Staying In Control Yr 9
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Scooped by Ricky Kelly!

Apps Push Pro-Smoking Message: Study

Apps Push Pro-Smoking Message: Study | Staying In Control Yr 9 |

Scores of smartphone applications are promoting a pro-smoking message, from brands to games, according to a study published in the health journal Tobacco Control this week.

Public-health researchers led by Nasser BinDihm at the University of Sydney say they found 107 tobacco-friendly apps in a trawl of the Apple App Store and Android Market.

Some were programmes that allowed the user to simulate smoking or collect points for buying Marlboro cigarettes.

Others included pictures of global brands or images of cigarettes that could be set as "wallpaper" for the phone.


Some apps were a game where users can pass a cigarette to on-screen characters, or were "how to" programmes, such as advice for using hand-rolled tobacco.

These apps are potential violations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which bans advertising and promoting tobacco products in all media, says the paper.

The worry is that the apps will glamorise smoking among the young, it says.

"Pro-smoking content, including explicit cigarette brand images, is promoted in smartphone apps which are reaching millions of users, including teenagers and children," it says.

"App stores need to explore ways of regulating this content."

Forty-two of the 107 apps were found on Android Market, where they were downloaded by around 11 million people on average.

Ricky Kelly's comment, November 2, 2012 4:08 AM
SMOKING - This article reports on apps found in popular phones and devices that could possibly promote smoking to the younger generations. Smoking is a common lifestyle choice and causes horrible disease; the thought of someone's child being pushed into cigarettes would clearly provoke parents. Apps are also a common thing used in adolescent life which can easily be related to be teenagers such as us, so this article greatly demonstrates the links, and therefore the choices possible, between dangerous diseases and regular life.
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Child Found Drink Driving In Calliope

Queensland police have pulled up a swerving car to discover a 13-year-old girl was drink-driving.

They say she recorded a blood alcohol level of 0.071.

The girl was driving a car with four passengers in Calliope, southwest of Gladstone on Friday night.

No charges have been laid so far...

Ricky Kelly's comment, November 2, 2012 3:48 AM
DRINK DRIVING - This article reports an underage thirteen year old girl pulled over from drink-driving. Articles like this create negative reaction of fear and frustration in the reader, mainly due to the girl's age. Drink Driving has been thoroughly discussed in class, and with a girl extremely close to our age (and even younger) the article can be strongly related to and used as a perfect example of the bad decision making and lifestyle choice.
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US Teen Pregnancy Rate Falls to Lowest Level in Decades

US Teen Pregnancy Rate Falls to Lowest Level in Decades | Staying In Control Yr 9 |
TEEN births in the US are at their lowest level in almost 70 years, federal data reports.

Strong prevention messages and widespread contraception use are believed to be behind the lowest birth rate ever recorded for 15- to 19-year-olds across all ethnic and racial groups.

The report by the National Centre for Health Statistics comes at a time when contraception is a hot political debate, from a congressional investigation of whether federal money pays for abortions to concern among some church leaders over an Obama administration mandate that all health insurance cover birth control.

The new numbers elaborate on federal data released in November that found the teen birth-rate dropped 9 per cent from 2009 to 2010, to a historic low of 34.3 births per 1000 teens. That is down 44 per cent from 61.8 in 1991. The all-time high was 96.3 during the baby boom year of 1957.

''Young people are being more careful,'' Sarah Brown, the chief executive of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, says. She attributes the declines to less sex and increased contraception.

The report says the actual number of teen births in 2010 was the lowest since 1946. It credits ''strong pregnancy prevention messages'' and says contraceptive use ''may have contributed''.

It shows a range in birth rates among racial and ethnic groups, from 10.9 for Asians to 23.5 for Caucasions, 51.5 for African Americans and 55.7 for Hispanics.

''The fact that states with high Hispanic populations still show declines speaks to the more general pattern of increasing contraceptive use and declining teen births,'' Laura Lindberg, a senior research associate with the non-profit Guttmacher Institute in New York, says.

