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Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in New York. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association calls for the following actions to be taken by New York's elected officials:

  1. Preserve funding for the New York state tobacco control program;
  2. Prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products; and
  3. Eliminate loopholes on the sale of e-cigarettes.
New York has long been a national leader regarding its tobacco control laws and continued to do so in 2023. During the legislative session New York was very active when it came to tobacco control policy. Governor Hochul, in January of 2023, called for an increase in the excise taxes on tobacco products in New York, in addition to calling for an end to the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes.

During the budget process, while the New York State Legislature disappointingly did not halt the sale of flavored tobacco products, they did support an increase of the tax to a nation leading $5.35 per pack of cigarettes. There was also an over $7 million increase in tobacco control program funding included as part of the state budget, part of which came from the settlement by Attorney General Letitia James with Juul Labs that was finalized in 2023.

New data from New York’s Youth Tobacco Survey (NY YTS) show that after staggering increases in youth tobacco use between 2014 and 2018, primarily driven by electronic cigarettes, tobacco use among high school age youth has declined across all product categories from 30.6% to 20.8% between 2018 and 2022.

• Cigarette smoking among high school youth is at an all-time low: only 2.1% of high school youth are current smokers, representing an over 90% decline in the youth smoking rate since 2000.

• E-cigarette use among high school youth decreased in 2020, a first since New York has monitored use of these products, from 27.5% in 2018 to 22.5% in 2020.

• Other tobacco product use, including cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipe tobacco, and hookah, also decreased among high school youth, from 9.2% in 2018 to 6.1% in 2020.

The American Lung Association will continue to build upon its work in 2023 with a sustained push on preserving increased funding for the tobacco control program and on enacting a statewide prohibition on the sale of all flavored tobacco products in 2024. The removal of menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars and other flavored tobacco products is a social justice and health equity issue and must be addressed.

New York Facts
Healthcare Costs Due to Smoking: $10,389,849,268
Adult Smoking Rate: 11.30%
High School Smoking Rate: 2.10%
High School Tobacco Use Rate: 20.80%
Middle School Smoking Rate: N/A
Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 28,170
Adult smoking data comes from CDC's 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school smoking and tobacco use data come from the 2022 New York Youth Tobacco Survey. High school tobacco use includes cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and electronic vapor products, as well as hookah, making it incomparable to other states. A current middle school smoking rate is not available for this state.

Health impact information is taken from the Smoking Attributable Mortality, Morbidity and Economic Costs (SAMMEC) software. Smoking attributable deaths reflect average annual estimates for the period 2005-2009 and are calculated for persons aged 35 years and older. Smoking-attributable healthcare expenditures are based on 2004 smoking-attributable fractions and 2009 personal healthcare expenditure data. Deaths and expenditures should not be compared by state.

New York Information

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