WSYR TV Channel 9: American Lung Association: Smoking costs NYS $20 billion per year

(September 19, 2010)

Syracuse (WSYR-TV) Helping Smokers to kick their habit could help save millions of dollars in New York.

The American Lung Association has released a study that shows smoking costs the state $20 billion every year when you factor in medical expenses, lost worker productivity and premature death.

The study also found that the state would get back 34 cents for every dollar spent on cessation problems to help smokers quit, on top of a projected savings of $52 million.

Cynthia Cary of Health Link Smoking Cessation, agrees that classes are often an important part of quitting. 
"Oftentimes a class is something they haven't tried before so they find that's the one piece that may have been missing in other things,” she said.

According to Chris Owens, Cessation Coordinator for Saint Joseph’s, smoking lowers worker productivity because employees lose more days at work because of sickness, and may take frequent smoke breaks.

In New York, it takes the average smoker seven attempts to actually quit, but according to the American Lung Association, once they do, the state could save big bucks.