Gumming up the works
People who try to cut back on their smoking by chewing nicotine gum may be hindering the process when they drink coffee or colas, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The nicotine in the gum is designed to be absorbed through saliva in the mouth, but a study conducted at the Addiction Research Center of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore found that coffee and colas change the pH balance of saliva enough to nullify absorption.
The study says any substance more acidic than tap water should be avoided just before or during chewing nicotine gum and users should wait at least 15 minutes after eating or drinking to pop the gum into their mouths.
Sexually abused adults
Adults who were sexually abused as children have a new, statewide information clearinghouse to call on. The Onionskin Collective InfoCenter, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Annapolis, provides information about legal assistance, mental health professionals and organizations that help victims.
Call (301) 263-1151 seven days a week or write to the Onionskin Collective, Suite 50, 2315-B Forest Drive, Annapolis, Md. 21401.
Casting iron in your diet
Cooking in cast-iron pots is a good way to increase the iron in your diet, according to the Wellness Letter, produced by the University of California, Berkeley. The more acidic the food (such as tomato sauce) and the longer it cooks, the more iron.