Central New York Celebrates Leadership and Progress Against Big Tobacco on World No Tobacco Day

OSWEGO, NY – The global tobacco epidemic is killing 6 million people every year; but leaders and efforts in Central New York are reducing smoking rates and protecting kids from tobacco marketing.

To celebrate these successes, Tobacco Free CNY will be recognizing local champions to celebrate World No Tobacco Day.

World No Tobacco Day, sponsored by the World Health Organization, is held annually on May 31 and brings together people around the world to stand up against big tobacco.

This day highlights the global tobacco epidemic, creates awareness about the risks association with tobacco use and provides an opportunity to recognize the many local leaders and communities advocating for and creating change to reduce tobacco use.

“It seems very fitting to recognize the outstanding efforts in our own community on a day when the world is coming together to speak out against tobacco and the toll it continues to take,” said Joseph Wicks, lead coordinator. “We are very thankful for and continue to need the support of our local community leaders.”

According to WHO, the tobacco epidemic is the worst public health threat the world has ever faced; causing 100 million deaths in the 20th century and on trend to cause one billion deaths in the 21st century.

Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable disease and death in New York State, killing 28,200 New Yorkers  every year and afflicting nearly 600,000 New Yorkers with serious disease directly attributable to their smoking.

Annual health care costs directly caused by smoking are $10.39 billion in New York State, including $6.62 billion paid by the state Medicaid program.

A study released in February by the American Cancer Society has found that smoking’s toll on health is even worse than previously thought.

The study found five additional diseases attributable to smoking and estimated that an additional 60,000 people die every year in the U.S. due to tobacco use, bringing the total annual death toll to 540,000.

New York State has experienced many successes in tobacco control due to the many community leaders and champions who have shared their personal experience and passion about ending the tobacco epidemic.

One excellent example is the comprehensive Clean Indoor Air Act which passed more than 10 years ago due to the efforts and support of many New Yorkers.

This law was one of the first in the U.S. and started a trend around the nation and the world to protect people from secondhand smoke in indoor spaces including bars, restaurants and workplaces.

“Central New York is fortunate to have so much support for efforts that create healthier communities,” said Jacqueline Thorpe, community specialist. “From licensing to removing tobacco from pharmacy shelves, we’re setting an example for the nation and world.”

Please join us in recognizing the following outstanding examples of those forwarding tobacco prevention in our communities: SUNY Oswego, the YMCA of Oswego, the city of Oswego and Mayor Thomas Gillen, the Oswego County Health Department and director Jiancheng Huang.

Advancing Tobacco-Free Communities

The New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control funds Integrated Community Planning of Oswego to increase support for New York State’s tobacco-free norm through youth action and community engagement.

Efforts are evidence-based, policy-driven, and cost-effective approaches that decrease youth tobacco use, motivate adult smokers to quit, and eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.

The Tobacco Free Network of CNY is part of Integrated Community Planning.

For more information, email: [email protected]