Do e-cigarettes help or harm? Report says not clear yet

Vaping with e-cigarettes that contain nicotine can be addictive according to a new study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Electronic cigarettes could be a boon to public health or a major liability, depending on whether they help Americans quit smoking or encourage more young people to try traditional cigarettes, a new report concludes.

The report issued Tuesday wrestles with the potential benefits and harms of the vapor-emitting devices which have been sold in the U.S. for more than a decade. But those effects may not be known for decades, in part, because of how slowly illnesses caused by smoking emerge.

“In some circumstances, such as their use by non-smoking adolescents and young adults, their adverse effects clearly warrant concern,” said David Eaton, of the University of Washington, who headed the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine committee that studied the issue. “In other cases, such as when adult smokers use them to quit smoking, they offer an opportunity to reduce smoking-related illness.”

There are no long-term studies on the health consequences of e-cigarettes and little consensus on whether they are effective in helping smokers quit, according to the report requested by the Food and Drug Administration.

The experts found “substantial” evidence that young people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try cigarettes. On the other hand, experts found only “limited evidence” that cigarettes are effective tools to help adult smokers quit.

The committee’s review of more than 800 studies yielded many findings that were largely in line with prior assessments by other researchers. For instance, the panel found “conclusive evidence” that most e-cigarettes contain numerous chemicals that can be toxic. However, there was equally strong evidence that e-cigarettes contain fewer toxicants and at lower levels than regular cigarettes.

E-cigarettes have been sold in the U.S. since at least 2007. Most devices heat a liquid nicotine solution into vapor and have been promoted to smokers as a less dangerous alternative since they don’t have all the chemicals, tar or smoke of regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes and similar vaping devices have grown into a $4 billion-dollar U.S. industry with thousands of varieties of flavors and customizable products available in specialty shops and online.

The FDA gained authority to regulate the devices in 2016 after years of pushback from the industry. But last year the agency said it would delay the deadline for manufacturers to submit their devices for review until 2022. The decision was blasted by anti-smoking advocates who say some e-cigarette manufacturers target kids with candy and fruit flavors.

The FDA has signaled its intention to begin pushing U.S. consumers away from traditional cigarettes toward alternative products, such as e-cigarettes. The regulatory delay was intended, in part, to give companies more time to research their products.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called the link between e-cigarette use and trying smoking in young people “troubling.”

“We need to put novel products like e-cigarettes through an appropriate series of regulatory gates to fully evaluate their risks and maximize their potential benefits,” he said in a statement.

Some other key takeaways and questions from the report:

— Chemicals in e-cigarette vapor, such as formaldehyde, are capable of damaging DNA in humans. However, it’s unclear if the chemicals exist at levels high enough to cause cancer.

— Switching completely from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes significantly reduces exposure to numerous cancer-causing chemicals.

— E-cigarettes can sometimes explode causing burns and injuries. The risk of such accidents is higher with devices that are stored improperly or contain low-quality batteries.

— There is substantial evidence that e-cigarette vapor contains traces of metal, possibly due to the metallic coils used to heat liquid that the devices vaporize.

Dr. Marc Siegel: Trump had his Physical — Now it’s Your Turn

Regardless of your political preferences or whether your views align with those of President Trump, there’s one action he took last week that can set an important example for all of us to follow: he got a thorough physical exam and advice from his doctor on staying healthy and living longer.

How many of you have given up trying to improve your health? Maybe you don’t exercise right, don’t eat right, and have gained more weight than you would like to admit.

Maybe you were even cringing when you heard that our 71-year-old overweight president who likes fast food was about to undergo the same type of extensive physical that you have been avoiding yourself for years.

Maybe you didn’t realize that the physical could give you enough good news to motivate you to overcome the bad.

But now, in the wake of the most extensive release of information about the health of any president in American history – thanks to Navy Rear Adm.  Dr. Ronny Jackson, the president’s personal physician – there is no longer any excuse left for you.

Now that we’ve put President Trump under the medical microscope, it’s your turn. Let a primary care physician like me or Dr. Jackson assess your current health and help you to make even better choices.

