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Walden Galleria to go tobacco-free

by jmaloni
Fri, Mar 23rd 2012 06:00 pm

All Pyramid Mall properties become tobacco-free on May 31

Officials at Pyramid Management Group LLC, owner and operator of 15 shopping malls throughout New York and Massachusetts, this week announced that all of its properties will be 100 percent tobacco-free on May 31.

This new policy includes Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga.

Pyramid has been working with regional tobacco control coalitions funded by the NYS Tobacco Control Program and the American Cancer Society on implementation of the new policy.

"We strongly believe this new policy will not only support our employees and guests who are sensitive to secondhand smoke or are trying to quit smoking, but it also will provide a more enjoyable and healthier shopping experience to the millions of visitors who come through our doors each year," said James L. Soos, director of asset management for Pyramid Management Group.

The tobacco-free policy includes any and all tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco) and any other similar substances or instruments that are lit or burning such as electronic cigarettes. This tobacco-free policy is inclusive of entire properties, both inside and outside, including all entry points, hallways, sidewalks, loading dock areas, parking lots and construction areas. It applies to all mall associates, tenant employees, vendors, delivery people, contractors, subcontractors and guests.

"We welcome this announcement just in time for the Kick Butts Day celebration at Walden Galleria," said Anthony Billoni, director of the Erie Niagara Tobacco Free Coalition at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. "Walden Galleria is a role model for other businesses and organizations throughout the community."

In addition to Walden Galleria, other New York malls covered by the new tobacco-free policy will include:

  • Aviation Mall -- Queensbury
  • Carousel Center -- Syracuse (became smoke-free in 2007, will become tobacco free)
  • Champlain Centre -- Plattsburgh
  • Crossgates Mall -- Albany
  • Galleria at Crystal Run -- Middletown
  • Palisades Center -- West Nyack
  • Poughkeepsie Galleria -- Poughkeepsie
  • Salmon Run Mall -- Watertown
  • Sangertown Square -- New Hartford
  • The Shops at Ithaca Mall -- Ithaca

Massachusetts malls include:

  • Berkshire Mall -- Lanesborough
  • Independence Mall -- Kingston
  • Hampshire Mall -- Hadley
  • Holyoke Mall at Ingleside -- Holyoke

"This policy means shoppers and their kids won't have to walk a gauntlet of harmful secondhand smoke just to enter a mall," said Alvaro Carrascal, senior vice president of cancer control, American Cancer Society of NY & NJ. "Secondhand smoke is a known carcinogen with no safe level of exposure. Mall employees who smoke also will benefit from on-site resources that will help them quit."

Pyramid will provide opportunities for mall employees to obtain smoking cessation information and counseling. Signage provided by the local tobacco control coalitions will be posted around mall property to alert employees and shoppers about the new policy.

The first mall in the Pyramid family to go smoke-free was the Carousel Center in Syracuse in 2007. Successful implementation at that facility led to the corporate-wide expansion of the policy. With implementation of the new policy, Carousel Center will become tobacco-free.

For more information about the new policy, go to www.pyramidmg.com.

For information on how to quit smoking, call the New York State Smokers' Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487).

For cancer information anytime, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or log onto www.cancer.org.

For information about the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition, visit www.tobaccofreewny.com.

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