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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Medical errors may be responsible for far more deaths than previously realized, according to a new study published Tuesday in the BMJ medical journals.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that deaths from medical errors may be responsible for more than a quarter of a million deaths annually. Data in the studies was taken from a combination of Medicare and 13 other hospitals, which researchers examined to determine that the estimated annual rate of deaths from medical errors is 251,454 in the U.S.

That number would make it the third leading cause of a non-violent death in the U.S. ahead of chronic lower respiratory disease which leads to 147,101 deaths annually, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Martin Makary, lead author of the study and professor of Surgery and Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins University, said he hoped the study would reveal how much needs to be done to address patient safety.

"I like many doctors have been aware that people die from fragmented care, diagnostic errors, preventable complications and the problem is serious," Makary told ABC News. "The concern I had was 'Why is this not a national funding priority…why does it receive a comparable fraction of the funding" for cancer or heart disease?

Makary pointed out that identifying medical errors after a patient's death is incredibly difficult. In most cases when a patient dies their cause of death is documented by a physician. That medical cause of death is then assigned a code used in billing and it is this code that the CDC uses to measure mortality statistics. These measurements can often miss complicated deaths according to researchers pointing to a case where a final cause of death was unsuccessful CPR but the patient had suffered a liver laceration during unnecessary testing days earlier.

To come up with their number researchers used information from four past studies and then extrapolated the mean number from that data to determine that more than a quarter of a million deaths were likely related to medical error.

Makary said there should be better measurements to identify medical error and said this was not a case of doctor being bad at their job.

"This problem should not be framed as we have bad doctors, it’s a system problem…a failure to impact normal human error," said Makary.

The American Hospital Association released a statement in reaction to the study pointing out a decline in hospital-acquired conditions in recent years.

"No matter the number, one incident is one too many. Important progress has been made since 2008, the latest year the study examines," association officials said in a statement. "Most recently, the Department of Health and Human Services estimated that through the hard work of hospitals, physicians and others, hospital-acquired conditions declined by 17%, saving 87,000 lives between 2010 and 2014. Hospitals are constantly working to improve patient safety. But there is more work to do and hospitals are committed to quickly adopting what works into every step of care provided."

Dr. David Classen, patient safety expert and associate professor at University of Utah, said this large analysis comes after years of data estimating medical error deaths at more than 200,000 and pointed out some studies have estimated it to be closer to 400,000 people a year.

"If you had this many deaths in aviation industry…you’d shut it down," said Classen. "It’s amazing that in all these other industries we never tolerate this kind of death."

Classen said it's key that this report lead to increased funding and research into patient safety and especially identifying when there are errors. Classen is currently developing ways of using electronic medical records to keep real time data of medical error and said he thinks self-reported errors represent just 10 percent of the actual problems.

"We’ve reached a point where an average patient comes in on 20 medications and has 10 different med problems and it’s hard for anyone human to sort it out," said Classen. "We now deliver care not by an individual but by teams because it’s way too complicated."

Both Classen and Makary say it's key that patients advocate for themselves in the hopsital and both recommend having family members or other caregivers go to a hospital with a patient.

Mary Burton, vice president of Performance Measurement at National Committee for Quality Assurance, said standardizing data and national reporting of causes of death could be key in helping cut down on deaths or injuries related to medical error.

"We would be supportive of that kind of message either on death certificates or potentially in some other standardized place in a record because of course not every medical error...results in death," Burton told ABC News.

Burton said these studies should drive the medical community to take action to protect patients and improve hospital care.

"Why if we’re the first world...then shouldn’t we be passionate about patients safety?," said Burnton. "Shouldn’t we be vigorous and unrelenting in terms of developing system improvements in regards to safe guards?"

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Health officials stressed Tuesday that they are doing everything they can to minimize Zika outbreaks in the U.S.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Health, said at a press conference Tuesday he thought it was "very likely" that Zika virus would spread from mosquitoes to humans in the U.S. in the future, but stressed that officials think the outbreaks will be constrained in the same manner as past domestic outbreaks of dengue fever and chikungunya.

And while a recent USA Today article categorized control of the mosquito that spreads Zika as a “lost cause,” Fauci cautioned against that mentality.

