Enjoy our roundup of stories that piqued our interest this week.

This week we tackle the following:

  • 8th vaping-related death reported as illnesses top 500 nationwide - Canada also reported its first case
  • 169 million people have had their health records compromised in data breaches - A study of 1461 health care breaches between 2009 and 2019
  • Mass. Gov. Baker Plans 4-Month Ban On Vaping Product Sales - Pauses sales in order for medical experts to collect more information 
  • Two Gulf Breeze doctors accused of acquiring drugs by fraud and identity theft - Fraudulently obtained controlled substances


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More than 500 people have been diagnosed with vaping-related breathing illnesses, but the cause remains unknown, U.S. health officials said Thursday. An eighth death was also reported.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration revealed that its criminal investigations unit started tracking leads early on, as cases pointed to black-market vaping products. The agency's tobacco director, Mitch Zeller, stressed that it is not interested in prosecuting individuals who use illegal products but is lending a hand because of the unit's "special skills."

8th vaping-related death reported as illnesses top 500 nationwide


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Cyber criminals compromised the health records of more than 169 million people across the country over the past decade, according to study published Monday in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study, which analyzed 1461 health care breaches reported to the federal government between Oct. 21, 2009 and July 1, 2019, concluded that all incidents over that time period revealed at least one crucial piece of personal information, including patient names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers. In 964 cases, hackers managed to access social security numbers, driver's license numbers and dates of birth of approximately 150 million people.

169 million people have had their health records compromised in data breaches

Joshua Bright for The New York Times

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Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said on Tuesday he would request the Public Health Council to order a four-month ban on the sale of all vaping products in the state. 

Baker made the announcement at a press conference where he said he was declaring a public health emergency in connection with vaping-related lung illnesses.

Hundreds of cases of the illness have been reported nationwide. Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel this month ordered all cases to be reported directly to the Department of Public Health for the next year.


Mass. Gov. Baker Plans 4-Month Ban On Vaping Product Sales

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Two Gulf Breeze doctors are facing federal charges for allegedly acquiring controlled substances through fraud and identity theft, according to federal prosecutors.

Robert Patrick Jensen, 49, and Michael T. Harris, 44, appeared in federal court this week for initial appearances after they were indicted by a grand jury on charges of acquiring controlled substances by fraud and identity theft, according to U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe.

If convicted, Jensen and Harris each face a maximum of four years in prison for acquiring controlled substances by fraud and a maximum of 20 years in prison for identity theft.


Two Gulf Breeze doctors accused of acquiring drugs by fraud and identity theft