Smoking in EuropeHere in the United States, we’ve battling against cigarette smoking for 50 years. And yet, lots of people smoke. That is even truer as you travel around the world; secondhand smoke is just part of the experience in many parts of the world. But the European Union apparently is ready to challenge “that nasty habit.” At the Wall Street Journal, Gabriele Steinhauser reports on the European Parliament’s new rules calling for larger warning labels and restrictions on cigarette flavors. Halfway around the world, health officials in Thailand, where lung cancer is an increasingly prevalent problem, are working to create larger warnings on packs of smokes. Expat Health’s Bryony Ashcroft reports on Thai efforts to reduce smoking rates.

Here’s some news that wannabe expats should consider when choosing a new country to live in – Bloomberg has scored 48 countries with advanced economies on how efficient their healthcare system is. According to their scoring system, Hong Kong offers the most efficient healthcare, with Singapore also doing very well. And you may have guessed this – the United States does horribly.

Speaking of efficiency, some people have a hard time when it comes to packing for a trip; we’re talking about the folks who need three suitcases for a long weekend. At USA Today, Caroline Morse offers 10 tips for the chronic overpacker.

We travel to learn, we travel to see new things, we travel to have fun. Sometimes, that all-inclusive resort is just what the doctor ordered. And sometimes, you need to move outside of your comfort zone and explore. The Cultureist’s Matt Wilson writes that traveling for a greater purpose can be a life changing event – and you oughtta do it. For proof, we turn to a new study done by the Wagner Group and promoted by the US Travel Association. Check out this fact sheet on the positive effects of travel, which include further educational attainment and future success.

If you’re dreaming of a trip to Africa, there were some great ideas out there this week. At the Wall Street Journal, Tom Downey writes about the spectacular scenery of Mozambique. And if you’d like to engage your inner Dr. Doolittle and talk to the animals (well, hang out with them at least), it doesn’t get better than Uganda-based Premier Safaris. The group is promoting an opportunity to offer research-focused itineraries to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with renowned gorilla expert Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka. You can spend four days with her tracking gorillas and learning about their habitat and behaviors with one of the world’s foremost experts. That’s cool.

Buzzfeed’s Ashley Perez offers 31 fun signs that, deep down, you’re a world traveler.

And finally, the brilliant folks at Air New Zealand have come up with another safety video you’ll actually watch, starring Betty White. I actually watched this all the way through – really. In the past, ANZ has made safety videos starring hobbits, so, yeah, they know how to get people’s attention.

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