For WNTD this year, Tobacco-Free CNY, Oswego Middle School Reality Check and Oswego Prevention Coalition’s YC3 group will be partnering to conduct a cigarette butt cleanup. This event will take place at Breitbeck Park in downtown Oswego, Wednesday, May 31st. WNTD’s theme this year is centered on the negative impact tobacco farming has on society and on the environment.
Reality Check Coordinator Antonio Palmer shared, “Many people aren’t aware how much tobacco cultivation and tobacco litter pollute our environment. We use these clean-ups as an opportunity to educate the youth and larger community about the harmful implications tobacco has on various ecosystems. It’s the perfect way to motivate people to take action towards creating a tobacco-free society”.
Amongst the campaign objectives is supporting efforts to address the tobacco industry’s role in environmental degradation. Tobacco waste remains a major issue, with cigarette butts being reported as the number one littered item in the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states “Cigarette butts do not biodegrade and leach toxic chemical into the environment. In addition, tobacco product packaging creates 2 million tons of waste per year”. Policy change continues to be an effective measure towards reducing tobacco litter.
Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the US. World No Tobacco Day provides an opportunity for municipalities, employers, and property managers to reevaluate and strengthen their current tobacco policies. The Tobacco-Free CNY program, serving Onondaga, Oswego, and Cayuga Counties, assists community partners with the creation and implementation of tobacco-free policies. Tobacco-Free CNY works to create tobacco-free environments for Central New York residents to live, work, and play. Reality Check is a youth program that works to educate and engage local stakeholders, community leaders, and the public to strengthen tobacco and e-cigarette policies that prevent and reduce tobacco and vape use among youth.
For more information about the Reality Check and Tobacco-Free CNY programs, please visit our website at tobaccofreecny.org or call (315) 435-3280. For help with quitting, please call the New York State Quitline at 1-866-697-8487 or visit nysmokefree.com for more information.