“Aedes aegypti is a very difficult mosquito to control and eliminate,” he said. “That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have a significant impact on it -- but it will require a very aggressive, concerted effort.”

The USA Today article pointed out that Aedes aegypti cannot be eliminated as effectively as some other species by traditional insecticide-spraying methods. But there are still other protective measures that the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the Pan American Health Organization can and will engage.

These organizations are working to “raise public awareness, have cooperation at the community level to get people to eliminate and diminish standing water of any type, as well as to push and try and utilize environmentally friendly larvicides and insecticides,” Fauci said.

There is also a trial underway that involves the use of genetically modified mosquitoes to help control Aedes aegypti reproduction, which is being overseen by the FDA.

Fauci pointed out that Zika virus itself is usually mild -- but it is very dangerous for pregnant women and their fetuses, due to the risk that their babies will be born with a brain development defect known as microcephaly due to the virus.

“The focus is on pregnant women and making sure they’re not exposed to the virus,” CDC spokesman Tom Skinner told ABC News. “We want them to avoid traveling to countries with Zika and make sure they know about prevention of mosquito bites.”

Fauci also said that researchers are working on a Zika virus vaccine that will be given to humans in a study beginning in September, and that they would likely know if the vaccine is safe to use by the start of 2017 -- though it could take anywhere from one to three years.

Speaking at the PAHO press briefing, Fauci stressed that the NIH and CDC need "$1.9 billion dollars because it's critical," referring to the money requested from Congress to combat Zika.

"What I have had to do is move money, hopefully temporarily, from other areas I would have spent it [on]," said Fauci. "We need to get the Zika money to work with Zika, and we need to backfill the money to other" areas of research.

Dr. Sylvain Aldighieri, Zika incident manager for PAHO, estimated that about 500 million people in the Americas are at risk to be infected by the Zika virus.

There have been no locally transmitted cases in the continental U.S. as of yet, but there have been over 400 travel-related cases. And there have been close to 700 cases in Puerto Rico, with 65 pregnant women having been infected.

The mild nature of Zika virus for those who are not pregnant presents a challenge for officials trying to communicate its risk, Fauci noted.

“How do you communicate the danger and the threat of a disease that is fundamentally and historically mild?” he said.

Another unanswered question: Scientists do not yet know the risk of a Zika-infected pregnant woman giving birth to a baby with microcephaly. An ongoing study of pregnant women, largely in Brazil, will help to answer that question once enough data has been collected.

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iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A Boston homeless center has started a new program allowing people who use opioids to be in a safe space where they can be supervised after taking the drugs. The program joins a growing number of places which aim to use "harm reduction" strategies -- leading people toward treatment and reducing the risk of overdose -- in the difficult fight against a rapidly growing opioid epidemic.

Last month, the Boston Healthcare for The Homeless Program (BHCHP) started their initiative called Supportive Place for Observation and Treatment (SPOT) where people in the midst of an opioid high can go for support. Up to eight people will be allowed in the space at a time and they will be closely monitored by officials on site so that they don't overdose.

"Currently, we are responding to 2-5 overdoses at our main site each week, and our lobby and clinic waiting room are already places where people rest safely in the midst of recent use of substances," the center wrote in a recent statement on their site. "The street corners nearby are similarly filled with people who are also at high risk of overdose, and who may not be engaged with providers of health care or addiction services."

"SPOT is one part of our larger response to lessen the impact of the opioid crisis on our patients, staff and the neighborhood," officials from BHCHP said in a statement, adding that deaths from suspected opioid overdoses have increased by 50 percent, between 2014 and 2015, in Boston.

As overdose deaths have increased dramatically in recent years, mostly attributed to an epidemic of prescription painkiller addictions that can lead to intravenous heroin use, some health officials have advocated for simply reducing the immediate dangers for addicts.

In Ithaca, New York Mayor Svante Myrick has proposed a major initiative aimed at combating the opioid epidemic and hopes to open a supervised injection site -- an option that currently exists in other countries, but not in the U.S. -- so that addicts can use drugs in a safe space, to help diminish overdose cases and transmission of HIV or hepatitis through intravenous drug use. Seattle is considering a similar space.

