finally, get enough sleep and manage your stress to stay on track with improving your health.

Health Tips for Older Persons

As you grow older, good nutrition and staying active are as important as ever. Your lifestyle choices may prevent some health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. For example, focus on eating nutrient-dense foods and drinking fluids throughout the day, including those with added vitamin D and calcium.

As you get older, it’s also important to engage in physical activities you enjoy—either on your own or with a friend. Ask your healthcare professional about whether and how you can safely become active or increase your physical activity.

Also talk with your healthcare professional if you feel that changes in your home life, health, medicines, income, mobility or sense of smell and taste are affecting your interest in consuming healthy foods and drinks and engaging in physical activity.

Health Tips for Pregnant Women

Whether you’re ready to try for a baby or are already pregnant, you may be inspired to get healthy. Developing and following a healthier eating plan may help you have a safe pregnancy and delivery and a healthy baby.

Think about new, healthful foods and beverages you can try—such as berries or a banana with hot or cold cereal for breakfast; a salad with beans, tofu or other non-meat protein for lunch; and a lean serving of meat, chicken, turkey or fish and steamed vegetables for dinner.

It’s also important to engage in physical activities while pregnant. Most women need the same amount of physical activity as they did before they became pregnant.

Helping Your Child: Tips for Parents

As a parent, it’s important to share tips with your children on what to eat and drink to fuel their bodies and get them moving. Healthy habits may help children grow, learn and build strong bones and muscles while maintaining a healthy weight. Work together as a family to form healthy habits—such as consuming healthful foods and beverages, doing regular physical activity, getting adequate sleep and limiting screen time. You can set a good example by going for a walk or riding a bike. Or find an activity that you enjoy and can do together.

Learn More

To find more tips and resources for weight management and healthy living at whatever life stage you’re in, or to access the Healthy Eating & Physical Activity for Life series, visit the NIDDK website at

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Five Self-Care Tips To Enhance Well-Being

(NAPSI)—In a world that moves so quickly, people can sometimes forget to take time for themselves. Self-care is a way to slow down and focus on taking care of your own well-being. Regular self-care also can have a strong effect on mental health, preventing burnout, reducing the negative effects of stress and helping you refocus.

Self-care is less about “treating yourself” as popularized in pop culture and has more to do with creating sustainable and attainable wellness for your whole self. Taking the time to intentionally care for your whole self—body, mind and soul—can keep you energized and can improve your mental health. And when you care for yourself, there’s more you can offer to others and you can help create wellness for the community around you.

Here are five things you can do to take care of your well-being:

  1. Practice Self-Compassion: Self-compassion is about giving yourself room to be human and not letting mistakes define you. It’s the ability to turn kindness, understanding and acceptance inward. Self-compassion has also been shown to correlate with less anxiety, depression, shame and fear of failure. Think of the way you would treat a good friend, or even a beloved pet, and then begin treating yourself accordingly.
  2. Reach Out to Others: Fostering connections with the people around you is also self-care. Take opportunities to connect more deeply with the people you care about. Loving and supportive relationships are perhaps the single most powerful thing to help people grow and thrive. Showing kindness toward others increases the production of the hormone oxytocin (which is associated with feelings of attachment and love) and the neurotransmitter serotonin (which is involved in good sleep and feelings of happiness).
  3. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation: Research links mindfulness to better health, lower anxiety and more resilience to stress. The practice of mindful meditation involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future. Meditation not only leads to lower levels of stress and anxiety, it physiologically nurtures parts of the brain that contribute to well-being.
  4. Enjoy Nature: Nature and sunlight can improve your mood, restore your spirit and enhance your focus and clarity, helping you feel better overall. Good self-care includes making an extra effort to find ways to spend time in nature and get the benefit of natural light. Enjoy your morning coffee or tea outdoors, go for a walk during lunch, check out a new park, invest in indoor plants, take a weekend hike or just open up the blinds to let in the sunshine.
  5. Enjoy the Journey: Life is a messy, beautiful journey of ups and downs. But sometimes the pressure for everything to be perfect can get in the way of simply enjoying the things you look forward to.

