Tobacco Free Network, Reality Check Youth Advocates Met with State Lawmakers on Tobacco

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

Square.</p> " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class="size-medium wp-image-210837" src="" alt="From left: Rachel LeVea of Fulton, New York State Senator John DeFrancisco, Manny Williams of Syracuse and Gabby Moran of Central Square." width="300" height="197" srcset=" 300w, 150w, 460w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />
From left: Rachel LeVea of Fulton, New York State Senator John DeFrancisco, Manny Williams of Syracuse and Gabby Moran of Central Square.

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 combating 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 Kathleen Knopp, Reality Check Coordinator.

That’s the message Tobacco Free Network of CNY and Reality Check youth delivered to state lawmakers in Albany on February 7.

Participating in the legislative visits were Manny Williams, 16, of Syracuse, Rachel LeVea, 17, of Fulton, and Gabby Moran, 14, of Central Square.

They met with New York State Senator, Deputy Majority Leader John A. DeFrancisco of the 50th district, and the staff of Assemblyman William Barclay of the 120th district.

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 describe the valuable work being done in Cayuga, Onondaga, and Oswego counties 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
### NYS DOH Tobacco Control Program StatShots Tobacco is Leading Cause of Preventable Death Vol. 8, No.3 April 2015

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Toll of Tobacco in the United States, Toll of Tobacco in New York, accessed 1/20/17
NYS DOH Tobacco Control Program BRFSS Briefs Cigarette Smoking NYS Adults, 2014 BRFSS Brief No. 1603

Monitoring the Future Study,