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> New Tobacco Partners Join Tobacco Free Tompkins

 N E W S   R E L E A S E 

Your Partner for a Healthy Community
Frank Kruppa — Public Health Director


Friday, August 29, 2014

For more information contact:
Frank Kruppa or Ted Schiele at (607) 274-6600


Tobacco Free Tompkins Teams Up With New Partners to Curb Exposure to Tobacco

(ITHACA, N.Y., August 29, 2014) — Tobacco Free Tompkins is teaming up with new partners in its ongoing effort to denormalize tobacco use and curb youth exposure to tobacco. In a new round of state funding that began July 1, 2014, the youth action program Reality Check (RC) will be returning to the county after a five year absence. Tobacco Free Tompkins is Tompkins County’s community-focused tobacco control program.

The new Tompkins RC together with Tobacco Free Tompkins makes up the local leg of a 3-county grant, Advancing Tobacco Free Community, awarded in May to the Cortland County Health Department (CCHD). The funding agency is the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control. Chenango County is the third county covered by the CCHD grant.

Reality Check is New York State’s youth action program to fight tobacco by building youth leadership skills and awareness of industry marketing tactics. Tobacco Free Tompkins promotes and supports community actions that denormalize tobacco use and reduce its imprint in the public landscape. Together the programs will work to engage local stakeholders, educate community leaders, and mobilize organizations to strengthen tobacco-related policies that prevent and reduce tobacco use.

Tompkins RC will seek to engage students in grades 8–12 from a mix of school districts. While Tompkins RC will plan its own local actions and activities, it will work alongside RC groups in every New York county, and be part of a national and international youth voice against Big Tobacco’s efforts to recruit “replacement smokers.”

“As a program of the Tompkins County Health Department, Tobacco Free Tompkins has successfully kept tobacco use, exposure to secondhand smoke, and youth exposure to tobacco products on the front burner of public health,” said Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County Public Health Director. “We are very pleased that Reality Check will again engage youth from our schools, and look forward now to working with the Cortland County Health Department and with advocates in Chenango County to reduce the burden of tobacco use in our communities.”

The primary goals of the Advancing Tobacco Free Communities grant are to:

  • Reduce the impact of retail tobacco marketing on youth
  • Establish tobacco-free community norms through tobacco-free outdoor air policies
  • Reduce secondhand smoke exposure through smoke free housing policies
  • Reduce tobacco imagery in youth-rated movies
  • Reduce tobacco industry presence on social media.

Tobacco Free Tompkins (T-Free) has been a program of the Tompkins County Health Department since 2003. T-Free launched the T-Free Zone in 2006, which is now well recognized throughout the county as the mark of smoke free and tobacco free public outdoor areas. T-Free works to keep the air smoke-free, support smokers who want to quit, and help teens beat the tobacco trap. The T-Free vision is, “we cannot afford another generation of tobacco addiction.”