Poughkeepsie Journal (Lettter to the editor): States must do more to fight smoking

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As reported in the Poughkeepsie Journal, New York state has received flunking marks from the American Lung Association on its budget for tobacco prevention and cessation programs ("New York outshines other states for smoking law, taxes but not prevention," Jan. 24), with equally dismal figures for anti-smoking ads and efforts to combat smoking by minors ("Cuts drop state to 18th in fight against tobacco," Nov. 27).

Audrey Silk of the New York City Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment was quoted in the November article as saying that residents of New York state "would prefer to see money spent on what affects them at this moment, not what might happen to someone 50 years from now."

What's affecting us at this moment is that more than 400,000 people in our country are dying from smoke-related illnesses every year and, yes, I am very interested in having money spent on doing something about that. The tobacco industry's attempt to attract new and younger smokers is nothing short of criminal.

Jean Menuez
Poughkeepsie