The Tobacco-Free Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany(CCA) consists of Reality Check youth, community members, business leaders and health organizations who work together to protect our community from the dangers of tobacco use and secondhand smoke through policy change.
There are many factors that contribute to the decision of an adolescent to begin smoking; tobacco marketing in retail stores where tobacco products are sold (the point of sale) has a significant impact.
- Each year in New York State, 13,500 youth become new daily smokers and 32.7 million packs are bought or smoked by New York State children.
- Every day, the tobacco industry spends over half a million dollars in New York State to market its products.
- Tobacco companies place most of their advertising where young people shop in conveniences store, where 75% of teens shop at least once per week.
- There is approximately one licensed tobacco retailer for every 194 children in New York State.
- The more tobacco retailers there are near schools, the more likely children are to smoke
Types of policies to fit different communities needs.
- Licensing – limits the number of tobacco retailers in a community.
- Zoning – limits where tobacco retailers can be located in a community. The CDC recommends that tobacco retailers should be no closer than a 1,000 feet of a school.
- Flavored Tobacco Products – flavored tobacco products have been shown to start youth initiation of tobacco products, interfere with cessation, and drive health disparities.
Recent Success in New York:
- Legal age to purchase tobacco products raised to twenty-one. This is now the legal federal age to purchase tobacco products.
- Sale of all flavors of e-juice liquids excluding tobacco is banned.
- Tobacco products can no longer be sold in pharmacies.
- Tobacco, nicotine, and vapor products and marketing materials visible in store fronts and ads on exterior windows are banned within 1,500 feet of a school.
- Coupons of “price reduction instruments” are banned on tobacco products.
- Online sales of e-liquids and shipment of e-liquids to consumers is banned.
New Yorkers are well aware of the dangers of secondhand smoke and are protected in public places by the implementation of the Clean Indoor Air Act. New Yorkers know that living in a smoke-free home is one of the best things they can do for their family’s health and to protect their property; the vast majority do not allow smoking in their home.
Unfortunately, for residents of apartments and other multi-unit housing, the decision to have a smoke-free home is not theirs alone. Secondhand smoke drifts from neighboring apartments and creates unhealthy living conditions for everyone in the building.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Secondhand Smoke Facts
- New York Tenant’s Guide to Smoke-Free Housing
- Sample Neighbor Letter
- Sample Landlord Letter
- Frequently Asked Questions
- No Constitutional Right to Smoke
- New York State Legal Memorandum
- Benefits of No-Smoking Policies in Affordable Housing
- Secondhand Smoke Seepage into Affordable Housing
- New York Landlord’s Smoke-Free Housing Toolkit
Parks, playgrounds, beaches and other recreational areas should be places that people can go to enjoy the outdoors, breathe fresh air and exercise. They should not have to be exposed to secondhand smoke. The Surgeon General states “There is no safe amount of secondhand smoke.”
Another public health concern is tobacco litter which is hazardous to children and wildlife. Cigarette butts are the most frequently littered item. Cigarette butts are not biodegradable as most people think, it can take the acetate(plastic) filters many years to decompose. Toxic chemicals the cigarette filter was designed to trap can leak out into aquatic ecosystems, threatening the quality of water and many aquatic lifeforms.
Tobacco-Free CCA is working to establish more tobacco free outdoor areas around clubs, businesses, college campuses, workplaces, and other grounds. Contact Tobacco-Free CCA for sample policies, signage and/or assistance in creating outdoor tobacco use policies.
Asst. Coordinator Community Engagement
(716) 489 – 1114
Asst. Coordinator Youth Outreach(Reality Check)
(716) 548 – 0555
Website: Reality Check of New York