The American Cancer Society is asking for your help in recruiting signers onto its Back to the Basics letter to leaders in the state legislature and the Governor. Please share the letter with organizations and individuals that you think would interested. ACS is asking leaders in health organizations and medical professionals, community organizations, education groups, parent and youth groups, religious and business leaders, and other grass top leaders from across the state to join us in signing the letter.
For the first time in years there are over 2.4 million smokers statewide, including over 1 million in New York City and while adult and youth smoking rates have declined in NYS they are actually increasing in New York City. The rates for smokers with lower incomes, lower educational attainment or serious mental illness have not seen similar declines and each year 12,900 youth under 18 become new daily smokers and 107,000 NYS high school students currently smoke.
It’s clear we need to take action NOW to reverse course. It’s time to go back to basics—interventions that are proven to reduce smoking and save lives. Budget cuts have decimated the state tobacco prevention program, the NYC cigarette tax rate—one of the strongest ways to help adults quit and keep kids from starting—hasn’t been increased in 12 years and New York State’s Clean Indoor Air Act is being undermined by the rapid growth of unregulated electronic cigarettes.
ACS is asking state lawmakers to re-commit to ending the tobacco and smoking epidemic in New York by going back to basics! We need state lawmakers to protect the public health by:
- Increasing the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products
- Invest the funds to restore cuts made to the state tobacco control program; and
- Prohibit the use electronic cigarettes in public spaces