Heart health is a prime example. At Dr. Jackson’s news conference this week about President Trump’s health, we were reminded about how important our bad cholesterol level is – it should be low for all of us.

I try to make sure all my patients have an LDL – low density lipoprotein level (also known as bad cholesterol) – below 100. Find out your number. If it is too high, change your diet to one with less animal proteins – the way President Trump was advised to do.

Also follow the advice the president received to try to lose weight (if you are overweight) and exercise more. Start by walking or biking whenever you are able. When driving, park your car further than you need to from your destination in order to get in some extra steps.

Find a good primary care doctor and become his or her friend, as President Trump has clearly done. Unlike Dr. Jackson, not many primary care docs have emergency medicine and hyperbaric training, have treated dying members of the military in combat, or have served three presidents and the entire White House staff. But you can get by without someone with such incredible experience or training.

What you need to do – and what I bet you can do – is find a good doctor who will meet your medical needs and help you stay healthy. If you have troubles or worries you need that doc to listen to you all the better. He or she can return that confidence you have by advising you and reassuring you that you are mentally healthy.

I can’t overestimate the importance of screening colonoscopies every five to 10 years over the age of 50. It was reassuring to find that the president had his last one in 2013. Colon cancer can easily become a killer if not diagnosed until its later stages. But if spotted early, polyps – small growths of cells that form on the lining of the colon – can be removed before they have the chance to turn cancerous.

By the same token, it is important for men to have their prostates screened over the age of 40 and for women of the same age and older to have regular mammograms. All sexually active women should have regular Pap tests. Both sexes need to have screens for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. Everyone should have their skin checked regularly.

When it comes to immunizations, it was good to hear that for all the talk about his supposed anti-vaccine stance, it turns out that President Trump is up to date on all his vaccines, the greatest public health discovery from the 20th century.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a vaccine pioneer, explained to me this week in an interview that the current flu shot is expected to have a 30 percent effectiveness this year, which still makes it well worth having. The president had one.

In terms of mental function, it was inspirational to see President Trump volunteer to undergo a cognitive test in order to respond to his detractors. He scored 30 out of a possible 30 on the test. This is not to say that we all need cognitive tests or that he did, but we can all face down concerns by testing areas that our family and friends – or even critics – are concerned about, just as President Trump has.

Heart disease remains the top killer in the U.S. for both men and women, which makes it well worth paying attention to. The president lacks several cardiac risk factors because he doesn’t drink or smoke, and has a low blood pressure. But he does suffer from high cholesterol, he is mainly sedentary and overweight, and he is male – all risk factors.

What about you? Are you having chest pain, or shortness of breath? Have you had an EKG lately? Dr. Jackson was informative in explaining the role of various heart screening tests. President Trump did very well on a stress test and echocardiogram of the heart and doesn’t have any evidence of active heart disease.

But, how about you? Have you had a stress test or do you need one? Ask your physician. Most of us are building up plaque in the coronary arteries that supply our heart but don’t know it.

Did you know that these plaques can calcify and that you can follow this calcification over time with a calcium scoring CT scan of the chest – just as the president has? Doctors can use this result to determine your risk of developing clinical heart disease, and advise you on lifestyle changes.

Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush were followed closely by White House physicians throughout their presidencies. Bush was a poster president for exercise, and inspired many Americans (including me), to resume daily exercise routines (biking in my case) that had been put aside.

Both Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton developed active heart disease after they left office – an important reminder that regular physicals must continue after retirement. President Obama brought the joys of basketball (one of my favorite sports) to the White House. And all of the last three presidents, including President Trump, are prodigious golfers. Golf can involve walking and relaxation, both important tools for better health.

Now that we’ve put President Trump under the medical microscope, it’s your turn. Let a primary care physician like me or Dr. Jackson assess your current health and help you to make even better choices.

Louis Tomlinson gives $10G to sick girl confined to wheelchair

Louis Tomlinson contributed $10,000 toward the medical care for 9-year old fan with a message ‘Sending you all the love!’

Louis Tomlinson donated $10,000 to help one of his fans with cerebral palsy pay for her medical care. The former One Direction singer-songwriter gave the generous gift to 9-year-old Rylee Sanford, who suffers from bilateral close-lipped schizencephaly, a condition that leaves her confined to a special type of wheelchair.

