Posted by Dale Buss on November 19, 2013 07:09 PM
It's World Toilet Day again, but this is no occasion for bathroom humor. Lack of sanitation is one of the biggest scourges in the aftermath of the typhoon in the Philippines, and it's a broad global problem every day as well. Celebrities ranging from Bill Gates to Matt Damon are tweeting today just to let us know how seriously they take the observance.
The fact is that an estimated 2.5 billion people, or about one in three global denizens, doesn't have access to a toilet or to sustainable sanitation. That means, according to one measure, more people have cell phones than have an adequate toilet. In India, the United Nations said, about 1.1 billion people—about half the population—defecate in the open.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 8, 2013 12:42 PM
About a century go, Henry Ford launched a major effort to patronize the young company's workers and help them lead better lives which, in turn, would make them better workers for the fledgling Ford Motor Co. This week, the company he founded announced a modern initiative to do something similar.
Ford detailed a plan to make workers healthier and safer using components such as advanced training and protection to achieve the goal, according to Automotive News. It was announced at the ongoing industry conference in Traverse City, Mich.
"Our employees are unhealthier than the average person," James Tetreault, Ford's vice president for North American manufacturing, told the conference, according to the magazine. "We want to help them have longer and more productive lives." He admitted that the effort wasn't entirely altruistic, adding, "We spend a lot of money on our people. That's a cost we don't want to recur."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 3, 2013 05:38 PM
For generations, millions have enjoyed the unique pairing of coffee and cigarettes. Of course, in the past few decades, the health risks of smoking and being exposed to cigarette smoke have become more evident and many local governments and establishments have taken action to ban smoking from public and private areas. Now, one of the globe's most influential retailers is taking a strong stance against tobacco.
As of June 1, cigarette smoking was not only banned inside any Starbucks, which has been true for some time, but it is also banned in the outdoor seating areas as well as within 25 feet of more than 7,000 of its US and Canadian locations, the Los Angeles Times reports. Around 4,000 other Starbucks, some of which are located in Targets and Barnes & Nobles, are not effected by the new mandate.
“We’re pretty optimistic that people will be supportive and at the very least cooperative,” Starbucks spokeswoman Jaime Riley said, the Times reports.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 1, 2013 12:28 PM
Condoms already come in plenty of forms. You’ve got your ribbed, you glow-in-the-dark, your cola-flavored, your French ticklers and your textured and studded ones. But Bill and Melinda Gates would like to see one that hasn’t been invented yet—and they are willing to fork over more than $1 million for it.
That's why the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is offering up the cash to anyone who can design such a thing in the hopes of stopping the spread of HIV and AIDS, CNN reports.
The contraceptive they’d like to see is a "next generation condom that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure" and promotes "regular use" as part of the foundation's commitment to addressing the global HIV and AIDS crisis.
"Male condoms are cheap, easy to manufacture, easy to distribute, and available globally, including in resource-poor settings, through numerous well-developed distribution channels," the Foundation says, according to CNN. So what’s the problem? Well, people complain that condoms get in the way of intimacy and pleasure, which are generally the goal of most people having intercourse.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 28, 2013 04:37 PM
Some countries have hidden cigarette brand names from consumers with plain packaging. Some countries demand retailers hide the cigarettes away. Some countries have put nasty images on the packaging so consumers can see what could happen to them someday if they continue to smoke, and some are just starting over. But one country is just planning to get rid of the darn things altogether.
It’ll take a few years, of course, for Scotland to get all tobacco products out of its country, but the plan is to have them gone by 2034, according to the UK's thecourier.co, so smokers might want to get their trips to Scotland over with sooner rather than later. The country has already banned smoking from public places and raised the age of purchase from 16 to 18; it now plans to ban smoking from the grounds of all hospitals and force retailers to sell smokes in plain packaging.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 13, 2013 05:16 PM
The U.S. government has been in a long-running battle with Big Tobacco to try and get nasty images placed onto cigarette packaging, a fight that seems destined to end up in the Supreme Court someday.
Singapore is the latest country that appears ready to step into that same boxing ring. With 5.3 million people, Singapore may not be the largest country in the world, but it has the world’s fourth-leading financial center and one of the top five busiest ports in the world, and soon, it may be difficult to see any packs of cigarettes. The Wall Street Journal reports that "the Singapore government is proposing to ban shops from displaying tobacco-related products."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2013 04:13 PM
With retailers on all sides of the aisle attempting to become one-stop-shopping and lifestyle platforms, traditional supermarket retailers are moving in that direction as well. Safeway—the megachain with a footprint stretching across much of the United States—has just offered a glimpse at its own attempt to become more things to more people, providing a peek at its new wellness platform slated to launch in the second quarter.
"Today, we're a supermarket company ... selling wellness services and wellness products," CEO Steve Burd told analysts, according to Drug Store News. But within 10 years, he said, Safeway would become a wellness company that happens to sell food.
The impulse for supermarket chains to expand the meaning and capabilities of their brands is understandable, in an environment where mass merchandisers such as Walmart and Target have impinged greatly on their CPG business, and even drug-store chains and dollar stores are selling more groceries. Now Walmart, for example, also is expanding its purview in healthcare and "wellness" as well, beyond the traditional in-store pharmacies long offered by mass discounters and supermarkets alike.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 14, 2013 06:07 PM
Makers of energy drinks may face mounting scrutiny after federal data revealed more American youths are landing in the emergency room due to complications doctors tie to overuse of the beverages.
From 2007 to 2011, the number of emergency hospital visits involving the highly caffeinated energy drinks doubled — from 10,068 to 20,783, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Marketers have succeeded wildly in recent years at selling the drinks to teenagers as physical and mental boosters. Red Bull claims to "give you wings," while Monster Energy boasts of a "killer energy brew." All told, the drinks — which comprise the fastest-growing sector in the beverage industry — brought $10 billion in sales in 2012.
While the number of young patients increased the most, the highest percentage of increase in emergency room visits attributed to the beverages was found in patients age 40 and over. The older patients went from 1,382 related visits in 2007 to 5,233 visits in 2011 — a 279 percent increase, the study said.Continue reading...