Sheelah Feinberg testifying at a public hearing conducted by the Health Committee of the New York City Council.
Good morning and thank you Council Member Arroyo and members of the Health Committee for the opportunity to speak today.
My name is Sheelah Feinberg, and I am the Executive Director of the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City, a program of Public Health Solutions. The Coalition is a public health advocacy group that has worked with over one hundred health and youth focused community groups across the five boroughs to raise awareness around tobacco control and prevention. We support neighborhood efforts for long-term change and believe that all New Yorkers have the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air where they live, work, and play.
We have written about the rise in e-cigarette use, especially among young people. There has been a lot of discussion about the safety and use of e-cigarettes, and many are waiting for the FDA to weigh in on the on how best to regulate them.
The New York City Council has scheduled a hearing this Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 10am in Council Chambers at City Hall on legislation that would add e-cigarettes to the NYC Smoke-Free Air Act that prohibits smoking in the workplace, including bars and restaurants. The legislation would also prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in our City’s parks and on our beaches.
If you would like to share your thoughts with the City Council, please join us for the hearing.
Marie Wilkins sharing her story next to the Smoker’s Body
November 21, 2013 marked the American Cancer Society’s 38th annual Great American Smokeout, a day to encourage smokers to quit. This year, the NYC Coalition partnered with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) held an event to celebrate the occasion at BODY WORLDS: Pulse, an exhibition that displays preserved human bodies and reveals inner anatomical structures. Throughout November 2013, BODY WORLDS will have a free display in the main lobby of the lungs of a smoker and non-smoker side-by-side.
On Tuesday, November 19, 2013, Mayor Bloomberg signed landmark legislation making New York City the first major city in the country to raise to 21 the minimum sale age for cigarettes, cigars, and electronic cigarettes. The Mayor also signed a law that will stop tobacco industry discounting schemes, set a $10.50 price floor for a pack of cigarettes or little cigars, and crack down on cigarette tax evasion.
We know that exposure to tobacco advertising may affect youth smoking behavior. This past Spring, the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), working with the NYC Coalition, piloted a public health mentorship program with college and high school students in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx to determine Big Tobacco’s presence in these communities.
Speaker Christine C. Quinn announces that the NYC Council votes to make NYC the first major city in the nation with a 21 age tobacco sales law
Today, New York City made history once again.
The New York City Council voted to pass two proposed bills that, once signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg, will work to significantly reduce the toll tobacco has taken on our City. The new laws will:
Raise the minimum sale age to 21, making New York City the first large city in the country to have a minimum smoking age above 19.
Stop tobacco industry discounting that makes tobacco affordable and appealing to kids.
NYC Council Member James Gennaro, sponsor of “Tobacco 21″, being interviewed by the press
Create a minimum price for a pack of cigarettes or cigars ($10.50 per 20-pack) that will ensure that the public health benefits of high-cost tobacco will remain in place.
Set minimum package sizes for certain cigars to keep cheap tobacco out of the hands of our kids.
Enhance tobacco tax enforcement efforts to reduce tax evasion by retailers and create a level playing field for the honest retailers who play by the rules.
We’re thrilled the Mayor and New York City Council have taken these innovative steps to reduce youth smoking rates. We believe these policies will help to prevent kids from smoking. They will also help save lives and potentially millions of dollars in health care costs.
New York City Council votes on “Tobacco 21″ and “Sensible Tobacco Enforcement”
Today, New York City stands even taller in our fight against Big Tobacco. Spearheaded by Mayor Bloomberg, New York City’s smoke-free policies have made our City a global leader and trendsetter in tobacco control. With the passage of the the NYC Smoke-Free Air Act 10 years ago, New Yorkers started to breathe clean, smoke-free air in the workplace, regardless of whether they worked in a high-rise office or neighborhood restaurant or bar. That landmark legislation was followed by policies restricting smoking in hospital entrances and protecting New Yorkers from secondhand smoke in NYC parks, beaches and pedestrian plazas.
The fight against Big Tobacco is one we cannot afford to lose. Today’s vote by the New York City Council shows that our leaders understand what’s at stake.