CVS has announced that its drugstores will stop selling cigarettes by October. From CEO Larry J. Merlo: “We have about 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners helping patients manage chronic problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease, all of which are linked to smoking. We came to the decision that cigarettes and providing health care just don’t go together in the same setting.”
+ Slate’s Matthew Yglesias wonders if that logic suggests that CVS should stop selling junk food too. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to also drop the phony supplements and some of addictive and/or dangerous pharmaceuticals. But in the meantime, the cigarette ban isn’t a bad place to start.
+ Pretty much everything about cigarettes is bad. Now, one California lawmaker even wants to ban the butts.
The Forgotten War Zone
“We knew these people were going to have PTSD symptoms. We didn’t know it was going to be as extensive.” That’s a trauma surgeon talking. But she’s not talking about Afghanistan or Iraq. She’s talking about the patients see she’s at Chicago’s Cooke County Hospital.
Where Were You?
People often say they remember exactly where they were when Kennedy was shot or when they heard some other world-changing piece of news. In the future, we’ll all remember where we were when someone famous died or some big news broke: Right here in front of our computers. In The New Yorker, Paul Ford and Matt Buchanan take a look at how we gather now, and we share the news when someone like Philip Seymour Hoffman dies unexpectedly. “Death still means that people go looking for answers, but now they use Google. Real-time chronology, trending subjects, and curated news feeds mean that the Internet, with its mix of individual expression and automated sorting, writes the first draft of the eulogy.”
Many excellent organizations have used teen crisis telephone lines for years. But now, many of them are letting kids connect with them via text. The kids tend to be more open, they can communicate about issues of abuse even if their abuser is in the same room, and the data they share can ultimately be used to help them. Nancy Lublin, one of the people at the forefront of helping teens (and a friend of mine), explains: “My dream is that public health officials will use this data and tailor public policy solutions around it.”
+ Want to help kids’ concentration and social skills (and probably a lot more)? Then let them play.
Five Ring Circus
“Please do not flush toilet paper down the toilet.” That was only one of the weird signs and messages being tweeted by the journalists arriving in Sochi. If you want bad buzz about an event, a good place to start is by making sure those covering the event are miserable. From WaPo: Journalists at Sochi are live-tweeting their hilarious and gross hotel experiences. (If you think their tweets are bad, wait until we start getting the faxes.)
+ Yesterday we saw reports that Sochi officials had ordered the killing of stray dogs in the area. Maybe they should just make the dogs snowboard down the Olympic slopestyle course. Several competitors have already been hurt, and now Shaun White says he’s skipping the event altogether.
+ It’s warm. It’s clear. But at least the snowmakers are working.
+ Outside looks at the gear that Olympians will be using to gain an edge.
+ And from Deadspin: A User’s Guide To The Bizarre Toilets Of Sochi.
Follow the Money
“The HSBC case went miles beyond the usual paper-pushing, keypad-punching sort-of crime, committed by geeks in ties, normally associated with Wall Street. In this case, the bank literally got away with murder — well, aiding and abetting it, anyway.” Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi explains how HSBC hooked up with drug traffickers and terrorists. And got away with it
During the first Internet boom, no one got beat up more than the web grocers. But now, companies like Google and Amazon — along with a new batch of of startups — are once again competing to deliver groceries to your doorstep.
Ingredients like pickle juice, facial hair yeast, and DNA coded with millions of copies of the Declaration of Independence suggest that craft beer has finally gone too far. Not sure? Take the quiz.
+ The culture wars are officially over. One out of every two sandwiches sold in France is a hamburger.
We finally know why it looked like the guitars and bass used by the Red Hot Chili Peppers didn’t seem to be plugged in during the Super Bowl Halftime show. Bassist Flea explains: “It was made clear to us that the vocals would be live, but the bass, drums and guitar would be pre-recorded. I understand the NFL’s stance on this, given they only have a few minutes to set up the stage, there a zillion things that could go wrong and ruin the sound for the folks watching in the stadium and the T.V. viewers. There was not any room for argument on this, the NFL does not want to risk their show being botched by bad sound, period.” When it comes to these kinds of secrets, you can count on the Red Hot Chili Peppers to give it away, give it away, give it away now.
The Bottom of the News
“Ray is actually the most interesting guy to me, because he’s pathologically honest, and he can be toxic to other people when he’s angry and can’t regulate it. But he shows, for the most part, an amazing amount of insight into himself and other people.” As if their symtoms weren’t obvious enough, here’s a psychiatrist analyzing the characters on Girls.
+ “During a couples-therapy session, therapist Ellen Winston of Lakewood, Colo., brought along her assistant, Sasha — who happens to be a dog.”
+ Can someone who was a reality TV star get demoted? We’ll find out. Clay Aiken is running for Congress.
+ Cold? Well at least there’s this: Shivering as a form of exercise.
+ Richard Sherman is a shutdown cornerback. He’s also a shutdown Tweeter.
CVS to Stop Selling Cigarettes and Other Fascinating News on the Web
February 5, 2014