Higher taxes may help curb death by tobacco

The health risks of using tobacco are well documented. And just about every scheme has been tried to get people to quit smoking.

This year the World Health Organization's Tobacco Free Initiative is marking World No Tobacco Day on May 31 by advocating for a global hike in taxes on tobacco.

A tax increase that increases tobacco prices by 10% decreases tobacco consumption by about 4% in high-income countries and by up to 8% in most low- and middle-income countries.

The WHO calls increasing taxes on tobacco "the most cost-effective tobacco control measure." It also makes good financial sense.

The World Health Report 2010 indicated that a 50% increase in tobacco excise taxes would generate a little more than US$1.4 billion in additional funds in 22 low-income countries. If allocated to health, government health spending in these countries could increase by up to 50%.

Tobacco kills some 6 million people each year, including 600,000 non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke.

Learn more about the initiative and how you can support it.


Source: Ads of the World

It's National Healthcare Decisions Day: Who will speak for you?

This is the day you need to talk to your family about their "advance care" plans.

It's April 16, or National Healthcare Decisions Day. 

Advance care plans are what we used to call end-of-life care plans. Whatever you call it, it's important to make your wishes known to your family and those who you may want to look after your wishes.

If you are in Connecticut, consider stopping by the Capitol Building in Hartford for a panel discussion led by Qualidigm CEO Tim Elwell and a multi-interdisciplinary panel of state, national, community and health care leaders. The event is at noon on Wednesday, April 16.

Millions of Americans have yet to plan their medical, personal, emotional and spiritual needs for their final life-stage. 

If you are one, who will speak for you if and when you cannot speak for yourself?

Learn more at http://www.nhdd.org.

Our words say a lot about us (and it's not always good)

Now this is a powerful campaign.

Adweek recent profiled a campaign for UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, that shows how our words — accessed via auto-completed Google searches — reveal how rampant gender discrimination remains worldwide.

Christopher Hunt, head of art for Ogilvy & Mather Dubai, who created the campaign, said:

“This campaign uses the world's most popular search engine (Google) to show how gender inequality is a worldwide problem. The adverts show the results of genuine searches, highlighting popular opinions across the world wide web.”

The actual Google searches in the ads were performed on September 3, 2013. Ten weeks later, in the U.S., not much has changed.

The ad:

The search today (November 13, 2013):

The ad:

The search today (November 13, 2013):

Adweek points out that "these ads do a stellar job driving home the daunting fact that enough people around the world share these vile opinions that Google has come to expect them."

We can, and must, do better.

In fact, Nicole D'Alonzo of the blog TASTEdaily has taken to re-imagining the campaign with a positive spin and is encouraging others to "join us in rewriting the search." There's even a hashtag: #RewriteTheSearch.

This is great work exposing a very important issue.

Source: Adweek