Ricky Kelly's comment, May 15, 2012 2:55 AM
TEEN PREGNANCY - This article reports on the significant drop of teen pregnancies in the US. It states this fact in a positive and successful tone, creating a positive reaction in the reader. Teen Pregnancy is a topic we have studied, which obviously this article relates to strongly. Teen pregnancy can effect any family in any way, and is almost always a tough and emotional situation, causing great strife. Articles like these can ease the paranoia of parents, and even some teens.
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Intense Drug Arrives in Perth

Intense Drug Arrives in Perth | Staying In Control Yr 9 |

Human bodies naturally contain a small amount of it, as do cane toads, but a  new drug that has been found in Western Australia in the past week is of great  concern to Police and drug experts.

Professor Steve Allsop from Curtin University's National Drug Research  Institute said he was surprised last week to hear that police had found two drug  labs allegedly manufacturing dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in Perth.

"I haven't heard of it being used widely in WA," he said. Professor Allsop said the drug which occurs naturally in the human body, in  cane toads and some plants, was far more potent in the synthetic version.

He said no one knew what the purpose of naturally occurring  dimethyltryptamine in the human body was.

"Some people speculate that it plays a role in the creation of dreams, but we  just don't know," Professor Allsop said.

"It is a psychedelic or a hallucinogen; it can cause hallucinations and a  sense of separation from reality."

He said the drug had been referred to by some as a 'lunchtime drug' because  it was short acting.

It kicks in quickly, can be extremely intense and wears off quickly.

Professor Allsop said the separation from reality meant it could be a very  dangerous drug.

"There's a risk of injury if people aren't aware of whom or where they are,  or could fall over, walk in front of traffic, just stray onto the road," he  said.

Professor Allsop said the short lasting effects could attract some to the  drug; it was also very unpredictable and could be a frightening experience for  those who took it.

"A lot of people don't like it because it can make you feel different each  time, it can depend on different factors, such as your mood."

He said the effects could be even more detrimental on people vulnerable to  mental health issues.

Professor Allsop said the dimethyltryptamine allegedly being manufactured in  Perth may have been being made for use in its own right or it could have been to  add it to other drugs.

Ricky Kelly's comment, May 4, 2012 5:48 AM
DRUG USAGE - This article informs the reader on another type of drug arriving in Perth, creating a sense of fear and/or paranoia in them. Psychadelic/Hallucinogenic are commonly used by youths nowadays due to its bizarre effect on the user; it is a topic we have been discussing in class relating to the main category of Drug Usage.
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TV ads giving kids a taste for alcohol

TV ads giving kids a taste for alcohol | Staying In Control Yr 9 |

CHILDREN are being exposed to more   alcohol advertisements as industry codes  fail to keep up with changing media habits.

Despite mounting  evidence of the damage done by exposing children to ads for  alcohol,  research shows regulations aimed at shielding children from themare  being undermined as  children  watch more TV outside  designated children's  viewing hours.

Professor Simone Pettigrew, director of the University of Western Australia's  Health Promotion Unit, said  a large body of research showed that the more  children were exposed  to alcohol advertising, the earlier they started drinking  and the more they drank.

In a two-month study of   ads on free-to-air TV channels, Professor Pettigrew  found that half of all ads for alcohol were being screened at times when 25 per  cent of  children were likely to be watching.

While  industry codes ban alcohol ads before 8.30pm, Professor Pettigrew said  they  did not recognise that many children were  watching TV until 10.30.

''Research has shown that exposure to ads for alcoholic beverages stimulates  children's interest in it,'' she said. ''We have a whole raft of controls to  prevent this but with current trends in viewing we're not managing to achieve  that.''

She said many of the ads used themes known to appeal to children.

''We also know from previous research that there are certain elements that  are particularly appealing to children. They include the use of humour,  friendships and animals and they were among the most common themes that screened  in those two months.

''Intentionally or otherwise,  alcohol ads are featuring characteristics or  themes that are well known to appeal strongly to children.''

