Just like that, the 2017 legislative session has come to a close.
And although we didn’t get everything we hoped for, we DID have some big legislative victories and we can rest assured that all of us living in New York can expect to live in a healthier state. Be proud!
In the last FY, we were able to secure the following:
- Tobacco 21 policies have been passed in Cortland, Cattaraugus, Orange, Schenectady, Sullivan, Tompkins Counties and in Nassau County on Long Island, the Town of Hempstead and the Town of North Hempstead. By passing these policies, we can now prevent our youth from succumbing to an addiction that could cost their lives from any number of cancers and diseases including heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma.
- $200M in funding has been secured to create the Empire State Trail, a 705-mile hiking and biking trail that will run from New York City all the way up to the Canadian border in the North Country. Almost a quarter of New York adults are living at an unhealthy weight. By securing this funding, the Empire State Trail will now serve has a great resource for people to get out and get moving. Increased physical activity will both lower risk for heart disease and improve heart health!
- E-cigarettes will now be included in the Clean Indoor Air Act, meaning wherever you cannot smoke a regular cigarette you will not be allowed to smoke an e-cigarette either. More than 20% of our youth are smoking e-cigarettes daily and there is growing concern over second hand emissions. By including them into the Clean Indoor Air Act, everyone will now have the opportunity to breath in clean air.
Even though we ran out of time to pass a statewide Tobacco 21 bill, we still made significant gains by getting the bill through both the Assembly and Senate Health Committees.
We'll pick up where we left off on the bill next session!