January 11, 2014 marked 50 years since U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry released the landmark report that concluded smoking causes cancer. Since the report was released in 1964, the United States has seen a number of tobacco control campaigns and litigation in an attempt to improve public health. Here are some of the highlights, taken from JAMA’s interactive timeline of Tobacco-Related Events, United States, 1900-2014.
In 1965 the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act is passed and US Congress requires health warnings on cigarette packages.
In 1966 warning labels reading “Caution—Cigarette Smoking May Be Hazardous to Your Health.” begin to appear on cigarette packaging.
1967 marks the first World Conference on Smoking and Health in New York.
1969/1970 Congress passes the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969 which requires a stronger warning label on packaging. The act also bans cigarette advertising on television and radio.
January 2, 1971 sees the television and radio advertisement ban go into effect.
In 1975 Minnesota becomes the first state to enact the Clean Indoor Air Act, which ”requires separate smoking and nonsmoking areas in public settings”.
1983 marks the beginning of workplace smoking restrictions.
In 1984 the Food and Drug Administration approves “nicotine gum as a pharmacologic aid for smoking cessation”.
In 1988 California voters approve Propsition 99, “ increasing the cigarette tax from 10 cents to 35 cents per pack. Revenues are earmarked for tobacco-related public health initiatives and research.”
1990 marks the end of smoking on airplanes.
In 1996 the Clinical Practice Guideline on Smoking Cessation is published by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
After being denied in 2000, the FDA gains regulatory authority over tobacco products in 2009.
In 2012-2013 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launch the first fully federally funded “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign encouraging smokers to quit.
Although much progress has been made in the past 50 years, there is still much work to be done; according to the CDC an estimated total of 43.8 million people are still smokers who put themselves and others at risk every day. Cigarette smoking is also the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, something which many organizations are working to change. Examples of anti-tobacco organizations and campaigns include Smokefree Women and Tobacco Free Kids.
For more information on the Surgeon General’s Report and tobacco control, check out the following resources:
Avoiding Anemia Boost Your Red Blood Cells Anemia is a common blood disorder that can leave you feeling exhausted and sluggish. Many types of anemia are mild and short term. But the condition can become serious if left untreated for a long time.
The NN/LM SCR is happy to offer the online version of “Super Searcher: Enhancing Your Online Search Super Powers” class.
This self-paced online class will open February 3, 2014 and remain open until March 9, 2014.
This self-paced online course offering focuses on the advanced search features of web search engines and online searching. Participants will use various search engines, compare the features of each and broaden their knowledge of search strategies and online search techniques. Participants will develop search strategies that will increase the precision and scope of their online searching ability. In the online version of the class, participants will view short video demonstrations, engage in online discussions and complete exercise sets focused on improving online search skills. The class includes: information about web search engines, strategies for searching for online media including images, videos and books. The class concludes with a discussion on real-time search, mobile search and what the future of search holds.
The class content has recently been updated to address the launch of the Google Search Algorithm Hummingbird and additional topics on the future of search engines.
Participants may work at their own pace during this class but are expected to interact with other class participants in discussion forums.
Upon successful completion of this class, each participant will receive 4 hours of continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.
Thinking of reading more e-books in 2014? Maybe you got a new e-reader or smartphone as a gift this holiday and need an app to read all your favorite books on. This post provides an overview of some of the most popular applications (apps) for accessing digital content. There are more options than you think!
For e-reader fans who are looking for a stand alone device for all their reading needs the choices can be limitless. There are many devices to choose from. When trying to make a decision about which to buy it is important to keep mind the differences between e-readers and tablets. An e-reader is a device specific for reading books or periodicals. E-readers typically rely on electronic or e-ink to display text on a screen. Unlike tablet devices e-readers have screens that do not produce a glare when in direct light. In addition e-readers are designed to be light and portable as well as have extended battery life. Most e-readers can store hundreds if not thousands of titles. Popular e-readers include the Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and Kobo. The 2014 Best eBook Reader Reviews and Comparisons post provides an overview of features and reviews of some of the most popular devices. Keep in mind that unlike tablets e-readers do not typically provide access to a range of games or other applications for other purposes.
