02 | 07 | 2017

Public Health Solutions’ NYC Smoke-Free Program and Local Bronx Students Meet with State Lawmakers about Tobacco

Message to Legislators: NYS Tobacco Control Program Saves Lives and Money

Vonetta Dudley
Phone: (646)-342-6923
Email: vdudley@healthsolutions.org

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in New York State; 28,200 lives are lost due to tobacco dependence every year.
Albany, NY – New York State (NYS) Tobacco Control Programs (TCP) have been proven to reduce youth smoking and help current smokers quit, which saves lives and millions of state tax dollars. However, higher rates of smoking persist among individuals with less than a high school education (22.4%), income less than $25,000 a year (22.2%), and those with poor mental health (27.2%).

“We’ve made great strides in combatting the tobacco epidemic, but more work needs to be done to reduce the significantly higher smoking rates among disparate populations in the Bronx and throughout the state,” said Vonetta Dudley, Bronx Student Engagement Coordinator for NYC Smoke-Free.

That’s the message NYC Smoke-Free and Reality Check students delivered to state lawmakers in Albany on February 7. Participating in the legislative visits was: Yoseiris Brito, 17, Bronx; Jael Clarke, 17, Bronx students from The Academy of Mt. St. Ursula High School. They met with Senator Jamaal Bailey, Senator Gustavo Rivera, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo. The also met with the office of Senator Jeffery Klein Coalition Leader and Independent Democratic Conference Leader as well as the offices of Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.

Annually, NYC Smoke-Free visits the New York State Capitol to educate lawmakers about the success of established tobacco control programs and opportunities to further reduce the burden of tobacco addiction on New Yorkers. They described the valuable work being done in the Bronx to reduce smoking rates and to keep youth from starting smoking, which begins at 13 years old, on average.

The NYS Tobacco Control Program is made up of a network of statewide contractors who live and work in the communities they serve. These are Advancing Tobacco-Free Communities which includes Community Engagement and Reality Check programs, Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York and the NYS Smokers’ Quitline.

The New York State Tobacco Control Program uses a policy-driven, population based approach designed to prevent youth from smoking and to motivate adult smokers to quit. The efforts are leading the way toward a tobacco-free society. For more information, visit TobaccoFreeNYS.org.

For more information on Public Health Solutions’ NYC Smoke-Free program or to lend support in ending NYC’s devastating tobacco epidemic, please visit www.NYCSmokeFree.org or follow us on social media at facebook.com/NYCSmokeFree or Twitter @NYCSmokeFree.


NYC Smoke-Free - a program of Public Health Solutions, NYC Smoke-Free works to protect the health of New Yorkers through tobacco control policy, advocacy, and education. Formerly the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City, we partner with community members, legislators, and health advocates to support local efforts to end the devastating tobacco epidemic throughout NYC. We believe every New Yorker has the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air where they live, work and play.

Public Health Solutions - As one of the largest public health service nonprofit organizations in New York City, Public Health Solutions improves health among the city’s most vulnerable populations by tackling social, physical, and environmental factors that impact New Yorkers’ ability to thrive. Today PHS serves 200,000+ New Yorkers annually, and we support the work of more than 600 community-based nonprofit organizations. We implement innovative, cost-effective population-based health programs; conduct research providing insight on effective public health interventions; and provide services to government and other nonprofits to address public health issues. Together with our colleagues in the service sector, government, philanthropy and policy organizations, we are thought leaders and cutting-edge public health professionals in New York City and New York State. To learn more, please visit us at www.healthsolutions.org.