Daniel Raymond, Policy Director at the Harm Reduction Coalition, said the spike in opioid drug use in recent years has lead to a major change in how some public health officials approach drug policy.

"A lot of these proposals reflect the state of crisis we’re in," said Raymond. "The distinct thing with opioids and heroin is the immediate risk of overdose, the lethality. We’ve got the highest overdose numbers in the country that the CDC has ever seen."

He pointed out that federal money is currently allocated to one of the early forms of harm reduction: needle exchange programs. These programs provide clean needles to drug users to cut down on HIV and other diseases transmitted through dirty needles. Many of these programs have informal policies to monitor addicts who are using drugs, as way to safeguard their health.

The changes at sites across the country, Raymond added, show an overall acknowledgement that more services need to be provided to people who are not yet fully sober or are looking for help to stop their drug use.

"As we learn more about addiction and treatment there’s a greater recognition that it’s not a magic bullet," said Raymond. "Treatment is important and not magic."

"We’ve got to something for people in the middle, that's the space that harm reduction occupies," he added.

Since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) almost quadrupled, with 78 Americans dying every day from an opioid overdose, according to the CDC.

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama proposed $1 billion to expand access to treatment for prescription and heroin use.

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Duchess- the Miracle Kitty/Facebook(EL PASO, Texas) -- Meet Duchess the "Miracle Kitty," a cat with a broken jaw who's learning to smile again and whose epic tale of survival is making the rounds on Facebook.

The young Siamese cat was originally rescued after being hit by a car last October, according to her owner, Crystal Tate, who works as a veterinary assistant at Adobe Animal Hospital and Veterinary Clinic in El Paso, Texas, the animal hospital that took Duchess in.

"The impact from the car broke her jaw, and seeing the condition she was in, most other places probably would've chosen to euthanize her," Tate, 20, told ABC News Tuesday. "But the doctors here thought we she should give her a chance, so they attempted surgery to repair her jaw."

Though Duchess' "chances of survival were slim, she was a fighter and pulled through," Tate said. "The day I first met Duchess, her mouth was just beginning to heal and the feeding tube had just been removed. She was very thin."

Though the young cat's "eyes showed so much sadness, her purrs showed so much love and hope," she said, adding that she immediately fell in love with Duchess and took her home within a few weeks.

Duchess "has improved so much," Tate said, explaining that whereas Duchess was once "lethargic and low energy," she is now "spunky and playful."

Tate added that Duchess loves playing and planning mischief with her other cat and two dogs.

"Duchess' jaw is still crooked and it will be for the rest of her life, but it hasn't crushed her spirit," Tate said. "We are still learning her quirks and helping her live her new life, but we wouldn't have it any other way."

You can follow Duchess and her latest adventures on her Facebook page.

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Jessy Nahmias(NEW YORK) -- Brandon Nahmias died when he was just 2 years old, but his life continues to have meaning, his mom Jessy Nahmias says.

She sold empanadas for years at food markets, and next to her empanadas, a simple tip jar stood with a picture of Brandon.

Brandon was born with Down syndrome and a heart condition that could not be corrected completely, despite surgery. Shortly after he turned 2, Brandon caught a virus.

"His heart couldn't take it," the New York woman said.

After his death, his mom said she "went numb for about two years. I didn't want to live."

But Jessy has two other children, and life had to go on. She wanted some way to honor Brandon.

"People would leave tips but I didn't feel right about that," Jessy said of her empanada stand. "So I put out the tip jar instead to try and raise money for other kids with Down syndrome."

She collected thousands of dollars and donated it all to Gigi's Playhouse NYC, a Down syndrome achievement center. "Brandon's Tip Jar," as it has come to be known, has improved the lives of many other children, said Benny Kaufman, program director at Gigi's Playhouse NYC.

The tips, Kaufman said, "support free academic and recreational programs for other individuals with Down syndrome so that they can explore and define their potential. It's helped kids like Brandon learn to read and make life-long friends, it's helped parents receive the support they need, and it's helped create welcoming communities and change New York's perception of Down syndrome."

