Medicare is launching a pilot project in seven states to study the best way to help the elderly quit smoking.
The Medicare Stop Smoking Program will be conducted in Florida, Alabama, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and Wyoming. The states were selected on a number of factors, including the large number of older smokers in the states.
Beneficiaries who enroll in the study will receive free smoking cessation therapy, which may range from physician counseling to drugs to help them quit. Residents in those states who are 65 and older can call toll-free 1-866-652-3446 to find out if they are eligible.
Official defends Peru gas pipeline
Commerce Secretary Don Evans said Thursday that he is confident that two Texas-based energy companies involved in a pipeline project in Peru will follow stringent environmental standards.
Hunt Oil Co. of Dallas, whose chief executive, Ray L. Hunt, is a longtime friend and political contributor to President Bush, is leading an international consortium to construct a $1.45-billion natural gas project. Environmentalists contend it will damage one of the world's most biologically diverse tropical rain forests.
Halliburton Co. of Houston, which was headed until 2000 by Vice President Dick Cheney, is designing a $1-billion terminal to ship liquefied gas from the Peruvian coast to the United States.
Poultry recall reaches 4.2-million pounds
A New Jersey company under investigation for a listeriosis outbreak is expanding a nationwide recall of chicken and turkey meat to 4.2-million pounds, the Agriculture Department announced Thursday.
Jack Lambersky Poultry Co. of Camden, N.J., is pulling the ready-to-eat meat packaged between May 29 and Nov. 2 because it may be contaminated with listeria, a harmful bacterium. The company, which does business as J.L. Foods, initially recalled 200,000 pounds of the meat on Nov. 2. The products were distributed to stores and institutions nationwide.
Listeria can cause flulike symptoms, including fever, muscle aches and diarrhea. Consumers with questions about the recall can call Kenneth Martin, general manager for J.L. Foods Co., toll-free at 1-800-881-3250. A list of the pulled products is available on the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service Web site, www.fsis.usda.gov/index.htm.