New laws take effect; New Haven anti-tobacco crusader/educator just gets it done

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Some new state laws took effect Friday including a few related to health – coverage of autism, prohibiting payment for hospital-acquired conditions and insurers and limits insurers’ use of anti-anxiety drug treatment in underwriting. Nothing revolutionary, but good stuff.

A story in the New Haven Independent last week featured Kenneth Driffin, a social worker who is educating kids in the Hill neighborhood about the dangers of smoking. He doesn’t have a grant and isn’t waiting for one, he’s just doing it. He talks about tobacco and peer pressure, advertising, candy cigarettes, second hand smoke, and pregnancy. In his day job as a counselor at Columbus House he sees the effects of smoking and other addictions on the health and economics of his community. The article contrasts Driffin’s work with Connecticut’s poor record of funding tobacco cessation programs, despite receiving over $800 million this year from the tobacco settlement and cigarette taxes.
Ellen Andrews