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Instituting Smoke Free Public HousingOn December 5, 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a final rule requiring all Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) administering low-income, conventional public housing to initiate a smoke-free policy. The Rule becomes effective on February 3, 2017 with an 18-month implementation period. Read More

Health Care Policy in the Election – The day after the November 6, 2012 elections, Kaiser Health News reported the results of several state health initiatives. In Missouri, voters decided against increasing state tobacco tax which would have helped to fund tobacco control programs and public education (Gold, 2012). The state continues to have the lowest cigarette tax in the country.  Missourians also voted for the approval of Proposition E, thereby joining eight other states that do not participate in state health insurance exchanges (Gold, 2012).  For further information please click here.

FEMA – Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act – According to the Department of Homeland Security, Section 416 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, (Stafford Act) (42 U.S.C. 183) Public Law 93-288, the President is authorized to provide financial assistance to the United States for survivors of major disasters. As of October 11, 2012, professional counseling services are available to alleviate mental health problems caused by or worsened due to a major disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has classified Section 416 of the Stafford Act at section 44 CFR 206.171 titled Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training. For more information and to leave comments, please visit here.

Senators ask Surgeon General to Study Link Between Sugary Drinks and Obesity – U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, Ron Wyden and Richard Blumenthal wrote a letter to the U.S. Surgeon General, the Honorable Regina Benjamin, on September 12, 2012. The senators requested additional research on the impact of sugary beverages on obesity in the United States. Lautenberg states that soda consumption and obesity have both increased in the United States in the past few decades. In addition, public health officials recommend limited consumption of soda and sugary beverages. Lautenberg initially “filed an amendment to the Farm Bill requiring a study, but it was not included in the bill approved in the Senate.”  To find out more about the proposal, please click here.

New York City Board of Health Today Voted to Enact the Administration’s Proposal To Limit Size of Sugary Beverages Sold in Food Service Establishments – According to a press release issued by New York City Government, the New York City Board of Health passed the Administration’s proposal to limit the size of sugary beverages sold in food service establishments to 16 ounces. This regulation was adopted to combat the growing obesity epidemic that causes 6,000 New Yorkers to die each year. Sugary beverages with more than 25 calories per every eight ounces must be 16 ounces or less. The new regulation, which was adopted on September 13, 2012, will go into effect on March 12, 2013. Establishments, which include movie theaters, concessions, delis, and restaurants, have six months to comply with the regulation.  To find out more about the proposal, please click here.