Seaway Valley Prevention Council

Advancing Tobacco-Free Communities

Preventing tobacco use is one of the most important public health actions that can be taken to improve heath, as tobacco use is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Each year, over 25,000 NYS residents die prematurely as a result of smoking. More than half a million NYS residents currently suffer from serious disease caused by tobacco use.

The Advancing Tobacco Free Communities grant in St.Lawrence, Lewis and Jefferson counties aims to reduce the impact of tobacco by reducing the impact of retail tobacco marketing on youth, establish a tobacco-free community norm through tobacco-free outdoor air policies and tobacco-free housing policies, and reduce tobacco imagery in youth-related movies and tobacco industry presence on social media.

Smoke-free outdoor air policies promote a cleaner, safer environment for children and adults. Promoting smoke-free outdoor policies will help reduce the environmental and maintenance cost of cigarette butt litter. Some of the most important areas are those visited by children, such as playgrounds or parks. Our goal is to facilitate change and provide support to areas introducing a smoke-free outdoor air policy.

By increasing the availability of smoke-free multi-unit housing we will be able to protect the health of NYS residents. We aim to assist public housing authorities, nonprofit community development corporations, apartment management companies and landlords to adopt no-smoking policies in their communities. Through our grant, we provide resources and assistance to incorporate a tobacco-free policy into leases and agreements. We have several resources available for both the tenant and the landlord.

Reducing and restricting advertising and promotions from the tobacco industry are effective strategies for counteracting the tobacco industry’s efforts to attract new, current and recently quit smokers. The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars to promote their product.