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5 Reasons Why Smoke-Free Workplace Laws have Reduced Heart Attack Rates

by South University
January 31, 2013

According to a 10-year study conducted by Harvard researchers, passive smoking doubles the risk of heart disease, making it more dangerous than active smoking. Further research conducted by scientists at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, reveals heart attack cases in work places have dropped 33% in Olmstead County, Minnesota after enactment of the smoke-free workplace laws. The laws were put in place to reduce the secondhand smoke inhalation rate, which is more dangerous than active smoking.

The author of the Mayo Clinic study, Dr. Richard D. Hurt, said that this could be a considerable step in determining whether passive smoking is a potential risk factor for heart attacks. The research was conducted by studying the number of heart attacks before and after the ban. When cases of diabetes, hypertension, obesity and high cholesterol remained constant or even a bit higher, it was noted that heart attacks reduced sharply.

There are 5 main reasons why heart attack rates have dropped with the new laws in place:

Reduction in coronary heart disease
Non-smokers who have been exposed to passive smoking have developed coronary heart disease. Medical research shows that the effects of passive smoking on the cardiovascular system are almost as damaging as that of active smoking. This means that non-smokers are nearly as likely to experience coronary heart disease as active smokers due to secondhand inhalation. The smoke-free laws have helped prevent more people from inhaling secondhand smoke, thus reducing the number of coronary heart disease infections and heart attacks.

Reduction of risk factors
Smoke from tobacco is rich in carbon monoxide. This gas reduces the amount of oxygen in blood vessels, causing vital organs like the heart to receive limited oxygen supply. The smoke also contains nicotine, which rapidly increases heart rate and blood pressure. Ultimately, the system undergoes wear and tear, making one vulnerable to heart and respiratory diseases. With reduced exposure comes reduced risk factors.

Fewer exposed people
The rate of heart attacks is derived from the number of reported and documented cases. Having the smoke-free laws in place limit the number of people exposed. A World Health Organization news release shows that the number of people protected from secondhand inhalation has doubled from 354 million to 739 million. The fewer the number of people subjected to secondhand inhalation, the fewer the cases of heart attack.

Decrease in blood clot tendency
Tobacco smoke can trigger blood clotting. People exposed to secondhand smoke are actually at higher risk for this than active smokers. The smoke from the end of the cigarette combined with smoke exhaled from the smoker’s lungs combine to release irritants that cause the blood to clot. The heart vessels are blocked by the clotting, causing a heart attack.

Eradication of both long-term and short-term exposure effects
Studies show that long-term passive smoking effects are 30% more serious than short-term exposure. Before the enactment of the law, secondhand inhalation had long-term effects on people who worked in the same environment for long durations and were exposed on a constant, daily basis. However, having the laws implemented has helped prevent others from both long-term and short-term impacts since they are now completely protected from secondhand smoke.

References:
http://www.wvdhhr.org/bph/cvd/page1.htm
http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/13/is-secondhand-smoke-really-that-risky/
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252143.php

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Connecting with Skype: Its Value in Education

by South University
January 7, 2013

In the online learning environment, it’s important for you to feel connected to those who support you through your program. Advances in technology have made it easier than ever before to form a community of individuals with similar interests and goals.

Skype can be a great way for you to interact with friends, family, your instructors and your fellow students. Consider these benefits:

  • It’s Free – It used to be that if you wanted to connect with someone in another state or another country, your only recourse was a long distance phone call or a letter in the mail. Both options have their own associated costs that can create communication barriers. Skype’s free solution can connect you to others in a matter of minutes.
  • It’s Easy– Skype is compatible with most computer systems today, provided you have a webcam available, either built directly into your machine or externally attached.
  • It Offers Face to Face Communication – Gone are the days when you had to be physically in the same room as the person you’re communicating with in order to see them. Skype offers a great option for families who don’t get to see each other often to log on to their computers for a nice chat.
  • It’s Mobile – If you have a smartphone, you can download the Skype app and connect to others when you’re on the go.

Download Skype today!

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Principles and Legal Requirements of TV Advertising

by South University
January 4, 2013

Television is perhaps the most influential medium used for advertising.

TV advertising is effective because of the use of sights and sounds to appeal to viewers’ senses. It is powerful because of its ability to reach millions of people.

