New Report: Putting Prevention to Work in New York City

CSS White Paper Cover ImageThe NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City was honored to be a part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work Grant (CPPW), a federally funded initiative to combat obesity and tobacco use that spanned fifty communities across the United States where over fifty million people live.

As part of this grant, the Coalition provided funding at both the borough and citywide level to non-profit organizations that committed to increasing awareness in their communities of the harmful effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke, as well as how tobacco marketing in stores at the point-of-sale perpetuates the epidemic of tobacco-related disease.

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Saving Lives and Money

NYC Coalition and our community partners in Albany for our annual Legislative Day.

NYC Coalition and our community partners in Albany for our annual Legislative Day.

Last week, New York State again led the country with a groundbreaking approach to gun control laws. We applaud this leadership and hope that the State will continue to be a pioneer with tobacco control. Tobacco is still the number one cause of preventable death.

Our Manhattan met with NYS Assembly Member Deborah Glick

Our Manhattan met with NYS Assembly Member Deborah Glick

On January 22, the NYC Coalition joined Tobacco Control leaders from around New York State (NYS) and traveled to Albany to meet with legislators who can protect New Yorkers from the burden of tobacco.

Tobacco use continues to inflict a terrible toll on NYS residents, especially many at-risk populations.  The NYC Coalition met with state legislators representing all five boroughs and explained that our work reduces the burden caused by tobacco.  Our work saves lives and the state tax dollars.  Tobacco control programs around NYS create healthier tobacco-free communities, protect children, and help current smokers to quit.

Our Bronx team meeting with Senator Gustavo Rivera

Our Bronx team meeting with Senator Gustavo Rivera

Each year, our community partners and youth from across the city join us for Legislative Day.  It’s a tremendous opportunity to discuss with our elected officials the tobacco control strategies and successes that benefit all New York City residents, especially our city’s most vulnerable.

The NYC Coalition coordinates with community members, allied health partners and neighborhood organizations such as the Chinese-American Planning Council; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community

Our Brooklyn team met with Lentol Marcy Feiman, staff member from Assemblyman Joseph Lentol's office.

Our Brooklyn team met with Marcy Feinman, Legislative Liaison member from Assemblyman Joseph Lentol’s office.

Center;Global Kids; YM & YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood; American Lung Association of the Northeast, and Community Health Action of Staten Island to provide community level programs that reach disadvantaged urban neighborhoods.  The working poor and minorities are among the hardest hit by tobacco use. Tobacco control programs help those who need it most.

Our Staten Island team met with Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis

Our Staten Island team met with Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis

While New York has made great strides in reducing tobacco use, smoking prevalence has not declined for the poor, the less educated and those with self-reported poor mental health. These at-risk groups can least afford the cost of tobacco and the consequences of addiction.

In New York City, 14% of adults are smokers.  In 2010, 137,000 (12.6 percent) teenagers and 2,330,000 (15.5 percent) adults were smokers in New York State.  Since 2000, adult smoking has fallen 28 percent in the overall population, but is unchanged among those with the lowest incomes, a group that now has the highest smoking rate.

Our Brooklyn team met with Lentol Marcy Feiman, staff member from Assemblyman Joseph Lentol's office.

Our Brooklyn team met with Lentol Marcy Feiman, staff member from Assemblyman Joseph Lentol’s office.

In New York State, more than 25,400 lives are lost due to tobacco use annually. Tobacco costs New Yorkers an estimated $8.17 billion on annual health care expenditures, including $2.7 billion in state and local Medicaid costs.

Tobacco control programs are a wise investment of NYS dollars and more than pay for themselves by preventing illness, saving lives and reducing health care costs.

Our Queens team met with Assembly Member Markey's office.

Our Queens team met with Assembly Member Markey’s office.

The LGBT Smoke-Free Project

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the LGBT community continues to smoke more than the U.S. general population. The results showed 32.8 percent of LGBT people nationally smoke cigarettes, compared to 19.5 percent for the general population.

“Unfortunately, these findings confirm the bad news that LGBT people smoke cigarettes at rates 68 percent higher than the general population and that our overall tobacco use is 50 percent higher,” comments Dr. Scout, director of The Network for LGBT Health Equity.

Scout added: “It’s clearer than ever that tobacco use is one of the largest single health burdens on the LGBT community.”

Here in New York City, the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City has worked with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center (the Center) for the past three years to raise awareness around secondhand smoke and tobacco marketing targeting youth.  Since the early 90s, the Center has been a true champion working to encourage adult smokers to quit through their LGBT SmokeFree Project.  The Coalition has partnered with the Center to raise awareness not only around the health implications of smoking, but how youth, particularly, LGBT youth, are targeted by tobacco companies to be their next generation of “replacement smokers.”

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