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:
Susan Cerezo, Queens CB 11 Health Committee Co-Chair
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 →
This month, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released data from the 2013 Community Health Survey, revealing NYC adult smoking rates have increased to 16.1%. This is a substantial increase from the historic low rate of 14% in 2010, which occurred after a variety of tobacco prevention and control initiatives (expansion of the smoke-free air act, new public health campaigns, and price increases) were implemented.
A new concern has arisen in the debate over the safety of e-cigarettes—poison.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that the number of calls to poison control centers related to e-cigarette exposure rose from one a month in September 2010 to 215 a month in February 2014. More than half of the reported exposures were among young children.
Our Guest Blogger today is Dr. Cheryl Healton, Dean of Global Public Health at NYU and the Director of the Global Institute of Public Health. She weighs in on the proposed legislation to extend the NYC Smoke-Free Air Act to include e-cigarettes:
The New York City Council will vote tomorrow whether to extend the NYC Smoke-Free Air Act (SFAA) to e-cigarettes. This decision is a key turning point for tobacco control policy and will have potentially broad national and even global implications. How e-cigarettes will influence youth entry to tobacco use and the efforts of people to quit smoking and to stay quit remain unknown, but the net impact could be dire.
Who is the e-cigarette industry?
Increasingly the e-cigarette industry is owned by the tobacco industry, an industry that would not be permitted to exist were it invented tomorrow because it would violate the consumer protection laws of all states and virtually every country in the world. For this reason, a healthy degree of skepticism about the industry’s ultimate goal in buying up e-cigarette manufacturers and creating more “efficient” e-cigarettes should prevail as policy makers establish regulations governing them. It is quite possible that the net effect of e-cigarettes will be to induce greater youth initiation of smoking and reduce the adult cessation rate, but the jury is still out. Both youth and adult smoking rates are at their lowest levels in decades, so much is a stake for the health of the public. There is also much at stake for the tobacco industry as it seeks to apply its considerable marketing acumen and seemingly endless resources to maximize profit by increasing the number who start smoking by enticing youth worldwide to smoke and by trying to retain current smokers.
Last week, I was honored to be on a panel with NYC’s Commissioner of Health, Dr. Thomas A. Farley, at a day-long discussion sponsored by the New York Academy of Medicine and the NYU Global Institute of Public Health entitled, “Maintaining a Public Health Agenda During Political Change”. Joining me on the panel were Veronica White, Commissioner for NYC Department of Parks and Recreation; and the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene’s Associate Commissioner for External Affairs, Sam Miller, and Deputy Commissioner for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Susan Kansagra.
While the smoking rate in NYC is lower for youth and adults than the national rates, the recently released Mayor’s Management Report shows that the adult smoking rate, currently at 15.5%, has remained essentially unchanged since 2010.
Here’s a new infographic on the history of smoking.
By 1971, restrictions on public smoking began to appear. At the turn of the century, the UK banned smoking ads.
If City Council passes the proposed tobacco control legislation, New York City will become the first in the nation to keep tobacco products out of sight in retail stores and raise the minimum smoking age to 21.