A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

UK College of Pharmacy graduate Dennis Bashaw embraces tradition of unscripted opportunities

By Grace Colville and Ja’Nae Clapp University of Kentucky The University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy (UKCOP) has developed a stellar reputation for molding the future minds of pharmaceutical medicine. But what happens to those who don’t go on to become practicing pharmacists in the traditional sense? Dennis Bashaw, a 1986 UKCOP graduate, broke the mold and demonstrated just how a professional...

KDA licenses hemp growers for 2020 season; economic numbers show hemp industry maturing

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced the Kentucky Department of Agriculture has licensed 960 hemp growers to grow up to 32,000 acres and 150 hemp processors and handlers for 2020. The KDA has also licensed 4.6 million square feet of greenhouse space for production. “Hemp continues to draw much attention, and these new numbers reflect an industry that is still maturing,”...

Mitch McConnell announces Kentucky will receive at least $7 million to help fight new coronavirus

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday that Kentucky will receive at least $7 million to help fight the new coronavirus, labeled COVID-19. The funding, included in the supplemental appropriations bill, was signed into law by President Trump, will be provided to state officials who will determine how the resources will be distributed. Each state will receive no less than $4 million. The...

New nutrition labels use larger portion size, list added sugar which can causes many issues; how to limit it

Nutrition fact labels are the primary source of information about what’s in the food we eat, and they recently got their first update in 20 years. The Food and Drug Administration says it based the changes on “updated scientific information, new nutrition and public health research, more recent dietary recommendations from expert groups, and input from the public.” Manufacturers with...

Quarles asks Ky’s congressional delegation to help with FDA’s ‘bureaucratic paralysis’ surrounding hemp

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles is calling upon the state’s Congressional delegation to help what he terms the “bureaucratic paralysis” by the Food and Drug Administration which says is hindering Kentucky’s burgeoning hemp industry. Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has run into some roadblocks in help the hemp industry in Kentucky. (Kentucky...

Quarles says Kentucky to operate hemp program under 2014 Farm Bill provisions for one more year

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) will use 2020 as a year to transition from a hemp research pilot program to a commercial hemp program. “The 2018 Farm Bill removed industrial hemp from the federal list of controlled substances, a move which has been a catalyst for hemp growers and businesses,” Quarles said. “Wisely, Congress...

‘Juul-alikes’ fill niche after firm stopped some sales; Drug Free Lexington video target e-cig users

Pressed by the chief of the Food and Drug Administration last fall, Juul Labs “stopped selling most of its hugely popular flavored nicotine pods in stores last fall,” but now other companies are “trumpeting their own fruity and candy-flavored pods as compatible with Juul devices,” Sheila Kaplan reports for The New York Times. That illustrates “just how entrenched the youth...

Food safety regulations amended to improve safety and health; changes reflect national food code

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is working to make the general public and business community aware of new changes to the state’s food code which will improve safety and health standards for food storage, preparation and serving. To prepare for upcoming changes, which will take effect in July, DPH conducted regional training for local health departments to educate food inspectors....

KHIP: 39 percent of Kentucky smokers cut back after cigarette tax increase took effect in July

Half of Kentucky’s adult smokers say they smoked fewer cigarettes, or that they considered or tried to quit smoking, following the cigarette excise tax increase that went into effect July 1, 2018. “The cigarette tax increase is changing thinking and behavior about smoking in Kentucky,” said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which released a...

Demonstration planned in Louisville on Aug. 31 for FED UP! International Overdose Awareness Day

Advocates in concert with International Overdose Awareness Day will demonstrate for a more forceful federal response to the opioid addiction epidemic on Aug. 31 in Louisville. The rally will take place at Jefferson Park (corner of 6th and Jefferson) from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and is organized by Emily Walden with Stoppnow (Stop the Organized pill pushers now). It will be one of dozens that are scheduled...

Keven Moore: Home DNA kits have become a hot item; know the ins and outs before you order

In theory, you could be discriminated against for health or for racist reasons. In theory. DNA is a double helix formed by base pairs attached to a sugar-phosphate backbone. Source: National Institutes for Health This will probably be a more real issue in the future, but right now, the data, algorithms, and accessibility aren’t there. Voluntary records from familial DNA searching sites can be used...

FDA expected to decide if smokeless cigarette can be sold in U.S., delays ruling on health claims

Philip Morris International says it has created a heat-not-burn smoking device that will have 90 to 95 percent less toxic compounds than cigarettes, “an innovation it claims could save lives and eliminate smoking in America,” William Wan reports for The Washington Post. The process gently heats sticks of tobacco in a special battery-operated device and is sold in 25 countries under the...

Rural Blog: FDA e-cigarette regulations go into effect, banning sales to anyone under 18

New Food and Drug Administration regulations for electronic cigarettes, which ban tobacco sales to anyone under 18, went into effect Monday, Aamer Madhani reports for USA Today. E-cigarette use among teens has been on the rise, especially in rural areas. “E-cigarette groups have already launched a legal battle to stop the FDA and warned that the vapor industry would go up in smoke if the regulations...

Rural Blog: FDA moves to block sales of e-cigarettes to anyone under 18

In a long-anticipated announcement, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it is assuming regulatory authority over electronic cigarettes, which have become a growing concern among youths, especially in rural areas, Tripp Mickle reports for The Wall Street Journal. The FDA’s new tobacco regulations will prohibit sales of e-cigarettes and all tobacco products to anyone under 18. Health...

Cigarettes still account for about 80 percent of all tobacco product sales, UK study shows

Consumers are not substituting electronic cigarettes for traditional cigarettes, a University of Kentucky researcher found during his study of habit formation with noncigarette products. As principal investigator in a study funded by the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products, Yuqing Zheng, an agricultural economist in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, studied...

Keven Moore: Recent video begs the question — Just how safe are these new age electronic cigarettes?

By now many of you has seen the surveillance video from a couple of weeks back when an e-cigarette exploded in a man’s pants pocket as he approached the counter in an Shell Gas Station in Owensboro. The man ended up suffering from second-degree burns after he says, an electronic battery exploded in his pocket. The video captured him later running outside, struggling to remove his pants, before...

Rural Blog: Painkiller Zohydro looks easier
to abuse, some states restricting its use

Special to KyForward   Some states are restricting the use of the new painkiller Zohydro, “setting up a showdown with the federal government over who gets to decide the best way to protect public health,” Michael Ollove reports for Stateline.   (Photo from Kentucky Health News) Though millions of chronic pain sufferers could benefit from the drug, some officials worry that abusers...

Like firefighters and police officers, health department staffers are first responders, too

Dr. Lynne Saddler KyForward columnist   Marion Kainer, an epidemiologist with the Tennessee Department of Health, got an email from a colleague at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The Vanderbilt doctor was reporting a suspicious case of fungal meningitis in a patient who had received steroid injections.   You probably know the rest of the story: nationwide investigation launched, recall...