Glow-in-dark condoms not as safe as some believe: Real Talk with Shelly & Ted

Shelly Sloan is the health promotion coordinator and Ted Winkworth is the alcohol and other drug program coordinator. You can find them at The Lifestyles Center in Walker Health Center. Shelly received her master’s degree in community health education and is a certified in health education specialist. Ted received his master’s degree in counseling and is also a credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse counselor.


Dear Ted and Shelly,

People keep telling me that secondhand smoke causes more harm than actually smoking a cigarette. I am confused. How is this so?




Dear Hand-me-down,

Technically, secondhand smoke is more dangerous than “firsthand” smoke that is inhaled through the cigarette. If you think about it for a moment, it makes sense. The smoker inhales filtered tobacco smoke while secondhand smoke goes straight into the air. Several studies have undeniably confirmed that both forms of smoke cause a wide range of health problems. An estimated 46,000 deaths from heart disease and about 3,400 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to secondhand smoke in non-smokers. In the U.S. the costs of extra medical care, illness and death caused by secondhand smoking are more than $10 billion per year. More and more, businesses and institutions are realizing the huge health risks that secondhand smoke causes, meaning that we’ll probably see a good deal of legislation in the next few years that will limit the places smokers are allowed to light up.



Dear Shelly and Ted,

My nose keeps running, even though I do not have a cold. I do not know why this keeps happening.


Constantly Running


Dear Constantly Running,

Your nose could be running for a number of reasons. You may have allergies or have been eating spicy foods, or you may have been around some irritants such as cigarette smoke or dust. Sometimes, the cold weather can trigger a runny nose as well. If you are concerned, please make an appointment with Mary Walker Health Center or your healthcare provider.



Dear Shelly and Ted,

Are glow-in-the-dark condoms or flavored condoms less efficient than regular condoms?


Efficiency Needed


Dear Efficiency Needed,

You have to be really careful with some of the novelty condoms on the market. Read the fine print. Some may mention that they are not intended to prevent pregnancy or STDs, which is pretty scary! The only glow-in-the-dark condoms that are approved for pregnancy and disease prevention are Night Light (the only kind of glow-in-the-dark condoms that the Lifestyles Center purchases). As far as flavored condoms, they can cause yeast (or other bacterial) infections when they are used for vaginal sex, so it is recommended that flavored condoms be saved for oral sex on a man, or if you cut off the tip and cut up one side, you can unroll it to use as a barrier method for oral sex on a woman. Flavored condoms can also be used as a barrier while engaging in oral or anal sex with anyone.



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