The Ithaca Journal: (Letter to the editor) Cycle of smoking needs to stop

(January 27, 2011)

January 27, 2011

The Tobacco Control report card released Jan. 20 by the American Lung Association and reported Jan. 21 in The Ithaca Journal recognized New York with an "A" for smoke-free air laws, including its "significant process on smoke-free outdoor ordinances at the local level." Ithaca should be proud to have led the way in this important step for public health.

New York's marks for smoking cessation services and smoking prevention funding were also notable, though this time for its failing grade. These resources are critical supports for the smoke-free air laws we have come to appreciate.

First, smokers who are motivated to quit by smoke-free air laws need easy access to cessation services. And second, we need aggressive measures to counter the billions spent by the tobacco industry on marketing that lures our youth to try smoking. Adolescent smokers are usually addicted to nicotine by age 20, so we must do all we can to help kids beat the tobacco trap.

Only by ending the cycle of new smokers will we be free to divert our resources from cessation support.

Ted Schiele