NRDC’s Switchboard – Who You Gonna Believe About Smog’s Health Hazards, the Oil Lobby or Doctors & Scientists?
An oil industry lobbying group just released a paper that inadvertently reveals the bankruptcy of Big Oil’s attacks on the health basis for more protective national standards for smog pollution. The 8-page paper contends that legions of doctors and scientists are wrong when they say that current smog standards need to be strengthened to protect Americans’ health.
The group is called Energy in Depth, which media outlets have rightly characterized as an “oil and gas industry public relations front group.” It was founded by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and its funders include BP, Chevron, Shell and Halliburton. The paper is the latest sputtering salvo in Big Oil’s crusade to fight the U.S. EPA’s proposal to strengthen outdated health standards for smog pollution.

Los Angeles Times – Legislation would raise smoking age in California from 18 to 21
Alarmed by the prevalence of tobacco use among teenagers, state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) introduced legislation Thursday that would raise the legal minimum smoking age in California from 18 to 21.
Hernandez, who is an optometrist, has support for the bill from health groups including the California Medical Assn., the American Cancer Society and the American Lung Assn., but the legislation is likely to face strong opposition from the tobacco industry.

U.S. News and World Report – White House Details ‘Precision Medicine’ Initiative
Scientists who mapped the human genome have been waiting a dozen years to do something with their findings.
That is why many health care practitioners cheered when they heard President Barack Obama mention “precision medicine” among the goals for his administration during his State of the Union Address. Health care overall did not receive much a spotlight during the speech, but personalized medicine did.
Details about the plan emerged during a White House event Friday morning. “It comes at a critical moment in time when we have huge opportunities before us,” Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said Thursday in a call with reporters.

TIME – Here’s How Many Calories You’ll Eat During the Super Bowl
And how much exercise you’d have to do to burn them off.
The game lasts four hours, but what you eat will stick with you way longer than that. By some (admittedly unscientific) estimates, Americans who snack on typical Super Bowl fare, like pizza, beer, soda, chips, dips, hot wings and nachos, could take in as many as 2,400 calories and 121 grams of fat just during the game. That’s more than most people should eat in a single day. In fact, you’d have to run an entire marathon to burn it off, says Sara Bleich, PhD, associate professor in health policy and management at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. That’s assuming you’re 175 pounds and running a 15-minute mile, Bleich tells us.

The New York Times – Doctors as Advocates for Family Leave
Birdlike and in his 80s, the patient had come to the hospital complaining of a new cough. But it was not he whom my colleagues and I found most disquieting.
It was his middle-aged daughter.
With a practiced dexterity, she had managed to wheel her father in the clinic, hoist him on to the examining table, smooth his hair, wipe his brow and tuck blankets around his legs to keep him warm without pause as she simultaneously fielded nearly a dozen calls and texts on her cellphone.