Tablets are another option for individuals who are not interested or able to purchase an e-reader device for reading alone. Tablet devices perform a wide range of tasks and users can customize a tablet with apps for various activities including reading. Tablet devices tend to be heavier than e-readers and typically have backlit screens with full color displays. The backlit screen typically means shorter battery for the device. Viewing a tablet screen can be difficult in sunlight or other environments where light causes a glare on the reflective screen surface. To read on a tablet users will either need to have access to an online collection of materials or a specialized app for reading. Apps and content providers are described below.
There are a number of free reading apps available for tablet devices. It is import to consider that a free app does not mean that the content is free. Once a free app is downloaded users may need to purchase content to read. Another consideration for app users is the content that the app is able to access. Some apps are specific for licensed content while others allow users to read any digital format as long as it is supported. Two free apps are described below. The Very Best Book Apps: Our Top 15 Picks post from iLibrarian provides an good overview of other apps to consider.
The Kindle app is available on Android, iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, and Blackberry. Access your book collection no matter what your device. The app is free to download and install. Books can be purchased through the app or Amazon.com. PDFs can also be read on the app. Take advantage of some of the app features such as note taking, highlighting, and quick definitions.
Scribd is a digital library, featuring a subscription service with premier books including New York Times bestsellers and classics. The app is free to download but a $8.99 monthly subscribtion fee is necessary to access content on tablets and smartphones. The subscription fee providers users with unlimited access to more than 100,000 books from over 900 publishers, including Harper Collins, Rosetta, and Workman.
Marvin is currently $2.99 and available only for Apple iOS devices. Marvin does not sell e-books but rather provides a rich interface for interacting with them on tablet devices. Marvin can’t open EPUB books with DRM (iBooks and Kindle books), but it provides a bundle of free e-books to get you started and other DRM free book sources are available. The app features links to to public domain catalogs such as Project Gutenberg. Users can add books from Dropbox as well as other sources. The app provides a specialized layout which helps users organize, annotate, and share readings. Several built in features include a reading timer, a dictionary, customizable high-contrast themes, large text and bottom-heavy font to assist readers with dyslexia.
You can visit sites such as Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble to purchase and download a variety of books and other digital content. These sites often have feature titles at a discount or for free. Watch for deals.
There are several other sites to try for free content. Many of the books in these collections are out of copyright. Internet Archive offers access to over 5 million e-books and had organized collections of materials. Project Gutenburg offers over 40,000 free e-books to choose from.
Check with your local library to find out if they participate in an program like Overdrive or ebrary.
OverDrive currently has the largest selection of digital media available for lending. OverDrive began with e-book and audio content and has recently started providing audio and movie content as well. Libraries that participate in OverDrive provide users with access to the content through a digital interface. Items can be checkout and downloaded to a device for a limited amount of time before they are automatically returned the library’s OverDrive lending collection. Users can place items on hold and receive notification when items are ready for downloading or viewing. OverDrive e-book content can be accessed on tablet devices using the OverDrive app or on e-reader devices.
ebrary is an online digital library of over 70,000 scholarly e-books. This resource for academic e-books is most readily available through academic libraries. The library also includes sheet music and government documents.
As of January 1, 2014, many individuals have gained healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act via the Healthcare.gov website. Since October 1st there has been a constant stream of information and publicity about the continued roll out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka “Obamacare” and the Healthcare.gov website. As individuals began to sign up for coverage last fall, many libraries throughout the country provided assistance to their patrons for the process through a variety of services in their libraries. Before the beginning of open enrollment on October 1, NN/LM SCR staff provided several webinars created to support libraries, and, in particular public libraries, in their efforts with the ACA which reached more than 800 attendees. The NN/LM SCR is now listed as a Champion for Coverage.
Many of the SCR Resource Libraries and their outreach contacts have been on the front lines of providing information to their patrons about these initiatives. Below are some of the ways the NN/LM SCR Resource libraries have provided information regarding the ACA. Advance apologies for any omissions; this information was current based on available information at this time.
LSU Health Sciences Center Medical Library, Shreveport, LA (via Donna Timm): added information to their Healthelinks home page.
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Library and Information Center, Albuquerque, NM: created a LibGuide on the library website, “Affordable Care Act.”
