The benefits of electronic cigarette regulations were considered during a public hearing hosted by a Erie County Legislative committee. Representatives from the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition and Roswell Park offered their comments and were quoted in the news stories below.
The Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition, established in 1993 and located at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, is a member of the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control. The Coalition is a community-based organization creating a healthier Western New York with the adoption of tobacco-free initiatives. The Coalition strives to reduce retail tobacco marketing, supports property owners and tenants in creating smoke-free housing and provides technical assistance to establish tobacco-free parks, entrance ways and properties.
For more information on these initiatives, please click on the tabs above.
Youth Smoking is Still a Big Problem
The Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition and Erie-Niagara Reality Check youth* will join tobacco control groups around the country to stand up and speak out against big tobacco on Kick Butts Day, March 19. Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth. The message: We’ve seen enough tobacco marketing.
Michael Khan, Youth Leader with the Amherst Youth Consortium and Canisius High School Senior said, “Kick Butts Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the impact of tobacco promotions. Kids think smoking is okay because they see tobacco marketing every day in stores that we go to, but we want to change that.” Read the rest of this entry »
Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition congratulates Daniel Hyatt, a Tonawanda High School student, for receiving the Western Region Youth Advocate of the Year Award from Reality Check (RC) of New York State. The award honors Daniel for his outstanding work in taking the lead in holding tobacco companies accountable for marketing to youth. Youth who participate in the NYS Reality Check program protect their peers and their communities from the dangers of tobacco use through public education efforts, peer-to-peer training and outreach to policymakers.
NYS Reality Check also honored Matthew Jones, Central Region; Kalie White, Capital Region; and the NYS award went to Charles Mazzeo from the NY city region.
Daniel also was recognized with a New York State Assembly proclamation from the 145th Assembly District. Presented by Assemblyman John Ceretto along with NYS Assembly members Jane Corwin, Mickey Kearns, and Ray Walter, the proclamation said, “Daniel’s hard work on behalf of a cause he believes in is admirable and a positive example for his peers. He is well deserving of the recognition.”
Reality Check Youth Action Programs educate and train teens to become leaders in their communities and to uniquely communicate their perspective on tobacco marketing.
Andrew Hyland, PhD, Chair of the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Director of the New York State Smokers’ Quitline:
“Since 2000, the NYS Smokers’ Quitline has helped hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to quit. We know that more than one-half of those using Quitline services are Medicaid recipients or uninsured. Many callers are heavy smokers and are often coping with chronic diseases. They receive help through the Quitline that they might otherwise not be able access or afford. The Quitline offers one-on-one stop smoking sessions by trained Quit Coaches and free starter kits of nicotine patches. The Quitline provides a vital life-line to those seeking to stop smoking.”
New Yorkers Still Want and Need Our Help
The New York State (NYS) Tobacco Control Program (TCP) has been proven to reduce youth smoking and help current smokers to quit. That is the message hundreds of tobacco control leaders from every county in NYS will carried to Albany on February 12, 2014. These representatives provided information to state lawmakers about state-funded tobacco control programs that help reduce the burden caused by tobacco, thus saving lives and state tax dollars.
New York State legislators were invited to visit the Well in the Legislative Office Building where tobacco control representatives were joined by volunteer youth leaders. These representatives answered questions, offered resources and gave demonstrations about effective tobacco prevention programs being delivered to communities from Buffalo to Binghamton to the Bronx. Read the rest of this entry »
Cancer center, collaborators create historical display to be shown as part of commemorations in nation’s capital
From its seminal studies in the first half of the 20th century linking tobacco use and cancer incidence to its latest findings on electronic cigarettes, Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) has been a major force in tobacco-control research. So as the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, issued in January 1964, faculty from RPCI’s Department of Health Behavior are drawing attention to the major gains from the last half-century in our understanding of how tobacco impacts health — and to the challenges that still face the international public-health community in regard to use and regulation of tobacco products.
“Our knowledge of how smoking affects the body has increased exponentially over the last five decades, and we’ve made tremendous advances in understanding the addictive power of nicotine,” said Andrew Hyland, PhD, Chair of the Department of Health Behavior at the comprehensive cancer center. “But really, we’ve just scratched the surface in terms of implications for public policy.” Read the rest of this entry »
Elmwood Village Association adopted a tobacco-free policy for its 2013 summer concert series and the Elmwood Bidwell Farmers market.
Tobacco-free outdoor concerts were welcomed by the families and music lovers of all ages who enjoyed these special community events.
