In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 8, 2011 / 4 Nissan, 5771

When Smoking is Okay

By Greg Crosby

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In case you didn't hear, last month LA residents had one more freedom taken away. That's when it became illegal to smoke in outdoor dining areas throughout Los Angeles, including on restaurant patios and around mobile food trucks. Anyone who violates the smoking ban -- diners and business owners alike -- will face fines up to $500.

As we know, the state already prohibits lighting up inside restaurants and bars. The city is expanding the smoking ban to within 10 feet of outdoor dining areas, including food courts; and within 40 feet of food kiosks, food cars and mobile food trucks. The city council is considering another ordinance that would ban smoking in "all public areas and common areas where people congregate.''

Councilman Bernard Parks, who is pushing the ordinance, said the idea is not to ban smoking, but to regulate where it can be done. Last November he called in for a comprehensive and citywide ordinance that would ban smoking in "all public areas and common areas where people congregate, including, but not limited to, indoor and outdoor businesses, hotels, parks, apartment common areas, restaurants and bars, and beaches.''

In a news conference last month, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the city is setting "a standard for healthy living.'' I find that really interesting because just last Monday (April 4th) Tony V. appeared in person at Lake Balboa Park to ring in the holiday festivities for Iranian New Year. And just what are the festivities? Well, according to one person interviewed at the festival, "We're here to eat kabob, dance, and smoke hookahs."

Indeed, a page 3 story in one major LA newspaper shows a photo of several young men gathered around a table puffing on hookahs. The title of the article is "Thousands Gather for Persian New Year." Of course hookah smoking has always been a very big deal in the Middle East and in the last few years it has gained in popularity with the young, hip crowd in Southern California too. Hookah clubs have sprung up all over the place. There definitely was heavy hookah smoking going on at the park that day.

On a pro-hookah web site called "Hookah Lounge," I found the following Q and A with Dr. Thomas Eissenberg, associate professor, department of psychology and Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University:

Q: Is it true that hookah smoke is better than cigarette smoke because it's filtered through water?

A: Unfortunately, there are no data by which we can compare directly the health effects of smoking tobacco using a waterpipe with those of smoking tobacco cigarettes. The necessary studies have not (yet) been done.

However, we do know that the smoke produced by a waterpipe contains some of the same carcinogens as in cigarette smoke, as well as substantial amounts of carbon monoxide (implicated in cigarette-caused cardiovascular disease.)

The one study that addressed the issue provided no evidence that the water influences the amount of carcinogens, carbon monoxide or heavy metals present in the smoke produced by a waterpipe.

Q: Is there an equal amount of nicotine in hookah and cigarettes? Do you happen to have any of the statistics on how much nicotine and carbon monoxide there is in hookah?

A: Waterpipes are used for periods that can last for 30-45 minutes, while a single cigarette is smoked for about 5 minutes. The average puff on a waterpipe produces about 500 ml of smoke, while the average puff on a cigarette produces about 50 ml of smoke. A hookah smoker can take about 100 puffs when s/he uses a waterpipe (i.e., in a single 30-45 minute session) while a cigarette smoker takes about 10 puffs.

Waterpipe use episode can involve some 100 puffs of 500 ml of smoke each, or 50,000 ml of smoke (or 50 liters). A cigarette use episode can involve some 10 puffs of 50 ml each, or 500 ml (0.5 liters).

With all this in mind, you wouldn't be surprised to hear that there is more nicotine in waterpipe smoke, and you are right - one study shows that the smoke form a waterpipe, produced as though a human were smoking it, contains about 2.96 mg nicotine. Similar studies with cigarettes show that cigarette smoke contains about 1.74 mg nicotine.

So even though smoking a hookah is, at the very least, just as bad as cigarette smoking, Mayor Villaraigosa evidently doesn't have a problem with it. My 80 year-old sister-in-law can't enjoy having a cigarette after dinner outside a restaurant, I can't have an occasional cigar in public, but if someone wants to suck on hookahs in the park, it's fine.

What I want to know is, what exactly is Mayor Villaraigosa smoking these days?

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2008, Greg Crosby