Sunday, April 1, 2018

Building Alcohol Ad-Free Transit Coalition Plot Next Move After Recent Victory

On February 13 members of the Bronx Health REACH coalition and other allies and supporters of Building Alcohol Ad-Free Transit's (BAAFT) came together to celebrate the victory of the MTA vote to ban alcohol ads on subways, buses and trains. The majority of those in attendance had participated in past rallies or appeared at various MTA public hearings in support of BAAFT. Bronx Health REACH's Charmaine Ruddock opened the event by acknowledging the leadership of Bob Pezzolesi the founder and head of BAAFT in garnering the support of such a diverse coalition that were so  instrumental in this victory improving the health and wellness of all residents.

Bob announced that following the October MTA vote and the media coverage banning alcohol ads, he has been contacted by other similar organizations from as far away as Sydney and London asking him for information and pointers about how they can also do the same for their transit systems. He also advised maintaining vigilance so that the MTA commits to keeping alcohol ads out of the system noting that the City of Boston had banned alcohol ads in 2013, but a recent proposal was made to allow some alcohol advertising to return.

Studies have confirmed that alcohol still contributes to an increase in health problems due to it being cheap, easily available, and marketed to many residing in high density areas. And because of the dangerous health effects from alcohol, Bob does not want the work of BAAFT to end and now sees taking the fight of removing alcohol advertising from neighborhoods as just one part of a larger movement to improving the health for all NYC residents. He believes those that participated in the movement to rid the MTA of alcohol ads can also connect with neighborhood groups that care about the same issues.

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