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Concept: Local government


Smoking is a major public health problem. As smokers age and die prematurely, the tobacco industry must continue to recruit new, young smokers. Survey data indicate that currently in the UK around 207 000 children aged 11-15 start smoking every year. We used local data on adult smoking rates to apportion national data on child smoking uptake to specific areas. The presentation of data for individual local authorities, which now have responsibility for public health, can be used to focus attention locally. For example, this analysis demonstrates that each day, 67 children, more than two classrooms full, start smoking in London.

Concepts: Age, Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, United Kingdom, Child, Ageing, Area, Local government


Recent investigations indicate that personality traits are unevenly distributed geographically, with some traits being more prevalent in certain places than in others. The geographical distributions of personality traits are associated with a range of important political, economic, social, and health outcomes. The majority of research on this subject has focused on the geographical distributions and macro-level correlates of personality across nations or regions of the United States. The aim of the present investigation was to replicate and extend that past work by examining regional personality differences in Great Britain. Using a sample of nearly 400,000 British residents, we mapped the geographical distributions of the Big Five Personality traits across 380 Local Authority Districts and examined the associations with important political, economic, social, and health outcomes. The results revealed distinct geographical clusters, with neighboring regions displaying similar personality characteristics, and robust associations with the macro-level outcome variables. Overall, the patterns of results were similar to findings from past research.

Concepts: Present, United States, Geography, United Kingdom, Big Five personality traits, Local government, British Empire, Regional geography


Home fires account for 85% of fire deaths in the United States, the majority in 1- or 2-family homes lacking fire sprinklers. Since 1978, however, a grassroots movement has successfully promoted more than 360 local ordinances mandating sprinklers in all new residential construction, including 1- and 2-family homes. The homebuilding industry has responded by seeking state preemption of local authority, a strategy previously used by other industries concerned about protecting their profits. From 2009 through 2011, 13 states adopted laws eliminating or limiting local authority over residential fire sprinklers. This study of the residential sprinkler movement adds to our understanding of grassroots public health movements and provides additional evidence that preemption can have a negative impact on public health and safety. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print August 15, 2013: e1-e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301317).

Concepts: United States, U.S. state, Occupational safety and health, Massachusetts, American football, Construction, Local government, Fire sprinkler


The unique characteristics of children dictate the need for school-based all-hazards response plans during natural disasters, emerging infectious diseases, and terrorism (1-3). Schools are a critical community institution serving a vulnerable population that must be accounted for in public health preparedness plans; prepared schools are adopting policies and plans for crisis preparedness, response, and recovery (2-4). The importance of having such plans in place is underscored by the development of a new Healthy People 2020 objective (PREP-5) to “increase the percentage of school districts that require schools to include specific topics in their crisis preparedness, response, and recovery plans” (5). Because decisions about such plans are usually made at the school district level, it is important to examine district-level policies and practices. Although previous reports have provided national estimates of the percentage of districts with policies and practices in place (6), these estimates have not been analyzed by U.S. Census region* and urbanicity.(†) Using data from the 2012 School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS), this report examines policies and practices related to school district preparedness, response, and recovery. In general, districts in the Midwest were less likely to require schools to include specific topics in their crisis preparedness plans than districts in the Northeast and South. Urban districts tended to be more likely than nonurban districts to require specific topics in school preparedness plans. Southern districts tended to be more likely than districts in other regions to engage with partners when developing plans. No differences in district collaboration (with the exception of local fire department engagement) were observed by level of urbanicity. School-based preparedness planning needs to be coordinated with interdisciplinary community partners to achieve Healthy People 2020 PREP-5 objectives for this vulnerable population.

Concepts: Health, Epidemiology, Infectious disease, High school, School, Local government, District, School district


English alcohol policy is implemented at local government level, leading to variations in how it is put into practice. We evaluated whether differences in the presence or absence of cumulative impact zones and the ‘intensity’ of licensing enforcement-both aimed at regulating the availability of alcohol and modifying the drinking environment-were associated with harm as measured by alcohol-related hospital admissions.

Concepts: Health, Demography, Policy, Implementation, England, Government, Public policy, Local government


It is unclear why rates of homelessness claims in England have risen since 2010. We used variations in rates across local authorities to test the impact of economic downturns and budget cuts.

Concepts: Local government


Strategies to reduce hospital readmission have been studied mainly at the local level. We assessed associations between population-wide policies supporting team-based primary care delivery models and short-term outcomes after hospital discharge.

Concepts: Local government


Cumulative impact zones (CIZs) are a discretionary policy lever available to local government, used to restrict the availability of alcohol in areas deemed already saturated. Despite little evidence of their effect, over 200 such zones have been introduced. This study explores the impact of three CIZs on the licensing of venues in the London Borough of Southwark.

Concepts: London, Local government, City of London, London borough, London Borough of Croydon, London Borough of Southwark


Aquatic products are important sources of animal proteins in human diet, especially in developing countries. As such, the safety of aquatic products is of primary concern. In this study, a standard method is used to detect malachite green (MG) and chloramphenicol (CAP) and to analyze the contents of these banned chemicals in turtle, mandarin fish and grass carp sampled from the region surrounding Dongting Lake Area in Hunan, China. Results showed that 10.6% of the samples were MG positive, most of them turtles. CAP was found in 8.3% of the samples, most in mandarin fish. These data indicated that these banned substances are still used in the surveyed area. Hence, adequate strategies must be implemented by the local government to control these banned substances.

Concepts: Protein, Nutrition, Reptile, Yangtze River, Dongting Lake, Local government, Xiang River, Lishui River


Poisoning is a worldwide public health problem that involves individuals of all ages and a wide range of chemicals. This study investigated the data from two health information systems to characterize poisoning events in the Federal District (DF), Brazil.

Concepts: Health care, Information, Brazil, Health informatics, Local government, Federal district