Dawn Berkowitz, Chair of the Tobacco Control Network Executive Committee, discusses a new policy recommendations guide released by the group; Liz Hendrix, the Policy Control Officer for the Tobacco Control Network Executive Committee details what she...
Dawn Berkowitz, Chair of the Tobacco Control Network Executive Committee, discusses a new policy recommendations guide released by the group; Liz Hendrix, the Policy Control Officer for the Tobacco Control Network Executive Committee details what she sees as the two most important recommendations from the guide; Ellen Pliska, ASTHO’s Family and Child Health Senior Director, details the importance of Maternal Mortality Review Committees; and ASTHO Chief Medical Officer Dr. Marcus Plescia says he hopes the new COVID-19 vaccine for young children will put parents and caregivers at ease.
This is Public Health Review Morning Edition for Friday, June 24th, 2022. I'm Robert Johnson. Now, today's news from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
The guide really offers an effective roadmap, I would say, for states and territories to prevent youth use and reduce overall use of tobacco products.
That's the voice of Dawn Berkowitz, current chair of the Tobacco Control Network Executive Committee, on a new policy recommendations guide released by the group.
The recommendations are really not meant to be prescriptive or a to-do list of everything a state needs to do, but rather it's a way to inform public health professionals and stakeholders of the issues at hand and identify opportunities to advance health equity and decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with tobacco use.
Liz Hendrix is the policy control officer for the Tobacco Control Network.
If I had to pick two recommendations, I would first emphasize the strategy to enact 100% tobacco-free property policies, both indoor and outdoor. The strategy really has the potential to impact both smokers and non-smokers, and it'll protect people who live in multi-unit housing or any workplaces.
Hendrix says the other is the recommendation to end the sale of tobacco products.
To me, this is the ultimate end game for tobacco, and it will arguably have the greatest public health impact and also impact on health equity. And I know that the strategy might not be feasible for many states or for all states and territories at the moment, but I do think that it's important to keep it in mind when planning for effective tobacco control efforts in the long run.
You can read the recommendations using the link in the show notes.
Also, people enrolled in Medicaid smoke cigarettes at twice the rate as those on private insurance. ASTHO and the CDC are working together to explore how states can use Medicaid data to understand tobacco use within this population and identify strategies to address the concern. ASTHO has a new brief on the topic, and you can read it online using the link in the show notes.
Ellen Pliska is thinking about ways states and territories can work to reduce the number of deaths among moms who are pregnant or who recently delivered a baby. Pliska is ASTHO's family and child health senior director. She says many jurisdictions rely on maternal mortality review committees to help them understand why rates are so high.
The important part of getting these to work really well is having a really great integrated data structure that helps you quickly address factors that lead to maternal mortality and morbidity and pair those with some of the more qualitative things like interviews of providers or families to figure out how and why this happened.
Pliska says the CDC has a data collection system commonly referred to as MMRIA that can help these committees do their work.
She adds there are many other options available to those trying to solve this problem.
Some of these policy and system solutions can include things like ensuring that prenatal and specialty care services are available to pregnant women within a reasonable traveling distance or via telehealth. Some facility solutions can include supporting ongoing, evidence-based anti-racism and cultural humility training for providers and policymakers, and doing this within public health, healthcare and social service sectors can really make a big difference. And that can also include training on historical context for racism and racial inequities, and why structural racism and implicit and explicit bias can influence organizational behavior and decision-making.
Finally this morning, ASTHO chief medical officer Dr. Marcus Plescia says he hopes the new COVID-19 vaccine for young children will put parents and caregivers at ease, knowing they can now safely vaccinate their kids from the virus. You can read Plescia's statement following the link in the show notes.
That'll do it for today's newscast. We're back Monday morning with more ASTHO news and information.
I'm Robert Johnson. You're listening to Public Health Review Morning Edition. Have a great weekend.