The New York State Tobacco Control Program (NYS 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, New York State has effectively implemented a strong clean indoor air law, maintained one of the nation's highest state tobacco taxes 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 record low levels.

What TCP Does

TCP's Priority Areas

Program Components

Community Programs

Advancing Tobacco-Free Communities

A network of regional grantees works to change the community environment to support New York State's tobacco-free norm. Each contract consists of a community engagement component and a youth action component (branded as Reality Check). Grantees work 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.

Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York

A network of grantees, covering all New York State counties, work with health care systems to improve the reach and delivery of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment to all New Yorkers who smoke or use other tobacco products. The grantees work with hospitals, community health centers, federally qualified health centers, and mental health and behavioral health service agencies, with a focus on agencies and organizations that serve people with low education, low income or mental illness.

To learn more about integrating and implementing tobacco dependence treatment in your medical or mental health system, please contact the grantee in your county.

Health Communications

Paid media campaigns are a key component of New York's comprehensive Tobacco Control Program (TCP). The TCP strategically places advertising on television, social media, radio, billboards and in print to reach New Yorkers in every corner of the state.

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 health care providers and to the New York State Smokers' Quitline for quit assistance and reduce relapse among former smokers. For more information about the effectiveness of evocative media campaigns, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Frequently Asked Questions about the Tips From Former Smokers (Tips) media campaign.

Grantees funded by the Department of Health also engage in activities that garner earned media (free coverage) by television and radio stations, in newspapers and newsletters, and on social media.

The TCP also uses countermarketing to expose the tobacco industry's manipulative and deceptive marketing practices and to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use. Research shows that that tobacco countermarketing campaigns curb smoking initiation in youth and promote smoking cessation in adults.

The New York State Smokers' Quitline

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:

Surveillance, Evaluation and Research

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.