For the first time in 20 years, the Federal Trade Commission has reported an increase in annual cigarette sales, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Colorado and the District of Columbia.
- Colorado: The Denver Zoo on Monday confirmed that 11 lions at the zoo tested positive for Covid-19 after zoo workers noticed that the animals seemed lethargic, were coughing and sneezing, and had nasal discharge. "Fortunately, the vast majority have fully recovered, and the upside is that there's an established knowledge base for us to draw from to help treat our animals,” said Brian Aucone, the zoo's SVP for life science. (Oshin, The Hill, 10/26)
- District of Columbia: According to data from the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) most recent Cigarette Report, the number of cigarettes sold in the United States increased from 202.9 billion in 2019 to 203.7 billion in 2020. FTC also reported an increase in sales of smokeless tobacco products from 126 million pounds in 2019 to 126.9 million pounds in 2020. The report also showed that companies spent $7.84 billion on cigarette advertising and promotion in 2020—compared with only $7.62 billion in 2019. "Given the concerning trends highlighted in this report, including the first increase in cigarette sales in two decades, the Commission will continue to expand its approach in reporting shifts in the tobacco industry," FTC said. (Doherty, Axios, 10/26)
- District of Columbia: The Department of Justice on Tuesday announced the seizure of more than $31.6 million in currencies and 150 arrests as part of an initiative conducted by the Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement team to stop the distribution of drugs and other illicit substances on the dark web. The operation also seized 234 kilograms of drugs, many of which were counterfeit or contained dangerous substances like fentanyl. According to Associate Deputy FBI Director Paul Abate, "Those purchasing drugs through the dark net often don't know what they're getting." He added, "Today we're taking some of the most dangerous, unregulated drugs off the streets of America." (Niedzwiadek, Politico, 10/26)