Tobacco Action Coalition of the Finger Lakes meets with officials

Mar 08, 2023 at 10:57 pm by Observer-Review

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Tobacco Action Coalition of the Finger Lakes meets with officials

FINGER LAKES--Leaders of Tobacco Action Coalition of the Finger Lakes (TACFL), a partner in the New York State Tobacco Control Program (NYS TCP), recently met with Senator Helming and Members of the Assembly Gallahan, Manketlow, and Palmesano to discuss efforts to reduce New Yorkers' tobacco use and smoking-related deaths and disease. They shared details of tobacco control progress and areas of continued need since over 28,200 adult New Yorkers still die every year from smoking. They also stressed that funding for the state's Tobacco Control Program is just 1.6 percent of the state's annual tobacco revenue.
The NYS TCP continues to make progress in reducing smoking. The average adult smoking rate in New York state is now 12 percent, or 1.7 million adult New Yorkers smoke, down from more than 23 percent in 2001, and the youth smoking rate is down to 2.4 percent from 27.1 percent in 2000. However, in addition to the over 28,200 adult New Yorkers who still die every year from smoking, another 750,000 suffer with smoking-related illness. Despite the statewide reduced cigarette smoking rate, vaping, or e-cigarette use is still dangerously high. Nearly one in four high-school-age youth in New York state vape/use e-cigarettes, the most used tobacco product among youth. Tragically, 280,000 New York youth currently under the age of 18 will die prematurely from smoking.
Flavored products, including menthol cigarettes, pose a significant risk:
For decades, the tobacco industry has used menthol and other sweet, fruity and candy flavors in tobacco products to make them taste better and less harsh on the throat, making them more appealing to youth. Tobacco companies also have heavily marketed menthol cigarettes that make it easier to start smoking and harder to quit.
"The average age of a new smoker in New York is just 13 years old," said Shana Carter TACFL Program Director. "We know that flavored tobacco products attract and addict youth, in fact more than 80 percent of youth will who have used tobacco report that they began with a flavored product."
New York state passed several landmark tobacco control laws in 2020, ending the sale of flavored vape products - including menthol vapes - and the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies statewide; prohibiting tobacco coupons and other discounts; and restricting the exterior display of tobacco product ads near schools. Over the past five years, tobacco control partners have assisted public, affordable and market-rate multi-unit property owners transition over 44,000 multi-unit housing units to be free of tobacco smoke for the health and safety of their residents. Also, during that time, Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York assisted 163 medical health care organizations and 152 mental health care organizations in implementing processes that ensure every patient is screened and treated for tobacco dependence during their appointment.
Throughout New York state, smoking rates remain high among:
• adults who report frequent mental distress at 19.7 percent,
• adults with less than a high school education, at 19 percent,
• adults with an annual household income of less than $25,000, at 20 percent,
• adults enrolled in Medicaid, at 22.9 percent, and
• adults living with a disability, at 17.4 percent.
To combat the deadly impact of smoking, the CDC recommends a $203 million annual investment in New York state's Tobacco Control Program. The state's investment is $39 million, just 1.6 percent of the state's annual tobacco revenue of $2.36 billion. Further, New York state residents' annual state and federal tax burden from smoking-caused government expenditures is $1,528 per household.
New York state's tobacco revenue is a combination of the annual Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) payment of $737.7 million and collection of tobacco excise taxes of $1.63 billion. Under the 1998 MSA, tobacco manufacturers are obligated to pay billions of dollars annually to 46 states, five U.S. territories and the District of Columbia in perpetuity as compensation for taxpayer money that had been spent on tobacco-related diseases and loss to local economies.
The New York state Smokers' Quitline is a confidential service for all New York state residents who wish to overcome tobacco use, including e-cigarettes. Free offerings include individualized coaching and assistance with quit-planning from highly trained tobacco treatment specialists, text and online chat support and free shipping of stop-smoking medications such as nicotine patches, nicotine lozenges or nicotine gum for those 18 and older. Residents of all ages may contact the Quitline for support and educational materials. In addition, the Quitline encourages teens and young adults (ages 13-24) to text "DROPTHEVAPE" to 88709 to join "This Is Quitting," a free texting support program for help with quitting vaping. Visit anytime for more information or call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) seven days a week, beginning at 9 a.m.






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