Two public health policies hit back in the US

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Cigarette warnings up in smoke as judge blocks rule in US: Will same happen in India?

A US federal judge has blocked the rule that will require cigarette packs to be emblazoned with graphic images warning of the dangers of smoking and ruled that the tobacco companies suing the federal government are likely to win with their free speech argument.

Rules issued by FDA in June require that starting on Sept. 22, 2012, cigarettes sold in the U.S. will have to carry graphic images warning of the dangers of smoking. These images include rotting teeth, diseased lungs, and a body on an autopsy table. The images will be accompanied by dissuasive wording on cigarettes and smoking, including “cigarettes are addictive,” “cigarettes cause cancer,” and “smoking can kill you.” They must be displayed on at least half of the front and back of cigarette packs, and 20% of the top of the pack.

Banning Soda in Schools Ineffective

US State bans on sugar-sweetened drinks in middle schools didn’t have much impact on kids’ overall consumption, said Daniel R. Taber, PhD, MPH, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues. These results from surveys at schools across 40 states appeared online in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Students who reported at least daily consumption actually slightly increased their intake when the drinks were banned at school, suggesting that they more than compensated with drinks purchased at convenience stores and other locations.

Simply replacing soda with sports drinks or other sugary drinks wouldn’t be expected to have much impact on obesity, because even 100% fruit juice has as many calories as other sugar-sweetened beverages.

(Source: Excerpts from  Medpage Today)