Giving cigarettes as gifts is a common practice in China, but there have been few systematic studies of this practice. The present study was designed to estimate the incidence of receiving cigarettes as gifts, correlates of this practice, and its impact on brand selection in a representative sample of urban adult smokers in China.
Data were analyzed from Wave 2 of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) China Survey, where 4843 adult urban smokers were interviewed in six major Chinese cities between October 2007 and January 2008. The incidence of most recent cigarette acquisition due to gifting and the prevalence of preferred brand selection due to having received it as a gift were estimated. Bivariate and adjusted logistic regression models were estimated to identify factors associated with these two outcomes.
The incidence of receiving cigarettes as a gift at most recent cigarette acquisition was 3.5%. Smokers who received these gifted cigarettes were more likely to be female, older, have higher educational attainment, live in Beijing, and smoke fewer cigarettes per day. The prevalence of choosing one’s preferred brand due to having received it as a gift was 7.0%, and this was more likely among smokers who lived in Beijing and Guangzhou, had lower educational attainment, smoked less frequently, and had smoked their preferred brand for less than one year.
The 3.5% incidence of one’s most recent cigarette acquisition due to gifting is consistent with prevalence estimates based on longer reference periods and translates into the average smoker receiving a gift of cigarettes approximately five times a year. Gifting also appears to have a significant influence on brand preference. Tobacco control interventions in China may need to denormalize the practice of giving cigarettes as gifts in order to decrease the social acceptability of smoking.
Tobacco; Cigarette gifting; Preferred cigarette brand
To explore the nature of corporate gifts directed at PharmD programs and pharmacy student activities and the perceptions of administrators about the potential influences of such gifts.
A verbally administered survey of administrative officials at 11 US colleges and schools of pharmacy was conducted and responses were analyzed.
All respondents indicated accepting corporate gifts or sponsorships for student-related activities in the form of money, grants, scholarships, meals, trinkets, and support for special events, and cited many advantages to corporate partner relationships. Approximately half of the respondents believed that real or potential problems could occur from accepting corporate gifts. Forty-four percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that corporate contributions could influence college or school administration. Sixty-one percent agreed or strongly agreed that donations were likely to influence students.
Corporate gifts do influence college and school of administration and students. Policies should be in place to manage this influence appropriately.
development; gifts; fundraising; corporate influence; corporate partnerships
Nuptial food gifts given by males to females at mating are widespread in insects, but their evolutionary origin remains obscure. Such gifts may arise as a form of sensory trap that exploits the normal gustatory responses of females, favouring the selective retention of sperm of gift-giving males. I tested this hypothesis by offering foreign food gifts, synthesized by males of one cricket species, to females of three non-gift-giving species. Females provisioned with novel food gifts were 'fooled' into accepting more sperm than they otherwise would in the absence of a gift. These results support the hypothesis that nuptial food gifts and post-copulatory female mating preferences coevolve through a unique form of sensory exploitation.
Many insects have a mating system where males transfer nutrients to females at mating, which are often referred to as 'nuptial gifts'. Among butterflies, some of the characteristic features of these species are polyandry (females mate multiple times), and relatively large male ejaculates. When males produce part of the resources used for offspring, the value of body size might then increase for males and decrease for females. The male/female size ratio is also observed to increase when the degree of polyandry and gift size increase. Butterfly species where gift-giving occurs are generally more variable in body size, suggesting that food quality/quantity fluctuates during juvenile stages. This will cause some males to have much to provide and some females to be in great need, and could be conducive to the evolution of a gift-giving mating system. In such a system, growing male and female juveniles should react differently to food shortage. Females should react by maturing at a smaller size since their own lack of reproductive resources can partly be compensated for by male contributions. Males have to pay the full cost of decreased reproduction if they mature at a small size, making it more important for males to keep on growing, even when growth is costly. An earlier experiment with the polyandrous and gift-giving butterfly, Pieris napi, supported this prediction. The pattern is expected to be absent or reversed for species with small nuptial gifts, where females do not benefit from mating repeatedly, and will thus be dependent on acquiring resources for reproduction on their own. To test this prediction, we report here on an experiment with the speckled wood butterfly, Pararge aegeria. We find that growth response correlates with mating system in the two above species, and we conclude that differences in environmental conditions between species may act as an important factor in the evolution of the mating system and sexual size dimorphism.
Mating Systems Size At Maturity Growth Plasticity Spermatophore Butterfly
In nuptial gift-giving species, benefits of acquiring a mate may select for male deception by donation of worthless gifts. We investigated the effect of worthless gifts on mating success in the spider Pisaura mirabilis. Males usually offer an insect prey wrapped in silk; however, worthless gifts containing inedible items are reported. We tested male mating success in the following experimental groups: protein enriched fly gift (PG), regular fly gift (FG), worthless gift (WG), or no gift (NG).
