smoking

A recent report shows Alabama is lagging behind much of the country when it comes to tobacco use.

The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network released its annual report called "How Do You Measure Up?" earlier this month. It finds that although the national adult smoking rate is just over 15 percent, more than one in five adults in Alabama are smokers. Meanwhile, nearly four thousand people in the state are diagnosed with tobacco-related cancer each year.

A Montgomery judge says extra security is unnecessary in the case against a white police officer charged with fatally shooting a black man.

Officer Aaron Smith sat quietly between his two attorneys today as the court considered several motions.

Smith’s attorney Mickey McDermott filed a motion for extra security as a "necessary precaution" due to threats against Smith. But in court, the lawyer agreed with Judge Jimmy Pool that existing courthouse security was adequate.

The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a bare-bones General Fund budget that Gov. Robert Bentley has already threatened to veto over inadequate Medicaid funding.

Representatives approved the spending bill on a 65-35 vote yesterday after a five-hour filibuster by black lawmakers. Democrats harshly criticized the proposed spending plan, which comes up $85 million short of the amount Bentley says is needed to adequately fund Medicaid.

Montgomery Rep. John Knight says Medicaid provides medical care to 1 million vulnerable Alabamians and has few programs to trim.

A group of professors say a policy blocking health systems from hiring smokers may have a disproportionate impact on certain employees.

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The Alabama Senate has again passed a bill to ban smoking in many work places and in many businesses. Democratic Sen. Vivian Davis Figures guided her bill through the Senate on a 21-8 vote Tuesday. Figures has passed similar legislation in the Senate before, only to have it die in the House. Figures is uncertain how it will fare in the House this time. Her bill bans smoking in most businesses, but bars and private clubs are excluded. It also does not affect smoking in homes, unless the homes provide day care services.