Viewpoints: Ad Agencies Aid The Rising Teen Vaping Epidemic; Understand The Disinformation About Vaccines And Get On With It
Opinion writers express views on these health topics and others.
The New York Times:
Why Advertising Quit Smoking, And Started Vaping
Twenty years ago, as a creative director, I helped create a commercial for the Truth campaign to introduce its effort to prevent cigarette smoking by young people. The spot was simply footage of tobacco executives all testifying, “I believe nicotine is not addictive.” All we did was add a laugh track.The effect of my campaign and others was to help a generation of young people see the tobacco companies as they really were. Companies that lied not just to the government but the public, with misleading ad campaigns aimed at teenagers, their “growth market.” Now they’re doing it again, but in a new, slick, high-tech guise that is harder to combat. (Alex Bogusky, 5/3)
Measles Vaccine Risks And Anti-Vaxxers: Shift The Conversation
To understand why some parents have chosen not to protect their kids from measles, consider why parents shun another well-tested vaccine, which would protect children from a number of devastating forms of cancer. While more than 700 people have been infected by this latest measles outbreak, thousands of young people are unnecessarily being infected with cancer-associated strains of HPV, or human papillomavirus. These will slowly, quietly, cause cancer in some of them years later.“ The anti-vaxxers really hate the HPV vaccine,” said Stewart Lyman, a cancer researcher who wrote a provocative opinion piece in the medical website STAT, connecting opposition against vaccines to an often-deserved public distrust of the pharmaceutical industry. He included a long list of breaches of trust — from high drug prices to bungled clinical trails to lies about the alleged safety of opioids. (Faye Flam, 5/2)
CDC: Herd Immunity Helps To Protect The Entire Community
Heraclitus, the 6th century B.C. pioneer of wisdom, said that no one ever steps in the same river twice. Yet, as World Immunization Week (WIW) ends, we must confront how fragile the gains in preventing and eliminating diseases can be.Consider, for example, preliminary World Health Organization data released on April 15, which documents a 300 percent rise in measles globally from 2018 to 2019 and an increase in 2019 of more than 20,000 cases each month. While never the same, we are wading in familiar waters with measles outbreaks occurring in every region of the world. (Rebecca Martin, 5/2)
The Washington Post:
Diets Are Not One-Size-Fits-All. So Why Do We Treat Dietary Guidelines That Way?
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are the single most powerful influence on American food choices. They drive dozens of public and private programs, from school lunches to meals for the elderly, the military, hospitals and more. They’re also adopted as the “gold standard” by health-care practitioners for sick and well alike. When your doctor or nutritionist or diabetes educator hands you a diet to follow for a particular disease, you are given the guidelines. Yet at the kickoff meeting for the next Dietary Guidelines, government officials made clear that this policy is only appropriate for healthy people. The 60 percent of our population diagnosed with nutrition-related diseases — obesity, diabetes, dementia — is excluded. On this path, there’s little question that the government’s guidelines will do virtually nothing to reverse the epidemics of these diseases. (Nina Teicholz, 5/2)
The New York Times:
The Thin Line Between Surgery And Mutilation
Last month, many were up in arms about the news that the Justice Department would not defend a federal prohibition on female genital mutilation that was thrown out by a lower court last fall. On Twitter, Hillary Clinton called the decision “outrageous”; hundreds seconded her tweet with words of disgust. The department’s legal reasoning for not defending the prohibition is technical, but the response highlights the degree to which there is consensus about the abhorrent nature of female genital mutilation, which the World Health Organization defines as cutting of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs, for non-medical reasons. (Afshan Jafar, 5/2)
The Washington Post:
Think Biden And Trump Are Too Old To Be President? Take A Look Around.
Having spent private time with both former vice president Joe Biden and President Trump, I can personally attest that they have greater physical stamina than most people half their age, but that reality is clouded by cliches. (Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, 5/2)
Dallas Morning News:
'13 Reasons Why' Hurts Teenagers And Netflix Should Drop The Show
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, in the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, killing nearly 45,000 Americans annually. Despite this, Netflix is planning to release a third season of its original show 13 Reasons Why, which many studies say correlates with an increase in the number of online searches for "how to commit suicide."13 Reasons Why should not only drop this third season, but it should be taken off Netflix entirely. The show is damaging. (Pramika Kadari, 5/2)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Let’s Not Repeat Tobacco Settlement Mistakes With Opioid Lawsuits
Any potential opioid settlement should dedicate funds to legitimate public health efforts in order to build the framework our nation needs to respond to the current opioid abuse crisis and prevent the next wave of drug addiction. Rather than be diverted to unrelated projects, funds should be devoted to increasing residential and community-based treatment and recovery services; expanding mental health counseling and medication-assisted treatment; development of the behavioral health workforce through the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration; and naloxone distribution and harm reduction efforts. (Dick Durbin And Sherrod Brown, 5/3)