BUFFALO, NY – CAI (Cicatelli Associates Inc) has been awarded a five-year grant to promote anti-tobacco education and activities in both Erie and Niagara counties. It is expected that annual projected grant funding, provided by the New York State Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Control, will total close to $2 million over the life of the grant.
“The purpose of these grants is to foster environments supportive of policies that reinforce tobacco-free norms in communities throughout the state,” said Stan Martin, the Project Director at CAI of the local grant-funded project to be called the Tobacco-Free Coalition of Erie & Niagara Counties. “Our goal will be to create a movement which will bring together youth, community stakeholders and health experts who will be fully committed to the reduction of illnesses and deaths attributed to tobacco use or exposure to secondhand smoke.”
To do this, the Tobacco-Free Coalition of Erie & Niagara plans to implement strategies to:
- Reduce the impact of retail tobacco marketing on youth and adults, especially those representing disparate populations
- Increase opportunities for tobacco-free outdoor areas
- Reduce secondhand smoke exposure in multi-unit housing
In addition, the Coalition plans to continue the support of Reality Check chapters in both counties that will contribute to the advancement and growth of a youth action movement to counter the marketing and advertising tactics of the tobacco industry, including flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes (“vaping”) which has been the fastest growing trend among high-school-aged youth in the state and across the country. According to the state’s Bureau of Tobacco Control Prevalence of Current Smoking Among Adults in New York by County report in 2018, 17.8 percent of adults in Erie smoke, while 23.6 percent of adults in Niagara smoke, which ranks it amongst the highest rates in the entire state.1
“We’ve made significant advances in terms of reducing the prevalence of tobacco use and there’s still a lot of work to do to address disparities especially in underserved and marginalized communities,” said Terry Alford, Project Manager at CAI.