The year 2021 was a year of ups and downs as the world began to emerge from what we hoped was the worst of the disruption and loss caused by COVID-19. Sadly, while many people are experiencing some relief, too many others continue to suffer from financial instability, illness, isolation and the loss of loved ones. But even in the midst of what is arguably the biggest public health crisis of our lifetimes, we can pause and find reasons to celebrate because the year 2021 has also delivered some significant public health gains in tobacco control, gains that will improve the health of all Capital District residents. 

The top ten 2021 public health advancements worth celebrating:

  1. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it is working toward issuing proposed product standards to ban menthol in cigarettes and ban all flavors (including menthol) in cigars.
  2. New York State launched the “It’s Not Just” media campaign which exposes the tobacco industry’s intentional efforts to increase menthol product appeal to the African American community.
  3. CDTFC contributed the commentary, Menthol-flavored tobacco is killing African Americans, to the Times Union during Black History Month, summarizing the toll that menthol has taken on Black lives.
  4. Capital Region Reality Check youth released “Seen Enough Tobacco Day” video to raise awareness of the impact of flavored tobacco products on youth tobacco use.
  5. The NYS Youth Tobacco Survey reveals that high school student use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products decreased between 2018-2020.
  6. Age-appropriate cessation resources for youth addicted to nicotine as a result of e-cigarette use became more available and accessible, including:
  7. The Village of Scotia and Town of Glenville made their parks 100% tobacco- and cannabis-free.
  8. Albany County passed a local law prohibiting smoking and vaping in indoor common areas of ALL multi-unit housing with three or more units.
  9. CDTFC launched website to help inform and mobilize Capital Region residents with the most up-to-date news on tobacco control.
  10. Most of all, we here at CDTFC celebrate all those who have supported our tobacco-free efforts and contributed to making our community a healthier place to live, learn, work and play. 

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!