This anti-smoking ad posted on Gawker caught my attention. It shows children approaching adults who are smoking and asking them to light a cigarette the children are holding.
The adults react by telling the children that smoking is bad for them. And then the kids hand them a pamphlet about how smoking is bad for them. The ad is being used by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation in its anti-smoking efforts.
This isn’t the first time children have been used in anti-smoking campaigns. In 2009, the New York City Department of Health created this ad displaying a child sobbing. The message: “This is how your child feels after losing you for a minute. Just imagine if they lost you for life.”
My first question: Do these ads work? Gawker reports that the Thai Health Promotion Foundation saw a 40 percent increase in phone inquiries from smokers who wanted to quit. If that number is true, then some would argue the ad is effective.
A few years ago, the British National Health Service launched its “I’m not scared” anti-smoking TV campaign. Here’s one of the ads (creepy clown alert):
Apparently, there were a few complaints placed with the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority after the advertisements ran. The organization decided that the advertisements should only run after 7:30 p.m.
After 7.30pm, young children who were still watching TV were likely to be in the company of their parents or older family members, who ought to be able to take action to reassure the children if the ad had upset them.
Do you think ads like this work? I’m not going to argue whether they do, but I do think there’s an interesting ethical debate about whether children should be used in anti-smoking (or any anti-adult behavior) advertisements.
Remote Area Medical Oklahoma needs volunteers, particularly in the dental and vision professions, to help with its second large-scale free health care weekend on August 25 and August 26.
The organization will set up about 50 mobile dental chairs and 16 lanes of vision refraction to provide patients with free dental, vision and limited medical care on a first-come, first-served basis at the Oklahoma Expo Hall of the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds.
Volunteers can sign up at www.ramok.org/volunteer, or by calling 405-410-5411. Remote Area Medical Oklahoma especially needs dentists, hygienists, dental assistants and anyone in the vision care field.
Dental volunteers can earn Continuing Education hours, and all volunteers are covered against medical liability under state law.
Care begins at 6 a.m. both days, but times can be flexible.
Drug Courts as Incarceration Alternative for Nonviolent Criminals: New AMA policy encourages the establishment of drug courts at the state and local level as an alternative to incarceration and a means of overcoming addiction for individuals with addictive disease convicted of nonviolent crimes. According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, drug courts are an alternative to individuals with addictive disease, providing them with intensive treatment and regular drug testing. A 2009 study of the National Institute of Justice found that drug court participants had significantly fewer positive drug tests and reported better improvements in their family relationships.
“Individuals with addictive disease require treatment,” said Dr. Hoven. “When an individual is convicted of a nonviolent crime, drug courts can provide the medical attention, support and accountability needed to help them conquer their addiction and turn their lives around.”
Oklahoma has drug courts in about 71 of its 77 counties. It costs $5,000 a year to put someone in drug court versus $19,000 to put that person in prison. The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, which has an incredibly long name, advocates that drug courts are a less expensive and more effective means of treating offenders with drug problems:
Drug court graduate re-arrest rates of 23.5% when compared with rates of those whom successfully complete standard probation, 38.2%, and released inmates, 54.3%, are further proof that Oklahoma Drug Courts work.
Addiction costs Oklahoma about $7.2 billion per year, including $1.8 billion in direct costs. A significant portion of the offenders in Oklahoma’s prisons are nonviolent offenders, including two-thirds of the female offender population.
A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute shows the lack of insurance coverage among our nation’s veterans:
According to the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS), one in 10 of the nation’s 12.5 million nonelderly veterans reports neither having health insurance coverage nor using Veterans Affairs (VA) health care. While veterans are less likely than the rest of the nonelderly population to be uninsured, there are an estimated 1.3 million uninsured veterans nationwide.
Oklahoma is cited in the report as having one of the highest rates of uninsured veterans. Below, I’ve made a table with the Oklahoma data from the study:
The study mentions that there’s a range of coverage from state to state. It offers an explanation of why that might be.
A variety of factors, including Medicaid eligibility thresholds for adults, the characteristics of labor market, and the proximity of veterans to VA facilities, may contribute to variation across states in uninsurance rates among veterans.
Are you a veteran or a family member of a veteran? If you want to talk about this issue, feel free to comment on this blog. You can also reach me on Twitter at @jaclyncosgrove or via e-mail — jcosgrove AT opubco.com.
I decided to test out the phone application that the American Red Cross launched today.
The app, known as “First Aid by American Red Cross,” provides the user with information about various emergencies.
The app takes critical first aid information normally stored on bookshelves and in pamphlets and places it at the fingertips of tens of millions of individuals – which will save lives. The Red Cross app includes trusted Red Cross disaster preparedness information for a number of common situations.
The app is the first in a series the American Red Cross plans to do. The First Aid app is free and available for iPhone and Android devices. Being that I have an Android phone, I downloaded it and started playing around with it.
Here are a few screenshots to give you an idea of what it looks like:
The moment you open the app, a message comes up, pointing to the “Emergency” tab. The message says, “Tap here if you find yourself in an emergency situation.” Not a bad feature, being that if someone is in an emergency, his or her thoughts might be jumbled.
My biggest question, though — will people remember to use the app in an emergency situation? It’s not that I think the app is a bad idea. I just wonder if people will remember when, for example, they find someone in a diabetic emergency that they have an app that will tell them how to handle that.
I like the idea of having organized and well-researched first aid information on my phone, though. And I like that the app makes it easy to call 911 from its emergency advice section.
For example, let’s say someone is possibly having a heart attack. You open the app, tap the “Emergency” tab and click “Heart attack.” Here’s what you’ll find:
Step 1: “The person may have persistent, vice-like chest pain, or isolated unexplained discomfort in arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach.”
Step 2: Call 911 immediately or get someone else to do it.
Beneath Step 2, there’s a button that says “Call 911.” Once you click that, the app will switch your phone to its calling mode with 911 already dialed. You then press the call button to make the call.
This feature seems important because, again, when you’re in an emergency situation, you’re probably stressed and need all the help you can get in thinking clearly.
I was in a car accident with three other vehicles a few months ago. All of us got out of our cars and were confused and overwhelmed. It was hot. We were in the middle of traffic, and none of us were veterans of multi-car collisions.
One of the people involved in the accident was having chest pains. It would have been helpful to have this type of medical information so readily available.
Yes, I had (and have) access to the Internet through my phone, and I could have looked up information about chest pain. But as anyone who has sought medical help via the Internet knows, the amount of information can be overwhelming.
Having this type of information readily available will likely be helpful to people who use this app. It’s concise and, as best I can tell, accurate. This app is not a replacement for medical training, but it is still a good resource to have. You can learn about American Red Cross first aid or register for a course at redcross.org/takeaclass.