If you sip a beer when you are a teenager, are you going to become a raging alcoholic? You are according to the logic of anti-smoking activists who won the war on cigarettes and need a one place to use their army - and their funding.

Cigarette smoking has plummeted, which is what we have all wanted, and part of the reason for that is smoking cessation tools, like gums, patches, smokeless tobacco and things like e-cigarettes. Those are also used for harm reduction; smoking is as uncool as can be these days, so from a health point of view every cigarette not smoked is a win. They work because nicotine is addictive, like caffeine and alcohol, so providing that stimulus without the toxins is good.
Its not a great idea to use surveys, but sometimes those are all we have. After environmental groups drummed up publicity about a colony collapse disorder in honeybees, for example, concerned amateurs began taking up beekeeping. Since nature is not a perfect system, and the new folks didn't know what they were doing, these amateurs killed off a lot of bees, but there is no checkbox on the survey for that, so they blamed pesticides.

Declaring things endangered, even species that were only just discovered, is good for business, and a species of hummingbird has been added to conservation watchlists and global warming has been blamed - except it isn't endangered, it's instead migratory. 
Why do people skip queues, cause traffic jams, and create delays for everyone? Who are these misbehaving creatures lacking basic cooperation skills? Are they really all that different from you? Are you perhaps one of them?

The post originally appeared on the Putting Pesticides in Perspective (PPIP) Blog on 2/7/17 on which there are also 6 related sub-posts

With the availability of Arctic Apples around the corner, there are a lot of questions swirling about how the browning is suppressed when the apple is exposed to air.   The browning process has great implications for the value of fruits and fruit products.  This natural discoloration leads to less consumption of fruit, as well as substantial economic loss and food waste.

In Insectivorous Plants, Sir Charles Darwin pondered carnivorous plants. They live in habitats poor in nutrients, mostly on nitrogen and phosphorous, and have compensated this lack with the ability to digest animals such as insects and other arthropods.

Adapting and surviving with a carnivorous diet in nutrient-poor soils is an evolutionary process that some evolutionary unrelated species have been going through, repeatedly and independently, from the same set of genes and proteins, according to a new study in Nature Ecology&Evolution.
Photo by sisIn dating, at least the online kind, younger people tend to have a hard line on educational matching, but older people feel like that's less important.
Recently, two armies were pitted against each other, with harpoon-like appendages covered in poison. They went two war, stabbing each other and rupturing victims like water balloons.

It was all mathematically predictable, at least over time. In a one-off scenario, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl, though in over 90 other instances where a team in the playoffs was down by 19 after three quarters, they lost. Knowing the math could lead to new, targeted therapies to fight infections.

But dueling bacteria would not be the infectors in that scenario; they'd be the remedy.
The so-called Lambda_b baryon is a well-studied particle nowadays, with several experiments having measured its main production properties and decay modes in the course of the past two decades. It is a particle made of quarks: three of them, like the proton and the neutron. Being electrically neutral, it is easily likened to the neutron, which has a quark composition "udd". In the space of quark configurations, the Lambda_b is in fact obtained by exchanging a down-type quark of the neutron with a bottom quark, getting the "udb" combination.
Between 2012 and 2015, the number of chemical burns to the eye associated with laundry detergent pods increased more than 30-fold among preschool-aged children in the US, according to a new analysis, but don't fall prey to the scaremongering that will be done by CNN and PBS.

Detergent pods are dissolvable pouches containing enough laundry detergent for a single use - they lead to less waste because  the amount used is precise. That's good for the environment. But harried parents are being given one more thing to be terrified about, and academics are blaming "candy-like appearance."