It’s Not Just Menthol Campaign

Our latest media campaign is focusing on the disproportionate impact of menthol-flavored tobacco products among certain groups.




Throughout New York State and across the country, apartment owners have begun to embrace
a no-smoking policy as an amenity they can provide for their residents.


As of May 2017, more than 500 New York municipalities have adopted tobacco-free
outdoor area policies (20 in the Capital District) and the list is growing.


Tobacco companies spend more than $9.5 billion on retail marketing and promotion every 
year, more than the amount spent to market junk food, soda, and alcohol combined.


Our youth-adult partnerships have accomplished amazing things in the Capital Region,
including tobacco-free parks and a local law to keep tobacco retailers away from schools.


Across the state, community partners have worked with nearly 500 organizations and
businesses to go tobacco-free, including many here in the Capital District.


Tobacco Use Takes Disproportionate Toll on LGBTQIA+* Lives

Tobacco Use Takes Disproportionate Toll on LGBTQIA+* Lives

NYS has launched a new phase of the It's Not Just media campaign which exposes the tobacco industry's intentional efforts to increase menthol product appeal to the LGBTQIA+ community. LGBTQIA+ people use tobacco, including menthol cigarettes, at higher rates than people who are cisgender and straight. National data shows that people who identify as bisexual are twice as likely to start smoking or be current smokers; 35.5% of transgender people are current smokers compared to 14.9% of heterosexual adults; and black transgender youth use tobacco at six times the rate of black cis youth. Additionally, 51% of lesbian/gay and 46% of bisexual smokers use menthol cigarettes, compared to 39% of heterosexual smokers. While the prevalence of stressors such as stigma, prejudice and discrimination no doubt contribute to the disproportionately high...

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NYS just made public parks safer and healthier for everyone, but communities can do more!

NYS just made public parks safer and healthier for everyone, but communities can do more!

NYS recently amended Public Health Law to prohibits smoking of tobacco and cannabis in state-owned parks and parks managed by local governments, effective October 13, 2022. Eliminating smoking in parks keeps the air healthy, prevents toxic tobacco litter from harming people, animals and the environment.  It  makes these spaces more accessible to people with weakened immune systems and respiratory diseases such as asthma, and to those who rely on the availability of safe public parks for recreation and socializing. The amendment provision can be viewed here: NYS Public Health Law, Section 1399-O-2. Already in place in NY is Public Health Law, Section 1399-O-1 that prohibits smoking and vaping of tobacco and cannabis in playgrounds between sunrise and sunset when one or more children under the age of twelve is present. Both...

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Reality Check Senior Spotlight

Reality Check Senior Spotlight

Senbahavalli "Raji" Ramasamy, a senior at Guilderland High School, joined Reality Check in July 2020 and has been a mover and shaker in the tobacco control world ever since. From minute one, she has demonstrated outstanding communication and leadership skills, educating decision makers and her community about the harms of tobacco marketing and tobacco use. To get a full picture of how Raji used her voice to educate and mobilize, check out her "RC Member Spotlight" video. Then join us in a huge shout-out to Raji for all her hard work in the fight to stop the tobacco industry in its tracks. In the fall, Raji plans to study Biology at UAlbany. We wish you nothing but the best, Raji!  Congrats and good luck on all your future endeavors!

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You don’t have to do it alone.