Technology 

San Francisco moves to ban e-cigarettes until health effects known

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Anti-vaping activists say young people are deliberately targeted with flavoured products Officials in San Francisco have proposed a new law to ban e-cigarette sales until their health effects are evaluated by the US government. The law appears to be the first of its kind in the US and seeks to curb a rising usage by young people. Critics, however, say it will make it harder for people to kick addiction. A second city law would bar making, selling or distributing tobacco on city property…

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Technology 

Health apps pose ‘unprecedented’ privacy risks

Image copyright Thinkstock Image caption DeepMind will gather data from pathology tests to see who is at risk Using popular health apps could mean private information about medical conditions is not kept confidential, researchers warn. Of 24 health apps in the BMJ study, 19 shared user data with companies, including Facebook, Google and Amazon. It warns this could then be passed on to other organisations such as credit agencies or used to target advertising. And data was shared despite developers often claiming they did not collect personally identifiable information. Media…

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Technology 

Tracking tools found on EU government and health websites

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Almost all EU government websites have trackers Online tools which track user behaviour for advertisers have been found on a swathe of EU public health websites, including NHS and Gov.uk pages. These trackers could compromise sensitive data about people, according to researchers at data protection compliance service Cookiebot. The researchers also discovered trackers on 89% of EU government websites. Most of the trackers were developed by Google. They were designed to “associate web activity with the identities of real people” Cookiebot said. Of all…

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Science 

Schools should have ‘no idling zones’, Public Health England chief says

Image copyright Getty Images Public health chiefs have proposed a ban on cars idling outside school gates in a bid to cut air pollution. The measure is among a series of UK-wide recommendations put forward by Public Health England. PHE medical director Paul Cosford told the BBC: “We should stop idling outside schools and we should make sure that children can walk or cycle to school.” PHE said 28,000 to 36,000 deaths a year in the UK could be attributed to long-term exposure to air pollution. Wood burners under fire…

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Top stories 

How to take the perfect nap (and improve your health)

Image copyright Getty Images Taking a nap might do more than just improve your mood – a new study has shown it may help you live longer. Research has shown that a regular nap of 20 minutes can cut your chance of having a heart attack in later life. Getting your head down lowers blood pressure, according to the study from Asklepieion General Hospital in Voula, Greece. The research focused on older people, but we could all benefit from a bit of shut-eye during the day. “Napping can be easily…

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The carnival parade shining a light on mental health

During the famous Rio Carnival, street parades or so-called blocos are in full swing all over the city. For the 18th year in a row, patients and employees of the Nise da Silveira Institute have joined in the celebrations to highlight mental illness. The institute is named after a Brazilian psychiatrist who was a pioneer in using art to help treat mental illnesses in the 1950’s. Produced by Julia Carneiro and Caren Moy. Source link

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Public health ‘improving under councils despite cuts’

Image copyright Getty Images Councils in England say there has been a marked improvement in public health since they took over responsibility for delivering services nearly six years ago, despite budget cuts. The Local Government Association points to a fall in the number of smokers, fewer teenage pregnancies and a decrease in the suicide rate. But it warns progress could stop if there are further funding cuts. The government has said councils will get £1.3bn extra next financial year. Council spending cuts, in seven charts Reality Check: What do councils…

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Adolescent health: Teens ‘more depressed and sleeping less’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Anti-social behaviour was down in 14-year-old boys and girls between 2005 and 2015 Adolescents are more likely to feel depressed and self-harm, and are less likely to get a full night’s sleep, than 10 years ago, a study suggests. Yet smoking, alcohol and anti-social behaviour – often linked to mental health problems – were less common for 14-year-olds in 2015 than in 2005. Factors behind mental health problems may be changing, the University College London researchers said. The rise in depressive symptoms was “deeply…

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Sex education: Menstrual health to be taught in school by 2020

Image copyright Getty Images It will be compulsory to teach about periods at schools in England by 2020, which endometriosis sufferer Alice Smith calls “massive”. The 23-year-old was diagnosed with the chronic condition at 14 and has been campaigning for menstrual health to be on the school curriculum. Alice says the new guidelines mean girls will know “from a much younger age what is normal” and what isn’t when it comes to their periods. Consent is also to be taught at school. And children will learn about domestic violence, relationships…

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Armed forces with mental health problems ‘failed by system’

Image copyright PA Image caption Soldiers – including those who see active combat – often report symptoms of mental illness including PTSD UK military personnel, veterans and their families are being “completely failed” when they need mental health care, a committee of MPs has said. In a report, they said it was a “scandal” that a “shamefully small” part of the UK’s health budget was spent on support for veterans. The NHS and Ministry of Defence should create a specialist mental health centre those in need, the report said. The…

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