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Late baseball superstar Tony Gwynn’s family sues the tobacco giant Altria

Tony used to fall asleep with a chew of the Skoal stuck in his mouth. This developed into salivary gland cancer and he died in 2014.

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Tony Gwynn watching his team play

The late Major League Baseball superstar Tony Gwynn’s family is suing Altria a tobacco giant alleging that the company enticed him into taking up dip tobacco habit. This addiction caused cancer to Tony and killed him at age 54.

A lawsuit has been filed in Superior Court in San Diego, California. It alleges the company for its negligence, product liability and fraud for selling a product they knew was dangerous and failing to warn users.

Altria sells dip tobacco in a small pouch or can and this can be held in mouth between the gum and lip. Some believe that it is a harmless alternative to smoking.

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The company gave Tony free samples of dip when he was at attending San Diego State University. Tony had become addicted and started using two cans of Skoal brand tobacco everyday while playing professional baseball with the San Diego Padres said his family.

His daughter, Anisha Gwynn-Jones, said the whole industry used her father as a “walking billboard” for their product.

The Baseball superstar’s family said Tony would often fall asleep with a chew of the Skoal stuck in his mouth. This developed into salivary gland cancer and he died in 2014.

The tobacco gaint Altria his hasn’t made any official comment about the lawsuit.

Many cities like Boston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco with Major League Baseball teams have outlawed use of smokeless tobacco for their players and also inside ballparks.

-by Bhaskar Raghavendran

Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication from Amity school of communication, Noida. Contact the author at Twitter: bhaskar_ragha

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Goodbye Holy Smoke, Vatican City bans Sale of Cigarettes

The Vatican, a tiny walled city-state surrounded by Rome, is one of the few states to ban smoking.

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sale of cigarettes
The faithful gather in front of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. VOA

Vatican City, November 10, 2017 : Pope Francis has ordered a ban on the sale of cigarettes inside the Vatican from next year because of health concerns, a spokesman said on Thursday.

“The motive is very simple: the Holy See cannot be cooperating with a practice that is clearly harming the health of people,” spokesman Greg Burke said in a statement.

He cited World World Health Organization (WHO) statistics that smoking causes more than seven million deaths worldwide every year.

Cigarettes have been sold at a discounted price to Vatican employees and pensioners.

Vatican employees are allowed to buy five cartons of cigarettes a month. Many Italians ask their non-smoking friends who work in the Vatican to buy cigarettes for them because they cost much less than in Italy, where they are subject to heavy taxes.

Burke acknowledged that the sale of cigarettes has been a source of revenue for the Holy See, adding, “However, no profit can be legitimate if it is costing people their lives.”

The spokesman said the sale of large cigars would continue at least for the time being because the smoke is not inhaled.

The Vatican, a tiny walled city-state surrounded by Rome, is one of the few states to ban smoking. Bhutan, where smoking is deemed bad for one’s karma, banned the sale of tobacco in 2005. (VOA)

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Getting the best rolling papers – A small guide to having the best experience

Many rolling paper options these days are dangerous because they are infused with chemicals like chlorine. That’s of course not good at all for your body and you should try to avoid those kind of rolling papers as hard as you can.

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Choosing the right rolling papers can make a big difference in how your experience goes overall. (representative image) Wikimedia

New Delhi, November 7, 2017 : Smoking is something that requires you to do some shopping once in a while. Whether you’re new to smoking or have been on SmokeCartel for ages, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to buy rolling papers in order to, well, smoke. However, choosing the right rolling papers can make a big difference in how your experience goes overall. There used to be a time when it was cool not to pay any attention to what you’re using as rolling paper. However, those times are fortunately gone and now consumers such as yourself can make the right decision when it’s time to roll. Here are some tips on how to get the best rolling papers.

The importance of going for the natural choice

Many rolling paper options these days are dangerous because they are infused with chemicals like chlorine. That’s of course not good at all for your body and you should try to avoid those kind of rolling papers as hard as you can. Not only do they put you in harm’s way, but they also tend to change the taste of the herb you’re smoking. Not to mention that if you’re the kind of smoker that likes to keep their herb organic, it would be highly counterproductive to just toss that into the trash in favor of a chemical-filled rolling paper option.

Choosing the best brands

If you want to have the best smoking sessions, you need to invest in the best brands available, which treat rolling papers with care and attention. Here are the names that you want to embed into your smoker memory as soon as possible:

Elements

This company offers great rolling papers, in a cool package that features a small magnet as a mechanism for keeping the package shut when it’s not being used. The papers themselves are of great quality. The rice paper rolls are incredibly thin, and a pack can hold up to 100 leaves depending on the size option you go for.

