The good news: Cigarette sales are down by about a third over the past decade. Not so for little cigars and cigarillos. Their sales more than doubled over the same time period, in large part owing to the growing popularity of these little cigars among teenagers and 20-somethings.
The appeal among young people has lots to do with the large variety of candylike flavors in the little cigars, according to Jennifer Cantrell, director of research and evaluation at the anti-tobacco Legacy Foundation.
Katie Doderer is a very poised 15-year-old with short blond hair and a wide smile. She's a straight A student who loves singing, dancing and performing in musicals.
This could be considered something of a miracle.
"I have a complex medical condition known as congenital central hypoventilation – blah—syndrome. CCHS," Katie explains, stumbling on the full name of her malady. "Basically my brain doesn't tell me to breathe. So I am reliant on a mechanical ventilator."
RENEE MONTAGNE: Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The NASDAQ says it was a software glitch that froze its trading worldwide for hours yesterday. So this time it wasn't the squirrel. The bushy-tailed rodents have halted the flow of capitalism before. In 1987 and again in 1994, squirrels chewed through a key NASDAQ computer cable. Not saying, but cables still exist in the NASDAQ's high tech world so it seems squirrels could strike again. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
A Canadian dentist bought one of John Lennon's molars at auction for $31,000. And now, Michael Zuk plans to use the tooth to clone the former Beatle. The DNA sequencing is already underway. But cloning technology is not quite there yet, so Zuk is biding his time in other ways. He released a parody song called "Love Me Tooth," as in...
(Singing) Love, love me tooth.
Sorry, I just did that. What would John Lennon think of all of this? Probably just say, let it be.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. President Obama is on a two-day back-to-school bus tour. He's holding a town hall meeting today at the State University in Binghamton, New York. Later he'll visit a community college in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The president is pushing his plan to make college education more affordable. NPR's Scott Horsley is along for the ride. He reports that the bus tour has the president in one of his comfort zones.
The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant is back in the news more than two years after an earthquake and tsunami triggered a series of meltdowns. New leaks found this week prompted regulators to consider raising the alert level there in Japan. NPR's science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel joined us to explain. Geoff, good morning.