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Niskayuna honored for healthy ways

The Town of Niskayuna has been taking great measures to turn itself into a healthier community. Officials have made it more pedestrian-friendly over the past year by promoting safe walking, hiking and biking routes, and the town has been working hard to establish itself as an environment free of tobacco promotion.

On Wednesday, March 25, those efforts were recognized, and the town was given the first Community Tobacco-Free Champion Award.

Schenectady County Reality Check is grateful for the continued support from the Town of Niskayuna on its smoke-free initiatives. They are a leader not only by protecting their youth, but all residents, from the harmful impact of 'Big Tobacco,' said Carrie Claypool, program coordinator for Reality Check of Schenectady County.

"From supporting the local restriction of tobacco use in parks, to reducing, rearranging or eliminating tobacco advertising at the point of purchase, the Town of Niskayuna has been Reality Check's strongest ally," said Claypool.

The award was given by the Capital District Tobacco-Free Coalition, Reality Check Youth Action, the Tobacco-Free Healthy Schools Program and the Center for Smoking Cessation at Seton Health, all grant-funded programs from the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Use Prevention and Control.

"This is a local initiative that has the potential to impact all youth across the globe," said Claypool.

Jeanie Orr, a Niskayuna resident and project coordinator for the Capital District Tobacco-Free Coalition, said she is proud of the work the town has done.

"The town has taken action to decrease the influence of tobacco advertising and promotion in the community and did not shy away from being the first in the area to adopt a tobacco-free policy for all of its parks," said Orr.

"Already, we have experienced the ripple effect with the Village of Scotia, the Town of Rotterdam and the Village of Voorheesville passing similar resolutions to adopt tobacco-free policies for their parks and playgrounds Personally, I'm very proud to be a Niskayuna resident," said Orr.

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