The New York State Tobacco Control Program (NY TCP) seeks to:

  • promote cessation of tobacco use,
  • reduce the social acceptability of tobacco use,
  • prevent initiation of tobacco use,
  • address disproportionately high rates of tobacco use by specific population groups, and
  • eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.

The NY TCP uses a multi-pronged strategic approach to reduce tobacco use in the population and seeks to impact the population as a whole through:

  • Statewide and community action to change the community environment to support the tobacco-free norm, change community attitudes about tobacco, and de-normalize tobacco use. A key outcome of the NY TCP’s community mobilization strategy is the adoption and effective implementation of local and statewide policies that permanently change society’s acceptance of tobacco use.
  • Health communication to increase awareness of the dangers of tobacco use and secondhand smoke and motivate tobacco users to stop; to expose tobacco industry propaganda and de-glamorize tobacco use; and educate community members and decision makers about tobacco control. A key outcome of the NY TCP’s health communication strategy is better educated community members and decision makers who will support effective tobacco control policies and take personal action toward a tobacco-free New York.
  • Cessation interventions to establish and maintain community, governmental and health care delivery systems that promote cessation, increase access to and delivery of evidence-based cessation services, and motivate individual tobacco users to quit successfully. Key outcomes of the NY TCP’s cessation interventions are provision of guideline concordant tobacco dependence treatment by the health care sector and adoption of policies that motivate smokers and other tobacco users to quit.

The NY TCP is supported by surveillance and evaluation activities to monitor program progress and impact, and by program administration to build and maintain an effective tobacco control infrastructure, provide technical assistance and guidance, and manage the effective and efficient investment of state tobacco control funding. The NY TCP strives to contribute to the science of tobacco control through surveillance and evaluation of program initiatives and dissemination of program findings.

The NY TCP is implemented through statewide and community programs directed and managed by staff at the NYSDOH. The NY TCP’s strategic plan constitutes the Program’s road map and is developed, updated and revised with input from national, state, and local partners. As a state program established in statute and as a member of the National Tobacco Control Program, the NY TCP receives and incorporates programmatic advice and guidance from the statutorily mandated Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program Advisory Board and from the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health.

The NY TCP is a recognized leader in the National Tobacco Control Program, with many of its interventions and management practices considered models for the nation. Contractors that receive funding from the NY TCP agree to advance the goals, objectives and strategies laid out in the NY TCP Strategic Plan and the guidance documents of the National Tobacco Control Program and agree to invest state funds efficiently to achieve the maximum prevention and reduction of tobacco use. The NY TCP is accountable for the wise investment of both state and federal dollars and must meet specified performance standards for each funder and in turn holds contractors accountable for meeting specific program goals and objectives.

NY TCP Community Action Areas

Community Partnerships for Tobacco Control
Advocacy in Action Programs
Youth Action Programs
Tobacco-Free School Policy Programs
Enforcement of tobacco control laws

All contractors working in the area of community action are expected to contribute to positive tobacco control policy implementation at the organizational, institutional, and municipal levels. Some NY TCP initiatives seek to effect state or national policy change and contractor activities supporting these state and national efforts will be required. Four foci of community action are:

  • Government and policymaker education to educate government officials and policymakers to increase the visibility of tobacco control successes, build support for tobacco control action, and increase knowledge about evidence-based tobacco control strategies.
  • Advocacy with organizational decision makers to advocate with organizations and institutions, including tobacco retailers, health care organizations, school boards, and parks and recreation officials to adopt policies and resolutions to prevent and reduce tobacco use and promote the tobacco-free norm.
  • Community education to build support among community members for tobacco control action, stimulate community demand for tobacco control policies, and demonstrate support for tobacco control initiatives.
  • Paid and earned media to advance tobacco control policies and practices by educating the community and key community members and keeping the tobacco problem on the public agenda.

Community Partnerships for Tobacco Control.

Community Partnerships work with local governments and decision makers, local businesses and employers (including tobacco retailers), community organizations, health care institutions and providers, and schools and community groups to address tobacco company advertising, sponsorship and promotion; implement effective tobacco-free policies in the outdoor environment; change public opinion about tobacco and tobacco use; and promote access to evidence-based cessation services. Community Partnerships engage local stakeholders and decision makers, educate community leaders and the public, and mobilize the community to strengthen tobacco-related policies to restrict the tobacco company presence in the community, reduce the use and availability of tobacco products in the community, and limit opportunities for exposure to secondhand smoke. Community Partnerships take a policy advocacy approach to creating communities that support and reinforce the tobacco-free norm and dismantling the community policies and practices that promote and support tobacco use.

Advocacy in Action College Programs.

College advocacy programs engage young adult leaders to work on and off college campuses to limit where and how tobacco products are promoted, advertised and sold, and to advance local and statewide policy action to prevent and reduce tobacco use. Like Community Partnerships, college advocacy programs take a policy advocacy approach to creating communities that support and reinforce the tobacco-free norm and dismantling the community policies and practices that promote and support tobacco use. Advocacy in Action programs focus efforts specifically on those aspects of the community and college environment that most influence tobacco use among young adults.

Youth Action Programs.

Youth Action Programs engage youth leaders to challenge and change community norms regarding tobacco use through civic action. These programs engage middle and high school aged youth in actions aimed at de-glamorizing and de-normalizing tobacco use in their communities and exposing the manipulative and deceptive marketing practices of the tobacco industry. Youth action programs use community education linked to social action, media advocacy, community events, and advocacy with decision makers to obtain pro-tobacco control policies and resolutions at the local, state and national levels.

