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4 Your Health: making ex-smokers healthier; no chocolate for pup - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

4 Your Health: making ex-smokers healthier; no chocolate for pups; Americans  living shorter lives

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Life expectancy for Americans has dropped for the second year in a row. And accidental drug overdoses appear to be a major part of the problem.

A new report from the center for health statistics reports U.S. life expectancy is now 78.6 years, a slight decline from 78.7 the previous year.

This is the first time there has been a decline two years in a row since the 1960's.

Deaths from drug overdoses increased by 21 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Chocolate dangerous for dogs

Researchers in the U.K. offer a reminder to keep holiday chocolates away from dogs.

They've noted an increase in chocolate poisonings in December, especially among puppies and younger dogs who are exploring their environment.

Chocolate has a stimulant that dogs cannot handle and it can also lead to an upset stomach, racing heartbeat, dehydration and seizures. In some cases, it's fatal.

Healing power of tomatoes and fruit

Former smokers may benefit by adding tomatoes and apples to their diet.

Johns Hopkins researchers found the natural decline in lung function was slower among former smokers, as long as they regularly consumed apples and tomatoes.

The protective effect was found when study participants ate two or more fresh tomatoes a day, or at least three portions of fresh fruit a day.

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