New York Ranks 21st in Preventing Kids from Smoking Tobacco (12/10/12)

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New York State ranks 21st in preventing kids from smoking tobacco according to a joint study released by several public health organizations.

The Annual Report entitled, Broken Promises to Our Children: The 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 14 Years Later," indicated that New York spends only $41.4 million on tobacco prevention and cessation programs. This amount is on 16.3% of $254.3 million dollars recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other findings include:

  • New York this year will collect $2.3 billion in revenue from the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, but will spend just 1.8 percent of it on tobacco prevention programs. This means New York is spending less than 2 cents of every dollar in tobacco revenue to fight tobacco use.
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  • New York's funding for tobacco prevention is the same as last year, but it represents a cut of 52 percent from $85.5 million spent in 2008.
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  • The tobacco companies spend $196 million a year to market their products in New York. This is 5 times what the state spends on tobacco prevention.

New York State has been a national leader the fight against tobacco with the highest state cigarette tax ($4.35 per pack), a comprehensive smoke-free law and an effective, well-funded tobacco prevention program. New York reduced high school smoking by 61 percent between 1999 and 2011 (from 31.8 percent to 12.5 percent who smoke).

However, the recent cuts to New York's tobacco prevention and cessation programs have put the state's progress at risk. In New York, 12.5 percent of high school students smoke, and 22,500 more kids become regular smokers each year. Tobacco annually claims 25,400 lives and costs the state $8.2 billion in health care bills.

The report finds that most states are failing to adequately fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs and warns that states are missing a golden opportunity to reduce tobacco-related health care costs, which total $96 billion a year in the U.S.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 400,000 people each year. Nationally, 19 percent of adults and 18.1 percent of high school students smoke.

Source: Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Yahoo News