November 17, 2007

National Smokeout

Smokers and nonsmokers gather to get a chance to see how deadly the habit can affect their appearance while celebrating the Great American Smokeout day across the nation.

Three stories of Minnesotans who struggle to go smoke-free are showcased at the Smiley Clinic exhibit, 2020 E. 28th St., Minneapolis, in honor of the Smokeout.

Those visiting the exhibit, which is open from 1:30 to 5 p.m., can also see how their own faces would look if they smoked for years.

The Great Smokeout is held each year on the third Thursday in November.

Lynn R. Smith, publisher of the Moticello Times, started the state’s first D-Day, or Don’t Smoke Day, in 1974. Smith put the 300 pledged names to stop smoking or using tobacco on the front page of his newspaper.

The “Great American Smokeout? became a nationwide event in 1977 by the American Cancer Society.

According to reports in, there are about 46 million smokers in the United States.

A famous quote by Mark Twain gives encouragement to smokers, "Quitting smoking is easy. I've done it a thousand times."

According to the American Cancer Society web site, four key factors that help in the quitting process. The first is to make the decision to quit, by setting a quit date and choosing a quit plan. You must also deal with the withdrawal that will occur from the absence of nicotine in the body. And lastly, maintaining your quitting habits.

November 5, 2007

Minnesota no longer healthiest State

Vermont took over Minnesota's rank as healthiest state in the nation.

“Vermont certainly has earned bragging rights to the Healthiest State honors,? said Scott Morgan, President of Morgan Quitno Press. “It offers great access to primary care doctors, has a low teen birth rate and a high percentage of citizens covered by health insurance. In addition, the people of Vermont are physically fit: it has one of the lowest obesity rates among states and some of the highest percentages of citizens who exercise.?

According to the 18th annual survey conducted by the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention, Minnesota now stands as No. 2 followed by Hawaii, New Hampshirt and Connecticut for healthy states.

The survey said the least healthiest states are Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Minnesota came in the top 10 states for 12 of the 20 measurements used in compiling the healthiest state survey. They were found to have a low premature death rate, low death rates from cardiovascular diseased and low infant mortality rate.

However, Minnesota ranked 41st for binge drinking which included 17.6 percent of population engaging in the activity. It also had a rise in obesity, which could have contributed to the slipping in rankings.

The study found that 25 percent of Americans are obese, which is up from 11.6 percent in 1990.

November 3, 2007

Olympic Distant Runner Dies in Training

U.S. men's Olympic marathon runner died during the Olympic trials Saturday after collapsing 5.5 miles into the race.

Ryan Shay was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital and pronounced dead at 8:46 a.m., Mary Wittenberg, New York Road Runners president said.

Shay, 28, fell to the ground near the Central Park boathouse, during the 26.2-mile qualifier for the Beijing Olympic Games.
Shay who is originally from Flagstaff, Ariz., was a favorite going into the 2004 trials until injured by a hamstring strain leaving him to finish 23rd. This year he was third at this year's U.S. 25K championships and was also a 2003 U.S. marathon champion and the NCAA 10,000-meter champion for Notre Dame in 2001.

Shay's wife, Alicia, whom he met at the 2005 New York City Marathon, was also a long distance runner and was a two-time NCAA champion and the collegiate 10,000-meter record-holder at Stanford.

"We ask you to join us in extending our very deepest condolences to Alicia, to Ryan's family and the Notre Dame running community," Wittenberg said. "It's certainly not the way we expected any part of the race to go."

October 1, 2007

Packs Undefeated

Brett Favre threw his 421st record touchdown pass that made for the fourth straight win by the undefeated Green Bay Packers. Favre broke Dan Marino's NFL touchdown pass record on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

"It didn't hit me like, 'OK, it's finally over and done with,' " Favre said. "I don't want to look at it that way. Every touchdown I've thrown has been a lot of fun, and this one had extra meaning, not only because of a record, but what we've had to do here in the past and overcome."

The record-breaker came on a 16-yard slant to teammate Greg Jennings just 10 minutes into the first period.

When Favre returned to the sideline after the record throw, he shared a hug and southern smooch with wife and cancer survivor, Deanna.

The Vikings are going into their bye week with a three-game losing streak.

"We need to regroup and we need to refresh here over this bye week," Vikings Coach Brad Childress said..

"We are what we are," Childress said. "We're 1-3, and we understand that Green Bay's on top. We get another crack at them as well as everybody else."