Legislation Looks to Raise Tobacco Sale Age Nationally
Hawaii became the first state in the country to raise its minimum tobacco age of sale to 21 earlier this year. Now, Senator Brian Schatz, along with nine additional Senators, have introduced the Tobacco to 21 Act. Under the Act, the sale of tobacco products would be prohibited to anyone under the age of 21. This Act is supported by various associations and agencies including the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. (Big Island Now, 9/30)





Alcohol Use and Binge Drinking Among Women of Childbearing Age
Although drinking alcohol during pregnancy poses a risk to the unborn child, one in 10 pregnant women age 18-44 in the United States still consumes alcohol, a new study finds. What’s worse, slightly more than 3% of pregnant women admitted that they binge drink, according to the report from the CDC. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, premature delivery and stillbirth, as well as FAS. (HealthDay News, 9/24)
Kids with Asthma Fare Worse When They Live with Smokers
Kids with asthma are more likely to have breathing problems and be hospitalized when they live with a smoker, a research review suggests. Asthmatic kids exposed to second-hand smoke were 66% more likely to seek ER care and 85% more likely to be hospitalized than their peers. Breathing in cigarette smoke was also linked to a more than tripled risk of poor lung function and 32% higher odds of wheezing symptoms (Reuters, 9/24)
Parents Differ on Definition of Cyberbullying, Survey Shows
Many parents are concerned about cyberbullying, but they have very different opinions on how to define it and how it should be punished, a new survey finds.  A sample of parents of teens aged 13-17 was asked opinions about a number of hypothetical cyberbullying situations. Parents also had mixed opinions about penalties, but believed posting online rumors about a student having sex at school should be most punished. (HealthDay News, 9/24)
Unreported Male Sex Partners Among Men with Newly Diagnosed HIV Infection
Data from a prospective study evaluating methods to detect acute HIV infection among a primarily under 25 year old Black population in North Carolina were analyzed, and found that approximately 23% of newly identified HIV-infected MSM tested at STD clinics in North Carolina did not report male partners at the time of HIV testing, despite having been asked about male and female sex partners. (MMWR, 9/25)
Unusual Allergy: Girl Reacts to Food Only After Exercise
A teenage girl in Canada had an unusual food allergy that showed up only after she exercised, according to a new case report. The doctors suspected that the 17 year old girl had food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis, or FDEIA, a rare allergy that occurs only when a person consumes a particular food just before exercise. People with the condition don’t react to either the food or the exercise by itself. (Live Science, 9/25)
Video Games with Smoking Characters Lack Tobacco Warnings
Video games popular with children and teens often feature characters that smoke even though few packages carry warnings about tobacco-related content, a U.S. study suggests. Players recalled seeing tobacco featured in 31% of the ESRB-rated games, but only 8% of games carried tobacco content warnings. Researchers assessed the games themselves and found actually 42% percent contained tobacco imagery. (Reuters, 9/25)
Bullied, Unhealthy and Unhappy: A Quarter of Australian Children Doing So Much Worse Than Their Peers
One in five children are bullied at least once a week, causing stress-related health problems, including  frequent headaches, stomach aches, dizziness, feeling nervous, or having difficulty going to sleep. The study surveyed 5500 children aged 9-13 and highlighted the significant gap in wellbeing between mainstream kids and those who have a disability, are Indigenous, are young carers or from poor backgrounds. (The Sydney Morning Herald, 9/27)

Children With H.I.V. More Likely to Die of Malaria
Children infected with HIV appear much more likely than those who are not to die with severe malaria, a new study has found. The researchers found that about 20% of the children autopsied after malaria deaths were also infected with HIV a far higher rate than that seen in Malawian children over all. HIV made it more likely that children with malaria would develop the inflammation and blood clotting that could lead to death. (New York Times, 9/28)
Lower Drinking Age May Bring More High School Dropouts
Lowering the legal drinking age from 21 to 18 might lead to a surprising consequence, more high school dropouts. So claims a new study that found U.S. high school dropout rates increased between 4% and 13% in the 1970s and 1980s, a time when many states lowered the legal drinking age to 18. Dropout rates among black and Hispanic students rose more than among white students, the study revealed. (HealthDay News, 9/28)
Should Adolescents be Allowed to Drink at Home? Depends on the Home, Study Finds
A new study found that family structure plays a significant role in whether or not adolescents who drink at home go on to negative involvement with alcohol as young adults. Levitt’s research found that adolescents from intact families who were allowed to drink at home showed the lowest levels of alcohol use and problems over time, compared to those from non-intact families who were allowed to drink at home. (University at Buffalo, 9/28)
Kids May Be More Likely to Get Asthma if Grandma Smoked While Pregnant
Children whose grandmothers smoked during pregnancy are at increased risk for asthma, even if their own mothers did not smoke, a new study suggests. It’s known that smoking can cause changes in gene activity, and this study suggests that those changes can be passed down through more than one generation. Children whose grandmothers smoked while pregnant with daughters had a 10- 22% increased risk of asthma. (HealthDay News, 9/29)
Younger Native Americans Face High Suicide Rate
A new federal report on suicide finds that young adult Native Americans continue to be at a much higher risk of suicide than other groups. The suicide rate was 34/100,000 among male American Indians and Alaskan Natives aged 18-24. That’s higher than white males, blacks, Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islanders, the report found. The rate for female Native Americans was nearly twice the rate found among white females. (HealthDay News, 9/30)
7 in 10 students Who Currently Use Tobacco Used a Flavored Product
An estimated 70% of U.S. middle and high school students who have used a tobacco product in the past 30 days have used at least one flavored tobacco product including e-cigarettes, hookah, cigars, smokeless tobacco, menthol cigarettes, and tobacco in pipes, according to a recent study. Curbing the availability of flavored tobacco products could help reduce overall rates of tobacco use among our nation’s youth. (CDC, 9/30)




