GOOD

A Smoke-Free Generation Is Within Reach — And Here’s How

Why youth tobacco use is on the decline.

THE GOOD NEWS:

Tobacco use among American youths has fallen to historic lows over the past six years.


A generation that doesn’t smoke is coming. Youth tobacco use has always been an issue, and for the first time, we seem to be making real progress toward leaving it behind. Smoking is already a health risk, but developing a nicotine addiction before turning 18 is a greater public health danger. In the last six years, however, we’ve seen the biggest drop yet in youth tobacco usage.

Generally, kids under 18 pick up smoking in high school or through friends. But because of public messaging and successful marketing campaigns, cigarettes seem to be losing some of their appeal.

Image by Trinity Kubassek/Pexels.

According to a report from the Center for Disease Control, there were 3.9 million middle or high school kids using tobacco in 2016. This is down from 4.7 million in 2015. Before being surveyed by the CDC, 8% of the participants had smoked in the month leading up to the survey. In 2011, it was nearly 16%.

While the drop is primarily attributed to marketing materials and campaigns, it doesn’t seem to be reaching middle schoolers as much as it’s affecting high schoolers. The CDC report showed almost no decline in middle school smoking rates, and only a 1% decline in e-cigarette usage rates among middle schoolers.

And what about e-cigarettes? It’s true that as the use of traditional cigarettes among youths has declined, vaping has become more popular. From 2011 to 2016, underage e-cigarette usage rose from 1.5% to 11.3%. But there’s good news in there too: From 2015 to 2016, e-cigarette usage saw a sharp decline. In 2015, 16% of participants had used an e-cigarette in the month before the survey. In 2016, only 11.3% had. So the marketing campaigns may have started to discourage to e-cigarette culture in a way that’s gaining traction.

Articles
via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

Keep Reading Show less
Business
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics