June 19, 2012 |
THIS PAST MONTH has seen a coordinated PR assault against "junk food" in the name of public health. The Institute of Medicine's 462-page report Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation argues that wide-ranging changes are required, such as promoting physical activity and availability of healthy foods and beverages. The very same week saw publication of a related article funded by the Centers for Disease Control, predicting in two decades 42 percent of Americans will be obese and 11 percent will be severely obese, or 100 pounds overweight.
January 11, 2012 |
The vaunted Geisinger Health System in central Pennsylvania ushered in the new year by becoming the latest employer to resolve not to hire smokers. The shift toward policies that ban smokers, not just smoking, has been growing in Pennsylvania and the 20 other states that allow it. Beginning in the 1980s with big companies such as Turner Broadcasting and Alaska Airlines, no-nicotine hiring practices have been embraced by police and fire departments, medical centers, even an Ohio casino.
January 1, 2012 |
AMSTERDAM - It's getting surprisingly easy to light up in the Netherlands these days - cigarettes, that is. Even as the Dutch government hardens its famous tolerance policy on marijuana, it is taking an increasingly relaxed stance toward tobacco, bucking the trend in nearly every other developed country. In 2010 it exempted some bars from a smoking ban, and now it plans to reduce spending on antismoking ad campaigns and end funding for health-care programs to help people kick the habit.
September 22, 2011 |
TRENTON - New Jersey raised $750 million last year from taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products, but it spent only $1.5 million on antismoking programs, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Cancer Society. Health advocates on Wednesday called on Gov. Christie and the Legislature to direct at least a dime of each dollar the state collects in tobacco taxes to programs aimed at reducing youth smoking and helping tobacco users quit. "The money is there.
June 12, 2009 |
The tobacco-control movement celebrated another milestone yesterday as the U.S. Senate easily passed a bill giving the government unprecedented power over the making and marketing of tobacco products. Supporters say the law will enable the Food and Drug Administration to protect children from the addictive lure of cigarettes, make tobacco products safer, and, ultimately, save some of the 400,000 lives lost annually to tobacco-related illness. "For four or five decades, tobacco companies have preyed on our children . . . knowing they'd get addicted at a young age," said Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Senate's second-ranking Democrat.
January 3, 2008 |
A global killer is ripping through the world's poorer countries largely unchecked. Within 25 years, it will cause 10 million deaths a year - far more than malaria, maternal deaths, childhood infections, and diarrhea combined. At least half of the dead will be age 30 to 69, losing about 25 years of life expectancy. The culprit? Smoking tobacco. The same addiction that became the top preventable cause of death in Western countries has made big inroads in developing countries. Given current trends, smoking will kill about one billion people in the 21st century, mostly in developing countries.
November 10, 2002 |
With infusions of cash from the national tobacco settlement and new cigarette taxes, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are promoting aggressive new programs to discourage people from smoking, but both states will still fall short of federal recommendations for battling tobacco. Each will fall short this year by about $15 million. The targets - $65.5 million a year for Pennsylvania and $45 million for New Jersey - are considered minimum amounts to provide the comprehensive tobacco-prevention program suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
June 18, 2002 |
A bill making its way through the Pennsylvania General Assembly would crack down on tobacco sales to minors, but prohibit municipalities from passing their own antismoking laws. And that has antitobacco forces fuming. "Every time we succeed at the local level, the tobacco industry goes to Harrisburg to wipe out the progress," said Bill Godshall, executive director of SmokeFree Pennsylvania, an antitobacco group. The legislation, introduced last year, received final passage in the House last month and cleared a Senate committee last week.
October 25, 1999 |
Sterlen Barr's anti-smoking message started simply enough, as the veteran health educator told an auditorium full of middle-schoolers about the hazards of cigarettes. But soon after the talk came the rap - as in rap music. "I say 'Don't,' you say 'Smoke' - I say 'Kick,' you say 'Butts,' " Barr chanted as the crowd of young people at Thomas Middle School immediately came alive, clapping their hands and swaying to the bass-driven beat. That kind of attention - and enthusiasm - is exactly what Barr, 31, was searching for when he first became a health educator in 1991 for the nonprofit Health Promotional Council of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
October 19, 1999 |
Attorney General Mike Fisher is hosting public hearings to discuss what Pennsylvania should do with tobacco settlement money accruing to the states. What's wrong with this picture? These hearings could be a public-relations ploy on behalf of the attorney general's longtime client, the tobacco cartel. Last spring, Fisher defused a nationwide situation that had become a nightmare for the tobacco giants. They were facing separate multibillion-dollar lawsuits in 46 state courts, each with the potential for punishing jury verdicts and PR disasters.