AAFE staff training young people for a smoke-free city.

Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) is proud to be part of the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City,  a health advocacy group that works to increase awareness of tobacco control issues among community members and policy makers.  Partnering with the community, legislators, and health advocates, the Coalition supports neighborhood-based efforts for effective and long term change throughout NYC.

The NYC Department of Health reports that 10.8% of Asian New Yorkers smoke. However community studies have shown that smoking rates are much higher for some Asian ethnic groups in the city. Smoking contributes to health dangers for Asian Americans, including higher incidence of lung cancer, high mortality from lung cancer and elevated risk for cardiovascular disease (e.g. hypertension, stroke).

The impact of New York City’s smoking cessation programs has been limited in Asian American communities. Asian American adults and youth continue to smoke, on average, more than 10 cigarettes per day, considerably higher than many other groups.  Fewer Asian smokers use “stop-smoking” therapies, such as nicotine replacement treatments, than any other racial or ethnic group.

“AAFE is committed to working with the NYC Coalition for a Smoke-Free City to educate our community about the impact of smoking,” said Douglas Nam Le, Director of Community Building & Organizing. “We are committed to advancing evidenced-based policies and programs that promote a smoke-free city because every New York City resident has the right to breathe clean, smoke-free air where they live, work, play, and worship.”

During the next few months, AAFE will be educating the community to:

  1. Increase the voluntary adoption of smoke-free housing rules.  Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic and cause cancer.  Secondhand smoke in multi-unit dwellings cannot be contained.
  2. Reduce exposure to tobacco advertising/promotion in the retail setting.  Research shows that 90 percent of all adult smokers begin before age 18.  Retail stores are one of the last places in New York City where the tobacco industry can target young people.

If you are interested in getting involved with this program, contact Douglas Nam Le at douglas_le@www.aafe.org.