Each year 25,000 adults in New York State die from smoking and 389,000 kids now under 18 and alive in New York will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.
New York spends $8.17 billion caring for people made sick from smoking. NY residents’ state and federal tax burden from smoking-caused healthcare expenditures is $883 per household.
In 2013, New York State received more than $2 billion in tobacco revenues but spent only $39.3 million on tobacco prevention.
While New York State’s overall smoking rate has dropped much faster than the national average, some population groups are benefiting less from this progress. Limited funding prevents reaching the most vulnerable populations with the highest rates of smoking. Increasingly, the burden of tobacco taxes falls most heavily on the poor, less educated and those with mental health challenges.
Accomplishments Across New York State
Adult smoking has declined faster in New York (−29%) than in the United States (−9%) from 2003 to 2010.
Smoking declined by 70% among middle school students and 54% among high school students from 2000 to 2010. These declines outpaced national declines.
Last year, over 150,000 people received help from the New York State Smokers’ Quitline.
In 2003, the expanded NYS Clean Indoor Air Act was enacted and is one of the most stringent clean indoor air laws in the nation.
Over 460 municipalities in New York State have passed regulations restricting tobacco use in outdoor recreational areas.
What’s Next For NY Tobacco Control?
Tobacco control programs play a crucial role in the prevention of many chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illness. Comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation programs like the one in NYS prevent kids from starting to smoke, helps adult smokers quit, and serve as a counter to the ever-present negative influence of the tobacco industry.
There are still 2.4 million smokers in NY that need help – we must continue to invest our dollars wisely by supporting tobacco control in NYS. With additional resources, we could increase community level interventions, implement strategies to address disparities in smoking rates, and target anti-smoking media messages where the need is greatest – those with low incomes, limited education and mental illness.
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