MidHudsonNews.com (Letter to the editor): State budget and tobacco

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One of the casualties of the latest state budget is the state’s Tobacco Control Program (TCP).  The program sustained a dramatic cut for the 2nd consecutive year, and has been cut by more than 50% since 2007.  The TCP saves New Yorkers’ lives and saves the state money.  One of its key components is its efforts to help those who are trying to quit smoking.  It costs $30 to treat a smoker through the NYS Smokers’ Quitline vs. $46,000 to treat lung cancer (on average).  For every dollar that New York spends on providing tobacco cessation treatments, the state earns an average return on investment of $1.34 in healthcare cost savings and increased productivity.  When we are talking about millions of dollars, this is a substantial and positive return.

Helping adults quit smoking and protecting adolescents from becoming smokers, isn’t just good for the budget, it improves health and saves lives.

Susan E. Lennon
American Lung Association in NY
(April 11)