GLENS FALLS - On the eve of the recent annual Great American Smokeout, nearly 100 community leaders and educators gathered for the Southern Adirondack Tobacco-Free Partnership's community recognition ceremony, held at the Charles R. Wood Theater in Glens Falls.
Dozens of businesses, organizations, schools and municipalities from Warren, Saratoga and Washington counties were honored at the event for their efforts to promote community health and reduce the harm caused by tobacco use.
Rachel Iverson, of the New York State Tobacco Control Program said that by working together and concentrating on the key effective strategies, lives would be saved.
"By countering and undermining the tobacco companies' criminal tactics, there will be one million fewer smokers in New York in two years - living healthier, happier, richer lives because of your hard work."
The schools honored for their work with the Tobacco-Free Healthy Schools Program included the Warrensburg Central School District and Bolton Central School District. Warrensburg Superintendent Tim Lawson, High School Principal Doug Duell and Health Teacher Darlene Gordon were on hand to accept the award for the school community.
"It is rewarding for everyone in the community to focus on opportunities to protect kids from making unhealthy decisions regarding tobacco use," Duell said. "This program helps our district's students develop an awareness regarding the dangers of tobacco."
Staff in attendance to accept the award for Bolton Central School included Principal Damian Switzer and School Counselors Michelle Borgh and Denise Clark.
Principal Damian Switzer said the Tobacco-Free Healthy Schools Program has been useful.
"It provides valuable resources to our school community that promote healthy choices for everyone," he said
The Tobacco-Free Healthy Schools Program helps schools statewide to establish and enforce effective tobacco-free policies in compliance with federal and state laws. The program provides schools with technical assistance to develop, communicate and enforce comprehensive tobacco-free school policies. The program in Warren and Washington Counties is implemented by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County.