Friday, January 24, 2014
Last Friday, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Surgeon Generalís first report on health hazards of cigarette smoking, his office released a report linking smoking to several new chronic diseases. These include diabetes, erectile dysfunction, cancer of the colon and liver, and stroke, in additional to the well-known links to lung and oral cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease.
The parallels between cigarette smoking and meat consumption are uncanny:
The chronic diseases linked to both activities and costs of associated medical care and lost productivity are very similar
The first government reports warning consumers about health hazards of cigarette smoking and meat consumption were issued in 1964 (by Surgeon General) and in 1977 (by Senate Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs), respectively
The first warning labels on cigarette and meat packaging were required in 1966 and 1994, respectively
Both activities are discouraged by health advocates and both are declining.
But there is one important difference: the meat industry impacts more state economies with a stronger Congressional clout than the tobacco industry. A Surgeon Generalís report on the hazards of meat consumption is most unlikely.
Our health remains our personal responsibility.
South Strand News is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. We do not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not South Strand News.