Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cigarette Smoking Among Adults in the US is at its Lowest Rate

The cigarette smoking rate among adults in the U.S. dropped from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 17.8 percent in 2013, according to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

That is the lowest rate of adult smoking since the CDC’s Nation Health Interview Survey (NHIS) began keeping such records in 1965. The report also shows the number of cigarette smokers dropped from 45.1 million in 2005 to 42.1 million in 2013, despite the increasing population in the U.S.

While this news is encouraging, there are still several populations that are disparately affected by tobacco use, both in the U.S and Colorado. The Colorado Tobacco Education, Prevention and Cessation Grant Program's 2012-202 Strategic Plan aims to reach and support several priority populations, including many of those mentioned in this study. These populations include low socioeconomic status adults, straight to work young adults, youth, LGBT adults and more.

There are many free resources available in Colorado to support people in their efforts to quit tobacco.  Tobacco users in Colorado can get free coaching, and nicotine replacement therapy by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visiting

To view the full MMWR report click Here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

FDA finalizes menu and vending machine calorie labeling rules

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today finalized two rules requiring that calorie information be listed on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants, similar retail food establishments and vending machines with 20 or more locations to provide consumers with more nutritional information about the foods they eat outside of the home. The rules are required by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home and people today expect clear information about the products they consume,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “Making calorie information available on chain restaurant menus and vending machines is an important step for public health that will help consumers make informed choices for themselves and their families.”
The menu labeling final rule applies to restaurants and similar retail food establishments if they are part of a chain of 20 or more locations, doing business under the same name and offering for sale substantially the same menu items. Covered food establishments will be required to clearly and conspicuously display calorie information for standard items on menus and menu boards, next to the name or price of the item. Seasonal menu items offered for sale as temporary menu items, daily specials and condiments for general use typically available on a counter or table are exempt from the labeling requirements.

Monday, November 24, 2014

CDC: 10 Things You Can Do to Promote American Diabetes Month

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created an American Diabetes Month webpage, with resources for you to use to promote National Diabetes Month 2014.

The American Diabetes Month webpage includes information related to diabetes and prediabetes, social media links, and 8 infocards/web buttons that you can use in your diabetes prevention and management efforts within your social media communities. In addition, diabetes and prediabetes infographics are available for use and can be found on this page:

To find additional related information and resources about diabetes prevention and management that you can use in your National Diabetes Month outreach efforts, visit

Retail Marijuana Education Campaign Message Development Survey

As a stakeholder in promoting safe, legal and responsible use of retail marijuana in Colorado, your opinion matters a great deal to us. Please take a few minutes to complete this online Campaign Message Questionnaire.


CDPHE's media contractor, Cactus, is new to the many stakeholders involved in concerns related to retail marijuana, and they would love to learn a bit more from you about pressing concerns on which to educate Coloradans. Your feedback on just four (4) questions will provide valuable insights to the creative team and ensure that your voice is heardPlease complete the survey by 5:00 pm MDT, Wednesday, November 26, 2014

CDPHE is charged with educating the public on the retail marijuana laws, the health effects of recreational marijuana use, and providing prevention messaging for high risk populations (i.e. youth, pregnant/breastfeeding women, safe storage messages for parents). The first educational campaign will kick off in January, 2015 with targeted campaigns to follow throughout the Spring and Summer. Cactus will conduct extensive research, focus group testing, and review other available data to create the final messaging within the campaigns. Your insight will provide additional data for Cactus to better understand how stakeholders view this issue. 

Thank you, in advance, for your completion of this brief survey and for sharing it with others who may be interested.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Adolescent Suicide in Colorado, 2008-2012

The Health Statistics Branch at CDPHE has released the Health Watch - Adolescent Suicide in Colorado, 2008-2012 report on youth suicide data.

This report describes the issue of adolescent suicide in Colorado by using the National Violent Death Reporting System surveillance data. The purpose of this report is to increase suicide awareness, as well as present unique aspects and factors of adolescent suicide. These data can be used at the state and local levels in Colorado to help inform intervention and prevention efforts that will reduce adolescent suicide.

Colorado Insurance Alert Urges Smokers to Quit

DENVER — Colorado insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar is urging people to take advantage of smoking-cessation programs at no cost through plans under the country's new health-care law.

Salazar issued a consumer alert Thursday to raise public awareness about help available to stop smoking. She notes that plans compliant with the Affordable Care Act offer free counseling and medications, like patches or gums.

"It's one thing to tell people that they ought to stop smoking and that there's benefits and those kind of things. But I think when we emphasize that this is an alert, we want people to pay attention and to realize that we take this very seriously," Salazar said. It's the first alert she has issued since becoming commissioner in August 2013.

Also Thursday, one of Colorado's largest hospital groups, Centura Health, announced it would no longer hire tobacco users after Jan. 1. The policy won't apply to current workers, but job applicants will be tested for tobacco as part of their employment screening. Centura outlawed smoking and tobacco use at its premises in 2012.

Salazar announced her alert to mark the annual "Great American Smokeout," an American Cancer Society event that urges smokers to make a plan to stop.A consumer alert means the state's division of insurance will publicize the information online and ask health-insurance companies to post the details on their websites. Salazar said the insurance benefits to help smokers quit has been available since 2012 under the new health law, but she's trying to get more people to know about it.

"I think we have to keep repeating that message because someone may not have been ready to stop smoking when it first came out," she said. "And maybe if they hear it again and they realize that there is not out-of-pocket expense if they want to try to stop smoking, that again, those people who are ready now to quit will pay attention and go find help."

Associated PressNovember 20, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Colorado forms first state-sponsored hospital nutrition compact

CHHC launch 
Hospitals from across Colorado joined the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Nov. 14 in launching the Colorado Healthy Hospital Compact, a first-of-its kind agreement to promote healthy food and beverage options in hospital cafeterias, vending machines and patient menus and support new moms in breastfeeding their babies.

State health department Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wolk recognized founding partners, new partner hospitals and those that have achieved a level of recognition under the Compact's comprehensive standards. 

Founding Partners

Children's Hospital Colorado, Denver Public Health, Jefferson County Public Health Kaiser-Permanente Healthcare, LiveWell Colorado, Lutheran Medical Center, Tri-County Health Department, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics.

Partner Hospitals

Gold: Children's Hospital Colorado, Lutheran Medical Center
Silver: Avista Adventist Hospital, Littleton Adventist Hospital, St. Anthony Summit Medical Center
Bronze: Denver Health Medical Center, St. Anthony Hospital
New: Longmont United Hospital, Medical Center of Aurora, Sky Ridge Medical Center

The state health department is committed to making Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. State health experts worked with founding partners to develop the nationally-recognized compact as a way to improve hospital nutrition and reduce obesity. While Colorado is the leanest state in the nation, one in five Colorado adults and one in seven Colorado children are obese. 

Compact hospitals choose programs to implement and are recognized for what they achieve against a comprehensive set of standards. Here are the four programs available and a sample of the standards for each:

  • Healthy Food Program: Compact hospitals offer daily healthy adult and child meals and a proportion of healthy snacks and side dishes. 
  • Healthy Beverage Program: Compact hospitals offer free water and sugarless drink options. 
  • Marketing Program: Compact hospitals promote healthy food and beverage choices through signage, labeling and discounts. 
  • Breastfeeding Support Program: Compact hospitals provide trained staff members to help mothers breastfeed their babies in the hospital and refer them to lactation support services upon discharge. They also must offer staff members a time and place to breastfeed. 
To learn more, contact Susan Motika at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment or go to