07 | 27 | 2017

NYC Smoke-Free 2017 Mid-Year Highlights

NYC Smoke-Free 2017 Mid-Year Highlights

Hard to believe it's already July! NYC Smoke-Free continues non-stop in our work to protect the health of New Yorkers and close the gap on tobacco disparities. Check out our 2017 accomplishments to date in our Mid-Year Highlights, as we kick off our year-long celebration of the 15th anniversary of the historic NYC Smoke-Free Air Act of 2002.

Thank you  to all of NYC Smoke-Free's community partners, Reality Check student leaders, dedicated team, the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and many, many more for your support and efforts to help end the tobacco epidemic!

January 26 - NYC Smoke-Free teamed up with the Truth Initiative at Walgreens' shareholders' meeting to demand that the chain stop selling tobacco in its pharmacies, including at its subsidiary, NYC-based Duane Reade. 

February 7 - NYC Smoke-Free | Reality Check student leaders and community advocates joined our public health colleagues from all over the Empire State in Albany to educate legislators about the importance of comprehensive tobacco control.

March 15 - In honor of "Kick Butts Day", an international day of action against tobacco sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, NYC Smoke-Free | Reality Check student leaders participated in events across the city to stand up against Big Tobacco.

March 22-24 - The NYC Smoke-Free team traveled to Austin, Texas to exchange ideas with tobacco control advocates from across the country at the National Conference for Tobacco or Health. Our work on smoke-free housing, youth engagement and health equity was featured in oral and poster presentations. NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett closed the conference giving a plenary session about the success of the City's tobacco control policies.

April 12-14 - Our Reality Check student leaders joined us in Washington, DC where they attended advocacy training with our partners, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and learned about opportunities to continue the fight against the tobacco industry with the Truth Initiative. Reality Check youth also led meetings with representatives from the offices of Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congresswoman Grace Meng and educated them on how tobacco proliferation impacts their communities back in NYC.

April 17 - NYC Smoke-Free joined the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network for a press conference at City Hall releasing their 2017 report: "Oversaturated" on tobacco proliferation in NYC neighborhoods.

April 27 - The NYC City Council's Health Committee hearing included testimony from Public Health Solutions' leadership and NYC Smoke-Free team. Our testimony about 9 out of 10 tobacco control bills helped educate elected officials on the misconception of hookah use, the impact of tobacco proliferation on our communities, and the benefits of smoke-free protections on the health of all New Yorkers.

May 12 - The 4th Annual CUNY Service Corps Culminative Celebration featured a digital animation video on smoke-free affordable housing by NYC Smoke-Free's citywide CUNY Service Corps member, Gabriela Martinez. Hundreds of CUNY students, faculty and community partners were educated about the benefits of smoke-free living. Check out Gabriela's video on smoke-free housing!

May 31 - In honor of World No Tobacco Day, an annual day sponsored by the World Health Organization to bring awareness to the harms of tobacco use, NYC Smoke-Free's Julia Cuthbertson has an op-ed published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle celebrating smoke-free protections that protect vulnerable communities.

June 22 - On June 22nd, NYC Smoke-Free hosted a forum titled The Truth about Menthol: A Hazard in Our Communities ath American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge. The forum featured opening remarks from NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. Dr. Phillip S. Gardiner - Co-Chair of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council - gave an eye-opening keynote address on the impact menthol tobacco products have had on communities of color, youth and other vulnerable populations since the 1950's. A panel discussion followed, moderated by Dr. Gardiner. Panelists included the Truth Initiative's Cianti Stewart-Reid and New York Public Interest Research Group's chairwoman, Smitha Varghese. We also debuted a few of our digital animation videos about the hazards of menthol in tobacco products, created by our Futures and Options fellows.

Check out some of the videos here.

July 12 - Continuing our commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the passage of the New York City Smoke-Free Air Act, we partnered with NYU's College of Global Public Health for a film screening and panel discussion of "Thank You For Smoking". The panel, moderated by NYC Smoke-Free's Lisa Spitzer, included NYU GPH Dean Dr. Cheryl G. Healton, American Lung Association's Michael Seilback, and NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Shana Narula. 

July 18-20 - Our student leaders joined 150 youth tobacco control advocates from across the state at the annual Reality Check of New York Youth Summit at Cazenovia College. Youth made plans for the first annual #SeenEnoughTobacco Day in October to fight against what they see as manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry and their influence on youth tobacco use in their communities.