Like other forms of advertising, TV ads are federally regulated, and there are some laws that apply specifically to TV advertising. These laws are designed to protect consumers and provide advertisers with guidelines for how to market their products and services.

South Source takes a look at some of the principles and legal aspects of TV advertising with a Q&A session with Cale Hall, a Business instructor at South University, Savannah and president of Creative Approach, a design, advertising, and print agency in Savannah.

Principles of TV Advertising

SOUTH SOURCE (SS): What are some of the principles of TV advertising?

CALE HALL (CH): Some principles include knowing and studying audiences and demographics. Another principle is to build a brand and a lifestyle and another is to create desire in the consumer.

SS: What makes TV advertising unique from other forms of media?

CH: It is a relatively old medium with respect to American culture. Meaning, people are used to commercials — they are accustomed to seeing ads on TV. They are very short and produced with a great deal of concentration and intent. They often incorporate cutting-edge production techniques and equipment to catch people’s attention, as well as often sampling famous songs or original jingles that remain in people’s minds.

A pro is that TV is still a very popular format for media consumption.

SS: What are the pros and cons of advertising on TV?

CH: Cons are that ads on TV can be skipped because of people who have TiVo and DVR, so it is as if the ads are not getting watched at all. Commercials are very expensive to produce; they typically get very large budgets — larger than the budgets for an episode of a successful show. Thus, with the advent of some forms of technology, ads become a waste of money. A pro is that TV is still a very popular format for media consumption. Therefore, TV attracts large audiences. Many people will sit through the commercials and be influenced by them. There are, in fact, a number of channels that are specifically dedicated to broadcasting commercials only, including infomercials.

SS: Which industries/products/services are best suited to advertise on TV?

CH: Some of the best industries for advertising on TV include automotive, pharmaceutical, food, technology, and retail.

SS: In general, what is the future of advertising? How do you think it will evolve in the next couple of decades?

CH: The future of advertising is definitely via the internet. More and more content and consumers are moving to the internet. The future of advertising is also in mobile applications. In the next few decades, I think there will be an increased popularity of TV stations dedicated to commercials, and fewer commercials on TV during the content of shows. I think there will also be an increase of commercials becoming longer, perhaps like shows or short films. I think there will be more product placement as part of the show, such as in the film “The Truman Show.”

Legal Requirements of TV Advertising

Advertising is monitored by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Advertisers must be careful to act ethically at all times, especially when advertising to children, advertising potentially harmful products, and using tactics to stimulate demand.

The Federal Trade Commission Act set forth requirements for truth-in-advertising and created the FTC to enforce the provisions of the act. Truth-in-advertising requirements also apply to all kinds of advertising — TV, print, radio, blogs, and word-of-mouth marketing. Under requirements, advertisements must not be deceptive in nature, must not be unfair, and any claims made must be backed by sufficient evidence.

Ads are considered deceptive if they contain misleading information or omit certain information that is important to a consumer’s decision to purchase the product or service.

Advertisers must also have evidence to support the claims made in their ads and there must be a reasonable basis for these claims. Many factors are used to determine what evidence is necessary. The FTC looks closely at health claims about food, over-the-counter drugs, and dietary supplements, as well as claims about alcohol and tobacco and conduct related to high-tech products and the internet.

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Reality TV — Low Cost Programming that Produces High Ratings

by South University
January 4, 2013

With hit shows like "Jersey Shore," "The Real Housewives," and "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," reality TV has become just as popular - or in many cases even more well-liked - than the average scripted TV series. Reality shows aren't just a hit with viewers, networks also welcome the relatively low production costs, as most cost a fraction to produce compared to their scripted counterparts.

"Reality TV has opened our eyes to what is compelling and informative in our world and worlds we don’t live in," says Scott Manville, founder and president of the TV Writer’s Vault. "Yes, there's a lot of low-grade content out there, but if we're looking at the good it's done, we have to acknowledge how it's entertained and educated us. Viewers tune in. Advertisers respond to the numbers. Networks produce more to sell more."

Reality TV has also become popular with networks because it's far cheaper to produce than a scripted TV show, says a reality TV producer, who prefers to remain anonymous, with credits including a number of hit reality shows, including "Extreme Makeover Home Edition," "Bridezillas," and "Wife Swap."

Manville agrees that scripted TV programs often cost networks much more money than unscripted shows.