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9-year old Rylee Sanford suffers from bilateral close-lipped schizencephaly, a condition that leaves her confined to a special type of wheelchair.  (Courtesy: YouCaring)

Rylee’s family, who is from Chatsworth, Georgia set up a YouCaring page to help raise money to modify their home for her special needs and provide her with medical treatment.

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Money raised will go toward her medical care and to making the house more handicapped-accessible.  (Courtesy: YouCaring)

Her page read: “She loves Zayn, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Taylor Swift, Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt. She is a true warrior and always has a smile on her face….Thank you for any amount you are able to give”


Earlier this week, Tomlinson went on the site and donated $10,000 with a sweet message that read “Sending you all the love!’”

Former One Direction band-member Zayn Malik also shared a link to Rylee’s page with his 26.4 million Twitter followers, which led to even more donations.

According to the fundraising page, money will go toward medical care and to making the house more accessible to the handicapped child.


The rest of the post on Rylee’s YouCaring page reads:

“Our next goal would be stem cell treatments as there have been a lot of great results. However, insurance will not cover most of this, and it is pretty expensive. Please help Rylee reach her full potential and achieve her dreams!!! Any donations will help!!!”

Five-foot long tapeworm came ‘wiggling out’ of man’s body after he ate sushi

"I take out a toilet paper roll, and wrapped around it of course is what looks like this giant, long tapeworm," Dr. Kenny Bahn said on the podcast.

Sushi lovers beware!

A California man who ate sushi every day ended up with a 5-foot-plus long tapeworm inhabiting his body. The Fresno male went to the emergency room complaining of bloody diarrhea, according to Dr. Kenny Bahn, who shared the story of his patient on the podcast “This Won’t Hurt A Bit.”


After being unraveled, the tapeworm ended up being 5.5 feet long. The patient said he felt the worm “wiggling out” and then, began to remove the worm, which started moving.  (DR.KENNY BANH/THIS WON’T HURT A BIT )

The emergency room physician was initially skeptical when the man insisted to residents at Community Regional Medical Center, “I really want to get treated for worms” until he saw for himself the disgusting proof.

“I take out a toilet paper roll, and wrapped around it of course is what looks like this giant, long tapeworm,” Bahn said on the podcast.

After being unraveled, the tapeworm ended up being 5-and-a-half feet long. Bahn recalled how the patient said he felt the worm “wiggling out” and felt like “his guts were coming out” as he sat on the toilet. He then, began to remove the worm, which started moving.

Bahn said the man was relieved it was a tapeworm. The patient was treated with medication to help remove the rest of the worm from his body.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study last year pointing out that wild-caught salmon caught off the coast of Alaska may contain tapeworm.

The California resident said he won’t be eating salmon anytime soon.

Trump administration bolsters protections for doctors, nurses who oppose abortion

Pro-abortion rights activists facing off against anti-abortion demonstrators in front of the Supreme Court in 2013.

More than eight months since President Trump signed an executive order instructing agencies to expand religious liberty under federal law, his administration on Thursday delivered some results.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced the creation of its Conscience and Religious Freedom Division.

The new division will make it easier for doctors, nurses and other health providers to opt out of services that violate their moral or religious beliefs; Doug McKelway has more for 'Special Report.'

“HHS is the next area where the issues of conscience and the issues of life and death are coming to the fore,” said Roger Severino, the new head of HHS’s Office of Civil Rights in a ceremony marking the occasion.

The announcement comes as a backlash to several Obama-regulations — including the Obamacare requirement that non-church employers had to provide contraceptive coverage or face fines, an absurd demand, conservative critics said, for organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Though the Supreme Court ultimately overturned the contraceptive mandate, there were countless other alleged civil rights abuses.

Sara Hellwege, a certified midwife who spoke at Thursday’s ceremony, claims she was rejected for a job at a health care center because of her pro-life views.

U.S. acting Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Eric Hargan addresses reporters during the daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 30, 2017.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RC1B3B26FB30

HHS Acting Secretary Eric Hargan said health care practitioners have been bullied and discriminated against because of their religious beliefs and moral convictions.  (REUTERS)

“I was told that because of these convictions, I wouldn’t  be allowed to interview and proceed with the hiring process,” she said.

