By Chris Pirschel, Staff Writer, and Alec Stone, ONS Public Affairs Director

Trump Declares Opioid Crisis a National Emergency

Experts currently estimate that opioid addiction kills nearly 100 Americans every day, and the scale of the problem is continuing to grow. In response, President Trump to unofficially declared the opioid crisis a national emergency during a public statement from his golf resort in Bedminster, NJ, on August 10, 2017. After the Trump administration completes the necessary paperwork, the opioid crisis will become one of 29 other active national emergencies. With the designation of a national emergency, legislators will be able to focus additional funding and resources to fight against the opioid epidemic. There’s hope the announcement will act as a wake-up call to the millions of Americans who haven’t yet been impacted by opioid addiction.

Although the details are still scarce, Trump’s stance on opioids is encouraging for the problem in America. However, ONS recognizes that the epidemic doesn’t extend to all patients taking opioids. For many patients with cancer, pain management medications—like opioids—are offering real help with the chronic pain and discomfort associated with the disease and its treatment. ONS will continue to work with legislators and policy makers as they start to address the new national emergency. Join ONS and share your voice with those on Capitol Hill. Learn how to get involved in advocating for your patients and your fellow oncology nurses.

Recent Poll Shows Health Care, Government Most Important to Americans

According to a recent Gallup Poll, a majority of Americans reported that the most important problems facing the United States were government leadership and health care. Twenty percent of those polled cited poor leadership as the source of the United States’ most important problems. Another 17% stated that healthcare issues were the source of the most critical problems facing the country. Race relations, immigration, and unemployment were among the other topics referenced. The results show that the U.S. population, despite reading constant headlines related to Russia and North Korea, is still focusing on health care and the problems with leadership in the country.

With the collapse of the GOP’s repeal and replacement efforts, the future of health care still raises many questions. Although some lawmakers are still interested in repealing the Affordable Care Act, many others are focused on moving to cover new ground before the 2018 midterm elections begin. In this divide, much is uncertain. If anything, U.S. voters are beginning to understand the complexity of the healthcare debate and will hopefully support bipartisan work to find a common middle ground. ONS will continue to work in healthcare legislation to educate elected officials on the importance of access and coverage for patients with cancer.  

FDA Launches Campaign to Fight Youth E-Cigarette Use

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced an expanded public health campaign to fight e-cigarette usage among underage Americans. The FDA’s “Real Cost” campaign will focus on educating teenage users about the dangers of tobacco use and electronic nicotine delivery systems. This comes as part of the FDA’s expanded effort to regulate tobacco and nicotine products and marks the first FDA effort aimed at underage e-cigarette users.

Although tobacco education campaigns aren’t groundbreaking, they have been effective in recent years, helping to decrease the number of active smokers in the United States. The FDA is making tobacco regulation and cessation a top priority, and ONS will continue to champion those programs.