Public Health News Roundup: December 6
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The National Cancer Institute has launched SmokefreeTXT, a free text message cessation service that provides 24/7 encouragement, advice, and tips to teens trying to quit smoking. Once they sign up, teens receive text messages timed according to their selected quit date. Following their quit date, they will continue receiving texts for up to six weeks. Teens can sign up online at teen.smokefree.gov or text QUIT to iQUIT (47848). According to NCI data, nearly 20 percent of teens smoke and many will remain smokers in adulthood if they aren’t able to quit now. The official launch follows a soft launch earlier this Fall. Check out our original coverage of the SmokefreeTXT program.
A study in the journal Neurology found that babies born at under 3.3 pounds but without brain damage were more likely to suffer mental challenges including memory, and attention skills, than babies born full term. Read more on maternal and infant health.
About thirty percent of children with asthma are currently using a preventive medication, up from about 18 percent during the late 1980s, according to a study in Pediatrics. Black, Mexican-American and uninsured children are the least likely to use the medications and too many teens may not have their asthma properly controlled. Read more asthma news.