Males that offered worthless gifts acquired similar mating success as males offering nutritional gifts, while males with no gift experienced reduced mating success. The results suggest that strong selection on the nuptial gift-giving trait facilitates male deception by donation of worthless gifts. Females terminated matings faster when males offered worthless donations; this demonstrate a cost of deception for the males as shorter matings lead to reduced sperm transfer and thus give the deceiving males a disadvantage in sperm competition.
We propose that the gift wrapping trait allows males to exploit female foraging preference by disguising the gift content thus deceiving females into mating without acquiring direct benefits. Female preference for a genuine prey gift combined with control over mating duration, however, counteracts the male deception.
Hospitals are the primary worksite of over 5 million adults in the United States, and millions of meals are procured and consumed in this setting. Because many worksite nutrition initiatives use an ecological framework to improve the dietary habits of employees, the nutrition values of foods served in hospitals is receiving attention.
This study used the Hospital Nutrition Environment Scan for Cafeterias, Vending Machines, and Gift Shops to quantitatively describe the consumer nutrition environments of 39 hospitals in Southern California. Data were collected by visiting each facility once from February 2012 through May 2012.
On average, hospitals achieved only 29%, 33%, and less than 1% of the total possible points for their cafeteria, vending machines, and gift shops sections, respectively; overall, hospitals scored 25% of the total possible points. Large facility size and contracted food service operations were associated with some healthy practices in hospital cafeterias, but we found no association between these variables and the sectional or overall nutrition composite scores.
The average consumer nutrition environment of hospitals in this sample was minimally conducive to healthful eating. Nutrition-related interventions are warranted in hospital settings.
Reproduction in butterflies, as in many holometabolous insects, is usually constrained by the amount of nutrients the animals can collect as juveniles. In polyandric species the females can also supplement their larval-derived reserves with protein-rich donations, so-called nuptial gifts, delivered by the males at mating. Recent findings also indicate that females have access to nitrogen from the histolysis of flight muscles in the thorax. This field study examined how butterflies of the polyandric gift-giving species Pieris napi (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) use body resources in their reproduction and how the male donations affect the females use of stored reserves. The results support earlier studies, indicating that females use resources from the breakdown of thorax muscles to increase their reproductive potential and the results also indicate that males also use thorax material in their reproduction. The study also supports recent findings that the male donation increases the breakdown of body resources and thereby boosts the reproductive output of the female.
This article is based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted with the Indian community in Houston, as part of a NIH–NHGRI-sponsored ethics study and sample collection initiative entitled “Indian and Hindu Perspectives on Genetic Variation Research.” At the heart of this research is one central exchange—blood samples donated for genetic research—that draws both the Indian community and a community of researchers into an encounter with bioethics. I consider the meanings that come to be associated with blood donation as it passes through various hands, agendas, and associated ethical filters on its way to the lab bench: how and why blood is solicited, how the giving and taking of blood is rationalized, how blood as material substance is alienated, processed, documented, and made available for the promised ends of basic science research. Examining corporeal substances and asking what sorts of gifts and problems these represent, I argue, sheds some light on two imbricated tensions expressed by a community of Indians, on the one hand, and of geneticists and basic science researchers, on the other hand: that gifts ought to be free (but are not), and that science ought to be pure (but is not). In this article, I explore how experiences of bioethics are variously shaped by the histories and habits of Indic giving, prior sample collection controversies, commitments to “good science” and the common “good of humanity,” and negotiations of the sites where research findings circulate.
blood donation; gift exchange; genetics research; bioethics; community consultation; India; Indian community in Houston; International HapMap Project
The giving of gifts is an ancient and widespread human activity. But when the gift is given by a patient to their doctor then there may be ethical and clinical questions to consider
Gene annotation is a pivotal component in computational genomics, encompassing prediction of gene function, expression analysis, and sequence scrutiny. Hence, quantitative measures of the annotation landscape constitute a pertinent bioinformatics tool. GeneCards® is a gene-centric compendium of rich annotative information for over 50,000 human gene entries, building upon 68 data sources, including Gene Ontology (GO), pathways, interactions, phenotypes, publications and many more.