"An episode for a scripted series can be anywhere between a half-million and millions of dollars depending on the network and content involved," Manville says. "Reality TV is much more manageable in terms of getting content produced and on the air, with much less risk. But the process reflects that as well. It’s much easier to sell a reality TV show."

Depending on the network and content, Manville says budgets for reality shows can range from $100,000 to more than $500,000 per episode.

The reality TV producer says, shows like"Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," where episodes focus on Honey Boo Boo and her family's life in their Georgia hometown, are cheaper to produce than shows like"The Real Housewives of New York City," where each season typically involves cast members taking an extravagant vacation together.

The producer also says, costs to film a reality TV episode vary on the length of each episode.

The Authenticity of Reality TV

Reality show skeptics often argue that these TV series must be staged, as much of the content is often pretty outrageous, but the producer says, this is really not the case.

Some reality shows are very set up and scripted, while in others the producers are just kind of along for the ride, the producer says.

"I worked on ‘Bridezillas’ and everyone thinks you’re stirring these girls up, but you don't have to," the producer says. "As long as you cast good people you’re going to get what you want out of them. Everything goes back to casting. If you cast really, really good people your show’s going to be a hit."

As long as you cast good people, you're going to get what you want out of them. Everything goes back to casting. If you cast really, really good people, your show’s going to be a hit.

"[With] 'Bridezillas,' [the wedding was] already happening, [so] you know there’s going to be some sort of drama there," the producer says. "If you cast certain people they’re going to be involved in activities already, like with "The Real Housewives of New York City.' Their marriages might be in trouble, so you can kind of capitalize on that stuff."

The producer uses "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" as an example of reality TV characters that the public is oddly fascinated by.

"As long as you have good characters that people care about, that’s when people get invested," the producer says. "It goes back to casting. On the shows I’ve worked on, the people have absolutely been themselves. I worked on 'Wife Swap.' Literally you’re finding the craziest people possible."

It's important to find reality TV cast members that are truly interesting, because that's what makes for an interesting show, the producer says.

"Honestly real people aren't actors, you have to find people who are somewhat crazy, (in an outgoing and funny way)," the producer says. "If you don"t your show is going to be kind of dull. You need big personalities. You have to find people who are genuine yet compelling."

The producer says, they also like to ask cast members questions about what's going on in their lives right now to create a storyline. For example, if a cast member has a crush on someone, the producers might set up a date for them to go on and film it.

"A lot of reality TV gets the reputation that it's all scripted, but you have to set some things up to move the story along. You put people in a situation where they can talk and let it play out."

Manville says scenarios and circumstances based on true life stores get a more organic result of emotion and drama from cast members.

"A producer has to make choices on what to cover, what not to cover, and then editing it all to build a cohesive storyline," Manville says. "Of course they're going to exploit moments to build the storyline. That's storytelling, even in scripted projects. TV and film should be a 'heightened reality' no matter what the genre."

Manville says producers build a beat sheet of events and scenarios that they cover, while shooting film from various points, and then tie it all together during the editing process.

Reality Shows Are Here To Stay

Both Manville and the reality TV producer agree that this type of programming is here to stay.

"It's already proven so," Manville says.

Cale Hall, president of Creative Approach, a design, advertising, and print agency in Savannah, and Business instructor at South University, Savannah, says reality- based shows will continue to be popular with consumers. Hall cites reality TV series such as "Intervention," "Hoarders," and "Celebrity Rehab," as well as animal documentaries on PBS, National Geographic, and Animal Planet as examples of those with staying power.

"Reality TV does have the potential to withstand the test of time," says Hall, who is also a graduate of South University, Savannah Business programs. "More reality TV has influenced some consumers' behavior insofar as some people have begun to style their lives after the cast members featured in reality shows, especially younger demographics."

Critics can argue that reality TV is a low-cost, low-quality fad, but that certainly does not appear to be the case.

When it comes to judging the quality of a scripted versus reality TV shows, the producer says, the two cannot be compared.

"The difference is really apples vs. oranges, - they’re two different animals," the producer says.

Manville agrees that the two types of shows can't be measured up against one another, as they're completely different genres.

"Entertainment is a subjective thing, so where one thing is quality to one person, it's not to another,"
Manville says. "A gripping documentary is much more fascinating and informative than the best scripted series produced.... to me."

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