Vital Signs newsletter: Vaccine debate draws crowd to Augusta

A parade of speakers packed a legislative committee room on Monday, drawn to Augusta to debate Maine’s vaccination program. Among them was Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who’s been making the rounds in other states weighing vaccine legislation, hawking his book about the supposed dangers of immunization. Lawmakers are considering three bills on the issue, two that would […]

Vital Signs newsletter: Kittery shoppers exposed to measles

Measles often dominates conversations about vaccination, singled out as a disease that could resurge 15 years after the U.S. declared it eliminated from this country. Among the reasons — experts say it’s one of the most contagious infectious diseases, the vaccine is very effective, and an outbreak that began at California’s Disnelyland late last year has spread. Yesterday, Maine officials announced that an infected […]

As Maine weighs e-cigarette limits, ‘vaping’ among U.S. teens triples

E-cigarette companies are not yet subject to the same marketing restrictions as traditional cigarette companies. (Courtesy Fotolia | TNS)

Add this to the list of electronics consuming teenagers’ attention: cigarettes. Use of electronic cigarettes tripled among American middle and high school students over the course of just one year, from 2013 to 2014, according to new data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The statistics come as many states, including Maine, seek limits on the devices […]

Vital Signs newsletter: Lawmakers debate your health

Apparently it’s “controversial health legislation” week in Augusta. While bills related to Mainers’ health spark plenty of debate throughout the legislative session — see “Medicaid expansion” — lawmakers tackled a spate of proposals this week that could affect your physical well-being. First out of the gate was a bill to ban the use of electronic cigarettes, or “vaping,” in public […]