RAW Organic

RAW Organic offers tan and really thin rolling papers. According to them anyway, the papers are organic and naturally grown. You can’t help but appreciate the craft that goes into making these, but also their effectiveness and resistance. RAW Organic papers are known to be run-resistant.’

Zen Effen

Zen Effen sells their papers in paper packaging. They are naturally grown, hemp gum papers, and represent one of the thinnest options that you have in terms of high quality rolling papers. At least, as far as hemp papers are concerned. Throughout their time on the market, Zen Effen have managed to provide a very high quality combination of great flavor, on-point burn time and resistance.

Skunk Brand

Don’t let the name fool you, as we’re not talking about some newcomers that want to amaze with the name alone. They have actually been around since 1994, when they helped popularized hemp papers. These papers are known for their slow burn are made out of pure hemp.

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Texas Mass Shooting: ‘It isn’t a guns situation, but a mental problem’, Says Trump

An eyewitness to the shootings, who is a Vietnam War vet, told VOA's Mehtap Colak Yilmaz that he had not seen anything like the church massacre "since Vietnam."

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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, not pictured, at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg(VOA)

White House, November 6, 2017 : A man opened fire with an assault weapon at a church near San Antonio, Texas, Sunday morning, killing 26 worshippers and wounding at least 20.

The victims range from five to 72 years old.

The gunman is also dead and there is no clue so far as to his motive.

Federal investigators from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms have joined local law enforcement officers in tiny Sutherland Springs, Texas, about 50 kilometers from San Antonio.

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump said the mass shooting “isn’t a guns situation” but is instead “a mental health problem at the highest level. It’s a very, very sad event.” He said the shooter was “a very deranged individual.” The president is monitoring the situation from Japan, the first stop on his five-nation Asian trip.

Earlier, Trump called the shootings “an act of evil” and appealed for prayers. He ordered U.S. flags on federal buildings to be flown at half-staff through Thursday.

“We cannot put into words, the pain and grief we all feel and we cannot begin to imagine the suffering of those who lost the ones they so dearly loved. Our hearts are broken,” the president said.

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott says this is worst mass shooting in Texas history. He said there are “many pieces of a complex puzzle” to put together.

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Members of the Wilson County Sheriff’s office stand inside a taped off area near the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Nov. 5, 2017. VOA

What is known, according to Texas public safety official Freeman Martin, is that the gunman, later identified as Devin P. Kelley, was described as a young white male dressed in black and wearing a bullet-proof vest. He first opened fire with an assault rifle outside the First Baptist Church and continued shooting after going inside.

Freeman said a local resident with his own rifle confronted the shooter, causing the gunman to drop his weapon and flee in his car. The citizen pursued the gunman, joined shortly by police. Freeman said the suspect crashed the car just over the county line and was found dead in the vehicle from a gunshot wound. It is unclear if he killed himself or was shot by the citizen.

Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt says police found multiple weapons in the suspect’s car.

U.S. Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told VOA late Sunday that records show Kelley was discharged from the Air Force about three years ago: “Records checks confirm Devin P. Kelley was previously a USAF member, who served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman AFB, NM, from 2010 until his discharge in 2014. Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 for two counts of Article 128 UCMJ ((EDS: Uniform code of Military Justice)) — assault on his spouse and assault on their child. Kelley received a Bad Conduct Discharge, confinement for twelve months and a reduction to the grade of E-1.”

ALSO READ 26 people killed as a Shooter opens fire in a Church in Texas

Two of the victims were killed outside the church. The rest were shot inside.

An eyewitness to the shootings, who is a Vietnam War vet, told VOA’s Mehtap Colak Yilmaz that he had not seen anything like the church massacre “since Vietnam.”

Marie Ann Montgomery, the church’s Sunday school director, told VOA’s Yilmaz that people in the congregation knew Kelley and some of the suspect’s family members were among the victims. Montgomery stopped short, however, of saying the suspect deliberately targeted his family.

While none of the victims have been publicly identified, First Baptist Church Pastor Frank Pomeroy told U.S. news networks that his 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Renee Pomeroy, is among the deceased.

Pomeroy was in Oklahoma at the time of the shooting. He told ABC News he was on his way back to Sutherland Springs.

Sutherland Springs, Texas on the map. VOA

​He said all of the people killed Sunday were close friends. Pomeroy also said he wants the world to know his daughter “was one very beautiful special child.”

Sheriff Tackitt says the church posts its weekly services on YouTube and that the massacre was likely caught on camera. The FBI says it believes only one gunman was involved.

Sunday’s Texas shooting comes just weeks after October’s mass killing in Las Vegas. Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music show there, killing 58 and wounding about 500. Paddock shot from his 32nd floor hotel room and killed himself as police moved in. Investigators in the Las Vegas shooting are still working to confirm a motive. (VOA)