House Passes Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act

The House of Representatives has passed legislation to protect children from exposure to e-liquids containing nicotine. The Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act (S. 142/H.R. 3242) will ensure child-resistant packaging for these products, which are used in e-cigarettes and other e-smoking applications. Packaging in line with the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s child-resistant standards would be required 180 days after enactment of the bill. The House version of the bipartisan bill was introduced by Energy and Commerce Committee members Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) and Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.). E-liquids are often colorful and come in many flavors that could appeal to children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found a significant increase in the number of calls to poison control centers involving the liquid nicotine used for e-cigarettes, with more than half the calls involving children under the age of five. S. 142, introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), was cleared by the Senate last month. The House passed H.R. 3242 by voice vote, and the bill will be sent to the President for his signature.

USPSTF Finalizes Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has finalized its controversial recommendations on mammography screenings for breast cancer. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates private insurance coverage without copays for services that receive a USPSTF grade of “A” or “B.” The federal task force assigned routine mammographies for women in their 40s a “C” rating. The rating is a result of weighing the risks of over diagnosis and unnecessary treatment against the potential benefit of routine screenings for younger women.

West Africa Declared Ebola Free

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the end of Ebola in West Africa. Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the three countries hit hardest by the two-year epidemic, no longer have any known cases of the disease. Officials, however, are not ruling out the possibility of more cases being recorded in the region and have urged countries to continue surveillance. Over 28,000 people have been infected with the highly contagious Ebola since August 2014, and more than 11,000 have died. WHO will decrease its staff presence in the area from 1,200 people to 600 people by the end of the year.

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 -  2018