NORTH GEORGIA HEALTH DISTRICT

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    NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

New GA Lead Law for ChildrenAtlanta – There is no safe amount of lead in a child’s blood. Even small amounts of lead can result in damage to the brain and nervous system, cause behavioral problems, learning difficulties and other medical issues – all of which may be permanent. However, legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Kemp, bolsters protection for Georgia children who may be exposed to lead.

The amount of lead in blood is referred to as the blood lead level, which is measured in micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (μg/dL). The new Georgia legislation lowers the threshold for confirmed lead poisoning from 20 to 3.5 micrograms of lead per deciliter. The level is now consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“DPH is extremely grateful to the members of the General Assembly and the Governor for their decisive action which allows for a more robust program for identifying and preventing cases of lead poisoning, and protecting the children of Georgia,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner, Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).

Those most at risk include children under six years of age, children living at or below the federal poverty level, pregnant women, and those who live in older housing. Often, there are no obvious symptoms of lead exposure.

A simple blood test can detect lead poisoning. A small amount of blood is taken from a finger or heel prick or from a vein in the arm. Based on your child’s blood lead test results, healthcare providers can recommend follow-up actions and care. DPH strongly urges parents to have their children tested for lead.

Lead can be found in many places in a child’s environment, but lead exposure is preventable. The key is stopping children from coming into contact with lead.

Para la traducción al Español de esta información, haga clic en la opción en Español en la parte superior de esta página. 

GEORGIA SENATE BILL 375 - TOBACCO 21 LAW: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

GA T 21 SignRetail Signage in English & Spanish: Click to download and print to clearly display at tobacco products point(s) of sale.The North Georgia Health District wants you to be aware of the Tobacco 21 Law and what we all must do to comply with that law. Here, we are providing you with the information you need to comply with the law and with beneficial resources.
 
The Georgia Senate Bill 375 - Tobacco 21 Law: What You Need to Know: This is a comprehensive guide that provides retailers with information on the law, exemptions, definitions of tobacco products, age verification, signage, penalties, enforcement, and resources. The Chronic Disease Prevention Managers can provide this guide to the retailers.
 

What is Senate Bill 375 (Tobacco 21 or T21)? As of July 22, 2020, the sell or barter, directly or indirectly, any cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products to anyone under the age of 21 years is illegal in Georgia.

What are retailers required to do? Retailers are responsible for upholding the law. Compliance checks are conducted and enforced on a continuous basis to ensure retailers are following federal and state Tobacco 21 laws that prohibit the sale of all tobacco products. Failure to comply with the Tobacco 21 law will result in a misdemeanor.

  • Retailer must display Tobacco 21 signage in clearly visible locations
  • Use a state-issued driver’s license, military ID, and passport to verify individuals’ age
  • Train all staff on the following steps for every tobacco sale
    • Ask for valid ID from everyone attempting to purchase tobacco products
    • Check ID to make sure everyone is 21 years and older
    • Refuse to sell tobacco products to everyone under 21

Why public health needs retailers help? There has been an alarming increase in the use of tobacco products, e-cigarettes and flavored delivery systems among youth and young adults in our community. Almost 1 of every 5 high school students in Georgia are current tobacco users of cigarettes, hookah, cigars, smokeless tobacco, or electronic cigarettes (Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2019). As a licensed tobacco retailer, you play an important role ensuring the success of reducing access and use of tobacco products by complying with the Tobacco 21 law.

What are free resources for quitting tobacco? Georgia residents 13 years and older who want to quit smoking, vaping, or using tobacco, can call the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line.

  • 1-877-270-7867 (English)
  • 1-877-266-3863 (Spanish)
  • 1-877-777-6534 (Hearing Impaired)
  • Youth and young adults can enroll in This is Quitting by texting VAPEFREEGA to 88709 to quit

Let’s work together to keep our youth and young adults tobacco-free!

 
Closed due to weather banner
North GA - 
Due to the potential for severe weather, the MAKO Medical COVID-19 Drive-thru Test sites in Dalton and Woodstock are CLOSED all day Friday, May 6, 2022.
 
All updates for the drive-thru test sites are posted here on the health district website and on our social media pages at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.