Let’s face it, it was an interesting year. From the historic presidential election to the zika virus and Hurricane Matthew, 2016 will be remembered for some time.

Tobacco-Free WNY diretor, Anthony Billoni, addresses our Great AMerican Smokeout supporters.
Tobacco-Free WNY director, Anthony Billoni, addresses our Great American Smokeout supporters in Niagara Falls.

We have many great reasons to review 2016. From mobilizing youth advocates in our GLOW region to legislating for Tobacco 21 in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, our tobacco control efforts were successful. In our Erie-Niagara region, we helped the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority transition to create smoke-free apartments, protecting thousands of residents from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

As we review the 6 most noteworthy tobacco-free moments from 2016, we look ahead to the continued support of our Reality Check youth advocates, our public health partners and the community members of the nine counties we serve  that will lead to more healthy outcomes in 2017.

Tobacco 21 Times Two in Tobacco-Free Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany

With Tobacco 21 (T21) momentum surging across the nation, our TFCCA team rallied with elected officials, public health leaders and community members to capture stories one and two of 2016:

1. Chautauqua County raises the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. SEE THE NEWS COVERAGE

2. Cattaraugus County passes Tobacco 21 legislation.

Check out the video of the vote from legislative chambers:

Tobacco-Free Parks and Apartments in Tobacco-Free Erie-Niagara

Eliminating exposure to deadly secondhand smoke was the key benefit of stories three and four of 2016. 

3. Reality Check advocates from North Park Junior High presented 242 signed petitions to the city’s Common Council, leading to a tobacco-free policy for Lockport’s 27 city parks.


4. The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority (BMHA) directors vote unanimously to ban smoking in all offices and apartments.


Tobacco Free Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming

In our GLOW region, we top off 2016 with the stellar efforts of our new Reality Check youth advocates.

5. The Orleans County 4H Fair goes 100% tobacco-free.


6. The 1st Annual Bike the Canal for Tobacco-Free.


Happy tobacco-free 2017! Look for 7 top achievements next year, which we’re already working on.