Health Highlights: Oct. 4, 2019

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Government Wants Marketing Data From Juul and 5 Other Vaping Companies

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has asked Juul, R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co., Fontem US, Logic Technology Development, Nu Mark and NJOY to give them marketing materials going back to 2015.

Thursday’s announcement comes at a time when e-cigarettes are being targeted by health officials and politicians as their use soars among America’s teens, the Associated Press reported.

The FTC is asking for the marketing material to get a better understanding of the sales of vaping products and how they’re promoted. Promotions include giveaways, online influencers and targeting colleges.

Juul has indicated it would cooperate with the FTC probe, the AP reported.

It’s against federal law for tobacco companies, but not vaping companies, to give away products, sponsor sports events and advertise on television, radio, public transportation and billboards.

According to a government survey, more than 1 in 4 high school students say they have used e-cigarettes in the past month. An ongoing outbreak of severe lung illnesses and deaths linked to vaping is also concerning, the AP reported.


U.S. Will Keep Measles Elimination Status

Despite recent outbreaks among unvaccinated people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects the United States will maintain its measles elimination status.

The New York State Department of Health said Thursday that it’s been more than 42 days since any new cases of measles, linked to last October’s outbreak, have been reported in New York’s Sullivan and Orange counties, and outbreaks in Rockland County and New York City have also subsided, CNN reported.

“However, this outbreak is a grave reminder that we need heightened vigilance around measles, as well as other vaccine preventable diseases, and we continue to address the myths and misinformation driving these outbreaks. CDC continues to encourage parents to speak with their family’s health care provider about the importance of vaccination. We also encourage local leaders to provide accurate, scientific-based information to counter misinformation. Vaccines remain the most powerful tool to preserve health and to save lives,” the CDC said in a statement.

The measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, which means it was no longer endemic in the country, CNN said.

That status can be taken away by the World Health Organization when measles has been spreading continuously for a year. The United States would lose face if elimination status was removed, public health experts have said.

In 2019, 1,243 cases of measles in 31 states were reported to the CDC. Most of these cases occurred in New York among people not vaccinated against the disease. It’s the highest number of cases since 1992, CNN said.