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Should Smokers Pay More for Health Care Insurance?

Over a fifth of Tennessee’s adult population smokes, giving the state the dubious No. 46 ranking among the states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state’s smokers might want to take note of a debate playing out across the nation about whether smokers should pay more for health insurance. National Public Radio, WBUR and Kaiser Health News reported the debate is creating unlikely alliances; tobacco companies are working with cancer societies and consumer advocacy groups to convince states they should not allow higher rates for smokers.

The Affordable Care Act allows insurers to charge smokers up to 50 percent more for insurance premiums than non-smokers.

Smoking is expensive.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says smoking costs the country $193 billion a year in lost productivity and health care spending. That’s not including another $10 billion for secondhand smoking.

But consumer advocacy groups are concerned the financial incentives won’t change behavior and could limit access to health care.

Earlier this week, The Daily News reported on the state of women’s health in Tennessee. Dr. Karen Johnson, a professor and interim chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center told the paper smoking remains on her top list of local health concerns.

Johnson said smoking is tied to increased rates for a host of cancers, including lung, stomach, oral, bowel, ovarian, cervical and many others.

 

A Sneak Peak at the FedEx St. Jude Classic Event Lineup

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is busy gearing up for the 2013 FedEx St. Jude Classic, which runs from June 3 through June 9. The PGA tournament has been played annually in Memphis since 1958.

There will be plenty of golf, but here’s a sneak peak at other events that will take place throughout the tournament:

  •  The St. Jude Women’s Club Golf-a-Round takes place from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on June 4 at the Danny Thomas Pavilion on the St. Jude campus. Patients will welcome FedEx St. Jude Classic golf professionals for a game of miniature golf.
  •  John Rich will perform alongside his friends Wynonna, Larry the Cable Guy and Big Kenny, Rich’s partner in Big & Rich, and special guest Lisa Rinna at the St. Jude Presents John Rich & Friends. The concert takes place Tuesday, June 4 at 7:30 p.m. at The Cannon Center for the Performing Arts.
  •  On June 5, FedEx will honor St. Jude patient Hayes by naming a FedEx Cessna plane after him. Hayes, whose father works for FedEx, will unveil his name after a special introduction from FedEx and St. Jude executives. The ceremony will take place at noon between the 12th and 18th fairways near the FedEx Cabana. Throughout the day, St. Jude patients also will serve as honorary caddies during the tournament. Each patient will meet a pro at the 11th tee and carry their putter to the par 3 hole green.
  •  St. Jude patients will wear seersucker clothing to congratulate the champion who will be presented a trophy and a Brooks Brothers seersucker champion’s jacket on June 9.

MemphisWeather.net turns 10

Happy birthday to MemphisWeather.Net, which is celebrating its 10th birthday this year.

The service began in the spring of 2003 as a way to provide a daily forecast to family and friends. Today, it’s the largest independent source of weather data and information in the Mid-South, with hundreds of thousands of visitors a year on its website and more than 15,000 followers on social media.

By way of celebrating the outlet’s birthday, I’m sure everyone would join me in asking those guys – what’s the weather going to be like tomorrow?

 

This Friday is “Grizzlies Friday”

Memphis Mayor AC Wharton Jr. has declared this Friday to be “Grizzlies Friday.”

The mayor also has said he’ll have a special announcement Thurs., May 23. From the mayor’s office:

“As we prepare for the first-ever NBA Western Conference Finals Game in Memphis, SHOW YOUR SUPPORT WHEREVER YOU ARE by wearing TEAM COLORS and GRIZZLIES ATTIRE on FRIDAY.”

Newby’s accepting donated items for Oklahoma tornado victims

Newby’s, at 539 S. Highland St., is setting up a Red Cross Oklahoma tornado care drop-off to serve as a collection point for items that can be delivered to victims of the deadly tornado there.

Newby’s also is asking for volunteers to help receive items, organize, box, tape, label and load them. The goal is to have items boxed and trucks full and ready to deliver on Thursday. Volunteers can call Todd Adams at 901-870-7633.

Items needed that are going to be delivered to Moore, Oklahoma, include:

Bottled water
Gatorade
Wipes
Diapers
Baby formula
Hand towels
Individually wrapped snacks
Work gloves
Money
(No clothing)

Dansette

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