By Dan Goldberg | 10/11/2017 09:59 AM EDT

N.Y. TEENS LIKE VAPING — The number of New York high schoolers using e-cigarettes continued to increase in 2016 despite a slight decline nationally for the first time. More than one in five New York high school students used e-cigarettes last year, according to survey data presented Tuesday at the state's Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Advisory Board. Students were asked whether they had used the product at least once in the 30 days prior to taking the survey. That number has doubled since 2014 and is now appreciably higher than the national average of 11.3 percent in 2016. The trend comes as teen cigarette and tobacco use has hit all-time lows following decades of public awareness campaigns. The uptick caused some concern among board members, as New York has prided itself on strong anti-tobacco measures and a youth smoking rate that is nearly half the national average. The state's adult smoking rate, 14.2 percent, also fares better than the national rate of 15.8 percent.

... One board member questioned if New York City's anti-smoking efforts, which include recently signed legislation raising the price of a pack of cigarettes and eventually halving the number of tobacco retailers, have inadvertently pushed tobacco users toward using e-cigarettes and vaporizers. The Mayor's Management Report last month stated that the city's smoking rate fell to 13.1 percent , its lowest rate on record. "I was wondering maybe if the more successful outside smoking policies may have driven people towards e-cigarettes differently than in the rest of the state," said Scott McIntosh of the University of Rochester Medical Center. Read more here.

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THE MAYORAL DEBATE — Homelessness was an early point of contention in the mayoral debate as both challengers attacked Mayor Bill de Blasio over the issue. "This mayor has done nothing for the homeless," independent candidate Bo Dietl said, adding that he's had almost four years to deal with the issue and hasn't gotten his hands around it. De Blasio defended his work during his first four years on the issue. He pointed to his efforts on mental illness including the Thrive N.Y.C. $800 million mental health initiative led by first lady Chirlane McCray as well as greatly expanding outreach to unsheltered homeless people. He defended his shelter plan saying it will allow the city to stop using hotels and private apartments for shelters and allow homeless people to be sheltered in their home borough.

... More from the debate: Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the Republican candidate for mayor, repeatedly accused de Blasio of failing to address those with the most serious mental illnesses in the city, leading to repeated episodes of violence. It's a familiar criticism of ThriveNYC, which spends the majority of its funding helping people with more mild mental illnesses find social services as opposed to addressing issues such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

NOW WE KNOW — Three months after a child is born, on days where both parents are home from work, mom is usually busy with housework while dad sits on the couch, according to a study in the journal Sex Roles. Read more here.

CHIP CLOCK — It's been 11 days since Congress let the Children's Health Insurance Program lapse.

NOT SO GREEN — Nearly two years since the launch of New York's medical marijuana program, the state's five medical marijuana companies have struggled to generate revenue, combining for a gross total of merely $16 million before any taxes, expenses or other overhead costs from April 2016 through August 2017, according to state tax-collection data analyzed by the USA Today Network's Albany Bureau.

EARLY START FOR SUPPORTIVE HOUSING — Supportive housing advocates have kicked off their budget season request for more financial support in order to meet mental health needs. "A stable home is the foundation of care and recovery for New Yorkers with psychiatric disabilities," said Toni Lasicki, executive director of the Association for Community Living, in a statement released today. Read more here.

NO FAULT PAYMENTS CRACKDOWN — The Department of Financial Services finalized a regulation that caps reimbursements for health care provided out of state related to car accidents. Superintendent Maria Vullo accused out-of-state providers of abusing New York's no-fault insurance law, in which a policyholder gets reimbursed for medical costs and lost pay regardless of who is at fault for a car accident. Read more here.

HEP C — WNYC examined a relatively new state law that makes hepatitis C screening a required part of primary care for baby boomers.

MAKING ROUNDS — Endocrinologist Dr. Tanya Thompson-Badamosi recently joined the Health Quest Medical Practice primary care office in Hyde Park.

ALSO MAKING ROUNDS — Dr. Paul Wright, a neurologist, has been promoted to senior vice president of quality for Northwell Health's Neuroscience Institute and associate medical director at North Shore University Hospital.

GRANT LAND — The National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research, part of the National Institutes of Health, awarded a grant that will provide funding to New York University College of Dentistry and its collaborators to test the effectiveness of silver diamine fluoride in stopping the progression of cavities in young children. Read more here.


OBAMACARE LATEST — President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order this week aimed at expanding access to loosely regulated health insurance plans — a move that could give consumers more coverage options but also destabilize Obamacare markets. The order is expected to direct a trio of agencies to rewrite federal rules to allow trade associations and other groups to offer their own health plans. Read more from my D.C. colleagues here.

MR. SECRETARY — Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan will serve as the agency's acting secretary, Trump announced Tuesday night. Don Wright, a longtime HHS staffer and acting assistant secretary for health, had served as the agency's acting secretary since Tom Price stepped down on Sept. 29. Hargan was confirmed as deputy secretary by the Senate on a 57-38 vote last week.

PUERTO RICO HEALTH CRISIS — The New York Times reports: "Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, many sick people across the island are still in mortal peril. The government's announcements each morning about the recovery effort are often upbeat, but beyond them are hidden emergencies."

SODA TAX FAIL — The Washington Post reports: "About two months after the country's largest soda tax went into effect, embattled lawmakers in Cook County, Ill. — the home of Chicago — have decided to repeal it. The tax has been plagued, in its very short life, by legal challenges, implementation glitches and a screeching, multimillion-dollar media battle between the soda industry and public health groups."

TODAY'S TIP — Comes from Northwell Health's Dr. Nina Vincoff who gives five reasons why early detection is key to beating breast cancer.


WHAT WE'VE LEARNED — Communication and social support are critical components of emergency preparedness and recovery, according to two reports in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship published by nurses working at NYU Langone Health during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. More here.

MENOPAUSE AND ALZHEIMER'S — Menopause causes metabolic changes in the brain that may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study in PLoS One from Weill Cornell Medicine and the University of Arizona

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