Smoke-Free Housing: A Resolution in Queens

Our overall mission is to promote a tobacco-free society that benefits the health of all NYC residents. Some of our work at the community level includes partnering with local Community Boards across NYC to heighten awareness of tobacco control issues and support neighborhood based efforts. Recently, Queens Community Board 11 passed a resolution encouraging SFH policies in multi-unit dwellings as well as support for Smoking Disclosure Policies. To help provide a glimpse into the process, we have invited a guest blogger, Susan Cerezo, the Queens Community Board 11 Health Committee Co-Chairperson:

S.Cerezo_QNS CB11 Health CoChair

Susan Cerezo, Queens CB 11 Health Committee Co-Chair

Smoke-Free Housing.

Almost everyone knows or connects to a loved one or to a friend who has dealt with ramifications with cigarette smoking and/or second hand smoke. At the October 6th Community Board (CB) meeting during public participation, Phil Konigsberg, a CB 7 Health Committee member, presented a resolution for Smoke-Free Housing for multifamily dwellings, including coops and condos. Continue reading

How Should the FDA Regulate E-Cigarettes?

FDA-E-Cigarette-Standards-and-Nicotine-PolicyJune 19, 2014 marked the fifth anniversary of the landmark 2009 law (Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act) granting the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over tobacco products.

The Coalition commends the FDA for the steps it has taken to reduce tobacco use and applauds the agency’s efforts to extend its regulatory authority over e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. It’s an important first step, but we believe the FDA can and should do more to regulate how and to whom e-cigarettes are marketed.

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E-Cigarette Regulation Goes Into Effect

457925817The amendment to the Smoke-Free Air Act to include e-cigarettes went into effect yesterday. New Yorkers are now able to breathe clean, smoke- and vapor-free air in public places and workplaces.  This is another milestone in tobacco control and a huge win for New Yorkers, especially our kids.

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A Year in Review: Our Top Ten List for 2013

imagesAs 2013 draws to a close, I reflect on the progress we’ve made over the past year to raise awareness around tobacco control in New York City and the country.  By partnering with community members and health advocates, and then educating policy makers, we’ve supported efforts that we believe will effect long-term, positive change and protect public health.

Here’s our Top Ten list for 2013:

1. Three new smoke-free laws

One day before his last in office, Mayor Bloomberg signed into law a bill that expands the Smoke-Free Air Act to include e-cigarettes,

One day before his last in office, Mayor Bloomberg signed into law a bill that expands the Smoke-Free Air Act to include e-cigarettes

New York City became the first major city in the country to raise the legal sale age for tobacco products to 21. Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Council also passed legislation to stop tobacco industry discount schemes; and prohibit the smoking of electronic cigarettes in indoor public places and workplaces, including bars and restaurants. These bold and groundbreaking smoke-free laws should help reduce youth smoking rates in our City and serve as models for the rest of the United States and the world.

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The Jury Has Made a Decision on E-cigarettes

In New York City Council chambers, a e-smoker waits to hear if legislation will pass that will prohibit smoking e-cigarettes at workplaces and indoor public places, such as City Hall.

In New York City Council chambers, a e-smoker waits to hear if legislation will pass that will prohibit smoking e-cigarettes at workplaces and indoor public places, such as City Hall.

The New York City Council voted overwhelmingly to pass legislation to include electronic cigarettes in the City’s Smoke-Free Air Act which prohibits smoking in indoor public places and workplaces, including bars and restaurants.

Unlike nicotine gum and skin patches, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have not yet been evaluated by the FDA for safety or effectiveness and are currently unregulated.  Some studies show that e-cigarettes emit vapor that holds toxic chemicals.

A recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in one year, from 2011 to 2012, e-cigarette use among middle and high school students more than doubled from 4.7% to 10.0%.  I am concerned that this unregulated product will serve as a nicotine starter kit for youth. Some studies suggest that e-cigarettes are a “gateway” to smoking traditional tobacco products.

While the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City is awaiting further information from the FDA, one thing is perfectly clear: New York children and teenagers should not be exposed to any products that may encourage addiction.

Local and state governments across the country are adding e-cigarettes to their Smoke-Free Air Acts. I commend the New York City Council for taking action that prevents the normalization of smoking of any kind for our young people.

Testimony on Proposal to Expand Smoke-Free Air Act to Include E-Cigarettes

Sheelah Feinberg testifying at City Council public hearing

Sheelah Feinberg testifying at a public hearing conducted by the Health Committee of the New York City Council.

Good morning and thank you Council Member Arroyo and members of the Health Committee for the opportunity to speak today.

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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New York City Council to Hold Public Hearing on E-Cigarettes

Woman smokes an E-cigarette, an electronic substitute in the form of a rod, in BordeauxWe have written about the rise in e-cigarette use, especially among young people. There has been a lot of discussion about the safety and use of e-cigarettes, and many are waiting for the FDA to weigh in on the on how best to regulate them.

The New York City Council has scheduled a hearing this Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 10am in Council Chambers at City Hall on legislation that would add e-cigarettes to the NYC Smoke-Free Air Act that prohibits smoking in the workplace, including bars and restaurants. The legislation would also prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in our City’s parks and on our beaches.

If you would like to share your thoughts with the City Council, please join us for the hearing.