A report by the American Lung Association gave New York State mixed grades for its efforts to curb tobacco use.
The 2018 “State of Tobacco Control” report gave the state an “A” for its smoke-free air workplace laws but an “F” in funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
Jeff Seyler of the American Lung Association says lawmakers need to do better.
“The reality is that our fight is still far from over. While cigarette use may be decreasing, youth e-cigarette use and hookah use continued to increase. We continue calling on our decision makers to update our laws to reflect the threat that these new tobacco products present.”
The report says more than 10,000 New York youth became smokers in the last year.
Sayler says, “It’s going to take stronger tobacco policies to reach these communities and to save lives and prevent another generation of youth from being addicted to tobacco. We do have a long way to go to achieve these goals and unfortunately in New York we are not doing nearly enough.”
Over 57 percent of the state is covered by Tobacco 21 laws, but advocates are pushing for a statewide Tobacco 21 law to minimize disparities between communities. You have to be 21 to buy cigarettes in Suffolk County, but only 19 in Nassau County.