Carly Battin, Executive Director of the Elmwood Village Association talks about the success of the smoke- free program with Jenna Brinkworth of the Erie Niagara Tobacco Free Coalition.
On Thursday, November 21, the date of the Smokeout, thousands of smokers around the state are expected to commit to quit smoking for 24 hours and beyond. The Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition is teaming up with health care professionals and community leaders to spread the word that the Great American Smokeout is the day to stop smoking.
The annual event has been going strong since the 1970s, when the American Cancer Society (ACS) first urged smokers across the United States to use the date to make a plan to stop smoking.
“We’ve made substantial progress in the fight against tobacco since 1954, when an American Cancer Society study confirmed the link between smoking and lung cancer,” said JoAnna Jacob, Senior Representative, Community Engagement at the American Cancer Society. “However, tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Quitting smoking can save your life, and the Great American Smokeout is a great way to start.”
Western New York has some of the highest smoking rates in the state. In Erie County, the smoking rate is 26% and in Niagara country, the smoking rate is 27%. Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said, “Tobacco takes a huge toll on Erie County residents. Smoking is the major cause of lung cancer, contributing to 80% of lung cancer deaths in women and 90% of lung cancer deaths in men. Tobacco also is an important risk for myocardial infarction and other coronary events. Quitting smoking at any age will help reduce the health risks associated with tobacco use.”
The Great American Smokeout also is an opportunity to raise awareness about the many local programs that help to create tobacco-free communities.
“Communities can de-normalize tobacco by using the resources offered by organizations such as the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition and the services of the New York State Smokers’ Quitline – both of which are located at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). These organizations, using evidence-based approaches, guide community leaders with technical advice on creating strong tobacco-free laws and programs to help smokers,” added Andrew Hyland, PhD, Chair of the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park.
Anthony Billoni, Director of the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition, continued, “The Great American Smokeout has helped bring about dramatic changes in people’s attitudes toward tobacco and smoking. These changes have led to community programs and tobacco-free laws that are now saving lives. While tobacco smoking rates have declined significantly across most of New York State, the high rates in Erie and Niagara counties demonstrate there is much work to be done.”
Important facts about tobacco:
- More than 25,000 New Yorkers die prematurely every year due to tobacco use
- Exposure to secondhand smoke kills an additional 2,500 people
- More than a half a million New Yorkers are suffering with serious diseases caused by smoking
- Tobacco use costs New Yorkers more than $8 billion in health care costs, including $2.7 billion in Medicaid costs
- 60 percent of cancers could be avoided if people stopped using tobacco.
- Despite significant drops in the youth smoking rate, there are still more than 100,000 high school students who smoke in New York State and every year nearly 20,000 kids become new daily smokers.
For information and help to stop smoking, visit the New York State Smokers’ Quitline website at www.nysmokefree.com or call 1-866-NY-QUITS.
The Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition, established in 1993 and located at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, is a member of the New York State Tobacco Control Program is a community-based organization creating a healthier Western New York with the adoption of tobacco-free initiatives. The Coalition strives to reduce retail tobacco marketing, supports property owners and tenants in creating smoke-free housing, and provides technical assistance to establish tobacco-free parks, entrance ways and properties. To learn more, visit our website, friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, RPCI is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email email@example.com. Follow RPCI on Facebook and Twitter.
By Anthony Billoni.
What do you see when you enter a convenience store? Maybe you are looking for a cup of coffee or perhaps a gallon of milk for dinner. Our young people see things we don’t. They see a wall behind the counter of tobacco products. Public health professionals have referred to these “power walls” inside stores as tobacco recruitment centers.
Young people who routinely visit convenience stores are more likely to smoke. The promotions inside the stores depict tobacco as sexy and cool and lead kids to believe that tobacco use is the norm and easily accessible. Read the rest of this entry »
New Voice Club member, Clarence offers his thoughts on life lessons on tobacco use. His message to thousands of young people around Western New York, “Don’t use tobacco.”
Carl, a cancer survivor since 2008, is an inspiration to young people in Western New York.
With his new voice, he shares his experience with more than 4,000 students each year about the dangers of tobacco use.
The New Voice Club of the Niagara Frontier is a head and neck cancer support group established in 1962.
These laryngectomy patients offer hope and inspiration with their new voices. Just listen to Joe, who smoked for 30 years and now strives to educate young people about the dangers to tobacco.
New CDC report finds the percent of middle and high school students using e-cigarettes doubled in one year.
