The Health News Australia February 17 2018

  • An Australian National University (ANU) researcher is warning against undue alarm as the concept of health concerns from third-hand-smoke – lingering residue from cigarettes – is starting to build momentum in Australia. Professor Simone Dennis, an anthropologist who has studied the lives of smokers for fifteen years, has urged Australian policy makers to wait for appropriate scientific evidence before passing any laws relating to third-hand-smoke.
  • There has been a sharp increase in the number of drug-resistant gonorrhoea cases in Australia, reinforcing worldwide concern over the spread of the sexually transmitted bacterial infection. A surveillance report, released Tuesday by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care,  reveals samples of gonorrhoea resistant to antibiotic azithromycin nearly trebled within 6 months last year. If left untreated gonorrhoea can cause chronic health problems, including infertility.
  • Restaurants and cafes across Western Australia will be able to serve patrons a glass of wine or beer without a meal under reforms to the state’s liquor laws, which will also see the tourism chief allowed to weigh in on licensing decisions about new venues. The changes, part of an election pledge by the Labor Government, will ensure the potential tourism, community and cultural benefits of any new venue are considered, along with public health and safety. Currently, the police commissioner and the Department of Health can lodge objections to new venue applications.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 17th of February 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/public-health/50/news/ht1/third-hand-cigarette-smoke-not-cause-for-panic/3173/

An Australian National University researcher is warning against undue alarm as the concept of health concerns from third-hand-smoke – lingering residue from cigarettes – is starting to build momentum in Australia. Professor Simone Dennis, an anthropologist who has studied the lives of smokers for fifteen years, has urged Australian policy makers to wait for appropriate scientific evidence before passing any laws relating to third-hand-smoke.

Professor Dennis said; “Third-hand-smoke is where you have cigarette residue on clothes, skin, or other surfaces such as in a car or house.”

Despite a lack of evidence, Professor Dennis said the idea that third-hand-smoke might be dangerous is starting to take hold in Australia.

Professor Dennis said the concept is being led in the United States where the idea of third-hand-smoke is more prominent. She added: “We’re starting to see it in hotels, especially California, where you have signs that say certain rooms used to accommodate smoking.”

Professor Dennis said that by further ostracising smokers, Australia risks creating an underclass of people excluded from public spaces. She added: “We know smoking is now something more prominent in the lower rungs of Australia’s socio-economic ladder, and now we are increasingly excluding that group of people from public spaces without very good evidence for doing so.”
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/drug-resistant-gonorrhoea-cases-tripled-within-six-months

There has been a sharp increase in the number of drug-resistant gonorrhoea cases in Australia, reinforcing worldwide concern over the spread of the sexually transmitted bacterial infection.
A surveillance report, released Tuesday by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care,  reveals samples of gonorrhoea resistant to antibiotic azithromycin nearly trebled within six months last year.

Professor John Turnidge, who is senior medical advisor for the Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Australia, says the concerning figures should act as a “warning” to the medical profession. This is because resistance to azithromycin reduces the protection provided by the mainstay antibiotic, ceftriaxone, used to treat gonorrhoea. A dual therapy for gonorrhoea was introduced in Australia in two thousand fourteen as part of a strategy to delay the emergence of gonorrhoea strains resistant to cefriaxone.
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The latest six-monthly report of the National Alert System for Critical Antimicrobial Resistance reveals seven hundred forty two reports of critically resistant bacteria were lodged from April one to September thirty, two thousand seventeen. This represents a seventy five per cent increase on the four hundred twenty three cases reported in the same period a year earlier.
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Reports of this strain of gonorrhoea rose by one hundred eighty two percent over the same period, from one hundred twenty one to three hundred forty two. If left untreated gonorrhoea can cause chronic health problems, including infertility.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-14/liquor-reforms-give-tourism-look-in-on-new-venues-wa/9446050

Restaurants and cafes across Western Australia will be able to serve patrons a glass of wine or beer without a meal under reforms to the state’s liquor laws, which will also see the tourism chief allowed to weigh in on licensing decisions about new venues. The changes, part of an election pledge by the Labor Government, will ensure the potential tourism, community and cultural benefits of any new venue are considered, along with public health and safety.

Currently, the police commissioner and the Department of Health can lodge objections to new venue applications. Under the change, the chief executive of Tourism Western Australia will be able to lodge a submission around tourism, which will be given equal weight. Laws will also be introduced to allow all licensed restaurants and venues to serve alcohol without a meal, and patrons will be able to take a half-finished bottle of wine home.

Previously, businesses had to apply for a special permit to serve alcohol without food if they were under one hundred twenty-seat capacity, a system introduced in two thousand thirteen.
The issue has been the focus of both sides of politics, with former premier Colin Barnett pledging to change the system back in two thousand twelve. The number of small bars have exploded in Perth in the past ten years, but proprietors have complained of restrictive regulations.
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Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said potential venues deemed to be low risk, such as sporting clubs and small bars, would no longer face onerous public interest assessments.
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The WA Australian Medical Association has largely welcomed the reforms, but warned legitimate health concerns should not be ignored in favour of the drive for tourism dollars.
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The changes to the Liquor Control Amendment Bill are expected to be introduced to WA Parliament next week.

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