HEALTH

Study shows parents speak to teens about OTC abuse

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON A new Partnership/Metlife Parents Attitude Tracking Study indicates that 65% of parents are talking to their teens about the dangers of using over-the-counter cough and cold medicine to get high, up from 55% in 2007.

“We know that parents play a critical role in keeping their kids drug-free,” stated Linda Suydam, president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. “It is great news that more and more parents are exercising that power and talking to their kids about cough medicine abuse just as they would about any substance abuse behavior.”

Nationwide statistics from the National Institutes of Health’s Monitoring the Future study show a slight overall decline in teen cough medicine abuse. ”That is one of the reasons the Partnership is so committed to helping parents have these important conversations with their teens.”

“The data are encouraging, since we know that kids who learn a lot from their parents about the risks of drugs are up to 50% less likely to ever use  drugs,” stated Steve Pasierb, president of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

CHPA works with the Partnership and other interested organizations on a number of initiatives targeting teen cough medicine abuse. All of the association’s efforts can be found on http://www.StopMedicineAbuse.org.

“Our member companies are steadfast in their commitment to prevent teen cough medicine abuse,” Suydam stated. “But we know that our work is far from over. With the help of such partners as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, and D.A.R.E. America, we will continue our efforts to make sure all parents are aware of this substance abuse behavior and most importantly, talking with their children about it.”

The PATS-Parents 2008 is a nationally projectable survey of 1,004 parents of children in grades 4-12 and was conducted by the Partnership with major funding from MetLife Foundation.

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Swine flu case count climbs to 141 across 19 states

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA According to the figures released Friday morning by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of domestic swine flu cases now total 141 across 19 states, up from 109 cases across 11 states reported Thursday.

The state tally now includes Arizona (4), California (13), Colorado (2), Deleware (4), Illinois (3), Indiana (3), Kansas (2), Kentucky (1), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (2), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (5), New York (50), Ohio (1), South Carolina (16), Texas (28) and Virginia (2). The only death reported so far has come out of Texas.

As of early this morning, the World Health Organization reported 331 confirmed swine flu cases internationally, though those numbers do not yet reflect CDC’s latest update. Mexico has reported 156 confirmed human cases of infection, including nine deaths.

The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths — Austria (1), Canada (34), Germany (3), Israel (2), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (3), Spain (13), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (8).

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Sabre: Travelers may not be alarmed by swine flu outbreak

BY Michael Johnsen

SOUTHLAKE, Texas Business and leisure travelers are continuing to travel despite growing attention surrounding the H1N1 virus (swine flu), indicating that travelers are not reacting with as much alarm as media reports may indicate, Sabre Holdings stated Friday.

Travel volumes recorded at Sabre Holdings show that aside from the decline in travel to Mexico, business and leisure travel within the United States and to other parts of the world is currently holding steady, reflecting the same pragmatic perspective among travelers that President Barack Obama offered in his news conference on Wednesday.

Travel agencies show similar findings with their clients.

“The vast majority of our clients remain on the road,” stated Jane Batio, president of CorpTrav, a Chicago-based travel management company with more than $180 million in annual air bookings. “We’ve only cancelled six trips across our entire client base in the past week, and future bookings remain in sync with rebounding trends we’ve seen across the past two months.”

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