One Texas Suburb Just Declared Public Spaces ‘Smoke-Free’


Texas Suburb Public Spaces ‘Smoke-Free’

Secondhand smoke damages people’s health every day, including those who live in or occupy places that allow smoking. In Horizon City—a suburb outside of El Paso, one of the cities with the state’s highest Latino population (% Latino)—local leaders just banned smoking in public spaces and businesses. The ban aims to ensure that all who live in the Texas suburb can live without having to breathe in smoke, according to Eva Olivas, the community impact director for the American Heart Association of El Paso and a Horizon City resident. “When people live and work in a smoke-free environment, they can literally breathe easier because they aren’t being exposed to the diseases and risks that come from secondhand smoke,” she told the El Paso Herald-Post. “Far too many ...

Read More

Latinos Urge for Environmental Action Amid Climate Change, COVID-19


Latinos Climate Change COVID-19

As the impacts of climate change continue to wreak havoc on communities across the globe, US Latinos are calling on leaders in Washington to do something. The new Biden presidential administration—one that has voiced its support for science and wants to do something about this issue—is working to make headway, despite four years of environmental rollbacks and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Still, communities of color, who will face the most significant harm, need wide-sweeping and immediate change, according to Ben Monterroso, a board chair of the national non-profit, Corazón Latino. “The strong support for the environment and climate action among Latinos continues a trend that has been building for years,” Monterroso writes in a recent USA Today op-ed. “Our elected ...

Read More

Comment Now: Urge Against Pesticide Deregulation!


Against Pesticide Deregulation

Despite the swearing-in of President Joe Biden, a proposed rule from former president Donald Trump is still in the works to further deregulate harmful chemicals in products. This kind of action could lead to health consequences among the workers who use pesticides with the chemical Chlorpyrifos, as well as the communities where those products are used. California already bans the chemical. The only way to ensure protection is to stop this rule before it is approved, according to George Kimbrell, the legal director for The Center for Food Safety. “True to form, the Trump Administration has placed corporate dollars over public health,” he said in a recent statement. “If allowed to stand, its proposal to continue registering this neurotoxic insecticide would cause irreparable ...

Read More

Mil Gracias for Not Smoking Indoors!


mil gracias for not smoking indoors logo

By choosing to not smoke indoors, a smoker deserves a thank-you for protecting their family, friends, and neighbors from secondhand smoke. That’s why the new “Mil Gracias (A Thousands Thanks) for Not Smoking Indoors!” campaign from UT Health San Antonio is inviting people share gratitude for smokers who respect others’ air during the COVID-19 respiratory pandemic: Email a “thank you” to smokers who protect others by not smoking indoors. Sign a letter acknowledging secondhand smoke's danger to health. Download an Action Pack to promote smoke-free multifamily housing in your city. The Mil Gracias campaign features English and Spanish flyers with key messages to help people reduce their risk for smoking-related diseases and COVID-19. “Smokers have the power ...

Read More

More Multifamily Dwellings in California Go Smoke-Free


California Smoke-Free Multifamily

More and more Californians are working toward a tobaccoless future. In the city of Crescent City, Calif., residents will no longer be able to smoke in multi-unit housing. A new ordinance, recently passed by the City Council, aims to reduce the harmful toxins non-smokers face when facing secondhand smoke inside their apartments or condos. The city joins a list of over 60 other California cities with similar policies. Secondhand smoke is linked to cancer and heart disease. There is even data to suggest that some forms of exposure are more harmful than other, such as sidestream exposure — a mix of mainstream smoke, the smoke exhaled out by a smoker, and sidestream smoke from the burning tobacco product. “[Sidestream] smoke has higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents ...

Read More

Jennifer Rangel: Creating Bilingual Cartoons to Teach Zoning 101


Jennifer Rangel creates animated videos to teach residents about zoning

“Ever wondered why your neighborhood looks how it does?” Jennifer Rangel once asked herself this question. To find an answer, Rangel got a master’s degree in urban planning. Along the way, this Latina planner learned that discriminatory urban planning practices, like the zoning of land, had been used for white advantage for over a century, segregating communities and forging inequities in health and wealth among Latinos and other people of color. Rangel wanted to share what she learned. So she helped create workshops─then bilingual animated videos─to train neighborhood leaders, social workers, and others about zoning and how to get involved in zoning changes. “Understanding zoning is a critical step for residents as they try to undo previous harms and to ...

Read More

Study: Secondhand Smoke Is Sending Children to the Hospital


Secondhand Smoke Sending Children Hospital

Exposure to the fumes from harmful tobacco products, such as cigarettes and cigars, can severely affect people, especially in children. Recent research shows that children who live with a smoker are more likely to become hospitalized than their peers living in smoke-free households. According to Dr. Ashley Merianos, an associate professor in the School of Human Services at the University of Cincinnati, this data does not come as a complete surprise. "In past studies, we found up to nearly one-in-two children who come to the pediatric emergency department are exposed to tobacco smoke," Merianos told The Denver Channel. "We also found that the children who had been exposed had increased respiratory-related procedures, increased diagnostic testing. So, for example, being tested for ...

Read More

Is Your Hand Sanitizer Fighting COVID-19 or is it Toxic?



As everyone adapts to a quickly spreading coronavirus, many are taking every precaution necessary to avoid infection and spread — including practicing good hygiene. Using hand sanitizer is a popular way to keep your hands clean and avoid coronavirus. Companies throughout the world have ramped up production of these kinds of items to meet the demands of consumers reacting to the wide sweeping nature of this pandemic. Still, not every company has the best intentions, according to New Jersey physician anesthesiologist Dr. Nina Radcliff. “Hand sanitizers that are deemed safe and used effectively can serve as a secondary method of hand washing,” Radcliff writes in a recent The Press of Atlantic City health column. “But not all hand sanitizers are created equal and it’s ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More