CDPH in the News, August 2015

CDPH in the News

California’s anti-vaping bill goes up in smoke
from Nature News

The failure last week of an attempt to extend California’s smoking ban to electronic cigarettes has disappointed researchers who worry that a boom in vaping will re-normalize smoking in places where it now carries social stigma, and lead to a new generation of people addicted to nicotine. Although several other US states have already passed e-cigarette legislation, the California bill had special resonance because the state has a reputation for pioneering anti-tobacco legislation. In January, the California Department of Public Health asked physicians to urge e-cigarette users to quit, and released a report warning that without more regulation, "it is likely that California’s more than two decades of progress to prevent and reduce traditional tobacco use will erode".
The California bill, pushed by state senator Mark Leno (Democrat), would have regulated e-cigarettes in the same way as conventional tobacco products, making it illegal to use them in restaurants, bars, hospitals and workplaces. Leno withdrew the bill on 8 July, after a committee in the state assembly amended it to such an extent that he said it had become pointless.

CDPH Partners with St. Joseph Health in Cancer Data Registry
from HealthITAnalytics

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced a first of its kind partnership with St. Joseph Health to track cancer trends around the state of California. The historic program, announced in a press release on July 27, is the first to directly and securely transmit data from a private healthcare practice to a public research entity.
CDPH officials are excited about this opportunity to partner with St. Joseph Health systems to make new strides in cancer research, saying that the new collaboration will allow for efficiency that will improve the research.

You Asked: Is My Air Conditioner Killing Me?
from Time

In the summer, many of us can’t bear to live without it, but even so, cool air is a modern luxury that sometimes seems to freak people out. And research suggests that a little freaking out is warranted. "If you have a badly maintained or badly designed AC system, whether it’s in your home or office or vehicle, it can become contaminated and potentially harmful," says Dr. Mark Mendell, an epidemiologist with the California Department of Public Health. Mendell studied the health effects of air conditioning systems while with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He says worsening asthma problems and allergies are two health issues that can stem from contaminated AC units. He also mentions an ominous-sounding phenomenon: sick building syndrome.

Maggots Found in Soup, on Patient at Hospital, Union Alleges
from Lake Elsinore-Wildomar Patch

California health officials say they plan to investigate allegations that maggots were found earlier this year on a patient and in soup served in the cafeteria at Parkview Community Hospital in Riverside. The allegations stem from a complaint filed to the California Department of Public Health on Monday by the SEIU-UHW union against the hospital. It said that earlier this year, an employee reported finding more than 50 maggots in a patient’s nose and mouth, and in April, a nurse reported maggots floating in the hospital cafeteria’s lentil soup, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. Riverside County health officials said they, too, will investigate.

State denies county’s first needle exchange program in Santa Ana; organizers might appeal
from Orange County Register

A coalition of health officials and students working to open the county’s first needle exchange program must file an appeal to keep their project alive after the state denied their application. In a letter dated June 26, the California Department of Public Health told the Orange County Needle Exchange Program that its application to let drug users swap used needles for clean ones from an office at the LGBT Center in Santa Ana was opposed by city police and neighbors. Kyle Barbour, co-founder of the needle exchange group, said Monday he’ll probably file an appeal, indicating the Santa Ana location is key to reaching a high-risk population.

Syphilis is up in L.A. County
from my news LA

The number of congenital syphilis cases in California more than tripled over the past two years, with Los Angeles County and the Central Valley responsible for the bulk of the cases, state health officials announced Monday. The number of reported congenital syphilis cases went from 30 in 2012 to 100 last year, according to the California Department of Public Health. Syphilitic stillbirths also increased, from one case in 2012 to six cases in 2014.
Most of the congenital syphilis cases have been reported in Los Angeles County and the Central Valley, health officials said. Health officials have not identified a cause for the increase in congenital syphilis, which is often associated with poverty and lack of access to health care. However, most of the women who gave birth to babies with congenital syphilis did not receive adequate or timely prenatal care, according to the CDPH.