6 Public Health Victories From The Election You Might Have Missed

Although the astound outcome of the presidential race overshadowed coverage of the 2016 election, there were some notable public health gains induced in states across the country, particularly on the West Coast.

States voted to increase taxes on harmful consumer goods like sugar-sweetened beverages and cigarettes, and approved measures to ensure that people in pain have agency over their therapy.

In case you missed it, here are five public health measures that passed during Tuesday’s election 😛 TAGEND

1. In a jolt to the soda industry, four more cities voted to taxation sugary drinks

Soda taxes swept the ballot in the four cities, with San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, California, as well as Boulder, Colorado.

“The tide has clearly turned on this issue, and momentum has swayed in our favor, ” Howard Wolfson, a senior advisor of pro-tax proponent Michael Bloomberg, told The New York Times. “I am confident in the months ahead more municipalities will seek to implement soda taxes to help their citizens, and we will be willing to help them as they do.”

Why it’s a win : While there’s no evidence that soda taxes improve public health, we do know that taxes reduce soda consumption. And sugar-sweetened liquors have been proven to damage health. According to a 2015 analyse published in the publication Circulation, 184, 000 demises from diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer can be attributed to sugar-sweetened beverages each year.

What more the four new tax measures, combined with Philadelphia and Berkeley where such measures passed previously should send a powerful message to the rest of the country.

2. A taxation hike on cigarettes in California will support health care for low-income people

Californians votes to raise the tax on cigarettes by$ 2, an initiative that’s were supposed to garner up to $1.4 billion in tax revenue to support the state’s low-income health care program.

The previous cigarette tax in place in California was among the country’s lowest. John Schachter, the director of state communications for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids called the tax hike a huge victory for the tobacco prevention effort.

“Every 10 percentage increase in the price of cigarettes brings about a 7 percentage decrease in use by youth and a 4 percent reduction overall, ” Schachter told Reuters.

Why it’s a win: Smoking is a major cause of death and illnes among Americans, accounting for 30 percent of cancer deaths and killing more Americans each year than alcohol, automobile collisions, HIV, guns and illegal drugs combined, according to the American Cancer Society, which great news for a state that already boasts one of the lowest smoking rates in the country. Merely 11. 6 percentage of Californians smoke, in agreement with the California department of public health, compared to a national average of 17 percent.

3. Paid’ safe leave’ in Arizona and Washington will help domestic violence victims keep their jobs

Arizona and Washington residents voted yes to a “safe leave” measure that will ensure victims of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault are permitted paid time off to receive services related to their abuse.

“When survivors have access to workplace resources that help them construct economic resiliency, they and their families are more likely to remain safe, ” Shannon Rich, the director of public policy at the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, told HuffPost.

Why it’s a win: Access to safe leave could make a dent in the $ 8 billion in lost productivity and health dollarsthat domestic violence expenses the U.S. per year, in agreement with the CDC, and help victims of domestic violence keep their paychecks and their jobs.

4. Terminally ill adults in Colorado will have more options at the end of “peoples lives”

Colorado overwhelmingly passed a medical aid in dying measure that will allow terminally ill adults who are suffering to take prescription medicine to end their lives.

“Passage of Prop 106 means that Coloradans will now have options when facing pain and suffering at the end of “peoples lives”, ” Melissa Hollis Brenkert, whose sister painfully died from a brain tumor, told The Denver Post.

Why it’s a win: While adversaries of the measure worry that it could lead people to aim their lives prematurely, proponents say it devotes terminal patients the option to avoid pain and suffering at their objective of “peoples lives”.

5. Residents of 3 more nations will have access to medical marijuana a win for patients and researchers, alike

Arkansas, North Dakota and Florida all passed medical marijuana measures, allow doctors to prescribe the medication to patients with certain conditions, which vary from country to state.

Why it’s a win: The jury is still out on marijuanas for medicinal purposes. A lack of big high-quality examines means there isn’t much much data on marijuana’s potential health benefits. More countries with medical marijuana will help create a robust body of research on the medication in years to come.

And, in the meantime, some patients will be aided: A systematic review published by JAMA in 2015 found that marijuana could be an effective treatment for chemotherapy side effect like nausea and vomiting, as well as ache relief.

6. A Florida county voted to battle Zika virus with GMO mosquitos

Residents of Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys and the southwest chunk of Florida, voted to move forward with a measure to release millions of genetically modified mosquitos to combat Zika virus in the state.

Why it’s a win : GMO mosquitos which work by interrupting mosquitos’ reproduction process so that carrier insects die off is one of scientists’ most promising potential solutions to Zika virus. As it stands, 135 pregnant women in Florida have contracted the virus, which can cause severe birth defect.

Read more: www.huffingtonpost.com