Lung Association Offers Help to Smokers Looking to Quit as Tobacco Taxes Increase

Help is just a few clicks or a phone call away

ALBANY, NY (06/30/2010)(readMedia)-- With New York's cigarette tax increasing tomorrow, July 1st, the American Lung Association in New York is reminding smokers that help to quit smoking is just a few clicks or a phone call away. The Lung Association operates a Lung HelpLine and offers a Freedom From Smoking ® online program that can help smokers succeed in becoming smokefree.

"We urged passage of an increase in the cigarette tax because when cigarette prices increase, the number of people who attempt to quit smoking also increases," said Scott T. Santarella, President & CEO of the American Lung Association in New York. "We want New Yorkers who want to quit to be successful and that's why we're reminding them that there are resources out there to help. Quitting smoking can be difficult, but it's not insurmountable. Armed with the proper tools and with guidance from their physician, smokers can quit, enjoy the benefits of being smokefree and greatly reduce their risk of lung disease and other smoking-caused illnesses."

On July 1st, the cigarette tax in New York state will be the highest in the nation at $4.35 per pack, up from $2.75. Because New York City has an additional $1.50 city tax, the total per pack cost of cigarettes there will be even higher. Beginning August 1st, cigarillos (little cigars) will also be taxed at the same rate as cigarettes and taxes on snuff and other tobacco products will also rise.

"We strongly supported the measures passed by the Legislature and Governor Paterson because we know it will result in fewer smokers," said Santarella. "And fewer smokers means reduced incidence of lung disease and more New Yorkers living longer, healthier lives."

It is estimated that New York's increase in tobacco taxes will prompt 120,000 adult smokers to quit and result in 23,000 fewer high school smokers.

What's more, the provision to force collection of taxes on cigarettes sold to non-Indians on Native American reservations which takes effect on September 1 will help keep tobacco prices uniformly high throughout the state. It is imperative that this loophole is finally closed.

More than 25,000 New Yorkers die as a result of tobacco use each year. Another 570,000 New Yorkers suffer from tobacco-caused illnesses that damage their quality of life.

For those interested in quitting smoking, the Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking® Online program can be a convenient way to quit. It can be accessed at Those looking for information about smoking cessation can also call the Lung Association's toll-free Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA( 1-800-548-8252).