Today is the first day of a new 5-year grant from the NYS Department of Health which will support the continuation of our tobacco-free work in the Capital District. As we look back on the past five years, we have a lot to celebrate, including:

  • The creation of more than 500 smoke-free housing units, most of which are affordable and public housing units.
  • The creation of tobacco-free outdoor recreation areas in twenty municipalities.
  • More than fifty employers making their grounds tobacco-free, including nearly all area colleges.
  • Successful education campaigns about the harmful impact of tobacco marketing on young people.
  • A significant decrease in youth smoking between 2000-2012: high school youth smoking decreased by 56%; middle school youth smoking decreased by 70%.

Yet, this year alone, 12,900 New York State youth will become new daily smokers. And 280,000 kids now under 18 in New York will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.

There’s more for us to do. And we’re glad we’ll be around at least another year to do it.