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Report: Calls to smoking ‘quit lines’ drop appreciably during pandemic

Report: Calls to smoking ‘quit lines’ drop appreciably during pandemic

Health
March 12 (UPI) -- The number of smokers seeking information about quitting has declined by nearly 30% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, according to a report released Friday by the North American Quitline Consortium. Just over 525,000 calls were made to state smoking "quit lines" through 1-800-QUIT-NOW in 2020, a 27% decrease from 2019 numbers, when 715,000 calls were logged, and the lowest level seen since 2007, the report showed. Advertisement Call volumes dropped in parallel with the timeline of the pandemic, with a 6% decrease in the first quarter of 2020, followed by declines of 39%, 30% and 21% in quarters two, three and four of last year, respectively, compared with 2019. In 2019, just under one-third of callers were Medicaid enrollees and nearly half reported a ...
House builders ‘should drop appalling gagging orders’

House builders ‘should drop appalling gagging orders’

Business
James ThomasHouse builders that carry out repairs on newly built homes need to be more open about what work has been required, according to the chairman of Parliament's Housing Committee.Some home owners say they were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) as a condition of repairs being done.The practice was "appalling" Clive Betts MP told Radio 4's Money Box programme.The Home Builders Federation said NDAs were "not widely used" by developers.Mr Betts said housebuilders should be obliged to inform home owners when systematic defects were identified that might affect their property, which he said would be normal practice in other areas."If this kind of thing happens in the car industry for example, car companies have to tell their customers, issue a recall, and get the problem fix...
Unilever to drop ‘normal’ from beauty product descriptions

Unilever to drop ‘normal’ from beauty product descriptions

World
March 10 (UPI) -- Unilever announced it will drop the word "normal" from all packaging and advertising of its beauty and personal care products. The company made the decision as it launches its new Positive Beauty campaign in response to a global survey of 10,000 people in nine countries. Advertisement Based in London, the company's brands, including Dove, Lifebuoy, Axe and Sunsilk, are sold in more than 190 countries with 2020 sales of about $ 60.4 billion. "The decision to remove 'normal' is one of many steps that we are taking to challenge narrow beauty ideals, as we work toward helping to end discrimination and advocating for a more inclusive vision of beauty," the company said in a statement Tuesday. The company also said it also will increase advertisements representing under-repre...
Google promises to drop personalised ad tracking

Google promises to drop personalised ad tracking

Technology
Getty ImagesGoogle has promised not to develop any new way of tracking individual users for adverts once it phases out its current method. The tech giant is one of the world's largest advertising sellers and also owns the world's most popular web browser, Chrome. But it is following other browser providers by eliminating third-party tracking cookies. That move is already being looked at by the UK's competition authority. The Competition and Markets Authority said in January that Google's plan to remove the cookies - which would effectively share less information with advertisers - could have a "significant impact" on the advertising market and news websites. One group of marketers opposed to the idea claims that Google will gain an advantage by eliminating such cookies, because it has othe...
U.S. markets extend losses as tech stocks drop, travel stocks gain

U.S. markets extend losses as tech stocks drop, travel stocks gain

Business
March 3 (UPI) -- Tech stocks dragged down major U.S. markets for a second consecutive day on Wednesday, while stocks tied to businesses reopening saw a boost. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 121.43 points, or 0.39%, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.31% and the Nasdaq Composite declined 2.7% extending losses from Tuesday. Advertisement Netflix stock dropped 4.95% to lead the declining tech stocks, while Amazon lost 2.89%, Microsoft fell 2.7%, Google's parent company Alphabet fell 2.57% and Apple ended the day down 2.45%. Wednesday's losses came amid ongoing concerns about the rising 10-year Treasury yield, as the benchmark rate increased eight basis points to a high of 1.49% before declining slightly to end the day. "One of the fundamental underpinnings of strong equity performance t...