Public Health News Roundup: January 20
Slightly more than half of U.S. teenage girls who had a child between 2004 and 2008, and reported that the pregnancy was unintended, did not use any form of birth control. A third of these respondents didn't think they could get pregnant at the time, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Although the number of teens who get pregnant in the U.S. has fallen in recent years, the U.S. teen birth rate is still the highest of any developed country, with more than 400,000 births in 2009, according to the CDC. Read more on teen pregnancy.
Most states did a poor job of combating tobacco-caused disease in 2011, according to the 2012 State of Tobacco Control report from the American Lung Association. No state passed a strong smokefree air law, and Nevada weakened its existing law. Washington virtually eliminated a tobacco prevention and quit-smoking program, which a recent study found saved the state $5 for every $1 spent from 2000 to 2009. And, for the first year since the Lung Association released the first report in 2003, no state raised its tobacco tax significantly.
The report noted some federal progress:
- On January 1, 2011, the federal government began offering comprehensive quit-smoking benefits to its millions of employees and their families.
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced in June that the government will give states partial reimbursement for quit-smoking counseling services provided to Medicaid enrollees through state quit lines.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service is releasing more than $863 million to help low-income households with their heating and other home energy costs. Read up on health and housing.