Overnight Health Care: CNN to stop running Juul ads | Cannabis trade group: Vaping deaths result of 'failed prohibition policies' | WHO warns it's running out of money to fight Ebola

Overnight Health Care: CNN to stop running Juul ads | Cannabis trade group: Vaping deaths result of 'failed prohibition policies' | WHO warns it's running out of money to fight Ebola

Welcome to Friday’s Overnight Health Care.

CNN won’t run vaping ads, WHO says it is running out of money to fight Ebola and a national cannabis group is blaming lax regulation for the recent vaping deaths.

We’ll start with CNN:


Network to stop running Juul ads

In yet another blow to e-cigarette manufacturer Juul, CNN on Friday said it will stop running the company’s ads.

A spokesperson for CNN told The Hill in an email Friday that the outlet has revised its policy around e-cigarette use due to reports of the devices being linked to serious lung illnesses and even deaths.

"CNN reserves the right to withdraw advertising from its platforms at its discretion. Given the recent news reports of serious illnesses and deaths linked to the product category and the subsequent warnings from the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], the [American Medical Association] and the American Lung Association to consumers, CNN has revised its policies regarding e-cigarette advertising, and will not air ads in this category effective immediately,” the network spokesperson said.

CNN’s decision was first reported by The Daily Beast. 

The news comes just days after the Trump administration announced it would move to ban sales of all non-tobacco flavors of e-cigarettes, which health officials say have been marketed towards younger users. New data from the CDC’s National Youth Tobacco Survey found 1 in 5 high school students used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days, and most cited popular fruity, mint or menthol flavors. 

Juul, and e-cigarettes in general, have come under fire in recent weeks as federal health officials are investigating a mysterious lung disease tied to vaping that’s sickened hundreds of people across the country and has resulted in six deaths.


Even though many of the cases have been linked to marijuana and black market vaping products, lawmakers and the public have seized on both the illnesses, and teen addiction, to press for action. 

Read more here.

Cannabis trade group: Vaping deaths result of 'failed prohibition policies'

The mysterious vaping illness that has resulted in the deaths of six people could spell trouble for the federal push to legalize marijuana. But a leading cannabis group is not shying away, and is using the attention to call on Congress to take action.

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) said the deaths are the direct result of "failed prohibition policies" against marijuana. The group this week called on Congress to remove marijuana from the controlled substances list, and regulate it.

"These unfortunate illnesses and deaths are yet another terrible, and largely avoidable, consequence of failed prohibition policies," NCIA Executive Director Aaron Smith said in a statement Wednesday. "Current federal laws interfere with research, prevent federal regulatory agencies from establishing safety guidelines, discourage states from regulating cannabis, and make it more difficult for state-legal cannabis businesses to displace the illicit market."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Thursday that it had identified 380 confirmed or probable cases of lung disease connected to vaping across 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. No businesses or products have been implicated in the outbreak, but authorities are eyeing a connection to black market marijuana and counterfeit products that contain potentially deadly additives.

Regulation could make sure ingredients in all marijuana products, especially vapes, are consistent, according to the NCIA.

"By removing cannabis from the schedule of controlled substances and instituting a clear regulatory framework through existing agencies, the federal government can provide helpful guidance to states that have or wish to establish regulated cannabis control systems while helping put irresponsible illicit market producers out of business for good,” Smith said.

Read more here.

WHO warns it's running out of money to fight Ebola

The largest force against the yearlong outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Congo says it only has enough money for the fight to last through the end of the month.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday that it has received about $55 million from governments around the world since Aug. 1, just one-fifth of the amount it needs to implement a strategic response plan meant to contain the virus through the end of the year.

Money matters: The WHO has spent more than a quarter of a billion dollars battling what has become the second-largest outbreak in modern history, and the largest ever to strike Congo. Donor nations and philanthropies have contributed about $170 million of that total, including $20 million directly from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).


“Currently available funds will close the financing gap up until the end of September 2019,” WHO said in its weekly report on the outbreak. “Further resources are needed to fund the response through to December 2019, and WHO is appealing to donors to provide generous support.”

Not a lot of help: The WHO, which has 671 trained staffers on the ground in Congo, is the largest of dozens of international groups such as UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders that have tried to contain the spread of Ebola.  But an unstable security situation in the region, where dozens of armed militant groups operate with impunity and where more than 200 attacks on health care facilities and workers have been recorded, has kept many more groups on the sidelines.

Read more on the crisis here.


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FDA warns of contaminant in popular heartburn medicine

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that some batches of the popular heartburn medication Zantac contain low levels of a chemical that could cause cancer.

According to the agency, low levels of a chemical called NDMA were found in some ranitidine medicines. Ranitidine is used to treat heartburn, and sold under the brand-name drug Zantac.


FDA said NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen based on results from laboratory tests. NDMA is a known environmental contaminant and found in water and foods, including meats, dairy products, and vegetables.

There are currently no recalls of Zantac in plaxe, and FDA said it is still evaluating whether the levels found in antacids would pose a health risk to the millions of people who take them. So far, FDA said the the levels it has found from preliminary tests “barely exceed amounts you might expect to find in common foods.”

Read more here.

What we’re reading

Inside the drug industry’s plan to defeat the DEA (Washington Post)

Mystery solved: private-equity-backed firms are behind ad blitz on ‘surprise billing’ (New York Times)

While battling opioid crisis, U.S. government weighed using fentanyl for executions (Reuters)


Purveyors of black-market pharmaceuticals target immigrants (Kaiser Health News)

Seeking relief from nicotine addiction, some e-cigarette users turn to smoking (California Healthline)

State by state

UVA will cut back on lawsuits against patients in wake of KHN investigation (Kaiser Health News)

Scott rejects regulators’ ask for Medicaid funding boost (VTDigger)

Wolf, Republicans resume tug-of-war over Medicaid work requirements (WITF)