Monday, July 20, 2009

An Institute of Medicine report recommending a tobacco-free military was named Partnership for Prevention's "Best Prevention Idea of the Week," while an amendment before Congress to effectively shut needle exchange programs out of the District of Columbia was named the "Worst Prevention Idea of the week.

The "Best/Worst Idea" awards are a regular feature of Prevention Matters, the blog of Partnership for Prevention. Each week, Partnership for Prevention's staff will choose the designees based on nominations of items in the previous week's news submitted by members, staff and the public at large. To submit a nomination or for more information, contact Damon Thompson at


IOM Report Supports Tobacco-Free Military

A study commissioned by the Pentagon and the Department of Veteran Affairs recommended terminating the use and sale of tobacco products on military property. The study also recommended the military ensure enlistees are smoke-free. However, the Pentagon quickly announced it would not follow those recommendations.


Amendment on Needle Exchange Program Worries AIDS Activists

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) has added a new rider to the District of Coumbia's 2010 federal appropriation that threatens to wipe out most needle-exchange programs in D.C. It was only last year that Democrats lifted the long-standing ban on public funding for needle exchange programs in the nation's capital. But Kingston’s provision, which was accepted by the Democrat-led House Appropriations Committee, bars the District from distributing clean needles or syringes to drug addicts within 1,000 feet "of a public or private day care center, elementary school, vocational school, secondary school, college, junior college, or university, or any public swimming pool, park, playground, video arcade, or youth center, or an event sponsored by any such entity."

"A 1,000-foot rider from any of those puts a great barrier in a city as geographically small as D.C.," said Dr. Phil Terry, executive director of PreventionWorks!, a nonprofit needle-exchange provider. "There's virtually no area in D.C. that would meet those restrictions, except maybe Capitol Hill."


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