Dec 6 2011

Public Health News Roundup: December 6

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NCI Launches Smoking Cessation App Aimed at Teens

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 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.

Even Premature Babies Born Without Cognitive Deficits Can Face Mental Challenges as Adults

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.

Rates of Asthma Drug Use Rises among Kids

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.

Tags: Asthma, Maternal and Infant Health, Mental Health, News roundups, Pediatrics, Public and Community Health, Technology, Tobacco