KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Americans Live Longer, But May Be More Prone To Disability That Hinders Independence

New studies this week suggest that more Americans will suffer a disability that threatens their independence near the end of their lives.

Los Angeles Times: A Downside Of Living Longer: Oldest Often Disabled In Last Months
Don't expect old age to be all golf and cruises: As Americans live longer and longer, more of us should expect to suffer some sort of independence-threatening disability in the final phase of life, two new studies published online Monday suggest (Brown, 7/8).

And public health evidence for public smoking bans may be thinner than touted --

PBS NewsHour: The Real Reason Behind Public Smoking Bans
Summer has officially begun and for many, it's time for sun, sand and swimming. But don't count on lighting up a cigarette while you're at the beach. Over the last few years, you may have noticed more "no smoking" signs have cropped up on parks and beaches. They're part of a larger trend banning smoking at outside, public areas. In fact, smoking has been banned in 843 parks and more than 150 beaches in the last two decades. … Public health officials have long argued the bans are meant to eliminate dangers from secondhand, or "sidestream smoke," reduce the environmental impact of cigarette butts and to keep young, impressionable children from picking up on bad habits. Makes sense, right? But a new article in this month's Health Affairs looks at the shockingly slim evidence behind these bans (Clune, 7/8). 

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