Professor Pettigrew  said ads for alcohol also consistently pushed the  message that alcohol was something you should buy in bulk and that it could  be  very cheap. The affordability message was one that would appeal to children.

The codes needed to be updated and more attention given to public  complaints.

''It's big business …  a lot of money is being spent on ensuring that alcohol  is a vital part of our culture. It's probably time  we thought about that,  especially as the evidence for alcohol-related harm is accumulating.''

She  said the recently formed Alcohol Advertising Review Board should play a  strong role in dealing with  public  concerns about advertising in this  industry.

Ricky Kelly's comment, May 1, 2012 3:19 AM
ALCOHOL USAGE - This article explores the idea of children and youths being influenced by TV advertisements to purchase and consume alcohol. This issue has spiked public concern, and the article would likely do so to the reader, especially if they are a parent. This article associates fear with defensive, protective emotions to readers with children, and relates to our class discussion of Alcohol Usage.
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Survival Rates Give Hope to Children Living With Cancer

Survival Rates Give Hope to Children Living With Cancer | Staying In Control Yr 9 |

MORE Victorian children are surviving cancer, with the number of young patients still alive five years after diagnosis at an all-time high of 82 per cent, new data shows.

A Cancer Council Victoria report on childhood cancer shows five-year survival has improved from 68 per cent over the past 30 years, reflecting advances in treatment.

Some of the biggest gains were made in the treatment of leukaemia - the most common cancer in children - for which five-year survival increased from 75 per cent to 92 per cent.

Leukaemias accounted for 38 per cent of all new cancer diagnoses in children aged under 15 years and 44 per cent in children aged under four, with the cancer declining in frequency with increasing age.


The report, to be launched by Health Minister David Davis today, also shows:

■About 150 children are diagnosed with cancer in Victoria each year;

■87 children died between 2008 and 2010 and 37 of them were aged under four;

■The most common fatal cancers were brain tumours (11 deaths), leukaemia (seven deaths) and liver cancer (six deaths); and

■More than 40 per cent of all deaths occurred within a year of diagnosis, and three-quarters within three years.

Director of the Royal Children's Hospital cancer centre Francoise Mechinaud said improved survival was due not just to advances in chemotherapy, but also supportive care provided to children to treat infections and ensure they were adequately nourished during cancer treatment.

Dr Mechinaud said doctors had also developed highly accurate tools to assess risk in individual patients, particularly those with leukaemia, which allowed them to tailor treatments that would deliver further survival gains in years to come.

But she said more was needed to improve survival rates for other childhood cancers, particularly brain cancer. ''Brain is a significant issue - not only can the tumour be quite aggressive, but there are issues about whether we can do surgery because some areas of the brain are so crucial,'' she said.

Cancer Council chief executive Todd Harper said that although cancer was rare in Victorian children, it remained the second highest cause of death after accidents and the most common cause of death from disease.

''The increase in survival demonstrates we are getting better at treating childhood cancers, and provides hope for the more than 150 Victorian children and their families who are diagnosed with cancer each year,'' he said.

Ricky Kelly's comment, November 2, 2012 4:00 AM
CANCER - This article informs a rise in cancer survival rates in Victorian children over the past thirty years. Cancer is obviously a world renowned problem and is a topic studied in class; news like this eases stress of parents and teens alike of receiving cancer and surviving it. Although this article focuses on Victoria, cancer is a subject that anyone can relate to and an illness that anyone can get, making the article very effective.
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Teenage Baby Boom Sparks Call for Better Sex Education

The number of teenage mothers has jumped after decades of steady decline and NSW has had the most significant increase.

The teen fertility rate in NSW rose 15 per cent from 2007 to 2008, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Nationally, the number of teenagers giving birth rose 10 per cent, from 11,204 to 12,326.

While the increase concerns some health professionals, others say it is in line with the overall baby boom.

Dr Patricia Weerakoon, co-ordinator of the University of Sydney's graduate program in sexual health, said teenagers were becoming sexually active earlier and putting themselves at risk of sexually transmissible illnesses and unplanned pregnancies.

