This Week in Public Health News | Week of April 17, 2017

1) First US sugar tax sees soft drink sales fall by almost 10%, study shows

“The first sugar tax to be introduced on soft drinks in the United States to fight obesity has cut sales by nearly 10% and apparently increased the numbers of people buying water instead, a study has shown.”

2) California immunization rates hit new highs after state law limits parental exemptions

“A tougher vaccine law in California that prohibits parents from using personal beliefs to exempt their kids boosted coverage rates significantly in the first school year after its implementation.”


3) Ad linking alcohol to cancer most effective at curbing drinking, study finds

“A graphic Australian advertisement that highlights the link between alcohol and cancer has been nominated by drinkers as the most effective in leading them to reconsider their alcohol intake.”


4) Two people die every day in Ontario of opioid-related causes, research shows
“In 2015, 734 people died of opioid-related causes, or about two a day, states a report by researchers at the Ontario Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), St. Michael’s Hospital and the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network.”


5) Why health experts should speak out on social policy
A PhD candidate from Ottawa reflects on recent events in Canada, commenting that “Politics and medicine belong in the grinder together, even if the process is not always for the squeamish.”


6) Ontario embraces no-strings-attached basic income experiment
“This month, Ontario is launching its own pilot project to see what happens when low-income families receive monthly payments with no strings attached. Policymakers want to know if a so-called “basic income” would improve health, housing, and employment outcomes for Ontarians.”