Vaccines, Tobacco Control Among Top Public Health Achievements of Past Decade

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The American Nurses Association (ANA) Department of Nursing Practice and Policy presents the following information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

What is making America healthier so far in the 21st century? According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ten great public health achievements are demonstrating remarkable success in preventing disease and injury and promoting better lives. The top ten are:

  • Vaccine preventable diseases
  • Prevention and control of infectious disease
  • Tobacco control
  • Maternal and infant health
  • Motor vehicle safety
  • Cardiovascular disease prevention
  • Occupational safety
  • Cancer prevention
  • Childhood lead poisoning prevention
  • Public health preparedness and response

The list was compiled by CDC’s public health scientists as part of a survey of the most effective public health intervention strategies over the past decade. The report also cites the success of policy change in enhancing these successes. It said, “Although not new, the judicious use of the legal system, by encouraging healthy behavior through taxation or by shaping it altogether through regulatory action, has become an increasingly important tool in modern public health practice and played a major role in many of the achievements described in this report.”

For more on ANA’s immunization initiative, go to