smoking | KERA News

smoking

Public Housing Smoking Ban Could Be Drag To Enforce In Texas

Dec 8, 2016

Residents of more than 48,000 public housing units in Texas will fall under nonsmoking policies in the next two years, but it could be tough for local housing authorities to enforce the rule.  

Shutterstock

It’s estimated more than 24 million Americans, age 40 and older, have cataracts. This painless clouding of the lens of the eye can cause serious problems.  But cataracts can be easily treated, especially if you catch certain symptoms early. 

Shutterstock

You’re short of breath after a flight of stairs or other daily activities. It might be fatigue, lack of exercise – or maybe COPD.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a group name for lung diseases like chronic bronchitis and emphysema that block airflow and make breathing difficult. It’s also a condition the Affordable Care Act’s keeping closer tabs on beginning next month. 

In this edition of Vital Signs, Tom Kallstrom, CEO of the American Association for Respiratory Care, explains more about COPD.

Shutterstock

It can range from a dull, constant ache to acute pain that can last from a few days to a few weeks.  About eight in ten people, at some point in their lives, will experience some form of back pain.

Some North Texas health care companies are starting to practice what they preach. Baylor Health Care - known for its exceptional cancer treatment programs – now screens job seekers for nicotine use. If applicants applying online respond that they are smokers, they are re-directed to resources to help them stop smoking before they can reapply. As Susan Ladika reports for Workforce, Baylor joins the 4 percent of companies that follow a policy to not hire nicotine users. In Texas, 18.5% of the adult population are current cigarette smokers. Across all states, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults ranges from 9.3% to 26.5%. In Texas, 17.4% of high school students smoke.

mikeledray / shutterstock.com

It’s estimated more than 159-thousand people will die of lung cancer in 2013. The National Lung Cancer Partnership has a announced a new goal to double the five-year survival rate of the disease by 2022. It’s currently 16 percent. Dr. Joan Schiller, chief of the Hematology and Oncology Department of  UT Southwestern Medical Center, is also President of the Partnership. In this week’s “Vital Signs”, Dr. Schiller explained why survival rates are so low.

Shutterstock

Although far fewer young people smoke today than in years past, nearly 1,000 kids become smokers each day across the US. In Texas, 17.4% of high school students smoke. And when they buy cigarettes, the three most heavily advertised brands are most popular: Marlboro, Newport and Camel, according to the government's National Survey on Drug Use and Health. To raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco, kids in Texas are rallying, holding flash mobs and hosting health fairs. 

Office of Rep. Myra Crownover

On Wednesday state lawmakers on the House Public Health Committee will consider screening newborns for congenital heart defects. The bill filed by Denton Republican Myra Crownover continues her efforts to expand genetic testing for babies.