New poll shows strong public support for air quality controls; Mayor Bloomberg pledges $220 million to global tobacco fight; access to safe drinking water a major problem in developing world. Those stories and more topping public health headlines today, Thursday, March 22, 2012.

Bloomberg – Bloomberg charity adds $220 million to anti-smoking effort
Michael Bloomberg’s charitable foundation will commit $220 million over the next four years to fight tobacco use globally, including for the funding of legal challenges against the industry. Calling tobacco “a scourge all over the world” and accusing cigarette makers of “nefarious activities,” the New York City mayor said at a news conference that his foundation will focus on low and moderate-income countries where nearly 80 percent of smokers live, like Russia, China, India, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

World Salt Awareness Week set to educate consumers on risks associated with high sodium intake
For the estimated one in three Americans who will develop high blood pressure, a – diet high in sodium may be to blame.  This is why the American Heart Association/American Stoke Association supports World Salt Awareness Week, slated for March 26 through April 1. About 90 percent of Americans eat more salt/sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet.  Moreover, 65 percent of consumers are concerned about their sodium intake, yet only 29 percent of consumers offer that they regularly check the sodium content of food.

Huffington Post – End Game: The Petitions to Ban BPA
BPA doesn’t belong in our bodies, but the plastic industry made a lot of money putting it there. Now we want it out of our bodies, and out of our environment — along with the rest of the single-use plastic that is strangling our earth, suffocating our oceans and poisoning our bodies.

The New American – Most U.S. voters apparently aren’t catching anti-EPA fever
The argument that needless environmental rules are killing jobs has been a frequent Republican talking point this political season. Gov. Rick Perry tried to pound it home during his brief presidential run. A national poll of likely presidential voters released Wednesday suggests that most aren’t buying it. Granted, the poll was conducted for the American Lung Association, which advocates for cleaner air and for the rules environmentalists say are necessary to achieve it. To counter claims of bias, the association had the poll done jointly by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Republican pollsters Perception Insight.

Boston Globe – Governor Patrick: Affordable Care Act ‘deserves to be defended’
The Affordable Care Act is a “value statement,” affirming that access to health care is a public health concern, Governor Deval Patrick said Wednesday morning. Speaking after an appearance with Surgeon General Regina Benjamin to promote the National Prevention Strategy, Patrick declined to offer predictions about how the law will fare next week as the US Supreme Court hears a case challenging the law. But he offered an opinion on how he thinks it should go.

Dynamic Chiropractic – Chiropractic and Health Care Reform: An Uncertain Future or an Opportunity?
The United States is currently experiencing a health care crisis. Much of the current health care system focuses limited resources on the treatment of disease, and very few resources are aimed at primary and secondary prevention.  Although 70 percent of factors influencing health are environmental and behavioral, and only 10 percent of the factors attributed to health are associated with access to health care, the actual reimbursement for health services accounts for 96 percent of the $2.3 trillion spent each year.1 Thus, we need to take a closer look at health care reform and how doctors of chiropractic will approach this changing landscape.

LATimes – Scarce drinking water — and who’s guzzling around the globe
Thursday is World Water Day. The event, a brainchild of the United Nations, was first celebrated nearly two decades ago and is meant to focus attention on the need for fresh water around the globe. Safe water isn’t available everywhere: This World Health Organization map shows the percentage of people in each country with access to an improved source of drinking water, such as a household connection or protected well, as of 2010. In some parts of Africa, less than half of people have access to safe drinking water.