Firefox 18.0.1 consuming excessive CPU--both in Standard and Safe Mode--when accessing Gmail

Firefox 18.0.1 consumes excessive CPU--both in Standard and Safe Modes--when accessing Gmail (in Standard Mode). CPU consumption averages around 56% on my dual-CPU, Windows 7 desktop.

The only way to stop this from happening it to open Gmail in "HTML" mode. When I open Gmail in Standard mode, a "Loading..." status shows at the top of the page. After about 30 seconds, a error window pops-up within the Gmail page saying that there is a performance problem and provides the option to load Gmail in a limited, "HTML" mode. Clicking the HTML Mode link solves the issue. I've been using Firefox for years and have never seen this issue until now.

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