ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A new report from the American Cancer Society says New York state needs to do more to prevent smoking.
The Cancer Action Network at the American Cancer Society analyzed the state's efforts to combat cancer through screenings, tobacco taxes, smoking bans and restrictions on tanning booths.
While the state won high marks for breast and cervical cancer screening programs and restrictions on where people can smoke, the group says the state should reverse recent cuts in funds for programs to prevent tobacco use.
The Albany Common Council could decide tonight to expand its smoking ban in city parks. If passed, the measure would carry a 50 dollar fine and go into effect immediately.
It is already against the law to smoke on playgrounds or ball-fields in the city. Back in 2012, the Albany Common Council approved a limited ban on smoking in areas of parks where children gather, including playgrounds, athletic fields and swimming pools.
Those health warnings on the side of a package or carton of cigarettes are well-established and have become more severe and graphic over the years. That warning from the Surgeon General was the result of a landmark 1964 report by the Surgeon General, establishing a link between cigarettes and heart disease and cancer. Fifty years later, the acting Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak, says progress has been made, but smoking remains a serious health problem.
Albany is well known for its overblown promises and rhetorical hype. Often newly passed laws are promoted as “historic” and criticisms of health reforms paint a picture of the end of civilization as we know it.