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What We're Reading: Synthetic Nicotine Regulation; Philadelphia Mask Mandate Lawsuit; Hydration, Heart Failure Risk


The FDA is increasing oversight of e-cigarettes and similar products that use synthetic nicotine; a lawsuit is brought over Philadelphia's reinstated mask mandate; a study shows drinking water may lower risk of heart failure.

FDA Regulating Synthetic Nicotine Products

The Associated Press is reporting that a law that took effect last Thursday, April 14, will allow the FDA to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products that use synthetic nicotine. The move will specifically target Puff Bar and other vaping companies that switched their formulas to synthetic nicotine as a loophole to avoid FDA oversight. Companies will now have to register with the agency and submit their products for review within 30 days. Although not automatically banning these products from the market, the law will ensure companies are now under the same regulatory authority as older e-cigarettes that use nicotine from tobacco.

Businesses, Residents Issue Lawsuit Against Philadelphia Mask Mandate

The renewed indoor mask mandate that took effect today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is being challenged by several businesses and residents who filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania’s state court on Saturday, April 16, to overturn the rule. As the first major US city to reinstate its indoor mask mandate amid a rise in COVID-19 infections, the Associated Press reports the lawsuit states that city health officials lack the authority to impose such a mandate that goes against CDC recommendations. Last December, the state Supreme Court ruled that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf had no legal authority to require masks in the state’s schools and childcare centers as the pandemic state of emergency was no longer in effect.

Hydration May Lower Risk of Heart Failure

Fox News reports that findings of a recent study published in the European Heart Journal indicate staying hydrated may reduce the risk of heart failure by maintaining a healthy sodium level in the bloodstream. Research showed that heart failure risk was increased by 39% among participants whose middle-age serum sodium levels exceeded 143 mmol/L, corresponding to 1% body weight water deficit, with a 62% increased risk of developing left ventricular hypertrophy also identified for the middle-age cohort who presented with these sodium levels. Several study limitations were noted, including its observational design and inability to prove a higher blood sodium level caused heart failure.

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