The organization was so inspired by the enormous effect of Jessy's simple jar that they created an online “virtual tip jar" in Brandon's memory.

And Brandon's short life continues to make a difference. Nahmias just opened her own shop, called Jessy's Pastries, in Oceanside, New York.

She plans to hire people with Down syndrome to work there.

"That was my goal all along, to have a storefront and continue to help people with Down syndrome," Nahmias said. "Brandon came here to show us all what we're supposed to do."

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Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A former Biggest Loser winner said he felt "shameful" for regaining weight until a new study shed light on the difficulties of long-term weight loss.

Danny Cahill, a contestant on season eight of the weight-loss reality show The Biggest Loser, weighed 191 pounds at the conclusion of the show, dropping more than 200 pounds in 30 weeks.

After Cahill returned home and resumed his life, the weight started to creep back on. A study published Monday in the medical journal Obesity Biology and Integrated Physiology followed 14 Biggest Loser contestants after their remarkable weight loss and found that all but one had regained weight after the show ended. Nearly all of them had slower metabolisms than before their appearances on the show.

Cahill said he gained back 100 pounds and now has to work out three to four times as much as he did before he joined the show.

"I did feel like a million bucks for a couple years I kept the weight off completely. I wondered why others were gaining it back. I was working out two hours a day and riding my bike all over town to go where I was going," Cahill told ABC News. "Once that stopped, the weight started creeping back on."

The producers of the show responded to the study in a statement given to ABC News.

"We have comprehensive procedures and support systems in place which we routinely re-evaluate to ensure all contestants receive the best care possible. The lead medical doctor on the show, who has worked with the National Institutes of Health on initiatives in the past relating to The Biggest Loser, has been made aware of this most recent study and is in the process of evaluating its findings," the statement read.

The study found that among those who lost an extreme amount of weight, their metabolism slowed greatly and they had less of a hormone called Leptin, which regulates hunger. The contestants now have to work harder to keep the weight off than someone of the same size.

Cahill admitted that his weight gain has taken a toll mentally.

"When you gain weight back, even when you’re in school it’s shameful," said Cahill. "When you’re in front of America, then it’s 10 times as shameful."

"When we found this out we were like, 'Okay, some of it is not our fault.' It is our responsibility but some of it has to do with this science," he said, adding, "I’m going to do what David did when he tackled Goliath. I know there’s a bigger God out there that wants me to be well and I am going to do everything I can but I can’t do it all."

Dr. Holly Lofton, assistant professor of medicine and the director of medical weight management program at NYU Langone Medical Center, told ABC News that she often prescribes Food and Drug Administration-approved weight-loss medications to patients after losing weight so they can control their hunger.

"Hunger is not a sign of poor willpower and it’s not a sign of cheating," Lofton said. "There’s a lot of shame and guilt at the idea that they may not be able to keep the weight off on their own without medications or devices or surgery, because that is what the environment has taught us."

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The nation’s top experts on preventive health do not recommend for or against routine testing for celiac disease, unless symptoms suggest it.

Celiac is an autoimmune disease in which the body reacts to gluten, a protein found in wheat. This disease affects approximately 0.40 percent to 0.95 percent of adults in the U.S., and the symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss and malnutrition.

Although blood tests exist to screen for celiac disease, proper diagnosis relies upon biopsy -- an invasive procedure.

The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) concluded that there wasn't enough evidence to recommend for or against routine screening for people without symptoms.

For those with no symptoms, there is little evidence on the short- and long-term impact of a gluten-free diet for those with or without the disease.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- People who suffer from chronic insomnia may be able to find relief without the help of drugs.

New guidelines published by the American College of Physicians (ACP) advise physicians to use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as the first-line treatment for patients with insomnia. CBT is a combination of therapy, behavioral interventions and patient education, and it can be done in person (individually or in groups), via telephone- or Internet-based modules, or through books.  

In trials, CBT significantly improved several aspects of insomnia in all ages. Some medications improved insomnia symptoms at least a small amount, but others did not show significant benefits, and some drug therapies were associated with adverse effects.

In addition to recommending CBT for insomnia, the new guidelines advise clinicians to discuss the possible benefits and harms of drug therapy with patients if they need to prescribe it to those who did not improve with CBT alone.

