Tobacco Free Network of CNY and Reality Check Youth Advocates Meet with State Lawmakers on Tobacco

ALBANY, NY – New York State Tobacco Control Programs has been proven to reduce youth smoking and help current smokers quit, which saves lives and millions of state tax dollars.

However, higher rates of smoking persist among individuals with less than a high school education (22.4%), income less than $25,000 a year (22.2%) and those with poor mental health (27.2%).

“We’ve made great strides in combatting the tobacco epidemic, but more work needs to be done to reduce the significantly higher smoking rates among disparate populations in our region and throughout the state,” said Joe Wicks of TFN.

That’s the message the Tobacco Free Network of CNY delivered to state lawmakers in Albany on February 6.

Annually, the group visits the New York State Capitol to educate lawmakers about the success of established tobacco control programs and opportunities to further reduce the burden of tobacco addiction on New Yorkers.

They described the valuable work being done in Central New York to reduce smoking rates and to keep youth from starting smoking, which begins at 13 years old, on average.

The NYS Tobacco Control Program is made up of a network of statewide contractors who live and work in the communities they serve.

These are Advancing Tobacco-Free Communities which includes Community Engagement and Reality Check programs, Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York and the NYS Smokers’ Quitline.

The New York State Tobacco Control Program uses a policy-driven, population based approach designed to prevent youth from smoking and to motivate adult smokers to quit.

The efforts are leading the way toward a tobacco-free society.

For more information, visit