Flavored e-cigs and Vaping

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Photo Credit Janet Cannon

From: Eve Krief MD

65% of teens who vape don’t even know that they are vaping nicotine! One Juul vape pod has the nicotine equivalent of 20 cigarettes.

As some of you may know I’m on the local American Academy of Pediatrics legislative advocacy committee and we are currently advocating for county legislation (res # 2128-2018, Local Law to Limit the Flavoring of Liquid Nicotine and E-cigarettes in Suffolk County). This will ban the sale of flavored e-cigs and flavored nicotine (except menthol) in Suffolk County. If any of you have teens, you know it’s a huge problem and it is addicting a whole new generation of kids to nicotine after 50 years of progress in tobacco control!  It is a proven gateway to cigarette smoking.  Furthermore, there are potentially damaging chemicals and heavy metals being inhaled with these products as well.

So when we pitched the bill to the legislature last week they were very positive and voted on it in Committee 12/13!  HOWEVER, Philip Morris got wind of this and has sent there attack dogs to fight this any way they can. While this is overwhelmingly popular legislation, we don’t want the legislators to be influenced by the tobacco lobby.  We are in the planning stages of twin protests on 12/13 and 12/18 and a phonecall campaign to get people to call their Suffolk County legislators to support the bill (res # 2128-2018). We can make a big difference in the life and future health of our kids here. We can stop an estimated 50 kids from starting to vape every day in Suffolk.

Here is some background:

  1. 44 Percent of Kids Experiment with E-Cigs Due to Flavors efforts toward youth should include limiting e-cigarette flavors, communicating messages emphasizing the health risks of use, and changing social norms surrounding the use of e-cigarettes.
  2. E Cigs and Youth Appeal Flavor and Ads
  3. Flavored E-Cig Pop Data
  5. MMWR Flavors and youth use of e-cigs
  6. pods tobacco control 9.2108 (002) (003)
  7. Suffolk County E-Cig Flavoring Statement
Posted in Health Care, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What is Public Charge?

From Eve Krief MD

A new proposal from DHHS expands the definition of what it means to be a “public charge,” making it harder for immigrants to enter the United States and advance through the immigration process. The proposal was officially published on October 10, 2018.
“Public charge” has long been a part of our country’s immigration laws. Currently, a “public charge” is defined as someone who is primarily dependent on the government for subsistence. A public charge determination is made when a person applies for a visa to enter the United States or to adjust status to obtain a green card (but not when applying for citizenship). In other words, someone who is found to be a public charge under this definition can be denied a visa or green card.

Under the new public charge proposal, an immigrant’s use, or likely use, of certain public benefits can now be considered to deny entry or permanent legal status in the United States. For the first time, the government will look at an immigrant’s use of Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing assistance, and Medicare Part D low income subsidy. The administration is also contemplating adding use of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to the list of programs that would count toward a public charge determination.

Additionally, the proposal would consider family income as a factor in determining whether an immigrant is a public charge, putting low-income parents with children at a disadvantage compared to adults without children. To avoid scrutiny under the public charge test, a family of four would need to earn nearly $63,000 annually. And, the proposal would discriminate against people with preexisting conditions. Specifically, a low-income immigrant with a medical condition that may require extensive treatment who is unable to cover the cost of such treatment could be determined to be a public charge.

This is your last chance to raise your voice for the hundreds of thousands of children and families who are currently afraid to access public benefits like Medicaid, WIC (Women, Infants, and Children Food and Nutrition Service) & SNAP, even though they are eligible.

Documented and undocumented children and families across the country are terrified that new rules, even though they are not yet implemented, will impact their ability to get citizenship, green cards, and to bring their family members to join them.

They are even afraid that they may be deported if the new rules are put in place, or if they apply for benefits today before the new rules take effect.

Although none of these fears are based on current facts, they are, right now, causing families to avoid vital public benefits like Medicaid, WIC & SNAP.

The changes to public charge will make the lives of children and families, whether documented or undocumented, more difficult, frightening, and stressful. This debate and the final outcome has enormous implications for the health and well-being of children and families across the country. Like all children, children in immigrant families benefit when they have access to programs and services that promote their health and development. The new public charge rule could restrict their access and harm their health. #ProtectFamilies, oppose public charge.

Please submit your public comments above by December 10th.

Here is what you can do immediately:

(1) The most urgent is to submit public comment against changes to public charge as this is due by 12/10. Here is a FB link explaining what the changes are and how they will impact immigrants: Under the new public charge proposal, an immigrant’s use, or likely use, of certain public benefits can now be considered to deny entry or permanent legal status”


(2) for those interested in helping more directly with migrants at the border I would refer them to a new sanctuary where they can donate money or services or get trained to help


(3) Call members of Congress to

  • express objection to holding unprecedented numbers of children in detention . Now that the Flores Agreement has been overturned despite tremendous public comment, children will be allowed to be held in detention indefinitely with no guarantees to their human rights . This is unacceptable
  • tell them we need to offer asylum hearings to people legally seeking it who are escaping life threatening situations for them and their children . We have to get more staffing at the border for those who oversee such proceedings because people are not getting the hearings they are entitled to and the back up of migrants has led to a humanitarian crisis at the border that is only going to get worse if we don’t intervene .


