Make Every Day World No Tobacco Day

WNTDMay 31, 2013.  Today is World No Tobacco Day.

The message from the World Health Organization to governments around the globe is to ban  tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. That’s to try and prevent children from taking up smoking and to encourage smokers to quit. Tobacco kills nearly six million people every year, and the numbers are only expected to rise.

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Award-Winning Infographic on Secondhand Smoke Now Available in Three Languages

PrintOur new infographic on “The Impact of Secondhand Smoke” won a Gold Award in the Print Category, one of The 2013 Communicator Awards, which are given by the International Academy of the Visual Arts.  With over 6000 entries received from across the US and around the world, the Communicator Awards is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring the creative excellence for communications professionals.

Please feel free to share our new infographic.  We’ve recently translated the infographic into Spanish and Chinese as well.

The Communicator Awards are judged and overseen by the International Academy of the Visual Arts (IAVA), a 600+ member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media.  Current IAVA membership represents a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms including:  AirType Studio, Condè Nast, Disney, Keller Crescent, Lockheed Martin,, MTV, rabble+rouser, Time Inc., Tribal DDB, Yahoo!, and many others.  See for more information.

The NYC Coalition hopes that our award-winning infographic will help everyone understand that in a multiple dwelling, when one person smokes, the whole building smokes.

Marie’s Story

Marie Wilkins

Marie Wilkins

On May 2, 2013, the New York City Council Health Committee heard testimony from community members on the proposed legislation that is meant to reduce youth access and addiction to tobacco products.

Marie Wilkins, a woman from the Bronx who suffers from Buerger’s Disease, a smoking-related illness that attacks the blood vessels and can lead to amputations, was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal.  She believes the City should move to prevent young people from a dangerous addiction.

“After my leg was amputated all I could think of was getting a cigarette,” Wilkins, whose story has been featured in anti-smoking ad-campaigns, told the committee from a motorized wheelchair. “If that’s not addiction, I don’t know what is.”

Marie’s testimony was submitted to the City Council Health Committee.  We’d like to share her testimony:

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Zeckendorf Towers Becomes Largest Smoke-Free Condo in City, Possibly the Nation

zeckendorftowers1-300x250Today marks another New York City milestone.  Homeowners in Zeckendorf Towers, the 647-unit building that led the revitalization of Union Square more than 20 years ago, voted overwhelmingly to become the largest private smoke-free residential property–including condominium, cooperative and rental buildings—in New York City, and possibly the entire nation.

The building’s board first began to explore going smoke-free in 2010, following numerous complaints from residents about cigarette smoke. After confirming that they could legally prohibit smoking by amending the building’s bylaws, the board partnered with the Manhattan Smoke-Free Partnership, part of the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City, that supports the efforts of buildings adopting smoke-free policies.

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Bronx Youth Speaks Out Against Big Tobacco

Petition jpegThis month, we’re encouraging New Yorkers to sign on to our campaign to protect youth from tobacco marketing.  Just go to to sign our petition.

It’s been an exciting month thus far. On May 2, 2013, a broad cross-section of New York City health advocates gathered on the steps of City Hall to applaud the City Council Health Committee for taking up three proposed bills to reduce smoking, protect young people and crack down on illegal cigarette smuggling.  Participants included leaders of major public health groups, grass roots activists, kids and parents, a licensed tobacco retailer, and a former marketing manager for the tobacco industry.  They were joined by a woman who appears in hard-hitting public service announcements and suffered amputations for conditions linked to the smoking addiction she developed at 17 years old.

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Testimony on Three Proposals that Address Continuing Epidemic of Tobacco Use

Presented on May 2, 2013 before the New York City Council Health Committee:

Sheelah Testimony

Sheelah Feinberg in center of panel at public hearing

Good afternoon and thank you to Council Member Arroyo and the members of the Health Committee for the opportunity to speak today about three exciting and bold new proposals that address the continuing epidemic of tobacco use head-on: Intro 1020, Intro 1021, and Intro 250.

My name is Sheelah Feinberg, and I am the Executive Director of the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City, a program of Public Health Solutions.  The Coalition is a public health advocacy group that has worked with over one hundred health and youth focused community groups across the five boroughs to raise awareness around tobacco control and prevention.  We support neighborhood efforts for long-term change and believe that all New Yorkers have the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air where they live, work, and play.

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