Local Matters

Community Sponsors


May 19, 2020 - 12:57pm

UPDATED 8:53 p.m. with statement from Paul Pettit, director of Public Health for Genesee and Orleans counties.*

From Tobacco-free GOW:

The sale of flavored e-cigarettes ended in New York State on Monday, May 18, as did the sale of all tobacco products in pharmacies. These are huge steps forward in helping New Yorkers live free from nicotine addiction.

* “We are pleased that this new law has taken effect,” said Paul Pettit, director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health departments. “The timing is excellent with COVID-19 impacting the health of so many who have underlying health issues, which may have been brought on due to health issues related to smoking and vaping.”

The new laws were passed as part of the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget. New York becomes the second state in the nation to restrict the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. 

“These policies are all part of a full court press, said Andrew Hyland, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Health Behavior and head of Tobacco Control Programs at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. “They are part of long-standing efforts by New York State to change the social norms about tobacco by making products less appealing and less accessible.

"The New York State Smokers Quitline continues to be there for smokers looking to quit (1-866-NY-QUITS, www.nysmokefree.com.)”

Research shows that the flavors in e-cigarettes attract kids and the nicotine addicts them. Nearly 40 percent of high school seniors in New York State use e-cigarettes, also referred to as “vaping,” and 27 percent of all high school youth vape.

This new law ending the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in New York State will protect kids from a lifetime of nicotine addiction.

October 16, 2019 - 3:47pm

("JUUL gets our goat, too!" says Dot.)

Submitted photo and press release:

As part of Truth Initiative’s National Day of Action, Reality Check high school champions from Warsaw in Wyoming County and Notre Dame in Batavia took action on Friday, Oct. 11, with a Safari tour and rally at Hidden Valley Safari Adventure in Varysburg titled “Animals Against Human Testing.” 

Just as humans speak out when companies test their products on animals, the Reality Check students "interviewed zebras, deer, geese – and even a camel named Randy – to get their support." To a critter, they all came out in favor of telling JUUL that their pod-based vaping devices and flavor pods present unknown health risks and are not safe for testing on humans. 

While mingling with their friends from another species, the teens also promoted “This Is Quitting,” the first-of-its-kind text-to-quit-vaping service that gives youth and young adults the motivation and support they need to ditch JUUL and other e-cigarettes.

The Safari continued on social media, as Warsaw and Notre Dame youth took selfies and videos with their new animal friends and posted them on social media using Truth Instagram stickers and the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans.

As cases of lung disease and death resulting from the vaping epidemic continue to sweep across the nation, including the recent death of a 17-year-old male in Bronx – the state’s first vaping-related fatality -- Reality Check youth and their adult leaders wanted more than ever to take a stand against JUUL and vaping.

“Truth Initiative has a long history of calling out Big Tobacco for its deadly exploits, and Tested on Humans is the latest example which exposes just how little is known about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes,” said Brittany Bozzer, Reality Check Youth Engagement coordinator of Tobacco-Free Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties (TF-GOW).

“We join them in delivering a clear message to JUUL and the entire tobacco industry: the safety and well-being of our region’s youth is not for sale.”

About Truth Initiative                                                                    

Truth Initiative is America’s largest nonprofit public health organization dedicated to making tobacco use a thing of the past. Their mission is clear: achieve a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco.

About Reality Check

Reality Check empowers youth to become leaders in their communities in exposing what they see as the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. The organization’s members produce change in their communities through grassroots mobilization and education.

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. Reality Check in this area is affiliated with Tobacco-Free GOW and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

September 7, 2019 - 6:00am
posted by Billie Owens in TF-GOW, tobacco control, vaping, e-cigarettes, news.

Submitted photo and press release:

Brittany Bozzer got a back-to-school experience last week that was positively inspiring.

The youth coordinator for Tobacco-Free Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties (TF-GOW) took a seat at The National Conference on Tobacco or Health (NCTOH 2019) held Aug. 27-29 in Minneapolis, Minn.

She says it was an energizing experience that brought her new insights in education, science and policy making.

NCTOH, one of the largest, long-standing gatherings of the United States tobacco-control movement, attracts a diverse set of public health professionals and scientists to share and learn about best practices and policies to reduce tobacco use — the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States.

Bozzer spent three days learning, networking and collaborating with public health colleagues from across New York State and the United States.

She attended sessions on tobacco-control issues including:

  • Communications and Media to educate and promote; 
  •  Evaluation and Surveillance of tobacco use among different populations;
  • Health Equity around tobacco use;
  • Nicotine and the Science of Addiction;
  • Non-Cigarette Tobacco and Nicotine Products;
  • Tobacco Product Regulation;
  • Tobacco Control Policies and Legal Issues;
  • Tobacco Industry Current Strategies and History;
  • Youth and Young Adult Advocacy and In-school Prevention;
  • Tobacco Control Skill Building Workshops.

Two internationally renowned  experts from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, doctors Andrew Hyland and Maciej Goniewicz, were among the conference panelists for a presentation titled "What Do We Know About E-Cigarette Use and Toxicity.”

They talked about the impacts of vaping, raising evidence-based awareness in the wake of recent mysterious and potentially deadly lung illnesses that appear to be linked to vaping. 

Hyland, Goniewicz, as well as additional researchers from Roswell Park, provide the science-based evidence that advances the work that Bozzer does to reduce tobacco use in communities throughout Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

About Tobacco-Free Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming

Tobacco-Free Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming is funded through the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control, and is a part of Tobacco-Free Western New York, managed by Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Learn more at tobaccofreewny.com.

(Photo: Brittany Bozzer is on the far right. On the far left is Jonathan Chaffee, youth coordinator of Tobacco-Free Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties (TF-CCA); then Gretchen Galley, PR and media manager, Tobacco-Free Western New York; and third from left is Ken Dahlgren, community engagement coordinator, TF-CCA.)

Subscribe to



Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button