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At the Brick House Bakery Have Your Cake and Clean Air Too

The Brick House Bakery in the Village of Cobleskill has taken the lead among local businesses to promote the community’s health and welfare by recently adopting a tobacco-free outdoors policy. Effective September 1, 2017, The Bakery will prohibit employees, patrons and community members from using any tobacco products on its property, grounds and parking lots. Tobacco products are defined as any manufactured product containing tobacco or nicotine including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, bidis, snus, dissolvable tobacco products and electronic nicotine devices (ENDS) like electronic cigarettes.

The Brick House Bakery is a family business and the Zabas are committed to providing a homey and healthy environment to customers in the downtown Cobleskill area. Mr. Vincent Zaba recently added an outdoor eating area in front of The Bakery at the request of local patrons. According to Mr. Zaba, “The Bakery should be a place where people can relax, eat a pastry, enjoy a cup of coffee and breathe clean air. Youth and adults should not be exposed to secondhand smoke or aerosol or tobacco litter on our grounds and parking lots.”

By having his business tobacco-free, he also hopes to eliminate the environmental cues for youth and adults to use tobacco products. “As a former smoker, I know that tobacco use is an addiction and the use of tobacco products around others has a negative effect on lifestyle choices,” Mr. Zaba said. “When smokers trying to quit see tobacco use, it triggers cravings. In fact, the use of tobacco products on our property affects everyone who works and spends time at The Bakery. I want our business to be a healthy and safe place for youth, adults and families to enjoy,” Mr. Zaba added.

Advancing Tobacco Free Communities – Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties (ATFC-DOS) staff provided Mr. Zaba with technical assistance and signage. The New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control funds ATFC-DOS through a grant to the Research Foundation of SUNY at SUNY Cobleskill. ATFC-DOS educates the community and decision makers, mobilizes community members around the problems that tobacco addiction causes in local communities, and helps decision makers understand the types of choices that they have to address these problems.

ATFC-DOS focuses on initiatives that support the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) goals for tobacco control programs that aim to reduce tobacco-related deaths and alleviate the social and economic burden caused by tobacco use. Each year 28, 2000 individuals in New York State die from smoking-related diseases. While the current smoking rate among adults in New York State is 15.6%, the smoking rates in the Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie region are 22.9% for Delaware County, 26.3% for Otsego County and 19.3% for Schoharie County. The average age of a new smoker is 13 years old.