While there was not enough evidence to say which approach was most effective, CBT is less likely to cause harm, so the ACP felt that it provides better overall value than drug therapy.

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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Many studies lead people to believe that a glass of wine at dinner could lead to better overall health and even a longer life. But not so fast -- this topic is really controversial.

Most reputable peer review studies do in fact show what we call a "J-shaped" curve with respect to alcohol intake. This means that most people who don't drink at all and people who drink a lot have higher death rates than those who drink moderately.

On the positive side, alcohol -- especially red wine -- can be good for a Mediterranean lifestyle.

On the negative side, however, alcohol is known to be associated with an increased risk of numerous cancers and it is packed with calories.

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iStock/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) — In a study just published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine have discovered that pregnant women who get the flu vaccine significantly reduce the risk for their baby to get the illness.

According to the scientists, infants 6 months and younger whose mothers were vaccinated when pregnant had a 70 percent reduction in confirmed flu cases and an 80 percent reduction in flu-related hospitalizations compared with babies whose moms skipped the shot.

What's more, the study showed that 97 percent of laboratory-confirmed flu cases occurred in infants whose mothers' weren't immunized.

"Babies cannot be immunized during their first six months, so they must rely on others for protection from the flu during that time," according to Julie H. Shakib, D.O., M.S., M.P.H., the University of Utah's assistant professor of pediatrics. "When pregnant women get the flu vaccine there are clear benefits for their infants."

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Creatas Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Weight loss remains a big priority for millions of Americans but permanently dropping pounds has proved difficult in spite of a huge weight-loss industry. A new study now shows how dropping large amounts of weight can still lead to long-term issues for patients as their metabolism may slow dramatically.

The study, published Monday in the medical journal Obesity Biology and Integrated Physiology, followed 14 contestants of the The Biggest Loser TV show six years after they competed.

All except one of 14 contestants had slowed metabolic rates after losing weight, the study found. The researchers followed the contestants six years after their time on the show and found that all except one regained significant amounts of weight.

Out of the 14 contestants, 13 regained weight within 6 years and four are even heavier than they were before the competition began. Only one contestant, Erinn Egbert, sustained weight loss despite having a slower metabolism. She burned 552 less calories than what would be expected for another woman her size, the study found. There was only one contestant, Rudy Pauls, who had an improved metabolism but he underwent weight-loss surgery after the show to reduce the size of his stomach.

While the authors said further research is needed, the study points out how difficult it can be to achieve long-term weight loss.

"Long-term weight loss requires vigilant combat against persistent metabolic adaptation that acts to proportionally counter ongoing efforts to reduce body weight," the authors concluded.

Producers of The Biggest Loser told ABC News they are evaluating the study findings.

"We have comprehensive procedures and support systems in place which we routinely re-evaluate to ensure all contestants receive the best care possible," the producers said in a statement. "The lead medical doctor on the show, who has worked with the National Institutes of Health on initiatives in the past relating to The Biggest Loser, has been made aware of this most recent study and is in the process of evaluating its findings."

Experts said the study could be important by showing those struggling with losing weight how much of weight loss is physiological and not just a matter of "willpower."

Dr. Holly Lofton, assistant professor of medicine and the director of medical weight management program at NYU Langone Medical Center, said the study will also help draw attention to the guilt of weight gain. She said her patients often feel a sense of shame if they start to regain the weight or use weight-loss aids.

"Hunger is not a sign of poor willpower and it’s not a sign of you be cheating," Lofton told ABC News. "There’s a lot of shame and guilt at the idea that they may not be able to keep the weight off on their own without medications or devices or surgery, because that is what the environment has taught us."

Lofton said she has always told her patients they will not be able to eat as much as a person of the same weight who was not formerly obese, and that she's gratified that the study has underlined her past recommendations.

"We tell the patient you’re not going to be able to eat normally," she said. "It does surprise a lot of people, 'I have to eat that little!'"

Lofton said she thought the study can help people understand more about the difficulty of losing weight.

"I don’t think it’s good news for a person trying to lose weight but it does bring to light that those who can’t maintain weight loss ... there’s a reason," Lofton said.

