Fall 2019 Workshop 

The New York State Public Health Association and New York State Association of County Health Officials held a 2019 fall workshop: Public Health Impact: Cannabis, E-Cigarettes & Vaping” in Westchester County on October 17, 2019.

The program addressed implications for public health, cannabis policy and health equity resulting from a legalized program. As New York State considers the passage of policy to establish an adult-use cannabis program, it is imperative that public health stakeholders unite to prepare for potential implications and learn about policy, regulatory and governance aspects related to legalization.

Leading from the cannabis discussion was the latest on e-cigarettes and vaping in New York State. With the recent enactment of a ban on favored electronic and tobacco products and the upcoming implementation of Tobacco 21 in New York State, e-cigarettes and vaping are a hot topic! Dr. Barbara Wallace from the NYS Department of Health, local county health officials and statewide advocates shared the latest information, the impact on communities and enforcement.


The event was recorded via Zoom and available for attendees to view afterwards. Attendees must login to the website and return to this page for access. Click HERE to access the recordings.

View slides from the event here:
Dr. Wallace's slides 

Kim Kessler's slides 

Mike Seilback's slides

Gillian Schauer's slides

Featured Speakers

Gillian L. Schauer, PhD, MPH

Public Health Consultant, Gillian Schauer Consulting 

Dr. Gillian Schauer is a Senior Consultant on cannabis policy, surveillance, public education, and research, and has consulted with a number of federal, state, and local agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). In 2013, she founded the Multi-State Collaborative for Public Health and Cannabis, which convenes public health officials from all states with legal non-medical cannabis use policies in place to foster learning and provide cross state technical assistance. Dr. Schauer also works directly with a number of state cannabis regulators. 

In addition to her cannabis work, Dr. Schauer has spent 15 years working in tobacco prevention and control, and served as a senior editor and author on a forthcoming Surgeon General's Report on tobacco cessation. Prior to her federal and state work, she was the manager of the Health Systems Training and Outreach Division at Free & Clear, a tobacco cessation and healthy behaviors company (now part of Optum, a UnitedHealth Group company).

Dr. Schauer is a clinical instructor in the University of Washington Department of Health Services and co-instructor in the Tobacco Studies Program. Her research focuses on marijuana policy, co-use of marijuana and tobacco, tobacco cessation, and health systems transformation. She has more than 50 peer-reviewed publications on these topics. She holds a PhD, from Emory University in behavioral sciences and health education, and a Master of Public Health from the University of Washington.

R. Lorraine Collins, PhD

Associate Dean for Research, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Dr. Collins is the Associate Dean for Research and a Professor of Community Health and Health Behavior at the University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions.  In June 2016, Dr. Collins was appointed to a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s ad hoc committee that reviewed the health effects of cannabis. In 2017, the committee published a consensus report entitled, The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research Agenda, which continues to serve as a definitive overview of cannabis and health.  In August 2018, Dr. Collins was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as one of 20 members of a workgroup to draft legislation for a regulated adult-use marijuana program in New York State.  Dr. Collins received her BA in Psychology from McGill University, and MS and PhD degrees in Psychology from Rutgers University. 

Barbara Wallace, MD, MPH

Director, Division of Chronic Disease Prevention, New York State Department of Health

Dr. Wallace is the Director of the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention at the New York State Department of Health.  The Division implements public health strategies to reduce the burden of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and asthma, and their associated risk factors, including tobacco use, poor nutrition, and lack of physical activity.  Dr. Wallace joined the Department in 1997, and has also worked in the areas of immunization and communicable disease control.  Dr. Wallace is board certified in preventive medicine.

Panel Presenters

Elizabeth Whalen MD, MPH

Commissioner of Health, Albany County Department Of Health 

Dr. Whalen is a Public Health Physician/ Internist/ Healthcare Management Executive with expertise and experience in clinical medicine, public health program and policy development and management, and managed care executive clinical operations. 

Kim Kessler, J.D.

Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Tobacco Control, Depart of Health and Mental Hygiene

Kim Kessler is the Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Tobacco Control at DOHMH and Co-Chair of the Awareness Work Group. At DOHMH, she leads an interdisciplinary team focused on promoting healthy behaviors and shaping the local environment to facilitate healthy and active living for all New Yorkers. Prior to joining the Department of Health, Kim helped to launch the Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law. Before that, Kim served as the Food Policy Coordinator for the City of New York, an appointed position in the Mayor’s Office, where she coordinated and oversaw municipal food policies and initiatives related to improved retail access to nutritious foods, urban agriculture, healthy food procurement, and combating obesity. Kim is a graduate of Brown University and New York University School of Law.

Michael Seilback

National Assistant Vice President, American Lung Association 

Michael Seilback is a Senior nonprofit government relations, advocacy, & media relations professional with a focus on public health through environmental health and tobacco control.


 Registration: 8:30am - 9:00am

 Presentation by Gillian Schauer & Dr. Lorraine Collins: 9:00am - 12:00pm

 Part 1: Cannabis 101Policy overview, terminology, history, plant taxonomy, Epidemiology, Health Effects (risks and benefits)

 Part 2: Cannabis policy and implications for public health 

Specific details on cannabis policies in the US and abroad (Decriminalization, CBD/low-THC policies, Medical policies, Non-Medical policies), recent farm bill passage and hemp legalization, implications and challenges for public health, overlaps and differences from other substances (e.g., alcohol, tobacco, opioids), what you (public health professionals) should do now/next.

 Part 3: Q&A from the audience

 Adventures in Policy Making: New York State’s Regulation of Adult’s Use of Cannabis

 Dr. Collins will provide an overview of cannabis use, New York State’s Medical Marijuana program and ongoing efforts to regulate adult’s use of cannabis.  Her presentation will include suggestions as to next steps in public health and public safety.

Lunch (included): 12:45pm - 1:05pm

Cannabis and Tobacco Overlap - Dr. Gillian Schauer: 1:05pm-1:45pm

Presentation by Dr. Barbara Wallace: 1:50pm - 2:45pm

Addressing the E-Cigarette Epidemic in New York State

Panel Presentation Featuring Dr. Elizabeth Whalen: 2:45pm - 3:45pm

Local health officials & advocates discussion on enforcement and the impact of e-cigarettes on communities; 

Michael Seilback: NYS response and projections for control of electronic devices; 

Kim Kessler: New York City's approach to tobacco control  

Location- Hilton Westchester


Continuing Education Credits

5.5 hours of continuing education credits for CHES and CPH are included with the registration fee. You must have signed in on the registration sheet on-site to receive the credits.


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