Vivek Murthy Confirmed as U.S. Surgeon General, Again
Known as the nation’s doctor, the U.S. surgeon general provides scientific information and oversees the U.S. Public Health Service’s Commissioned Corps: more than 6,000 professionals who promote health across the United States. Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, who served as surgeon general under President Barack Obama, once again assumed his post as the nation’s doctor in March 2021 and said he will prioritize addressing the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and opioid epidemic during his second tenure. Murthy was appointed during his transition as the chair of the COVID-19 advisory board.
Smoking Initiation Declines in Teens, Rises in Young Adults
The average age at which cigarette users start to smoke regularly has risen. Although the figures dropped from 45% of adults smoking cigarettes in the 1960s to 14% today, and teen smoking declined to 2.4% by 2019, results of a recent study show an upward trend of underage tobacco use in young adults.
Updated ONS Position Statement Highlights Health Consequences of Vaping
E-cigarettes, initially introduced as a potential step-down smoking cessation strategy, have become a pervasive part of American culture—especially among users younger than 18 years of age. The rise in vaping rates has become so alarming that the U.S. surgeon general issued a statement declaring youth e-cigarette use a national epidemic. In light of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports of increasing vaping-related lung disease and death, ONS released its revised position statement, “Potential Adverse Health Consequences From Use of E-Cigarettes and Vaping,” to highlight the negative effects of vaping, emphasize the lack of regulatory oversight, and better inform oncology nursing practice for patients and their families.
Majority Favors Lowering Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes
The evidence is clear: Nicotine is an addictive substance. Even current smokers acknowledge its power, and addiction information is required in advertisements and product promotions. Despite tobacco’s known issues, people still smoke at alarming rates. With vaping, e-cigarettes, and flavored tobacco being introduced to younger and younger consumers, youth smoking is on the rise for the first time in decades.
Teen E-Cigarette Use Doubles as Federal Agencies Publicly Address Epidemic
The youth vaping epidemic has dominated headlines since the U.S. surgeon general elevated the issue to the nation’s spotlight. In a 2019 survey of junior high and high school students, the National Institute on Drug Addiction (NIDA)—an arm of National Institutes of Health—found that the rate of e-cigarette use had doubled since 2017.
Giroir Reflects on Public Health Programs After First Year at HHS
Washington, DC, and the larger federal government are filled with dedicated professionals who toil quietly, often anonymously, in support of programs, initiatives, and agency work in service of the American public. Such is true for the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) lesser-known leaders like Admiral Brett Giroir, MD, assistant secretary for health, who reflected on his time at HHS as he helped guide the department’s efforts in public health.
How ONS Contributes to the Value of Healthcare Coalitions
ONS, like so many membership organizations with dedicated healthcare interests, oils the gears that move the public policy machine forward. Each shift represents another opportunity for success. One such tactic is working in coalitions, and ONS is a vital member of health advocacy groups in Washington, DC, usually as the only nursing society at the table.
Laugh Every Day for the Health of It
An uproarious guffaw, uncontainable giggle, or a hearty hoot often has a ripple effect, turning a quiet room into a cacophony of sounds collectively identified as laughter. Humor is generally considered a subjective experience. Laughter, however, can be spontaneous or consciously produced by going through the motions (fake it till you make it). Either way, the overall benefits associated with laughter make it a virtually priceless self-care strategy.
In Reversal, Trump Orders Halt to His Family Separation Rule; New York Moves Toward Legal Marijuana With Health Dept. Endorsement; Cigarettes Have to Be Labeled 'Deadly' Now. Here's Why
Recently, immigration policies have come front and center in the news. The issue of separating children from their parents at the border was elevated to a public health issue, as the American Academy of Pediatrics—among other healthcare organizations—decried the Trump administration’s policies, noting the potential for irreparable harm to children. ONS was one of the many provider groups that sent formal letters to the Department of Homeland Security, encouraging change to immigration policies that separate children from their parents.
Establish Healthy Boundaries by Using Your Inner Compass
Eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and following an enjoyable exercise routine are all part of physical self-care. Along with caring for the physical self, emotional and spiritual self-care also play a significant role in living a healthy and satisfying life. Like physical health, emotional well-being has various components. This article describes how to tune into your inner compass and develop the skill of learning how to set healthy limits by using your yes’s and no’s wisely.
NIA Promotes Smoking Cessation
In a new message, the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging (NIA) division introduced a public health campaign concentrating on smoking cessation for senior citizens. The program elaborates on a central theme that says, “No matter your age, quitting smoking improves your health.” The agency lists the benefits of cessation, including the critical health impact that diseases have on those who continue to use tobacco.
U.S. Cancer Death Rates Continue to Fall
In the 2018 release of its annual cancer statistics report, the American Cancer Society announced that U.S. cancer death rates fell for the 24th year in a row. The findings were published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
What You and Your Patients Should Know About the Flu This Season
As an oncology nurse, you know the prevention of any infection is critical to patients. This couldn’t be truer than with flu. Although not all illnesses are preventable, the flu vaccine is the first and best way that patients with cancer can protect themselves from flu. Oncology nurses should keep the following new information for the 2017–2018 flu season in mind.
Trump Declares Opioid Crisis a National Emergency; Recent Poll Shows Health Care, Government Most Important to Americans; FDA Launches Campaign to Fight Youth E-Cigarette Use
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.
Becoming a Healthy You Contributes to a Healthy Nation
The American Nurses Association (ANA) launched a grand challenge this year: Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation. The premise is that we are the largest health professionals group but also rate poorly on health indicators. If we improve our health, we can be role models for our family, friends, patients, and community. ONS is supporting the ANA challenge, and I hope you have seen the weekly ONS tips that will help in this challenge.
Healthy Lifestyle Choices for Survivors of Cancer
The 2012 American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer survivors suggest achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical exercise and following healthy dietary patterns.
HPV Vaccines Fight Against Oral Cancers and More
Because April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, it’s important to understand the link between human papillomavirus (HPV) and oropharyngeal cancers. This form of oral cancer occurs in the middle part of the throat, soft palate, base of the tongue, and tonsils. HPV contributes to more than 70% of all oropharyngeal cancers, with more than half of these being related to HPV type 16. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that approximately 9,000 new cases of oropharyngeal cancers are diagnosed annually and are typically four times more common in men than women.