In the latest update of health and medical news from The Conversation…
Reema Rattan and Fron Jackson-Webb write:
Here’s a taste of what The Conversation’s health and medical experts have said over the past two weeks:
By Simon Chapman, Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney
Under this proposal, anyone who wanted to buy a tobacco product would need to have a licence. This wouldn’t happen overnight – we would need to identify a starting point to the scheme, which might be five years or more in the future.
The licence would be something that you would have to pay for. And if you ever wished to permanently surrender that licence you could get your money back for having done that. So that would be an incentive for people to quit.
By Ray Moynihan, Conjoint Lecturer at University of Newcastle
The development of this website seems to be part of a more general recognition of the growing empowerment of the health consumer.
If you look at it one way, the site looks like a real step forward in terms of the ability of the public to judge the merits of different professionals. In this sense, it does look like it could be of some value.
But on the other hand, you can very much understand the concerns of health professionals that this list could be abused.
By Con Doolan, Senior Lecturer, School of Mechanical Engineering at University of Adelaide
Wind turbines are often billed as one of the world’s best solutions to climate change. And why not?
They are a mature and effective means of generating large amounts of electricity with next to zero carbon emissions. In fact, they are so effective that many more wind farms are planned to be installed over the next 10-30 years.
But the wind energy story is not all rosy. As more wind farms have been installed, there have been an increasing number of complaints from those who live nearby.
By Becky Freeman and Simon Chapman, University of Sydney’s School of Public Health
For a policy the tobacco industry claims “won’t work” or that there “is no evidence” to support its implementation, plain packaging has elicited a deafening chorus of conflicting arguments as to why it should not be implemented. So what are we to make of this industry claim of “no evidence”?
As plain packs have never been legislated, evidence about their possible impact must come from experimental studies where subjects have typically been presented with mock-ups of plain and branded packs and asked to describe their associations and preferences.
By Sandra Jones, Director of the Centre for Health Initiatives at University of Wollongong
One of the biggest factors is he doesn’t just represent the brand – he is the brand.
He’s the personification of McDonald’s, and that’s been really effective in terms of building a really broad awareness of the organisation and really giving it a personality and a character.
Brands try really hard to create a brand personality that people can relate to – not only with children but with adults as well. Having a character like Ronald McDonald has a positive impact on people’s attitudes towards that brand, and builds a long-term relationship.
By Jake Najman, Professor of Population Health at University of Queensland
The marketing of public health messages can bear some disturbing similarities to the way the tobacco, alcohol and food industries go about promoting their products.
By Robert Booy, Professor of Clinical Research, National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance at University of Sydney
The Horvath report is timely and deeply considered. It calls for a series of working parties to address deficiencies in the Australian system – superficially, a bit like forming a committee to solve a problem.
The proposed working party on governance to improve clarity around the roles and responsibility of all stakeholders makes sense, particularly because there are currently no standard operating procedures for responding to adverse events following immunisation that do not require regulatory action.