The Myths About Hookah

hookah_lizard1[heape]While there have been declines in teen cigarette use, other forms of tobacco (hookah, e-cigarettes) are gaining in popularity among teens. According to the nationwide Monitoring the Future study, 21 percent of high school seniors smoked a water pipe device, commonly known as a hookah, sometime in the last year.

Teens often may not know that hookah smoking can be as dangerous as cigarettes.

Here are some common myths about hookah smoking:

Continue reading

Smoke-Free Housing Summit: Keeping the Momentum

building-a-new-normal-coverChanging social norms takes time.

Just fifteen years ago, passengers on international flights could smoke, restaurants and bars were filled with smoke, office workers smoked at their desks, and our parks and beaches were littered with cigarette butts.

Now we can breath clean smoke-free air where we work and socialize–but necessarily where we live. If you live in a multi-unit/family building, near a smoker, you can be exposed to secondhand smoke.

New Yorkers are increasingly embracing smoke-free housing because all too often, when one person smokes, the whole building smokes.

Continue reading

Here’s to Your Health: Celebrating our Progress in Tobacco Control

Some Coalition staff at the celebration.

Some Coalition staff at the celebration.

On June 18, 2014, Public Health Solutions celebrated progress in public health at its benefit, To Your Health 2014.  Colleagues, friends, and stakeholders joined us at Guastavino’s, a perfect backdrop for an evening of celebration, community, and commitment.

The work of the Coalition, a program of Public Health Solutions, was highlighted during the event.  This video shows the tremendous strides made in tobacco control and prevention.

Continue reading

Tobacco Control at 50: What Will the Next Fifty Years Look Like?

headshotOur guest blogger is Dr. Donna Shelley, the Director of Research Development and Associate Professor of Medicine and Population Health at New York University School of Medicine. 

January 2014 marked the fifty-year anniversary of the first Surgeon General (SG) Report on Smoking and Health. It was a landmark event that changed the course of the tobacco epidemic. The report set the stage for the growth of a robust evidence base for tobacco control policy and programs that led to the dramatic decline in tobacco use from 42% in 1964 (the peak year for smoking) to 18% today. The story is one of public health advocacy, informed by strong science, triumphing over multi-billion dollar international corporations whose strategies aimed to mislead the public and subvert implementation of evidence-based policies.

Continue reading

NYC Youth ‘Kick Butts’

kick butts dayHundreds of youth in the five boroughs took a stand against tobacco on the 19th annual Kick Butts Day, March 19, 2014. Kick Butts day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to speak out against Big Tobacco.

Our Manhattan team and the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood opened a kiosk on Nagle Avenue in Washington Heights to provide information on the effects of tobacco marking on youth. We showed our video

Tiffany Rivera of the Manhattan Smoke-Free Partnership with Manhattan youth

Tiffany Rivera of the Manhattan Smoke-Free Partnership with Manhattan youth

“Through Our Eyes: NYC Youth on Tobacco Marketing‬”, and youth tobacco control advocates talked with their peers about how tobacco marketing can cause kids to start and continue to use tobacco products.

Our Brooklyn team along with our partner, the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC)-Brooklyn Branch, launched a new video whose hero, “Smoke-Free Brock Li”, shows how tobacco negatively impacts health. The CPC-Brooklyn Branch and our Brooklyn team developed the concept for the video with input from over 200 students in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades from six public schools.

Bronx youth and the tobacco marketing she sees on her way to school.

Bronx youth and the tobacco marketing she sees on her way to school.

Our Bronx team hit the streets of the Bronx with over 30 youth from Truman High School, SoBRO, the Girl Scouts, and the Bronx Student Advisory Council to survey the rampant tobacco marketing they encounter each day walking in their neighborhoods of Clason Point, Soundview, Baychester, and West Farms. Using the hashtag, #BXKICKBUTTS, youth shared their findings on social media to raise awareness and show their peers how Big Tobacco targets them.

Our Queens team led an event at the Boys Club of NY Abbe Clubhouse in Flushing during which youth from the organization signed an open letter to let the tobacco industry know that they’ve seen enough tobacco marketing in their community. “Smoking kills and we’ve

Our Queens team and the Boys Club of NY Abbe Clubhouse in Flushing

Our Queens team and the Boys Club of NY Abbe Clubhouse in Flushing.

got to protect kids from the cause,” said Gregory Fleury, Teen Director at the Boys Club of NY Abbe Clubhouse in Flushing. He continued, “Kids think smoking is okay since they see tobacco marketing every day in stores that we go to, but we want to change that.”

Staten Island Reality Check at Curtis High School

Staten Island Reality Check at Curtis High School.

The Staten Island Smoke-Free Partnership joined Staten Island Reality Check, Staten Island Heart Association Youth Board, and other community partners at a meeting at Curtis High School during which students urged their peers to stay tobacco-free and become tobacco control advocates. Sonya Reyes, the Student Organization President, welcomed Reality Check to her school and encouraged students to take center stage in the fight against tobacco.

Partners in the NYC LGBT Smoke-Free Initiative on the first LGBT Kick Butts Day in NYC.

Partners in the NYC LGBT Smoke-Free Initiative on the first LGBT Kick Butts Day in NYC.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth from all five boroughs joined fifteen LGBT health and community-based organizations at The LGBT Community Center (The Center) for the first LGBT Kick Butts Day in New York City. We marked the occasion by publicly launching the NYC LGBT Smoke-Free Initiative.

City Council Member Rosie Mendez (D-District 2) said, “I support the NYC LGBT Smoke-Free Initiative and its efforts to reduce the smoking rates among the LGBT

City Council Member Rosie Mendez speaking to LGBT youth.

City Council Member Rosie Mendez speaking to LGBT youth.

community while simultaneously decreasing the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, I strongly support any effort that would curb the smoking rate for LGBT youths which studies have proven, have a higher percentage of smokers due to additional stressors in their lives.”

We applaud the next generation of youth advocates who took a stand against Big Tobacco on Kick Butts Day and encourage them to continue fighting for their healthy futures.


Another Marlboro Man is Dead

Eric LawsonEric Lawson, one of the many actors who portrayed the iconic figure that promoted Marlboro cigarettes in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, died on January 10, 2014 of respiratory failure because of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease caused by smoking.

He really did smoke Marlboro cigarettes, as many as three packs a day.  In the past few years, he spoke out against the danger of smoking and urged kids not to start.

In print and billboard ads, the ruggedly handsome actor embodied the most powerful brand image of the century.  The Marlboro Man stands worldwide as the ultimate American cowboy and masculine trademark that made Marlboro one of best-selling cigarette brands in the world.

Continue reading

Looking Back Over the Past 50 Years

page2Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report:The Health Consequences of Smoking–50 Years of Progress.

In the last 50 years, we’ve made tremendous progress in reducing the burden of tobacco.  Here are some milestones from the last 50 years in tobacco control:

Continue reading