For the last five years, the Tobacco-Free Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming Program (Tobacco Free-GLOW), has worked with community leaders and youth champions to help reduce tobacco use in all four counties.
Due to a contract realignment placing Livingston County under the direction of SHAC -- the Smoking & Health Action Coalition of Monroe County, the organization has launched its next five-year contract with a new name: Tobacco-Free GOW.
The contract from the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control is one of two contracts awarded to Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and will be administered under the direction of Anthony Billoni.
The Roswell Park tobacco-free programs support efforts to locally educate community stakeholders and youth in changing norms that lead to ending tobacco use among adults and children. Tobacco Free-GOW will continue to be operated by Community Engagement coordinator Julie Calvert and Reality Check Youth Engagement coordinator Brittany Bozzer.
“With their extensive contacts and experience in tobacco control, Julie and Brittany will be local leaders as we strive to create healthier communities in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties,” said Program Director Billoni.
“I’m excited to continue my work in tobacco control for another five years andlook forward to engaging local community leaders and the public to strengthen tobacco-related policies that prevent and reduce tobacco use,” Calvert said.“We know that our state partner, SHAC, will serve the people of Livingston County with the same passion and commitment that we extended.”
Bozzer added, “I have been so privileged to be involved with the many successes that the tobacco control program has had over the last few years. My role in youth engagement helps me focus on creating a tobacco-free generation, a goal that will help save lives.”
The Tobacco-Free Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Program also will be administered by Roswell Park through five-year contracts from NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control. The Southern Tier program is under the operation of Community Engagement coordinator Ken Dahlgren and Reality Check Youth Engagement coordinator Jonathan Chaffee.
Andrew Hyland, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, added, “Roswell Park has a long history of leading national and regional tobacco control efforts. These contracts provide an opportunity to continue those efforts in an efficient 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 tobacco control programs are to:
- Reduce the impact of retail tobacco marketing on youth by educating communities about the manipulative 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 in 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 tobacco control funded work which supports the region’s public health efforts and provides more comprehensive programing across the state.
The New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control funds Tobacco-Free GOW to increase support for New York State’s tobacco-free norm through youth action and community engagement. Efforts are evidence-based, policy-driven, and cost-effective approaches that decrease youth tobacco use, motivate adult smokers to quit, and eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. The program is administered by Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.