5 Questions with the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Community Partnership

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Monday, January 23, 2012 | Categories:
1. Describe your nonprofit … The Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Community Partnership (STTAC) is a coalition that serves Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben Counties. We educate community leaders and the public about the dangers and social costs of tobacco; engage local stakeholders to adopt policies that will restrict tobacco industry presence, de-normalize tobacco use, and eliminate secondhand smoke. STTAC is funded by the NYS Tobacco Control Program. Tobacco control programs play a crucial role in the prevention of many chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illness. Comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation programs like the one in NYS prevent kids from starting to smoke, helps adult smokers quit, and serve as a counter to the ever-present negative influence of the tobacco industry. 2. What do you see as the greatest challenge facing your organization? The greatest challenge facing STTAC has been and continues to be reduction in funding. This limits the reach of the program. There are still 2.5 million smokers in NY that need help - we must continue to invest our dollars wisely by supporting tobacco control in NYS. Each $1.00 invested in an effective, comprehensive tobacco control program yields $3.00 in savings in tobacco caused health care expenditures. 3. What achievement are you most proud of this year? This year STTAC was able to assist two very large organizations with their implementation of a tobacco-free campus policy: Corning Community College and Vulcraft-NY located in Chemung. Each of these organizations have been diligently working to create a tobacco-free campus for several years. 4. Where do you see your organization in 5 years? STTAC continues to work toward reducing the morbidity and mortality and alleviate the social and economic burden caused by tobacco use. Our goal is to help those who want to quit and protect our children from the tobacco industry’s pervasive marketing tactics and a lifetime of addiction and premature death. 5. How could other nonprofits in the region benefit from your work? Tobacco use takes a terrible toll on New York. In 2009, 25,400 lives were prematurely lost due to tobacco use. Tobacco costs New Yorkers an estimated $8.17 billion in health care costs, including $2.7 billion in Medicaid costs as a result of tobacco use. Other nonprofits in the region can create tobacco-free outdoor areas to help reduce the exposure to secondhand smoke and support people who are trying to quit smoking.
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