The Checkup: Pennsylvania Has a Binge Drinking Problem

New numbers from the CDC reveal that Pennsylvania is among a handful of states ranked highest for binge drinking rates.

• The Centers for Disease Control released its latest Vital Signs report, which covers the topic of binge drinking. The scary truth: It’s a much more widespread problem in our country than experts thought. According to government tabulations, in 13 states—including Pennsylvania—and the District of Columbia, between 18.7 and 25.5 percent of adults binge drink, the highest rates in the country. Binge drinkers in PA consume more than seven drinks within a short period of time when they binge drink. In all, the report found that more than 38 million people in the US binge drink four times month. It also notes that binge drinking costs $746 per person, or $1.90 a drink, based on health care expenses, crime and lost productivity. Get all the numbers here.

• Let’s talk more state-level stats for a second, OK? This piece from USA Today looks at which states have—and which ones don’t have—laws in place to protect smokers’ rights. Pennsylvania is among the ones without such laws on the books, which means companies here are able to impose smoke-free hiring policies, refusing to hire candidates simply because they smoke. It’s apparently a practice that’s taking root in other states, like Texas and Utah, and it’s stirring up some controversy. Read more about it here, but tell me: do you know of local companies who employ the practice?

• Speaking of controversy, have you heard about the childhood obesity ads running in Georgia? They’re intense. And people are mad.