We present the GeneCards Inferred Functionality Score (GIFtS) which allows a quantitative assessment of a gene's annotation status, by exploiting the unique wealth and diversity of GeneCards information. The GIFtS tool, linked from the GeneCards home page, facilitates browsing the human genome by searching for the annotation level of a specified gene, retrieving a list of genes within a specified range of GIFtS value, obtaining random genes with a specific GIFtS value, and experimenting with the GIFtS weighting algorithm for a variety of annotation categories. The bimodal shape of the GIFtS distribution suggests a division of the human gene repertoire into two main groups: the high-GIFtS peak consists almost entirely of protein-coding genes; the low-GIFtS peak consists of genes from all of the categories. Cluster analysis of GIFtS annotation vectors provides the classification of gene groups by detailed positioning in the annotation arena. GIFtS also provide measures which enable the evaluation of the databases that serve as GeneCards sources. An inverse correlation is found (for GIFtS>25) between the number of genes annotated by each source, and the average GIFtS value of genes associated with that source. Three typical source prototypes are revealed by their GIFtS distribution: genome-wide sources, sources comprising mainly highly annotated genes, and sources comprising mainly poorly annotated genes. The degree of accumulated knowledge for a given gene measured by GIFtS was correlated (for GIFtS>30) with the number of publications for a gene, and with the seniority of this entry in the HGNC database.
GIFtS can be a valuable tool for computational procedures which analyze lists of large set of genes resulting from wet-lab or computational research. GIFtS may also assist the scientific community with identification of groups of uncharacterized genes for diverse applications, such as delineation of novel functions and charting unexplored areas of the human genome.
Neuroscience has advanced our understanding of the neurological basis of reading disability (RD). Yet, no functional imaging work has been reported on the twice-exceptional dyslexic: individuals exhibiting both non-verbal-giftedness and RD. We compared groups of reading-disabled (RD), non-verbally-gifted (G), non-verbally-gifted-RD (GRD), and control (C) adults on validated word-rhyming and spatial visualization fMRI tasks, and standardized psychometric tests, to ascertain if the neurological functioning of GRD subjects was similar to that of typical RD or G subjects, or perhaps some unique RD subtype. Results demonstrate that GRD adults resemble non-gifted RD adults in performance on paper-and-pencil reading, math and spatial tests, and in patterns of functional activation during rhyming and spatial processing. Data are consistent with what may be a shared etiology of RD and giftedness in GRD individuals that yields a lifespan interaction with reading compensation effects, modifying how their adult brain processes text and spatial stimuli.
giftedness; reading disability; twice-exceptional; neuroimaging; spatial visualization
The study was designed to assess the views and knowledge of hospital doctors in general and geriatric medicine on oral health in older people. Eighty two doctors in general and geriatric medicine at two hospitals were shown 12 colour slides of oral mucosal conditions and asked to give a diagnosis for each slide and complete a questionnaire. Completed questionnaires with the answers to the coloured slides were returned completed by 70 doctors.
The majority of doctors (84%) felt it was important to examine older patients' mouths, however only 19% (χ2 p=0.0001) routinely do so. If asked to prescribe nystatin by the nursing staff, 30% said they would do so without examining the mouth itself. Only 9% of doctors knew that wearing dentures was a specific risk factor for oral candidiasis (χ2 p=0.001). Altogether 56% of doctors did not feel confident in examining the oral cavity and most (77%) did not think they had had sufficient training in this examination. Only two doctors correctly diagnosed all of the slides. An early squamous carcinoma was misdiagnosed by 80% of the doctors (χ2 p=0.0001).
Hospital doctors do not routinely inspect older patients' mouths. Even if shown slides of typical oral mucosal lesions many hospital doctors are unable to diagnose them. Issues on training need to be addressed. From the patients' point of view a public health campaign is required to educate older people on the need for a regular dental review and be aware that doctors may not be able to diagnose serious oral conditions.
To compare physicians' and their patients' attitudes toward pharmaceutical gifts.
Survey of physicians and their patients.
Two tertiary-care medical centers, one military and one civilian.
Two hundred sixty-eight of 392 consecutively surveyed physicians, 100 of 103 randomly selected patients at the military center, and 96 patients in a convenience sample at the civilian center completed the survey.
Participants rated 10 pharmaceutical gifts on whether they were appropriate for physicians to accept and whether they were likely to influence prescribing. Patients found gifts less appropriate and more influential than did their physicians. About half of the patients were aware of such gifts; of those unaware, 24% responded that this knowledge altered their perception of the medical profession. Asked whether they thought their own physician accepted gifts, 27% said yes, 20% no, and 53% were unsure. For patients, feeling that gifts were inappropriate was best predicted by a belief that gifts might influence prescribing, while for physicians, the best predictor was knowledge of guidelines.
Patients feel pharmaceutical gifts are more influential and less appropriate than do their physicians. Physicians may want to consider this in deciding whether to accept particular gifts. Broader dissemination of guidelines may be one means of changing physician behavior. At the same time, future guidelines should further consider the potentially different viewpoints of patients and physicians.
ethics; gifts; pharmaceutical industry; pharmaceutical marketing