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, 2016).
In a report released this week, 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 health care providers.
- 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, a Springboro Republican 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.”