If we want more evidence-based practice, we need more practice-based evidence.*

 

Chapter 1 - Archives of Headlines
Through the Centuries

Dorothy Nyswander, Professor Emerita, one of the generation of health educators credited with establishing the profession on firm behavioral and social science footing in schools of public health, died in December 1998 at the age of 104 in Berkeley, California where she had lived since retiring from UC, Berkeley in the 1950s. Hundreds of public health educators consider her their mentor or academic grandmother. She helped create the Society for Public Health Education in 1958, and authored the famous Astoria report on school health.

 

Has America learned the energy lesson of 1973? LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Giant chrome and steel cars, polished high to glint proudly in the sun, once glided along America's superhighways, guzzling gasoline as if there was no tomorrow, ferrying Americans to and from their over-heated, over-air-conditioned homes. They were built without regard for the environment or economic efficiency, and their era came to a crashing halt when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to use oil as a weapon after the start of the 1973 Arab-Israeli Yom Kippur war. The Arab oil embargo of 1973 - actually a cut in supplies - plunged a nation where the car was king into despair and self-doubt. Americans found they could no longer afford to consume cheap gasoline with carefree abandon and gobble up finite natural resources.

Chronology of 1973 Arab oil embargo. LONDON (Reuters, Oct. 14, 1998) - Following is a chronology of the events surrounding the Arab oil embargo that began on Oct. 17, 1973.

Sept. 15-16 - The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) designates six Persian Gulf countries to negotiate collectively with Western oil companies over prices.

Oct. 6 - Egypt and Syria attack Israel on Yom Kippur, starting the fourth Arab-Israeli war. 

Oct. 8-10 - OPEC negotiations with oil  companies to revise the 1971 Tehran price agreement fail.

Oct. 16 - Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar unilaterally raise posted prices  by 17 percent to $3.65 a barrel and announce production cuts.

Oct. 17 - OPEC oil ministers agree to use oil as a weapon to punish the West for its support of  Israel in the Arab-Israeli war. They recommend an embargo against unfriendly states and mandate a cut in exports. 

Oct. 19-20 - Saudi Arabia, Libya and other Arab states proclaim an embargo on oil exports to the United States.

Oct. 23-28 - The Arab oil embargo is extended to the Netherlands. Nov. 5 - Arab producers announce a 25 percent output cut. A further five percent cut is threatened.

Nov. 23 - The Arab embargo is extended to Portugal, Rhodesia and South Africa.

Nov. 27 - U.S. President Richard Nixon signs the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act authorizing price, production, allocation and marketing controls.

Dec. 9 - Arab oil ministers agree a further five percent cut for non-friendly countries for January 1974.

Dec. 22-24 - The OPEC Gulf six raise posted prices from $5.12 a barrel to $11.65. Prices have quadrupled from $2.90 in September.

Dec. 25 - Arab oil ministers cancel the five percent output cut for January. The Saudi oil minister promises a 10 percent OPEC production rise.

Jan. 7-9, 1974 - OPEC decides to freeze prices until April 1.

Feb. 11 - U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger unveils the Project Independence plan to make U.S. energy independent.

Feb. 12-14 - Progress in Arab-Israeli disengagement brings discussion of oil strategy among the heads of state of Algeria, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia.

Mar. 17 - Arab oil ministers, with the exception of Libya, announce the end of the embargo against the United States.

June 13 - The International Monetary Fund establishes its oil facility -- a special fund for loans to nations whose balance of payments is hit by rising oil prices.

Nov. 15 - The International Energy Agency is formed in Paris within the framework of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

April 9, 1975 - The OECD's 24 members establish a $25billion lending facility to provide assistance to industrial nations hurt by high oil prices.

Scientists hold memorial before 1918 flu exhumation. August 19, 1998. Scientists held a memorial service in an Arctic cemetery Wednesday before starting work to exhume six frozen corpses in the hope of tracing a deadly 1918 flu virus that swept the world like a mediaeval plague. "We wanted to remember and honor these young men who died so tragically," said Kirsty Duncan, leading a team of Canadian, American, British and Norwegian scientists on Spitzbergen, a Norwegian island 800 miles from the North Pole. The scientists, who will wear space suits to protect against what they say is a minimal chance of reviving the virus, hope to start digging on Friday to find the corpses of the Norwegian coal miners. The 1918 virus, called ``Spanish flu'' even though it probably originated in the United States, killed between 20 and 40 million people -- more than all the battles of World War I. Samples from the lungs of the corpses will yield frozen fragments of the viruses which will be sent to laboratories in Canada, the U.S., Britain and Norway to explore the possibility of developing vaccines against future viruses of such a virulent strain.


