Category: Blog

Albany County public hearing on ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products. Your voice matters!

By on September 18th, 2019

The Albany County Legislature is holding a public hearing on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 7:15pm on Local Law “E” for 2019 that would end the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol and flavored e-cigarettes. The stated intent of the law is to reduce youth tobacco use by limiting their access to flavored products.

More than 80% of young people who have ever used a tobacco product say they started with a flavored product. Flavoring, including menthol, makes it easier for young people to start smoking—the menthol and flavorings make inhalation less irritating. Among youth who currently smoke cigarettes in New York State, most smoke menthol. Nearly twice as many NY youth that smoke cigarettes use other tobacco products such as cigars, cigarillos and chew tobacco, which are still sold in fruit and candy flavors, including menthol.

Between 2014 and 2018, e-cigarette use among high school students in NYS increased 160%. More than 1 in every 4 high school students uses e-cigarettes. Currently, the liquids used in e-cigarettes are available in more than 15,000 flavors which include kid-friendly names such as gummy bear, cotton candy, and banana smash.

The public hearing will be held in the Legislative Chambers, Albany County Courthouse, 2nd Floor, Eagle Street, Albany, NY. Speakers can sign up prior to the start of the hearing and each individual will be allowed three to five minutes to speak.

For more information on flavored vaping and traditional tobacco products, visit

For additional information and resources, contact Capital District Tobacco-Free Communities, 518-459-2388 or

Albany County proposes new law to restrict sales of flavored tobacco products

By on March 18th, 2019

Albany County is currently considering Local Law No. “E” for 2019 that would restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products to retail stores for which a person must be aged 21 or over to enter. Tobacco products as defined in the proposed law include electronic smoking devices, cigars and cigarillos, as well as smokeless tobacco, and flavors would include all characterizing (i.e., recognizable) flavors including menthol.

The availability of tobacco products in candy and fruit flavors has fueled the popularity of little cigars and e-cigarettes among youth. In 2018, more than one in four NYS high school students used electronic smoking devices and the overall rate of youth tobacco use increased 44% since 2010 to nearly 1 in 3 high school students. Additionally, menthol makes it easier for new tobacco users to become addicted and harder for them to quit.

Read proposed Local Law No. “E”

Learn more about the impact of flavored tobacco products on youth. 
Learn more about the impact of menthol on the African American community.


CDTFC on why vaping is far from harmless on WNYT Health Beat

By on January 9th, 2019

Theresa Zubretsky, CDTFC’s Community Engagement Coordinator, who has been assisting local schools address their concerns with widespread vaping, talked with Benita Zahn for  WNYT’s Health Beat on Vaping. View the interview online here and learn why the youth vaping epidemic  can seriously undermine the progress that has been made to reduce tobacco use.

CDTFC talks turkey about youth tobacco use on WNYT Forum 13

By on November 27th, 2018

Theresa Zubretsky, Community Engagement Coordinator here at CDTFC, talked with Asa Stackel on WNYT’s Forum 13 to share the good news and the bad news related to youth tobacco use. Check out the interview online here and learn what YOU need to know about how to protect Capital District young people from the harms caused by tobacco use.



Rensselaer County Legislature proclaims October 13 Seen Enough Tobacco Day!

By on October 11th, 2018

Thank you to the Rensselaer County Legislature for proclaiming Saturday, October 13 as Seen Enough Tobacco Day. Above, students from Columbia and Tech Valley High Schools accept the resolution at the October 9 legislative meeting on behalf of Reality Check, with Cara Zampi, RC Coordinator standing by.

On Seen Enough Tobacco (SET) Day, teens from the Capital District will showcase their unique talents to demonstrate through song, dance and art the ways in which they have “Seen Enough Tobacco” in their communities. The event will include games, giveaways and face painting; Girls Inc. will conduct hands-on experiments to show the harmful effects of tobacco use.

Join us on Saturday, October 13, 1:00 – 3:00pm at the Troy Boys & Girls Club, 1700 7th Avenue, for an afternoon of fun, learning and community action.

This free event is a community collaboration of Reality Check, the Albany and Troy Boys & Girls ClubsGirls Inc. Eureka! STEM programCapital District Tobacco-Free Communities and RAW GEN. Through the generous support of St. Peter’s Health Partners, a free meal will follow the event.

Tobacco-free pharmacies becomes law in Albany County

By on June 18th, 2018

It’s official! A local law passed by the Albany County Legislature in May to end the sale of tobacco in pharmacies and stores that contain a pharmacy was signed by Albany County Executive Dan McCoy late last week and will become law in 90 days.

Implementation of this new law will decrease the number of tobacco retailers in Albany County by 10%, eliminate the mixed messages to consumers about the dangers of tobacco products, and make it easier for smokers to quit and for pharmacists to promote health. Thank you, Albany County, for putting health first.

Read more in the Times Union or on WRGB.

Albany County Legislature says “YES!” to tobacco-free pharmacies

By on May 16th, 2018

On Monday evening in a 26-11 vote, the Albany County Legislature passed a local law prohibiting pharmacies and stores containing pharmacies to sell tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices. Ending the sale of tobacco in pharmacies is one of the ways in which communities have acted to help reinforce the message that tobacco and health don’t mix.

Join us in saying “Thank You” to the Albany County Legislature. Visit the Albany County Legislature website for contact information or visit the Albany County Board of Elections website.

The measure will now go to the desk of County Executive Dan McCoy who has 30 days to sign, veto or do nothing in which case it will become law at the end of the 30 days. The County Executive’s Office will schedule their own public hearing and we’ll provide details when they become available.

View local coverage at WRGB, Times Union, WAMC.

Albany County to vote May 14 on ending sale of tobacco in pharmacies

By on May 7th, 2018

The Albany County Legislature will be voting on Monday, May 14, on a local law that would end the sale of tobacco in pharmacies and in stores that contain a pharmacy.

If you live in Albany County, let your legislator know what YOU think.

Local legislators are eager to hear from their constituents on issues that are important to them. If you live in Albany County, contact your local legislator with your view on this issue. Visit the Albany County Legislature website for contact information. If you’re not sure who your local legislator is, you can find out here.

You can also share your views during the public comment period which begins at 6:30 pm in the Legislative Chambers of the County Courthouse followed by the meeting at 7:00 pm.

For more information about tobacco-free pharmacies, visit the Tobacco-Free Pharmacies page of our website.

Albany County March 27 Public Hearing

By on March 27th, 2018

A public hearing will be held tonight on a local law being considered by the Albany County Legislature to end the sale of tobacco products from all pharmacies and stores containing a pharmacy. Local Law A for 2018 would better support pharmacists’ role as primary health care providers and make it easier for smokers to quit. 

The hearing will be held this evening, March 27 @ 7pm, 2nd Floor of the Albany County Courthouse on Eagle Street. If you live in Albany County, come out and share your views or you can contact your legislator directly. 

For more information, visit

Find out what’s been happening in YOUR neighborhood

By on March 13th, 2018

Read all about it in CDTFC’s just-released Winter 2018 Tobacco-Free Update. Albany County considers ending the sale of tobacco in pharmacies, Colonie Senior Services makes nearly 400 housing units smoke-free, the City of Shenectady makes their property tobacco-free, efforts intensify to rate movies containing smoking “R”. . .and more!