Funds support comprehensive, region-wide approach to tobacco control and community education
Roswell Park Cancer Institute was awarded three contracts from the New York State Department of Health's Bureau of Tobacco Control for regional tobacco control programs. Funding for the first year of the five-year contracts totals $1.05 million, supporting efforts to engage community stakeholders and area youth in changing policies and norms about tobacco and tobacco use throughout Western New York.
The programs are administered by the department of health behavior at Roswell Park, under the direction of Anthony Billoni.
"Each of these programs will have a regional office and locally based staff to engage and educate local leaders and the public, with a goal to strengthen tobacco-related policies and create healthier communities," he said.
•Tobacco-Free Erie-Niagara - previously called the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition - received $400,000 for its first year of funding and will continue to operate from offices at Roswell Park. Established in 1993, the community-based organization has been effective in reducing the impact of tobacco by supporting adoption of policies around tobacco-free outdoor air and tobacco-free housing, and by offering education regarding tobacco marketing by retailers.
Tobacco-Free Erie Niagara will be managed by Community Engagement Coordinator Jenna Brinkworth, who has been with the program for three years, and Reality Check Youth Engagement Coordinator Rachel Woock.
•Tobacco-Free Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming (Tobacco-Free GLOW) will operate with a $325,000 contract to fund its first year. The program will be managed by Community Engagement Coordinator Kevin Keenan and Reality Check Youth Engagement Coordinator Angela DiRosa from an office located in Batavia.
•Tobacco-Free Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany (Tobacco-Free CCA) also will provide services with a $325,000 contract. This Southern Tier program is under the management of Community Engagement Coordinator Kenneth Dahlgren and Reality Check Youth Engagement Coordinator Jonathan Chaffee from an office located in Olean.
"Roswell Park has a long history of leading national and regional tobacco control efforts," said Andrew Hyland, Ph.D., chair of the department of health behavior at Roswell Park. "These contracts provide an opportunity to continue those efforts in an effective way that employs local leaders as they strive to prevent youth smoking and create tobacco-free communities throughout Western New York."
The primary goals of the RPCI tobacco control programs are to:
•Reduce the impact of retail tobacco marketing on youth by educating communities about the marketing tactics of the tobacco industry.
•Establish tobacco-free-community norms through clean outdoor air policies by working with communities to create more smoke-free parks, playgrounds and beaches.
•Lessen secondhand smoke exposure by working with landlords and tenants to implement smoke-free housing policies in multi-unit dwellings.
•Diminish tobacco imagery in youth-rated movies by working for change in the rating system to require an R rating for movies that contain smoking imagery.
•Decrease tobacco-industry presence on social media by working with stakeholders and Internet sites to enact and adhere to policies that protect youth from tobacco imagery.
All counties of New York state now have the resources of a community engagement program and a Reality Check youth action program through the Bureau of Tobacco Control. These contracts build on previous contract-funded tobacco control work that supports the region's public health efforts and provides more comprehensive programing across the state.