The Cortland County Health Department has recently announced the Reality Check of Cortland and Tompkins Counties – Tobacco Free Cortland/Tompkins/Chenango Counties recently visited the state capital on February 7th.
Tobacco Free met with New York Senator Lea Webb and Assemblymember Anna Kelles who discussed the highlights of the local efforts to support the state’s tobacco-free norm and shared important information on tobacco use throughout the state.
Currently, the state’s average smoking rate is about 12% down from more than 23% back in 2001. It was noted the smoking rate remains high in New Yorkers who experience frequent mental stress, enrolled in Medicaid, an education less than a high school degree, an annual household income less than $25,000 dollars, and/or living with a disability.
It was also reported that 1 in 4 high school students in the state use either a vape device or an e-cigarette.
The goal of Tobacco Free Cortland/Tompkins/Chenango is to create environments supportive of policies that reinforce a tobacco-free norm within the community. This is done through community engagement and youth action (Reality Check).
Local changes that are promoted include: reducing the impact of retail tobacco marketing aimed towards youth and adults, increasing the availability of a tobacco-free outdoors and smoke-free multi unit housing, and also reducing the tobacco image in movies targeted to youths.