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Advocates gather to invest in public health

GLENS FALLS More than 150 public health and animal advocates, youth anti-tobacco advocates, school administrators, leaders of community organizations, and elected officials gathered on Thursday, Nov. 29th for the Southern Adirondack Tobacco Free Coalitions 4th annual Community Recognition Ceremony. The event was held at the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls. Several local groups were among the 35 businesses, organizations and schools from Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties honored at the event for their efforts to promote community health and reduce the harm caused by tobacco use. The award recipients included 24 organizations and businesses that signed commitments to refuse funding from tobacco companies. Tobacco companies attempt to portray themselves as good corporate neighbors by providing funding for non-profit organizations and sponsoring family events. However, the money they donate comes from selling a product that kills more than 400,000 Americans each year including people in this region. Wiawaka Holiday House, Warren County Head Start, World Awareness Children's Museum, Tri-County United Way and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Southern Adirondacks were among those honored. The PTSA of Warrensburg Central School was recognized for signing resolutions against tobacco advertising in both magazines and its prominence in movies. In recent years, the tobacco industry has stepped up its depiction of smoking in movies, which makes smoking attractive to youth. The Crossroads Country Store in Chestertown was honored as the first retail store in the area to take steps to reduce the extensive amount of tobacco advertisements viewed by children, by rearranging their tobacco products at their store and eliminating tobacco advertising. For more information about the Coalition visit TobaccoFreeAdirondacks.org .

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