Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Kick Butts Day in the Bronx!

Image: Province of British Columbia via Flickr

Today is Kick Butts Day, and we are featuring a guest blog post from Guillermo Flores, Bronx community engagement coordinator at NYC Smoke-Free.

Hello there!  Today, we’re celebrating Kick Butts Day in the Bronx!

My name is Guillermo Flores and I am the Bronx community engagement coordinator at NYC Smoke-Free, a program of Public Health Solutions made possible with the support of the New York State Department of Health’s Tobacco Control Program.  At NYC Smoke-Free, we work to protect the health of New Yorkers through tobacco control policy, advocacy, and education. Formerly the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City, NYC Smoke-Free partners with community members, legislators, and health advocates to support local efforts to end the devastating epidemic of  tobacco use throughout New York City. We believe every New Yorker has the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air where they live, work and play.

Kick Butts Day is an international day of activism sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco. There are over 1,600 tobacco retailers that populate our Bronx communities. This growing number of tobacco outlets in our neighborhoods re-normalizes tobacco use. And in far too many communities, youth are more likely to find tobacco on their neighborhood blocks than parks, schools, libraries, or toy stores.  We work with key stakeholders to bring awareness to this issue, to protect our youth from the over exposure to tobacco in their neighborhoods, and to find ways of stopping the proliferation of tobacco supply and use in the Bronx and New York City.

These initiatives as well as Smoke Free Housing, Tobacco Free Outdoor Air Policies, and other evidence based tobacco control policies are part of the New York State Tobacco Control Program. This program plays a crucial role in saving the lives of New Yorkers and preventing such chronic health conditions as heart disease, cancer and respiratory illness.  New York’s comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation program prevent  youth from starting to smoke, helps adult smokers quit, and serves as a counter to the tobacco industry’s aggressive marketing and negative influence.  For more information, please visit our website.

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