In Chinese zodiak, 2015 was the year of the sheep. In the GLOW region, it was a shining year of success for the tobacco control movement. I’m always amazed by how much support we get from so many people in our community who want to reduce tobacco use and live healthier ever after.

I could write on, but here are six top hits that highlighted our 2015.

  1. Village of Avon Passes Official TFO Policy: On Jan. 19, 2015, The Village of Avon, with the assistance of Tobacco-Free GLOW (TF GLOW) and the Livingston County Health Department, adopted a resolution to create a tobacco-free zone for their playgrounds, parks and recreational areas.  That makes the Village of Avon one of more than 400 municipalities that have decided to create a healthier environment for their community. The team at TF GLOW would like to thank Village Trustee, Bill Zhe and the rest of the board for deciding to provide clean air where kids and families go to enjoy the outdoors.
  2. GLOW Task Force on Tobacco Prevention Kicks Off: On Jan. 29, 2015, the GLOW Task Force on Tobacco Prevention came together to collaborate on ways to reduce the social acceptability of tobacco use in communities across our region. Speer-headed by Tobacco-Free GLOW and the Genesee County Department of Health, the task force convenes monthly to monitor progress with their respective Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Smoking rates in each of the counties served are above the state average of 16.1% (2014) and electronic cigarettes are making headway among many youth throughout our school systems. Paul Pettit (Genesee/Orleans), Lisa Beardsley (Livingston), and Laura Paolucci (Wyoming) from the county health departments each shared insight on ways to connect with organizational leaders, educators and businesses to move the smoking rates and use of e-cigs down. The task force invites interested individuals, groups and organizations to get involved in the mission of tobacco-prevention. 
  3. Northwood & Creekwood Apartments Adopt Smoke-Free Housing Policy: In March 2015, Property Manager Jennifer Nenni and Q&D Management Co. decided to adopt a new policy for all 48 units at Northwood and Creekwood Senior Living apartments in Albion, NY. Jennifer and the Facilities Manager, Justin, received positive feedback from tenants on the benefits of making such a policy. The Tobacco-Free GLOW program provided technical assistance, free signs and educational resources during the process. Thank you to Jen, Justin and Q&D Management for your concern and care for every tenant.
  4.  Livingston Co Assoc of Village Board Invites Discussion of T21In November 2015, Tobacco-Free GLOW traveled to Avon to share the benefits of adopting policies which protect youth and the community from tobacco marketing in the retail environment. TF GLOW was invited by the Village of Avon Board to discuss T21 (a policy for changing the legal age for smoking to 21) and other policy options for local communities. Livingston County was named the #1 and #2 most healthiest county to live, work and play in 2014 & 2015 respectively. The Village of Avon and the Village Board Association desire to see that momentum continue in all areas regarding healthy living.
    Village of Avon board members meet to discuss policy options to reduce tobacco use.
    Village of Avon board members meet to discuss policy options to reduce tobacco use.
  5. Students from GCC Respiratory Care program take stand on GASO Day: On Nov. 17th, students from the Genesee Community College (Batavia Campus) Respiratory Care program took embraced the radio airwaves to protect their peers from tobacco use and the impact of tobacco marketing on communities across New York State. The radio interview, aired in conjunction with the Great American Smokeout, was supported by Tobacco-Free GLOW. This was the first time students from GCC took action on behalf of their peers and sought to turn the tide of sickness and death within their circles of influence.
  6. Genesee SADD Council Students Promote Positive Message for GASO: On November 16, 2015, seven students from the Genesee County SADD Council took out their markers, posters and opened their voices to promote the Great American Smokeout and raise concerns about the number of people who die every day from tobacco use in New York State. Tim Saxman, Elisabeth Pike, Maele Sanford, Julia Beswick, John Lee, Jordyn Saraceni, December Mather and Laura Wheatley have a passion to see their peers live in a world that is free from tobacco addiction. They hope that by promoting events like GASO will encourage their peers to quit smoking and get involved in a good cause.
  • Post submitted by Kevin Keenan, Community Engagement, TFGLOW