“There’s no way to get away from second-hand smoke when living in an apartment building. It just circulates,” said Rightmyer, explaining although the state Department of Housing and Urban Development recommend smoke-free buildings, landlords and housing officials are having a hard time implementing the proposed policy.
To help tobacco users, the group partners with the New York State Smokers Quit Line which offers two weeks of nicotine patches for free to those who qualify. It is funded through the state Tobacco Control Program. The Capital District Tobacco Free Coalition also partners with local Reality Check clubs to provide information to students in Capital District schools, gives speeches to PTA groups, and works with local Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.) chapters.
And recently, the coalition has started focusing its efforts toward tobacco-free outdoors initiatives. The plan calls for making property used by the public and owned by local municipalities smoke free. Some local communities like Bethlehem, Glenville and Rotterdam already have such a policy, and City of Albany will have a public hearing on the matter in the near future, according to Rightmyer.
“We think having good tobacco-free policies will encourage people to quit,” she said.
To learn more visit www.smokefreecapital.org.