What We're Reading: High-Tech Drug Testing; Massachusetts' Strict Vaping Ban; CGM Data Unavailable

A high-tech drug testing machine is being utilized to detect fentanyl in illicit drugs; the Massachusetts governor enacts a stingent vaping flavor ban; data on blood-sugar levels for patients with diabetes using Dexcom's continuous glucose monitor (CGM) has been unavailable since Saturday.

High-Tech Drug Testing Utilized to Prevent Fentanyl Overdoses

A mass spectrometer, named MX908, is being utilizing in communities to detect fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that has been a major contributor to fatal drug overdoses in recent years, according to NPR. MX908, which was initially marketed as a counterterrorism tool, assisted the military in looking for traces from biological or chemical weapons, but its potential is now being expanded to analyze samples of drugs and identify dozens of types of fentanyl. The machine can additionally detect the presence of MDA, cocaine, and meth, indicating an opportunity to curb drug overdoses stemming from contaminated illicit drugs.

Governor of Massachusetts Enacts Stringent Vaping Flavor Ban

Last Wednesday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker enacted the US’ most stringent ban on flavored vaping products and menthol cigarettes, according to The Hill. The law will only allow flavored vaping products to be sold in licensed smoking bars, with consumption being limited to the distributor location. A 75% excise tax on e-cigarettes will additionally be imposed and health insurers will be required to cover tobacco cessation programs. The ban will immediately restrict the sale of all flavored nicotine vaping products and menthol cigarettes beginning June 1, 2020.

Data on Blood Sugar for Patients With Diabetes Unavailable

Parents of young patients with diabetes reported that they have not been getting vital readings from blood-sugar monitors worn by their children since Saturday morning, according to The Wall Street Journal. Dexcom, which manufactures the continuous glucose monitors, has been unable to find the origin of the technological breakdown. The lapse in data has threatened the proper care for young patients with diabetes who are unable to see their current level of blood sugar.