"On Second Thought" For Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019

Tobacco use is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the United States, and while e-cigarettes are marketed as tools to help smokers quit, public health advocates fear they may be getting a new generation hooked. Whatever the source, Georgia offers little state-funded support to help break the habit.

A new report from top public health groups ranks the state 47th nationwide in funding programs that help smokers quit and prevent people from using tobacco. According to the report, Georgia receives $393.3 million annually from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement and tobacco taxes, but spent just $750,000 in 2018 on prevention and cessation. The state spends far more — $3.2 billion annually — on tobacco use-related health care bills. 


Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds in the United States. A 2018 study from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention shows suicide rates increased by 16 percent in Georgia between 1996 and 2016. Tech giant Facebook wants to help prevent suicide with artificial intelligence. This, after a string of suicides that were live-streamed on the social media platform in recent years.

Atlanta musician and activist, Larry Harris, Jr. joined “On Second Thought” to speak about his personal experience with suicide attempts. Technology Reporter, Natasha Singer also joined the conversation. Singer is specializes in consumer privacy for “The New York Times.”

The CDC reports that Georgia has had one of the highest flu rates in the country during this winter. Georgia has seen more than 400 flu-related hospitalizations since the start of flu season in September, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. Andy Miller, editor of Georgia Health News, joined "On Second Thought" to discuss flu trends in the state and how to prevent illness until peak flu season ends in February.