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Welcome Stephanie Gatesman
Reality Check Manager
Stephanie Gatesman is the new Reality Check manager for the Tobacco Action Coalition of the Finger Lakes. Stephanie joined the TACFL team at the beginning of June. She most recently owned and operated, “Imagination Academy” Preschool since 2009. Prior to Imagination Academy, Stephanie taught at the Clyde-Savannah Central School District for thirteen years. She and her husband, Brian, reside in Canandaigua with their daughters, Sarah and Merrin.
Stephanie says she is excited to continue working with young people in the capacity of Reality Check manager because Reality Check empowers young people to work towards the important goal of being the next tobacco free generation.
We are excited to have Stephanie as part of our team. In only a few short months, TACFL has accomplished amazing things! Welcome, Stephanie!
(Pictured above: Stephanie with her daughters)
TACFL REALITY CHECK GROUP
GETS READY FOR
“SEEN ENOUGH TOBACCO DAY!”
Local Reality Check youth are preparing for the first ever, “SEEN ENOUGH TOBACCO DAY” on Friday, October 13, 2017. Members from the Waterloo Reality Check group will join their peers across the state in various efforts to educate with simple, yet powerful tobacco free activities. The Waterloo youth have chosen to participate in a cigarette butt pick up at the popular, “Oak Island” park in Waterloo, NY. In addition, Reality Check youth will create tobacco free messages and tobacco facts on the sidewalk in a “Chalk the Walk” event. The goal of this unified Reality Check, “Seen Enough Tobacco Day” will focus on three important tobacco facts:
FACT: The average age of a new smoker in New York State is 13 years old.
FACT: 90% of adult smokers say they first tried smoking by age 18.
FACT: Stores popular among adolescents contain 3X more tobacco marketing materials compared to other stores in the same community.
The US Surgeon General says,“Advertising and promotional activities by tobacco companies have shown to cause the onset and continuation of smoking among adolescents and young adults.”
Pharmacies and Tobacco Sales
In February of 2014, CVS became the first retail pharmacy chain in the United States to stop selling tobacco products, citing that selling tobacco conflicts with the purpose of their business. Pharmacies and drugstores are locations that consumers go to treat health issues, not create new ones. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and is linked to cancer in every organ of the body. It sends a mixed message about the dangers of tobacco when it is sold in retail establishments designed for health.
While CVS led the way in pharmacy chains that voluntarily went smoke-free, municipalities have been passing tobacco free pharmacies since 2008, when San Francisco became the first city in the US to ban the sale of tobacco in pharmacies. As of July 3, 2017, there are now 161 municipalities in Massachusetts, California, Minnesota and New York that have implemented tobacco-free pharmacy laws. In New York, Rockland County no longer allows the sale of tobacco in pharmacies.
In the United States, 2/3 of adults feel that tobacco products should not be sold in pharmacies. On top of the confusing message tobacco sales in pharmacies sends about the risks of tobacco, selling tobacco next to cessation materials (nicotine replacement products) can make it difficult for individuals trying to quit. Restricting the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies is beneficial for quit attempts, and it also reduces youth exposure to tobacco marketing, which can reduce youth initiation rates. This is crucial, when 90% of smokers start by the age of 18, and 12,900 youth become new smokers every year.
When Clarice Lazary, WIC Outreach Coordinator and Penny Gugino, TACFL Director first met at a community wellness meeting, the discussion surrounding tobacco use reduction for new and expecting moms quickly began. TACFL was invited to present at a WIC service providers meeting, reaching providers who serve the same counties as TACFL. Providing NYS Smoker’s Quitline materials was the first step, followed by registering all service providers for the Quitline’s Refer to Quit program. However, Lazary did not want to stop there.
WIC reaches remote rural locations with a traveling RV Office, meeting the needs of moms who may otherwise not be able to access their services. To provide a healthy environment free of secondhand smoke for the moms and their families who visit the RV Office, Lazary decided to implement a Tobacco-Free Outdoor policy. “We provide services to prenatal women and new mothers designed to support healthy babies. Tobacco use by pre and post-natal moms, and exposure to secondhand smoke has been proven to be harmful to a baby’s health. We are proud to support a tobacco-free lifestyle for our participants,” said Lazary.
Tobacco is the #1 leading cause of preventable death. That fact alone is reason enough to protect our children from all tobacco exposure, including secondhand smoke, tobacco marketing, and the modeling of tobacco use in public places and in movies.
If you know of a business, organization or municipality who may want to receive information or assistance in creating a tobacco-free environment for their customers, clients and/or community, please share this newsletter or our contact information.
Together we can Create a Tobacco-Free Generation, reducing the death, disease and painful loss of family and friends!
Reality Check of the Finger Lakes
Hits the Ground Running!
Reality Check of the Finger Lakes (TACFL) is ready for new members! Currently, three school districts have signed on to take part in the Reality Check program. Recruitment efforts are underway in the Clyde-Savannah, Geneva (EPIC) and Waterloo Districts.
The Waterloo District has been active in Reality Check for several years. The core youth members of the Waterloo District are preparing to provide insights and information to their peers at a lunchtime recruitment table session next week.
In addition, Waterloo Reality Check members are already planning for the upcoming, “Seen Enough Tobacco Day” on Friday, October 13th.
Current Reality Check members are excited to welcome new members and continue working to make a difference in exposing the truth about the way tobacco companies target youth.
Great American Smokeout
November 16, 2017
Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout event. Encourage someone you know to use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. By quitting – even for 1 day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.
Tobacco Free College Campuses
Preventing Addiction Before it Begins
Funding available to assist colleges in becoming Tobacco-Free
(Share this information with your local community college on behalf of parents who would like to send their children to colleges that support quality education, including health)
Apply: 2017 Tobacco-Free College Program for Community Colleges and Minority-Serving Institutions
In the fight to curb tobacco use in the U.S., college campuses have emerged as a critical battleground.
That’s because virtually all smokers—99 percent—start smoking before turning 26 years old. Community colleges and minority-serving academic institutions are especially important because they tend to serve students who are at greater risk for tobacco use, including low-income and first-generation students.
Over the past two years, Truth Initiative® has awarded funding to 135 historically black colleges and universities and community colleges to advocate for, adopt and implement a 100 percent smoke- or tobacco-free policy. These institutions have joined the growing movement of smoke-free colleges, which multiplied in number from 446 in 2010 to over 1,900 in 2017.
To keep the momentum going, Truth Initiative is launching its new Tobacco-Free College Program, which offers 17-month grants of up to $20,000 to community colleges and minority-serving institutions to adopt a 100 percent tobacco-free college policy. Grantees receive guidance through webinars, learning communities and one-on-one consultations throughout the grant period.