CNN – China, world’s leading tobacco user, moves to ban indoor public smoking
China, the world’s largest tobacco consumer, is aiming to ban indoor smoking in public areas by the end of the year.
About one in three cigarettes smoked in the world is in China, according to the World Health Organization. And more than half of Chinese men smoke, according to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey in 2010.
Although the nation’s health ministry issued guidelines in 2011 to ban smoking in places like hotels and restaurants, they haven’t been “strictly enforced,” according to Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency.

Seattle Times – Flu shots urged as illnesses and deaths reported
Every year, health officials send out the same public-service announcement during flu season: Get vaccinated.
Although many residents ignore the advice, authorities are once again stressing its importance, especially with an increase in reported flu cases — and deaths — across the state.
As peak flu season begins, the number of cases is increasing in King County, according to Public Health — Seattle & King County.

Houston Chronicle – US marks 4 straight years of slowing health costs
Even as his health care law divided the nation, President Barack Obama’s first term saw historically low growth in health costs, government experts said in a new report Monday.
The White House called it vindication of the president’s health care policies, but it’s too early to say if the four-year trend that continued through 2012 is a lasting turnaround that Obama can claim as part of his legacy.
For the second year in a row, the U.S. economy grew faster in 2012 than did national health care spending, according to nonpartisan economic experts at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

NPR – Legal loopholes leave some kids without dental insurance
If you think buying health insurance under the Affordable Care Act has been complicated, just wait. Buying dental coverage on the health exchanges, it turns out, is even more confusing.
Dental coverage for children is one of the benefits that must be offered under the law. But, it turns out, a loophole in the law means that — in most states — families don’t actually have to buy that coverage.
These rules are so confusing that they even tripped me up.