By Chris Pirschel, Staff Writer, and Alec Stone, ONS Public Affairs Director

In Reversal, Trump Orders Halt to His Family Separation Rule

Recently, immigration policies have come front and center in the news. The issue of separating children from their parents at the border was elevated to a public health issue, as the American Academy of Pediatrics—among other healthcare organizations—decried the Trump administration’s policies, noting the potential for irreparable harm to children. ONS was one of the many provider groups that sent formal letters to the Department of Homeland Security, encouraging change to immigration policies that separate children from their parents.

The American Nursing Association, the Nursing Community Coalition, and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners all released statements imploring the president to change the law. On June 19, 2018, President Trump issued an executive order reversing his initial decision. Protecting and supporting public health initiatives are key to all healthcare professionals. Joining ONS’s advocacy efforts is just one way oncology nurses can make sure their voices are heard at the local, state, and federal levels.

New York Moves Toward Legal Marijuana With Health Dept. Endorsement

A recent study commissioned by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recommended that the state allow adults to legally consume recreational cannabis—known most commonly as marijuana.

Recreational marijuana is still not an entirely popular topic in political circles. For many, legal recreational use is not the same as legalizing medical cannabis, and the topic comes with different political baggage for elected officials. However, many states are taking steps toward legalization, and it’s an issue that will impact patients with cancer and their healthcare providers.

The first step toward legalization is often medical cannabis, then decriminalizing the possession of small amounts, and finally allowing recreational use. Moves like this take time, and current state laws differ from federal law. But, like so many controversial issues, the cannabis legalization may change as societal values shift. Learn more about medical cannabis's impact on cancer care and oncology nursing.

Cigarettes Have to Be Labeled 'Deadly' Now. Here's Why

A federal court recently ruled that big tobacco companies must issue corrective statements required to describe the deadly health effects of smoking. Although tobacco packages already carry warning labels, it's remarkable to see tobacco companies forced to issue public statements on the addictive nature of their products. The push for smoking cessation has made many inroads through the past several decades, and many healthcare organizations hope to see continued change moving forward.

Advocacy happens in a number of ways. In this case, the court was the avenue by which change was made. Advocates and healthcare providers must continue to hold this industry to a higher standard. ONS continues to champion smoking cessation and cancer risk prevention as a matter of public health education. Lend your voice and expertise to ONS's crucial advocacy efforts.