University of Texas Health Sciences Center Libraries, San Antonio, TX (via Peg Seger): engaged in a large initiative supporting an on-campus Champions for Coverage student effort. The library discussed the ACA at their Community Advisors meeting in November. Several documents were created for use in promotion of the libraries as resources for ACA-related questions. The San Antonio Public Library has provided several locations with onsite navigators for enrollment assistance and has a page on their website devoted to ACA materials.
UT Southwestern Library, Dallas, TX: John Fullinwider (former outreach contact) provided a series of programs on the ACA to small town and rural public libraries in their service area, and also provided a Roundtable discussion at the SCC/MLA annual meeting in October on these efforts.
UTMB Health Moody Medical Library, Galveston, TX: created a LibGuide on the library website, “Affordable Care Act & Health Care Reform.”
For a recent summary of the status of the ACA roll out and what the new year will bring, see the article from the January edition of The Nation’s Health: “Affordable Care Act brings new benefits as marketplace enrollment progresses: Reform advancing.”
For more information on resources related to the ACA, visit the NN/LM SCR webpage.
Winter weather preparedness is just as important as surviving the heat of the summer!
Did you know that you can use the same emergency preparedness kit you made for summer storms with only a few adjustments? In addition to including standard kit items (such as food, water, batteries, hand-crank radio, first aid supplies, medication, etc.), cold weather items should be added.
Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery
Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and extra blankets and warm clothing for all household members
Ample alternate heating methods such as fireplaces or wood- or coal-burning stoves
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website also has some great resources for frequently asked questions about winter weather, such as recognizing signs and symptoms of hypothermia and knowing what to do if stranded in cold weather.
Ready.gov is another great place to look for winter weather preparedness resources. This website takes you through every step of preparing for winter weather, from beginning (like winterizing your vehicle and home), to during (like dressing for winter and driving in icy conditions), to after the weather has passed. Also included are related websites with additional information.
According to The Diagnosis Difference, a new report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, “many people with serious health concerns take their health decisions seriously—and are seriously social about gathering and sharing information, both online and offline.” While the report shows that adults with chronic conditions are often less likely to be online, the report also shows that when adults with chronic conditions do go online they engage in social networks and health outlets to gather and share health information.
According to the report “internet users living with one or more conditions are more likely than other online adults to:
Gather information online about medical problems, treatments, and drugs.
Consult online reviews about drugs and other treatments.
Read or watch something online about someone else’s personal health experience.”
Libraries can have an impact for online health seekers. According to the report “30% of online health information seekers living with chronic conditions were asked to pay for something they wanted to access online.” When met with a pay wall, only 2% reported paying the fee to access full content. 17% gave up trying to access the content. The remaining information seekers attempted to find the same information elsewhere for free.
While adults with chronic conditions are gathering health information online, they are also more likely than others to talk with a clinician about what they find. For adults with chronic conditions, clinicians are the central source of information, but support groups, friends, and family also play an important role. According to the report “having a chronic condition significantly increases the likelihood someone got information or support from a doctor or health care professional, friends or family, or others with the same health condition.”
The report also demonstrates that individuals living with chronic conditions are “significantly more likely than other adults to track weight, diet, exercise, or health indicators like blood pressure, blood sugar, sleep patterns, or headaches.”
Adults living with chronic conditions who take their illness seriously are able to research and share information through online and face-to-face methods. This group has different health information seeking behaviors which set them apart from others. The video provides an brief summary of the report findings.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has created a new tool to “asses the understandability and actionability of print and audiovisual patient education materials”, entitled the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (or PEMAT). Patient education materials such as brochures and other aids are often complex and difficult for patients to understand, especially across various healthcare providers. This tool is designed to help health care providers, health librarians, and other health professionals in charge of providing materials to consumers evaluate their print and audiovisual materials. If the materials meet a certain score, then most patients and consumers should be able to understand these materials and act on the information provided.
The AHRQ website includes the instrument that can be used for both print and audiovisual materials, as well as a user guide and instructions on scoring.
On December 3, 2013 the NN/LM SCR office hosted a webinar entitled, Healthy Beginnings: Information Resources for Maternal and Infant Health. Geared towards public health professionals, this presentation showcased free Internet resources used to promote health education and better prenatal care. This webinar came about as a direct result of the NN/LM SCR’s Public Health Regional Advisory Council meeting .