Train derailment causes more problems


Problems with the LIRR have continued today…Friday Morning, a freight train derailed causing a suspension of service.  Service was restored for rush hour only to be suspended again between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma to attempt to get the train back on the rails and moved out of the way…The trains should be back to normal for the pm rush, but may have to be suspended again later if work is not complete…

Posted On 10 Jan 2014

County Executives unite for an informal State of the Counties address




Suffolk County Executive  Steve Bellone and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano spoke at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury Friday morning as part of the Long Island Association’s Annual State of the Counties Report.

Both executives  said they were proud of the achievements, but stressed there was much work to be done especially in the area of job creation and economic development on Long Island.  They both stress that they are partners, not competitors when it comes to bringing business to Long Island.

Posted On 10 Jan 2014

Police advise caution on icy roadways throughout Suffolk

StoryThe Suffolk County Police Department is advising motorists to use extreme caution when driving on roadways due to icy conditions.  The advisory was issued shortly after 11 a.m. Friday morning, stating “the roadways are icy and considered hazardous.”

A report from The U.S. National Weather Service this morning stated that rain is moving across Long Island and is “creating some slick and hazardous conditions where temps are currently below freezing.”

“While temperatures will be slowly rising above freezing over the next few hours, give yourself plenty of extra time while traveling and go slow,” is advised to all drivers in the report.

Posted On 10 Jan 2014

“Bombshell” Smoking Report Hits Milestone

Fifty years later, millions of lives have been saved. But tobacco use remains a public health crisis.

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta – Health Matters

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of a turning point in Americans’ attitude toward the health risks of smoking. Increased awareness and public health initiatives have helped save millions of lives since then. It’s “a great public health success story,” according to the authors of a new study. But the story doesn’t end there.

On January 11, 1964, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry released a report clearly linking tobacco use to disease and death. Research such as a 1954 study by the American Cancer Society had already pointed to a smoking-cancer link. But the Surgeon General’s first report on smoking and health “hit the country like a bombshell,” Terry later recalled. The report stated that smoking was associated with a 70 percent increase in mortality, and linked it to chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and heart disease.

“This report probably ranks up there with the discovery of the polio vaccine,” said Michael Roizen, MD, an internist and chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic. “This was the first time it was widely recognized that tobacco was a carcinogen.”

The number of U.S. smokers is half what it was in 1964, and new research funded by the National Cancer Institute estimates that smoking prevention efforts helped extend 8 million lives.

Health warnings are required on cigarette packages, tobacco ads on television have been banned, and marketing tobacco products to kids under the age of 18 is prohibited.

All but 10 states have imposed at least one type of public smoking ban. In recent years, several states have boosted the sales tax on cigarettes, “thereby reducing the demand for cigarettes and, ultimately, smoking-related death and disease,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Yet nearly 1 out of 5 Americans still light up, and smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death. Smoking-related diseases account for $96 billion in annual U.S. healthcare costs.

The CDC estimates that 7 out of 10 U.S. smokers say they want to quit, and millions have tried. The health benefits of quitting can be seen almost immediately. Research has shown that just 72 hours after quitting smoking, breathing becomes easier as the bronchial tubes in the lungs relax. A recent study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions found that a smoker’s risk of heart disease can drop to the level of a non-smoker’s within eight years of quitting.

There are several effective options to help smokers quit, from counseling to medications. “It’s much easier for people to undertake the task of quitting smoking,” said Dr. Roizen. “It’s not as hard to quit as it used to be because of the behavioral programs and other treatments developed.”

Health experts remain split about the effectiveness of one tool to quit smoking. As Roizen puts it, “the next debate will be about the safety of e-cigarettes and whether or not they should be sold to everyone.”

The electronic cigarette or e-cigarette uses a battery to vaporize flavored liquid solutions that often contain nicotine. The vapor contains fewer harmful chemicals than regular cigarette smoke, but research such as a 2009 U.S. Food and Drug Administration study found detectable levels of the carcinogen nitrosamine and the toxic chemical diethylene glycol in some e-cigarette samples.

Opponents fear that e-cigarettes, which are not federally regulated, may be a gateway for young smokers. The CDC reported the number of middle school and high school students using e-cigarettes doubled in one year, while 3 out of 4 continued smoking regular cigarettes as well.

“We are worried that e-cigarettes will help kids overcome their inhibitions and re-normalize smoking and undermine the progress we have made,” said Tim McAfee, MD, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, at a press conference.

A September study in the Lancet found e-cigarettes “modestly effective at helping smokers to quit,” but its authors cautioned that “more research is urgently needed to clearly establish their overall benefits and harms.”

“Despite the success of tobacco control efforts…smoking remains a significant public health problem,” according to the NCI study. But the Surgeon General’s “bombshell” report a half century ago remains a milestone in public health policy. “It got physicians to pay attention and got them to believe the harmful effects of smoking,” said Roizen. “And it got society to notice too.”

Posted On 10 Jan 2014