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MagazineFebruary 1999 (Vol. 9 Issue 11)Shorts

* Anti shoplifting security systems could pose a health risk for individuals with pacemakers

* Anti shoplifting security systems could pose a health risk for individuals with pacemakers. Their magnetic fields can cause palpitations, nausea, breathing difficulties and dizziness each time the cardiac patient passes through them. Doctors warn that people with pacemakers should avoid these systems or endeavour to pass through them as quickly as possible (N Eng J Med, 1998; 339: 1371-4).

* Children can become addicted to cigarettes at the breast. In addition to passing on carcinogens, a new study has revealed that the breast milk of smoking mums is tobacco flavoured. The authors speculate that one reason why children of smokers become smokers themselves is that they have been "trained", from an early age, to like the taste of tobacco (N Eng J Med, 1998; 339: 1559-60).

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