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What We're Reading: Tobacco Age Legislation; Most Measles Cases Since 1994; Hidden Dangers of Heart Device

AJMC Staff
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, introduced bipartisan legislation that would raise the age to purchase tobacco-related products to 21; the US measles outbreak has surged to 880 cases this year; the FDA will end its Alternative Summary Reporting program after an investigation found that the agency had filed information regarding malfunctions of the Sprint Fidelis heart device in an internal database. 

Senate Majority Leader Introduces Legislation to Curb Youth Smoking Epidemic

In an effort to curb the youth smoking epidemic, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, introduced bipartisan legislation that would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, including vaping devices and e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21, The New York Times reported. While 14 states and 470 municipalities have already increased the age for buying tobacco-related products to 21, the use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices has continued to increase among adolescents. A government survey conducted last year found that 1 in 5 high school students in the United States reported vaping within the previous month.



Measles Outbreak Soars to 880 Cases

The US measles outbreak has resulted in 880 cases this year, the most that have occurred since 1994, with 41 new infections reported just last week, according to The New York Times. Of the new cases, 30 occurred in New York State. Measles cases have now been reported in 24 states, and a spokesperson for the CDC said it’s too early to tell if the outbreak has slowed.



FDA to End Alternative Summary Reporting Program After Heart Device Malfunction Investigation

The FDA will end its Alternative Summary Reporting program after a recent investigation found that the agency allowed Medtronic, manufacturers of the Sprint Fidelis heart device, to file 1.1 million reports of injuries caused by the product to an internal FDA database, rather than a public-facing database, since 2016. These filings kept information about malfunctions from reaching the public, according to Kaiser Health News. The FDA has pledged to allow access to the records within weeks. The device was designed for heartbeat regulation, but in some cases, it was giving patients random electrical jolts and failing to fire during cardiac emergencies.

 
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