HHS maintains the new Conscience Division will make it easier for doctors, nurses and other health providers to opt out of services that violate their moral or religious beliefs. And it will ensure hospitals, clinics and other health centers accommodate religious beliefs.

That may be problematic in such a polarized country where one citizen’s civil right is often seen as another’s injustice. “They say it’s for religious liberty. What we know is it discriminates against LGBT people and women,” says Mara Kiesling of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “Religious freedom is so important, but that’s not what this is about.This is about pediatricians refusing to treat children with gay parents. This is about transgender people turned away from emergency rooms and doctors offices,” she told Fox News.

A woman sits within the grounds of The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial located beside the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services building in Washington June 16, 2016. The memorial pays tribute to the millions of American veterans living with permanent disabilities. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - S1AETKLWYSAA

The Conscious and Religious Freedom division will be a part of Health and Human Services.  (REUTERS)

The National Abortion Rights Action League mirrored that view in a statement Thursday, calling the Trump Administration’s HHS a place, “where science, ethics, and concern for the well-being of all Americans are non-existent.”

But the decision may only energize Trump’s base, especially evangelicals. About 63 percent of them approve of the job he’s doing, down only 3 percent from October.

How the new Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom plays out in the long run remains to be seen. Religious accommodations and health services were not as complex in the days when the First Amendment was written as they are in today’s multi-cultural patchwork of many religions and numerous health services.

Drunken driving blood-alcohol threshold should be lowered, scientific panel says

A prestigious scientific panel is recommending that states significantly lower their drunken driving thresholds as part of a blueprint to eliminate the “entirely preventable” 10,000 alcohol-impaired driving deaths in the United States each year.

The U.S. government-commissioned, 489-page report by a panel of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released Wednesday throws the weight of the scientific body behind lowering the blood-alcohol concentration threshold from 0.08 to 0.05. All states have 0.08 thresholds. A Utah law passed last year that lowers the state’s threshold to 0.05 doesn’t go into effect until Dec. 30.

The amount of alcohol required to reach 0.05 would depend on several factors, including the person’s size and whether the person has recently eaten. A 150-pound man might be over the 0.05 limit after two beers, while a 120-pound woman could exceed it after a single drink, according to the American Beverage Institute, a national restaurant group.

The panel also recommended that states significantly increase alcohol taxes and make alcohol less conveniently available, including reducing the hours and days alcohol is sold in stores, bars and restaurants. Research suggests a doubling of alcohol taxes could lead to an 11 percent reduction in traffic crash deaths, the report said.

It also calls for cracking down on sales to people under 21 or who are already intoxicated to discourage binge drinking, and putting limits on alcohol marketing while funding anti-alcohol campaigns similar to those against smoking.

All the proposals are likely to draw fierce opposition from the alcohol and restaurant industries. The beverage institute took out full-page newspaper ads opposing Utah’s new law that featured a fake mugshot under a large headline reading, “Utah: Come for vacation, leave on probation.”

But the academies’ report points out that “alcohol-impaired driving remains the deadliest and costliest danger on U.S. roads,” accounting for 28 percent of traffic deaths. Each day, 29 people in the U.S. die in alcohol-related crashes and many more are injured. Forty percent of those killed are people other than the drunken driver.

Rural areas are disproportionately affected. In 2015, 48 percent of drunken driving fatalities occurred in rural areas.

The report says many strategies have been effective to prevent drunken driving, but “a coordinated multilevel approach across multiple sectors will be required to accelerate change.”

“The problem isn’t intractable,” the report said.

From the early 1980s to the early 2000s, there was significant progress as the result of an increase in the drinking age to 21, decreases in the blood-alcohol threshold, and other measures, the report said. But since then, progress has stagnated and recently has begun to reverse.

Action to address drunken driving can’t wait for the advent of self-driving cars immune to the lures of a cold beer or a fine wine — it will take too long for autonomous vehicles to replace all the human-driven machines on the road, said the panel’s chairman, Steven Teutsch, a senior fellow for health policy and economics at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

“In the meantime, we have 10,000 people a year dying and we ought to do something about it,” he said.

