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Articles of Interest: Public Policy

"These efforts are yielding tremendous results that are benefitting our nation's youth and society as a whole." - Ned Sharpless, Acting FDA Commissioner
FDA says The Real Cost campaign stopped nearly 600,000 from smoking
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2020

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released Healthy People 2030, the nation's 10-year plan for addressing our most critical public health priorities and challenges. Since 1980, HHS's Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has set measurable objectives and targets to improve the health and well-being of the nation.

This decade, Healthy People 2030 features 355 core – or measurable – objectives with 10-year targets, new objectives related to opioid use disorder and youth e-cigarette use, and resources for adapting Healthy People 2030 to emerging public health threats like COVID-19. For the first time, Healthy People 2030 also sets 10-year targets for objectives related to social determinants of health.

Amid the epidemic levels of youth use of e-cigarettes and the popularity of certain products among children, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today issued a policy prioritizing enforcement against certain unauthorized flavored e-cigarette products that appeal to kids, including fruit and mint flavors. Under this policy, companies that do not cease manufacture, distribution and sale of unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes (other than tobacco or menthol) within 30 days risk FDA enforcement actions.

2019

The choking fug of tobacco smoke that hung over pubs and restaurants was snuffed out back in 2007.

Now the smoking ban has been voted the UK’s greatest public health achievement of the 21st century.

Maloney, Jennifer. "U.S. Raises Tobacco-Buying Age to 21." Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2019.

New restriction, which also includes e-cigarettes, is part of spending bill passed by Senate and would take effect in September 2020.

"Stricter Alcohol Policies Related to Lower Risk of Cancer." Boston Medical Center, December 4, 2019.

BOSTON – In a new study, researchers at Boston Medical Center and Boston University have uncovered a new association between more restrictive alcohol policies and lower rates of cancer mortality.

Alcohol consumption has long been related to a number of health conditions, but has recently been identified as an emerging risk factor for developing at least seven different types of cancer. Previous studies have estimated approximately 20,000 cancer deaths are attributable to alcohol in the United States annually. However, no previous studies have looked into whether stronger (i.e. more restrictive) alcohol policies are associated with rates of alcohol-attributable cancers in the U.S.

Bowdish, PhD, Lawrence; Yagmur Cosar. "Transforming Global Health: Cross-Sector Partnership to Advance the SDGs." U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, October 30, 2019.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global effort to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the world. Some of these goals, particularly SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), deal directly with the health of individuals and communities, but better societal health underpins virtually all 17 SDGs. The success of these goals requires cross-sector partnerships, finding new, innovative solutions, and rethinking how the private sector and all stakeholders leverage their strengths to address global health challenges.

Brennan, Troyen; Eileen Howard Boone. "Strengthening our commitment to help end tobacco use." US News, September 3, 2019.

FIVE YEARS AGO, WE decided to stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products in all CVS Pharmacy locations. It was the first step toward building an innovative health care company driven by a purpose — helping people on their path to better health. Since then, CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation announced a multi-year $50 million Be The First initiative to help create the first tobacco-free generation.

The Food and Drug Administration has evaluated the effectiveness of its youth anti-smoking campaign. Short answer: it worked!

Researchers from the government agency and nonprofit RTI have found that awareness campaign The Real Cost prevented between 380,000 and 587,000 teens from starting to smoke, according to the study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Kaplan, Sheila . "The F.D.A.’s New Cigarette Warnings Are Disturbing. See for Yourself.." The New York Times, 8/15/19.

WASHINGTON — The corpse is gone.

So are the grief-stricken woman, the rotting teeth and the man struggling to smoke despite a hole in his windpipe.

Nine years after the Food and Drug Administration first proposed graphic images as warnings on cigarette packs but was thwarted by tobacco companies in a successful court battle, the agency announced on Thursday that it is finally issuing a new set.

 

Roan, Shari. "Public Health Officials Push for More Effort Vaccinating Kids Against HPV." Everyday Health, July 17, 2019.

Public health officials called for vast improvements in childhood vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) during a congressional briefing June 27, 2019, in Washington, DC. HPV infections, experts testified, are causing significant increases in some types of cancers at a time when many other types of cancers are declining, per a report published May 30, 2019, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Zraick, Karen; Emily S. Rueb. "Walgreens Is Latest to Raise Vaping (and Smoking) Age to 21." The New York Times, April 23, 2019.

The drugstore chain Walgreens will stop selling tobacco products to customers under 21, the company announced on Tuesday.

Kaplan, Sheila. "Senator McConnell, a Tobacco Ally, Supports Raising Age to Buy Cigarettes." The New York Times, April 18, 2019.

WASHINGTON — Senator Mitch McConnell, long one of the tobacco industry’s loyal allies, said on Thursday that he would sponsor legislation to raise the minimum age to 21 for the purchase of tobacco and e-cigarettes.

2016

Richard Craver. "Study suggests graphic cigarette labels may get attention of smokers." Winston-Salem Journal, 6/6/2016.

Another study has determined graphic warning labels on cigarette packs may gain the attention of smokers better than current warning phrases, but not necessarily spur them to quit.

2014

Viehbacher, Christopher; Martin Murphy, DMedSc, PhD, FASCO. "Colorado has taken a bold step." The Gazette, March 23, 2014.

Personal lifestyle is usually risky territory for leaders even when there is compelling medical evidence supporting public action and policy. Eliminating tobacco use and promoting physical activity and healthy nutrition are important ways to prevent disease and improve health - it is evidence based.