Tobacco Free NY

Cortland County Tobacco-Free Community Champions

Posted by  //  February 14, 2016  //  News

The Central New York (CNY) Regional Center for Tobacco Health Systems at St. Joseph’s Health and the Tobacco Free Zone of Cortland, Tompkins and Chenango Counties recognized community members and organizations that have gone above and beyond their role to foster environments that support policies and interventions to reinforce the tobacco-free norm in Cortland County.

“Annually we honor community champions, who are essential in making an effective community change in tobacco control that reduces and eliminates the devastating toll of tobacco use and improves the health of our local community,” said Jennifer Hamilton, Community Engagement Coordinator of Tobacco Free Zone for Cortland County.

The following community members and organizations were honored for their leadership and dedication in supporting a tobacco-free norm:

  • Cortland Regional Medical Center and Family Counseling Services of Cortland County, Inc were recognized for implementing a gold-standard, comprehensive tobacco health system policy to their standard of care protocols to guarantee that tobacco users are provided with continuous assistance with quitting. These comprehensive tobacco health system policies are a critical piece of reducing tobacco use in the State, as well as locally in Central New York. Studies show that 70 percent of tobacco users want to quit and every year about half of those individuals try to quit. Unfortunately only 7 percent of smokers achieve long-term abstinence alone.  With the support of a health care provide to assist their patients to quit, patient success in quitting increases significantly.

  • Kat Rhinehart, a Middle School Social Studies Teacher and Relay for Life Club Advisor at Cortland Junior Senior High School was recognized for her contribution to the Reality Check program. Over the past year she has gone above and beyond her obligated duties as Relay for Life Advisor to include and collaborate with Reality Check, a program of the Cortland County Health Department. She has taken time outside of her normal schedule to embrace and participate in tobacco control activities and events with the Relay for Life Club students. Ms. Rhinehart has a passion for helping to improve the health and well being of her community and has played a huge role in building the Reality Check infrastructure in Cortland County.

“These tobacco-free champions were honored for their leadership, vision and dedication to ensuring that youth and young adults never start smoking and adults who do smoke are supported for when they are ready to quit,” said Christopher Owens, Director of the CNY Regional Center for Tobacco Health Systems at St. Joseph’s Health.

For more information about the CNY Regional Center for Tobacco Health Systems, visit www.tobaccofreeny.org and for the Tobacco Free Zone of Cortland, Tompkins and Chenango Counties, contact jhamilton@cortland-co.org or (607) 758-5501.

The Central New York Regional Center For Tobacco Health Systems At St. Joseph’s Health

The Central New York Regional Center for Tobacco Health Systems at St. Joseph’s Health one of eight Tobacco Health System grants funded by the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control. The Center covers the Counties of Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Tioga and Tompkins. The Center is committed to working with health care organizations and clinicians to implement systems to screen patients for tobacco use and assist clinicians in treating patients who struggle with tobacco addiction.

Tobacco Free Zone of Cortland, Tompkins and Chenango Counties

Tobacco Free Zone of Cortland, Tompkins and Chenango Counties, through the Cortland County Health Department,  is one of 25 Advancing Tobacco Free Communities grants funded by the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control Tobacco Free Zone works to change the community environment to support New York State’s tobacco-free norm. The program consists works to:

  • Reduce the negative impact of tobacco product marketing and price promotions on youth and adults at the point of sale.

  • Increase the number of local laws and voluntary policies that prohibit tobacco use in outdoor areas.

  • Decrease secondhand smoke exposure in multiunit housing, with an emphasis on policies that protect the health of low-income residents.

  • Promote policies that reduce tobacco use imagery in youth-rated movies, and on the Internet and social media.

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