Category: Blog

Albany County Parks go tobacco-free!

By on May 9th, 2017


Congratulations to the Albany County Legislature​ for voting unanimously last night to make county parks tobacco-free! The new law prohibits the use of all tobacco products and electronic smoking devices at Lawson Lake, Ann Lee Pond Nature and Historic Preserve and Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail. The law allows all visitors to these Albany County-owned recreation areas to play hard and breathe easier, including youth who participate in summer camps at Lawson Lake.

Thanks to Paul Miller, District 32, who introduced and championed this local law and to the thirty members of the Albany County Legislature that sponsored it.

Read the law here.
View local media coverage: Times UnionWNYT, and WRGB.

Rensselaer Housing Authority goes smoke-free!

By on April 3rd, 2017


As of April 1, 2017, the two apartment complexes operated by the Rensselaer Housing Authority became smoke-free. “We went smoke-free because we think our residents and our staff deserve to live and work in a healthy, smoke-free environment,” said Marianne Ogren, the authority’s executive director and a former longtime resident of authority housing. “We would have gone smoke-free whether or not HUD required it because it just makes sense. I raised my kids here, [and] I think every child and resident who calls RHA home should be able to breathe free and not endure exposure to harmful secondhand smoke.”

Read more in the Troy Record.

Tobacco use not an equal opportunity killer

By on February 20th, 2017


WAMC Northeast Public Radio interviews CDTFC’s Theresa Zubretsky, Neighborhood Conversation participant Mary Ann Hines and Albany Common Councilmember Dorcey Applyrs on the health consequences of aggressive tobacco marketing in low-income neighborhoods in the City of Albany.

Read and listen to the full WAMC story here.

Tobacco marketing concentrated in poorest Albany neighborhoods

By on February 13th, 2017


A new report released today highlights the striking disparities in tobacco use and marketing in low-income neighborhoods in the City of Albany. The report exposes tobacco marketing as a primary reason that low-income people smoke at higher rates and suffer more severe health consequences than their higher-income counterparts.  The findings from a series of community conversations held with Arbor Hill, South End, West Hill and Downtown Albany residents shows strong support for evidence-based strategies that would reduce tobacco marketing in low-income neighborhoods.

The release of the report follows on the heels of a nationally launched campaign from truth initiative calling attention to tobacco marketing disparities that result in disproportionate marketing to African Americans and low-income people, among others. The #STOPPROFILING Campaign exposes tobacco marketing as more than a public health issue. . .it’s a social justice issue.

Full Report: Addressing Tobacco Use Health Inequities in the City of Albany
Press Release, February 13, 2017 
truth campaign #STOPPROFILING

Live in the City of Albany? We’d like to hear from you.

By on October 19th, 2016


Some communities are harder hit by the impact of tobacco use and tobacco marketing than others. In the City of Albany, this is especially true for people living in the West Hill, Arbor Hill, South End and Downtown neighborhoods. If you live in one of these neighborhoods, we invite you to help us understand the impact of tobacco on you, your family and your community.

Join us for a small group neighborhood conversation.  As thanks for your participation, you will receive a $25 gift card to Price Chopper/Market 32.

For dates, times and locations and for information about how to reserve your seat today, check out the full flyer here.

Village of Menands Parks now Tobacco-Free!

By on August 16th, 2016


Last night, the Village of Menands Board voted unanimously to make all village parks tobacco-free. The new law prohibits the use of traditional tobacco products as well as e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems.

The policy statement introducing the new law summed up pretty well the benefits of tobacco-free shared public spaces:

“Tobacco-Free parks enhance visitors’ enjoyment of clean air, natural beauty and healthy activities, reduce tobacco related litter, communicate a positive message to the community that tobacco use is not compatible with active, healthy living and reduces maintenance and fire risks.”

Congratulations to the Village of Menands for putting community health first!

Schenectady County Legislature Votes “YES!” to Raise Legal Age for Tobacco Sales to 21!

By on August 10th, 2016


Last night in an 8-4 vote, the Schenectady County Legislature voted to increase the minimum age for the legal sale of tobacco products to 21, following in the footsteps of more than 184 municipalities in ten states, including New York City, the New York State counties of Albany, Chautauqua, Cortland and Suffolk, and the states of Hawaii and California.

Thank you to the Schenectady County Legislature for voting “Yes” to a proven community health strategy that will reduce youth smoking.

Learn more about T-21 at And follow local coverage of Schenectady County here:

Daily Gazette
Times Union

Look who’s gone tobacco-free in 2016

By on August 4th, 2016


Congratulations to the following businesses and organizations that made their properties tobacco-free since the beginning of 2016. The Capital District community is a healthier place because of their efforts.

Delmar Family Medicine
Albany Public Library
Atlas Copco
Bethesda House
Duanesburg Little League
Emmanuel-Friedens Church
Nassau Baseball Association
Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson
Storeaway Inc.
Union College

Schenectady County invites public input on proposed T-21 law

By on June 21st, 2016


Mark your calendars for Tuesday, July 5, 2016 @ 7:00pm and share your views on a Schenectady County law to raise the minimum age for the legal sale of tobacco products to 21. The introduction of this local law follows closely on the heels of Albany County’s adoption of a similar provision earlier this month and offers the possibility of having two contiguous counties reducing youth access to tobacco products.

Schenectady County Legislature has announced plans to hold a public hearing in the Legislative Offices, 620 State Street, 6th Floor on Proposed Local Law A-16.  
If you are a resident of Schenectady County or work in an organization that serves Schenectady County residents, you have an opportunity to be heard. Have an opinion? July 5th would be a good time to share it. If you’re unable to attend the public hearing, you can submit your comments via email or by post to:
Legislative Offices
Clerk of the Legislature
620 State St, 6th Floor
Schenectady, NY    12305

For additional information, you can access the Public Health and Tobacco Policy Center fact sheet on Tobacco-21 here or visit

Village of Altamont makes parks tobacco-free!

By on June 13th, 2016


The Village of Altamont Board unanimously adopted a resolution making village parks tobacco and ENDS-free after hearing testimony from two 9-year old residents about the benefits. Erin Burby and Kyle Efaw, 3rd graders at Altamont Elementary School, were joined by seven of their classmates at the June 7 meeting. The two students read speeches they had written as part of a classroom project assigned by their teacher, Annemarie Farrell.

Efaw highlighted the importance of protecting people from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. He said, “It is important for a park to be about staying healthy. . .If people are smoking in a park around kids and the kid could breathe in second hand smoking and can get sick.” He also talked about the impact on kids of seeing other people smoking. “Seeing adult or older kids smoke might make other kids want to smoke and it is bad for you. 60% of kids who smoke started by the age of 14 years old.”

Burby spoke of the harms resulting from tobacco litter. “The smoker could leave the cigarettes on the ground in the park and animals (and sometimes kids) could eat them.”

We couldn’t have said it better.

Congratulations to all of Ms. Farrell’s students for their activism and to the Altamont Village Board for being responsive to their young constituents’ opinions.

See photos and read more in the Altamont Enterprise here.