02 | 07 | 2017

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

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


Vanessa Yvon
Phone: (718) 704-5076
Email: vyvon@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%).

“Although we have made great strides in fighting against the tobacco epidemic, more work needs to be done within our local communities to reduce smoking rates and tobacco related issues that have plagued our disparate populations,” said Vanessa Yvon, Queens Student Engagement Coordinator for NYC Smoke-Free.

That’s the message NYC Smoke-Free and Reality Check Queens student leaders delivered to state lawmakers in Albany on February 7. Annually, the group visits the New York State Capitol to educate their lawmakers about the success of established tobacco control programs and opportunities to further reduce the burden of tobacco currently has on New Yorkers. They described the valuable work being done in Queens can continue to reduce smoking rates and keep their youth peers from becoming a statistic. They met with Assemblywoman Vivian Cook, Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman and the offices of Senator Leroy Comrie, Senator Jose Peralta, Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Senator James Sanders, Assemblywoman Michele Titus, Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry and Assemblyman Clyde Vanel.

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 Student Engagement/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 www.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.