The report cites studies that show the United States lags behind other high-income countries in preventing drunken driving fatalities. More than 100 countries have adopted the 0.05 threshold lower. In Europe, the share of traffic deaths attributable to drunken driving was reduced by more than half within 10 years after the standard was dropped, the National Transportation Safety Board said in 2013. The safety board has also recommended the 0.05 threshold.

Alcoholic beverages have changed significantly over the past 25 years. “They are more affordable, of far greater variety, and more widely advertised and promoted than in earlier periods,” the report said. The lack of consistency in serving sizes and the combination of alcohol with caffeine and energy drinks make it harder for drinkers to estimate their level of impairment.

The report was commissioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which asked the academies to determine which strategies for reducing drunken driving have been proven effective.

Shredded coconut causes widespread salmonella outbreak

A salmonella outbreak that affected nine states has been linked to a batch of shredded coconut that is minimally treated and typically safe to consume raw.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed that shredded coconut was the cause of a widespread salmonella outbreak affecting nine states. A staple health food of many plant-based and nutritious diets, shredded coconut is minimally processed and safe to consume raw. However, the particular batch of shredded coconut that was recalled on January 3 contained traces of salmonella contamination.

“Evershing International Trading Company is recalling Coconut Tree Brand Frozen Shredded Coconut, 16 oz., because they have the potential to be contaminated with salmonella,” the CDC reported in a recall notice. Salmonella infection can be fatal, especially for young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems; however, no deaths have been reported. Twenty-five people have fallen ill and six have been hospitalized due to the infection.

Investigations were aided by several victims’ reports that they had consumed an Asian-style dessert drink at various restaurants in the weeks prior to their illness. These drinks may have contained servings of the coconut in question — one Boston restaurant was confirmed to have included the ingredient in a drink.

The coconut product was distributed in Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington, California, and Oklahoma with redistribution to Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Florida, and Texas. Consumers and restaurants in all of those states should return all sizes of Coconut Tree Brand Frozen Shredded Coconut to the place of purchase to receive a full refund.

Customers are also free to contact Evershing International Trading Company at 408-975-9660 with any questions or concerns.

At this stage, the product has been fully recalled, so it’s probably safe to eat coconut at restaurants. The food may be hard to avoid, since it’s such a popular ingredient to add texture and flavor. Did you know some restaurants even put it on pizza?

Sleep apnea treatment uses ‘snake-like’ surgical robot

A new robotic surgery helps those suffering from sleep apnea. The robot is designed to navigate the body's natural twists and turns so tissue can be removed or repaired safely and efficiently.

Anthony Rinando, who was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea in his teenage years, had to wait almost two decades to get a good night’s sleep.

“I tried everything. Snoring strips, sleeping with a tennis ball behind your back… I tried using different pillows,” Rinando, a 31-year-old New Yorker, told Fox News.

Sleep apnea is not just a snorer’s disorder, but a serious and sometimes fatal condition. It’s estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a disorder that causes your breathing to stop or get very shallow while you sleep.

It occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax and the airway narrows or closes as one breathes in.

“This may lower the level of oxygen in your blood,” Mayo Clinic explains in its website. “Your brain senses this inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep so that you can reopen your airway. This awakening is usually so brief that you don’t remember it.”

Studies show having sleep apnea for four or five years can raise a person’s risk of death by 30 percent.

“I would sleep and I would almost choke for air,” Rinando said.

Like many Americans, Rinando knew he had to do something and didn’t feel comfortable wearing a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask, a common treatment that uses a hose and mask or nosepiece to deliver steady air pressure while you sleep.

Rinando’s next plan of action was to go in for nasal surgery to remove his tonsils, but the operation was unsuccessful.

“The doctor told me, ‘I couldn’t remove your tonsils because they were just too large. If I was going to remove them, there was a chance that you could bleed out and I couldn’t get to it’,” he said.

After his failed surgery, Rinando was referred to Dr. Yosef Krespi, a surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York who performs surgery using a Flex Robotic System to treat cases of sleep apnea.

