The Problem: Tobacco use is a source of chronic and fatal illnesses for users and people exposed to tobacco smoke. Second-hand smoke exposure contributes to 41,000 deaths among non-smoking adults, and 400 infants annually. Second-hand exposure can lead to stroke, lung cancer and coronary heart disease. Children exposed to second-hand smoke are at increased risk for slowed lung growth, asthma, acute respiratory infections, middle ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome.
The Problem: Widespread vaccine coverage for preventable disease is an essential public health goal Healthy People 2020 Low vaccine coverage rates enable otherwise avoidable outbreaks of harmful diseases. CDC: Vaccines and Immunizations. Clinicians tend to acute and chronic conditions before preventive considerations, resulting in lack of time for vaccinations.
In the United States, preemption is a legal doctrine that allows upper levels of government to restrict or even prevent a lower-level government from self-regulating. While it is most often thought of in the context of the federal government’s preemption of states, preemption is increasingly being used as a tool by states to limit cities, counties and other lower-level municipalities from legislating across a broad array of issues.
Center for Public Health Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania
Corey Davis, JD, MSPH •
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Leo Beletsky, JD, MPH •
Health in Justice Action Lab
A new Perspective article in the New England Journal of Medicine examines a recent decision by a Philadelphia judge to reject the argument that an overdose prevention site, called Safehouse, would violate the Controlled Substances Act.
The decision signals a move toward an approach to regulating drugs that minimizes both the harms of drugs and the harms caused by regulation itself – worthy goals all around, the authors write.
Tobacco use remains a leading cause of preventable death in the United States, known to cause cancer and other harmful health conditions, including, but not limited to, respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Implementing evidence-based policies that reduce smoking and tobacco consumption can decrease tobacco-related illnesses and death. One of the most effective strategies to decrease tobacco use is to raise the price of tobacco products, something which state governments can accomplish by establishing specific taxes and pricing limits for tobacco products.
Across the country, a rise in the misuse of injectable opioids and heroin means more people are at higher risk of contracting infectious diseases from using contaminated syringes. Sharing syringes provides a direct route of transmission for blood-borne diseases such as the hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Symptoms may not appear for years, meaning individuals who inject drugs may share needles and unknowingly spread diseases to others.
This draft memo, prepared by Angus Corbett, addresses the question of how local governments can enforce housing codes to enable low-income tenants to live in safe and healthy housing. It reviews the market for low-cost rental housing and provides an outline of the “dynamics” of this market. The memo identifies three models in use for enforcing housing codes: the “deterrence” model, the strategic code enforcement model and a meta-regulation model.
Inclusionary zoning laws can serve as a mechanism to provide more housing opportunities by requiring or incentivizing developers to set aside a certain portion of new developments for affordable housing, and are designed to provide more affordable rental and/or owner-occupied housing for low to moderate-income individuals and families. Developers can sometimes meet the requirement by building affordable units off-site or pay into an affordable housing fund. Incentives for developers include expedited permitting, density bonuses, and zoning variances.
Public health leaders are called to develop more effective messages that appeal to a broader range of “moral foundations” and also to the new millennial generation who represent the future of the public health workforce. In this column, the authors turn the focus from the tools we can use to craft persuasive messages to the virtues that can make us worthy of being heeded.