• If crunches are your go-to ab move, you’re going to want to rethink your workout routine. Here, trainers dish on why crunches, lat pulls and more aren’t worth your time — or worse, are dangerous — and what you should swap ’em out for. [Well + Good]
I used to smoke up until my mid-20s. And then I stopped. Partly because I married a nonsmoker, but also because I started seeing this image of the smoke I inhaled filling up my lungs and infecting my body. That image gave me pause. Would I want my kids one day to be smokers? Of course not. We all know how bad it is. So why kind of example would I be setting if I smoked?
Yet still, lots and lots of people still do it. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 15 out of every 100 adults in the U.S. are smokers – that’s about 36.5 million adults. Many of these smokers are intelligent, hard-working people who have access to the Internet, are aware of the health risks, read the dire warnings on their cigarette packages, and likely know a relative or friend who has died from something related to the habit. And yet they still spend anywhere from $5 to $13 for a back of Marlboro Reds, depending on where they live. This is not good judgment – and unfortunately it affects me. Read more »
Only 25.5 percent of the LGBT characters portrayed in films from seven major studios this year are of color.
While Hollywood’s racial diversity issues have become a major topic of discussion, the problems appear to be even deeper when it comes to LGBTQ diversity. According to a new report released on Monday by GLADD, the racial diversity of LGBT characters has fallen noticeably. Overall, 17.5 percent of last year’s films from the seven major Hollywood studios contained characters who were lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. However, only 25.5 percent of those characters were of color; the previous year’s percentage was 32.1 percent. “Hollywood’s films lag far behind any other form of media when it comes to portrayals of LGBT characters,” GLADD president and CEO Sarah Ellis said in the report. “The film industry must embrace new and inclusive stories if it wants to remain competitive and relevant.” The organization says the industry “must do better to include LGBT characters in roles directly tied to plot and which reflect the wide diversity of our community, including people of color, those living with disabilities, and a variety of geographical and ideological backgrounds.” Read more »
If you’re a tobacco user in Pennsylvania between the ages of 18 to 20, here’s some advice: Smoke ’em while you got ’em.
State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown yesterday introduced House Bill 1628, which would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21. Currently, the age is 18.
“Studies show that the vast majority of those who smoke daily began before the age of 19,” Brown said in a statement. “Restricting access to tobacco products until age 21 should lower the smoking rate in the commonwealth.” Brown represents the 190th legislative district in Pennsylvania, which includes sections of Powelton, Mantua, Parkside, Mill Creek, Fairmount Park and other parts of West Philadelphia.
Earlier this year, Hawaii became the first state to raise the minimum age for tobacco purchases to 21. When Hawaii’s law goes into effect on January 1st, stores in Hawaii selling tobacco to people 20 or younger will be subject to a $500 fine for a first offense. Penalties rise for subsequent violations. Those under 21 caught with tobacco products will be subject to a $10 fine for a first offense, and a $50 fine for subsequent offenses. Electronic cigarettes and vape pens were included in Hawaii’s law. Read more »
1. Organizers say they are carefully considering the needs of homeless people as they make preparations for the Pope’s visit.
The gist: On Monday, Mayor Michael Nutter got in a physical confrontation with a homeless man who said that he was worried about the city’s plans to sweep the Benjamin Franklin Parkway of the homeless during Pope Francis’ visit in September. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that organizers say that is not quite what will happen: Instead, everyone — including the homeless — will be required to leave the Parkway before the Pope arrives for security reasons, but then will be allowed back inside through gates. The World Meeting of Families has also formed a committee whose aim is “to protect the dignity and rights of people who are homeless, to make sure there is no detrimental treatment,” Project HOME’s Will O’Brien told the Inquirer.
An academic study found that waiting for the bus is so awful that it can actually compel your mind to lie to you. Every minute that you wait for the bus feels the same as 4.4 minutes actually riding the bus.
That got us thinking: Should Philadelphia ban smoking at bus shelters? After all, being hot-boxed by cigarette fumes must make the wait feel even longer (unless you’re the person lighting up), right? If Philadelphia can make the wait more pleasant by banning smoking at bus shelters, maybe SEPTA will attract more riders.
The bigger potential benefit, of course, is that the measure could discourage smoking just a little bit more. Philadelphia’s smoking rate fell to an all-time low in 2014-15, in part, health officials believe, because of the city’s ban on smoking in bars, restaurants, workplaces, parks and several other locations.
“Looking at the robust literature on the issue, smoking bans not only protect people from secondhand smoke, but also give smokers an additional reason to quit,” said Giridhar Mallya, director of policy and planning for Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health. Read more »
1. Philly’s smoking rate has fallen to a record low.
The gist: CBS3 reports that “the percentage of adult Philadelphians who smoke has dropped from 27.3 percent in 2008 to 22.4 percent in 2014-15, according to data from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey.” Even more impressive: A drop took place among all ethnicities and socioeconomic groups in the city, and it happened after smoking rates went up in 2000 and 2008. Also, the recent smoking rate doesn’t factor in the full impact of Philly’s new cigarette tax, which has likely caused smoking to become even less common. Read more »
GlaxoSmithKline has postponed an event where it would erect a 20-foot tall cigarette in Dilworth Park.
An email from a PR representative from the drugmaker today says the event — meant to help Philadelphians quit smoking with the help of two of GSK’s smoking cessation drugs — will be held sometime in 2015.
Every Philadelphian who has passed through the new Dilworth Park since its opening has come away with the same thought: This place could really use a 20-foot-tall cigarette butt.
Stop holding your breath and let out that last drag, Philadelphians: On Friday, GlaxoSmithKline will erect a 20-foot-tall cigarette butt in order to promote their Nicorette and NicoDerm CQ smoking cessation drugs. Hey, Dilworth Park wasn’t cheap.
The event will take place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. And, to make this mashup of a drug company and a public park even better, Dancing with the Stars’ Mark Ballas — a paid GSK spokesman — will make an appearance to encourage people to quit smoking. Sure, why not? He quit smoking a year ago.