Opinion writers weigh in on these public health issues and others.
Los Angeles Times: Op-Ed: Let’s Call This Youth Vaping Crisis What It Is: A Juuling Epidemic
Almost daily, educators across the country tell me that at least half of their students use e-cigarettes, mainly the Juul brand. Many of these young people show clear signs of addiction. They are agitated, emotional and unable to sit through an entire class period. They often need to leave class to “take a puff.” National data about the pervasiveness of e-cigarettes show that it increased nearly 80% among high school students from 2017 to 2018. One in 5 report currently vaping. (Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, 8/15)
Fox News: Gun Confiscation Under ‘Red Flag’ Laws Is Unconstitutional
When tragedy strikes, as it did in two mass killings this month, there is always the urge to pressure the government do something.Governments are animated by the belief that doing something — any demonstrable overt behavior — will show that they are in control. I understand the natural fears that good folks have that an El Paso or a Dayton episode might happen again, but doing something for the sake of appearance can be dangerous to personal liberty. …The concept of a “red flag” law — which permits the confiscation of lawfully owned weapons from a person because of what the person might do — violates both the presumption of innocence and the due process requirement of proof of criminal behavior before liberty can be infringed. (Andrew P. Napolitano, 8/15)
The Washington Post: Why New Anti-Abortion Laws May Make It Harder To Conceive
The constitutional right to an abortion hangs in the balance. But the new laws threaten not only those who choose to end a pregnancy but also those who are attempting to start one. That’s because antiabortion laws can impinge on all sorts of reproductive choices, including the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technologies. (Margaret Marsh and Wanda Ronner, 8/15)
Fox News: Race Shouldn’t Be A Factor In Cancer Care
Overall, minorities and those living in deprived neighborhoods remain more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage cancer and to have worse survival rates. African-Americans have the highest death rates and lowest survival rates of any racial or ethnic group in the U.S. for most types of cancer; for breast cancer, mortality is still about 40 percent higher. And because black women are more likely to have the more deadly “triple negative” form of breast cancer, it is particularly imperative that barriers to early diagnosis and effective treatment be minimized. (Claire Pomeroy, 8/15)
The New York Times: This Drug Will Save Children’s Lives. It Costs $ 2 Million.
The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a single-dose gene therapy, Zolgensma, that has the potential to cure spinal muscular atrophy. That was cause for hope for the hundreds of patients suffering from it, along with their families and physicians — until its manufacturer, Novartis, announced the treatment’s price tag: about $ 2.1 million per patient.That’s believed to be more than any one medication has ever cost. (8/13)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.