Today’s Headlines: Gun Violence, Public Smoking and Tuberculosis

Experts Make Suggestions on Gun Violence: A panel of experts assembled by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council at President Obama’s request after the school shooting in Newton, Connecticut delivered an “ambitious set of priorities” for the government to obtain “better data on guns.” There is currently no national figure regarding the number of guns that are in the country, and researchers often do not have access to data from law enforcement agencies regarding “data on specific games,” although they only track guns used in crimes. The experts said because “Basic information about gun possession, distribution, ownership, acquisition and storage is lacking,” it makes it “virtually impossible to answer fundamental questions” about how to establish programs to reduce gun violence. (New York Times)

Starbucks Bans Smoking Within 25 Feet of It’s Stores: Starbucks customers will have to light up more than 25 feet away from its 7,000 stores. “Jaime Riley, who works in global communications for Starbucks Coffee Co., said the company hopes to resolve any concerns amicably, should a customer be smoking within the restricted area.” She said, “Starbucks takes seriously its responsibility to provide all customers a safe, healthy environment that is consistent across its company-owned stores.” Patrons of Starbucks in downtown Saratoga Springs expressed mixed feelings about the new regulation. (The Saratogian)

Tuberculosis Treatment Shortages Threaten Developing World: The shortage of tuberculosis drugs has become a worldwide problem. At present, TB treatment shortages are occurring in the US, South America, India, Africa and South Asia. In the US, there have been several shortages of medication for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and health experts are concerned that this ongoing supply problem could result in a significantly increased rate of MDR TB cases. Moreover, the shortage in India involves pediatric dosage levels, which means children either are being turned away or are being given portions of adult doses, putting them at a safety risk. (Wall Street Journal)