Tobacco-free School Policy Programs.

These organizations provide resources and support to schools and school districts seeking to develop, implement, and enforce effective tobacco-free school policies. Schools play a key role in creating and supporting healthful attitudes and behaviors among students, their families and members of the community. By creating environments that support and promote tobacco-free values and behaviors, schools can be leaders in the fight for tobacco-free lifestyles for children and adults. Contractors funded to implement Tobacco-free School Policy Programs work to promote and facilitate the adoption and implementation of effective tobacco-free policies.

Enforcement of youth access restrictions.

Supported by the NYSDOH Center for Environmental Health, local activities to enforce the Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act and the Clean Indoor Air Act further change community attitudes about tobacco use as a normative behavior. Educating retailers, businesses and employers about tobacco laws and citing those who violate them put the whole community on notice that youth smoking is something to be prevented and adult smoking is not a normative part of social interaction. These activities can help focus community attention on the issue of youth access to tobacco and exposure to secondhand smoke and provide a call to action to community members. When enforcement reaches a high level of compliance, it may contribute to the prevention and reduction of youth and adult tobacco use.

Public Health Communication

Paid media
Public relations
Media advocacy

Public health communications focused on tobacco include paid placement of advertising on television, radio, print, Internet and other venues, with the goals of educating New Yorkers about the health risks of tobacco use and the dangers of secondhand smoke, motivating tobacco users to stop, and promoting use of the New York State Smokers’ Quitline; coverage and discussion of tobacco control issues and events in the news media; and strategic use of both paid and earned media to advocate for tobacco control policies and practices.

  • Paid media The NY TCP conducts several media campaigns each year focusing on increasing awareness of the dangers of secondhand smoke and increasing smoke-free homes and cars; motivating smokers to quit by graphically demonstrating the health consequences of smoking and educating smokers how to quit successfully; exposing the manipulative and deceptive marketing practices of the tobacco industry; demanding the removal of smoking and tobacco imagery from youth rated movies; and promoting use of the New York State Smokers’ Quitline. Campaigns include advertisements on television, radio, print, Internet, outdoor venues and other media.
  • Public relations strategies augment and enhance paid media messages, capture the attention of state and community leaders and decision makers, build support for tobacco control by effectively framing tobacco control issues and keep tobacco control at the top of state and community public health agendas.
  • Media advocacy is used to shape the public debate, encourage communities to rethink norms, and educate decision makers in an effort to build support for effective tobacco control action. These public health communication strategies are used at the state and local levels in support of tobacco control action by the NY TCP and community contractors. Community contracts that include a media component should coordinate all components of public health communication (paid media, public relations and media advocacy).

Cessation Interventions

Tobacco Cessation Centers
New York State Smokers Quitline
Safe Nicotine Distribution Program
Tobacco Dependence Treatment Training Program

The most effective interventions to support cessation are raising the price of tobacco products, banning smoking from the work place and public places, and running emotionally evocative paid media campaigns that make a compelling case for quitting.

In addition to these environmental interventions, the NY TCP

• Provides support to health care organizations and providers to establish the policies, practices and procedures to deliver effective tobacco dependence treatment through the work of 19 contracted Tobacco Cessation Centers;

• Offers telephonic and web-based information, resources, coaching and a “starter kit” of nicotine medication to help smokers quit through the New York State Smokers Quitline, operated under contract by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute;

• Maintains a nicotine medication distribution service, providing free overthe- counter nicotine products to smokers via the state Quitline, through local programs administered by local health departments and the cessation centers, and for patients and clients in substance abuse treatment programs; and

• Provides training to substance abuse treatment counselors and administrators on integrating tobacco dependence treatment and tobaccofree policies into substance abuse treatment settings. Training is offered by the Professional Development Program of the SUNY Research Foundation under contract with the NYS Department of Health. Finally, the NYS Department of Health administers the state’s Medicaid Program, which offers full coverage of prescription and over-the-counter cessation medication, including bupropion, varenicline, nicotine nasal spray and nicotine patches and gum. Advice, counseling and assistance with quitting are billable through the clinic evaluation and assessment visits.

NY TCP Organizational Structure

Program leadership
Modality management
Contract management
Regional collaboration

New York’s Tobacco Control Program is conceived and directed by the state Department of Health and implemented by NY TCP staff and contractors according to expectations established in statute, the NY TCP strategic plan, and oversight and accountability requirements. NY TCP leadership includes the program director and assistant director, and leaders of the community programs unit, the surveillance and evaluation unit, and the procurement and contract management unit.

The NYS Department of Health recognizes four regions within the state: the Metropolitan Region, Capital Region, Central Region and Western Region. The NY TCP convenes contractors regionally for one-day meetings two to three times each year to help keep contractors well informed of the tobacco control work being undertaken in their regions and across the state and to facilitate planning, collaboration and information sharing across modalities.

The NY TCP supports a full surveillance and evaluation team and a contract with an independent evaluator, as required by law. All NY TCP contractors are required to participate in or develop and implement program evaluation activities as directed by the Tobacco Surveillance, Evaluation and Research Team and to provide information as requested to the independent evaluation contractor. Program evaluation ensures that the NY TCP is investing resources wisely, is making progress toward specified goals, and is undertaking program improvements as necessary


Source: NYSDOH RFA #0802281157: Community Partnerships (released July 2008)