Mother's Day is a Great Day to Quit Smoking

Countdown to Tobacco Tax Increase Continues, Time to Quit is Now

ALBANY, NY (05/09/2008)(readMedia)-- With the June 3, 2008, implementation date for the $1.25 increase for cigarettes quickly approaching, the American Lung Association of New York today reminded all New Yorkers that Mother’s Day is a great day to quit. In New York State, an estimated 1.2 million women, or 16.5 percent of the smokers in the state, are women.

“Tobacco remains the leading preventable cause of death in New York State, so whether as a gift to your mother, or as a gift from mom to her loved ones, quitting smoking is the best gift one can give,” said Michael Seilback, Senior Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the American Lung Association of New York. “On the day we celebrate moms for who they are and all they do, it is important for moms to remember the significant role they play in influencing the choices their kids make regarding tobacco use.”

Tragically, smoking leads to approximately 11,000 women smoking deaths in New York per year. In the United States, one in five adult women currently smoke, putting them at risk for heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer, emphysema and other life-threatening illnesses. Moreover, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer among women, and smoking is attributable for 90 percent of these deaths.

“Mothers who give up smoking improve the likelihood that their children will grow up to be tobacco-free and lead much longer and much healthier lives,” added Seilback.

With the June 3 increase in tobacco excise tax, New York State will become the national public health leader in tobacco taxation. By making smoking expensive and inconvenient, the increase will eventually save the lives of over 77,000 youth who will be prevented from becoming smokers, and save more then 37,000 adult New Yorkers from a tobacco-caused death by helping them quit.

Unfortunately, tobacco use among women remains a serious problem: almost one in five women currently smoke, an estimated 178,000 women die every year from smoking, and more than 86,000 kids have already lost their mothers to smoking.

The best way for New Yorkers who smoke to celebrate Mother’s Day is by quitting today. One easy way to start down that path is to pick up the phone and call the New York State Smokers' Quitline at 1-866-NYQUITS (1-866-697-8487).