· Tobacco Control Program
The Governor proposed cutting TCP budget by $5 million and his position was seconded by the Senate Republicans. However, NYSPHA and its allies successfully battled to maintain tobacco control funding at $41.4 million, the same level as the previous year. This is the first time since 2009 that the TCP budget hasn’t been cut. It is far too low, less than 20% of the CDC recommendation, but at least we’ve stopped the bleeding and hopefully set the stage for an increase next year. A key to our success was raising awareness in the Assembly of the disproportionate impact of tobacco on the disadvantaged, and the difficulty in reaching that audience with a constantly shrinking budget. The fight to hold the line on TCP funding was led in the Assembly by the Black and Puerto Rican caucus.
· Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening and Obesity Prevention Program
NYSPHA helped to maintain the level funding on these public health programs.
· Teenage indoor tanning ban
The Legislature passed a compromise bill raising the age at which a child can use an indoor tanning bed from 14 to 17. For two years NYSPHA and other partners advocated for a ban up to age 18. NYSPHA did not endorse the compromise bill, but it is clear that the legislation was the result of our hard fought campaign. Although we did not get everything we wanted, this bill, which we expect the Governor to sign, should make a big difference to reduce teen exposure to carcinogenic ultraviolet radiation from tanning salons.
Other Legislation that passed this session
· Electronic Cigarettes
On the last day of session the Legislature completed action on a measure prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and requiring that e-cigs be kept behind the counter, out of customer reach.
· Smoking Ban Within 100 Feet of School Entrances
Tobacco use is already banned on school grounds. This bill extends the smoke free perimeter to 100 feet from entrances, exits and school grounds.