A new report released today by a coalition of public health organizations, including the AHA, ranks New York State 20th in the country in funding programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit.
The report explains that New York State is spending $39.3 million this year on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, which is just 19.4 percent of the $203 million recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For every $1 that New York spends on tobacco prevention programs, tobacco companies are spending $6 to promote it.
The report, titled “Broken Promises to Our Children: A State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 17 Years Later”, also indicates that 7.3 percent of high school students smoke, and 10,600 kids become regular smokers each year in New York State. This equates to 28,200 lives lost and $10.4 billion spent on health care costs in the state annually.
While preventing and reducing tobacco use is a cornerstone of public health, this report proves that not enough is being done in New York to address the impact of tobacco use on health. New York has continuously lead others in the pursuit of quality tobacco control, however, our work is far from over. We need to continue advocating for sustainable funding for state tobacco prevention and cessation programs that meet or exceed CDC recommendations as well as providing tobacco control programs that are comprehensive, staffed appropriately, and administered effectively.