Public Health Emerging Issues – July 1, 2019

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CLEAN INDOOR AIR ACT EXPANSION

  • The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006 restricted indoor smoking in many public places. It was in an effort to protect residents from secondhand smoke.  
  • Increasingly popular nicotine vapor products were not previously covered under the Clean Indoor Air Act.
  • As of July 1, 2019:
    • Vaping will not be allowed in indoor public places, including all bars and restaurants.
    • People will have to stand at least 25 feet from entrances while smoking or vaping (it was previously 15 feet).
    • All hotel and motel rooms will be smoke and vape-free.
    • All businesses will be smoke and vape-free.
    • Common areas of assisted living facilities will be smoke and vape-free.
  • E-cigarette products are dangerous for the user and expose bystanders to secondhand vapor that is not safe to breathe.  The vapor can include cancer-causing chemicals, heavy metals, and nicotine. 
  • Mesa County’s death rate for lung and bronchus cancer is 41.4 per 100,000 people.  That’s statistically higher than the state’s rate of 28.5 per 100,000 people.
  • A recent report showed nearly 50 percent (48.7%) of high school students in Mesa County reported trying a vape product.  Nearly one-third, 31 percent, said they had used one in the last 30 days.  
  • That same report showed only 45 percent of Mesa County high school students think vape products are harmful.  It’s worth noting that significantly fewer Mesa County students think vaping is harmful when compared to the state (50%) and compared to the perceived harm of traditional cigarettes (88%).
  • Tobacco continues to be the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, killing half a million people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Mesa County Public Health is committed to providing resources and information about issues that impact our health, both as a community and individually. 
  • For local resources and information on how to quit, visit our the Quit Tobacco Today page.

Take a look at this Fact Sheet that outlines the new protections for workers, residents, and visitors.

IT’S TICK SEASON 

  • The wet spring and summer we’ve experienced means an increased chance of finding a tick on your body when you (or your pet) head home from spending time outdoors. 
  • Mesa County Public Health is committed to helping our community enjoy an outdoor lifestyle while preventing disease and limiting adverse health impacts.  Preventing tick bites is the best protection from diseases transmitted by ticks.
  • Colorado does not have ticks that carry Lyme disease, however, there are some other diseases you should be aware of. Diseases transmitted by ticks include:
    • Tick-borne relapsing fever is a bacterial infection that can cause recurring bouts of fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and nausea.  It is usually linked to sleeping in rustic, rodent-infested cabins in the mountains. It’s spread by infected soft ticks.
    • Tularemia is a disease that can infect animals and people.  Symptoms vary depending on how the person was infected, but are typically severe. In most cases, it can be treated successfully with antibiotics. It’s spread by infected dog ticks, wood ticks, and lone star ticks.
    • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a serious bacterial illness, which can be deadly if not treated early with the right antibiotic. Many people experience fever, headache, and rash. The name can be misleading as this illness is also found in the Midwest and Southeastern United States. It’s spread by infected dog ticks, Rocky Mountain wood ticks, and brown dog ticks.
    • Colorado Tick Fever is a rare, viral disease. It’s spread by Rocky Mountain wood ticks.
  • Since 2015 there have been 7 cases of Tularemia and 1 case of Spotted Fever reported in Mesa County.
  • If you find a tick attached to your skin, there’s no need to panic, just remove it as soon as you can. When you check for ticks, ask someone to help as some of the areas might be hard to see yourself. Be sure to look:
    • Under the arms,
    • In, around and behind the ears,
    • Inside the belly button,
    • Back of the knees,
    • In and around the hair,
    • Between the legs, and
    • Around the waist.
  • Use an EPA-approved repellent that’s effective against ticks–look for a product that contains DEET, IR3535, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or 2-undecanone. 
  • Avoid contact with ticks by walking in the center of trails and not heading into wooded, brushy areas with high grass. 

For more information on the types of ticks in Colorado and how to protect yourself, visit health.mesacounty.us.

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