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PR and Med Ed news in brief

Our weekly round up of PR and medical education stories.

Smokers want to quit

Four out of ten smokers want to quit in the new year according to a new survey, but just under a third of the 700 smokers polled have already tried to give up at least six times before. Nicorette, who commissioned the poll, estimates the average smoker would have saved £35,000 if they had not started. Half of those polled would go on holiday using the money they could save by quitting, while spending the cash on DIY and clothes were also popular. Despite the financial cost of smoking, a desire to be healthier remains the most popular motivation for quitting.

Vitamin fat warning

Health experts are warning of a 'killer fat' in vitamin supplements, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Hydrogenated vegetable oils, found in health products from multi-vitamins to ginseng, contain trans-fatty acids, which clog up the arteries. The oils are used to bind ingredients together but Britain's Food Standards Agency states: 'Trans-fats found in food containing hydrogenated vegetable oil are harmful and have no known nutritional benefits. 'They raise the type of cholesterol in the blood that increases the risk of coronary heart disease.' Researchers at Harvard University say there is no safe level of consumption.

Top tips for good health

The chief medical officer has launched ten top tips to achieve better health in the new year. Sir Liam Donaldson's tips include being physically active for at least 30 minutes a day, maintaining a healthy weight, eating at least five portions of fruit and veg daily and not smoking or avoiding other people's smoke. He also suggests drinking only the recommended alcoholic units and covering up in the sun. In addition, he advises safer sex by using a condom, going for regular cancer screenings, and managing stress levels through relaxation techniques.

24-hour drink plans under threat

The Royal College of Physicians has warned that plans to allow 24-hour drinking will only increase the annual £1.7bn alcohol-fuelled costs on the NHS. The medical group said there was already an ìepidemicî of binge drinking and the plan ìflies in the face of common senseî. But licensing Minister Richard Caborn said the government was tackling the causes and the symptoms of the problem. It is hoped permitting pubs and clubs to stay open all day will stagger closing times and avoid drinkers spilling onto the streets at the same time.

2nd September 2008

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