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Joe – It was a pleasure working with you on this article, and thank you for educating your readers about asthma and allergies, two of the most common chronic diseases in the U.S, and in Tennessee. You have several insights that will help us to continue to analyze our research approach – now in its 10th consecutive publishing – for future years.
As way of additional insights for your readers, recall that our Spring Allergy Capitals™ rankings does not look at raw “pollen counts,” but rather at the “pollen scores,” which, as we discussed, take into account the complicated specifics of different pollen species, their airborne concentrations and the metro area allergy prevalence to those specific types of pollen. Raw pollen counts are not too meaningful if you’re not allergic to the pollen type present in the air at that time. This is why the Knoxville pollen ranking was so high – a larger percent of your population was allergic to the specific pollens measured for that time period.
And, regarding tobacco laws in Tennessee, we only give credit in our Asthma Capitals™ report to “100% smoking bans” and the Tennessee ban is only “partial” allowing for many exceptions and loopholes that still allow smoking in several places, still exposing thousands of people with asthma to secondhand smoke. Other states and localities have shown great leadership with 100% bans, and we’d like to see Tennessee do the same.
Finally, note that the final total scores for all cities was extremely close...so you are correct -- it's a close call between all cities, indeed. There is really no place safe from asthma or allergies so we hope people talk to their doctors about how to manage their disease best.
Keep up the great work informing your readers and thank you for helping us educate patients. Best regards – Mike Tringale, VP, AAFA – www.aafa.org
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