Nonprofits struggle to house migrants in San Diego


Posted in Health Care, immigration/deportation, medicare, Trump, Trump atrocities, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Stop the Tears Rally

Zero Tolerance is still happening. Propublica just published this story:

“A Defendant Shows Up in Immigration Court by Himself. He’s 6.”

Earlier today various concerned citizen groups held a rally to protest the continuing separation of families at the border.

Dr. Eve Krief is a pediatrician on Long Island.  She writes:

WHY WE RALLY: It’s easy to get distracted by the Mueller Investigation, by planning for control of the House, by pushing for a progressive agenda in NY State. But we must pause for a moment and think about the children suffering right now because of this administration’s horrific policies. We must not forget them. We must keep up the pressure.

  • Children were tear gassed at the border violating US humanitarian policy and harming children
  • An unprecedented 14,000 children are being held in detention indefinitely. Parents and relatives are afraid to come forward to care for them because of the administration’s zero tolerance policy. Pediatricians know that no time in detention is appropriate for children. They should be in loving community settings. 
  • Detention facility staff is not required to have FBI clearance, which the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics has said puts the children in danger.
  • We have learned that the administration is still indiscriminately separating children from their parents 
  • Our country has virtually locked our borders to asylum seekers escaping dangerous and life threatening situations. THIS IS NOT WHO WE ARE. THIS IS NOT WHAT WE WANT OUR COUNTRY TO BE. WE MUST MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD. Please join us in protest.


Posted in immigration/deportation, Judiciary, Trump, Trump atrocities, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Finally! Chief Justice Roberts Weighs In

Chief Justice John Roberts. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

November 21 at 1:23 PM

Chief Justice John Roberts on Wednesday issued an extraordinary statement in response to President Trump’s criticism of federal judges, one day after the president blamed an “Obama judge” for ruling against his administration’s ban on asylum for those who cross the border illegally.

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said in a statement released the day before Thanksgiving. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.” (my emphasis, D. Posnett)

“That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for,” the statement concluded.

On Tuesday, Trump had told reporters outside the White House that he would file a “major complaint” against the federal judge who temporarily blocked his administration from denying asylum to migrants who illegally cross the southern border.

“This was an Obama judge. And I’ll tell you what, it’s not going to happen like this anymore,” Trump said. “It means an automatic loss no matter what you do… People should not be allowed to immediately run to this very friendly circuit and file their case.”

He added that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which also previously blocked his executive order banning immigration from several Muslim-majority countries, was a “disgrace.”

“Every case that gets filed in the Ninth Circuit, we get beaten. And then we end up having to go to the Supreme Court, like the travel ban, and we won,” Trump said.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  Thank you, Justice Roberts.

Posted in Judiciary, Trump, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Anti-Semitism never goes away, but it really flares up with a truth-attacking nationalist in the White House

Submitted by Steve Ludsin:

Letter published in the Los Angeles Times

Anti-Semitism never goes away, but it really flares up with a truth-attacking nationalist in the White House
People hold up placards during a demonstration in London organized by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism on April 8. (Tolga Akmen / AFP/Getty Images)


To the editor: Steve Oney’s op-ed article on Jewish industrialist Leo Frank’s lynching in 1915 amid anti-Semitic hysteria and attacks on journalism provided clarity.

Demagoguery is thriving due to the irresponsible rhetoric of a nationalist president. The knee-jerk reaction that mainstream media are fake news provides a basis to avoid facts and incite people to commit acts motivated by bias.

Anti-Semitism will be part of society, particularly in times of flux because people need scapegoats. There has been progress in America, but complacency is not in order. The horror of the murder of 11 innocent worshipers in Pittsburgh reminds us that we are all vulnerable to misguided people armed with hatred and ammunition.

The need for vigilance starts with each one of us. We must do something to fight this form of domestic terrorism. Rants about fake news and attacks on the mainstream media as enemies of the people do not help.

Steven A. Ludsin, East Hampton, N.Y.

The writer is a former member of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust.

Posted in israel, Religion & tolerance, Trump, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control.’


Submitted by Bob Brody:

Thousand Oaks parent:’I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control.’

Dear Friends,

A 28-year-old veteran walked into the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California and killed 12 and injured a dozen more with a Glock 21 45 caliber pistol equipped with high-capacity ammunition magazines. According to Gun Violence Archive, the Thousand Oaks shooting was the 307th mass shooting incident in 2018 and there have been over 1800 incidents since the Sandy Hook tragedy.

We have warned all Americans that if a mass shooting can happen in an elementary school in Sandy Hook then it can happen anywhere. Until the federal government puts public safety first by passing a set of comprehensive gun control laws, more and more Americans everywhere will be killed or injured.

