Prevention Policy Matters Blog

The Prevention Policy Matters Blog helps translate public health policy into practice, offering innovative ways to make national guidelines work in communities across the nation. Discover insights and practical tips from experts across all of ODPHP’s divisions, as well as compelling stories from other professionals.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States — every year, it’s responsible for 480,000 deaths. While smoking is on the decline in the United States, more than 2,500 young people smoke their first cigarette each day. In fact, 9 in 10 adults who smoke say they tried their first cigarette before age 18; and nearly all tried their first cigarette by young adulthood.
Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions affecting children in the United States. When it’s not treated, tooth decay can cause pain and infections — and may interfere with a child’s ability to eat, talk, learn, and play. One evidence-based strategy for preventing tooth decay in children is the use of dental sealants — thin coatings that are painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Studies in children show that sealants can reduce tooth decay in permanent molars by 80% for 2 years after placement, and they keep protecting against 50% of cavities for up to 4 years.
September marks Go4Life Month, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This year's campaign challenges older adults to “Move More with Go4Life®!” by stepping up physical activity, working out a bit more frequently, and trying all four types of recommended exercise: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.