Dr. Bartolome Burguera, an endocrinologist and director of Obesity Programs at Cleveland Clinic, said the study wasn't surprising but that it was important to highlight how difficult weight loss can be in the long term.

"When you try to lose weight with a very significant effort in general you cannot keep that level of change in your lifestyle," Burguera told ABC News. "Your brain wants you get back to what you did before."

Burguera pointed out that while doctors view obesity as a chronic disease, many patients feel shame for not overcoming their weight gain on their own.

"Losing weight you have to go slowly and you have to make sure you improve your nutrition and become more physically active," Burguera said. "You should not feel guilt if you gain weight. It’s like feeling guilt if you have diabetes or have cancer," or any other chronic disease.


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FDA(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched a $35.7 million anti-tobacco campaign Monday focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young adults.

The new campaign, “This Free Life,” includes four videos that aim to prevent and reduce smoking among LGBT 18- to 24-year-olds, who are about twice as likely to use tobacco as other people their age, according to Kathy Crosby, director of the Office of Health Communication and Education in the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

“This is the biggest LGBT health initiative that’s ever existed," said Doctor Scout, director of LGBT HealthLink, who was consulted by the FDA in making the ads. A lot of tobacco control has not focused on LGBT people, "despite our huge smoking rate," he said.

Paid for using funds collected from the tobacco industry, the videos prominently feature coming-out stories, famous drag queens, and chance romantic encounters at parties. Instead of focusing solely on the health impacts of smoking, the videos highlight how smoking may affect how one looks and smells.

“It’s a rather sophisticated combination,” said Dr. Robert Jackler, principal investigator of the group known as Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising. “It's really about the eyes meeting across the bar floor, and will tobacco use tip the scale away from [a new relationship]?”

LGBT people are thought to smoke more often than their peers because of increased stress and the sense of community many find in bars and clubs, where smoking ads and promotions are common, according to Scout.

Tobacco companies have long targeted LGBT communities. Most famously, in documents that were made public in the 1990s as the result of anti-tobacco litigation, tobacco company R.J. Reynolds was found to have targeted one of their campaigns, “Project SCUM,” at gay men and homeless people. SCUM stood for “Subculture Urban Marketing.”

What Jackler said he finds particularly interesting, however, is how “This Free Life” uses tobacco companies’ own advertising language against them.

“Freedom-based advertising is huge in the tobacco world,” he said, referring in particular to new electronic cigarette ads, which claim to give users the freedom to smoke wherever they please and without health repercussions.

Using the slogan, “Freedom to be, tobacco-free,” the FDA’s campaign appeals to ideas of freedom and individuality that are “very resonant” with the LGBT community, according to Jackler. At the same time, he warns they may have missed the mark in a campaign that he saw largely as one focused on prevention, not quitting.

According to Crosby, the campaign decided to focus on the 18-to-24 demographic primarily because the average age of coming out is around 18 years old.

“By the age of 18, most people who start smoking already have,” Jackler said. “They do so as an act of adolescent rebellion, they get hooked on the nicotine, and they have a lifetime of tobacco use because it’s so addictive.”

The FDA has aimed separate tobacco prevention campaigns at youths under 18, such as “The Real Cost,” which premiered in February 2014.

“This Free Life” launches online Monday in 12 markets: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. According to Crosby, these cities were selected based on LGBT population, prevalence of tobacco use, and availability and cost-effectiveness of LGBT-targeted media. In late May, the campaign will begin to target LGBT events, such as Pride and club events.

The FDA will continue to evaluate how the ads increase awareness and change viewers' attitudes and beliefs about tobacco use. They may consider developing new messages based on real-time feedback, Crosby said.

The FDA spent roughly two years putting together this campaign with Rescue, a behavior change marketing company, after receiving the authority to regulate tobacco products in 2009.

“It’s been coming to a boil for a long time,” Scout said.

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Digital Vision/Thinkstock(TORONTO) -- Are first class cabins on airplanes causing "air rage?"

Air travel seems to become more grueling every year, with delayed flights and cramped seating. One study finds that there might be another factor for your frustration in flight: a first-class cabin.

