House Calls

House Calls Started This Year

House calls are meant for patients who are temporarily or permanently home bound, or for other good reasons can't make it into the office.

To schedule a house call: Tel (203) 853-1919; email

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Medicare and Anthem are Back

To My Patients, 

Summer is coming to an end soon; hope you had a chance to take some time off. The gardening season had a late start this year, but things are in full bloom now. Earlier this summer, we had our youngest grandchildren and our daughter in law (the Colorado gang) with us for 5 weeks - it's too quiet around our house now... 

 To Our Medicare and Anthem (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) Patients

We are now participating in both Medicare and Anthem insurance! We also continue to participate in ConnectiCare. 

I will continue to concentrate on disease prevention, early detection, and the identification of health risk factors. The idea is, as it has been, to reduce or eliminate those risk factors in order to reduce the chance of developing major disease. 

 Vaping 2019, Is It Safe?

Not a day goes by without someone asking me about vaping or e-cigarettes. 

When e-cigarettes first became popular, more than 10 years ago, I thought it was a good idea. People who smoke would switch to e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit smoking, or at least in an attempt to reduce the carcinogens they were inhaling from regular cigarettes. 

But the idea was hijacked. Now it's not just e-cigarettes, it's a vaping epidemic, and much of it is dangerous, and it's a big business. 

Vaping is no longer "just an attempt to stop smoking." The amount of nicotine inhaled can be much higher than regular cigarettes, carcinogenic formaldehyde could be inhaled if the device is malfunctioning, toxic flavorings (containing diacetyl) have been linked to a serious lung disease (bronchiolitis obliterans). 

But most importantly, vaping has been taken up by non-smoking young children, down to the primary school level. Their lungs and brains are still developing, and they are much more vulnerable to vaping effects than adults. Major adverse behavioral changes in teenagers have already been documented, and it appears that these changes carry into adulthood, and could be permanent. Vaping is a gateway to nicotine addiction and to the introduction of other harmful substances (particularly high potency marijuana-THC), especially at a young age. 

So, what's the verdict? 

I still think that, if you are an adult smoker who wishes to use e-cigarettes to wean off regular cigarettes, it's a useful tool if used as directed. 

If your kids are using it, educate them. Do all you can to help them stop and make sure you don't enable them (sometimes without recognizing it). Remember that e-cigarettes come in small packages and can easily be hidden from sight. 

He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything - Arabian proverb. 

Stay well, 

Igal Staw, Ph.D., M.D.

Twitter / Dr. Staw