Taran Noah Smith, who played little Mark Taylor on ABC sitcom Home Improvement from 1991-1999, was arrested last week for a DUI and marijuana possession. The arrest took place at 1 am in LA County on February 1; law enforcement officers believed Smith, now age 27, was high while driving even before they found a stash of pot in his car. Smith was booked and taken into custody. Since his time on the show, Smith has largely been out of the public eye. He sued his parents in 2001 for allegedly squandering his trust fund made from earnings while starring on Home Improvement, and participated in a reunion shoot with fellow cast members last fall. Smith isn't the only former Home Improvement star to have drug problems. Tim Allen was arrested for cocaine possession in 1975, and notoriously checked into rehab for alcoholism in 1998 as part of a plea bargain after a DUI arrest the previous year. He since seems to have got the better of his addictions.
One in five high school and middle school students is being exposed to cigarette smoke while riding in a car, according to a Centers for Disease Control report released today. Inhaling second-hand smoke makes teens and pre-teens more likely to develop breathing problems, allergy symptoms and other ailments. As initiatives to ban smoking in public places spread, more people confine their smoking to private places like homes and cars. And the more small, enclosed space of a car makes smoke inhalation there potentially more dangerous than in a bar or a restaurant. "The car is the only source of exposure for some of these children, so if you can reduce that exposure, it's definitely advantageous for health," says Brian King, the report's lead author. The study found that 22% of adolescents were exposed to cigarette smoke in a car in 2009. That represents a drop of almost 50% compared with 2000, but King insists that the numbers are still too high. As the CDC urges parents not to smoke in cars and homes, many states are proposing bans in cars carrying children.
Mexico's government has announced that it's patented a "vaccine" against heroin addiction—apparently, it could be ready for human consumption in five years. Health Minister Salmon Chetorivski says that lab experiments using the drug have been successfully carried out on rats—but the drugs must undergo a "normal development process" before being tested on humans. “We can be very proud of our scientists at the National Institute of Psychiatry because they’ve achieved something that hasn’t been achieved in other areas of the world,” Chetorivski announced during a visit to drug-torn border city Ciudad Juarez. Chertorivski also reports that Mexico's National Institute of Psychiatry is also currently working on programs against addictions to cocaine and methamphetamines. Small-scale heroin and cocaine possession is currently legal in Mexico.
All the members of British pop-rock band McFly have reportedly sworn off the sauce in solidarity with 24-year-old band mate Dougie Poynter, who went to rehab last year. “I’m not missing the booze," Poynter tells The Mirror. "I had to give up because I always took it too far. Now I’m clear-headed, I like being hangover-free—I get a lot more achieved." To support their buddy through the trials of staying sober on tour, his band mates Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones and Harry Judd have now vowed to go hangover-free too. McFly rose to fame in 2004 with the hit 5 Colours in Her Hair; they're the youngest band ever to have a debut album at number 1 on the UK Album Chart, breaking a record previously held by The Beatles. The newly abstemious pop stars will begin a clear-eyed tour of the UK in March.
Just two large glasses of a wine a day or two pints of beer a day can triple your risk of mouth cancer according to the UK government, which is launching an ad campaign under its "Change4Life" program, to highlight the dangers of drinking. A campaign survey found 85% of respondents were unaware that drinking more than the recommended limit raises their risk for breast cancer; 65% don't know that drinking increases the risk of bowel cancer, 63% don't realize it raises the risk of pancreatitis and 59% are unaware that excessive drinking increases the chances of mouth, throat and neck cancers. "It's crucial we support people to know about how drinking too much poses risks to their health and how they can take control of their drinking,” says UK health secretary Andrew Lansley. “It can be easy to slip into the habit of having a few extra drinks each day, especially when drinking at home. But there can be serious health risks. Don't let drinking sneak up on you.” Change4Life will also offers an online Drinks Checker to help people keep track of how much alcohol they consume.
After much speculation over whether Demi Moore was opting purely for personal "spiritual counseling," following her recent substance-related hospital dash, it's now confirmed that she checked into Cirque Lodge addiction treatment center in Sundance, Utah. The 49-year-old actress is said to be seeking treatment for addiction issues as well as an eating disorder. According to a source from the rehab, Moore is on "total lockdown" and only in contact with a small group of people at this time. Cirque Lodge has a long list of famous former clients including Mary-Kate Olsen, Lindsay Lohan, and Eva Mendes. Contrary to reports that Ashton Kutcher and Bruce Willis have been visiting Demi at her Los Angeles home, the actress has actually been in Utah for a week. Demi Moore was hospitalized on January 23, after smoking an “incense-like” substance and suffering a mild seizure at her home in Los Angeles.