NIH Launches Landmark Study on Substance Use and Adolescent Brain Development
The NIH today awarded 13 grants to research institutions around the country as part of a landmark study about the effects of adolescent substance use on the developing brain. The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study will follow approximately 10,000 children beginning at ages 9 to10, before they initiate drug use, through the period of highest risk for substance use and other mental health disorders. (NIH, 9/25)
Fewer Women of Reproductive Age Uninsured in 2014
According to Guttmacher Institute, the percentage of women of reproductive age (15-44 years old) who were uninsured dropped sharply between 2013 and 2014 (from 17.9% to 13.9%) after the first full year of implementation of the ACA. This includes steeper drops in the uninsured rate in states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA compared with the rates in those states that did not. (Guttmacher Institute, 9/30)

Not Enough Signatures: Vaccine Opponents Fall Short in Ballot Efforts
Opponents of a new child vaccination law in California have reported that they turned in 228,000 signatures on petitions for a referendum to overturn the measure, far short of the number needed, 365,880, to qualify it for next year's ballot.The referendum was intended to overturn a law eliminating personal-belief exemptions that allowed some parents to avoid having their children vaccinated before they entered kindergarten. (LA Times, 9/30)




Leaders Pledge $25 Billion to Improve Health of Women, Children and Adolescents
Poor-quality education, the daily threat of violence and discrimination hold back adolescent girls, and world leaders need to take action to change the landscape for young women and men, UN members states were told at the launch of the revised global strategy for women’s children’s and adolescent health. The strategy offers a roadmap for countries to meet the SDGs by 2030. (The Guardian, 9/26)
Ghana Adolescent Reproductive Health Project Trains Queen Mothers
The Ghana Adolescent Reproductive Health Project has held a day’s sensitization programme for 25 queen mothers. It was aimed at educating them on their role in addressing health challenges facing adolescents in their various communities. The involvement of queen mothers who are the custodians of tradition were urged to rally the adolescents in their communities around the project. (All Africa, 9/28)



AAP Policy Statement: Children in Foster Homes Need Better Health Care
The U.S. foster care system needs to do a better job of providing consistent, quality health care to children living in foster homes, according to the AAP’s policy statement. Children in foster care often have health conditions that have been inconsistently treated or not addressed at all. Anywhere from 30-80% of kids enter foster care with at least one untreated physical condition, and 80%  have a significant mental health need. (HealthDay News, 9/28)
SIECUS Releases FY 2014 State Profiles
The SIECUS State Profiles represents the most complete portrait of sexuality education and abstinence-only programs in the U.S. It also examines state laws and policies that determine how schools approach sexuality education, as well as highlighting state legislative activity and adolescent health and behavioral data. It is intended to serve as a guide and major resource for those working to advance sexuality education. (SIECUS, 9/30)




E-Learning Courses: Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health
Physician’s for Reproductive Health offers their newest series of standardized case videos designed to facilitate discussion about how health professionals can best interact with adolescent patients when providing reproductive and sexual health care. The new 2015 case videos cover topics including long-acting reversible contraception and sexual history-taking and gender. (Physician’s for Reproductive Health, 9/28)
Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow (TAG)
The OAH is excited to launch TAG, a national call-to-action to make the health of adolescents a priority. TAG builds on previous national initiatives and identifies the 5 essentials for adolescent health including positive connections with support, safe and secure places to live, learn and play, access to teen friendly health care, opportunities for teens to engage as learners, leaders, and workers, and family-centered services. (OAH, 9/25)
College Alcohol Intervention Matrix (College AIM)
The College Alcohol Intervention Matrix (College AIM) is a new resource to help schools address harmful and underage student drinking. Developed with leading college alcohol researchers and staff, it is an easy-to-use and comprehensive tool to identify effective alcohol interventions, boosting their chances for success and helping them improve the health and safety of their students. (NIAAA, 9/25)
Healthy You: Make Health Part of Back-To-School Plans
Adjusting to school may be hard for kids who have spent months at play, but there are ways for parents to get their kids back on a healthy path. The Nation’s Health, offers free health tip sheets in English, Spanish, and in recordings to provide information on many useful topics, including helmet safety and sports injuries, which are especially relevant for this back-to-school period. (The Nation’s Health, 9/25)



2015 National HIV Prevention Conference
Registration is now open for the 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference, which will take place December 6-9, 2015, in Atlanta, GA. The conference is expected to bring together more than 3,000 individuals who are working to stop the spread of HIV in the U.S. It will provide an opportunity to continue refining, improving, and strengthening our nation’s response to HIV. (CDC, 9/30)



LGBT Health and Wellness Webinar: Supporting Transgender Youth in the Community and School
The AAP Provisional Section on LGBT Health and Wellness’s four-part webinar series is designed to educate pediatricians and pediatric providers on caring for transgender youth. The last webinar on Monday, October 5 at 12:00pm CT will discuss legal rights of transgender students and ways families/ students can show support, will describe components of supportive school policies, and identify key resources. (AAP, 9/30)
Understanding HPV Vaccination Successes in North Carolina 
The Cervical Cancer-Free Coalition is hosting a webinar, “Understanding HPV Vaccination Successes in North Carolina,” on October 1, 2015 from 12:00 - 1:00 pm EDT. HPV immunization rates rose significantly in North Carolina in 2014. This webinar will discuss what contributed to this improvement, and what strategies clinics with lower rates can implement to see similar increases. (National Chlamydia Coalition News, 9/30)

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