Tobacco Loves NY
Last year, when a New York state legislator proposed a "pre-emption" bill to repeal a host of tough local tobacco control measures, anti-tobacco activists expected Health Commissioner Dr. Barbara DeBuono to lead the charge against the legislation.
But DeBuono's office remained oddly quiet. "[Tobacco] doesn't even seem to be on the radar screen as a public health issue," says Michael Perrin, director of government affairs at the American Lung Association of New York. What he and the rest of the anti-smoking community didn't know was that Republican Gov. George Pataki had suppressed DeBuono's efforts.