The green movement affects asthma medications, researchers are looking at how video games can improve people’s health and there are more reasons to disregard the half-measures in the fight against tobacco.

The Heath and Fitness Advice Ramble covers more topics in less space than any other health and fitness publication and with a better sense of humor to boot, so let’s get ready to Ramble.

Nobody has explained how these CFCs get into the ozone if asthmatics are inhaling them, but nobody should have to ask.  Right?  Not that it matters if anyone asks anyway, as these ozone-killing inhalers will be off the market very soon.  Isn’t it interesting how something so good for as asthmatic’s lungs can be so bad for the planet?  But I digress.  No doubt the new, more expensive inhalers will take a little getting used to, but it’s all for the best, right?

Video Games Might Be Good For You. Video games for good health, who wouldn’t get behind that concept?  I know I can.  Researchers at universities around the country are looking to the video game as a way to improve people’s quality of life.  At Cornell University researchers are going to study how a cell phone-based video game might help kids develop good eating and exercising habits.  This doesn’t sound like that great of an idea.

Meanwhile at the University of South Carolina, researchers will be looking at the Eye Toy and the Wii as ways to help stroke victims regain lost function.  The Eye Toy is a Sony Playstation camera gizmo that captures movement that is required to successfully complete video games.  In case you’ve been asleep in a cave or live in Iran, the Wii is Nintendo’s wildly successful new gaming console that incorporates actual body movement into just about every one of their video games.

Given the wide range of games that are already on the market, the Gamecocks are really onto something.  This sounds like a great idea. Up at Union College in upstate New York a study is being done to see how a bunch of 50-somethings who are part of a virtual bicycling team respond physically, and will track any positive health outcomes.  This sounds like a great idea, as well as being a stepping off point for a new video game.

I think a virtual Tour de France type of game is a great idea.  All you need is a gaming console, a stationary bike and a connection to the Internet to be part of the exercise equivalent of the game Rock Band.  People could compete on-line against other live people or against virtual opponents.  The possibilities are endless.

Anyway, this is great news as video games provide an opportunity for an almost unlimited amount of interactive environments, including exercise.  The challenge will be, especially when dealing with the younger audience, to create/find games that are sophisticated and engaging enough to interest and challenge the experienced gamer.

More Anti-Tobacco Stuff Part I.  The World Health Organization (WHO) is disappointed that the tobacco companies are advertising their products in a positive light and targeting young Asians, women in particular.  Note to the WHO, tobacco is a legal substance, at least as of now and tobacco companies have paid a lot of protection money to a lot of governments so that they can continue to advertise and sell cigarettes.

The WHO should smell the mentholated smoke and wake up.  The only way to protect young people – all people – from the evils of tobacco is to ban it outright.  To support any other anti-smoking measure, or any movement to somehow manage smoking, is to waste time.

More Anti-Smoking Stuff Part II.  In 1956 the British Government was given info that cigarette smoking could cause lung cancer, but poo-pooed the news.  Poo-pooed, I say.  The Brits didn’t believe in the science of the anti-smoking research, didn’t think there was enough research to issue any kind of public health warnings and – get this – didn’t want to risk reducing the tax income that tobacco products generated.

So 52 years ago politicians were already addicted to tobacco tax revenue and didn’t want to do anything to risk reducing the flow of these funds into the government’s coffers.  This is a habit that governments around the world are loath to kick.  This is why tobacco will never be outlawed, regardless of the health risks that it poses.

So the next time some public official or other well-intentioned public health do-gooder tries to tell you they care and they want to limit smoking, don’t bother listening.  These types don’t care about anyone’s health; they just care about the money.  Just like Jack Walsh in Midnight Run.


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