Alcohol ads out at MTA; Rx drugs next?

November 03, 2017

Originally published in The Queens Chronicle on November 02, 2017

I strongly support the MTA taking action on a longstanding quality of life initiative I have aggressively pursued: banning the advertising of alcohol on state-owned property.  The preponderance of these advertisements have the effect of clearly targeting and encouraging minors to consider drinking, which is not a positive public health outcome, nor legal.  I hope other state agencies can look to the MTA’s policy and Senate Bill 4455-A of 2015-16, which I sponsored, as a model for how to move our State forward in this area.  Furthermore, I do believe that direct to consumer advertising of prescription opioids over the past decade has played a significant role in the current crisis we face in the State and nation; as such, I think a ban on such direct pharmaceutical advertising is worthy of considering as a matter of public policy, if a study can determine that the risks outweigh the benefits.