New York will get an “F” in tobacco prevention
ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – The American Lung Association evaluates each state on its efforts to finance and prevent tobacco use. In its 19th annual State of Tobacco Control report, New York State received a failed grade.
“In New York State, our high school tobacco use rate is still 19.3%. The state took an important step over the past year to remove flavored e-cigarettes from shelves. But without menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, it will not be enough to end the rise in teen tobacco use, ”said Michael Seilback of the American Lung Association. “Children follow the flavors and ending sales of all flavored tobacco products in New York is key to ending the e-cigarette epidemic among teenagers and to ending tobacco use among teenagers in general.”
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Not only did the report fail in terms of prevention and funding, it also gave the state a “D” rating in a new category, flavored tobacco. The state also received an “A” for smoke-free air and two “B” for demolition services and tobacco taxes:
- Funding of government tobacco prevention programs: F.
- Strength of Smoke Free Labor Laws: A.
- State tobacco tax amount: B.
- Coverage and access to smoking cessation services: B.
- Termination of sales of all flavored tobacco products: D.
The Lung Association wants lawmakers to pass meaningful guidelines, such as banning the sale of all flavored tobacco products and increasing taxes on cigarettes. They say such restrictions would help end tobacco use and vaping among teenagers and save lives amid the ongoing pandemic.
“Although New York receives $ 1.9 billion in tobacco bill and tobacco tax payments, it is funding tobacco control efforts only 21% of the CDC recommended level. The Lung Association believes that the funds should be used to support the health of our communities, prevent tobacco use, and help smokers quit smoking and not switch to e-cigarettes. These programs are also vital to address the health inequalities associated with tobacco, ”said Seilback.
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They believe tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the nation, killing nearly half a million people annually. An indirect by-product of smoking is a decreased immune response, which can increase the risk of COVID infection or even worsen its effects.
“Menthol cigarettes remain a key vector of tobacco-related death and disease in black communities. Nearly 85% of black Americans smoke with them,” explains the American Lung Association.
They frame nicotine and tobacco controls as a social and health equity issue. Similar to COVID-19, tobacco consumption and second-hand smoke exposure have a disproportionately high impact on color communities, LGTBQ + and households with lower incomes.