HEALTH

March of Dimes highlights folic acid for pregnant women

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The March of Dimes is launching a campaign to encourage expectant mothers to take folic acid to prevent birth defects, the group said Friday.

The group announced national Folic Acid Awareness Week, reminding pregnant women to take vitamin B. The vitamin is known to prevent birth defects like spina bifida and anencephaly, collectively known as neural tube defects. NTDs occur in the first few weeks following conception, often before a woman knows she is pregnant.

"All women of reproductive age should be taking a multivitamin containing folic acid every day," March of Dimes medical adviser and author of the group’s new book "Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby: The Ultimate Pregnancy Guide," Siobhan Dolan said. "It’s such an easy thing to do, and it can have such a major benefit to your future family. About half of pregnancies are unplanned, so take your folic acid daily and be sure to give your baby the healthiest start in life."

In the book, Dolan recommends taking 400 micrograms of folic acid before conceiving and up to 600-800 after.


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Intimacy health to make a big showing at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show

BY Michael Johnsen

LAS VEGAS — Technology and sexual health will merge at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show here with executives from Standard Innovation making feature presentations and Church & Dwight targeting the show with a personal massager giveaway as part of its campaign to initiate a trial that started in November 2012. 

Standard Innovation’s participation marks the first time a sexual health company has been asked to speak at the technology mega-conference, the company suggested. The company’s CEO Danny Osadca will host a "Sex Never Gets Old" panel Jan. 8; director business development Kendra Novick will deliver a keynote on "Sex in Digital Times" Jan. 9; and VP product development Grant Bechthold will deliver another keynote on "Science Meets Sexuality" Jan. 10. 

"We are honored to have such a strong presence at CES this year. Our goal is to apply the same high-level thinking and processes found in traditional consumer electronics to advance the future of sexual health," stated Osadca. "By creating safe, non-intimidating and quality products, we offer an unmatched user experience — a critical factor to success, particularly in this industry."

In addition to speaking, the company’s latest product, The Thrill by We-Vibe was recognized by a panel of technology journalists as a Semi-Finalist in the Last Gadget Standing, another CES first according to the company. The annual competition highlights top products that will endure as the digital world continues to change. 

Church & Dwight will be continuing its multi-city trial of its Trojan Vibrations personal massagers, which began in Washington, Nov. 13. The company has been featuring its latest product innovations via a specially-designed Trojan Vibrations Pleasure Carts that are modeled after traditional hot dog carts.

"With the success of the Trojan vibrator giveaway in New York City, it is evident that Americans understand that pleasure is a normal part of sexually healthy lives," Bruce Weiss, VP marketing, Trojan sexual health, stated in November. "By innovating high-quality vibrators and making them easily accessible on drug store, mass merchandiser and grocery store shelves, Trojan remains dedicated to taking pleasure out of the bedroom and into the mainstream."


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Mintel: Declining user base means smoking cessation aids will experience slow growth through 2017

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Sales of smoking cessation aids are projected to reach $1 billion in 2012 with continued growth driving sales as high as $1.2 billion by 2017, market research firm Mintel reported Thursday. 

“As more Americans put out their cigarettes, the market for smoking cessation products is expected to grow, despite challenging economic circumstances," stated Emily Krol, Mintel health and wellness analyst. "However, smoking cessation brands face certain challenges. A declining number of smokers, as well as increased smoking bans and taxes on cigarettes are shrinking the market of potential users. Growth opportunities for this market will be found in product innovation and line extensions.”

Among Americans who have previously quit or are interested in quitting, some 41% reported that gaining weight is their biggest challenge to quitting smoking. Of those concerned with weight gain, 54% are women versus 31% men. “To help with this challenge, smoking cessation brands can proactively provide healthy solutions and tips to help consumers feel more confident in their ability to quit smoking and keep their weight where they want it,” Krol suggested.

Of the anti-smoking products currently available, 41% of those interested in quitting say they are interested in trying OTC nicotine sprays, and 41% a prescription nicotine inhaler. As many as 40% would go for OTC nicotine replacement lozenges and 38% are interested in nicotine-free cigarettes.

Of non-nicotine replacement based methods, 35% are interested in trying hypnosis, 34% acupuncture and some 37% would be interested in individual therapy or a support group specific for smoking. And 30% of people are willing to try a quit smoking app on their smartphone or tablet.

Of those who have previously quit smoking or are interested in quitting, almost half (48%) would be interested in a nutrition bar or a drink that could help them quit smoking and 46% would like a lollipop with low amounts of nicotine. 

When trying different products, it’s very important to 61% of Americans who have previously quit or are interested in quitting that they aren’t left with a craving, and 59% say they don’t want it to be expensive. Meanwhile, 56% say they want a product that’s easy to understand and 54% think it’s very important it doesn’t leave a bad taste in their mouth. When it comes to support systems, one in four say it’s very important to have an in-person support system or coach.

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