''The rates of sexually transmissible infections in young people are rising because they are having unprotected sex. That is also reflected in the rising number of teenagers having babies.''

While young people are reaching puberty earlier, their brains do not fully develop until they are in their late teens or early 20s.

''Their hormones are saying they are ready to become sexually active but their brains won't fully mature for another few years,'' Dr Weerakoon said. ''Young teenagers do not have a well-developed control mechanism which is why they engage in risky behaviour. They don't think about the long-term consequences of their behaviour.

''They go for instant gratification first and don't worry too much about the long-term consequences of having an unplanned pregnancy.''

Australia's teenage fertility rate of 17 births per 1000 teens is lower than the rate in Britain (27 per 1000) and New Zealand (26 per 1000).

But it is higher than many countries including Germany (10 per 1000), France (eight per 1000) and the Netherlands (four per 1000).

Associate Professor Juliet Richters, of the University of NSW school of public health and community medicine, said teenagers, particularly those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, needed more information about sexual health.

''Australia is only doing medium well in terms of providing support and sex education to young women,'' she said.

''We are not doing as well as the Netherlands or Scandinavia in terms of helping teenagers manage sex and fertility.''

She was not alarmed by women in their late teens having babies but said mothers in their early teens were a cause for concern. ''Young women in the 14, 15, 16-year-old age group who become pregnant tend to be at risk … A lot of them don't necessarily want to have the baby.''

Medicare data suggests half of all teenagers who conceive do not proceed with the pregnancy. Up to 60 per cent of those who give birth do not have a male partner at the time.

NSW Health data shows that teenage pregnancies are clustered in rural and lower socio-economic areas of Sydney.

The Greater Western Area Health Service has the highest rate of teenage mothers, recording 8.1 per cent of NSW births, followed by the Hunter and New England area and the North Coast (both with 6.7 per cent), the Greater Southern area (6.6 per cent), Sydney West (3.8 per cent), Sydney South West (3.1 per cent), South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra (2 per cent) and North Sydney and Central Coast (1.8 per cent).

Suggestions the federal government's $5000 baby bonus may have been encouraging teenagers to have babies prompted the lump sum payment to be changed to instalments for mothers aged under 18.

Professor Anthony Smith, from the Australian research centre in sex, health and society at La Trobe University, said supporting teenage mothers was important, particularly when it came to helping them complete their education.

''Programs for young mothers in schools have been running for about 15 years now,'' he said. ''Before, if a young woman became pregnant while at school that was the end of her education full stop.

''But over the past decade or so people have moved towards lifelong learning and a recognition that for many women there will be an interruption to that process through child-bearing whether it happens earlier in life or later in life.''

The NSW Education Department has made the successful young mothers program implemented at Plumpton High School in western Sydney available to all high schools.

However, most women under 20 who have babies are in their late teens and the pregnancies may be planned as part of a committed relationship, Professor Smith said.

''One of the problems is as soon as you mention teen pregnancy everyone thinks of a 14-year-old when in fact most of the teen pregnancies … occur in the 18, 19-year age bracket.''

Ricky Kelly's comment, May 15, 2012 3:11 AM
TEEN PREGNANCY & STIs - This article reports on the number of teens giving birth in Australia, and how it has unfortunately risen, especially in NSW. Articles like this can spark paranoia in the reader, and constant debate between political and other figures with authority. Our teenage fertility rate is compared to that of other countries, and although it is lower than some, it is higher than many. This also means a potential increase in Sexually Transmissible Infections and Diseases in the younger generations. This article presents a strong warning to the reader, and relates to our class topics of Teen Pregnancy and STIs.
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Call For Labels on Bottles to Warn of Alcohol's Danger to Foetuses

Call For Labels on Bottles to Warn of Alcohol's Danger to Foetuses | Staying In Control Yr 9 |

FOSTER parents and public health groups have urged federal politicians to  take urgent action to prevent more babies from suffering foetal alcohol spectrum  disorder.

