The COVID-19 Response Coordinator; American smoking falls; Mental Health Support for Ukraine
The COVID-19 Response Coordinator;  American smoking falls;  Mental Health Support for Ukraine

The COVID-19 Response Coordinator; American smoking falls; Mental Health Support for Ukraine

A new COVID-19 Response Coordinator will replace Jeff Zients; cigarette smoking rates fell in 2020; mental health providers offer telesealth services to Ukraine.

Jha must lead American COVID-19 reaction

The Biden administration announced that Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, will replace Jeff Zients as the country’s COVID-19 Response CoordinatorSTAT News reports. Jha currently serves as dean of the Brown School of Public Health and in his new role will work with the CDC and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to adopt the nation’s policies to combat COVID-19 and help communicate them to the US people. Zients monitored the distribution of the initial COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, rapid tests, and therapies.

Smoking, e-cigarette use fell in 2020

New CDC data show that during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of American cigarette smokers dropped to the lowest ever, The Associated Press reports. Although several Americans drank heavily or used illegal drugs at this time, only 1 in 8 adults said they were current smokers, while e-cigarettes also declined. Price increases at tobacco companies, pandemic lifestyle changes and public health campaigns have likely played a role in the decline. Some individuals may also have stopped after learning the habit, could lead to more severe cases of COVID-19.

Mental health experts offer help to Ukraine

U.S.-based online mental health experts have offered their expertise to Ukrainians living under duress from the Russian invasion, and have provided parents with guidance on how to talk to children about death and help infants in shock, according to new reports from Washington Post. The professionals coordinate with non-governmental organizations and academic institutions to provide guidance in Ukrainian and Russian, while volunteers are trained in the specific strategies of psychological first aid. The work also helps prevent burnout among psychiatric nurses operating in crisis.

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