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DR. WALLACE: You said that secondhand smoke is harmful both to humans and pets. My parents smoke in the house. Whenever they do, I go outside, but my problem is that I have a bird and a dog. I take my pooch outside with me, but I can't take the bird. And both of them get "smoked" when I'm not home. How does secondhand smoke affect my pets? - Beth, Brunswick, Ga.
BETH: Furry pets are very vulnerable to secondhand smoke and may suffer from a runny nose, throat irritation and sneezing. A healthy pet can become allergic to cigarette smoke, increasing its chances of getting lung cancer. Caged pets, such as hamsters and birds, are especially prone to respiratory problems.
Let's hope mom and dad realize that they're doing harm both to you and your pets when they smoke in the house. It would be wonderful if they would quit smoking altogether, but if that's not likely, they should at least be the ones who go outside.
LOOSEN UP AND CONNECT WITH OTHERS
DR. WALLACE: I'm rather attractive, get good grades and am close friends with two other girls. We're considered snobs because our families are wealthy. We also have high self-esteem because we were all taught by our parents to love ourselves so that we can eventually love others. It's just that we haven't discovered any other people to love other than the three of us. Does this make us snobs? Please don't print my name. - Nameless, Portland, Maine.
NAMELESS: Self-love is great, but there's no "eventually" to the part about loving others. Judging by your letter, it seems as though what your parents taught you was not so much to love yourselves as to regard yourselves as better than others, the common term for which is - you got it right - snobbery.
If you and your friends are content in your self-imposed "high self-esteem" isolation, fine. But because you wrote to me, I suspect you are lonely up there on your high horse. Loosen up a little, please. If you start making a genuine effort to connect with others, they won't care how much money your parents make.
DIET WON'T MAKE PIMPLES GO AWAY
DR. WALLACE: I'm starting to get a few blemishes on my forehead and I'm ready to panic. I can't stand the thought of having a face full of pimples. My girlfriend's mother has told me that if I eat only fresh fruit and steamed fresh vegetables for two months, all of my blemishes will disappear.
I don't mind the fresh fruit, but I'm not a huge "steamed vegetable" guy. Don't get me wrong. I'd eat steamed grass if I knew for sure it would clear my face. Should I start the fruit and veggie diet or is there a better way to achieve an unblemished face? - Nameless, Chahalis, Wash.
NAMELESS: Fresh fruits and vegetables are wonderful foods to keep you well-nourished and healthy, but they will not clear a blemished complexion.
"Foods do not cause acne, nor will they eliminate the problem," says Dr. Jeffrey Lauber, a Los Angeles dermatologist.
A visit to a dermatologist is your best chance for a clear complexion. Medical research has produced effective treatment to eliminate or minimize acne and related skin blemishes.
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