SUMMER 98 ANTI-SMOKING BILL

The historic and comprehensive 1998 anti-smoking bill was blocked in the U.S. Congress by a minority of Senators in June via procedural maneuvers. Some analysts say, however, that the tobacco industry faces increasing public opposition that will help fuel more litigation and regulation, including by state officials.

The legislation, which would have cost tobacco an estimated $561 billion in payments but would have provided partial protection against future lawsuits, resulted from a historic settlement between tobacco companies and states suing to recover medical costs of treating smokers. However, amendments added in Congress led
the tobacco industry to oppose the bill with a multi-million-dollar ad campaign and intensive lobbying.

Associated Press reports that industry financial analysts as well as tobacco critical say that cigarette-makers continue to face an increasingly hostile legal and regulatory environment despite the defeat of the legislation.

Tobacco spokespeople have indicated what conditions they would seek in order to return to negotiations with the states that have sued the industry. The Congressional bill was required as part of the settlement previously reached.

More details are available on the World Wide Web at:
http://www.onlineathens.com/1998/051998/0519.a3tobacco.html

Now some Republicans are moving to replace the bill (which was itself sponsored by a Republican) with a weaker alternative. Over the June 19-21 weekend, President Clinton called the new proposal a "charade" intended to provide Republicans with political cover, and smoking-cessation advocates said the new bill would have no significant impact on smoking (unlike the previous bill, which was estimated by financial analysts to cut cigarette sales by as much as half, primarily by raising the price of the product).

On June 19, the President said the vote to kill the tobacco bill was "a vote against our children and for the tobacco lobby." The Reuters News Service noted, "Although a majority of the Senate backed the bill sponsored by Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, a minority was able to kill it Wednesday on technicalities." Of the new proposal now being floated, the President remarked, "I am not going to participate in a charade which provides people with some cover to pretend that they did something they didn't. That would be wrong. ...I'm against anything that provides no life-saving to kids and is designed to save the political life of the people who vote for it."

However, some political analysts say the President would be forced by public opinion to sign even a watered-down bill passed by Congress. House Speaker Newt Gingrich [R-GA] criticized the White House for refusing to support the Republican leadership's new proposal, which provides minor funding for tobacco and drug education but may not raise the cost of cigarettes. The new proposal also will not contain any protections from future lawsuits for makers of tobacco products.

Speaker Gingrich has yet to offer details on the new legislative would take, such as whether it would raise the price of cigarettes to discourage smoking. Nor has he said how the bill would raise money for an advertising campaign he said would be included. 


Other reports on the Web:

http://www.th-record.com/1998/06/18/apsmokeb.htm

U.S. FEDERAL GUIDELINES ISSUED ON CLINICAL OBESITY

On June 17, the U. S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), in cooperation with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), released the first federal guidelines on identification, evaluation, and treatment of overweight and obesity in adults. This results in a major shift from Metropolitan Life Tables that have informed Americans for decades whether they should consider themselves overweight. The new guidelines lower the threshold levels between what is considered appropriate weight and what should be considered weights at increased risk of cardiovascular and other chronic conditions, and of
premature death.

The new guidelines assess overweight and obesity using three variables: 1- body mass index (BMI); 2- waist circumference; and 3- patient's risk factors for diseases and conditions associated with obesity. Overweight was identified as a BMI of 25 to 29.9 and obesity as a BMI of 30 and above.

In addition to the clinical practice guidelines, recommendations are presented in areas such as physical activity, nutrition, and weight reduction and maintenance time lines.

Among the main players working to educate Congress were Alliance members (alphabetically)
American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org,
American Psychological Society http://www.psychologicalscience.org/,
Society for Public Health Education http://www.sophe.org,
Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco http://www.ahsc.arizona.edu.
Also, the ENACT coalition of 50 leading public health organizations
http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/html/enact.html; its convenor, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids http://www.tobaccofreekids.org;
and numerous other organizations worked to support the McCain bill and its provisions for protection of children and youth.


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