Try these tips:

  • Accept that perfection is unattainable.
  • Spend time participating in activities, and with people, you enjoy.
  • Prioritize activities that make you happy.

Incorporate your own activities and enjoy the journey as you engage in meaningful self-care practices. Visit for more information about self-care and mental health.

  • Each Mind Matters (EMM) is California’s Mental Health Movement, with a focus on ending stigma and uniting a community of people where mental health is a priority and each mind truly matters.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: How People With Low Vision Can Stay Safe And Independent

(NAPSI)—People with low vision have blind spots that can make it difficult or impossible to drive, read or see faces. These impairments cannot be corrected by surgery or glasses. What’s more, too many are blind to the realization that much can be done to improve their quality of life.

What Can Be Done

In fact, low vision rehabilitation services help people make the most of the vision they have. The first step is to get an eye exam by an ophthalmologist, a physician who specializes in medical and surgical eye care.

Who Can Help

An ophthalmologist can determine the full extent of vision loss and exact location of blind spots. Either the ophthalmologist or a low vision specialist can then determine the best techniques and devices that can help you get around your individual challenges.

Where EyeCare America Comes In

If you’re concerned about the cost of the exam, the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeCare America program may be able to help. This national public service program provides eye care through volunteer ophthalmologists for eligible seniors 65 and older; and those at increased risk for eye disease. As one EyeCare America patient said, “I’m a senior living on a low income. It had been 30 years since I’d had an eye exam. It was a true blessing to receive this service.”

Low Vision Services Offer Hope

The field of vision rehabilitation has advanced significantly over the years, offering more effective technologies and strategies. Today, ophthalmologists’ solutions range from simple, portable video magnifiers to enlarge text and objects to high-tech glasses with cameras that let people read text and see faces.

In addition, there are many simple changes people can make on their own to help them live better:

  • Improve contrast. Contrasting colors can make it easier to accomplish household tasks and improve safety. Put dark place mats under white place settings, get area rugs that are a contrasting color with the floor and kitchen towels and cutting boards that contrast with the counter top. Use contrasting colored tape along the edges of rugs, stair steps and lamp shades.
  • Improve lighting. Every year, about three million older Americans are treated for injuries from falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of these falls are caused by low vision. Add lighting to staircases and dark hallways. Remove rugs from hallways to prevent tripping. Task lighting in the kitchen can make food preparation safer and easier.
  • Reduce clutter and organize. A cluttered house is more difficult to navigate and can contribute to falls and frustration. When each item has a specific place and is identified with a high-contrast label, it’s easier to locate items needed for everyday living.
  • Embrace technology. Books on tape and personal voice-activated assistants, such as Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa, can be enormously helpful for people who can no longer see well enough to read, dial a phone or set a thermostat. With a simple voice command, these can phone dial a friend for you while the thermostat dials up the heat.

While there isn’t one strategy or tool that works for every person, vision rehabilitation offers hope for many and can help people stay in their homes and continue doing the things they love.

Learn More

For more facts and tips, visit To see if you or someone you care for is eligible for the EyeCare America program, visit

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Is That Video Game A Health Risk? Three Things Parents Should Know

(NAPSI)—Some games topping holiday wish lists-including the season’s most anticipated release, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”—contain imagery that could be putting the health of young people at risk.

Smoking is found in many video games, including those rated appropriate for teenagers. Research shows 44 percent of adolescents who start smoking do so because of images they see in movies. Tobacco use in video games is likely to promote youth smoking in similar ways.

Smoking can be found and is often glamorized in video games.

Tobacco imagery is widespread in video games played by youth and many young gamers described tobacco use as making a character “cooler,” or “tougher” according to Truth Initiative research.

Additionally, past research showed that between 1994 and 2011, 60 out of 78 video game publishers included tobacco imagery in at least one of their youth-rated games.