When we joined the fight to end gun violece after the Sandy Hook tragedy, we were told words matter. We were told to use “gun violence prevention” instead of “gun control” and use “limit” instead of “ban” because we will get more buy-in.  We were told to abandon the pursuit of a federal ban on assault weapons and embrace the federal background check bill as our legislative priority so that we can build on that success.

Sadly nearly six years later, not a single substantive federal “gun violence prevention” law has been passed. In fact, not a single “gun violence prevention” law has been passed in 24 years. Meanwhile the number of mass shootings and everyday gun deaths and injuries is rising. Too many mothers and fathers are losing their children to gun violence. We need to stop negotiating against our children’s lives and be unapologetic about asking for gun control laws.

The mother of Telemachus Orfanos who was killed at the bar said on local news, “I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control.” 

We agree! Enough with thoughts and prayers. Enough with letting the NRA dictate the narrative and our word choices. Enough with our elected leaders going after the low hanging fruit as their legislative priority. The bottom line is we need strong comprehensive gun control laws to regulate 300 million civilian-owned guns in America.

We urge you to contact your elected congressional representatives at 202-224-3121 to demand a vote on the following gun control measures to reduce gun homicides, gun suicides, unintentional shootings, and mass shootings in our towns and cities across the nation.

1. Background checks on all gun sales
2. Close the Charleston loophole or “delayed denial” where federally licensed dealers can sell guns if three business days pass without a verdict from the FBI
3. Restrict and penalize firearm possession by or transfer to a person subject to a domestic violence protection order or a person (including dating partners) convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor
4. Prohibit firearm sale or transfer to and receipt or possession by an individual who has: (1) been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor hate crime, or (2) received from any court an enhanced hate crime misdemeanor sentence
5. Mandatory waiting period for gun purchases
6. Red flag/gun violence restraining order/extreme risk protection order to temporarily prohibit an individual deemed by a judge to pose a danger to self or others, from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition and allow law enforcement to remove any firearms or ammunition already in the individual’s possession
7. Handgun permitting, licensing, training, and registration
8. Ban bump-fire stocks and other dangerous accessories
9. Ban future manufacture and sale of assault weapons, regulate existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act of 1934, and initiate a federal gun buyback program
10. Limits on high capacity magazines
11. Prohibit open carry
12. Make gun trafficking a federal crime
13. Repeal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to eliminate the corporate gun industry special protection from civil justice law that no other industry enjoys
14. Fund government research on gun violence
15. Child access prevention/safe storage requirement
16. Provide resources for people with mental illness
17. Microstamped code on each bullet that links it to a specific gun
18. “Smart guns” with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or biometric recognition (fingerprint) capability
19. Limit gun purchases to one gun per month to reduce trafficking and straw purchases
20. Require licensing for ammunition dealers
21. Enhance accountability of federally licensed firearms dealers
22. Digitize the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) gun records
23. Raise the minimum age for gun purchases to 21
24. Ban 3D and ghost guns
25. Prohibit guns in schools and college campuses
26. Report lost and stolen guns

Po Murray
Chair, Newtown Action Alliance

Posted in Guns, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Leave a comment

Nobody Is Above the Law—Mueller Protection Rapid Response


Donald Trump has installed a crony to oversee the special counsel’s Trump-Russia investigation, crossing a red line set to protect the investigation. By replacing Rod Rosenstein with just-named Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker as special counsel Robert Mueller’s boss on the investigation, Trump has undercut the independence of the investigation. Whitaker has publicly outlined strategies to stifle the investigation and cannot be allowed to remain in charge of it. The Nobody Is Above the Law network demands that Whitaker immediately commit not to assume supervision of the investigation. Our hundreds of response events are being launched to demonstrate the public demand for action to correct this injustice. We will update this page as the situation develops.

Enter your ZIP code here and find the closest rally to protest: Nobody Is Above the Law

Once you sign up, make sure to invite friends to join you at the event!

In New York State the following towns have rallies planned:

NY: Albany, Auburn, Batavia, Beacon, Binghamton, Bronx, Buffalo, Canandaigua, Canton, Cobleskill, Corning, Cortland, Delhi, Fishkill, Fredonia, Geneseo, Geneva, Glens Falls, Huntington Village, Ithaca, Jamestown, Kinderhook, Kingston, Massapequa Park, Middletown, Mineola, Nanuet, New York, Newark, Olean, Oneonta, Patchogue, Peekskill, Plattsburgh, Port Jefferson Station, Rhinebeck, Riverhead, Rochester, Rockaway Park, Saranac Lake, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse, Utica, Warwick, Watertown, White Plains

The closest events for those on the East End of Long Island are Patchogue (Thursday 5PM) and Riverhead, rescheduled for Sat. at noon.

All Protests:

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and here is the News Report in Newsday:


Posted in DOJ, Judiciary, mueller probe, Trump, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment