In celebration and recognition of National Public Health Week, the Otsego County Department of Health organized and held a Living Healthier Expo on April 5 and 6, 2019 at the Foothills Performing Arts Center in Oneonta. Advancing Tobacco Free Communities in Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties (ATFC-DOS) had a staffed booth at the two-day event and collaborated with the Otsego County Department of Health to designate the expo as a tobacco-free event.

Secondhand smoke exposure is detrimental to one’s health and even a minimal exposure and/or in ventilated areas negatively affects children, adults and pets. A tobacco-free event promotes healthy lifestyles and makes the experience healthier for everyone who participates.

The Living Healthier Expo focused on educating local residents of all ages about how they could live healthier, live better and live longer. The Leatherstocking Region has a wealth of resources and agencies that all share the common goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle and healthy choices.

While at the expo, Deyanira Cisneros, Community Engagement Coordinator and Bonnie Peck, Reality Check/Youth Engagement Coordinator with ATFC-DOS had the opportunity to educate visitors about the problems that tobacco addiction causes in local communities and some options to address these problems.

ATFC-DOS works to create healthy communities where many live, learn, work and play. While the current smoking rate among adults in New York State is 14.2%, 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.