Are cell phones, grid the next cigarettes? — sfgate

Cell phones have become ubiquitous in society, especially in California, where 30 percent of the population relies exclusively on cell phones for communication, double the national average. California teenagers are notoriously hooked on them, using them to talk, type, take photos, record videos and listen to music. Like cigarettes, unfortunately, there may be a dark side to cell phones.

As many as 9 million people in the United States 3 percent of the population may have severe reactions to electromagnetic fields (EMF), an invisible force that some scientists claim will greatly shorten life spans. Consider these startling recent findings Young people who start using cell phones before they turn 20 years of age could have a fivefold increase in brain cancer risk and could exhibit symptoms usually associated with aging dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by the age of 30, according to Canadian researcher Magda Havas.

As much as a third of the total population 100 million people may suffer from «electrical hypersensitivity,» enduring moderate to severe health consequences from EMF exposures. And just like second hand smoke, you or your kids may be at risk, even if you don’t rely on wireless devices.

With the Obama administration sinking billions into «smart grids,» the EMF levels will only increase due to its reliance on the same kinds of wireless signals and systems that enable cell phone technology. Smart grids which will make our power supply interactive like the Internet may help boost reliability and reduce pollution, but they could increase cancer rates if precautions are not taken.

Before the wireless revolution is programmed into all of our lives with phones and power systems for decades to come, a sustained independent research program, overseen by an independent expert advisory panel, should be established by the Obama administration. Lawmakers in the United Kingdom, France, Israel, India, Russia, Finland, Sweden and Thailand are already seeking to limit use of cell phones by children and teens until all of the science is sorted out.

The good news is that much can be done to reduce a person’s exposure if they are aware of what is generating EMF frequencies. This is where public education is critical to ensure public health. A major public health education program on safer cell phone practices and how to detect and avoid EMF hazards in general should be initiated by our public health agencies.

The challenge associated with the smart grid is more complex. Still, Europe isn’t doing its smart grid upgrades on the cheap, like the United States, but is instead deploying filters that minimize the amount of EMF emanating from inverters and other components necessary for solar and wind power conversions into electricity. Yet most European nations have also yet to adopt lower exposure EMF standards as Switzerland, Italy, Russia, Belgium and Liechtenstein have all done. The sooner we get a better handle on the risks of EMF exposure, the better.

Prescription-only cigarettes ‘not the way’ — national news

  • Prescription only cigarettes ‘not the way’ (1 44)
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  • A proposal to make tobacco a prescription only drug is causing fierce debate.

    Its backer, Auckland councillor Arthur Anae, says the idea can work, given the Government’s goal to make New Zealand smokefree by 2025.

    Anae, also chair of Counties Manukau DHB’s Pacific Advisory Committee, says New Zealand needs to start thinking outside the box.

    «We have to come up with ideas to try to reach that target,» he said. «The only way is if we are serious and if we want to stop it, make smokers get a prescription, as they do for a drug.»

    The former National MP said with a prescription, tobacco becomes needs based and the doctor has the ultimate say on whether the patient really needs it or not.

    But the Council for GPs and anti smoking campaigners say shifting responsibility from the Government to the medical profession is not the way to make New Zealand smokefree.

    «Asking doctors to make that decision to give them something that they know is likely to kill the patient I think is a very tough thing to ask them to do,» said Ben Youden from Ash.

    He said the health service would «grind to a very rapid halt» from having such a responsibility.

    Smokers ONE News spoke to also said the idea is a step too far.

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    «I don’t think it’s anyone’s right to do anything except for the smoker themselves,» said Sinclair Allan.

    Trade will ‘go underground’

    Auckland smoker Malcolm Berry said it will force the tobacco trade to go underground.

    «You can grow it for your own personal use, it’s going to make them go into the same situation as the drug growers,» he said.

    Anae admits that is a possibility.

    «We know when you do this type of thing you create a black market, so that’s the downside, but at least it’s thinking outside the square,» he said.

    But Anae said his idea would directly impact those trying to take up the habit, by restricting their access to tobacco.

    «What we’ll do in this plan is eliminate those beginning those who want to start smoking, because they can’t get access to it.

    «They will have to go to the doctors and the doctor will tell them they have no reason to have the prescription,» he said.

    The Pharmacy Guild said the idea should be looked at.

    «Once you get to the point where there’s a small part of population that are addicts, then the question becomes how to manage those addictions in the community,» chief executive of the Pharmacy Guild Annabel Young said.

    Anae believes his plan may just «nip it out all together».

    What do you think of the idea? Have your say on the messageboard below.

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    • kelvynstevens said on 2011 08 02 10 51 NZDT Report abusive post

      Isn’t the tourist industry going to take a massive hit if NZ were to go smokefree. Many visitors will be smokers, especially those from Asia. Wouldn’t they decide to take their business or holidays elsewhere if they could not smoke during a visit. Smoking is an addiction you know, not an option for smokers. You don’t just turn it off for a couple of weeks.

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    • Lyn A said on 2011 08 02 01 47 NZDT Report abusive post

      Good grief! It takes 2 weeks to get an appointment with my Doctor…I can’t imagine how long it would take if all the smokers had to get prescriptions all the time. Crazy!

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    • nigeltech said on 2011 08 01 22 55 NZDT Report abusive post

      Excellent scheme. Dedicated smokers can carry on smoking, no problems, just a minor inconvenience re supply. Imagine if you had to pick up 3 months worth at a time, what would that come to $1400, what a hoot. How many folks are going to hand over ciggys to their kids when they have to trot up to the doc to replace them? I don’t see the baccy companies rolling over for this though, it’ll get dirty.

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    • roseyizzy said on 2011 08 01 21 00 NZDT Report abusive post

      Im not a smoker myself.. But shouldnt it be upto smokers if they want to continue smoking? They are adults, they can make their own choices. In saying this.. there should be a law set in place about smoking on the street for everybody else to be affected by it. I hate walking through a whole lot of smoke with my 4 year old daughter because they wont take their dirty habit elsewhere.

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    • phish said on 2011 08 01 19 27 NZDT Report abusive post

      Are you all sheep? this is ridiculous, you all need to stop being selfish and respect other peoples decisions, we should be able to make our OWN decisions without being told what we can, and what we can not do, no drug prohibition works AT ALL, THINK FOR YOURSELVES!

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