What's Going On in The Zone

Teens Educate Lawmakers in Albany for Legislative Education Day

Cortland County Health Department’s Reality Check youth from Homer Junior High School, Norwich High School and Bainbridge High School just returned from the state Capitol in Albany where they meet with state lawmakers representing our region. They talked with Assemblyman Finch, Assemblywoman Lifton, Assemblyman Crouch, Senator Akshar and Senator Seward about the success of their local tobacco control program at helping lower the statewide smoking rate and also about the unmet needs in tobacco control efforts, particularly among highest need communities.

Local Youth Attend Regional Reality Check Training To Act Against Big

Over 30 Reality Check Youth Leaders and tobacco control staff from across 15 counties gathered at Orenda Springs Experiential Learning Center in Marcellus, NY to meet, bond, organize and act against Big Tobacco! Reality Check held a day long training for new and current Reality Check youth members. Youth had the opportunity to learn and work on team building activities, which included low and high ropes courses. The staff at Orenda encouraged youth to foster a deeper understanding of self, others, and nature – focusing on skills like leadership, communication, passion, trust and many more.

Senator Valesky meets with 150 NYS teens for #SeenEnoughTobacco rally in Cazenovia, applauds work to stop targeted tobacco marketing

 Last week in Cazenovia, members of the Reality Check Program of Cortland, Tompkins & Chenango Counties joined 150 Reality Check teens representing every region of New York State to rally against what they say is deceitful marketing by the tobacco industry that kids find appealing. Protesting that they have #SeenEnoughTobacco, youth speakers cited 13 as the average age of a new smoker in the state, calling attention to the problem of tobacco marketing in stores where kids can see it. They demanded support in holding the tobacco industry accountable for its marketing and promotional activities that have been shown to cause young people to start and continue smoking.

Ithaca Housing Authority Goes Smoke-Free

Taking a major step for the health, safety, and comfort of tenants and staff, all Ithaca Housing Authority (IHA) properties became smoke free as of May 1, 2018. The new IHA policy prohibits smoking or vaping by tenants, guests, or staff in any apartment, common area, or IHA outdoor areas. The policy includes Northside, Southview, and Overlook Terrace family sites as well as Titus Towers I and II.

Tobacco Free Zone and Reality Check Youth Leaders Educated State Lawmakers About Tobacco Control Programs and Unmet Needs Among Specific Communities

Tobacco Control Partners and youth supporters were at the Capitol February 6, 2018 focusing not only on their successes, but on the unmet needs in tobacco control efforts around the state, particularly among highest need communities.

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Cortland County

Jennifer Hamilton

Community Engagement Coordinator


Melissa Potter

Reality Check Coordinator


Tompkins County

Ted Schiele

Tompkins County Coordinator


Chenango County

Rose Walsh

Chenango County Coordinator


Cortland County Health Department

60 Central Ave.

Cortland, NY 13045