Researchers from the University of Toronto examined how having a first-class cabin on board and having passengers walk through that cabin was associated with an increase of "air rage" incidents, where passengers become unruly or abusive. The study was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences medical journal.

Researchers examined more than 1,500 flights and found that having to walk through a first-class cabin meant a flight was 11 times more likely to have an “air rage” incident. By looking at other models on how delayed flights impacted behavior on board, they found that merely having a first-class cabin on board meant the odds of having an “air rage” incident was the same as if the flight had been delayed for nine and half hours.

Lead author Katherine DeCelles, associate professor of organizational behavior at the University of Toronto, said the researchers theorize that it’s the repeated mentions of first-class cabin in coach that can make passengers more frustrated.

“When they close the curtains between the cabins or they remind economy passengers to not go into forward cabin” or bathroom, DeCelles told ABC News, “it reminds people that they’ve paid hundreds of dollars for this experience,” and are still denied amenities.

DeCelles said she remembered her own frustrating experience flying coach on a plane when the first-class cabin got freshly baked cookies.

“They were baking cookies in the first class cabin and it’s like they will never have that in economy,” Decelle said.

E. Scott Geller, professor of psychology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, said the frustrations of air travel have increased in recent decades and that there are common sense solutions to diminish frustration.

Geller, who was not involved in this study, said a "simple fix" would be to allow passengers to board in the middle of the plane so they don’t walk past first class and allowing faster boarding by having people in the back of the plane board first to relieve frustration.

Economy-class passengers can feel frustration when an airline makes them wait as first-class passengers boarded and got a free drink.

For passengers stuck in coach and facing their own feelings of “air rage,” simply talking to others may help diminish these feelings, he said.

“You can say, ‘Oh, that jerk,’ or you can say ‘I don’t know them,’” Geller said. He pointed out stewing because someone takes over an arm rest won’t help you enjoy your flight. Instead, simply ask them politely if they can move or compromise, he suggested.

“People are nice if you allow them to be nice,” Geller said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you reduce your calorie intake, does it make you more irritable or more upbeat?

Past research has suggested a link between calorie restriction and a lower risk of chronic disease – even in those who are not obese. But some people worry that eating less may lead to negative side effects like irritability.

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that these fears may be unfounded – and reducing your calories may actually make you more upbeat.

Researchers took 218 adults who were mainly white women with body mass indices of 22-28 (that’s normal weight to overweight) and randomly assigned them to either eat normally or to reduce their calories by 25 percent for two years. They used questionnaires to measure the subjects’ mood, quality of life, sleep and sexual function during this time period.

The people who underwent calorie restriction not only lost 16.7 pounds (compared to 0.88 pounds in the control group), but they also had significantly improved mood, reduced tension, improved general health and sexual drive, and better sleep quality.

Since calorie restriction had some positive effects and no negative health effects, the researchers suggest that this amount of calorie restriction is likely to provide some improvement even for healthy adults.

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iStock/Thinkstock(OKEECHOBEE, Fla.) -- A Florida woman who was blind for 21 years because of a car accident has mysteriously regained her sight.

Mary Ann Franco, a great-grandmother of two, needed spinal surgery recently after she injured her neck from a fall at home. When she woke up in the hospital, she said to the nurse, according to ABC News affiliate WPBF-TV:

“Lady, you with all that purple on you, give me something for pain."

She said her niece asked her, “What did you say, Mary?’”

And that’s when she realized she could see again... in color. Before her car accident, Franco said she was color-blind, but isn't anymore.

“Out the window, I could see the trees,” she told WPBF-TV. “I could see the houses and stuff.”

Her neurosurgeon, Dr. John Afshar, believes the car accident may have kinked an artery in her spine, restricting blood flow to the part of her brain that controls vision. He told WPBF-TV he may have unwittingly unkinked the artery when he performed her spinal surgery.

“It really is truly a miracle,” Dr. Afshar said to WPBF-TV. “I’ve never seen it, never heard of it.”

Franco called it an act of God.

“I believe he just went ahead and give it to me, he give me back my sight,” Franco said to WPBF-TV. “I really believe this with all my heart.”


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