Friday, June 24, 2011

Look, Smoking Does Kill

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I don't know about you, but if I saw a picture of a guy with a hole in his neck and holding a cigarette on my own pack of smokes I would probably quit right there.

That’s exactly the reaction the Food and Drug Administration is trying to stir up since they released nine new labels for cigarette packs that aim to show the dangers of smoking. The intense images show such things as a diseased lung, a smoker wearing an oxygen mask and an emaciated cancer patient. But more than 40 countries around the world already require warnings as graphic as the new U.S. labels, if not more so.

The circulating images are causing a bit of anger and a lot of disgust among American smokers. The truth is, according to the FDA, smoking kills 1200 people a day in the United States alone and many people aren’t aware of that.

"We are so far behind," says Michael Cummings, chair of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute's Department of Health Behavior. "We're a third world nation when it comes to educating the public on the risks of smoking."

Smoking literally damages nearly every organ of the body. Tobacco has caused more deaths each year than by all deaths from HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.

For the kids who are thinking about starting to smoke, first know that it isn’t cute, it doesn’t make you look cooler, and it just kills. I don’t mean to sound like Nancy Reagan right now, but when it comes to smoking tobacco just say no.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Saving Face Over Saving Lives

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Given the chance to prevent AIDS and save lives, some people would rather just throw a hissy fit and condemn the UN’s battle against AIDS.

The three day UN summit, that lasted from June 8-10, for the “30th anniversary of the discovery of AIDS set the target of more than doubling the number of people on retroviral treatment to 15 million by 2015. It said mother-to-child AIDS transmissions should also be eliminated by then,” but instead of supporting the UN’s efforts toward eradicating AIDS, protests sparked by the Vatican and some Muslim nations over its endorsement of condoms erupted.

Those in opposition of the UN at the summit voiced their anger over “endorsement of condoms and calls to help prostitutes, gays and drug users.”

Because HIV can be transmitted by having sex, through someone’s blood, or from a mother to child, the best ways to reduce your risk is abstain from sex and wearing condoms consistently and correctly.

About 34 million people around the world have the disease, 1.8 million die from it each year and there are 7,000 new infections each day. Obviously people are disregarding abstinence and continuing to have sex. Shouldn’t there be a worldwide concern about making sure the most reasonable way of preventing the spread of a deadly disease is taught to everyone?

To be honest, I don’t think it was necessary for anyone to express that much apprehension over the beneficial and life saving condoms. According to the UN Population Fund, the global need for condoms to combat HIV and for family planning has shot up from an estimated 13 billion in 2004 to about 19 billion in 2010.

It’s estimated that more than one million people are living with HIV in the USA and that more than half a million have died after contracting AIDS, clearly speaking for itself that we need to continue to stress the use of condoms. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weird Home Remedies

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And you thought you ran in to some weird home remedies.

CNN's Nadia Bilchik talks to T.J. Holmes about some of the world's most unusual cures.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Meet Your Meat and Drop the Torture

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I read an article, Zuckerberg: Just go Vegetarian Already, the other day about Mark Zuckerberg and meat-eaters. The author, Jake Richardson, talked about Mark Zuckerberg and his personal challenge that led him to kill animals by himself for meat, instead of letting a slaughterhouse or butcher do it. “CNN quoted him as saying he has learned a lot about sustainable farming and raising animals,” which I believe great.
Richardson, however, pointed out although some articles have indicated this approach is more honest, when it comes to “ending an animal’s life to make it into dinner that there is no ‘kindest’ way to do it.”
That’s where I would have to disagree.
You can talk to people about the many health and environmental reasons of why people should go vegetarian, but no matter how hard you try, not everyone will give up meat.
To be honest, even though I’m a vegetarian, I have to agree with what Zuckerberg is doing. Like the many other individuals living around the world, Zuckerberg is taking the time to find out where his meat is coming from.
I admire the fact that he is eating locally (which avoids the leveling 55 square feet of rain forest for a single meal or dumping 2,400 gallons of water down the drain) and that he knows that what he is actually consuming was once a living creature.
Now I’m not going to go a “crazy-Avatar-fangirl” on you but James Cameron explained my standpoint in such a poetic way. The majority of meat-eaters in America aren’t very sure of where their meat comes from. “Animals are abused, mistreated, and slaughtered every day so we can eat meat. They suffer so we can have a cheese burger from McDonalds; chickens are treated inhumanely so we can have chicken nuggets although we don’t have to.
We take more than they need, never really acknowledge where it comes from, and we never give enough back to the environment to help sustain ourselves for the future.
Don’t get me wrong though, people have eaten meat for thousands of years whether they were designed to eat meat or not. You’re not going to convince Mark Zuckerberg or a simple farmer living up in the mountains of Tibet to stop eating meat, because they’re not torturing any of the animals that they eat.
I don’t have a problem with meat-eaters. I just have a problem with meat-eaters who know exactly where their meat comes from (or chooses to be in the dark on the issues) and continue with their poor environmental/ethical choices by doing nothing about it.
Knowing where your food comes from and eating locally raised meat is a great start to get on my nice list. Avoid factory farming and eat sustainably, not just because it’s great for the animals and the environment, but because it’s also healthier for you.