Buffalo News (Letter to the Editor): Let's do what it takes to reduce smoking rate

(March 9, 2010)

Published: March 09, 2010, 12:30 am

The American Lung Association in New York supports Gov. David Paterson's newly proposed regulation that would finally result in taxes being collected on cigarettes sold to non-Indians at the state's Native American reservations.

This regulation would result in prices on cigarettes sold at the reservations being more in line with what is being charged for the same product throughout the rest of the state. Since higher cigarette prices directly lead to fewer smokers, it follows that this regulation would have a positive effect on public health. What's more, raising the price of cigarettes is the most effective method to prevent kids from starting to smoke.

The American Lung Association applauds Paterson for his efforts to collect this tax and hopes to see this regulation implemented quickly. In the meantime, we urge the State Legislature to enact the governor's proposal to restore funds to the state's Tobacco Control Program and to increase the state excise tax on cigarettes by $1.

When 25,000 New Yorkers are dying every year from tobacco-related diseases, we need to do everything we can to reduce the smoking rate.

Scott T. Santarella
President and CEO, American Lung Association in New York