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AIM Fall 2015 Newsletter

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Fall 2015 - In This Issue:
kids in school bus    
6 & 20 - Asthma Essentials in Primary Care: What's New in 2015, webinar series, noon-1 p.m., Michigan Primary Care Association, free CMEs, more information & register
7 - New Perspectives: Addressing the Asthma and Allergy Epidemics
9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Integrated Biosciences Center, Wayne State,
more information & register

29 - Not One More Life
Community asthma event, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Grand River Head Start, Lansing, more information

- Asthma Educator Sharing Day, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Hannah Community Center, East Lansing, more information & register

- National Asthma Coalition Summit Allergy & Asthma Network, Marriott Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX, more information & register
OCTOBER 30, 2015
9-3:30, E. Lansing 
All Michigan asthma educators are invited to attend a day of learning and networking! Topics include:
  • Advances in Care for Acute Asthma 
  • New Asthma Medications & Devices 
  • National Standards for Asthma Self-Management Education
  • The Origins of Asthma & Allergy: Lessons from Birth Cohorts
  • Asthma Education in the Trenches
Earn 5 CEs for RNs/RTs, and toward AE-C recertification
Free, must register by October 16 
Contact Tisa Vorce with questions
Tobacco 21
by Shelly Kiser
Current Michigan law allows people aged 18 and older to buy
cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products. What would happen if the age of legal access was 21? A new report from the Institute of Medicine says it could prevent or delay tobacco use by teens and young adults, mostly those aged 15 to 17. Ninety percent of adults who smoke started by the age of 21, which means that if someone is not a smoker by the age of 21, they are not likely to become one.

Over the past 50 years, tobacco control efforts in the U.S. have led to an estimated 8 million fewer premature deaths. Tobacco use still greatly affects public health, however, and more than 1.6 million Michigan residents still smoke.

Raising the minimum legal age (MLA) to purchase tobacco to 21 will keep more kids from starting tobacco use-defined as having smoked 100 cigarettes-than the current age. That's because underage users count on social sources- friends and relatives- to get tobacco. Once they get their driver's license, they find new social sources and part-time jobs where co-workers are over the MLA.

Why not 19 or 25? The Institute of Medicine report found that moving the MLA to 19 may not change social sources enough for this age group the way raising it to 21 can. If the MLA were raised to 19 now, the report says that by 2100 there would be about a 3% decrease in the proportion of the population that smokes, a 12% decrease for an MLA of 21 and a 16% decrease for an MLA of 25 (not much more effective than 21).

Since raising the MLA would likely keep teens from starting tobacco use, we could also expect to see less tobacco-related disease and death. For example, if the MLA were raised now to age 21 nationwide, for people born between 2000 and 2019 there would be 249,000 fewer premature deaths, about 45,000 fewer deaths from lung cancer and 4.2 million fewer years of life lost.

Some health benefits could even be seen very quickly. For example, less secondhand smoke would lead to fewer health risks, especially to people with asthma and other lung diseases, heart disease, older people and children. The number of preterm births, low birth weight babies and sudden infant death syndrome cases would also likely go down right away.

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gained more control over tobacco products in 2009, that law did not allow the agency to set a nationwide MLA for tobacco products above 18 years of age. Although most states currently set the MLA at 18, four states (Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey, Utah) set it at 19, and New York City and several other localities around the country and one state, Hawaii, have raised it to 21.

Now it is Michigan's turn to raise the MLA to 21
First our policymakers need to know that the people of Michigan are in support of this type of legislation. If you or your organization would like to learn more or get involved in efforts to raise the MLA to 21 in Michigan, please email or call me at 614-279-1700.

For the over 10,000 kids who become new smokers in Michigan every year, we can't do this fast enough.

Shelly Kiser is the Director of Advocacy at the American Lung Association in Ohio and Michigan

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For more information about asthma in Michigan visit GetAsthmaHelp.org or contact Tisa Vorce 

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