Vox – We have an opioid overdose crisis, but cigarettes still kill 15 times more people

In July, the US Food and Drug Administration announced a new initiative that could — if it pans out — drive down the US smoking rate much, much further. Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the FDA, said the agency plans to set new, much lower limits on the amount of nicotine in tobacco, essentially forcing companies to reengineer cigarettes so they’ll be less addictive.

BBC News – Dog owners have lower mortality, study finds

Dog owners have a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease or other causes, a study of 3.4 million Swedes has found. The team analysed national registries for people aged 40 to 80, and compared them to dog ownership registers. They found there was a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in owners of dogs, particularly of hunting breeds.

Quartz – The hidden reason American minorities are so much more likely to have diabetes

According to a report published online Wednesday in the journal Diabetes Care, disproportionate exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals could also help explain why black, Latino, and low-income Americans are so much more likely to have diabetes than their white, wealthier counterparts.

New York Times – What states can learn from one another on health care

We know that where you live matters: There are huge disparities in health and costs across the country. The uninsured rate in Texas is six times higher than in Massachusetts. You’re four times more likely to be readmitted to the hospital in Maryland or New Jersey than in Hawaii. One-third of low-income adults in Texas forgo medical care because of cost, but only 9 percent in Vermont do. Alaska spends twice as much on health care per person as Utah does.