Public Health

The Healthiest—and Unhealthiest—States

Reduced smoking rates, not much violent crime and low reports of sexually transmitted diseases make Vermont the healthiest state in the country, according to rankings released this week.

HIV Treatment, Testing Not Reaching Enough People, CDC Says

New data shows that current treatment, testing and prevention methods are not reaching enough Americans to help curtail new HIV cases, which federal officials said underscores the need for expanded options.

Report: Over 2 Million Children Affected by the Opioid Epidemic

The societal costs associated with children’s exposure to opioids could total $400 billion by 2030, a new report from the United Hospital Fund estimates.

Eliminating Food Deserts Won’t Help Poorer Americans Eat Healthier

COMMENTARY | The effect on healthy eating from opening new supermarkets is negligible at best.

Not Just Opioids: Death Toll From Cocaine is Rising

While the U.S. continues to focus mainly on the opioid crisis, cocaine is quietly making a comeback and has become one of the biggest overdose killers of African Americans when tainted with fentanyl.

Efforts To Move The Needle On Flu Shot Rates Get Stuck

The flat immunization rates worry public health officials who say the vaccine is the best weapon to prevent the flu.

For Public Health Agencies, Hiring in Competitive Field is Particularly Challenging

Hiring managers say competition with the private sector and other factors make it difficult to recruit and retain staff. A new Center for State and Local Government Excellence report details ways that local governments have succeeded despite these challenges.

‘Meth. We’re On It.’ Ad Campaign in South Dakota Gets Attention

The slogan went viral on Twitter when users commented that the ads missed the mark. State officials say the discussion the campaign prompted is exactly the point.

Tobacco Flavor Bans Multiply, But Menthol Continues to Divide

The flavor bans that are currently sweeping the country have more to do with e-cigarettes than menthol cigarettes.

As States With Legal Weed Embrace Vaping Bans, Black-Market Risks Linger

Many cases of vaping-related injury seem to involve THC, health officials say. That's led some states to take another look at the safety of the regulated cannabis market, as well as the black market.

One City is Giving People a ‘Prescription’ to Eat Fruits and Veggies

New York City is trying to make healthy food more accessible to its residents, including helping low-income people shop at farmers markets.

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Preterm Birth Rates Continue to Rise

The number of babies born before 37 weeks of gestation rose nationally for the fourth consecutive year, according to data from March of Dimes.

As Meth Use Surges, One Region Tries to Combat ‘The Pull’

Meth 2.0 is stronger and cheaper than the old home-cooked variety.

The Places Where ‘Food Insecurity’ Is Most Severe

Data that a think-tank published this week shows where the challenges are greatest, along with some of the underlying factors that can make it difficult for people to afford food.

People With Mental Illnesses Aren’t More Violent. Why Do People Believe They Are?

A new study found that over the past two decades support grew for forced treatment of people with mental health issues, even if they don’t need it.

There Are No Zombie Deer in Nevada. State Officials Want to Keep It That Way

Wildlife officials in Nevada are committed to preventing chronic wasting disease from infecting state populations of deer.

No More Tater Tots? California Schools Put Healthier Lunches To The Test

K-12 schools across California are rethinking and reformulating student meals.

Cities Are Worried About the Health Effects of Certain Herbicides

Seattle has joined Miami, Austin, and other cities in restricting the use of herbicides with glyphosate, such as Roundup.

STDs Continue to Spread Nationwide

Cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis rose for the fifth consecutive year, according to federal data released this week.

Sin Taxes Not a Reliable Source of Revenue, Report Says

States collected $34 million in alcohol and tobacco taxes in 2017, but a tax increase doesn’t always equate to more money as consumer behavior changes.