Year after year, the suicide rate is at its lowest in the United States during the holiday season, but nearly three-quarters of U.S. newspaper stories linking suicide and the holidays during the 2013-2014 season incorrectly said the opposite, according to a new analysis. In the 2013 holiday season, most newspaper stories mentioning suicide and the holidays perpetuated the myth that the holiday season has an increase in suicides, the analysis by the Annenberg Public Policy Center found.
A pair of studies involving more than 450 parents in Philadelphia that examined the effects of household smoking bans found that homes that imposed smoking bans were effective at reducing the number of cigarettes smoked at home. One study, in the American Journal of Public Health, found that smoking levels in a home did not determine whether a home imposed a ban; the other, in Preventive Medicine, profiled smoking policies in homes with children under the age of 13.
In January, the Annenberg Public Policy Center brought together scholars in the fields of communication and debate and speech at a conference in Honolulu to review and make recommendations on current projects at the policy center, ranging from FlackCheck.org’s Patterns of Deception videos to Tobacco Watch to an examination of presidential debates.
A national study of teenagers suggests that school drug testing did not deter them from starting to smoke tobacco or marijuana or drink alcohol. But in high schools that had a “positive school climate,” teens were less likely to start smoke cigarettes or marijuana, according to the study, in the January issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. The study compared the effectiveness over one year of school policies of student drug testing with a positive school climate.
A study in Addiction Biology of smokers’ brain activity has found that graphic anti-smoking warning labels that produce a strong emotional response are effective at deterring the urge to smoke, according to researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.