KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Big Tobacco To Begin Running Court-Mandated Mea Culpa Ads

“Altria, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Lorillard, and Philip Morris USA intentionally designed cigarettes to make them more addictive,” one ad will say. Another reads: “More people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol, combined.” In other public health news: the importance of body clocks, help getting sober and children with anxiety.

The Wall Street Journal: Big Tobacco To Spend Millions On Self-Critical Ads In U.S.
Broadcast television networks and metro newspapers are about to get a boost from an unexpected but familiar source: Big Tobacco. It’s an old media buy to resolve an old fight. Starting as soon as next month, Altria Group Inc. and British American Tobacco PLC will begin running court-mandated ads to put to rest a lawsuit brought nearly two decades ago by the U.S. Department of Justice over misleading statements the industry had made about cigarettes and their health effects. (Maloney, 10/3)

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Altria, Other Tobacco Companies Will Run 'Corrective Statements,' Starting In November
Starting in advertisements in late November, Henrico County-based Altria Group Inc. and other major U.S. cigarette companies will publish a series of statements about the health risks of smoking. The court-ordered “corrective statements” are set to run on television and in newspapers as part of an agreement reached in an 18-year-old federal lawsuit that accused cigarette-makers of deceiving the public. (Reid Blackwell, 10/2)

NPR: Messing With Our Body Clocks Causes Weight Gain And Diabetes
Research that helped discover the clocks running in every cell in our bodies earned three scientists a Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday. "With exquisite precision, our inner clock adapts our physiology to the dramatically different phases of the day," the Nobel Prize committee wrote of the work of Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young. "The clock regulates critical functions such as behavior, hormone levels, sleep, body temperature and metabolism." (Aubrey, 10/2)

The Associated Press: Trying To Get Sober? NIH Offers Tool To Help Find Good Care
The phone calls come — from fellow scientists and desperate strangers — with a single question for the alcohol chief at the National Institutes of Health: Where can my loved one find good care to get sober? Tuesday, the government is releasing a novel online tool to help — directories of alcohol treatment providers paired with key questions patients should ask for a better shot at high-quality care. (Neergaard, 10/3)

NPR: For Children With Severe Anxiety, Medication Plus Therapy Work Best
Teens and children struggling with anxiety are often prescribed medication or therapy to treat their symptoms. For many, either drugs or therapy is enough, but some young people can't find respite from anxious thoughts. For them, a study suggests that using both treatments at once can help. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology on Monday, analyzed data from a large clinical trial of 488 people ages 7 to 17 diagnosed with anxiety disorders. The trial compared therapy, an anti-depressant called sertraline (brand name Zoloft), the combination of both, and a placebo. Pfizer, which manufactures Zoloft, donated both the sertraline and the placebo pills to the study. (Chen, 10/2)

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