WGRZ-TV news story features comments from Coalition Director, Anthony Billoni
WGRZ story features Coalition Director Anthony Billoni
Buffalo, NY – A decade of breathing clean indoor air was celebrated on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the New York State Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA). Western New York health leaders, restaurant and bar owners, health advocates, youth, and public officials applauded the success of the groundbreaking law which laid the foundation for today’s healthier communities.
This statewide legislation made businesses, restaurants, and bars smoke free and continues to save countless lives. CIAA improved indoor air quality at public places which, in turn, has lowered health risks associated with secondhand smoke.
A recent observational study conducted by the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control found that compliance with CIAA was 100% in restaurants and 99.4% in bars. Public support remains strong. The historic legislation protects millions of New Yorkers from exposure to secondhand smoke.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “Today, we take for granted the fact that people can’t smoke in restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, offices, schools, and hospitals. The 10th anniversary of the Clean Indoor Air Act is an appropriate time to remember it wasn’t always this way and for the last ten years our residents, especially children, have enjoyed being in these places without having to endure secondhand smoke. Today we are celebrating a cleaner environment and healthier lungs for everyone.”
“New York State’s Clean Indoor Air Law is one of the most significant public health reforms in our lifetime. It has prevented untold premature death and debilitating illness due to exposure to toxic secondhand smoke. The 10th anniversary of its passage is a time to reflect on just how far we’ve come in our efforts to finish the fight against cancer,” said Gretchen Leffler, Regional Vice President of the American Cancer Society.
There was fierce opposition to this law when it was proposed and many stated it would be the end of the bar and restaurant business in New York State. However, the hospitality industry has flourished.
Andrew Hyland, PhD, Chair of the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park Cancer Institute added, “The 2003 Clean Indoor Air Act has been an unqualified public health policy success. Exposure to a toxin has been dramatically reduced, the public overwhelmingly supports the policy, and the predicted economic collapse of the hospitality industry did not occur.”
“While the Clean Indoor Air Act helped New Yorkers breathe easier and live longer, there are still 2.5 million smokers in New York that need help. Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death. Smoking related healthcare costs top $8 billion annually in New York State. So we have a long way to go and more work to do to reduce the impact of tobacco use,” said Anthony Billoni, Director of the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition.
Just as New York State took a strong stand in 2003 to protect workers, now it must take action to protect our youth by tackling the issue of tobacco marketing in stores. The U.S. Surgeon General calls youth smoking a pediatric epidemic and states that tobacco marketing is a cause of youth smoking.
“Kids think smoking is okay since the stores we go to are filled with tobacco products and ads, but we want to change that. We deserve protection from tobacco marketing in retail stores just as the public is protected from secondhand smoke,” said 15-year-old, Dan Hyatt, a member of the tobacco control youth group, the Erie-Niagara Realty Check Program.
The Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition, established in 1993 and located at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, is a member of the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control. The Coalition is a community-based organization creating a healthier Western New York with the adoption of tobacco-free initiatives. The Coalition strives to reduce retail tobacco marketing, supports property owners and tenants in creating smoke-free housing and provides technical assistance to establish tobacco-free parks, entrance ways and properties. To learn more, visit our website, friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
On World No Tobacco Day – May 31st – community leaders and health advocates join with the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition to declare: “We’ve Seen Enough.”
World No Tobacco Day is sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO). This year’s theme is “ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.” Tobacco marketing in stores is a primary cause of youth smoking. Tobacco displays in stores give youth the impression that tobacco products are easily accessible and tobacco use is acceptable.
The research is clear. The more tobacco advertising kids see, the more likely they are to smoke. Communities are eager to protect kids from dangerous influences, yet the tobacco industry continues to wallpaper our local stores with flashy advertising and large tobacco displays.
Should the Legal Age to Buy Cigarettes Be Raised in New York?
Anthony Billoni, Director of the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition was interviewed for this WKBW-TV News story
By Kyla Igoe
Reality Check Students stood up and spoke out against Big
Tobacco on Kick Butts Day.
KeyOnna Miller, a Junior from Alden High School and Michelle Heller, Reality Check Coordinator, Erie and Niagara Counties appeared on AM Buffalo, WKBW-TV.
Every year 24,000 youth begin smoking in New York State alone, and exposure to tobacco marketing in stores is a primary cause of youth smoking. Point-of-sale tobacco marketing should be covered and out of sight.
Studies show that kids are twice as likely as adults to notice and remember retail tobacco advertising. And, since the tobacco industry spends millions of dollars a day to market its deadly products in stores where teens shop, our kids are exposed to high levels of tobacco marketing everyday.
Please join us. Sign our petition and take a stand to protect our kids from tobacco marketing in stores!