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An airsoft player points his gun around a corner at Dreadnought Airsoft in Phoenix on Nov. 22. Like many players, he has removed the imitation gun’s orange tip, which is required under a 1988 federal law.

Since 2015, at least 4% of deadly police shootings nationwide have had victims holding “toy weapons,” including children’s toy guns, nonfunctional replicas, BB guns, and airsoft guns. However, while imitation guns’ aesthetic authenticity currently benefits many groups, officers are not trained to differentiate fake guns from real ones. Read more»

'We can’t get transmission down through vaccination alone,' said Angela Rasmussen, virologist at Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health Science and Security. 'We need to be encouraging leadership, both at the state and federal levels, to protect people, to have paid sick leave for people if they become symptomatic.'

Governors continue to open indoor dining before vaccinations become widespread. Experts warn this could create superspreading playgrounds for dangerous variants and squander our best shot at getting the pandemic under control. Read more»

Despite the dismal image of smoking today, cigarette makers formerly used celebrities to promote smoking as sophisticated and chic.

For decades, tobacco companies relied on movie stars and sports heroes to pitch their brands, making cigarettes a symbol of sophistication and glamour. Today, the image is vastly different, with smoking largely a habit of the troubled and the poor: 44 percent of all smokers are mentally ill. Read more»

How many Americans have been shot over the past 10 years? No one really knows. We don't even know if the number of people shot annually has gone up or down over that time. Read more»

Vendors display handguns for sale at the 2013 National Rifle Association Annual Meeting & Exhibits on April 26.

After the Sandy Hook school shooting, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) was one of a few congressional Republicans who expressed a willingness to reconsider the need for gun control laws. More than a year later, as Kingston competes in a crowded Republican primary race for a U.S. Senate seat, the congressman is no longer talking about common ground. Read more»

This chart by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows flu levels around the country.

Young people are being hit harder by this year’s flu season, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those ages 18 to 64 accounted for 61 percent of all influenza-related hospitalizations, compared with an average of 35 percent in previous years. Read more»

Dr. Daniel Budnitz, at his office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga. Budnitz has campaigned to have flow restrictors -- safety plastic devices fitted into the necks of medicine bottles to slow the release of fluid -- added to all liquid medicines, but so far he’s had limited success.

Today, the promise to make medicine safer for kids remains largely unfulfilled, hindered by industry cost concerns and inaction by federal regulators, an examination by ProPublica found. Read more»

State Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson, shown at a January news conference, authored a law that allows schools to stock and administer injectable epinephrine when students go into anaphylaxis from previously undiagnosed allergies.

Allowing schools to stock and administer general-use, injectable epinephrine will save lives when students go into anaphylaxis from previously undiagnosed allergies, a state lawmaker says. Read more»

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that obesity among preschoolers increased between 2008 and 2011 in only three states that were measured, and stayed the same or fell in 37 states.

The obesity rate for low-income Arizona preschoolers remained level from 2008 to 2011 after growing sharply in previous years, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. Read more»

A new Census Bureau survey said people in the Valley were twice as likely as the rest of the nation to consider their homes’ primary water source unsafe – even though health and environmental officials say there have been on water-quality violations in years.

Valley health officials insist that it’s safe to drink the water, but area residents don’t appear to be so certain. Read more»

Charlie Rangel, United States House of Representative (D-NY)

Rep. Charlie Rangel falsely claimed there are “millions of kids dying, being shot down by assault weapons.” In fact, fewer than 100,000 persons younger than 20 years old died of gun violence, including suicide, over a 30-year period through 2010, government data show. About two-thirds of those deaths — or nearly 65,000 — were homicides. Read more»

A national survey suggests that more young women in Arizona are getting tested for the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia, but data for the latest year available showed that fewer than half of those in this group were tested. Read more»

Homeowners and tenants in pre-1978 houses who qualify will receive an average of $8,400 to help rid their households of lead.

A grant from the the Department of Housing and Urban Development hopes to help Tucson's low-income families eliminate lead hazards in their homes over the next three years. Read more»

Arizona is one of the better states in the nation when it comes to preventing tobacco use among 12- to 25-year-olds, according to a report released Thursday by the Surgeon General. Read more»

Those 65 and older who engage in binge drinking do so more frequently than any other age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Binge drinking is most common among young people, but a government report on the problem also places a red flag next to senior citizens. It turns out that those 65 and older engage in binge drinking more frequently than any other age group. Read more»

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