A report released this year also revealed that the tobacco industry identified video games as a marketing opportunity.

Ratings and content descriptors are often incomplete.

Just because a game is rated appropriate for youth doesn’t mean it is free of tobacco imagery.

A 2015 survey by UC San Francisco confirmed tobacco content in 42 percent of the video games that participants reported playing; however, only 8 percent of these games had tobacco warnings from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the gaming industry’s self-regulatory organization.

In its report, “Played: Smoking and Video Games,” Truth Initiative called on the ESRB to consistently identify and disclose if any game contains tobacco references. Truth Initiative is also urging game developers to stop including tobacco imagery in their games, particularly those played by youth, regardless of their ESRB rating.

Some games are leaders on the issue.

While many games contain smoking, some game developers recognize the risk.

For example, “Gears 5,” the newest installment in the popular “Gears of War” series, is now completely smoke-free. The publisher made the decision after Truth Initiative approached the game’s corporate entities about the issue, according to an article in Variety.

Even as national smoking rates decline to record lows, smoking continues to be portrayed on screens. Glamorizing and re-normalizing smoking could threaten the progress the U.S. has made in decreasing tobacco use, which still kills 1,300 Americans every day.

Learn More

For more information, and to read the Truth Initiative report “Action needed: Tobacco in pop culture,” go to

FOR YOUR HEALTH – Four Books For All Tastes: Romance, Domestic Humor, Wild West Whodunit, In Praise Of Gratitude

(NAPSI)—“The Tutor” by Marilee Albert.

Alice wants to be close to her boyfriend in Paris, so off she goes—to Rome. Her other goals? To make art and find a muse. Instead, she finds herself a muse to various men: a TV-host dwarf, lonely banker, alcoholic playboy, aging prince, and the disillusioned Oscar-winning film director, Frank Colucci.

Although at opposite poles of life with little in common—the bright but broke Alice is just getting started and has few prospects, and the married-with-kids Oscar-winner Frank bored and disillusioned—the two form a bond.

Will this be an older, powerful man using his position to seduce a confused young woman, or something else entirely? And will Alice ever find her way?

From Rare Bird Books. Purchase at

“As Long As It’s Perfect” by Lisa Tognola

To Janie Margolis, “assistant contractor” sounds like the ideal job for a mom whose role raising kids has become routine-but her perfect plan starts to unravel when she and her husband find themselves arguing about everything. Then the economy collapses, and it’s hard to surmount the reality ahead: They are about to sink their savings into rebuilding a new house they can’t afford while trying to sell the one they own. Will Janie find herself homeless before she finds herself a home?

From crushes on contractors to frenzied shopping expeditions to a con artist kitchen designer and workers who fight like schoolgirls, Janie navigates the pitfalls of building all while struggling to stay out of debt and keep her marriage going.

From She Writes Press. To purchase:

“Killing Pat Garrett” by David G. Thomas

Pat Garrett, the Wild West’s most famous lawman, the man who killed Billy the Kid, was himself killed on a barren stretch of road near Las Cruces, NM. Who killed him? Was it murder? Was it self-defense?

“Killing Pat Garrett” is a different kind of whodunit, not put together from the imagination of a fiction writer. It is a meticulously researched work that considers all sides and presents all evidence in remarkable detail, drawing on new, previously undiscovered information.

This is a ride through the life of a famous Wild West figure, brought to life in actual conversation and documentation.

From Doc45 Publishing. Purchase at

“Best of No Small Thing: A Mindful Approach to Gratitude” by Deborah Hawkins

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

The author, using Eckhart Tolle’s words as inspiration, has put together a collection of her 50 favorite blog posts, with the hope that they will allow gratitude and mindfulness to elevate the way you see the world and yourself.

Observing events and people in her life to identify the good already present became a regular, almost automatic habit. These moments needed to be charged with emotion in order to have the greatest impact, and she started wrapping stories around them. A companion guide book is also available.

Purchase at

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