Three studies published in a cancer journal shed new light on pipe smoking, nicotine patches and the risk of lung cancer. The first study followed more than 200,000 people and found that smoking a pipe may not be as risky as cigarettes, but it is just as dangerous as smoking cigars. And the biggest cancer risks for pipe smokers are lung and larynx cancers. A second study suggests that when it comes to kicking the habit, the nicotine patch is the most effective way for smokers to reduce their intake of tobacco related toxins. So called "reduced exposure" cigarettes came in second, although researchers note that the products don't cut the rate of tobacco toxins as much as manufacturers claim. Researchers have also uncovered evidence that contradicts the belief that women who smoke are more susceptible to lung cancer than men. The study of more than 80,000 people found no difference in the overall risk of lung cancer between the sexes. You can find all three studies in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
A new study conducted in Pakistan shows that regular hand-washing can greatly reduce the risk of death from disease. And that it's hand-washing that matters not what kind of soap is used. Researchers at the Centers For Disease Control studied 900 extremely poor households. 600 households received soap - half got plain soap and half got antibacterial soap. The remaining 300 households received school supplies instead of soap. In all, the hand-washing households saw a 50% reduction in cases of diarrhea even if they were too young to wash their own hands and the kind of soap they used didn't make a difference. What mattered the most was regular hand-washing to prevent the spread of the germs that cause diarrhea.
Your doctor may wash his hands before every checkup, but what about his tie? Researchers at New York's Queens Medical Center analyzed the neckties of 42 doctors and physician assistants. Nearly half of the ties contained bacteria that can cause illnesses like Pnuemonia and urinary tract infections. Researchers say the findings bring into question whether wearing a necktie is in the best interest of patients.