The Manhattan Tobacco Cessation Program (MTCP) housed at New York University’s College of Dentistry (NYUCD) will join New York State tobacco control advocates in Albany Tuesday, January 11, 2011, to educate New York leaders about the important role tobacco use prevention and cessation have in preventing youth initiation and reducing healthcare costs.
The focal point of this year’s legislative day is the mock “convenience store” which will be located in the Legislative Well of the Legislative Office Building. Legislators have been invited to visit the store to have a cup of coffee and take a look at the tobacco marketing and displays that children are bombarded with when they shop at convenience stores.
“Exposure to tobacco marketing in stores is one of the primary causes of youth smoking,” says Deanna Jannat-Khah, MSPH, Project Director, MTCP at NYUCD. “Studies by the National Cancer Institute show that exposure to cigarette advertising causes nonsmoking adolescents to initiate smoking and to move toward becoming a regular smoking. The tobacco companies are well aware of this fact and spend billions of dollars to market its deadly products in our stores including: paying retailers to prominently display tobacco products, in-store advertising, and price discounts. We do not want our youth to become the tobacco companies replacement smokers.” continues Jannat-Khah.
Jannat-Khah will be available for interviews in Albany. Members of the media can reach her on her cell phone, 404.660.4447 or via email: email@example.com
The goal is to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by tobacco use, and to alleviate the social and economic burden to the state. New York State spends $8.17 billion annually in medical costs to treat tobacco caused diseases and 25,400 New Yorkers die each year due to tobacco use.
“The manipulative marketing practices of the tobacco industry are really overwhelming.” says Diana Chandler, program coordinator of Tioga Broome Reality Check, the youth action component of the Tobacco Control Program. “I think when the legislators look at our displays and talk with us they will have a good understanding of how we work in our communities to prevent the death, disease and the financial burdens that tobacco use causes in our communities.”
The mock convenience store display is the centerpiece of numerous educational displays. There will also be information regarding smoke free housing, tobacco free outdoors, and tobacco free periodicals. In addition, the public and legislators can learn of the different tobacco control components advocates work with such as cessation centers, the youth program Reality Check, the college initiative Colleges for Change, Healthy Schools New York and the numerous adult tobacco control community partnerships across the state.
The advocates are funded by the New York State Department of Health Tobacco Control Program. The program implements evidence-based and promising strategies to prevent and reduce tobacco use. It envisions a tobacco-free society for all New Yorkers. Over time, the program has effectively implemented a strong clean indoor air law, maintained support for high tobacco taxes to keep the price of tobacco high, and worked to increase access to effective cessation services and motivate smokers to try to quit.
The Manhattan Tobacco Cessation Program is one of nineteen cessation centers funded by the New York State Tobacco Control Program and is housed at the College of Dentistry at New York University. The MTCP seeks to partner with healthcare institutions based in Manhattan to assist them with the implementation of tobacco screening and treatment services. www.nyu.edu/dental/tobacco