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'Tobacco-free' plan for Republic of Ireland

Irish Republic to be tobacco freeDr James Reilly has defined a "tobacco-free Ireland" as a state where less than 5% of the population smoke.

According to the latest figures, 22% of people aged 15 and over regularly smoke cigarettes in the Republic of Ireland.

The plan makes 60 recommendations to significantly reduce smoking over the next 12 years. Tobacco would still be available, but at an increased cost.

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Shutdown keeps 10 children with cancer from clinical trials

US gov't shutdownTen U.S. children with cancer won't be able to begin their clinical trials due to the government shutdown, officials at the National Institutes of Health said.

John Burklow, a spokesman for the NIH, told ABCNews.com more than 1,400 ongoing clinical trials will continue at the NIH Clinical Center, which is the largest research hospital in the world, but it won't be able to add new patients or start any new trials during the shutdown.

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Vietnamese Americans, Exposed to Agent Orange, Suffer in Silence

Agent OrangeAfter his eighth round of chemo, Trai Nguyen is exhausted, his body ravaged. The 60-year-old has a rare and aggressive form of cancer that he believes resulted from his contact with the defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

His doctors believe his cancer may now be in remission, but that is little comfort. “My hands shake violently. I can’t do anything,” he says, sitting on a mattress in the two-bedroom apartment he shares with relatives.

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San Diego resumes pot dispensary offensive

Marijuana dispensaryInterim San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said he is resuming enforcement of a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries but would like to see the law changed.

The city filed its first civil suit against a dispensary since the retirement last month of Mayor Bob Filner, who had adopted a hands-off approach to the pot shops. San Diego's official policy is that dispensaries are not allowed to operate anywhere under the city's zoning ordinance.

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Report: Obamacare health insurance will have affordable rates

health insurance ratesIn spite of concerns about “sticker shock,” rates for individual coverage on the new health insurance marketplaces appear to be lower than expected in most states due mainly to robust competition among insurers, the Obama administration reported Wednesday.

With prices all but finalized in most states, a new report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that monthly premiums in 47 states and the District of Columbia, on average, will be 16 percent lower next year than the Congressional Budget Office projected they would be in 2016 – when the marketplaces are at full capacity.

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People misread 'use by' label; 40% of US food is tossed

expiration date labelsConfused by the "sell by," "use by" and "best before" labels on the foods sold at grocery stores? So are more than 90 percent of Americans, who prematurely discard edibles because they have misinterpreted the dates stamped on the products, according to a report released Wednesday.

Many consumers read an item's sell-by date as an indicator of when the food will spoil. But it's an inaccurate assumption, according to a study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard Law School's Food Law and Policy Clinic.

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Monsanto Spends Millions to Defeat Washington GMO Labeling Initiative

GMO labelingWith the help of a $4.6 million check from the biotech giant Monsanto and millions more from other out-of-state corporate interests, the campaign to defeat a Washington state ballot initiative in November to label groceries that contain genetically engineered ingredients has outraised the initiative's supporters by nearly three times, according to campaign data released last week.

The campaign for Washington ballot Initiative 552 is already looking a lot like last year's Proposition 37 campaign in California, where biotech and agribusiness interests outspent organic food producers and grassroots labeling supporters by nearly 5 to 1 in a high-profile battle over labeling genetically engineered groceries in the Golden State. (Genetically engineered products are also known as Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs.)

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