Almanac

Viewpoint - February 19, 2014

Letter: Hazards of cigarettes, meat are similar

A few weeks ago, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Surgeon General's first report on the health hazards of cigarette smoking, the 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 the Surgeon General and in 1977 by the Senate Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs.

• 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 General's report on the hazards of meat consumption is most unlikely. Our health remains our personal responsibility.

Miles Barney, Sharon Park Drive, Menlo Park

Comments

Posted by Peter Lenhardt, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 14, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Peter Lenhardt is a registered user.

Thank you to the Town of Portola Valley!

I'd just like to express my thanks to the Town government and residents for some efforts made on behalf of cyclists and pedestrians during the past year.

Specifically, additional parking enforcement and signage along Portola Road near the Windy Hill parking area has resulted in increased protection for cyclists (and the occasional pedestrian) and prevents us from being forced into traffic lanes by a line of illegally/poorly parked cars.

I've biked in this area for 12 years now, and it is my sense that respect for others and adherence to the law is increasing generally. Efforts by cities and towns in this area are an extremely valuable part of that increasing respect and compliance.

I'll keep doing my part by stopping at signs, yielding to pedestrians, and keeping my lights flashing, but I wanted to share my gratitude and the extra measure of joy I feel when biking through Portola Valley. Your efforts are noted and greatly appreciated.

Kudos!

Sincerely,

Peter Lenhardt


Posted by Peter Lenhardt, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Mar 14, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Peter Lenhardt is a registered user.

Hmmm, maybe I need to explore this interface a bit further....


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