Written by Equisha Pierre, Staten Island Community Engagement Manager
Major health organizations all agree that smoking an vaping can lead to compromised lung function. In the wake of the COVID19 pandemic, we are learning all smokers both young and old are at higher risk as smoking increases the chance of worse symptoms and complications of the disease. To combat this reality, NYC Smoke-Free at Public Health Solutions continues to address educate communities across New York City on the harmful effects of smoking and vaping. Our goal is to create tobacco free norms throughout neighborhoods in NYC, and remain a viable resource within all 5 boroughs.
Times like this depict why the work of NYC Smoke-Free is not only important, but a matter of public health. City-wide, NYC Smoke-Free has seen and increased interest in Smoke-Free Housing policies and have received calls from people who live in multi-unit housing who are complaining about secondhand smoke who are concerned about their health. Community Engagement Managers across all boroughs have been working with community partners to remain connected and act as a resource for community education and advocated for smoke-free housing wherever possible. Youth Engagement Managers are connecting with their Reality Check students via Zoom, Facebook, Instagram and email. Reality Check youth remain dedicated to their roles as youth advocates and want to continue educating their peers on the dangers of commercial tobacco usage. In the face of COVID-19 we are reminded why the work that we do at NYC Smoke-Free is very important to the overall health of New York City.