The robot is designed to navigate the body’s natural twists and turns so tissue can be removed or repaired safely and efficiently. High definition cameras on the robotic equipment can give surgeons a look into the throat with high definition cameras and magnification.

“The robotic equipment can go in multiple directions and is much more effective than the surgeon’s hand,” Krespi told Fox News. “The robot itself is no bigger than my thumb and that gets into the oral cavity in an appropriate position and it’s flexible, similar to a snake.”

Flex robotic surgery is covered by most insurances and is also FDA-cleared for head and neck and colorectal cases.

Krespi said the procedure does carry minor bleeding and anesthesia risks, but believes the surgery is minimally invasive under robot guidance.

“There is less blood loss, smaller incisions or no incisions, and so the recovery is much easier. The need for pain medication post-operatively is less,” he explained.

According to Krespi, most patients can also be sent home the same day of the operation.

Rinando said his recovery was painful for a few weeks but that now he can sleep peacefully.

“I can breathe much better. I didn’t know that I was supposed to be able to breathe like I am now,” Rinando said. “I don’t snore. I don’t wake up. Months down the road now, I feel like [I’m] a totally different person.”

Man’s energy drink addiction led to his suicide, father claims

Justin Bartholomew drank around 15 energy drinks a day, which his father believes contributed to his suicide at the age of 25.

A father in the U.K. is claiming his son’s energy drink “addiction” led to his suicide at the age of 25.

Keiron Bartholomew told The Mirror his son Justin would drink at least 15 cans of energy drink a day, which he believes contributed to his death in August.

“His brother Daniel would look in the back of the van and see piles and piles of empty energy drink cans. We’d clear them out and the next day there would be more again,” Bartholomew told the Mirror.


Justin Bartholomew2

Justin told his dad trying to give up energy drinks was like trying to quit smoking.  (Facebook)

When his dad told him he should wean himself off the drinks, Justin told him he couldn’t stop and that it was like trying to quit smoking.

Justin struggled with anxiety and depression, and had previously tried to take his own life after the breakup of his marriage. However, his father believes his son’s unhealthy energy drink habit only made his mental health problems worse.

“It’s a double-edged sword – energy drinks are bad for you because of the sugar and the caffeine,” Bartholomew told the Mirror. “But, also, if you are drinking these drinks and you have depression, it is a lethal combination.”

A 12-ounce can of Red Bull contains 37 grams of sugar and 111 milligrams of caffeine, about the same amount as a double espresso.

A woman claimed her husband's obsession with energy drinks caused a brain hemorrhage that cost him part of his skull. What are the health risks of energy drinks?

Justin’s side effects from the energy drinks were scary, including heart palpitations and sleepless nights, the Mirror reports. He would shake and break out in sweats. At one point, a doctor told him he had the heart rate of an 80-year-old man.

Due to their potential health risks, Bartholomew told the Mirror he supports banning the sale of energy drinks to anyone under 16 years old. “I also believe that a total ban should be considered.”

His son’s case is being heard in Parliament this week.

Chick-fil-A boots breast-feeding mom for nursing her baby girl

North Dakota law allows women to breastfeed in public since 2009.

A mother from Fargo, N. D. says she was kicked out of a Chick-fil-A over the weekend after she started breast-feeding her infant daughter.

“The owner came to our table where I was showing no more than the upper portion of my breast, barely more than what was visible in my shirt and asked me to cover,” Macy Hornung wrote on her Facebook page.

“I tried to explain that I couldn’t, because my baby refuses to be covered and she started harping about the children and men who can see my indecency and I need to cover,” she went on.

“I said they could practice the simple art of looking away and tried to cite North Dakota breastfeeding laws. She told me if I chose not to cover, then she would have to ask me to leave, so I told her my review would reflect my experience and I would be relaying the experience in every local mommy group.”


Following the social media post, the fast-food chain apologized for the awkward moment. Owner/operator Kimberly Flamm released an official statement that read:

“My goal is to provide a warm and welcoming environment for all of my guests and I sincerely apologize for the way I handled this situation.”


The state’s legislature passed a law in 2009 giving a woman the right to “breast-feed her child in any location, public or private, where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be.”