Spectrum News: Anti-Tobacco Advocates Want to Keep E-Cigs From the Youth

Written by Lauren Sears on December 13, 2019

Theresa Zubretsky, Community Engagement Coordinator here at Capital District Tobacco-Free Communities, was interviewed by Spectrum News earlier this week.  She discussed the ongoing process of trying to keep e-cigarettes away from youth. Here’s an excerpt from the interview.

“One of the things we’ve learned in tobacco control is if you want to reduce youth uptake, you want to reduce the affordability of these products for young people, the accessibility of these products for young people, and their appeal,” Zubretsky said.

To read the entire story, click here.

The Great American Smokeout 2019

Written by Lauren Sears on November 25, 2019

On Thursday Nov. 21, 2019 and Friday Nov. 22, 2019, CDTFC partnered with SADD Clubs at Columbia High School and Goff Middle School for this year’s  Great American Smokeout. Historically, the event encourages people to quit smoking for a day. This year, we encouraged students to go tobacco and e-cigarette free.  Thank you to Alyssa Evans and her SADD club students for partnering with us! Check out some photos from the events below.



Albany County Legislature Defeats Local Law “E”

Written by Lauren Sears on November 13, 2019

Despite a vote of 18 in favor and 17 opposed (1 abstention), Albany County’s proposed law to restrict the sale of all flavored tobacco products did not pass at last night’s meeting of the Legislature. Three legislators were not present for the vote. Thanks to all who contributed to the local effort to educate legislators about the problem of youth tobacco use and the youth vaping epidemic. We will continue to provide decision-makers and their constituents with accurate and up-to-date information and to promote solutions that reduce youth appeal, accessibility and affordability of all tobacco products.

Albany County Legislature vote on restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products

Written by Lauren Sears on November 12, 2019

Well the weather might be a bit frightful. But hot cocoa is always delightful. Come share the message that #FlavorsHookKids. We know you’ll be glad that you did.

We get it, its cold out, and we want to make sure you are comfy and warm during tonight’s Albany County Legislature​ Vote on restricting the sale of tobacco products.

The rally begins at 5:30pm, Public Hearing starts at 6:30pm and the Vote will begin at 7:30pm at the Albany County Courthouse (Lodge St. Entrance). And yes, there will be hot cocoa. Contact us for more information.


Seen Enough Tobacco Day 2019

Written by Lauren Sears on October 14, 2019

On October 11, Capital District Tobacco-Free Communities held an event at Bethlehem Central Middle School to educate the students about the dangers of flavored tobacco products and tobacco marketing. This event was held in advance of “Seen Enough Tobacco Day” on Sunday, October 13. The day, supported by Tobacco-Free New York State and Reality Check of New York, highlights the need for communities to protect children from the billions of dollars of tobacco promotions in places where they and other youth can see and be influenced by them.

This event also raised awareness about the availability of tobacco products in candy, fruit and menthol flavors which has fueled youth use of all tobacco products, including cigarettes, little cigars, chew and e-cigarettes. CDTFC staff educated students on the harms of flavored tobacco and vape products, the proposed Local Law “E” to restrict the sale of ALL flavored tobacco products in Albany County and the many ways tobacco companies market their products to attract new users.

See WTEN News10 ABC’s report here: Capital District Tobacco-Free Communities visits Bethlehem Middle School

Forum 13: Vaping Dangers Segment

Written by Lauren Sears on October 10, 2019


In case you missed it- CDTFC’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Theresa Zubretsky, joined Dr. Nathan Graber, pediatrician at St. Peter’s Pediatrics and WNYT NewsChannel 13’s Asa Stackel to discuss vaping dangers.

Watch the entire Forum 13 interview, which aired on October 6, 2019, here or below: VAPING DANGERS | WNYT.com

Gov. Cuomo moves to ban the sale of menthol flavored e-cigs

Written by Lauren Sears on September 26, 2019

Governor Andrew Cuomo has accepted New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker’s recommendation to include menthol in the ban of selling flavored e-cigarettes and nicotine e-liquids. This comes after the state banned the sale of e-cigs and nicotine e-liquids on Sept. 17, 2019.

Currently, 63% of young people are using menthol e-cigs. Including menthol in the the ban will combat its rising use by young people.

For more information on the recommendation, click here






Health disparities major focus of speakers at Albany County Public Hearing on ending sale of flavored tobacco

Written by Lauren Sears on September 26, 2019

On September 24, Albany County residents and national experts from the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council joined forces to let lawmakers know how tobacco use contributes to health disparities. National experts, Drs. Phil Gardiner and Valerie Yerger, along with Albany NAACP President Debora Brown-Johnson highlighted the predatory practices of the tobacco industry in aggressively marketing menthol-flavored tobacco in African American communities. As a result, African American smokers are 3x as likely to smoke menthol as white smokers. Because menthol makes it easier for people (especially youth) to start and harder for them to quit, the health consequences for people of color who smoke is disproportionately high.

Albany County Local Law “E” restricts the sale of ALL flavors in ALL tobacco product categories, going beyond the provisions of the Governor’s emergency action to prohibit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, excepting menthol, for 90 days. Local Law “E” would not only restrict the sale of all flavors of e-cigarettes including menthol, but it would also restrict the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, cigarillos and chew tobacco.

Local Law “E” was unanimously passed out of the Albany County Legislature’s Health Committee on September 25 and heads to the Law Committee in late

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

Written by Theresa Zubretsky on September 18, 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

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