The New York State Tobacco Control Program (TCP)
The New York State Department of Health envisions a tobacco-free society for all New Yorkers. The Bureau of Tobacco Control administers the state's Tobacco Control Program (TCP) to reduce illness, disability and death related to tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure, and to alleviate the social and economic burdens caused by tobacco use. TCP uses an evidence-based, policy-driven and cost-effective approach to decrease tobacco initiation by youth, motivate adult smokers to quit and eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.
Since TCP's beginning in 2000, the program has effectively implemented a strong clean indoor air law, maintained the highest state tobacco taxes in the nation to keep the price of tobacco high, strongly enforced laws that restrict minors' access to tobacco and increased access to effective cessation services.
Because of TCP's efforts and actions, youth and adult smoking rates in NYS are at historically low levels that are declining at rates that outpace national rates of decline.
What TCP Does
- Uses the most current research findings to drive program activities.
- Works collaboratively with state and national partners to meet program goals.
- Promotes policy change through evidence-based strategies that alter social norms and make tobacco less desirable, less acceptable and less accessible.
- Implements hard hitting, emotionally evocative media campaigns to deglamorize tobacco use and accurately depict the negative consequences of tobacco use.
- Systematically evaluates its efforts to maximize impact and improve outcomes.
TCP's Priority Areas
- Prevent initiation of tobacco use by youth and young adults, especially among low socioeconomic status (SES) populations.
- Reduce tobacco use among adults with low incomes, low educational attainment or serious mental illness.
- Eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Maintain, strengthen and refine New York's effective tobacco control infrastructure.
- Contribute to the science of tobacco control.
Community partnerships work to change the community environment to support the tobacco-free norm. Community partnerships:
- Engage local stakeholders
- Educate community leaders and the public, and
- Mobilize the community to strengthen tobacco-related policies to:
- Restrict the use and availability of tobacco products
- Restrict tobacco product promotion, and
- Eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke
Youth Action Program – Reality Check
Reality Check trains youth to become activists in the movement to change community norms regarding tobacco use. Reality Check engages middle- and high school-aged youth in activities aimed at deglamorizing and denormalizing tobacco use in their communities.
New York State works to change the environment in which New Yorkers live, learn, work and play, with the goal of motivating tobacco users to quit. While most users quit on their own, for those who want or need help, effective services and treatments are available.
The New York State Smokers' Quitline
Provides free, confidential services that include information, tools, quit coaching and support in English and Spanish. Provides FREE starter kits of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches to eligible New Yorkers. The Quitline also works with employers, health plans and health care providers to ensure New York tobacco users have access to effective cessation treatments. To learn more:
- Call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) toll free, or
- Visit www.nysmokefree.com
Cessation centers work with health care organizations and providers to implement systems to screen patients for tobacco use and provide tobacco dependence education, counseling and treatment.
Paid and earned media campaigns are key components of New York's comprehensive Tobacco Control Program. Well-placed health communications reach every corner of the state and target specific subgroups. TCP uses television, social media, radio, billboard and print advertising to expose tobacco industry marketing tactics, deglamorize tobacco use and promote effective tobacco control community policies.
Repeated studies show that hard-hitting and graphic advertising campaigns that accurately depict the negative consequences of smoking dramatically reduce smoking initiation by youth, motivate adult smokers to make quit attempts, increase calls to the Quitline and reduce relapse among former smokers. For more information about the effectiveness of these media campaigns, please see NYS StatShot or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Frequently Asked Questions.
Counter-marketing efforts through paid and earned media expose the manipulative and deceptive marketing practices of the tobacco industry, deglamorize tobacco use, and build upon and sustain the tobacco-free norm.
An internal surveillance and evaluation team and a contracted independent evaluator support the TCP. Ongoing surveillance and evaluation activities monitor program progress and impact and ensure that the State is investing resources wisely, making progress toward specified goals and undertaking program improvements as necessary.