Niskayuna asks merchants to limit smoking ads

The Capital District Tobacco-Free Coalition is also working with Reality Check, which is a state-based organization that was created by teens to expose the tobacco industry and the tactics they use to get teens to smoke.

They've been going into schools to help them come up with more comprehensive smoking policies. According to Orr, while schools don't allow tobacco use on grounds, many of them don't "really have a comprehensive plan to deal with all of that," said Orr.

At Hillside School in Niskayuna, for example, the Tobacco-Free Coalition and Reality Check met with the PTO and had them sign a resolution saying that they would take all tobacco ads out of periodicals that go into school libraries.

Orr said they've also gotten many sports organizations within the schools to sign agreements saying that they won't accept funds or goods from tobacco companies.

According to information provided by the Capital District Smoke-Free Coalition, 50.4 percent of Schenectady County adults think tobacco advertising in stores should not be allowed on the outside of the store building, and more than 70 percent think tobacco advertising should not be allowed on the outside of any stores or gas stations within 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds or daycare facilities.

"Number one, I'm a non-smoker and I'm thrilled that we have all these regulations, and number two, I was proud to see young people taking a stand," said Niskayuna Town Board Member Liz Orzel Kasper of the response to the resolution.

McDonnell, who is also head of Parks and Recreation, said she is pleased with the work that has been done in the community to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking.

"We've worked with Jeanie Orr upon a number of initiatives," said McDonnell.

She discussed the resolution they passed banning smoking in parks.

"We're really proud of that because it's a place where kids recreate. It's not a place where people should be smoking," said McDonnell.""

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