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Why Is Big Tobacco Spending To Boost A Cigarette Tax? And More Of This Week's Public Health News

Jill Sheridan/Side Effects

This week - Some hospitals are replacing those pricey EpiPens with others -- for $10 ... How young is too young to start screening kids for obesity? ... Need to undo a drug overdose? This online tool will tell you where to get the medication ... Big Tobacco is fighting little tobacco, and is supporting a cigarette tax to do it ... These and more ...

How Indianapolis Suburb Carmel Pays For Its Parks (Hint: It's Not With Taxes.)

Remember Leslie Knope from "Parks & Rec"? She might have something to say about the real-life Pawnee-Eagleton rivalry between Indianapolis and Carmel, an affluent suburb. When it comes to funding for parks, Carmel outshines Indianapolis, using revenue from a popular community center to fund other parks around the town -- and it could be positively affecting residents' health.  Jill Sheridan, for Side Effects, looks at what makes the funding model in Carmel so successful.

Who Pays For -- And Who Can Afford -- Infant-Saving Donor Breast Milk?

There's a reason donor milk is called "liquid gold" -- the fluid can make a big difference to premature babies with underdeveloped digestive systems. But the cost is often prohibitive: around $4/ounce at nonprofit sources, or as much as $30/ounce from for-profit places. States are hard at work trying to figure out who pays for the milk, how much and when, Karen Shakerdge reports for Side Effects.

Why Is Big Tobacco Trying To Help Pass A Cigarette Tax?

A ballot proposal in Missouri would OK a new 60-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes. It has an unusual backer that's turning some heads: R.J. Reynolds, the maker of Camel cigarettes. The company has donated $12 million to groups supporting passage of the proposal. It doesn't mean they've suddenly developed a conscienceThey likely just want to level the playing field with discount cigarette makers. 

Some Hospitals Are Replacing EpiPens With $10 Versions

It's still meant for use only by medical professionals, but one hospital in Utah is dumping their $300 EpiPens, meant to deliver a life-saving dose of medicine to people with severe allergies, in favor of a $10 kit that uses syringes. And more may soon follow.

Quick Hits

Why news stories that say men are wimpy when it comes to side effects from male birth control injections have it wrong.

The panel that makes preventive health care recommendations says kids as young as 6 should be screened for obesity.

Terrifying: More than 300 million kids around the world live in places where they breathe highly toxic air.

In Kentucky, a new online tool helps people find the medication to undo drug overdoses.

California wants to halve new HIV cases by 2021. And they have a new plan to do it.