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Pramod Sukumaran

Sukumaran completed a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology and an MPH in Population Health Analytics. He curates content for Salud America! on family support and health projects at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at UT Health San Antonio. His emphases is on the latest research, reports and resources related to various disease and policies, to improve Latino health.


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Articles by Pramod Sukumaran

More Cities and States Passes Ban on Flavored Vaping Amid COVID-19


More Cities and States Passes Ban on Flavored Vaping Amid COVID-19

Since the start of the pandemic, many health experts say smoking and vaping increase the risk of COVID-19 This happens by weakening the function of the lungs making it more susceptible to coronavirus — as well as its overall impacts. Moreover, new data from Stnadford University shows that young people who vape are more susceptible to COVID-19 than those who do not. That data—collected from a May 2020 national survey of 13 to 24-year-olds—showed that vapers are five times more likely to get COVID-19. Many cities and states across the US are passing bans on flavored vaping products during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bans Across the Country Last month the California State Assembly passed a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vapes. Recently ...

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Study: Latino Health-Related Research Needs Improvements


Latino Health Research Improvements

We know that Latinos, by-in-large, face a host of health disparities. But we also know there is a historic lack of research about these inequities and how to address them. This is why the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities' recent "Funding of Latino Health-Related Research," is so important. The study—published in Frontiers of Public Health—looked at the impact of interventions or policies premeditated to reduce health disparities. This information could advance research in Latino health and contribute to the achievement of better health outcomes in this diverse population, according to Dr. Larissa Avilés-Santa, who led the study. "Latinos are expected to constitute 25% of the U.S. population by 2060," the researchers write. "Differences in the ...

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California Passes Flavored Tobacco Ban



More and more, new research shows that smoking and vaping is associated with a substantially higher risk of COVID-19 progression. Worse, this comes at a time of worry over the impacts of these habits, including a series of vape-related lung illnesses as well as fatalities. Earlier this week, the California State Assembly passed a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vapes. While this is significant progress, the fight to ban these kinds of items in the Golden State isn't over, yet. The bill will go to the State Senate for a final vote. The Bill and Its Potential Impacts Senate Bill 793, authored by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), specifically makes any sale punishable by a fine of $250. This also includes flavored e-cigarettes, cigars, and ...

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New York City’s Fight Against Food Insecurity Amid COVID-19


San Antonio Food Bank Eric Cooper

New York City is combating more than just the immediate impacts of the COVID-19's pandemic. Last week, numerous city officials—including Mayor Bill de Blasio—announced new government programs to assist residents with food insecurity. With the help of his Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity, the program will be aimed at those who are suffering some of the worst impacts: People of color. "Every New Yorker should have equitable access to healthy food," said Mayor Bill de Blasio to press release. "These programs will help families get nutritious foods without having to sacrifice spending on other critical needs." Previously the New York City agencies surveyed with community members, and this feedback helped to inform the issue areas of the Taskforce's work. During the ...

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Study: Vapers 5 Times More Likely to Get COVID-19


Study Vapers More Likely COVID-19

We already know that smoking cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products result in worse coronavirus outcomes. What could be worse? Teenagers and young adults who vape face a much higher risk of COVID-19 than their peers who do not, according to new research from Stanford University. In fact, that data—collected from a May 2020 national survey of 13 to 24-year-olds—showed that vapers are five times more likely to get COVID-19. The risk is seven times higher for dual—smoking and vaping—users. "Young people may believe their age protects them from contracting the virus or that they will not experience symptoms of COVID-19, but the data show this isn't true among those who vape," Dr. Shivani Mathur Gaiha, the study's lead author and a postdoctoral scholar, said in a ...

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#SaludTues Tweetchat 8/18: The Critical Role of Affordable Housing in the COVID-19 Response


homeless homelessness shelters on street in Los Angeles intergroup contact

The coronavirus pandemic is worsening minority health and the nation’s sizable affordable housing shortage. When we think of health assets, many of us think about healthcare, education, and safe transportation to access healthy food and physical activity. But affordable housing is an essential component of public health infrastructure, and important factor in an equitable pandemic response. Let’s use #SaludTues on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, to tweet about the latest research about the critical role of affordable housing in the COVID-19 response! WHAT: #SaludTues: The Critical Role of Affordable Housing in the COVID-19 Response TIME/DATE: 1-2 p.m. EST (Noon-1 p.m. CST), Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020 WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues HOST: @SaludAmerica CO-HOSTS: ...

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Why Is Affordable Housing Important During COVID-19?


Affordable-Housing-During-Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has had an overwhelming impact on many, and now the COVID-19 crisis also stands to exacerbate the nation’s sizable affordable housing shortage. With more people losing jobs and suffering other hardships—especially those in communities of color—the question of housing will play a larger role in the overall impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. This is more of a fundamental issue than some might think, according to Roger K. Lewis, a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Maryland, “Most of us think about roads, bridges, transit systems, and public utilities, along with education and health care," Lewis, writes in a recent Op-Ed in the Washington Post. “But affordable housing is an essential component of infrastructure; an investment ...

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How the ‘Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act’ Could Help All U.S. Students Get Free School Meals



While the COVID-19 pandemic is making it harder for Latino and other families to get enough food to feed their families— called food insecurity—the new Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act could be a big help. The legislation, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 30, would make all students eligible for free school lunch and breakfast during the 2020-2021 school year. Free school meals will be available to students during remote learning through "grab and go" or meal delivery. "The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics believes that school meals are as important to learning as textbooks and pencils," said Academy President Linda T. Farr, in a statement. "In the midst of uncertain school reopening plans as a result of the COVID-19 national emergency, the ...

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Health Experts: Spanish Speakers at Elevated Risk for COVID-19


coronavirus job loss stress latino families surveys

U.S. Latinos are bearing an extraordinary burden of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Why is this? Health experts are trying to find an answer. They say the pandemic is worsening historical health and social inequities among Latinos and other people of color, affecting people of a certain age, and those who have diabetes, obesity, and cancer, as well as those who smoke. Now a study points to a new, but common, culprit: language barriers (and the healthcare system's failure to accommodate people who don't speak English). Latinos Face Language Barriers During COVID-19 Pandemic Language is a common barrier to health care. That's why Spanish translation is important in education, providing medical care, bullying prevention, healthcare access, and even podcasting. When it comes to ...

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