Judy Rightmyer, director of the Capital District Tobacco-Free Coalition, said that children and teens are especially vulnerable to tobacco advertising and promotion and that there are now numerous studies proving that tobacco advertising and promotion increase tobacco use among adolescents.
"The Town of Niskayuna recognizes that some changes can't be legislated, but they've been willing to take a stand and encourage changes in the community that will promote health," said Rightmyer in a written statement in relation to the town board's endorsement of the elimination of smoking in movies rated G, PG and PG-13.
According to Dr. Jeff Willett, director of the Tobacco Control Program for the New York State Department of Health, since 1997 the rate of smoking among New York high school students has decreased by 58 percent.
While the national smoking rate among high school students is leveling off, smoking among state high school students has continued to decline to 13.8 percent compared to the 20 percent national figure.
"Niskayuna's comprehensive approach to promoting tobacco-free living began with the passage of the Capital Region's most expansive smoke-free parks law in June 2008," said Town of Niskayuna Supervisor Joe Landry. "Our smoke-free parks law encourages a healthy lifestyle for our residents, especially our children. Our parks are designed for healthy activities such as walking, running, bicycling, or participating in sporting events, and they should be tobacco-free. As legislators we need to set the right example for our children today so that we can prevent a new generation of smokers tomorrow.""