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Public Health and Safety

This tag is associated with 59 posts

The ethics of e-cigarettes

From the BBC: Smokers who use e-cigarettes to quit are more likely to succeed than those who use willpower alone or buy nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches or gum, a study suggests. The survey of nearly 6,000 smokers found a fifth had quit with the aid of e-cigarettes. That was 60% higher than those … Continue reading

Germ Resistance Rising

From the BBC: Dr Keiji Fukuda, assistant director-general at WHO, said: “Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill.” He said effective antibiotics had been one of the “pillars” to help … Continue reading

Plain Packaging Cigarettes

From the BBC: The government is moving forward with plans to ban branding on cigarette packs in England, Public Health Minister Jane Ellison told MPs. Areas to think about: What evidence is there that plain packaging affects smoking trends? What are the costs & benefits of introducing mandatory plain packaging? How should one weigh up … Continue reading

Cost Effectiveness, NICE & the NHS

From the Daily Mail: The rationing body, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), plans to lower the cost threshold for new treatments and end the priority given to patients who are dying… It involves changes to a complex formula, known as quality adjusted life years (QALY). This determines the cost-effectiveness of a … Continue reading

Obesity: a growing problem

From the BBC: Estimates that half the UK population will be obese by 2050 “underestimate” the problem, a report has claimed. The National Obesity Forum said Britain was in danger of surpassing the prediction contained in a 2007 report. The lobbying group is calling for hard-hitting awareness campaigns, similar to the approach taken to smoking, … Continue reading

Long term illness and healthcare

From the Guardian: The soaring number of people with long-term medical conditions such as diabetes and dementia is threatening to “overwhelm” the NHS, one of the health service’s most senior figures warns… Looking after the 15.4 million people in England with at least one long-term condition already takes up 70% of the NHS’s £110bn budget … Continue reading

Reversing Ageing

From the BBC: [Telomeres] are stretches of DNA which protect our genetic code. They are often compared to the tips on shoelaces as they stop chromosomes from fraying and unravelling and keep the code stable. But each time a cell divides the telomeres get shorter, until the point that the ageing cell can no longer … Continue reading

Psychopaths & Empathy

From the BBC: The ability to empathise with others – to put yourself in someone else’s shoes – is crucial to social development in order to respond appropriately in everyday situations. Criminals with psychopathy characteristically show a reduced ability to empathise with others, including their victims. Evidence suggests they are also more likely to reoffend … Continue reading

Reorganising Urgent Care

From the BBC: The NHS in England needs to provide a much simpler and co-ordinated system of round-the-clock urgent and emergency care, a review of its services says. It also warns that many patients are confused about who to turn to when they need urgent medical help, so too often they go to A&E units. … Continue reading

Red or Black? 50:50 lifetime risk of cancer

From the BBC: The number of people in the UK who will get cancer during their lifetime will increase to nearly half the population by 2020, a report has forecast. People living longer is thought to be a major reason for the increase. But the [Macmillan Cancer Support] said that more people were surviving cancer … Continue reading

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