Viewpoints: Ban Against Menthol Flavors Needs To Include Every Kind Of Cigarette; Stop Overlooking Surge Of STDS After Years Of Progress
Opinion writers weigh in on these public health issues and others.
It's Time To Eliminate All Flavored Cigarettes, Not Just Electronic Ones
The unprecedented rise in youth vaping is a pressing public health challenge. More than one-quarter of all high school students now use e-cigarettes. Reducing e-cigarette use among youths is critical to preventing another generation of kids from becoming addicted to nicotine. We applaud efforts to prohibit the sale of menthol-, mint-, candy-, and fruit-flavored e-cigarettes. But government and public health leaders must not repeat the same mistake they made a decade ago when they allowed combustible menthol cigarettes to remain on the market. (Derek Carr and Pratima Musburger, 10/16)
Vaping response should be science-based, not prohibition
It’s frightening when people are dying and doctors don’t know why. Over the past few months, 26 deaths and some 1,300 injuries have been attributed to vaping. We shake our heads in disbelief at X-ray images of lung damage and findings of vape-borne chemicals that turn to cyanide when heated. Doctors and public health officials are appropriately sounding alarms. Lawmakers are responding predictably, and unfortunately, with calls for outright bans on vaping and vape products. (Susan Collins, 10/14)
The Washington Post:
STDs Are On The Rise. They Must Be Combated.
In 2000 and 2001, the national rate of reported primary and secondary syphilis cases in the United States reached the lowest since reporting began in 1941. In 2009, the rate of gonorrhea cases reached a historic low. Now this progress has unraveled. Sexually transmitted infections — syphilis, gonorrhea and a third illness, chlamydia — hit an all-time high in the United States last year. This is a surge of illness that did not have to happen and must be addressed. (10/15)
Los Angeles Times:
What The Gun Lobby Gets Wrong About The 2nd Amendment
The case involves a New York City regulation on transporting handguns that was repealed in July. Although that original rule is no longer in effect, for now the court has not determined the matter to be moot, so the case will move forward. In this dispute and others, opposition to gun regulations is often grounded on the premise that once an individual interest is identified as a “fundamental” right, that interest prevails over all countervailing public concerns. That premise is profoundly mistaken. (Vikram D. Amar and Alan E. Brownstein, 10/16)
Genetic Counselors Save Health Care Dollars When Involved In The Testing Process
As a cardiovascular genetic counselor with more than 15 years of experience, I know firsthand the critical importance of identifying genetic risk in a timely manner. Genetic counselors are in a unique position to help patients and their providers navigate medically complex genetic risk factors. (Amy Sturm, 10/15)
The Washington Post:
We’re Launching The Nation’s First Safe-Injection Site. We Hope It Will Be One Of Many.
This month, a federal judge in Philadelphia ruled that a supervised injection site that we co-founded is not illegal, opening the door for the first one to be established in the United States. We hope it will be one of many across the country.In a well-reasoned 56-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Gerald A. McHugh ruled that a supervised injection site, designed to combat the staggering death toll of opioid overdoses by allowing people to inject drugs under medical supervision, does not violate the “crack-house” section of the Controlled Substances Act because the site would be operated not “‘for the purpose of’ unlawful drug use” but to "save lives.” (Ed Rendell, Jose A. Benitez and Ronda B. Goldfein, 10/15)
Oregon’s Addiction Crisis Needs Governor’s Action Now
Each day, five Oregonians die as a consequence of alcohol and one or two die from drug overdoses – over 2,100 lives lost each year to substance addiction. Comparatively, in 1994 alone, Oregon lost 362 people to the AIDS epidemic. Yet untreated addiction gets little of the attention that an epidemic of its size demands. Moreover, untreated addiction is a leading contributor to our overwhelmed foster care system, our homelessness crisis, and our packed prisons. (Se-ah-dom Edmo and Tony Vezina, 10/14)