Any exposure at all to cigarette smoke harmful; Merck to buy SmartCells in $500M deal;

> Exposure to cigarette smoke, even in small amounts, can cause instant damage to a person's lungs, according to a new report released by the Surgeon General. "The chemicals in tobacco smoke reach your lungs very quickly every time you inhale causing damage immediately," U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin said in a statement. Press Release

> Suppliers of state hospitals in Greece will receive $6.6 billion in non-interest bearing bonds from the country's government to settle debt acquired from 2007 through 2009, Bloomberg reports. Article

> With an eye on remaining one of the leaders in the diabetes field, Merck ($MRK) has agreed to pay more than $500 million in upfront fees and potential milestones to acquire SmartCells, a Beverly, Mass.-based biotech with some intriguing new insulin technology that originated at MIT. FierceBiotech

And Finally... Here's an interesting way to lower a budget gap. Not sure it would fly here, though. Article