A parliamentary inquiry has been told that warning labels about the dangers  of consuming alcohol during pregnancy should be mandatory on liquor bottles as  part of a strategy to prevent the disorder.

The disorder  refers to a variety of conditions that can affect the  development of individuals, mainly because of  damage in the developing central  nervous system.

The Women's Christian Temperance Union said in a submission to the inquiry  that education programs  should be made available in high schools and the  general community to warn women of the dangers of consuming alcohol when   pregnant or hoping to become pregnant.

''Education aids such as leaflets and dolls replicating the condition, are  very important and need to be readily available at low cost,'' it  said.

''But technology needs to be used to the full with TV advertisements (such as  used for road trauma), websites, Facebook, Twitter, etc, also apps for mobile  phones. Education needs to target male as well as female so that males are  supportive of their partners' choices.''

One foster mother, whose identity was kept confidential by the House of  Representatives standing committee on social policy and legal affairs, described  the condition as ''cruel, insidious and wholly preventable''.

''Without proper diagnosis, early intervention and recognition of the  problems as valid disabilities, the outlook for children like my foster son is  bleak,'' she said.

The woman said she and her husband had cared for the boy with FASD for eight  years, beginning when he was two.

''The child's behaviour and development were affected in every way: he has  major learning disabilities, poor impulse control, poor memory and  concentration, inability to understand or learn social mores and consequences,  no empathy, poor gross and fine motor skills, inability to grasp abstract  concepts such as numbers,'' she said.

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education said mandatory warning  labels for alcohol products sold in Australia should be introduced, including a  message about the risk of consuming alcohol while pregnant. It  also called for  a national standardised diagnostic tool for the disorder.

It is not known how many people in Australia have foetal alcohol  disorders.

National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines advise women that it  is safest to avoid consuming any alcohol while  pregnant.

But in a submission to the inquiry, the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of  Australia warned  against making ''alarmist statements''.

''Given the evidence against very low-level consumption is unclear, or  non-existent, public health campaigns should avoid alarmist statements about the  impact of low levels of alcohol on foetal development with the goal of scaring  women into abstinence,'' the submission said. ''Alarmist and simplistic  statements have real potential to cause great harm if they lead to unwarranted  anxiety, depression or terminations.''

Ricky Kelly's comment, May 4, 2012 6:01 AM
ALCOHOL USAGE, & PREGNANCY - This article gives a strong warning to women who drink during pregancy. It highlights the danger of alcohol consumption and hopes to create a higher sense of knowledge in the reader, and make women think extremely carefully before ever drinking while pregnant. In class we have discussed both Alcohol Usage and Pregnancy, and its effects on people's lives; this article relates to both subjects.
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Alcohol, big swell cited in man's death

Alcohol, big swell cited in man's death | Staying In Control Yr 9 |

ROUGH water conditions and alcohol are believed to have played roles in a boating incident on Sydney Harbour that claimed the life of a young man.

The 28-year-old Korean national suffered severe injuries to his legs and abdomen while swimming near the 15-metre boat at Athol Bay, near Mosman, on Monday afternoon.

The man, who had hired the cruiser with 14 friends, had jumped into the water to swim with two others when a large swell caused them to be separated from the boat.

After he struggled to swim back to the vessel it is believed he became trapped in the propeller and his friends on-board had to frantically try to keep his head above water.

Police said the group, all believed to be in their 20s, had been drinking and the master of the boat had since returned a positive breath test. No charges had been laid and investigations were continuing.

''We believe that alcohol may have been involved … at this stage investigators are trying to ascertain how that influenced the accident,'' Detective Superintendent Mark Hutchings said.

A police officer swam underneath the boat to free the man, who later died from his injuries at Royal North Shore Hospital.

Ricky Kelly's comment, March 9, 2012 4:08 AM
ALCOHOL USAGE - This article describes the consequences of alcohol usage and very poor decision making. It has a large frightening impact on the reader due to the man's death, possibly caused by a product commonly used for enjoyment; alcohol.