Commissioner Novello Awards $2.4 Million Statewide to Recruit New Yorkers into Smoking Cessation Programs

State Health Commissioner to Tour Local Health Care Facilities During WellNYS Weekend May 4th and 5th

Facilitators to Engage Current Smokers in Shopping Centers, Malls, Movie Theaters, Youth Clubs, Community Organizations and Worksites

Albany, May 18, 2001 – State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H. today announced that more than $2.4 million in State grants will fund 14 community–based organizations, medical and health associations, and healthcare providers statewide to recruit current smokers into cessation programs. The awards announced today are part of Governor Pataki's comprehensive $60.5 million statewide anti–smoking campaign.

Commissioner Novello said, "Thanks to the support of Governor Pataki, and the significant funding he has dedicated – $60.5 million – for New York's strongest ever anti–smoking campaign, we are seeing real results, including the highly successful Smoker's Quitline, a statewide Youth Empowerment program, a comprehensive anti–smoking media campaign, a no–nonsense, tough enforcement program to eliminate tobacco sales to minors and today's funding to increase access to smoking cessation programs for current smokers."

The $2.4 million awarded today is part of New York's Tobacco Use Cessation Program and will fund 14 community–based organizations, medical and health associations, and healthcare providers statewide for cessation programs. The programs will target youth, pregnant women and other at–risk populations for participation in proven cessation programs. Each organization will send facilitators into communities to engage current smokers in shopping centers, malls, movie theaters, youth clubs, community organizations and worksites to persuade them to enroll in a smoking cessation program.

Don Distasio, CEO, American Cancer Society of New York and New Jersey said, "These grants will help the American Cancer Society expand our successful community–based programs to reduce children's exposure to second–hand smoke and help private sector companies throughout New York State deliver smoking–cessation services to their employees."

Dr. David Hohn, President and CEO, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, said, "Governor Pataki and Commissioner Novello are to be commended for their commitment to improving the health of New Yorkers and we are especially appreciative of our long and fruitful partnerships with DOH on important public health issues. Every day Roswell Park Cancer Institute is faced with helping patients and their loved ones deal with aftermath of smoking. Our Smoking Cessation program, under the leadership of Dr. K Michael Cummings, has received national recognition for its innovation and effectiveness. We are very pleased that we can partner with the State Health Department and health care organizations across the State to bring smoking cessation programs to communities where the services are urgently needed."

"We are very appreciative of the Governor's efforts along with the New York State Health Department in awarding us this cessation grant," Elizabeth Miller, CEO of the American Lung Association of New York State said. "These funds will enable us to take another crucial step in reducing tobacco use among New Yorkers."

Commissioner Novello said that the Department's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System's latest survey shows that in 1999, over half of the adult smokers in New York quit smoking for a day or longer during the past year, indicating the need for increased access to quality cessation services to help smokers quit once and for all, and to reduce the prevalence of children's exposure to second–hand smoke.

Organizations funded under the State's anti–smoking cessation initiative will work within a defined geographic area and target low–income and at–risk individuals who are currently smokers to facilitate their participation in proven cessation programs, counseling sessions and/or clinical treatment for nicotine addiction. Each organization awarded funding will:

  • Recruit current smokers who are within their target population to participate in cessation programs and track cessation or self–help attempts;
  • Monitor individual participation in smoking cessation services;
  • Increase public awareness of the health risks associated with tobacco use and the benefits of smoking cessation products and the resources available to help them quit – including New York's Medicaid program coverage of tobacco cessation products and the State Smoker's Quitline (1–888–602–6292);
  • Work with and include health care providers in their efforts to engage current smokers and connect them to service providers;
  • Provide training and technical assistance to cessation programs in other geographic areas of the state; and
  • Coordinate with and involve physicians, clinics, hospitals, family planning clinics, local tobacco coalitions, local heart, lung and cancer organizations, local health and social service departments and youth services organizations in smoking cessation initiatives.
The Governor's comprehensive $60.5 million statewide anti–smoking and tobacco control initiative includes:
  • Support for school–based tobacco use prevention activities;
  • Creation of the largest anti–tobacco advertising program in State history;
  • Support of the statewide Tobacco Quitline;
  • Promotion of smoking cessation services;
  • Advertising aimed at adult smoking cessation;
  • Advertising to highlight the dangers of second–hand smoke;
  • Surveillance and enforcement initiatives to eliminate tobacco sales to minors;
  • Coverage of prescribed and over–the–counter smoking cessation products; and
  • Support for comprehensive community–based anti–tobacco coalitions.

Commissioner Novello said, "Our goal, through proven cessation methods, is to help adults quit smoking once and for all, which inevitably will make an indelible impression on their family, especially their children."

The Following is a list of the 14 organizations awarded funding:

Statewide or regional partnerships to recruit smokers who are on Medicaid or low–income into cessation programs:

Organization Region Served Award
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo Statewide $150,000
American Cancer Society–Living Well Tobacco–Free Expansion Project, Loudonville Statewide $150,000
New York State Academy of Family Physicians, Albany Statewide $172,850
Glens Falls Hospital, Glens Falls Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Northern Saratoga, Clinton, Warren, Washington $176,088
Seton Health, Troy Albany, Rensselaer, Southern Saratoga, Schenectady $200,000
Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, Albany New York City $200,000

Statewide or regional partnerships to recruit smokers who are identified as part of at–risk populations into cessation programs (e.g. women who are pregnant):

Organization Region Served Award
American Cancer Society–Fresh Start Family Expansion Project, Loudonville Statewide $150,000
Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Elmira Tompkins, Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, Tioga, Steuben $158,350
United Health Services, Johnson City Broome, Tioga, Chenango, Delaware $199,750
Carthage Area Hospital–Northern NY Health, Carthage Franklin, St. Lawrence, Lewis $195,905
St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, Manhattan New York City $200,000
Suffolk County Perinatal Coalition, Patchogue Suffolk $109,542

Statewide or regional partnerships to recruit smokers who are identified as part of at–risk populations into cessation programs (e.g. reaching youth outside of the traditional school setting):

Organization Region Served Award
American Lung Association of New York and New York State Thoracic Society Youth at Risk, Albany Statewide $250,000
St. Lawrence County Health Initiative, Inc., Potsdam St. Lawrence, surrounding areas $130,000
Total = $2,442,485