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Parts of the country are still cleaning up after 2017’s devastating hurricane season, but forecasters are already sounding a warning bell about 2018. And even though hurricane season doesn’t officially begin until June 1, the first named storm could arrive as soon as this weekend.

Separate forecasts from North Carolina State University and Colorado State University predict there will be between 14 and 18 named storms on the eastern seaboard this year. Colorado State predicts seven of those will be hurricanes. North Carolina State believes between 7 and 11 will. (The Weather Channel, meanwhile, is predicting a slightly more sedate 13 named storms and six hurricanes, two of which it says will be major.)

In either model, that’s above the average. From 1950 through 2017, the average number of named storms has been 11. If there’s any good news, it’s that should the models prove true, it will still be less than 2017’s 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and six major hurricanes.

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With some forms of marijuana now legal in about 30 U.S. states, concern is mounting in the medical community that many people may falsely assume the drug is harmless and fail to recognize the potential harms to children who breathe second-hand smoke.

"Exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with an increased risk of asthma and many other health risks for children," Goodwin said. "There have been tremendous public health campaigns aimed at decreasing cigarette use overall and at reducing childrens exposure to secondhand smoke from cigarettes, but no clinical or public health effort has been made to educate or inform the public about risks of secondhand cannabis smoke."

Cannabis use was almost four times more common among parents who also smoked cigarettes than among non-smokers, the current study found.

Among smokers, the proportion of parents who reported using cannabis in the past month increased from 11 percent to 17.4 percent during the study period, researchers report in Pediatrics.

For non-smokers, the proportion of parents who used cannabis in the past month also rose, from 2.4 percent to 4 percent.

Daily cannabis use also climbed during the study period, and was more common among cigarette smokers.

At the same time, the proportion of parents who said they avoided both cigarettes and cannabis also increased.

The study wasn't a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how cigarette smoking might influence cannabis use. Another drawback is that researchers relied on parents to accurately recall and report any tobacco or cannabis use.

Even so, the findings underscore how legalization of cannabis in many U.S. states may reflect and reinforce more permissive attitudes about marijuana use, said Ashley Brooks-Russell, author of an accompanying editorial and a researcher at the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

"Cannabis legalization has increased the accessibility of cannabis for adults and removed many penalties for use," Brooks-Russell said by email. "It is possible these laws also convey a sense the product is safe, or at least safer than it once was perceived."

When parents with young kids at home do choose to use cannabis, they should take precautions to do it when children arent around, Brooks-Russell advised.

"If parents use cannabis, not only are they potentially modeling that behavior but they are likely making cannabis products more accessible in the home which could lead to either unintentional ingestion (e.g., poisonings) among younger children, or intentional experimentation and use among older children," Brooks-Russell said.

SOURCE: /bit.ly/2GfHJI9 Pediatrics, online May 14, 2018.

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Authorities say two people have died in a house fire in Milwaukee.
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