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2013 Legislative Agenda  

NYSPHA’s legislative agenda is informed by the Association’s priorities, member input, and the degree to which the Association can achieve the greatest public health impact in New York State. If you have input on this proposed agenda or want to participate on the NYSPHA Policy and Advocacy Committee please send an email to info@nyspha.org.



The following legislation or potential legislation will be the primary focus of the Association this legislative session:


a.       Maintain funding for chronic disease programs, especially the State’s tobacco control and obesity prevention programs – As the two major drivers of chronic diseases, tobacco control and Obesity prevention are top priorities for NYSPHA.  Tobacco control is currently funded at 41.4 million which is less than 20% of what CDC recommends. Obesity and Diabetes share a $7 million dollar appropriation. Given that 2/3 of the NYS adult population is overweight or obese, spending on this public health problem is seriously inadequate. FY14 funding is pending analysis.


b.      Require all SUNY campuses to be tobacco free on their property – A/

Tobacco free college campuses are a growing trend in NYS to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke and reduce addiction among young adults.  In June 2012, the SUNY Trustees voted to support legislation to make all of their campuses tobacco free. Legislation was introduced in the Assembly late last session.


c.       Ban on the sale of most flavored tobacco products – S/A

The federal law giving the FDA regulatory authority over tobacco products also banned flavored cigarettes but not flavored smokeless tobacco. This two house bill would fill the federal loophole and help prevent youth from being targeted by the tobacco industry with sweet, easily tolerated smokeless products that are being heavily marketed to young people and used by them in growing numbers.


d.      Ban on smoking in cars with children up to age 14 – S/A

It is undeniable that exposing children to secondhand tobacco - in cars or anywhere else - creates very serious dangers. Five states, Puerto Rico, and Canada have passed this law to protect children from adults who smoke in an enclosed car.


e.       Nutrition standards for children’s fast food meals sold with toys - S/A

The overwhelming majority (93%) of children’s meals at the nation’s largest chain restaurants are high in calories; many also are high in sodium (86%) and saturated fat (45%). Fast-food companies target children and adolescents with $520 million worth of marketing each year, promoting products, brands, and toy premiums to kids as young as 2 years old. Given the sky-high rates of childhood obesity and the restaurant industry’s failure to address toy giveaways with children’s meals, states and localities can support parents in helping children make healthy food choices by implementing nutrition standards for children’s meals that can be sold with toys.


f.       Increase taxes on alcohol by a dime per drink to reduce alcohol related mortality and morbidity with funding dedicated to maintaining critical public health infrastructure and programs (not introduced).


g.      Sugar sweetened beverage tax to reduce overweight and obesity.  One cent per ounce sugar sweetened beverage excise tax with dedicated funding to public health (not introduced).


Local (city ordinances or county laws)

These local priorities simply mean that if there are pending bills at the local level that fall under the following three goal areas, NYSPHA members may choose to get involved to support them using the NYSPHA name.  Please let the NYSPHA Policy and Advocacy Committee know about local actions so we can keep track and acknowledge the work.


a.       Reduce tobacco, alcohol and junk food marketing, especially near schools


b.      Reduce exposure to secondhand smoke through local smokefree ordinances such as entryways, smokefree parks, and smokefree campuses (e.g., hospitals, colleges)



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