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What We're Reading: Flu Shots Fell; Meth Use Rises; Altria Pulls e-Cigarette Products

AJMC Staff
Fewer than 4 out of 10 adults received influenza vaccinations last winter, the lowest rate in 7 seasons; methamphetamine use is rising across the United States, but it is overshadowed by opioids and fatal overdoses; tobacco giant Altria will stop selling e-cigarette “pods” and will pull almost all its flavored products from the market in an attempt to help curb teen vaping.

Adult Flu Vaccination Rate Fell to Lowest Levels Last Season

Fewer than 4 out of 10 adults received influenza vaccinations last winter, the lowest rate in 7 seasons, The Washington Post reported. The CDC said it is a likely reason that the 2017-2018 season was the deadliest in decades. Vaccination coverage among adults was 37.1%, a decrease of 6.2 percentage points from the previous season.

 

Methamphetamine Use Surging Again

Methamphetamine use is rising across the United States, but it is overshadowed by opioids and fatal overdoses, NPR reported. The drug is stronger and cheaper than it used to be, and is now the product of Mexican drug cartels that are mass-producing high-quality quantities of the drug and pushing it into markets where it was previously unknown. Even in rural communities ravaged by decades of experience with the drug, meth is on the upswing thanks to its relatively low price, availability, and a shortage of treatment options.

 

Altria Pulling e-Cigarette Pods, Flavored Tobacco Products From the Market

Tobacco giant Altria will stop selling e-cigarette “pods” and will pull almost all its flavored products from the market in an attempt to help curb teen vaping. The Hill noted that e-cigarettes make up just a fraction of Altria’s sales, so it has much less to lose than a company like dominant player Juul, which only makes e-cigarettes. Altria, which makes Marlboro and Virginia Slim cigarettes, also said it supports federal legislation to raise the legal smoking age to 21. The company is the first to pull the pods as the FDA is cracking down on e-cigarette manufacturers amid a huge increase in teen vaping.

 
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