Fight COVID-19 Deaths With Some Personal Responsibility
Mortality Could Be Slashed If People Took Simple Healthful Steps - Expert
Since studies show that losing weight and stopping smoking can substantially reduce the death rate from COVID-19, perhaps we should expend at least as much time and effort now spent on persuading people to wash their hands in urging Americans to take personal responsibility for their own health choices.
REDUCING OBESITY - A very recent study has proven how we can slash the obesity rate by taking the same steps which Chile took four years ago. The new policies include:
* Raising the tax on sugary soft drinks
* Advertising restrictions on unhealthy foods,
* bans on unhealthy food commercials from 6AM to 10PM
* bold front-of-package black-box warning labels
* no more cartoons on sugary cereal boxes
* a ban on junk foods available in schools
REDUCING SMOKING - A much longer and more successful history fighting smoking makes it clear that the incidence of this number one and most expensive U.S. killer, and a major factor in COVID-19 mortality, can be reduced by taking steps which would not adversely affect - and, indeed, would help - the approximately 85% of the adult population who wisely do not smoke, but unfortunately have to pay most of the huge costs it imposes on society.
These steps include:
* comprehensive restrictions on smoking in workplaces and other places where people gather; in homes or vehicles where children reside or are present; and in condos, apartments, and even homes where the smoke drifts or recirculates into other dwellings
* much higher federal and state taxes on tobacco products to require smokers to bear more of the huge costs their habit now forces others to bear
* larger and more vivid - including pictorial - warnings about the dangers of smoking, such as those required for years in many other countries
* requiring smokers to pay more for health insurance - as they have long paid more for life insurance, and in some cases for home, fire, and automobile insurance - as established by data showing how the habit drives up costs
If governments can require Americans to stay in their homes, shut many businesses, and put huge numbers of people out of work to combat one disease, logically they should be willing to take much less intrusive disruptive steps to reduce other major causes of unnecessary deaths.