This is Public Health

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New Orleans, one of the South’s largest major tourist cities with a high-grossing land-based casino and more than 500 bars within the city limits, made history today by becoming the largest city in Louisiana to unanimously pass a comprehensive, 100 percent smoke-free ordinance.

The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Louisiana (CTFLA) applauds and thanks the New Orleans City Council for their unanimous votes today in favor of protecting the health of all New Orleans employees by making all workplaces, including bars and gaming establishments, smoke-free.

The smoke-free measure, championed by Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and co-sponsored by Councilwoman Susan Guidry, ensures that all employees, including bartenders, gaming facility employees, and entertainers, will be protected from the dangerous health effects of secondhand smoke in the workplace.  The ordinance will go into effect 90 days from passage.

“We are tremendously grateful to all the key city officials who stood up and took action to protect the health of all employees;” said Tonia Moore, Associate Director, the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco Free Living (TFL). “We want to send a special thanks to the ordinance sponsors Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell and Susan Guidry. These leaders not only did the right thing for the health of all New Orleans citizens, but they have continued paving the way for other cities and the state to hopefully do the same.”

Click here to read the full statement.

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Avoiding illness throughout the winter months can be hard especially with ever changing temperatures!  Outside is cold and rainy whilst shops and offices are pumping out heat like you’re in a sauna.  This constant fluctuation confuses your body and often leaves one feeling under the weather.  Crowded streets and transport result in close proximity to potential carriers. So what can you do about it?

Click here to check out several tips for staying well and feeling better!

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The Food and Drug Administration has approved new regulations and warning labels for tanning beds aimed at reducing skin cancer.

The F.D.A has been regulating tanning beds for more than 30 years but will now require manufacturers to warn consumers in greater detail about the risks.

Labels on new beds will say the machines should not be used by anyone under the age of 18 and will also be required to warn people about cancer risk. The F.D.A. is also imposing new safety requirements for timers and limits on radiation.

Click here to learn more.

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Having fun while you swim this summer means knowing how to prevent recreational water illnesses (RWIs) and injuries. Learn how to stay healthy and safe while enjoying the water!

Swimming is one of the most popular sports activities in the United States. Although swimming is a physical activity that offers many health benefits, pools and other recreational water venues are also places where germs can be spread and injuries can happen.

May 19–25, 2014, the week before Memorial Day, marks the tenth annual Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week.

Click here to learn more.

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This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the observance of Earth Day. And the evidence is clear that the environment in which we live has a profound impact on human health. Clean drinking water, a safe food source, air quality, the built environment, climate change, exposure to toxic substances. All are environmental factors that can potentially affect health.

Click here to learn more about staying healthy this Earth Day.

Food Safety Concept

The system that keeps our nation’s food safe and healthy is complex. There is a lot of information to parse in order to understand food labels and to learn the best practices during a food borne illness outbreak. Public health professionals can help guide people through their choices.

Learn more about today’s National Public Health Week theme: Eat Well.

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On Ash Wednesday, Winston’s Pub and Patio joined the growing list of bars and venues in the New Orleans area where smoking is now prohibited.

In an interview with Gambit Weekly, the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) discussed what smoke-free policies are doing to improve health in Louisiana. TFL’s associate director Tonia Moore also shared what is happening in the Louisiana Legislature this session with e-cigarettes, which are quickly becoming popular among current smokers as well as youth.

Read the full article in Gambit here.

The current poster child for global warming is a polar bear, sitting on a melting iceberg. Some health officials argue the symbol should, instead, be a child. That’s because emerging science shows that people respond more favorably to warnings about climate change when it’s portrayed as a health issue, rather than an environmental problem.

“This is a new topic for public health,” Luber says. “This is emerging largely as a result that the scientific evidence around climate change has evolved to the point that public health feels confident engaging the science; that this is a credible threat.”

Check out the full article from NPR here.

Household cleaning products may contain toxic substances linked to health problems such as asthma, allergic reactions, and cancer, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group.

The environmental group rated more than 2,000 household cleaners — from laundry soaps and stain removers to bathroom cleaners and floor care products. Products are graded A to F based on the safety of the ingredients and how well the maker discloses those ingredients.

Read the full article here.

According to a recent study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC), when asked what would solve traffic problems in their community, 42 percent of Americans say more transit. Only 20 percent say more roads. And 21 percent would like to see communities developed that don’t require so much driving. Two-thirds support local planning that guides new development into existing cities and near public transportation.

Click here to read the full study.

Recently, New Orleans passed a Complete Streets ordinance, which you can read here. If you’re interested in more information about the work being done to make our streets safer for all on the road, check out these resources:

The Louisiana Public Health Institute’s Active Environments Planning initiative.

Bike Easy

The Regional Planning Commission of GNO