Viewpoints: What If CDC Mentioned Vaping’s Less Risky Aspects So People Can Make Informed Decisions?; Climate Change Without A Doubt Hurts The Health Of Young People
Opinion writers weigh in on these public health issues and others health issues.
Are E-Cigs A Public Health Crisis? It's Risky To Call Them Unsafe
Whether they’re warning us about the risks of fat, salt, alcohol or electronic cigarettes, public health authorities tend to mislead – with the best of intentions! – by presenting a black-or-white oversimplification. They equate big risks, small risks and hypothetical risks under one umbrella as “unsafe.” In the case of electronic cigarettes, recently declared an “epidemic” and a “public health crisis,” the misleadingly dire message deprives people of information we need to balance potential risks against potential benefits. (Faye Flam, 6/3)
The New York Times:
Why Two Ex-Surgeons General Support The ‘Juliana 21’ Climate Lawsuit
As former surgeons general of the United States, we were responsible for providing Americans with the best scientific information on how to improve their health and protect against illness and injury. Because climate change represents a profound threat to the public’s well-being, we support the Juliana 21, named after the lead plaintiff, and believe their case should go to trial. (Former U.S. Surgeon Generals Richard Carmona and David Satcher, 6/3)
Pregnant Women With Substance Use Disorders Need Treatment, Not Prison
More than 210,000 women spent Mother’s Day 2019 in America’s prisons and jails. Two-thirds of them are mothers of young children; an unknown number are pregnant. Many of them have substance use disorders with a significant history of trauma and mental health problems. Some have been incarcerated solely for the alleged crime of substance use during pregnancy, and many have lost custody of their children because there aren’t enough treatment centers for women and their kids. (Marty Jessup, 6/4)
The Only Way To Break The Pattern Of Mass Shootings
Many Americans looked on in admiration when New Zealand reacted to a mass shooting by promptly enacting new gun restrictions. It seems impossible to imagine such a response here. But the only way to break the pattern in the United States is to keep pushing: At the least, the Senate should take up and vote on the House legislation.The victims in Virginia Beach were black and white, old and young. Mass killings happen at schools, workplaces, churches. And this awful story will keep repeating itself — until Americans demand a different ending. (6/3)
The Washington Post:
Why The Virginia Beach Shooting Sets An Ominous Precedent
The Virginia Beach shooting on Friday, when an employee of the city government killed 12 people — 11 of whom were his co-workers — is notable only for its familiarity. Another mass shooting. In fact, it was the worst mass-casualty event anyone can remember since … November 2018, at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif.But details of the rampage include one fact unique to the growing list of active-shooter cases: the assailant used a .45-caliber handgun with extended magazines and a barrel suppressor. This small detail — that the loaded gun was fitted with simple, and lawful, “silencing” equipment — threatens to upend how we understand and train for active-shooter cases in the future. (Juliette Kayyem, 6/1)
The Washington Post:
From Virginia Tech To Virginia Beach, Gun Control Should Be The Priority. It Isn’t.
Virginia is for (gun)lovers. There’s no other way to explain it. Because 12 years after the Virginia Tech massacre — the worst mass shooting on a campus in American history — gun control remains on the back burner in a state that is now reeling from another tragedy. On Friday, 12 people were killed by a co-worker turned mass shooter at the Virginia Beach municipal complex. The city engineer was armed with two legally purchased .45-caliber pistols. At least one of them was outfitted with a sound suppressor and extended magazine. (Petula Dvorak, 6/3)
The New York Times:
Is Burnout Real?
Burnout is everywhere. Students, workers, parents — nearly everyone seems to have suffered from it. Last week, the World Health Organization upgraded burnout from a “state” of exhaustion to “a syndrome” resulting from “chronic workplace stress” in its International Disease Classification, the official compendium of diseases. (Richard A. Friedman, 6/3)
Summer Means Hunger For Nearly 1 In 4 Philadelphia Kids. Health Care Providers Can Help.
As the school year comes to a close, I can’t help but think of the fact that nearly one in four kids in Philadelphia don’t get the food that they need to lead a healthy, active life. How is it that in a country of wealth and excess, many of children’s basic life needs are not being met? Medical visits for hunger-related complaints have two major peaks: in the depth of winter and when school is out of session. (Danielle Cullen, 6/3)