The Coalition is only as strong as our partners. We depend on the expertise, experience and commitment of some of New York’s finest organizations that work on behalf of the public’s interest. NYPIRG is one of those organizations.
The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) is New York State’s largest student-directed research and advocacy organization. Over the years, they’ve played a key role in fighting for more than 150 public interest laws and executive orders, while training students and other New Yorkers to be advocates.
As we work to increase awareness among community members and policy makers of tobacco control issues, NYPIRG has been an invaluable partner. In the past, NYPIRG worked with the Coalition on our efforts to reduce secondhand smoke at New York City public parks and beaches, and our partnership continues in our efforts to reduce youth smoking rates.
NYPIRG has been working with the Coalition’s five Borough Partnerships to educate and activate community-based organizations around tobacco control.
NYPIRG created a Smoke-Free Community Education & Media Toolkit as a resource for community groups and public health advocates, whether they are experienced or new to tobacco control issues. The subsequent Student Smoke-Free Toolkit is an adaptation for raising awareness among campus communities. We look forward to sharing these resources with our community partners and colleagues both in the City and across the country.
In the months ahead, NYPIRG will continue to offer technical assistance to Coalition partners and local groups looking to advance their community education skills, increase their community presence, and expand their grassroots efforts to promote tobacco control. NYPIRG will provide information and offer workshops on a variety of key skills designed to help community organizations and individual advocates alike build effective, sustainable tobacco control campaigns.
Looking ahead, aside from continuing to work with community organizations, NYPIRG will implement a pilot project that connects college student leaders with local high schools to advance tobacco control issues in New York City. Regional coordinators at two of NYPIRG’s college campus chapters will identify student leaders to partner with students from a nearby high school on local projects to promote reducing tobacco marketing and access to tobacco products at the point of sale.
We hope that these peer-to-peer connections will more actively engage high school students to become lifelong advocates for tobacco control, enhance the leadership skills of their college student partners, and impart a sense of “ownership” over the issue of tobacco control among the younger generation.
Stay tuned for the exciting results from our new collaboration with NYPIRG!