Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio
In an effort to combat Ohio’s high rate of infant mortality, a state commission is recommending that lawmakers increase the tobacco tax, raise the tobacco buying age to 21, and ban the sale of crib bumpers (Source: “Ohio’s Infant Mortality Panel Recommends Tobacco Tax Hike,” Associated Press via Lima News, March 22).
In its report, the Ohio Commission on Infant Mortality laid out a series of recommendations aimed at lowering infant mortality rates in the state.
Other recommendations from the commission include:
- Publishing statewide infant mortality data each quarter
- Requiring cultural competency training for physicians and other health care professionals
- Permitting pharmacists to administer the hormone progesterone and contraceptive injections of Depo-Provera
- Specifying pregnancy as a priority in emergency shelter and housing tax credit programs
- Placing pregnant women in family homeless shelters rather than single adult shelters.
State Sen. Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) who co-chaired the commission, said Ohio’s infant mortality problem disproportionately affects low-income black families in urban neighborhoods that have “largely been left behind as the economy has grown.”
“Birth outcomes simply cannot improve unless we address these adverse conditions and underlying inequities found in the places where many of these families live,” Jones said in releasing the commission’s report at a Statehouse press conference.