Lung Association: Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs Save Lives
New Study Shows Fully Funded Tobacco Control Programs Reduce Number of Smokers
ALBANY, NY (01/29/2008)(readMedia)-- The American Lung Association of New York State today pointed to a new study in the American Journal of Public Health as further evidence that comprehensive tobacco control programs save lives. The study indicates that the U.S. would have between 2.2 million and 7.1 million fewer smokers if states had funded their tobacco control programs at the levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) between 1995 and 2003.
"Fully funding tobacco control programs saves lives by helping to reduce the number of New Yorkers who smoke," said Michael Seilback, Senior Director of Public Policy & Advocacy. "There is a clear return on the investment of these public dollars, both for government which saves on the cost of Medicaid, and for loved ones of smokers who are spared the terrible impact of tobacco."
Conducted by researchers from the CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health and research and technical service firm RTI International, the study finds that state spending on comprehensive tobacco control programs results in fewer adults smoking. This research echoes previous studies and adds to the growing body of research that finds the more New York State spends on tobacco prevention and cessation, the fewer New Yorkers will smoke.
For 2006, the CDC had recommended that New York State spend a minimum of $95.8 million. However, New York State spent $87.5 million in 2006 -- $8.3 million less than what was recommended on these critical programs. CDC’s newly revised guidelines, announced in the 2007 Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs report, recommend that New York State spend a minimum of $155.1 million annually. The CDC estimates that if states funded their tobacco control programs at the recommended level of investment for 5 years, it would result in 5 million fewer smokers, nationally. This translates into millions of lives saved and billions of dollars in health care and other savings.
According to report released in November 2007 by the American Legacy Foundation, effective smoking prevention and cessation programs could cut Medicaid costs in New York State by $1.5 billion within 5 years if all Medicaid beneficiaries who smoke were to quit.
In addition to fully funding New York’s tobacco control programs, the Lung Association has also called on Governor Spitzer and the New York State legislature to make saving lives a priority this legislative session by increasing the excise tax on cigarettes. New York can further reduce smoking levels by enacting an additional $1.50 in the state tobacco excise tax.
"A higher price for cigarettes will create an economic incentive for smokers to quit their deadly addiction, and at the same time will increase funding for tobacco control programs," added Seilback. "Increased cigarette costs will not only lead to increased state revenue, but more importantly will create an economic incentive for smokers to quit their deadly addiction."
The American Lung Association of New York State will continue to push Governor Spitzer and the New York State legislature to make saving lives a priority by increasing the excise tax and by funding vital, public health programs at the levels recommended by CDC.
Since 1904, the American Lung Association of New York State has worked tirelessly to promote lung health and prevent lung disease across New York State. The premier lung health resource in New York State, the Lung Association helps to protect and educate over ten million New Yorkers across 57 counties. With the generous support of the public, the American Lung Association is “Improving life, one breath at a time.” For more information about the American Lung Association of New York state or to support the work we do, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit us online at www.alanys.org.